[KS] Travelogue: Book on Seoul and First Movie ever Filmed and Played in Korea by E. Burton Holmes, 1901

Frank Hoffmann hoffmann at koreaweb.ws
Sat Feb 25 22:09:06 EST 2012

Thanks for the 'Korean Movie Database' links, Matt.

>According to the Korean Movie Database, this is the only Burton 
>Holmes film housed at the Korean Film Archive, from 1899:
>I'm not sure where the 1901 date comes from...

Just read the first posting in this thread by Kwang On Yoo and you 
have the answer:
QUOTING Kwang On Yoo:
E. Burton Holmes (1870-1958) traveled to Seoul, Korea in April and 
May of 1901. His documentation of life in Seoul resulted in a 
112-page limited edition book, Seoul, The Capital of Korea, 
The Burton Holmes Lectures: Volume X, published later that year. The 
complete book is attached hereto, as a free e-book, courtesy of 

1901 is the correct date. 1899 is when Holes was in Hawai'i, the 
Philippines, and again in Japan, but not in Korea. He traveled to 
Korea in 1901, together with his long-term cameraman Oscar B. Depue. 
In 1947 Depue published a summary of his memoirs, the article "My 
First Fifty Years in Motion Pictures" (reprinted in various books on 
film history), and in here Depue confirms this timeline also: Moscow, 
trans-Siberian railways to Vladivostok, then Nagasaki, from there 
with a steamer to Pusan, then Seoul, and on to Peking/Beijing to 
catch the end of the Boxer Rebellion. A classic route at that time.

The Google eBook link that Kwang On Yoo kindly provided at the end of 
his posting does not work if you are outside the U.S. to see the 
actual publication (unless you use a proxy connection with U.S. IP), 
but you can also read and/or download the entire Burton Holmes 
_Seoul, the Capital of Korea_ 1901 travelogue in an edition from 
1917, right here: 
http://www.archive.org/details/seoulcapitalofko00holmuoft (Internet 
Archive)--just click onto "PDF" on the left.

One has to take those "historical" dates at Korean Websites and 
institutions with a grain of salt ... avere sale in zucca, as they 
say in Italy: you have to have salt in your pumpkin :)  A little 
backdating and constructed historical meetings ... sure, we all need 
our lollipop, I understand. National museums even do that at large 
scale and nicely "document" it on glossy paper with the most colorful 
descriptions, and no discussions in the Korea art magazines about 
nothing. What does that remind us of? I forgot.


Frank Hoffmann
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