April 9, 2012
Happy Spring! Though can you believe we have another snowstorm coming?! It will start today during the day and end tomorrow morning. Because it starts later in the day I have school… and this afternoon, I have something called Bus Duty. I really dread this on snowy or rainy days, because it means a fellow teacher and I stand outside in this really windy corner…waiting for four busses to load about 30 children aging from 4 to 12. Please make those busses come on time!!! BRRRRRRR!
Well onto warmer thoughts… Though I published this post by mistake this last Monday, I found about 15 new photos, so I incorporated them into the post. I also added something at the very end… enjoy!
Visit to Koma Shrine and Goryeo Village in Hidaka, Japan.
As part of an event called “Japan-Korea Friendship Festa 2012, ” Jung II-woo and another actor were invited to Japan to promote the Korean Culture.
This was the invitation to fans:
200 lucky fans and Jung II-woo took a train from Seibu Shinjuku station… Photo Cr. On photos.
Can you imagine the feeling of seeing him walking down the train like that? WOO-w is right! At one point he walked to the middle car and gave an announcement:
It said something like:
“Everyone, have you seen the cherry blossoms?
Cherry blossoms are in full bloom.
Let’s have fun until the end while watching it
Everyone, I love you.
Thank you very much. “
Then everybody arrived to the Shrine…
This Shrine was built in honor of a Goryeo Envoy that helped about 1,800 Goryeo refugees when they fled the peninsula of Korea because of the Chinese/Silla attack. If you want to see what Korea looked like back then, during the three Kingdom Period go HERE.
“Koma Shrine History & Koma no Kokishi Jakko”
The Nihon Shoki, the second-oldest book on Japanese history (published in 720 A.D. and generally regarded as more accurately recounting actual events than the Kojiki, the oldest Japanese book which is more concerned with the legends of the gods), mentions an envoy from Goryeo by the name of Genbu Jakko. He had been sent over to the Imperial Court in 666 A.D. to ask for support against the Chinese invasion.
Jakko arrived in Asuka (then the capital of Japan, now a village near Nara) but had to witness from afar how his country crumbled until the Chinese / Silla finally ripped it to pieces. He never returned to Goryeo.
The Asuka Imperial Court held the people from Goryeo in high regard. Jakko was made a high-ranking court official and was granted the title of Kokishi, a hereditary title bestowed upon important people of foreign origin.
Meanwhile, the slaughter and displacement of the Goryeo people continued. Then as now, such slaughter and enslavement results in a large number of refugees. In the case of Goguryeo, thousands of war survivors arrived on the shores of Japan. The Japanese Imperial Court welcomed them, appreciating the fact that most of them were highly skilled in their respective crafts.
According to the records of the Koma Shrine, the former Genbu Jakko, by then called Koma no Kokishi Jakko, was tasked with collecting 1,799 Goguryeo refugees from various locations in eastern Japan in 716 A.D. and settling them into their own homestead. They were given land in the remote wilderness of the Musashino Plain bordering the mountains and they had to clear the land and fight against the bears and wolves traditionally inhabiting the land. Jakko was appointed as their tribal chief and representative. That’s where Hidaka city is today, that’s where the Koma shrine is located.
When Jakko died, the Koma Shrine was built as a memorial to him. To mark his tomb, the Buddhist Shoden-in Temple was founded by the Goguryeo refugees.
The Koma District given to the Goguryeo people stretched from the foothills of the mountains throughout the vast flatlands of Musashino all the way to today’s Sayama city. For many centuries, the Koma folks married only among their own clan, they managed to stay out of most of the Japanese clan wars ravaging the country later on. They thrived in Japan and were a powerful force in their area.
But were they still Korean in any way a thousand years on? It appears that the shrine rediscovered its Korean roots only in the early 20th century, at the same time as Japan annexed Korea. Then, the shrine became an important fixture in propagating the ancient ties between Korea and Japan.
Today, the shrine serves as a symbol of friendship between Japan and Korea. Many South Korean visitors travel there to pay their respects. Cr. www.japanvisitor.com
This is what the Koma temple looks like:
Jung II-woo was invited to have lunch and he had to do interviews and photos for the different news companies. The fans arrived at the same time as him, and had to wait until he was done… over 3 hours!!!
Jung II-woo was treated to a very special meal:
“we also offered “Four God Bento” and Koryo pot.
Four gods are things about God who keeps the four directions,
Suzaku, Xuan, Hundred tigers, Blue dragon
There are red, black, white, blue and each color.
This lunch box is also divided into four, and it is four colors.”
Credit: This food part I extracted from HERE, a woman’s blog, who served as a moderator. Her name is Hiroko Mama…I think! She also took these two photos of the photo shoot:
These are by other fans…
These are some of the News Companies’ photos:
These were taken by Fans from Ilwoostory Japan:
And these by other fans:
This coming photo…is so beautiful! I was so happy to find it!!! Just look at how he glows!
Posing for the photos above…
This is what I told you I added at the end: An article from a Japanese Magazine. Cr. Ilwoostory Japan. Enjoy it for us Japanese Fans!
Want to see more photos of this event? HERE
If I ever travel to Japan, this place is certainly on my list. I found the temple’s story so moving. Imagine…one moment you are just an envoy and then the next you are saving over 1500 lives.
Talking about lives I went to see a movie called “Love, Simon.” It was about the life of a high school student and the moment he “comes out” (says to everyone he’s gay.) The actor in the lead, did a great job portraying the anguish and the emotions of a person in such situation. Sadly, his performance is overshadowed by a poor plot ending, rushed and unrealistic including a forced “Hollywood happy ending.” It’s not that I do not like happy endings, but sometimes a more subtle ending is needed. Not everything can be resolved… and it’s OK because life is more like that.
But… I am enjoying its soundtrack a lot. There is a song called “Sink In” that has some phrases I feel describe what Jung II-woo makes me feel sometimes. This is what it says with my red edits:
“…That I’m weighed down by your beautiful
Collapsing underneath your perfect
Drowning in your wonderful
And I’m letting you sink in
It’s, it’s almost surreal
I’m delighted inside your magic
Love you more and more unconditionally
And I’m letting you sink in”
I also enjoy the songs by the bleachers in this OST …more for their upbeat melody than for their lyrics…
And sadly, today… there was another shooting in a high school here in the USA. Thankfully only one life was claimed, the shooter’s. Thankfully… it’s so sad to say this! It actually infuriates me! How many of our students have to die for our country’s leaders to enact proper gun control laws?