Unearthing Written Records on the Old Gyeongsang Administration Guesthouse and Dalseomun Photographs of Daegu

Seeking to restore the old provincial administration building known as Gyeongsang Gamyeong, the City of Daegu has embarked on a project of preliminary research on the building, surveying all the relevant records kept at Kyujanggak, the National Archive, and in museums overseas. 

The city has recently unearthed important written records indicating the exact location of the guesthouse that used to be part of the administration building, as well as an original layout for the administration building and its features. In addition, the city has also successfully obtained important photographs showing old Daegu, including those of Yeongnam Jeilgwan and Dalseomun.

The City of Daegu finally came across important written records of the exact location of Gyeongsang Gamyeong in Jubon, a book kept in the collection of Seoul National University’s Kyujanggak Institute for Korean Studies.

The findings include a record on the exchange, in 1908, of a piece of public land belonging to the guesthouse that formed part of the old provincial building, with 3,000 square meters or so of privately owned land in order to secure a greater area for a new district courthouse. The findings also include a layout indicating the exact location of the guesthouse.

Jubon is a collection of writings, letters, petitions, and other such written records that the officials and cabinet members of the Joseon Dynasty submitted to the king between from 1896 to 1910.

Daegu also found an original layout for the old provincial administration building of Gyeongsangbuk-do, in Gakgwanchaldogoraean, in the collection of the Kyujanggak Institute. Drawn in 1907, the layout indicates the arrangements and locations of four dozen or so major features of the old Gyeongsang provincial administration building, including Seonhwadang, Gwangpungnu, Naesammun, Jingcheonggak, Naeyeongnicheong, Oeyeongnicheong, Saryeongcheong, Dohundocheong, and Yeonchodang. It provides a rare glimpse into what the old administration building looked like circa 1907, when Japanese occupation had just begun on the Korean Peninsula.

Gakgwanchaldogoraean is a collection of the reports and instructions exchanged between provincial governors and the Joseon Department of Foreign Affairs from 1906 to 1910.

The photographs of Yeongnam Jeilgwan and Dalseomun that Daegu has also recently got a hold of belong to a wider collection of old photographs on Korea, kept at the Tokyo National Museum. The photograph of Yeongnam Jeilgwan clearly and vividly shows various features of the building, including its rafters, paintwork, the Hongyemun in the lower part, the brick walls, and the bricks surrounding the wooden pavilion in the upper part. It also shows signboards that read “Yeongnam Jeilgwan” and “Nakseoru,” the latter of which is found on the two-story wooden pavilion.

The photograph of Dalseomun, the first of its kind to be unearthed, features a massive gate with an octagonal rooftop. The ridge of the rooftop is decorated with various features. The photograph also shows, with relative clarity, a signboard reading “Dalseomun” and the smaller entrance to the right of the main gate. These two photographs were taken shortly before the town walls were demolished. They thus provide crucial information on the original layouts and shapes of Yeongnam Jeilgwan and Dalseomun.

The photograph of downtown Daegu, taken from the top of a town wall after a snowfall, comes from a wider collection titled “Photographs on the Folk Customs of Joseon,” kept at the Institute for East Asian Culture Research at Gakushuin University in Japan. The photograph shows the two-story wooden pavilion of Yeongnam Jeilgwan in the far distance and the boulevard extending across the town. The wooden pavilion in the background of human figures appears to be Juseungnu, which was erected to the west of the town when the town underwent a major overhaul in 1870. 

No comments:

Post a Comment