Bangjja Yugi Brassware Museum

published by Devon Furbush

Some of the attractions in Daegu are quite difficult to get to by public transportation. This is why the various-themed city tour buses are essential for those who don’t want to spend hours just trying to get to and from one place. On the Palgong Mountain course, one of the stops is the Bangjja Yugi Museum; with more than 1,400 items including ritual utensils, religious items, candle holders, and shaving knives, this one-of-a-kind museum is known for preserving and promoting Korean brassware. 

The Ordos Plateau of Inner Mongolia had a heavy influence on Asia’s bronzeware industry as it was there where the Bronze Age cultivated and spread all over China and, eventually, the Korean peninsula. Around the time of the Warring States (Proto-Three Kingdoms), Korea’s iron culture was formed as China’s Yan Dynasty’s Iron Age crossed over the Cheongcheon River and introduced iron weapons, farming equipment, knife coins, and tools that birthed the production of precious metals. It is also recorded that refined iron and machine crafts were being transported to Japan. During the Unified Silla Dynasty, Buddhist crafts gained popularity as statues, bells, bongs, and incent burners were produced. However, when promoting Confucianism became prominent in the Joseon Dynasty, there was a crackdown on Buddhism which put a hinder on making gold crafts. It was during this time that household items like tobacco cases and dinner sets began production.

Though it isn't very clear where exactly it originated, the production of brass in Daegu was considerably immense. According to a business encyclopedia called Lim-won-sip-yuk-ji, Daegu’s manufacturing of brassware was prominent before 1800. A 1926 article by the Dong-A Daily News claimed that among the 23 cities and counties that manufactured brass, Daegu was top-ranked.

Fun fact: The Bangjja Yugi Brassware Museum is home to the world’s largest brass gong. Made by master brassware craftsman Lee Bong-ju, it measures at 161cm (approx. 63 inches) in diameter and weighs 98 kg (approx. 216 lb). This gong, used to announce ceremonies at a Buddhist temple, is registered as Intangible Cultural Heritage No. 77.

Fun fact #2: There are a bunch of stone penises laying around outside the museum.

Like I mentioned in the beginning, if you try to take the public bus here you’ll probably be waiting at the bus stop longer than it takes to walk around the entire museum. I highly recommend taking the Palgong Mountain course on the city tour bus. It only costs 5000 won and makes stops at other cool places in the area like the DTC Textile Museum, Bullo-dong Ancient Tombs Park, Donghwasa Temple, and the Safety Theme Park. Plus, you’ll get a discount for the Donghwasa Temple entrance and the optional cable car. DON’T THROW THE BUS TICKET OR THE CABLE CAR TICKET AWAY. Even if you don’t ride the cable car that same day, bring it back on a later date and you’ll still get a 20% discount 

Address: 399, Dohak-dong, Dong-gu, Daegu

Daegu Arboretum
Otgol Village: Gyeongju Choi Clan Residence

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