Dalseong Korea-Japan Friendship Center

published by Devon Furbush

As you know, Japan annexed the Korean peninsula from 1910 until 1945. That’s 35 years of torture, propaganda, and oppression with Japan even making it a priority to completely erase the Korean language and culture. Fast-forward to present-day, we can still see traces of imperial Japan in Daegu. There is a building near my old apartment that used to be a training institute for imperialists and it now sits next to an elementary school. Rather than just tearing it down and attempting to erase it from history, the city kept it up to remind modern society of how far the country has come. 

In the same matter, the Dalseong Korea-Japan Friendship Center serves as a learning center and a museum founded on the deep history between the two countries; starting with the Japanese Imjin Invasion of 1592. The subject of commemoration here is a Japanese man named Sayaka (1571-1642) who defected to Korea during the invasion. His role in several wars contributing to Korean victories granted him naturalization as well as a Confucian academy built to celebrate his accomplishments. Following the invasion that ended in 1598, Kim Chung-seon (his Korean name) settled down in the area of Urok-ri where he spent his days until his death.  

Dalseong Japan-Korea Friendship Center isn't just a museum, it's a cultural complex that highlights the positive effects of a troubled history. Despite the Imjin invasion and the colonization of imperial Japan, the two countries came together to build a place of friendship and peace that is frequented by both Korean and Japanese tourists.

Address: 206, Urok-gil, Gachang-myeon, Dalseong-gun, Daegu

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