The Grave of the Japanese Farmer that Overlooks Suseong Lake

published by Devon Furbush

Daegu people usually never talk about Suseong Lake’s true story about how it came to be. It was all thanks to a Japanese farmer by the name of Mizusaki Rintaro who used his own savings to help fund the construction of the lake. This was in order to prevent flooding and droughts that regularly occurred in Daegu. During the ruthless Japanese colonial period, he settled in the city to start farming and growing crops that were to be sold in Seoul, then transported to Manchuria. The weather conditions at that time were extremely harsh, putting many farmers out of business.
Despite Mizusaki being just a little farmer, he came up with a plan to build a lake in order to provide space for irrigation and flood control; a plan that would breathe life back into the local farmers who were on the verge of losing their farmlands. At first, his plan was deemed irrelevant by the local Japanese governor, but that didn’t stop him. He went the extra mile to take his proposal to the Head Japanese Governor-General of Korea. He gave in to Mizusaki and agreed to partially fund the construction of the lake. That was all the inspiration he needed because with the addition of his own savings the lake came to actualization.
The construction of Suseong Lake was completed sometime between 1925 and 1927, appointing Mizusaki as the General Official. Thanks to his selfless act of compassion, the livelihood of the people changed as local peasant farmers were able to work again. During a time of oppression and discrimination, he sacrificed his money and character for the sake of the Korean people. When he passed away in 1939 his final wish was that he be buried looking over the lake.

Today, Suseong Lake is a contender for the most popular tourist attraction in the city. With various festivals taking place every week, lakeside busking, duck boats, an airplane coffee shop, and the Suseong Land amusement park, there is never a dull moment.

Address: Dusan-dong, Suseong-gu, Daegu
Emperor Sun Jong's Sad, Short-lived Reign

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