Woo Bae-seon and Wolgok History Museum

published by Devon Furbush

During the first Japanese invasion in 1592, the Korean peninsula was in shambles. However, this invasion brought out the best skills in volunteer commanders across the nation who did whatever they could to protect their land, their people, and their resources. During this massacre, Woo Bae-seon rose from the small town of Hwawon to fight for Korea. Despite knowing death would be inevitable, the self-proclaimed army commander gathered a group of volunteer soldiers known as the ‘righteous army’ who would then go on to fight and win several battles during the invasion. These feats and victories led to the establishment of this museum. He was only 24 when all of this happened, but he received high praise from his family and the king which only solidified his status as a legend.

Most of the items in the museum have been kept and preserved by the Danyang Clan (Wolgok Woo Bae-seon’s bloodline). The area even used to be where the Danyang Woo Clan settled and made their homes. It is said that over 500 families spanning over 600 generations used to live here.

I’m not sure if it was intentional, but these shovels resemble people with some funny haircuts.

This special version of the A-frame was worn like a backpack and used to transport water.

Everything from sandals, bags, baskets, and ropes were made from straw. I wonder how heavy they got when it rained.

Since there were no cameras to show how the farming lands looked during the different seasons, special artists painted vibrant pictures to depict how farming looked throughout the year.

This barrel was used to transport excrements. I feel sorry for the guy who had to drag this thing around. Thankfully there was no residue left inside. Haha

This is the poop scooper.

All in all, there are more than 1,000 pieces of everyday equipment and farming tools left behind. These are all on the 1st floor.

Upstairs is where we can learn about Bae-seon’s life and his feats. As a child, he possessed highly impressive skills in writing, reading, and philosophy. People in his village who saw his notes didn’t even know what he was studying. Needless to say, they were all impressed.

Almost all of the information in the museum is in Korean, but the museum curator was extremely helpful in explaining all of the information in English.

Address: Songhyeon-ro 7-gil 38


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