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[8 Apr 2009 | 3 Comments | ]
The Hwang Sa Byeong (황사평) Catholic cemetery and Catholic massacre of 1901 led by Lee Jae-Soo (이재수), Jeju, South Korea

Long known as a place for internal exile and persecution, the turn of the 19th century saw the flames of rebellion ignite once again on Jeju with Lee Jae Soo’s (이재수) uprising against an increasing number of Catholic missionaries and native converts spreading out across the island. The result: a massacre of some three hundred Catholics and the creation of Jeju’s first Catholic cemetery, which remains with us to this modern day.

The seeds of the massacre, however, were first sown in 1886 with an agreement between Korea and France which legally opened the country to their Catholic missionaries who had previously been unable to practice freely without persecution. Two churches were established on Jeju but local government officials continued an unwelcoming stance which was reciprocated with an increasing lack of trust from the Catholic community.

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[17 Feb 2009 | One Comment | ]
Fire on the mountain, Jeju-do, South Korea

If you’ve ever wanted to be part of a torch-wielding mob, mark your calendar for the 2010 Jeongwol Daeboreum Fire Festival on Jeju, when an entire hillside is set ablaze.

The event is held during the first full moon of the Lunar New Year across Korea. The festival commemorates the practice of burning grassy fields to prepare them for the new growing season. This year’s 14th annual festival on Jeju was Feb. 13 and 14, with the climax hill torching the night of the 14th.

Jeju & Korean Culture, Things to Do »

[21 Jan 2009 | No Comment | ]

Participants for the 2009 Penguin Swim wait at the start line | Credit: Brian Miller
Islanders hit the beach despite unusually harsh winter weather
Story and photos by Brian Miller
It was a bitterly cold Saturday morning on what locals like to call “Korea’s Hawaii,” though the name seemed especially ill-chosen that day, as the temperatures hovered around freezing and the snow fell gently to the frozen sands of Jungmun beach. It was just the kind of morning that makes you wonder if Hawaiians ever have to drive with snow chains.
But a group …

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[13 Jan 2009 | No Comment | ]
The man and his mountain, Jeju, South Korea

An Hye-Kyeung (left) translates the words of her father, An Heung-Chean | Credit: Jim Saunders
Mountain climber, artist An Heung-Chean’s passion is on display at a new Jeju-si gallery
Story by Marcie Miller | Photos by Jim Saunders
An Heung-Chean has painted, drawn and sketched the love of his life thousands of times. He has captured her with the morning dawn creeping across her face; with the golden rays of evening caressing her slopes, with clouds spilling over her face like a shy bride’s veil. And always, to him she is beautiful.
She is …