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MUST SEE: Cheonggyecheon in the 60′s

Check out these wonderful photos of Cheonggyecheon in the 1960s, taken by Japanese photojournalist Kuwabara Sisei.

(HT to Tom Coyner)

UPDATE: Be sure to check out ALL the old photos in that thread. Great stuff!

About the author: Just the administrator of this humble blog.

  • dokdoforever

    Haven’t you linked to these before? They all look very familiar.

  • http://askakorean.blogspot.com thekorean

    Wow, houses on stilts. I only heard about them.

  • holterbarbour

    Dang, I have to say that in many of those pictures (not the wallowing in filth ones) Seoul looked a lot greener, cleaner, more cosmopolitan and generally a far more interesting place to live than it is today.

  • exit86

    Ah-ha! So it was the S. Korean government who covered up this stream, not–
    as the K. ultra-nationalist story goes–the Japanese who wanted to freeze up the
    life-blood “Ki” of the Korean peninsula that flowed from the Taebaek mountain range by filling in this gross-ass stinky, filthy,
    disease-breeding cesspool that it really was back in the day.

    Why is it that all the things folks tell me Japan did (killed all the bears, hunted the tigers to extinction, denuded the local hills and mountains, spelled Korea with a “K,” etc.) actually turn out to be things Korean folks in the past did?

    Funny.

  • Awarren

    Actually, with the exception of spelling Korea with a “K,” Koreans are doing the same things now in other countries.

  • Awarren

    Sorry – my mistake. They are also still spelling Korea with a “K.”

  • http://21cseonbi.blogspot.com sewing

    Wow, Robert: You’ve hit the motherlode! As someone who’s fascinated with photos of postwar Korea, I have to say thank you!

    (Yes, many of these photos are familiar, but it’s great to see them all brought together on a few pages, from a variety of sources.)

  • dogbertt

    Fantastic photos!

    I never once heard from a Korean that the Japanese covered up Cheonggyecheon. Everyone I’ve ever spoken to about it knew it was an ROK redevelopment project and not meant to stifle any “ki”.

  • bumfromkorea

    Forwarded it to my dad, and he loves it! He was like 8 when most of those pictures were taken, but apparently a lot of the landmarks were still familiar to him. I was very proud of myself for recognizing 광화문 지하도.

    I never once heard from a Korean that the Japanese covered up Cheonggyecheon. Everyone I’ve ever spoken to about it knew it was an ROK redevelopment project and not meant to stifle any “ki”.

    Yeah… I never heard that one either. Was exit86 trying to be funny, trying to be a troll, or trying to be a funny troll?

  • seouldout

    Great stuff. The photos attributed to Sisei Kuwabara,who may in fact be Shisei Kuwabara , the famous Minamata disease (severe mercury poising) photographer.

    Keep on following through all the links and you’ll find all kinds of treats.

    Pawi & Tiny, you might want to contact this guy’s boss to have him fired.

  • exit86

    Not trolling at all. Folks who have lived in SK for a while and who have
    dealt with students university age and younger. I heard the Japan-covering-up-Korea’s-”ki” stream one a lot about seven or eight years ago when the stream was getting ready to be remodeled.

    What I always wondered was:
    If my little middle-school kids are telling me about the Japan/Korea Ki covering-up deal, where in the heck did they hear this? Who taught them this total b.s.?
    I got my answer when I asked one kid one day: “My teacher at school old us.”