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2019 Winter Personal Essay

GGHS 2019 Winter - Team 5

Hello, I worked on the subject of treaty of Ganghwa Island and some human rights violation cases during the colonial times in Korea ; focused on press reports. Actually, this is my second time participating in the camp. The reason I'm back in the game is because first of all, I really enjoyed this global camp. Exploring something I’m interested in all day, meeting native English teachers, collaborating with team members, planning to make presentations, and finally making announcements etc. The whole camp was so exciting. The second reason is that one of the New Year's bucket lists is meeting new people (especially foreigners), and I thougt it will be a great opportunity to meet people from various countries. So I got back to it.

I leared Japapnese colonial era in school history class. At that time, I got mad to think about the horribly trampled human rights of our people and their hard life. I think that experience influenced me a lot in choosing topic this time. So, I chose this topic. Because my interests are related to human rights and I thought it is a good opportunity to delve deeply into parts that I had not learned in school history class.

Our team reserch the military police system (1910s), ban on the use of Korean language (1930s) and forced labors and comfort women (1940s).

Before the camp, I knew that our people had experienced this kind of pain roughly and memorize the name for the test of Korean history. However, I didn't know specifically what it was about and I had the little knowledge that was difficult to know how painful the Korean people were. Yes, I was ignorant. Socrates said “Ignorance is a sin.” I was living in this country where our people have overcome their pain and developed with their painful history, but I didn't sympathize with their pain sincerely and I was living forgetting them. During the camps, I investigated the specifics of the case and the testimony of the victims. Only then did I truly sympathize with their pain. The testimony from Kim Hak Soon grandmother who was comfort women is most memorable for me. She said, “"Is it a sin to lose country? How can money compensate? Just send me 17 years old.” How sad and miserable was it? This part made me reflect on myself. In fact, I applied for a dormitory for two weeks, but in less than a day, I got body aches because my dormitory room was cold and not comfort. So, I really wanted to go home and I could’t understand myself in the past who applied for a dorm in person. When I heard her testimony, I reflected on my thoughts thinking how much they missed their hometown when the girls (of my age) were taken to such a far country without knowing what they would have to do.

During the camp, I was idea bank that provided ideas of topic and forms of presentation. And I investigated forced labor and comfort women and made ppt for presentation. Actually, I don't have much time compared to the last camp. So I thought it would be impossible to make a perfect presentation. But my team improved the efficiency of my work through division and the teamwork was so good that it made possible what I thought would be impossible. I think it was possible because we were together. If I were alone, it would never have been possible. I was originally afraid to speak in front of audiences. But this time, although I was still nervous, I was able to make a good presentation. It was also thanks to the help of the team members. It was a time to realize the importance of teamwork once again. I think it was a great time to have a chance to meet our teacher Evelyn. Through this camp, I was interested in conversation because I saw friends who are usually free to talk with foreign teachers. It wasn't that hard to speak English, which looked like a difficult one, and I think I just enjoyed talking with foreigners. I was so happy to have a chance to speak English with foreigners through the camp. Anyway, one of bucket list seems to be a success.

2018 Summer Personal Essay

Hello, I participated in the Global Camp for Ganghwa Girls ' High School in 2018. The direct motivation for me to participate in this camp was that this global camp explores about Goryeo. I have lived in Ganghwa for 10 years, but in fact, I may not know anything more about Ganghwa’s history than my friends from Incheon who first entered Ganghwa this year. Also, this year was 1,100 years of the foundation of Goryeo, so there was a school festival, however I didn’t participate in that festival so I felt sorry for myself, but I was happy to find other opportunity like this.

Our group's exploration theme is the lives of the people. In fact, in the school, we learned Korean history in fragments, focusing on kings, nobles and cultures of Goryeo, making it difficult to understand the history of Goryeo in depth. So this time, we picked a topic based on curiosity ‘What life did the people of those days live?It was really meaningful to explore stories that were hidden in history that I had not learned in school. Also connected with my current career path, we criticized the wrong behavior of King Chungnyeol, who was in power in the process of destroying the military regime and thought if we were King Chungnyeol at that time, how could we protect the people from hunger and disease. It was really interesting because I felt like a relief expert while I was exploring it. It was also a pity that if King Chungnyeol had led the nation well despite the difficult times, many people would not have died. What I felt during this camp was that we have tolearn the history of our country.

In our present time, similar events in history are always repeated. Book <Why is half of the world hungry?> Author Jean Zigler said : Modern farming techniques have developed to a considerable extent, The production of food from farmland is more than enough to supply all the people on earth It would have been so, in those days. No, it was like that. This data shows us. (More than this data)

장안의 부호한 집에는/구슬과 패물이 산같이 쌓였는데
절구로 찧어낸 구슬 같은 쌀밥을/말이나 개에게도 먹이며
기름처럼 맑은 청주를/ 종들도 마음껏 마시네!
이 모두 농부에게서 나온 것/ 하늘로부터 받은 것이 아니로세 .....
노는 사람들도 이와 같은데 / 농부들을 어찌 못 먹게 하는가?

In addition, at the time of the transfer of the capital to Ganghwa Island, people lived their lives very hard. But, the ruling class secretly spent their taxes wastefully and holding parties. Similarly, Park Geun-hye used taxes that people earn hard for the benefit of herself. So, why we know how to do this is because we know the past, the history. A nation without knowledge of history has no future. There is a saying that there is no future for a nation that does not know history. This statement is not for nothing.

Taking part in this camp, I learned more about the Goryeo Dynasty by researching Korean history, which I had learned only in short pieces. Also, I think I have improved my English ability by writing on Midia Wikis, reading the sources and talking with our foreign teacher. In fact, I could not speak well before, because of under pressure to speak English if i meet a foreigner, but now I think I can speak English well, and I seem to be a more global person. If I have an opportunity next time, I would like to participate, and even though it is a busy schedule, I would like to express my gratitude to the school that created this camp.

My Contribution (together with 심재희)

Goryeo Military Rule. The Life of the People

An uprising of the farmers and the slaves during the period of Muhsin

During the military rule, local authorities paid too much tax, but the central government, which was in a power struggle, was unable to control it. Also, as Yi Ui-min (1183-1196) , a former slave, came to power, expectations grew among the people for a higher status. Farmers and slaves rose to resist excessive exploitation and to rise in status.In the representative peasant uprising, there is the rebellion of Kim Sa-mi, and in the the lowest class of people uprising, there is the rebellion of Manjeok. During the military rule, the uprising took place frequently throughout the whole time. The most intense of its size and aspect were riots in the Sam Nam provinces that took place over 30 years. Kim Sa-mi's rebellion was one of the most representative of these riots.[1]

Classical Chinese Translation: Kim Sa-mi's Rebellion

Original text
時南賊蜂起, 其劇者金沙彌據雲門, 孝心據草田, 嘯聚亡命摽掠州縣. 王聞而患之. 丙子, 遣大將軍全存傑, 率將軍李至純⋅李公靖⋅金陟候⋅金慶夫⋅盧植等, 討之.[2]

이때에 남적이 봉기했는데 그 중 심한 것이 운문에 웅거한 김사미와 초전에 자리 잡은 효심으로, 이들은 망명한 무리를 불러 모아 주현을 노략질하였다. 왕이 이 소식을 듣고 걱정하였다. 병자일에 대장군 전존걸에게 장군 이지순⋅이공정⋅김척후⋅김경부⋅노식 등을 이끌고 가서 남적을 토벌토록 하였다.[3]

(no English yet)

Manjeok's Rebellion

Manjeok's uprising was caused by Manjeok, a slave, in 1198 during the Yejong of Goryeo Dynasty. Manjeok was a slave of Choi Choong-hun, an Muhsin. During this time, frequent exploitation by officials caused conflicts between upper and lower classes, leading to rebellion by farmers and slaves. The biggest and most purposeful of all was the Manjeok rebellion.[4][5]

Mongol Invasion Process

The Mongols moved away from tribal units and formed a unified nation and established diplomatic relations with Goryeo. However, they invaded Goryeo on the pretext of killing an envoy on his way home. After the second Mongol invasion, the Choe administration moved to Ganghwa Island, which has geographical and military advantages to fight against the invaders. And the people fought against the Mongols by officers who fleeing to Ganghwa Island leaving them as islands and mountains.[6]

A comparison of the lives of the people and the rulers during the time of transfer to Ganghwa island

After the second Mongol invasion, Choe and a small number of ruling groups decided to transfer the capital to Ganghwa Island in 1232, when Mongolia tried to return to invade. In addition, although it was the rainy season and there were many other problems, Choe eventually led to the transfer of the capital to Ganghwa Island with only 300,000 people. Meanwhile, the people who were originally living in Ganghwa had a harder life overnight when their hometown became the capital. They had to move to suburban areas and lost their habitat and had to be mobilized in various odd jobs such as land reclamation project. In addition, except for the 300,000 people who were left on the mainland, were forced to stand on their own against the invasion of Mongolia because of their lack of military support and live a more difficult life. Meanwhile, Choe U and the ruling elite, who moved to Ganghwa Island, wasted their taxes to held parties frequently and enjoyed themselves.[7]

Classical Chinese Translation:Example 1

Original Text
乙酉, 王發開京, 次于昇天府, 丙戌, 入御江華客館. 時霖雨彌旬, 泥濘沒脛,人馬僵. 達官及良家婦女, 至有跣足負戴者. 鰥寡孤獨, 失所號哭者, 不可勝計.[8]

을유일에 왕이 개경을 출발하여 승천부(昇天府)에서 머무르고 병술일에 강화도의 객관에 들어갔다. 이때 장맛비가 열흘이나 계속 내려 진흙이 발목까지 빠져 사람과 말들이 쓰러지곤 하였다. 지체 높은 집안이나 양가의 부녀들 중에는 맨발로 업고 이고 하는 자까지 있었다. 홀아비와 과부, 고아와 자식 없는 노인으로서 갈 곳을 잃고 소리 내어 우는 자가 이루 헤아릴 수 없이 많았다.[9]

(no English yet)

Classical Chinese Translation:Example 2

Original Text
五月, 崔怡宴宗室司空已上及宰樞於其第. 置彩帛山張羅幃, 中結鞦韆, 飾以文繡綵花, 以八面銀釦貝鈿四大盆, 各盛氷峯, 又四大樽滿揷紅紫芍藥十餘品, 氷花交映, 表裏燦爛. 陳伎樂百戲, 八坊廂工人, 一千三百五十餘人, 皆盛飾, 入庭奏樂, 絃歌館鼓, 轟震天地. 八坊廂各給白銀三斤, 伶官兩部伎女才人, 皆給金帛, 其費鉅萬.[10]

5월에 최이가 종실의 사공이상과 재추들을 위해 자신의 집에서 연회를 베풀었다. 이때 산처럼 높게 채붕을 세워 비단 휘장을 두르고 가운데는 그네를 매어 문수채화로 장식하고, 8면을 은단추와 자개로 장식한 4개의 큰 동이에 각각 얼음을 산더미처럼 담고, 또 4개의 큰 물통에 붉은 작약과 자줏빛 작약 10여 종을 가득히 꽂았는데, 얼음과 꽃이 서로 비춰 겉과 속에서 찬란한 빛을 발하였다. 그리고 기악과 온갖 잡희를 베풀고, 팔방상의 공인 1350여 명이 모두 호화롭게 단장하고 뜰에 들어와 풍악을 연주하니, 거문고와 노래와 북과 피리 소리들이 천지를 진동하였다. 팔방상에게는 각각 백은 3근씩을 주고, 영관과 양부의 기녀와 광대에게도 각각 금과 비단을 주니, 그 비용이 엄청났다.[11]

(no English yet)

The collapse of Muhsin government

Since then, the power of the regime has been weakened by the Mongol invasion and by the Choe U regime. Conflict with Mongolia and the damage from the war greatly weakened the Choe regime. Furthermore, Choe Ui (1257-1258), the last ruler of the Choe regime, was foolish and weak and conflicts appeared inside the Choe family. Moreover, the failure to save the bad harvest resulted in the fall of the military regime.

King Wonjong

Wonjong broke down the military regime by implementing systematic policies such as installing an 출배도감 (Directorate General of Resettlement) in Kaegyeong to prepare for returning to the capital. In 1263, Goryeo intended to stabilize the people's livelihood by asking the Japanese government to crack down on pirates invading Goryeo. And Goryeo sent Taeja to Mongolia to express sincerity in its efforts to establish diplomatic relations.

King Chung-ryul

With these fundamentals in place, however, King Chungnyeol (r.1274–1308) was not interested in the plight of the people and was given up to prostitution and hunting falcon. For this reason, I dare to say that King Chungnyeol does not have the qualities of a king, not only because the king lost his voice but also because of his lack of policy achievement. King Chungnyeol' s policy of close association with Mongolia served as a momentum for Goryeo to quickly fall to the status of its a vassal state. As a result, the powers of the lieges have become insignificant. With the disappearance of politics and the spread of Mongolian customs ( pigtail,The costume of Mongolia ) across society, Goryeo gradually lost its natural power, a policy of Chungnyeol which was great toward Mongolia.[12]

If we were king Chungnyeol...

First, the tax that was collected at that time was collected without considering the situation of the people. To solve this problem, we need to understand the situation of the people through the systematic and long-term land survey project and regulate the luxurious life of the nobles by law. And we have to create a system that will help people's lives by saving wasted taxes. Policies that take into account the situation of the people may have the effect of reducing their tax burden.

Second, in 1233, many people died because an insect got into the middle of a person's belly and sucked blood. In addition, there were many diseases and injuries besides these pests, but there were no suitable institutions to treat them. So, the 구제도감, which was a temporary institution that King Yejong had put in place during his reign, is re-installed to ensure the people's relief and health. However, at the time of installation, it was installed only in the Kaegyeong, making it difficult for the whole country local residents to use it. In order to improve this, 구제도감 was set up all over the country and the people were expected to use it seamlessly.


  • 출배도감 出排都監 (Chulbae togam):
  • 구제도감 救濟都監 (Gukje togam):


  1. [네이버 지식백과 김사미의 난 [金沙彌─亂] (한국민족문화대백과, 한국학중앙연구원)]
  2. 『고려사』권20, 「세가」20 명종 23년 7월
  3. 『고려사』권20, 「세가」20 명종 23년 7월
  4. [네이버 지식백과 만적의 난 (두산백과)]
  5. [네이버 지식백과 만적의 난 - 고려 시대에 만적과 노비들이 일으킨 신분 해방 운동 (한국사 사전 2 - 역사 사건·문화와 사상, 2015. 2. 10., 책과함께어린이)]
  6. 고등학교 한국사 교과서 (천재교육/주진오)
  7. 오마이 뉴스
  8. 『고려사절요』권16, 고종안효대왕 3 임진 19년 6월
  9. 『고려사절요』권16, 고종안효대왕 3 임진 19년 6월
  10. 『고려사절요』권16, 고종안효대왕 3 을사 32년 5월
  11. 『고려사절요』권16, 고종안효대왕 3 을사 32년 5월
  12. 나무 위키 - 충렬왕