Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Daegu History Museum :: Back to the History in Daegu, Korea - The Daegu Modern History Museum, Hyangchon Cultural Center, 2.28 Democracy Movement Hall

Back to the History in Daegu, Korea

■ The Daegu Modern History Museum

The Daegu Modern History Museum was officially opened on January 24, 2011. The museum is housed in a building that is rich in history. 
First built by Japan in 1932 as a bank, today, the building stands proudly as an educational site and bears the title of ‘Cultural Property No. 49’ in recognition of its historical and cultural significance.

The two-story museum (1,971 square meters) houses a permanent exhibition (1F), featured exhibition (2F), and a hands-on exhibition room and classroom for diverse cultural activities and lectures. 
The history exhibition features the lifestyle of Daegu citizens, local customs, and education of the late 19th century and the early 20th century.

When we got to the museum Min Hee pulled mommy and daddy to the left corner from the entrance to a small room. 
The interior is a mock-up of a bus. There was a short looped video playing and Min Hee made us wait until the video stopped.  
Min Hee had already visited the museum with her classmates and so today would be our tour guide.

“Mommy, daddy, come look at this!”

The first floor shows life in Daegu before the city was the modern metropolis it is today.  
Min Hee is five years old (western age, seven Korean age) and sometimes does not know what things from the past really are. She has pointed at typewriters and called them computer keyboards. 
She pointed to an old phonograph player and called it a funny flower looking thing ( the cone shaped speaker ) and other oddities.

Min Hee was quite amazed to hear that the rickshaw was people powered!

The second floor of the museum is temporarily hosting The Wonderful World of Hans Christian Andersen’s Life and Art exhibit
The exhibit will be here until the 26th of February this year. Then it will be replaced.

Min Hee has recently become fond of Lego blocks. The second floor was the place to be. 
One hands-on activity had a few bins of blocks and the wall nearby was the block base. Several students were writing messages using blocks.

When we finished watching the short movie down on the first floor we bumped into one of Min Hee’s dad’s students. 
She was visiting downtown with her mom and a friend. We kept bumping into her and her friend as we visited three museums that day.

The exhibit on Hans Christian Andersen displays some of his works but also details his life in both Korean and English. 
Min Hee was not impressed with the story, she did like the art and displays, though.

Also on display are some Lego art made by local children. While we were standing there a little boy was pulling another little boy by the arm. When he go to the display he proudly announced to his friend, Min Hee, and anyone else nearby, that his work of art was on display. He was very cute!

“Min Heeah, it is time to go. We have more things to see today.”

“Ok, daddy. What’s next?”

“First, we will go to the police museum for mommy then, a park, and then another museum. It’s cold outside!”

“OK, let’s go, go, go!”

▶ More Information◀
 ● Inquiry :
    - 1330 Travel Hotline: +82-2-1330 (Korean, English, Japanese, Chinese etc)
    - Daegu Modern History Museum : +82-53-606-6430
 ● Opening Hours : 09:00am~06:00pm (Closed on every Monday.)
 ● Admission : Free
 ● Website :
 ● Address : 67, Gyeongsanggamyeong-gil, Jung-gu, Daegu

■ Hyangchon Cultural Center

Located in downtown Daegu, the Hyangchun Cultural Center is a few minute walk from Jungangno Station exit 4. The museum was originally a bank established in 1912. The bank changed names several times and was finally closed in 1999. The building reopened in 2009 as a museum. In 2014, it was renamed and is currently the Hyangchon Cultural Center. I have visited there several times and have always been happy seeing a very mixed crowd from small families to groups of high school or middle school students to university students and adults of all ages.

In the first displays are items that were donated by the American government to help the people of Korea after the Korean War. There are facts and different items on display here. Moving through the museum you will see different shops that show how life was in the period after the war. There are all sorts but the first are a tailor shop and a jeweler.

One of the most popular things to do is put on a police uniform and stand on a traffic control platform and pose for a picture or two. These two young ladies are my daughter and one of my students. We bumped into her and her mom while they were visiting a few museums downtown.

The theme is to show life as it was in downtown Daegu during the 1950’s. There are several displays of street vendors with actual items that would have been sold from the period. My wife and daughter tried to buy a few things but their money looked different to the vendors.

You can see the types of items that would have been sold on the streets and in the shops during the 1950’s. No designer fashions or gadgets. Just the things you need to get by in those days.

I found a very disturbing fact sheet displaying the number of babies born and the number of infant deaths comparing 1947 and 2014. Very sad but, it also shows the good side of modern day Korea and how much better life is now.

Many of the displays are set up so visitors can pose for photos. Here my wife and daughter “had some lunch” at a street side restaurant. They told me the food was good so I might have to go back another day.

There is an admission fee of 1,000 for adults and there are reduced rates for studens and senior citizens. The main museum is on the first and second floors. The third and fourth floors are Daegu Literature House. Hopefully we can get back there and see what there is on the third and fourth floors.

▶ More Information◀
 ● Inquiry :
     - 1330 Travel Hotline: +82-2-1330 (Korean, English, Japanese, Chinese etc)
     - Hangchon Cultural Center : +82-53-661-2331
 ● Opening Hours : 09:00am~06:00pm (Closed on every Monday.)
 ● Admission : Adult(1,000KRW), Senior citizens(Older than 65 years old, 500KRW) Youth(8-19 , 500KRW), Children(Younger than 7 years old, FREE), Group(More than 20 people, 500KRW, RESERVATION is required.)
 ● Website :
 ● Address : 449, Jungangdaero, Jung-gu, Daegu

■ 2.28 Democracy Movement Hall

Located less than five minutes from exit 4 of Myeogdeok Station, is the 2.28 Democracy Movement Hall. I really became interested in this movement after my daughter and I visited Adam’s Basement. I wrote an article on the basement last summer. Here I was able to read about the history in a timeline in Korean and English. Many of the people involved in the movement were high school students.

In many cultures the torch in a hand symbolizes shining a light on darkness or evil and also showing the way to a brighter future. Here the hand looks powerful and ready to fight for freedom. It is a powerful and meaningful display with the national flag overhead and the students in the backround.

There are many interactive displays in the Hall. One which my daughter liked was standing in front of a blue wall. There are foot pedals on the floor which move pictures on a monitor in front of you. The pictures will be the back drop sort of like a post card. The camera snaps your photo. Next you move off to the left and you can send the photo of yourself with the backdrop to your email. In this photo Min Hee picked the bell in Gukcheboseong Park, because she rang the bell on New Years day!

All throughout the Hall there are actual pictures of the movement as well as from the period showing daily life in Daegu.

After reading many of the details involving high school students I was able to feel more involved when I saw this miniaturized version of one high school and the students leaving en masse to demonstrate. You can read about how the teachers and administrators were involved as well.

A very interesting hands-on experience display is the screaming room. In a sound proofed room, there are two devices which measure sound volume. I screamed as loud as I could and was shocked that the my scream equaled that of a jet engine. Wow!

▶ More Information◀
 ■ Inquiry :
     - 1330 Travel Hotline : +82-2-1330(Korean, English, Japanese, Chinese)
    - 2.28 Democracy Movement Hall : +82-53-257-2280
 ■ Opening Hours : 09:00am~06:00pm (09:00am~05:00pm, Closed on every Monday.)
 ■ Website : (Korean only)
 ■ Address : 9, 2.28-gil, Jung-gu, Daegu


1 comment:

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