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¡ÜThe start of Gangjin history, Jeolla Byeongyeong

The Gangjin area where Jeolla Byeongyeong was established is now being developed. Many

of the relics and remains since the prehistoric age are being preserved.


Although remains of the Old Stone Age and the New Stone Age have not been found yet, people of the Bronze Age, who remained dolmens, occupied the basis of their livelihood one place after the other identified in Gangjin including Byeongyeong-myeon where Byeongyeong (military camp) was set up.


Groups opening the Iron Age formed small countries in the Mahan area and was absorbed into Baekje. In

this course, the Byeongyeong area was changed into Domu-gun in the Baekje Period and reorganized to Dogang-gun in the Goryeo Dynasty.

Dogang-gun was controlled by Yeongam-gun and became independent as Dongang-hyeon in the Joseon Dynasty. Gangjin of today became an administrative district in the 17th year of Kign Taejong(1417) by combining Dogang and Tamjin.


The formation of Gangjin-hyeon was very closely related to Jeolla Byeongyeong. To effectively defend Japanese pirate raiders, Jeolla Byeongyeong, established in Gwangsan-hyeon, was moved to Dogang, resulting in the birth of Gangjin.

This was the start of the history of Jeolla Byeongyeong and Gangjin which functioned as the headquarters of the province of Jeolla-do, holding and controlling the military power of 50 counties.



¡ÜThe background of establishing Jeolla Byeongyeong

Byeongyeong(military camp) which was the defense position of Jeolla-do and general headquarters of the army, was established in Gonae Sanseong, Gwangsan-hyeon(Gwangju of today) at first and moved to Gangjin in the 17th year of King Taejong(1417). It functioned as general headquarters of Jeolla-do for 500 years until it was removed in the reformation of military system of the 32nd year of King Gojong(1895). Marked for holding great hardships Gangjin is a place with a historic background.

The reason is yet to be established when King Taejong ordered to look for the site of new Jeolla Byeongyeong in Jan. 1417 and selected Dogang-hyeon as a new site. Dogang was the name of Gangjin in the Goryeo Dynasty.


-A coastal area as an effective defense against Japanese pirate raiders

The reason to move Byeongyeong to Dongang(Gangjin) next to the sea was related to the defense against Japanese pirate raiders.
To effectively defend the coastal area against Japanese pirate raiders who would raid on the southwest coast from late in the Goryeo Dynasty, Joseon needed to concentrate its military strength on the coastal area.

Despite active measures to conciliate, the damage of Japanese pirate raiders continued. King Taejong reinforced military facilities in both inland and the coast and improved the military system to actively prepare for the raids of Japanese pirates.
In this process, Jeolla Byeongyeong was moved to Gangjin next to the coast.

-A fortress with a beacon

Gangjin also had a mountain fortress wall in Mt. Suin as the back fortress. Suin Sanseong was built in the Goryeo Dynasty and used as a shelter late in the Goryeo Dynasty when Japanese pirates severely raided the area.
Since there was a beacon on the top of Mt. Suin which could report to Byeongyeong if the enemy was found in the adjacent fields became very productive, Gagnjin was a very good place of Byeongyeong.



-The location of a county(gun)-level fortress in history
It is assumed that this area was the seat of Dogang-hyeon.

Although Dogang-hyeon was demoted to hyeon according to the reorganization of an administrative district in the Goryeo Dynasty, it was Domu-gun in the Baekje Period and Yangmu-gun in the Unified Silla Period. Since there was strategic defense facilities fortress such as Suin Sanseong since early times, an old fortress was rebuilt and maintained to be used as a new one.

¡ÜEstablishment and maintenance of Jeolla Byeongyeong

The establishment of Jeolla Byeongyeong in Gangjin was closely related to the improvement of local military system in the Joseon Dynasty. The Joseon Dynasty improved the national system to bury the military remains of Goryeo. It established the Yeongjin system that two or four military camps were built in every province and Cheomjeoljesa controlled adjacent troops.


The Jeolla area established Byeongyeong in Gwangsan-hyeon(near Songjeong, Gwangju) under the Yeongjin system and had four military camps. To defend Japanese pirate raiders, naval military camps were moved to the coast and finally Jeolla Byeongyeong was also moved to Gangjin to reinforce the defense system in cooperation with the army and the naval force.

Jeolla Byeongyeong in Gangjin was built by the military commander Ma Cheon-mok.
In Eulmyowaebyeon(Japanese invasion of Korea in 1555), Byeongyeong met with crisis. Although a damaged fortress was restored by the military commander Nam Chi-geun, it was destroyed by unexpected fire.
Then, it was totally remodeled and 1,800 people(Buddhist monks accounted for 2/3) were sent out to construct a building with 96 rooms according to ¡ºJeolla Byeongyeong Jungchanggi¡».

On the other hand, there was constant controversy concerning the irrationality of the movement of Byeongyeong to Gangjin mainly on the aspect of geographic location. But, it was not accepted due to the strong need to defend the area against Japanese pirate raiders.

Meanwhile, the local army, following the Yeongjin system, became more systematic as the Jingwan system that reinforced inland defense.
Since defense focused on the coast under the Jingwan system, there was some discussion that Byeongyeong should be moved to Gwangju, Naju, or Damyang to reinforce the inland area. Some worried that the inland may put into danger because the army as well as the naval forces were mostly concentrated guarding along the sea or the coastal area.

In reality, Byeongyeong was once moved to Jangheung in the process of improving the military system in the 32nd year of King Seonjo(1599) immediately after Imjinwaeran(Japanese invasion of Korea in 1592).
However, there was a fierce conflict of interests among the locals and it was returned to Gangjin 6 years later. Jangheung residents suffered from frequent reception and Gangjin residents wanted to had Byeongyeong again.



Occasionally, after that time, there was a discussion on the movement of Byeongyeong by some administrators who was interested in local defense such as Oh Dal-un, born in Haenam, and Dasan Jeong Yang-yong. Oh Dal-un argued that Byeongyeong should be moved toDamyang, Gwangju, or Jangseong. However, his proposal was not accepted.

Since Imjinwaeran(Japanese Invasion of Korea in 1592) and Jeongyujaeran(Japanese Invasion of Korea in 1597), Joseon had kept the peace for long without the invasion of foreign power. Rather, it tried coping with the urgent political and social changes from within, local military camps did not show active changes more than the maintenance of the old status quo. Consequently, Jeolla Byeongyeong did not leave Gangjin until it was removed during the open port period.

¡ÜHistory of Byeongyeong

Feb.   1417
(The 17th year of King Taejong)
Moved to Byeongyeong of today from Gwangsan-hyun. 
April 1417
(The 17th year of King Taejong)
A fortress wall and early buildings were built.
1457
(The 3rd year of King Sejo)
There was discussion on the removal of Byeongyeong Fortress in connection with the completion of the Jinyeong system.
1555
(The 10th year of King Myeongjong)
A military commander and the Jangheung Governor were killed and the Yeongam Governor was taken prisoner during Dallyangjin Sabyeon(Eulmyo Waebyeon), Byeongyeong.  Fortress was ruined.
1555
(The 10th year of King Myeongjong)
Byeongyeong Fortress was partially rebuilt by Military Commander, Nam Chi-geun. 
1580
(The 14th year of King Seonjo)
A building was rebuilt(69 rooms)
1592 ~1597 Imjinwaeran(Japanese Invasion of Korea in 1592), Jeongyujaeran(Japanese Invasion of Korea in 1597)
1599
(The 32nd year of King Seonjo)
Moved to Jangheung Eupseong.
1604
(The 37th year of King Seonjo)
Moved to Byeongyeong of today again. 
1634
(The 24th year of King Injo)
Jinnamru was built. 
1652
(The 4th year of King Hyojong)
Jinnamru was rebuilt(Hongyemun was built).  Unjuhyeon andJeokmakheon were built. 
March, 1656
(The 8th year of King Hyojong)
Hamel and his mates were sent to Jeolla Byeongyeong. 
Feb.   1663
(The 15th year of King Hyojong)
Hamel and his mates left Byeongyeong and was separated into Jeolla Jwasuyeong(Yeosu), Suncheon, and Namwon. 
1688
(The 14th year of Sukjong)
Yeonhuidang was rebuilt.
1702
(The 28th year of King Sukjong)
Gongmuru(a gate of Gaeksa) was built. 
1732
(The 58th year of King Sukjong)
Eungsudang was built. 
1745(The 21st year of King Yeongjo) Jeseungru(gate of Unjuhyeon) was built. 
1768(The 44th year of King Yeongjo) Cheongsimgak(inn) was renamed Mangmiru.  Jinnamru was remodeled. 
1774
(The 50th year of King Yeongjo)
Unjuheon was rebuilt.   
1779
(The 3rd year of King Jeongjo)
Gongmuru was rebuit. 
1791
(The 15th year of King Jeongjo)
Gongmuru was destroyed by a typhoon. 
1802
(The 2nd year of King Sunjo)
Gongmuru was restored. 
1851
(The 2nd year ofKing Cheoljong)
Yeonhuidang was destroyed by unexpected fire and was restored. 
Dec.   10, 1894
(The 32nd of King Gojong)
During the Donghak Peasantry Movement, it fell.  Official residences, attached buildings, and neighboring private houses were burnt. 
1895
(The 33rd year of King Gojong
Removed. 






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