A time of war on Jeju

Japanese_occupation_Kunsan_oreum1Jeju was an important military base for Japan, both for offence and defence, and I’ve been collecting photos of what remains of the wartime Japanese occupation of Jeju since I got here. They’re not very impressive as photos, but they have prompted me to do a little research about that period of time. I know there’s been a lot written in Korean – I’ve seen it in the library of Jeju National University – but I’m having to use signboards at the sites I’ve visited and the internet to find information in English.

The photo above shows the entrance to a tunnel in the side of Kunsan oreum; the photo below shows tunnels along the shoreline at the base of Songaksan. There are plenty of others. In the latter stages of the war, the Japanese army used local people to dig these and others in order to create an extensive underground tunnel system as a defence against the threat of an allied invasion.

There’s an abandoned airfield near the southern tip of the island that was within bombing range of Shanghai – but I’ll save that for another post.


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