I’ve said it before but they do like sea food on Jeju, fresh and of all kinds. So lunch at Songaksan yesterday started with half a dozen abalone, still wriggling in their shells, together with a chilli dip. The waitress quickly understood that we weren’t going to contemplate eating them so brought them back cooked a few minutes later. That’s still a bit outside my comfort zone.
Next up was the cooked dried fish of indeterminate type. That’s more like it even if there wasn’t actually much meat to be had. And don’t think about all the flies that will have explored it while it was drying.
Those were just the starters: the main dish was the cutlass fish, over half a metre long although the picture below doesn’t show it. Don’t eat the head the waitress said, unnecessarily. The rest of it was very tasty.
I made my first reference to the Jeju 4.3 Massacre in a post about Goneul-dong, on the north coast, earlier this month. Seotal oreum, another 4.3 site, is much closer to home, adjacent to land that used to be the Japanese airfield between Museulpo and Songaksan. There’s a memorial (photo above) which appears to record names of the murdered. Again, I can do no better than quote the English translation of the notice. You’ll have to replace the word ‘compulsively’ with ‘compulsory’:
This place used to be the largest arsenal built by compulsively mobilized people in Jeju during the Pacific War, but it was blasted by the U.S. armed forces after the liberation from Japan.
The Korean War broke out on June 25, 1950. Department of Interior Security exploited the abrogated preventive detention law that was once used by Japan to suppress our nation, and gave every police department instructions to detain and execute blacklisted people and unsavoury elements. Accordingly, Moseulpo Police station had preventively detained and closely watched 344 people until government forces stationed in Moseulpo massacred approximately 210 people (20 on July 16 and 193 on August 20 1950) without legal process and buried them in secret. Civil access to this area had been limited until exhumation was allowed in spring 1956. This is the hideous spot described above.
The two pits in the photo below are the sites of the burials.
Typhoon Neoguri may be passing some way south and east of Jeju, but it has still been blowing hard on the island last night and today. Down on the coast between Sanbangsan and Songaksan, the waves – grey and menacing – were battering the coast, throwing spray and sand over the coast road.
I took these photos a couple of weekends ago, from the boat on the way back from Marado. They’re all of Songaksan, the volcano at the southern tip of Jeju.
In the space of just a few minutes we approached the coast, rounded a headland and then passed the most remarkable series of rock formations. Songaksan is impressive when you’re on top, looking at the strange, wrinkled, formations you walk on, but it’s even more so when you see it from sea level. Maybe the complex rock formations you can see from sea level explain why the land surface itself is so irregular.
If you’re looking at the photos on your smart phone, you may not see the fishermen at the foot of the cliffs in two of the photos. The pictures are worth looking at on a bigger scale, I suggest.
And one more – five full-width photos in one post isn’t my usual format but I have to add the one below with the huge stacks waiting to collapse into the sea.