Seoul, the capital of Korea

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SEOUL, THE CAPITAL OF KOREA  (1901) 
by Elias Burton Holmes
Fusan, 5 – 8 •


In this picture a Korean family is standing together. Three women are wearing dresses. Two boys are wearing long coats. One girl is wearing her pajamas. A fat man is wearing a bath robe, a rope around his chest, and a black cowboy hat that is too small for him.
MR. AND MRS. PAK – KEE – HO AND THE LITTLE "PAKETS"
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THE

BURTON HOLMES

LECTURES


With Illustrations from Photographs
By the Author


COMPLETE IN TEN VOLUMES
VOL. X


BATTLE CREEK, MICHIGAN
THE LITTLE-PRESTON COMPANY, LIMITED
M C M I

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COPYRIGHT 1901
BY E. BURTON HOLMES
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

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SEOUL, THE CAPITAL OF KOREA



This picture is a map. It shows from left to right: China, the Yellow Sea, the Korean peninsula, the Japan Sea, and Japan.
China, Korea, & Japan.
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This picture is a drawing of people walking toward a village. Some are wearing hats shaped like an umbrella. The caption is Seoul – Capital of Korea. The letter "S" of the word, Seoul, is drawn over a little map. The little map shows the city of Seoul on the Han River. It also shows a canal going south from the Han River. It shows the Chemulpo dock in Incheon as if on that canal rather than the bay farther south.
Seoul – Capital of Korea

                            THE CITY of Seoul is the quaintest I have ever seen. A visit to the Korean capital is one of the choicest tidbits on the menu of modern travel.

The usual approach to Korea is by way of Nagasaki, in a Japanese steamer which first touches Fusan, a thriving port at the southern end of the peninsula that we call Korea but which is known to the Japanese as "Cho-Sen" – "The Land of the Morning Freshness," and to its own people by

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This is a picture of a young man in a military uniform. He has a mustache and goatee and is a little overweight. His helmet is shaped like a baseball hat with a candlestick on top.
HIS MAJESTY, THE EMPEROR OF TA-HAN

the newer name of "Ta-han,” recently bestowed upon the land by the present ruler, when, as a result of the war between Japan and China, he found himself monarch of an independent country. He had been formerly King of Korea, vassal to the Emperor of China and to the Mikado of Japan. But on the conclusion of the war, Korea was declared an Empire, with the new title of Ta-han, while the ruler raised himself from the rank of King to that of Emperor, so he might reign in Seoul as the equal of their Imperial majesties of Dai Nippon and of the Middle Kingdom, whose capitals are Tokyo and Peking.

The port of Fusan, distant one day's voyage from Nagasaki, is as Japanese in aspect as any city in Japan itself. The houses, shops, and temples are precisely like the houses, shops, and temples of Nagasaki; the people in the streets wear the dress and speak

This picture is of a boy in a robe, white scarf, running shoes, and t-shaped hat. He is sitting with a tote bag on his lap. The tote bag is the same color as his robe. There is a folder sticking out of the bag with the picture of a lion or a poodle on it.
ONE OF THE IMPERIAL PRINCES
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This photo shows a beach on Fusan Bay in southeast Korea. Little sail boats are anchored by the sand. No passenger or cargo ships are seen at this angle.
Fusan

the language of the Mikado's land. They have been here in force for more than three hundred years; since the great invasion in 1592 they have never relinquished this foothold on the continent of Asia. Wise indeed in their forethought,

This picture shows seashore of hills as seen off Chi-Fu Harbor, China west of Seoul, Korea.
Off Chi-Fu
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This picture is from a hill overlooking the rooftops of a neighborhood on the shore. The sea looks like a lake because on the right side of the picture the land curves up around the water to a hilly shore on the other side of the water. On the left side of the picture, however, the water reaches the left edge of the picture. In the upper right corner, a map is sketched. It shows Korea is near Japan and that Fusan is in the southeast of the Korean peninsula.
JAPANESE COLONY AT FUSAN

for there is now a railway in construction that will make this obscure port one of the termini of the Trans-Asiatic line, surpassing Vladivostok and Port Arthur in point of proximity to the main traveled waterways of the Far Eastern Seas.

In this photo, several black men are standing around on the sidewalk of a concrete boat dock in China. The dock is in the center and left of the photo; the water is on the right side of the photo. A stairwell next to the water is inset in the dock. On the far side of the stairwell is the top of the stairs. Two black men, facing the viewer, are carrying suitcases down the stairs. The water is calm. Rowboats are tied along the concrete dock, from near to about six rowboats away. Then, the seawall makes a right turn. Beyond the water and the dock are wooden buildings at the top of the photo. They are one and two stories high. A map is sketched lower left which shows where Chi-fu is in relation to Seoul.
LEAVING CHI-FU
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In this picture, on the left side of the picture a sailor is standing on the deck of a metal ship and facing to the right with has his hands on the steering wheel of the ship. In the center of the picture Burton Holmes, in a black suit, is standing and facing to the right with his head turned toward the camera. In front of him is something that looks like a bird bath which might possibly be a big compass. On the right side of the picture, a sailor is standing and facing the camera. In front of him is a pedestal with two handles on it. In the background is the railing of the side of the ship. Beyond that is fog.
Nippon Yusen Kaisha (Japan Mailboat Company)
Two sailors and the author, Burton Holmes, on the deck of a ship in the fog.

But we approach Korea not from the Japanese, but from the Chinese, side. We sail from Taku, Peking’s port; transship at Chi-Fu, and cross the entrance to the Gulf of Pe-chi-li on a steamer of the Nippon Yusen Kaisha – the Royal Mail Line of Japan – for the enterprise of Japan is as conspicuous in Korean waters as upon Korean shores. The ship threads her way toward Chemulpo, the chief port of Korea, through

In this picture, taken from a ship, a rowboat nears the ship. People are standing on the deck of the ship, left, and sitting in the rowboat, right. In the distance there is land. In the upper right of the picture is a map showing the ship’s route east from China to Korea.
Off Chemulpo
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an enchanted archipelago – a constellation of shimmering islands set in the placid firmament of a deep, calm, silent sea. Isle alter isle glides by – some rocky, savage, and fantastic, some soft, inviting, and luxuriant, but all apparently unpeopled; and the sea itself is lonely as a desert – no signs of life, no ships, no junks; and yet we are within an hour's sail of Korea’s busiest and most important port. Surely the people of Ta-han must fear the sea which washes three sides of their land, or else these waters would not be left for the exclusive furrowing of foreign keels. We are already in full view of Chemulpo before we see the first Korean craft – a sampan that has ventured out to meet the ship. The boatmen, however, do not lack daring, for they drive the little boat full tilt at the passing steamer, strike the hull just forward of the gangway, and then as the big hull brushes past, two men succeed in gripping ropes or railings and swing themselves with monkey-like agility up to the deck. Meantime their fellows have made fast a rope, and the sampan is trailing gaily in our wake at the end of a long tow-line. Other acrobatic sampan men repeat this maneuver, boarding our ship like pirates in their eagerness to

 This is a picture of a small island as seen from a ship. It is near other small islands. Below the picture is a map showing the group of islands. They are near, and to the northwest and southwest of, Inchon, South Korea, which used to be called Chemulpo, Korea.
AN ENCHANTED ARCHIPELAGO
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In this picture, some young men from a rowboat are grabbing the beams under the ship's gangway and pulling themselves up on to the platform.
Boarders
solicit the patronage of disembarking passengers. Not knowing that a steam-launch is provided by the steamship company, we hire an unnecessary sampan, and then in company with half a dozen other sampans, we go trailing shoreward, towed by the tender to which the crafty skippers have passed their lines, thus saving themselves a long hard pull against the ebbing tide. Thus we approached Chemulpo under the flag of the Royal Japanese mail. We note that the official in the little white gig – the "tide-waiter" of the port, who boards all arriving ships – is a Japanese.
In this picture, a small steam boat is towing a raft and some rowboats toward shore.
In a sampan

   The most conspicuous buildings on the shore are Japanese. A Japanese cruiser is at the outer anchorage. The merchant-ships at the buoys near the town are flying the flag of the Empire of the Rising Sun. But the people on the pier are new to us in costume, speech, and customs. Our acquaintance with the Korean


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people begins at the pier, where native stevedores are loading lighters with sacks of rice for export to Japan.     Chemulpo is not an ideal port. It is reached by devious and treacherous channels, through a confusing archipelago, where rapid currents due to the phenomenal tides sweep to and fro twice daily, rendering navigation most precarious. At low water scores of junks and even a few small islands are left stranded high and comparatively dry on broad mud flats.

In this picture, there is an earthen pier with several people standing on it and, on the near side of it, several rowboat-sized sailboats are anchored next to it. On the far side of the pear, there appears to be stored defensive artillery. There are some ships in the background. Next to the ships are some of the small boats. It looks like the water around the pier is too shallow for the ships to get next to the pier, so smaller boats are being used to go from the pier to the ships. Beyond the ships, on the left of the picture, the sky meets the sea and on the right side of the picture there are hills between the sky and the water of the bay.
THE PIER AT CHEMULPO

    The town is semi-European, semi-Japanese. There is a native quarter inconsiderable and unimportant, but it lies far from the landing-pier, and its existence is not at first apparent. There is a so-called European hotel conducted by a Chinese, but we favor the Japanese yadoya, where we find the same attentive service as in Japan, the same dainty little dinners served on tables six inches high, the same soft, matted floors and translucent paper walls. There is nothing about the establishment that is not delightfully Japanese. We forget that we are in Korea, until the next morning when

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This work is in the public domain in the United States because it was published before January 1, 1923. It may be copyrighted outside the U.S. (see Help:Public domain).