architecture in gunsan

During the Japanese Occupation Period, Gunsan was a port city from which rice was exploited and sent to Japan. Many Japanese merchants settled here and grew rich. Today, many of the colonial buildings still remain along the harbor and in the old parts of Gunsan. Unfortunately for me, many of the buildings were being renovated so I couldn't get very many pictures. Although much of it tells sad stories of plunder and greed, the buildings themselves are quite beautiful and the government has done a great deed in protecting them.

Dongguksa (東国寺) is the only temple left in Korea from the colonial era. At the peak of the colonial period, there were more than five hundred Japanese style temples. This temple was originally founded by a monk by the name of Uchida in 1909 and the building itself was built in 1912. The main hall is constructed in a style that was quite popular during the Edo Period in Japan.

The Hirotsu House below was the residence of a wealthy Japanese merchant. It is an Edo-style Mansion (Yashiki) with a few modifications. Several rooms on the bottom floor employ the Korean ondol floor heating system while the rooms above use traditional Japanese tatami mats. 

Below is the Old Gunsan Customs House. It was designed by either a French or German architect in an eclectic mix of European styles in 1908. The red bricks were imported from Belgium. This was where much of the rice that was grown was shipped out from.