Cell Ghosts


Seodaemun Prision

The Yonsei University and Seodaemungu-office jointly held the 1st Seoul-Shinchon art festival at Yonsei University and churches, parks, movie theaters in the Shinchon area under the theme Young, Global, Future. The opening ceremony will be held on May 4th at the Seodaemun prison history hall, featuring various cultural performances and a media performance in an outdoor stage.

Seodaemun Prison(Hyongmuso), which is located at 101, Hyonjo-dong, seodaemun-gu, Seoul, was built during the japan's occupation at the end of Taehan Empire, and it served as a major site of oppression during their forced colonization. For almost 80 years, it has stood as a living monument of our ordeal, and grief in the tumultuous times of modem Korean history.

When japanese occupid our nation by force, they unveiled their wild ambition to launch a full scale invasion into the continent by using our land as a bridgehead. At that time, they found it necessary to build a prison to house the numerous patriotic martyrs who fought against their invasion was begun in 1907 near Tongnimmun(Independence Gate), which was estabilshed as a symbol of independence during the period of Taehan Empire.
The prison was designed by a japanese architect with a construction cost of 50,000 won(the then currency value), and consisted of detention cells with a size of 480 pyung, and auxiliary facilities with a size of 80 pyung(315 sq.). The scale of the prison, which could accomodate a total of 500 inmates, was enormously large, considering that the entire capacity of eight prisons across the country was only 300 inmates. The prison was first opended on October, 21, 1908 under the name of Kyongsong Kamok(traditional name of prison). When Japan initiated full-scale aggression into korea, numerous Korean patriots nationwide rose up against the invaders, to be arrested and imprisoned. As the number of inmates increased, the Japanese constructed another prison in Kongdok-dong, Mapo-gu,and accordingly,the first Kyongsong Kamok was renamed seodaemun Kamok in September 3, 1912.

For more information please visit: http://www.seodaemun.seoul.kr/eng/prison_1.html