Monday, July 31, 2017

The Historical Village of Hokkaido

The Historical Village of Hokkaido covers an area of some 54 hectares and is located in the Nopporo Forest Park in the suburbs of Sapporo City. This outdoor museum was opened to the public on April 16, 1983, to preserve the olden day structures and to show what the pioneer's life was like in Hokkaido.

About 60 typical structures of the Meiji and Taisho era (Mid 19th to early 20th century) are restored in a site which is divided into Town, Fishing Village, Farm Village and Mountain Village sectors.  Due to time constraints, we were only able to visit the Town sector of this massive area.  Each structure is reproduced authentically with displays inside.  

Horse drawn trolleys in the summer and sleighs in the winter provide transportation for visitors along the main street, which is lined with old wooden and wooden buildings.   I had the privilege to visit a doctor's clinic, a barber shop, police station, brewery, newspaper, and photography studio building to name a few.  Throughout the year, there are many delightful entertainments for the visitor.  

Museum hours are from 9 am to 4:30 pm on Tuesday to Sunday.  The ticket office closes at 4 pm. Ticket prices range from 500 to 800 yen.

Monday, June 26, 2017

Dominican Republic 2016 National Anthem 50th Anniversary

On 7 June 1897, the Congress of the Dominican Republin passed an act adopting "Himno Nacional" with the original music and revised lyrics as the country's official national anthem; however, then President Ulises Heureaux (1846-1899) vetoed the act because the lyric's author, Prud’Homme, was an opponent of the president and his administration. In 1899, Heureaux was assassinated, and the political disorder that ensued prevented the national anthem's legal adoption until 30 May 1934 when "Himno Nacional" was officially adopted and signed into law.

The Spanish name of the Dominican Republic, "Rep├║blica Dominicana", is never used in the anthem's official Spanish lyrics nor is the denonym for Dominicans, "dominicanos". Rather, the indigenous word for the island Hispaniola, "Quisqueya", is used twice and its derivative denonym, "quisqueyanos", is used once. However, research later shows that these words does not seem to derive from the original Arawak language.

 Dominican Republic 2016 National Anthem 50th Anniversary - Mint Never Hinged (MNH)Imperforate Sheetlet with 1 value (1v Imperf M/S): $50

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Yangdong Folk Village-UNESCO World Heritage Site #117

After a breezing 30 minute ride from the Geongju city center, we arrived at the Yangdong Folk Village (Yangdong Village of Gyeongju), a traditional village from the Joseon Dynasty.  It is located in Gangdong-myeon, sixteen kilometers northeast of Gyeongju, South Korea, along the Hyeongsan River. Mt. Seolchang stands to the north of the village. 

The village is designated as Important Folklore Materials No. 189 by the South Korean government.

The size, degree of preservation, numerous cultural assets, traditionalism, beautiful natural setting all contribute to the importance of Yangdong Village. It is also a fine example of the  yangban (Korean aristocracy) lifestyle and Neo-Confucian traditions. The village is listed by the South Korean government with UNESCO as world heritage site with Hahoe folk village in 2010.

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Beautiful Geongju- Cheomseongdae Observatory

This observatory was built during the reign of the Silla Queen Seondeok (632-647 AD).  This is the oldest astronomical observatory in East Asia which consists of 26 steps of 30cm high stones placed above double stylobates.  Its exact dimensions are 5.17 meters in diameter and 9 meters in height and is made of granite stones witha stoen base measuring 5.35 meters.
At the top, the square stones are arranged in the shape of the Chinese letter for "well".  Every part of the building from its structure and composition of each stone contains symbolical meaning.   It is filled with various scientific yet mysterious points, such as the fact that the stones that make up the letter for well at the top of the observatory are exactly the length of the stylobate.

Beautiful Geongju- Wolji Pond

In the year 679 AD, during the 19th year of King Munmu's rule, Donggung Palace was built  as a venue for state festivals, banquets and as a prince's palace.

According to to History of the Three Kingdoms (Samguksi), that inside the Palace, a pond was dug, artificial hills were created, flowers were planted, and strange animals were brought in and raised.  The pond also served as a place to entertain valuable guests and hold banquets for the king and his subjects.  The artificial pond with an area of around 190 meters in all four directions was also called the Anapji during at the Joseon dynasty.

Wolji Pond was uncovered during the excavation and dredging work conducted in 1975.  The date inscribed on the roof and tiles decorated with stylized floral medallion (posanghwa),  confirmed that the original dates of construction were accurate.  During the Joseon Dynasty, the pond was neglected and became a straying place for wild ducks and geese hence became Anapji (wild goose and duck pond).