For this next month, the online portal for the National Archives of Korea, which is operated by the Ministry of Public Administration Security, will be featuring a collection of photos and videos that give a glimpse into summertime in Korea during the 1950s to 1970s.
Beach in Busan was as popular a destination for summer travelers and
vacationing families in 1973 (left) as it is today (right) (photos
courtesy of the National Archives of Korea and Haeundae-gu Office).
30 pieces in the media collection depict typical summer scenes in
Korea’s recent history. Captured on film are vacationing families
flocking to nearby mountains, rivers, creeks, and beaches in search of
respite from the sweltering heat of Sambok, or the three hottest days in Korea according to the lunar calendar. Despite the difficult lifestyles of most Koreans in the decades following the war,
the images of families enjoying summer leisure and taking breaks
together from their work are not too different from the kind of
enjoyment that is seen in the present day.
A photo shows farmers working in a watermelon field in Chungju,
Chungcheongbuk-do in 1959. Right: A train with a logo image of the ocean
takes summer travelers to their vacation destinations in 1968 (photos
courtesy of the National Archive of Korea).
collection shows footage from the late 1950s of junior high to
college-aged student volunteers heading to the countryside to help rural
families with their farming, provide free medical services, and teach
local children. One scene from this time shows people crowded by the Han River
for a community event of the kind that was held to offer consolation in
the form of entertainment and performances to the citizens of the
A new outdoor pool for children opens in Seoul in 1960. Right:
Seoulites cool off from the summer heat at an outdoor pool by the Han
River in 2010 (photos courtesy of the National Archives of Korea and
Hangang Park Office).
Scenes from the 1960s show
families gathered for the opening of a children’s pool in Seoul, the
trains that whisked people off to their vacation destinations, zoo
animals lounging through record temperatures, and a group of policemen
outfitted in summer uniforms to perform patrols of Ttukseom
along the Han River. Scenes from the 1970s show a group of female
college students volunteering in the fields and another performing
Jeonseon Arirang for locals in a country village as part of a cultural education program.
temporary shelter (left) is set up in Gyeongsangnam-do (South
Gyeongsang Province) following heavy rains in 1958. In 1959, a civil
society organization (right) prepares to deliver aid to areas affected
by Typhoon Sarah (photos courtesy of the National Archives of Korea).
included in the collection are videos and images of efforts to address
the flooding from heavy summer rains, include the opening of a temporary
shelter and delivery of supplies for displaced families in areas
affected by Typhoon Sarah in 1959.
“We hope that the archives
will provide an informative look into our past and a fun distraction
from the summer heat,” said Song Gwi-gun, president of the National
Archives of Korea.
Adapted from Gonggam Korea
By Kwon Jungyun
Korea.net Staff Writer