Tag Archives: The Grand Tour of the Far East

Teramachi 寺町, or A Pilgrim’s Tour of Nagasaki’s Temple Quarter

This gallery contains 36 photos.

Quite unbeknownst to most visitors, Nagasaki is a historic centre of pilgrimage for Japanese Buddhism and Zen Buddhism.  The city centre is quite literally bursting with temples of all kinds, particularly around the foot of the various hills in the … Continue reading

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The Chinese in Nagasaki

This gallery contains 22 photos.

Nagasaki has the oldest existing Chinese settlement and community in Japan, consisting of Chinese migrants (from primarily the Fujian province) who crossed over in the early 1600s, during the final years of the Ming Dynasty. They have assimilated so well … Continue reading

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Oura – Nagasaki’s former Foreign Settlement

This gallery contains 32 photos.

In 1858, Japan signed the Harris Treaty, also known as the Treaty of Amity and Commerce with the United States of America.  The Treaty Port Era had begun for the Land of the Rising Sun.  Five ports were forced open … Continue reading

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Dejima (出島) – The Portuguese and the Dutch in Nagasaki

This gallery contains 23 photos.

Dejima 出島, which literally means “out -” or “exit-island” in Japanese, was an artificial, fan-shaped island reclaimed from Nagasaki bay by order of the Shogun Tokugawa Iemitsu 徳川 家光 in 1634, to house those errant Portuguese, whom, ostensibly in the … Continue reading

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The Grand Tour II-12: Long Cape… Nagasaki (長崎)

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From the Korean Peninsula, we hop on a ship over to the islands of Japan, the Land of the Rising Sun; to the very first treaty port in Japan – and quite likely the oldest colonial port city anywhere in Asia, … Continue reading

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The Westin Chosun Hotel, Seoul

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The Westin Chosun Hotel is the grande dame of Seoul’s hospitality scene.  It originated as an act of cultural desecration. In 1913, the Japanese destroyed the Hwangudan Altar – Seoul’s equivalent of the Temple of Heaven in Beijing, where the … Continue reading

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Keijo 京城, or Japanese Seoul

This gallery contains 15 photos.

In 1910, Imperial Japan annexed Korea forcefully, culminating a process that began with the Meiji Emperor in 1876.  The Joseon capital of Hanseong was renamed 京城 – read as “Kei-jo” in Japanese, and “Gyeongseong” in Korean – and designated the … Continue reading

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Jeong-Dong, Seoul’s Former Foreign Legation Quarter

This gallery contains 16 photos.

In October 1897, King Gojong – the last King of the Joseon Dynasty – declared independence from Qing China and proclaimed the formation of the Daehan Jeguk, or the Korean Empire from the confines of the Deoksugung Palace. Just a … Continue reading

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The Imperial Palaces and Shrines of the Joseon Emperors, Seoul

This gallery contains 26 photos.

We start our tour of Seoul from when it was called Hanseong 漢城, and ruled by the Joseon Dynasty (also transliterated as “Chosun”). The architectural heritage of the period remains in the form of five imperial palaces within the city … Continue reading

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The Grand Tour II-11: Capital City… Hanseong / Keijo / Seoul (漢城 / 京城 / 서울)

This gallery contains 13 photos.

And so at last we have left China, and made landing on Korean soil. For 500 years, the Korean Peninsula was a tributary state of Imperial China, first under the Ming Dynasty and then the Qing Dynasty.  Korea itself wasn’t … Continue reading

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