Dongjak the Prestigious City Oriented by Good People

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  3. Brief History

Dongjak-gu was separated from Gwanak-gu on April 1, 1980, and became the 17th Gu in Seoul. Its name was derived from the Dongjaegi Naruteo Ferry, and its long history has been always associated with the Hangang river.

The Hangang runs through the middle section of the Korean Peninsula. It is to the Korea what milk is to babies, and it has been the original source of history and culture since ancient times. Specially, the beautiful area of the river downstream has always been the important base for the Korean people, since prehistoric times.
It has always played a major role in Korean history, as a central area for so many things, and as a key transportation point to China.

According to 'Donggungnyeojiseungnam', King Jangsu conquered the down stream area of the Hangang iver in 475. This is the area from which the Baekje Dynasty originated long ago. King Jangsu divided the area into two regions by drawing the line along the Noryangjin, namely Ingbeolno-hyeon to the west, and the Yulmok-gun to the east. After Unification of Three Kingdoms, Ingbeolnohyeon was renamed as Gogyang-hyeon, and Yulmok-gun as Yuljin-gun. "Gogyang" was a highly productive agricultural land, and "Yuljin" was famous for its chestnut trees and the Dojinchon around Noryangjin.

In the Goryeo Dynasty, Gogyang-hyeon was reorganized to be Geumju, and Yuljin-gun to Gwaju, and then in 1018 (9th year of King Hyeonjong's rule), as one of the policies of centralization, Geumju became a part of Anam-dohobu, and Gwaju became a part of Gwangjumok, but officers to rule those regions had never been dispatched, so they remained as self-governing Hyeon's.

Once Hanyang (currently Seoul) became the capitol, the Dongjak area with the Nodeulgang River(A branch of the Hangang) became the gate of the Hanseong Castle), connecting the Samnam (3 southern) regions and the capitol. Both Dongjaeginaru (ferry) and Nodeulnaru Ferry were developed, and, as they became more and more frequented by people and cargo, the area with the Jin playing the central role became economically prosperous, and at the same time, it became an important strategic military point. Its strategic importance can be known by the fact that, in 1703 (39th year of King Sukjong), the military post (Byeoljang) under the command of Geunwiyeong was set up here.
Its jurisdiction had changed from time to time, like one time in 1416 (16th year of King Taejong's rule), when the King Taejong revised the Local Governing System, resulting in changes from Geumju to Geumcheonhyeon, and from Gwaju to Gwacheonhyeon, but, in 1795 (19th year of King Jeongjo's rule), it became Siheunghyeon, and stayed that way for a long time.

The King Jeongjo, who was such a good son to his father, made an annual pilgrimage to the Hyeollyungwon Temple in Suwon. To get there, the King crossed the Hangang by making a temporary bridge by connecting large boats summoned from all over the country. This was a big National Event and Festival, participated in by a great number of soldiers. At this time of the year, in the Nodeul Ferry, which is now a part of Bon-dong, the Construction Field Office for the boat bridge as well as the Yongyangbongjeojeong Pavilion for the King's rest, were erected, and the roads between Noryangjin and Suwon were repaired, both of which made this area of Siheunggun and vicinity very active and prosperous.

In the latter part of the 18th century, as free commerce and trading progressed, the river merchants along the Hangang flourished, and the population of the capitol, called Hanseong at that time, grew rapidly, and the roadside connecting Hanseong and Suwon as well as Dongjaeginaruteo Ferry became prosperous.
After Gabogyeongjang, 8 Doje system changed to 23 Buje system, which made it a part of Incheon-bu Gwacheon-gun and Siheung-gun, divided by the Jangseungbaegi as a boundary line. After colonization of Korea by Japan, it, along with the current Gwangak-gu and Yeongdeungpo-gu, became a part of Siheung-gun, and then, in 1936, it fell under the jurisdiction of the Yeongdeungpo Branch of Gyeongseong-bu.

After the liberation from Japanese occupation, some parts of Siheung, Gimpo, and Bucheon became a part of Yeongdeungpo-gu, and, in 1973, when Gwanak-gu was separated from Yeongdeungpo-gu, the Donjak area became a part of Gwanak-gu. On April 1, 1980, Donjak-gu was finally born after separating from Gwanak-gu, and it is fast becoming a most beautiful and dynamic autonomous local government in Korea.

dongjak map image