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April 26, 2019

This Is What ‘Gangnam Style’ Looked Like in 1904

Long before Psy made a certain district in Seoul famous, two ballers were representing:

(Collection: Willard Dickerman Straight and Early U.S.-Korea Diplomatic Relations, Cornell University Library)

Two middle-aged Korean gentlemen walking down the street. They wear a traditional Korean costume, echogorie and epajie with eturumagie that is tied with two long ekorume on the upper part of the coat. Their epajie are tied with etaenime at the lower ends of trousers. Both of them have echumonie, that contains money, under their waists. Their hat, called a ehukripe or commonly a ekate is made out of horsehair. Their shoes are ekomusine. The sunglasses reflect a modern attire among the upper-class Korean gentry.

Here are some more amazing vintage photographs that capture street scenes of Korea in 1904:

The exact nature of this photograph is unclear. A man beside a statue-like figure standing on an elevated place, probably delivering some messages to Korean civilians, with Korean soldiers looking on.

A rickshaw ('illyokko') is usually a light, two-wheeled hooded vehicle drawn by one or more persons. This picture shows a one-wheeled rickshaw with attendant. The rickshaw may look less luxurious, but possibly more comfortable to sit on than the ordinary palanquin which is hollow inside.

Photograph of Min Yong-hwan's state funeral procession (Dec. 16-18 1905). On this funeral procession, see the web site under 'Letters from Troubled Seoul', under the date Dec. 17, 1905.

Two artisans or farmers are at work to make straw shoes (chipsin). The finished shoes are displayed on the wall.

Korean boys and girls stand at attention to march in the field. They wear mostly white overcoat called eturumagie over the jacket (chogori) and trousers called epajie. Some wear shoes called ekomusine and the others wear shoes (echipsin'), made of plant fibers. Two children carry Korean and American flags.

Korean officials with arms tucked inside the sleeves, obviously on a chilly day. In the background, a woman wears a essugae chimae. The street setting appears to be related to the Royal Palace grounds in Seoul.

After the journey from her house, the bride arrives at her husband's house. The street around the bridegroom's house is crowded with wedding guests and spectators.

(Photos: Willard Dickerman Straight and Early U.S.-Korea Diplomatic Relations, Cornell University Library)



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