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No. 4 (Autumn 1953)
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With the First Ironclads, Koreans rammed and burned Japanese warships 350 years ago.

HISTORIC KOREA—Continued from page 30

fear of it than the actual casualties. Equally famous was a large round battleship, known as the Giant Tortoise. This wonderful weapon, which won two naval battles, was covered all over with iron plates and spikes, to prevent boarding. Its prow, shaped like a turtle's beak, was most sinister and fearsome; not only was it used as a ram, but it also emitted fiery arrows, fired by bowmen within.

Great Scholars

The Koreans, however, had more taste for scholarship than war. They invented moveable metal type, that is, modern printing, before anyone else in the world. Popular education was particularly well developed. Higher schooling was in six ‘liberal arts’, which consisted of: ceremonial, music, archery, charioteering, literature and arithmetic.

Although Korea repelled the Japanese in 1599, she never recovered from the destruction of that war, and many of her skilled tradesmen were taken as prisoners to Japan, transferring Korea's traditional craftsmanship to that country. In the nineteenth century, when Western powers started to become interested in Korea, decline had already set in. The Koreans refused to come to any terms with the West, and did not even allow European ships to land. They wished to keep foreign greed far from their shores. Japan, however, was able to intrigue her way slowly into Korea, by pretending to

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An engagement document of this sort is presented to the bride's father to seal an engagement. Before marriage a bridegroom is not allowed to see his bride, but has to trust to a description of her supplied by his father's go between.

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protect the Koreans from Chinese imperialism. She obtained commercial privileges, became Korea's financier, took sides in Korean internal disputes; its “paramount political, military and economic interests in Korea” were recognised by the European nations, and in 1910 Japan annexed Korea.

Japanese Rule

Japan modernised the country, put up fine buildings and such railways, roads and harbours as there were when the present Korean war began. Land was developed, rice production was raised enormously. But the Koreans do not seem to have benefited a great deal from this development. The Japanese permitted no higher education in Korea; the more skilled and responsible work was done by Japanese, who flooded the country in great numbers.

So the Second World War came, and finally the liberation of Korea from the Japanese. Following the sudden attack in June, 1950, by North Korean Communist forces on the Republic of Korea, United Nations forces were sent to defend South Korea. After two and a half years there is no sign yet of a satisfactory solution being found for the Korean problem, and the time has not yet come to think about the future of the Korean people.

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Korean Fish Trap