After the Playshop, Song took me to the city of Jeonju for my “Culture Day” experience that is a part of all my Playshop visits to any country.

The Jeonju area is famous for it's traditional Korean-style house called a “Hanok". You can find many Hanok villages still functioning in this area.

As the Northern Metropolis of Seoul grew and expanded, it consumed or destroyed, (along with the Korean war), most of old traditional Hanok villages and replaced them with modern buildings. There are still one or two Hanok villages near the outskirts of Seoul today. 

There is one Hanok village in the heart of Seoul that they have preserved for cultural heritage and tourism. A few years ago, I visited that village as part of one of my “Culture Day” excursions. The place was full of people in traditional costume going about the business of a 17th-century village. Our assigned guide was a young lady, dressed in a colorful long old-style traditional Korean dress, who pointed out her great grandfathers house. She said that she still lives upstairs while the downstairs had been converted into a fully functioning mini Blacksmith’s demo area and  tourist shop.

The Hanok village was full of the old curved tiled roof homes with delicately carved and carpentered wooden doors and windows. 

Our Playshop group stayed in a Hanok village, but in a newly constructed student living area that looked a lot like the old classic Hanok houses below us on the hill, except our houses were “New Old.”

You are looking at my three room bungalow where I stayed during the Playshop.

Here are some close ups of the Hanok village in Jeonju.

Chon He was the Jang Gu player in the first performance that the Academy performed for our Playshop group. I befriended him after that first performance. He is an drum teacher who is an apprentice to the head academy teacher, Jin-sung Yang, who has been officially designated by the Korean government as a “Intangible Cultural Asset.”

Our Community Drum circle had number of students and teachers of the Traditional Academy participating fully, including Chon He. The Playshop graduates utilized all of the amazing talent in that circle in many wonderfully creative ways. This event rocked. 

I discovered the price of a Jang Gu drum here in Korea was a quarter of the price of the same drum in the US. Even with shipping cost to the US, the drum would cost me one half what it would cost me in the States. So I got Chon He’s council as to where and how to purchase one of these kind of drums.

 

Mr. Song and I found the traditional instrument shop in Jeonju that Chon-He recommended. And outside the shop, waiting to greet us, was the shop owner. It was Lee In-Yuab who played that amazing wind instrument, “Tae Pyeeugso” at the second Korean Classic Music Academy performance.

So I did get to finally meet him and thank him for his masterful music making at the final performance.

 

Lee helped me pick out the right size and type of Jang Gu, confirming and praising Chon He’s good council.

 

 

 

But when I tried to pay for it, he wouldn’t except my money. He said that it was already paid for by the Korean Drum Circle Research Society. Thank you Mr. Song!

Arthur with his new Jang Gu drum, Mr. Lee In-Yuab, Mr. Song & his son Min-Hu, our Playshop's “Random Factor.”

Australia  next….   {]]’;-)