Cheongju History, South Korea
Cheongju is the capital of the only non-coastal province in South Korea, Chungcheongbuk. This city is also regarded as the cultural capital of South Korea because this is where the oldest existing book "Jikjisimcheyojeol” - a book about metals - was printed by the world’s first metal moveable type printing system. Today, this thousand-year-old farming city has emerged into a top player in the Asian market with a spectacular Cheongju History to behold.
Cheongju History - Early Korean Influences
Before this city became known as Cheongju, it has undergone a lot of name changes in different eras. During the Three Kingdoms period, it was known as Mahan. Then, the city became a part of Sangdang-hyun in Baekje.
Due to its geographic significance, it became a tactical military position and was appointed one of the 5 small capitals, Seoweongyeong, in the Unified Silla Era. Moreover, the city became the core of local government.
During the reign of King Taejo of the Goryeo Dynasty in 940, its name changed into Cheongju and the city was known as such since then. At the time of the Joseon Dynasty, Cheongju progressed rather slowly since trade is more lucrative at port areas.
Cheongju History - Japanese Invasion of Korea
At the time of Hideyoshi’s conquests of Korea, Cheongju became Japan’s base for moving supplies to Japanese troops in the north. Due to this, it also became part of Fukuoka History. Because the area was lightly guarded, the Korean irregular army, composed mainly of volunteers and Buddhist monks, attacked and recaptured Cheongju from the Japanese.
The Battle of Cheongju was the first of the triumphs of Korea on land during the Imjin War. This victory of the Koreans heightened the moral of other nearby Korean forces as well as Cheongju History.
Despite the victory, the Koreans involved in the successful recapture of Cheongju fought over who should claim credit to the victory and went their separate ways. This internal struggle caused Korea’s defeat at Kumsan.
Cheongju in the 1900s to Present
By 1908, the provincial government moved from Chungju to Cheongju. After the inauguration of the Chungbuk railway line in 1926, Cheongju started to become industrialized. As Cheongju’s railway line connection to all links in other major cities like Daejon and Seoul improved, it has become easier to transfer goods to Busan. Likewise, this event led to great influence in Busan History.
Major changes also occurred in its territory. Cheongju and Cheongwon-gun divided in 1946. Three years later, Cheongju became a city. Then another division in the administrative dong ensued and was moved to Cheongwon-gun.Today, Cheongju is considered the key instructive and industrial hub in Chungcheongbuk. Chungbuk National University, one of the ten Korean national universities, can also be found in this city.
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