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Ulsan History, South Korea

Ulsan is a metropolitan port city located at the southeastern part of South Korea, facing the East Sea. It was once a major player in the whaling industry. Although Ulsan History has no extravagant past like other famous cities, it has emerged as South Korea’s main industrial powerhouse, home to the world’s biggest shipping companies.

Ulsan History - The Early Periods

During the ancient tribal states era, Ulsan once belonged to the Jinhan. At the reign of King Pasa of Silla, it became a Hyeon precinct at Gulahwachon. During the Georyo Dynasty, after the merging of the Three Hyeon Precincts—Hagok,Tongjin, and Woopung—the area was promoted to Hongryebu under the rule of Kung Taejo.

Ulsan History - The Joseon Dynasty

In 1413, the 13th year of King Taejong of the Joseon Dynasty, Ulju became Ulsan-gun. It upgraded to Ulsan-dohobu under King Seongjo and renamed back to Ulsan-gun under the rule of King Gojong. Ulsan History records show that as early as 1642, the city became involved in shipbuilding. It was during this era that the first shipping complex was instructed to be built.

Ulsan History - The Japanese Invasion of Korea

Japan decided to strike Korea again in 1597, but its troops were forced to withdraw to southern Gyeongsang Province and remain at the coastal strongholds under its control. Kato, a Japanese commander together with his army, was positioned in Ulsan. There Kato built a Japanese castle, which he also named Ulsan.

On January 29, 1598, a combined military operation between Korea and China tried to siege the castle, but failed as reinforcements from Japan came to delay the fighting. The attempt ended at a deadlock, but Japan’s hold at Korea had become considerably unstable.

September 22 of the same year, another wave of attack against the Japanese base in Ulsan was launched by the alliance of Korea and China. However, the allied forces were still not able to seize the Ulsan Japanese Castle.

Ulsan History - World War II and the Korean War

Ulsan was a key industrial site during World War II and the Korean War that is why, in addition to its incredibly fortunate location inside the Busan perimeter, the city was left rather unscathed even at war times. This made the place victorious despite its connection with these two great wars in the world.

Ulsan History – At Present

In 1962, Ulsan was chosen to become a Special Industrial Zone and in the following year, it formally became a city. Hyundai came in 1972 and established the largest shipyard in the world proceeded by the biggest automobile production plant. Other companies, mainly oil refineries, came in and made Ulsan into the industrial powerhouse it is now. In 1996, it became recognized as a metropolitan city. Take time out to enjoy all these facts in history. You are also encouraged to browse along Busan Travel Guideand Fukuoka Travel Guide.

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Ulsan City Ratings

  • Rating70%
    City Rank221
  • History & Culture: rated for 70%
  • Night Life & Entertainment: rated for 50%
  • Family & Fun: rated for 80%
  • Outdoors Activities: rated for 100%
  • Food: rated for 60%
  • Sightseeing: rated for 100%
  • Shopping: rated for 90%
  • Public Transportation: rated for 90%
  • Must visit this place: rated for 60%
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