Continuing my trip through the fortress at Jinju, there is a Museum on the grounds dedicated primarily to the Imjin war time period as well as the the more ancient history of Jeolla province. (Southwest Korea.) The fortress itself was one of the lynchpins to protect the Nation's breadbasket during the Japanese, and would stand before one siege, before succumbing to the next one.
The interior of the Fortress contains some beautiful, well manicured parks and the museum grounds are no exception.
Hidden outside the park are a couple of display pieces of the Hwacha (listed as the Shin-Ki Jeon from the Perry Miniatures site.) and the Hwago artillery piece. These are interesting pieces and must have struck a psychological blow on the battlefields of the day.
The Hwacha is a bottle rocket launcher on steroids, essentially ripple firing long, explosive tipped arrows.
The Hwago is a similar system but is more of an organ-gun with 50 short gun barrels loaded with three metal darts each.
Inside the museum you can walk up to the information desk to get a complimentary guided tour headphone set. It doesn't explain everything your are seeing, but does provide enough context for most of the artifacts on display.
The largest display, is by far the Imjin War
Included in the artifacts are many weapons, scrolls and some armor.
|The Samurai definitely had a fashion sense|
|Armor for a Korean General.|
|A pair of captured Teppo|
|Some Korean Galives. The size of the blades made them seem unwieldy in combat. They were like oversized machete on sticks.|
|An array of Korean Cannon, including a mortar (TR) and Black-class cannon.|
One of my favorite parts was this giant scale model of the fortress as it stood back in 1592. Plenty of inspiration for anyone planning on wargaming the time period.
There were also some large models of the Korean Panokseon warship, and the famous Turtleships. (Including the historically doubtful iron plated rook)
|These things would dominate the Japanese navy in several battles|
|What really made the turtle ship so devastating. Cannons sheltered from Japanese muskets and a roof covered in spikes to repel boarders.|
Sadly the fortress was razed in a 'vengeance raid' by the Japanese in 1593 even as peace talks were ongoing. The Japanese learned from their earlier failure and Isolated the fortress before investing it. They proceeded to overrun the fortress, and slaughtered most the civilian population sheltering there. (I saw estimates as high as 60,000 killed)
One of the Temples on the grounds is dedicated to Nongae. A gisaeng (similar to a Geisha) that lured one of the Japanese Generals to this rock for a little personal R&R:
She then embraced him closely and jumped into the river. Killing them both.
|A portrait of Nongae in her shrine.|