Jinjuseong Fortress -The Museum

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.  

The rest of the museum had displays dedicated to bronze age Jinju/Goryeo/Silla as well as some fantastic artwork from later periods.

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.
I will try to ease off on the "Staff Rides" a little bit, but I still have Suwon fortress and Mt Apsen waiting for some editing.  At this rate I can say there is a non-zero chance of my painting a Korean Contingent to face off against my Samurai army for Lion Rampant.  More to come....


  1. Great photos and interesting antecdote regarding the General, the Gisaeng, and the River. Always enjoy your staff rides. No need to let up. Very enjoyable. Even better was to have your commentary as we flipped through all of the photos.

    1. I am always hesitant to inflict travel photos on others. This was definitely an inspirational tour.

  2. Very cool! Love the Hwa cha's

    1. I found a video of one from mythbusters on YouTube. They are pretty cool to watch.

  3. Great tour. Loved the Korean "Organ Guns", armor, etc. My knowledge of Oriental history is rudimentary at best. It is easy to forget the long history of conflict between Japan and Korea!

    1. My similar lack of detailed knowledge is what inspired my recent diversion into the Qin Dynasty Chinese. They had an army that dwarfed their occidental contemporaries and yet we hear little about them. I never really understood the breadth of the Imjin war until I tried following it around Korea over my few available your days.


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