There have been many twists and turns in the history of Chorang-dong. In the Joseon Dynasty, it was known as Gu-choryang-ri (Old Choryang Village), part of Sacheon-myeon (township) of Dongnae-bu (prefecture). In 1910, during the Japanese occupation era, it became Choryang-dong in Sajung-myeon of Busan-bu. After the country’s emancipation, the Choryang branch office administered the area. In 1982, the legal precinct of Daechang-dong 3-ga was absorbed into Choryang-dong.
Both the Dongguk Yeoji and the Dongnaebuji mention that the port of Choryang is located on Jeolyoung-do, so every shore of the Busan port within Youngdo-gu was called Choryang port. Originally Choryang was called ’ssae-ti’, or ‘sae-tuh’, which refers to flame grass and reed and the Chinese characters ‘草’ and ‘粱’ were chosen to match the Korean word. In 1906, as a part of the reform of the administrative district units, the old Choryang area was changed to Bupyeong-dong and Bumin-dong, add the new Choryang area called Choryang. There is another theory behind the name. According to the principles of Feng Shui, the form of Busan is similar to a cow lying down, thus there should be a pasture of grass to feed the cow. So, according to this theory, this is how the name ‘Choryang’ came to exist.
Sujeong-dong was called Dongnae-bu, Dongpyeong-myeon, and Domopo-ri during the Joseon Dynasty.
According to the Dongguk Yeoji Seungnam, Dumopo-ri was mentioned in Gwanbang-jo of the Gijang-hyeon, meaning that Dumopo-ri originally was part of the Gijang. In the 5th year of King Joong-jong (1510), the Sampo waeran (small scale Japanese war) broke out. So, in order to strengthen the defense line, Dumopo-ri was moved to the vicinity of Busan-jin, along with Gaeun-po of Ulsan. The name Dumo-po originates from the word ‘Dumege’, referring to a harbor in an isolated mountain area. After Imjin Waeranended, the relationship between Korea and Japan recovered in 1614. As a result, a Japanese office was installed in Dumopo, and continued to operate for about 70 years until it moved to the area of Yongdu-san in 1678. The waegwan Japanese settlement in the area near Yongdu-san was called Shin-Waegwan (new Saegwan), while the Saegwan in Duopo was called the gu- or go-waegwan (old waegwan), resulting in the shortened names gu-gwan or go-gwan. There are a few theories behind the naming of Sujeong-dong, with “Sujeong” meaning “crystal.” The Dumopo waegwan was in a location that did not have much yellow soil, but was instead very sandy. Therefore, even when it rained, the shoes didn’t get muddy. In addition, the area featured an underground spring that produced crystal clear water. The mountain that, like a folding screen, surrounds the areas of todays’ Sujeong-dong and Choryang-dong was called Sabyeong-san, and the mountain behind Sujeong-dong was called Mai-seong. At the peak of this mountain was a wide, flat basin where crystals, large and small, could be revealed easily with a little bit of digging. Hence, this mountain came to be called Sujeong-san, and the village at the foot of the mountain was called Sujeong-dong. But currently there is no way to confirming how the names came to be.
Jwacheon is the abbreviation for Jwajacheon from the geography book, ‘Dongraebuji.’ Jwajacheon is a small creek that starts from the Gaya Mountain and Gam pass through the present Sujung-dong and to the eastern Busanjin (district) into the ocean. Jwacheon-dong seaside was called the Gaeun port during the late Joseon Dynasty.
Between the Busanjin fortress and Sujung Elementary School is a gorge called Suchon-gol. At the bottom of this gorge there used to be a village called Jaji-nae, which was the starting point for Jwacheon-dong. Hence, one theory of how the name Jwaja-cheon came into being is that its name is “Jaji-nae” written in Chinese characters. Beomcheon-jeung-san-seong (san-seong means ‘mountain fortress’) is sometimes called Jwa-seong. During the Japanese occupation, besides Jwacheon-dong there were also Jwa-il dong and Jwa-i-dong. Hence, it is believed that the places surrounding Jwa-seong were divided into Jwa 1-dong and Jwa 2-dong. It is also said that the village at the estuary of Jwaja-cheon was originally called Jwacheon-dong.
The name Beomil-dong came about after the merge of Beomcheon 1-ri and Beomcheon 2-ri, when the Japanese colonial government changed the administrative districts.
The stream called Beom-cheon that flows from Beomil 6-dong to Beomil 1-dong used to be called Beom-nae (nae means ‘creek’). In the past, the creek ran through a dense forest where tigers sometimes were seen, making it unsafe for people to travel through. The word beom means ‘tiger’, and a Chinese character that is called ‘beom’ was borrowed for these names. The Hocheon-seokgyo-bi monument in the Beomnae-gol market supports the fact that the name Beomnae really does refer to tigers. The steep mountainous area on the west side of Beomil-dong is called Neolbak. There are at least two theories about the origin of this name. One is that the name is based on the area’s proximity to a residential area, with many homes ‘widely’(neol) ‘embedded’ (bak). Another theory is the fact that the area receives plenty of sunlight, being located on the sunny side and close to the shoreline where sunshine atnoon isstrongly reflected. Hence the name ‘always’ (neol, derived from neul) ‘bright’ (bak). However, the first theory seems more likely.
Waegwan were areas with government offices in ports like Busan-po and Je-po, where Japanese merchants were permitted to conduct trade activities starting in the 7th year of King Taejong (1407).
At the beginning of the system (1407), there was a waekwan Japanese settlement northwest of Jaseong-dae in what is now beomil-dong. It was eliminated after Imjinwaeran. The waegwan moved in 1607 (the 40th year of King Seonjo) to the Dumopo area (near the site of the current Dong-gu office) after a temporary waegwan had been in service in Jeolyoung-do starting in 1603. The waegwan continued to operate for 72 years until 1678. However, in 1678, the Dumopo waekwan moved to the Choryang region, near what is now Yongdu-san Park. The Choyrang waegwan was called Shin-gwan and the Dumopo waegwan was called gu-gwan or Go-gwan. The name has been in use ever since.
In November 1917, during the Japanese occupation, the Japanese government built the Joseon Textile Company with capital of 5 million won on a 80,000 pyeong plot of land near the area of Beomil-dong.
The company would buy raw material at low prices in the southern regions of Korea, then sell the processed silk fabric to Korean companies at high prices, extracting dual profits. Starting in 1968, the factory was dismantled over a period of two years. In its place was built Busan citizen’s hall, the Boemil-dong telephone office, markets (Jayu and Pyeonghwa markets), wedding halls, and inns. Hardly any traces from those past days remain, but the area of Beomil 2-dong is still called ‘Joban-ap’ (meaning front side of Joseon Textile Company).
The name Jeung-san derives from the similarity of the mountain’s shape to a traditional Korean earthenware rice steamer.
The word for a steamer is Shiru, or, sometimes gama-sot. It appears that this is the name of the city Busan is originated from. Even now, some old folks call Jeung-san “Shiru-san.” The Shiru and Gama had the same cooking function before metal-made gama came into use. In the Sancheonjo section of the Dongguk Yeoji Seungnam (Survey of the Geography of Korea, 1486), it is recorded that ‘Bu-san is in Dongpyeong-hyeon. The reason for the name of the mountain is its appearance, like a game -sot, and Busan-po is located at the foot of this mountain.’ There’s a fortress in Jeung-san, which was originally called Busanjin-seong (fortress). During Imjinwaeran, the Japanese army demolished the existing fortress of Busanjin-seong and built a new Japanese-style fortress using its stones. Another name for this fortress is ‘Beomcheon-Jeungsan-seong’ to indicate it is a fortress located on Jeung Mountain in the Beomcheon area.
In 1884, the consulate of China’s Qing Dynasty was established at 570-8 Choryang 1-dong (the current location of Busan Chinese Elementary School).
A Chinatown started to form around the consulate, with buildings containing both shops and residences within the same structure. The street where the shops were located was called Cheonggwan-geori and Cheonggwan-geori started to vie with its Japanese counterpart, Waegwan-geori, near Yongdu-san. When the American army was first stationed in Busan after independence and the Korean War, a neighborhood called Texas-chon burned down in November 1953 due to a big fire in front of Busan Station, a recreational quarter for American military personnel started to occupy parts of Cheonggwan-geori, leading to the name Texas-geori. Since the sister city agreement between Busan Metropolitan City and the city of Shanghai, the former Cheonggwan-geori is now formally called Shanghai-geori, in an effort to promote friendship between Korea and China, as well as to set up a site of interest for Chinese tourists.
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