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Wed, September 30, 2020 | 10:01
  1. For years, orphans in Japan were punished just for surviving the war [PHOTOS]
    Kisako Motoki, 86, speaks, looking though a red cellophane depicting what she saw the atmosphere of the night of the Great Tokyo Air Raid on March 10, 1945, during an interview with the Associated Press at the Center for the Tokyo Raids and War Damage in Tokyo Wednesday, July 29, 2020.  In Japan, war orphans were punished for surviving. They were bullied. They were called trash, sometimes rounded up by police and put in cages. Some were sent to institutions or sold for labor. They were targets of abuse and discrimination. Now, 75 years after the war's end, some are revealing their untold stories of recovery and pain, underscoring Japan’s failure to help its own people. AP They were bullied. They were called trash and left to fend for themselves on the street. Police rounded them up and threw them in jail. They were sent to orphanages or sold for labor. They were abandoned by their government, abused and discriminated against.Now, 75 years after the end of the Pacific War, some have broken decades of silence to describe for a fast-forgetting world their sagas of recovery, survival, suffering _ and their calls for justice. The stories told to The Associated Press ahead of Saturday's anniversary of the war's end underscore both the lingering pain of the now-grown children who lived through those tumultuous years and what activists describe as Japan's broader failure to face up to its past.This aerial photo taken in March 9, 1945 shows the industrial section of Tokyo along the Sumida River. The nuclear bombs dropped by the United States on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in Aug. 1945 secured Japan's surrender and ended World War II. In Japan, war orphans were punished for surviving. They were bullied. They were called trash, sometimes rounded up by police and put in cages. Some were sent to institutions or sold for labor. They were targets of abuse and discrimination. Now, 75 years after the war's end, some are revealing their untold stories of recovery and pain, underscoring Japan’s failure to help its own people. APKisako Motoki was 10 when U.S. cluster bombs rained down on her downtown Tokyo neighborhood. For decades she kept silent about the misery that followed. On March 10, 1945, as the napalm-equipped bombs turned eastern Tokyo into a smoldering field of rubble, Motoki and her little brother hid inside a shelter her father had dug behind the family home. She eventually fled with her brother. She never saw her parents again. The children walked together by heaps of charred bodies. They saw people with severe burns slumped on the roadside, people with intestines hanging from their stomachs. She blamed herself for not waiting for her parents. She believed she'd caused their deaths.A war orphan polishes shoes in downtown Tokyo on Aug. 1, 1946. In Japan, war orphans were punished for surviving. They were bullied. They were called trash, sometimes rounded up by police and put in cages. Some were sent to institutions or sold for labor. They were targets of abuse and discrimination. A 1948 government survey found there were more than 123,500 war orphans nationwide. But orphanages were built for only for 12,000, leaving many homeless. APMotoki went to her uncle's home, and this marked the beginning of her yearslong ordeal as a war orphan.She'd survived what's considered the deadliest conventional air raid ever. More than 105,000 people were estimated killed in a single night, but the devastation was largely eclipsed by the two nuclear bomb attacks and then forgotten during Japan's postwar rush to rebuild. As a schoolgirl, Motoki worked as a maid for her uncle's family of 12; they paid for her schooling in return. She was verbally abused, and her cousins repeatedly beat her brothers until their cheeks were swollen and bruised. They all ate only once a day.Unidentified U.S. Army men look over the bombed section of Tokyo, Japan's Ginza district, which is comparable to New York's Fifth Avenue, Sept. 3, 1945.  Building in center background seems undamaged. In Japan, war orphans were punished for surviving. They were bullied. They were called trash, sometimes rounded up by police and put in cages. Some were sent to institutions or sold for labor. They were targets of abuse and discrimination. Now, 75 years after the war's end, some are revealing their untold stories of recovery and pain, underscoring Japan’s failure to help its own people. APKisako Motoki, who lost her parents and siblings to the Great Tokyo Air Raid on March 10, 1945, speaks on her war experience at Kikukawa Bridge where she escaped from air raid bombing in Tokyo Wednesday, July 29, 2020. In Japan, war orphans were punished for surviving. They were bullied. They were called trash, sometimes rounded up by police and put in cages. Some were sent to institutions or sold for labor. They were targets of abuse and discrimination. Now, 75 years after the war's end, some are revealing their untold stories of recovery and pain, underscoring Japan’s failure to help its own people. AP ``It's very painful for me to tell my story,'' she said. ``But I still have to keep speaking out because I feel strongly that no children should have to live as war orphans as I did.'' Motoki says her relatives, like tens of thousands of others, were struggling to rebuild their lives. They had little time to spend on orphans, even blood relatives. The government gave them no support. Many other orphans don't talk because of intense shame. ``How could we, as children, have spoken up against the government?`` she said. ``They abandoned us, and acted as if we never existed.``After years of pain, Motoki entered college to pursue her dream of studying music. She was 60. Mitsuyo Hoshino, 86, who lost her parents and siblings to the Great Tokyo Air Raid on March 10, 1945, speaks on her experience during an interview with the Associated Press at the Center for the Tokyo Raids and War Damage in Tokyo Tuesday, July 28, 2020. In Japan, war orphans were punished for surviving. They were bullied. They were called trash, sometimes rounded up by police and put in cages. Some were sent to institutions or sold for labor. They were targets of abuse and discrimination. Now, 75 years after the war's end, some are revealing their untold stories of recovery and pain, underscoring Japan’s failure to help its own people. AP___Mitsuyo Hoshino, 86, recalls the explosion of nationalism in November 1940, when Japan's wartime government staged a massive imperial celebration. During the war, Japanese schoolchildren were taught to revere the emperor as a god and devote their lives to him. On that November day, Hoshino stepped out of her parents' noodle shop in Tokyo's downtown Asakusa neighborhood and watched as huge crowds of people waved Rising Sun flags. A decorated street car clanged by, with banners glorifying the emperor and celebrating Japan's prosperity and expansion. A year later, on Dec. 8, Japan attacked Pearl Harbor.She remembers playing with her little sister outside of the now-vanished noodle shop. She remembers a family excursion to a department store. These were her last happy childhood memories. She was 13.Mitsuyo Hoshino, 86, who lost her parents and siblings to the Great Tokyo Air Raid on March 10, 1945, stands in front of Chuwa Elementary School, the school she was attending then, in Tokyo Tuesday, July 28, 2020. In Japan, war orphans were punished for surviving. They were bullied. They were called trash, sometimes rounded up by police and put in cages. Some were sent to institutions or sold for labor. They were targets of abuse and discrimination. Now, 75 years after the war's end, some are revealing their untold stories of recovery and pain, underscoring Japan’s failure to help its own people. AP Mitsuyo Hoshino, 86, who lost her parents and siblings to the Great Tokyo Air Raid on March 10, 1945, shows her drawing of her experience during an interview with the Associated Press at the Center for the Tokyo Raids and War Damage in Tokyo Tuesday, July 28, 2020. In Japan, war orphans were punished for surviving. They were bullied. They were called trash, sometimes rounded up by police and put in cages. Some were sent to institutions or sold for labor. They were targets of abuse and discrimination. Now, 75 years after the war's end, some are revealing their untold stories of recovery and pain, underscoring Japan’s failure to help its own people. APHoshino and her classmates evacuated to a temple in Chiba, outside Tokyo, in 1944, when U.S. firebombings escalated. She later learned from her uncle that her parents and two siblings died in the March 10, 1945, firebombing. Hoshino and her two younger siblings were sent to a succession of relatives. She escaped one time with her siblings from an aunt's house, afraid they were going to be sold to people needing workers and went to their grandmother's home.She later lived with another uncle's family, helping out on their farm while finishing high school. When she was grown, she returned to Tokyo, but she struggled with discrimination in getting jobs. She heard her husband's relatives hissing about her ``dubious background`` at their wedding ceremony.Much later, she decided to share her experiences by drawing for children, eventually compiling a book of 11 orphans' stories, including her own.One of those orphans, when asked what she'd wish for if she could use magic, simply says: ``I want to see my mother.''War orphans eat together at an orphanage in Tokyo  in 1946. In Japan, war orphans were punished for surviving. They were bullied. They were called trash, sometimes rounded up by police and put in cages. Some were sent to institutions or sold for labor. They were targets of abuse and discrimination. A 1948 government survey found there were more than 123,500 war orphans nationwide. But orphanages were built for only for 12,000, leaving many homeless. APWar orphans sell ice candy near Ueno station in Tokyo May 7, 1948. In Japan, war orphans were punished for surviving. They were bullied. They were called trash, sometimes rounded up by police and put in cages. Some were sent to institutions or sold for labor. They were targets of abuse and discrimination.  A 1948 government survey found there were more than 123,500 war orphans nationwide. AP___A 1948 government survey found there were more than 123,500 war orphans nationwide. But orphanages were built for only for 12,000, leaving many homeless. Many children escaped from abusive relatives or orphanages and lived at train stations, earning money by polishing shoes, collecting cigarette butts or pick-pocketing. Street children were often rounded up by police, sent to orphanages or sometimes caught by brokers and sold to farms desperate for workers, experts say.The stories of the war orphans highlight Japan's consistent lack of respect for human rights, even after the war, said Haruo Asai, a Rikkyo University historian and an expert on war orphans. U.S. forces during their seven-year occupation of Japan also looked the other way on orphans, Asai said. More than 2,500 children of about 400,000 Japanese _ many of them families of Imperial Army soldiers, Manchurian railway employees and farmers who had emigrated to northern China, where Japan established a wartime puppet state _ were displaced or orphaned.In this photo taken and released by Xi Chunmei, Xi Jingbo eats a meal with his family in Linkou county, Mudanjiang city in northeastern China's Heilongjiang province May 15, 2018. More than 2,500 children of about 400,000 Japanese - many of them families of Imperial Army soldiers, Manchurian railway employees and farmers who had emigrated to northern China, where Japan established a wartime puppet state - were displaced or orphaned. Xi Jingbo's parents were Japanese, but he had no official record of his place and date of birth. Villagers told him he was left behind when the Japanese fled after the surrender. AP___Xi Jingbo's parents were Japanese, but he had no official record of his place and date of birth. Villagers told him he was left behind when the Japanese fled after the surrender. He and his adoptive parents didn't discuss the sensitive issue. ``We are the victims of the war,'' he said. ``All Chinese are victims, and so are the Japanese civilians.``A retired middle school math teacher and principal, Xi says he was well cared for by his Chinese parents and suffered no discrimination. He took care of them as they aged. After the last one died in 2009, Xi started making annual short visits to Japan. Mari Kaneda, 85, a WWII war orphan, speaks on her experience during an interview with The Associated Press Sunday, July 19, 2020, in Warabi, north of Tokyo. In Japan, war orphans were punished for surviving. They were bullied. They were called trash, sometimes rounded up by police and put in cages. Some were sent to institutions or sold for labor. They were targets of abuse and discrimination. Now, 75 years after the war's end, some are revealing their untold stories of recovery and pain, underscoring Japan’s failure to help its own people. APMari Kaneda, 85, a WWII war orphan, shows a copy of family photo from year of 1944 during an interview with The Associated Press Sunday, July 19, 2020, in Warabi, north of Tokyo. In Japan, war orphans were punished for surviving. They were bullied. They were called trash, sometimes rounded up by police and put in cages. Some were sent to institutions or sold for labor. They were targets of abuse and discrimination. Now, 75 years after the war's end, some are revealing their untold stories of recovery and pain, underscoring Japan’s failure to help its own people. AP___Survivors of the firebombings and orphans feel they were forgotten by history and by their leaders. Postwar governments have provided an accumulated total of 60 trillion yen ($565 billion) in welfare support for veterans and their bereaved families, but nothing for civilian victims of firebombings, although Hiroshima and Nagasaki survivors receive medical support.Mari Kaneda, 85, says the firebombing changed her life, forcing her to live under harsh conditions with relatives. She suffered lifelong pain and stigma for being an orphan, and had to abandon her childhood dream of becoming a school teacher.Kaneda was 9 when she stepped off a night train in Tokyo after riding from Miyagi, in northern Japan, where she evacuated with her class. She had missed by hours the attack that killed her mother and two sisters and destroyed the family store.Japan's government has rejected redress for civilian victims of firebombings. But Kaneda, in her search for justice, has dug up postwar government records, interviewed dozens of her peers and published a prize-winning book on war orphans.``I haven't seen anything resolved,'' Kaneda said. ``To me, the war has not ended yet.''___Associated Press researcher Chen Si in Shanghai contributed to this report.___Follow Mari Yamaguchi on Twitter at https://www.twitter.com/mariyamaguchi(AP)
    Kisako Motoki, 86, speaks, looking though a red cellophane depicting what she saw the atmosphere of the night of the Great Tokyo Air Raid on March 10, 1945, during an interview with the Associated Press at the Center for the Tokyo Raids and War Damage in Tokyo Wednesday, July 29, 2020.  In Japan, war orphans were punished for surviving. They were bullied. They were called trash, sometimes rounded up by police and put in cages. Some were sent to institutions or sold for labor. They were targets of abuse and discrimination. Now, 75 years after the war's end, some are revealing their untold stories of recovery and pain, underscoring Japan’s failure to help its own people. AP They were bullied. They were called trash and left to fend for themselves on the street. Police rounded them up and threw them in jail. They were sent to orphanages or sold for labor. They were abandoned by their government, abused and discriminated against.Now, 75 years after the end of the Pacific War, some have broken decades of silence to describe for a fast-forgetting world their sagas of recovery, survival, suffering _ and their calls for justice. The stories told to The Associated Press ahead of Saturday's anniversary of the war's end underscore both the lingering pain of the now-grown children who lived through those tumultuous years and what activists describe as Japan's broader failure to face up to its past.This aerial photo taken in March 9, 1945 shows the industrial section of Tokyo along the Sumida River. The nuclear bombs dropped by the United States on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in Aug. 1945 secured Japan's surrender and ended World War II. In Japan, war orphans were punished for surviving. They were bullied. They were called trash, sometimes rounded up by police and put in cages. Some were sent to institutions or sold for labor. They were targets of abuse and discrimination. Now, 75 years after the war's end, some are revealing their untold stories of recovery and pain, underscoring Japan’s failure to help its own people. APKisako Motoki was 10 when U.S. cluster bombs rained down on her downtown Tokyo neighborhood. For decades she kept silent about the misery that followed. On March 10, 1945, as the napalm-equipped bombs turned eastern Tokyo into a smoldering field of rubble, Motoki and her little brother hid inside a shelter her father had dug behind the family home. She eventually fled with her brother. She never saw her parents again. The children walked together by heaps of charred bodies. They saw people with severe burns slumped on the roadside, people with intestines hanging from their stomachs. She blamed herself for not waiting for her parents. She believed she'd caused their deaths.A war orphan polishes shoes in downtown Tokyo on Aug. 1, 1946. In Japan, war orphans were punished for surviving. They were bullied. They were called trash, sometimes rounded up by police and put in cages. Some were sent to institutions or sold for labor. They were targets of abuse and discrimination. A 1948 government survey found there were more than 123,500 war orphans nationwide. But orphanages were built for only for 12,000, leaving many homeless. APMotoki went to her uncle's home, and this marked the beginning of her yearslong ordeal as a war orphan.She'd survived what's considered the deadliest conventional air raid ever. More than 105,000 people were estimated killed in a single night, but the devastation was largely eclipsed by the two nuclear bomb attacks and then forgotten during Japan's postwar rush to rebuild. As a schoolgirl, Motoki worked as a maid for her uncle's family of 12; they paid for her schooling in return. She was verbally abused, and her cousins repeatedly beat her brothers until their cheeks were swollen and bruised. They all ate only once a day.Unidentified U.S. Army men look over the bombed section of Tokyo, Japan's Ginza district, which is comparable to New York's Fifth Avenue, Sept. 3, 1945.  Building in center background seems undamaged. In Japan, war orphans were punished for surviving. They were bullied. They were called trash, sometimes rounded up by police and put in cages. Some were sent to institutions or sold for labor. They were targets of abuse and discrimination. Now, 75 years after the war's end, some are revealing their untold stories of recovery and pain, underscoring Japan’s failure to help its own people. APKisako Motoki, who lost her parents and siblings to the Great Tokyo Air Raid on March 10, 1945, speaks on her war experience at Kikukawa Bridge where she escaped from air raid bombing in Tokyo Wednesday, July 29, 2020. In Japan, war orphans were punished for surviving. They were bullied. They were called trash, sometimes rounded up by police and put in cages. Some were sent to institutions or sold for labor. They were targets of abuse and discrimination. Now, 75 years after the war's end, some are revealing their untold stories of recovery and pain, underscoring Japan’s failure to help its own people. AP ``It's very painful for me to tell my story,'' she said. ``But I still have to keep speaking out because I feel strongly that no children should have to live as war orphans as I did.'' Motoki says her relatives, like tens of thousands of others, were struggling to rebuild their lives. They had little time to spend on orphans, even blood relatives. The government gave them no support. Many other orphans don't talk because of intense shame. ``How could we, as children, have spoken up against the government?`` she said. ``They abandoned us, and acted as if we never existed.``After years of pain, Motoki entered college to pursue her dream of studying music. She was 60. Mitsuyo Hoshino, 86, who lost her parents and siblings to the Great Tokyo Air Raid on March 10, 1945, speaks on her experience during an interview with the Associated Press at the Center for the Tokyo Raids and War Damage in Tokyo Tuesday, July 28, 2020. In Japan, war orphans were punished for surviving. They were bullied. They were called trash, sometimes rounded up by police and put in cages. Some were sent to institutions or sold for labor. They were targets of abuse and discrimination. Now, 75 years after the war's end, some are revealing their untold stories of recovery and pain, underscoring Japan’s failure to help its own people. AP___Mitsuyo Hoshino, 86, recalls the explosion of nationalism in November 1940, when Japan's wartime government staged a massive imperial celebration. During the war, Japanese schoolchildren were taught to revere the emperor as a god and devote their lives to him. On that November day, Hoshino stepped out of her parents' noodle shop in Tokyo's downtown Asakusa neighborhood and watched as huge crowds of people waved Rising Sun flags. A decorated street car clanged by, with banners glorifying the emperor and celebrating Japan's prosperity and expansion. A year later, on Dec. 8, Japan attacked Pearl Harbor.She remembers playing with her little sister outside of the now-vanished noodle shop. She remembers a family excursion to a department store. These were her last happy childhood memories. She was 13.Mitsuyo Hoshino, 86, who lost her parents and siblings to the Great Tokyo Air Raid on March 10, 1945, stands in front of Chuwa Elementary School, the school she was attending then, in Tokyo Tuesday, July 28, 2020. In Japan, war orphans were punished for surviving. They were bullied. They were called trash, sometimes rounded up by police and put in cages. Some were sent to institutions or sold for labor. They were targets of abuse and discrimination. Now, 75 years after the war's end, some are revealing their untold stories of recovery and pain, underscoring Japan’s failure to help its own people. AP Mitsuyo Hoshino, 86, who lost her parents and siblings to the Great Tokyo Air Raid on March 10, 1945, shows her drawing of her experience during an interview with the Associated Press at the Center for the Tokyo Raids and War Damage in Tokyo Tuesday, July 28, 2020. In Japan, war orphans were punished for surviving. They were bullied. They were called trash, sometimes rounded up by police and put in cages. Some were sent to institutions or sold for labor. They were targets of abuse and discrimination. Now, 75 years after the war's end, some are revealing their untold stories of recovery and pain, underscoring Japan’s failure to help its own people. APHoshino and her classmates evacuated to a temple in Chiba, outside Tokyo, in 1944, when U.S. firebombings escalated. She later learned from her uncle that her parents and two siblings died in the March 10, 1945, firebombing. Hoshino and her two younger siblings were sent to a succession of relatives. She escaped one time with her siblings from an aunt's house, afraid they were going to be sold to people needing workers and went to their grandmother's home.She later lived with another uncle's family, helping out on their farm while finishing high school. When she was grown, she returned to Tokyo, but she struggled with discrimination in getting jobs. She heard her husband's relatives hissing about her ``dubious background`` at their wedding ceremony.Much later, she decided to share her experiences by drawing for children, eventually compiling a book of 11 orphans' stories, including her own.One of those orphans, when asked what she'd wish for if she could use magic, simply says: ``I want to see my mother.''War orphans eat together at an orphanage in Tokyo  in 1946. In Japan, war orphans were punished for surviving. They were bullied. They were called trash, sometimes rounded up by police and put in cages. Some were sent to institutions or sold for labor. They were targets of abuse and discrimination. A 1948 government survey found there were more than 123,500 war orphans nationwide. But orphanages were built for only for 12,000, leaving many homeless. APWar orphans sell ice candy near Ueno station in Tokyo May 7, 1948. In Japan, war orphans were punished for surviving. They were bullied. They were called trash, sometimes rounded up by police and put in cages. Some were sent to institutions or sold for labor. They were targets of abuse and discrimination.  A 1948 government survey found there were more than 123,500 war orphans nationwide. AP___A 1948 government survey found there were more than 123,500 war orphans nationwide. But orphanages were built for only for 12,000, leaving many homeless. Many children escaped from abusive relatives or orphanages and lived at train stations, earning money by polishing shoes, collecting cigarette butts or pick-pocketing. Street children were often rounded up by police, sent to orphanages or sometimes caught by brokers and sold to farms desperate for workers, experts say.The stories of the war orphans highlight Japan's consistent lack of respect for human rights, even after the war, said Haruo Asai, a Rikkyo University historian and an expert on war orphans. U.S. forces during their seven-year occupation of Japan also looked the other way on orphans, Asai said. More than 2,500 children of about 400,000 Japanese _ many of them families of Imperial Army soldiers, Manchurian railway employees and farmers who had emigrated to northern China, where Japan established a wartime puppet state _ were displaced or orphaned.In this photo taken and released by Xi Chunmei, Xi Jingbo eats a meal with his family in Linkou county, Mudanjiang city in northeastern China's Heilongjiang province May 15, 2018. More than 2,500 children of about 400,000 Japanese - many of them families of Imperial Army soldiers, Manchurian railway employees and farmers who had emigrated to northern China, where Japan established a wartime puppet state - were displaced or orphaned. Xi Jingbo's parents were Japanese, but he had no official record of his place and date of birth. Villagers told him he was left behind when the Japanese fled after the surrender. AP___Xi Jingbo's parents were Japanese, but he had no official record of his place and date of birth. Villagers told him he was left behind when the Japanese fled after the surrender. He and his adoptive parents didn't discuss the sensitive issue. ``We are the victims of the war,'' he said. ``All Chinese are victims, and so are the Japanese civilians.``A retired middle school math teacher and principal, Xi says he was well cared for by his Chinese parents and suffered no discrimination. He took care of them as they aged. After the last one died in 2009, Xi started making annual short visits to Japan. Mari Kaneda, 85, a WWII war orphan, speaks on her experience during an interview with The Associated Press Sunday, July 19, 2020, in Warabi, north of Tokyo. In Japan, war orphans were punished for surviving. They were bullied. They were called trash, sometimes rounded up by police and put in cages. Some were sent to institutions or sold for labor. They were targets of abuse and discrimination. Now, 75 years after the war's end, some are revealing their untold stories of recovery and pain, underscoring Japan’s failure to help its own people. APMari Kaneda, 85, a WWII war orphan, shows a copy of family photo from year of 1944 during an interview with The Associated Press Sunday, July 19, 2020, in Warabi, north of Tokyo. In Japan, war orphans were punished for surviving. They were bullied. They were called trash, sometimes rounded up by police and put in cages. Some were sent to institutions or sold for labor. They were targets of abuse and discrimination. Now, 75 years after the war's end, some are revealing their untold stories of recovery and pain, underscoring Japan’s failure to help its own people. AP___Survivors of the firebombings and orphans feel they were forgotten by history and by their leaders. Postwar governments have provided an accumulated total of 60 trillion yen ($565 billion) in welfare support for veterans and their bereaved families, but nothing for civilian victims of firebombings, although Hiroshima and Nagasaki survivors receive medical support.Mari Kaneda, 85, says the firebombing changed her life, forcing her to live under harsh conditions with relatives. She suffered lifelong pain and stigma for being an orphan, and had to abandon her childhood dream of becoming a school teacher.Kaneda was 9 when she stepped off a night train in Tokyo after riding from Miyagi, in northern Japan, where she evacuated with her class. She had missed by hours the attack that killed her mother and two sisters and destroyed the family store.Japan's government has rejected redress for civilian victims of firebombings. But Kaneda, in her search for justice, has dug up postwar government records, interviewed dozens of her peers and published a prize-winning book on war orphans.``I haven't seen anything resolved,'' Kaneda said. ``To me, the war has not ended yet.''___Associated Press researcher Chen Si in Shanghai contributed to this report.___Follow Mari Yamaguchi on Twitter at https://www.twitter.com/mariyamaguchi(AP)
  2. Celebrating Korea-Czech relations
    Visitors to the National Museum of Korea take a look at Bohemian glass relics at a special exhibition marking the 25th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Korea and the Czech Republic, Monday. The exhibition runs until April 26. / Yonhap
    Visitors to the National Museum of Korea take a look at Bohemian glass relics at a special exhibition marking the 25th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Korea and the Czech Republic, Monday. The exhibition runs until April 26. / Yonhap
  3. To-be-built dormitory
    Ewha Womans University President Kim Sun-uk, right, points to an artist’s rendering of a dormitory planned for the school’s campus in Seoul, Tuesday, during a groundbreaking ceremony. Those listening to her are, from left, Choi Kyung-hee, the next president of the university; Chang Myong-sue, head of Ewha Haktang; Yoon Hoo-jung, Ewha’s honorary president; and Seoul Mayor Park Won-soon./ Courtesy of Ewha Womans University
    Ewha Womans University President Kim Sun-uk, right, points to an artist’s rendering of a dormitory planned for the school’s campus in Seoul, Tuesday, during a groundbreaking ceremony. Those listening to her are, from left, Choi Kyung-hee, the next president of the university; Chang Myong-sue, head of Ewha Haktang; Yoon Hoo-jung, Ewha’s honorary president; and Seoul Mayor Park Won-soon./ Courtesy of Ewha Womans University
  4. Return of Goryeo treasure
    An ancient chest used to store Buddhist texts is on display during a ceremony at the National Museum of Korea, Tuesday. The nation’s flagship museum acquired the rare Goryeo Kingdom (918—1392) heritage from a Japanese collector./ Yonhap
    An ancient chest used to store Buddhist texts is on display during a ceremony at the National Museum of Korea, Tuesday. The nation’s flagship museum acquired the rare Goryeo Kingdom (918—1392) heritage from a Japanese collector./ Yonhap
  5. Beauty pageant
    2014 Miss Korea Kim Seo-yeon, 22, waves after winning the annual pageant at the Olympic Hall in the Olympic Park, southern Seoul, Tuesday. The first runners-up were Lee Seo-bin, 21, and Shin Su-min, 20; the second runners-up were Kim Myeong-seon, 21, Sarah Lee, 23, Baek Ji-hyun, 21, and Ryu So-ra, 20. The Hankook Ilbo, a sister paper of The Korea Times, organized the beauty contest./ Korea Times photo by Wang Tae-seok
    2014 Miss Korea Kim Seo-yeon, 22, waves after winning the annual pageant at the Olympic Hall in the Olympic Park, southern Seoul, Tuesday. The first runners-up were Lee Seo-bin, 21, and Shin Su-min, 20; the second runners-up were Kim Myeong-seon, 21, Sarah Lee, 23, Baek Ji-hyun, 21, and Ryu So-ra, 20. The Hankook Ilbo, a sister paper of The Korea Times, organized the beauty contest./ Korea Times photo by Wang Tae-seok
  6. Dami Im in Seoul
    Dami Im, who was the winner of the Australian audition program “The X-Factor” last year sings at the showcase for her debut  album “Dami Im” in Samseong-dong, Seoul, Wednesday. / Yonhap
    Dami Im, who was the winner of the Australian audition program “The X-Factor” last year sings at the showcase for her debut  album “Dami Im” in Samseong-dong, Seoul, Wednesday. / Yonhap
  7. Wishing upon a moon [PHOTOS]
    People exercise near a glowing full moon installation in a park in Seongdong-gu, Seoul, Tuesday. Korea Times photo by Choi Won-sukBy Bae Eun-jooChuseok, Korea’s autumn thanksgiving day, is one of the biggest and most celebrated holidays in the country when family members from near and far gather together to honor their ancestors. Also known as hangawi (“the great middle of the autumn”), it is a major harvest festival celebrated on the 15th day of the eighth month of the lunar calendar when there is a full moon. The Chuseok holiday is also a time of the year when millions of Koreans are on the move, emptying out the capital as people head for their hometowns. This year’s Chuseok, however, may become a time of yearning for some people who cannot reunite with their loved ones as the government is strongly recommending citizens to refrain from visiting their families or relatives amid the prolonged COVID-19 pandemic.A woman poses in front of an artificial full moon in a park in Seongdong-gu, Seoul, Tuesday. Korea Times photo by Choi Won-sukThe government said the country is facing a big challenge and a crucial moment to control any possible spike in infections during the five-day Chuseok holiday which starts Sept. 30. Access to cemeteries will be restricted and highway toll fees will be collected this year over fears of new virus outbreaks during the mass migration. For residents of Seoul who have decided to stay in the city instead of traveling to their hometowns to hold ancestral memorial rites during the nation’s biggest holiday, Seongdong-gu has prepared a special event. A glowing installation of the full moon was erected in Salgoji Sports Park along Cheonggye Stream last week where visitors can make “wishes upon the moon.” With a diameter of 12 meters, the artificial moon installation will brighten up the autumn night along with 21 smaller moons. A man takes photographs of the full moon installation in a park in Seongdong-gu, Seoul, Tuesday. Korea Times photo by Choi Won-sukSymbolizing a message of hope in the times of COVID-19 pandemic, the artificial moon will bring people who are exhausted both emotionally and physically together to comfort each other, and renew their will to overcome this virus-driven crisis, the district officials said.A drive-in movie theater will also be opened in Salgoji Park along with the moon installations where visitors can enjoy moonlit movies while abiding by social distancing guidelines. 
    People exercise near a glowing full moon installation in a park in Seongdong-gu, Seoul, Tuesday. Korea Times photo by Choi Won-sukBy Bae Eun-jooChuseok, Korea’s autumn thanksgiving day, is one of the biggest and most celebrated holidays in the country when family members from near and far gather together to honor their ancestors. Also known as hangawi (“the great middle of the autumn”), it is a major harvest festival celebrated on the 15th day of the eighth month of the lunar calendar when there is a full moon. The Chuseok holiday is also a time of the year when millions of Koreans are on the move, emptying out the capital as people head for their hometowns. This year’s Chuseok, however, may become a time of yearning for some people who cannot reunite with their loved ones as the government is strongly recommending citizens to refrain from visiting their families or relatives amid the prolonged COVID-19 pandemic.A woman poses in front of an artificial full moon in a park in Seongdong-gu, Seoul, Tuesday. Korea Times photo by Choi Won-sukThe government said the country is facing a big challenge and a crucial moment to control any possible spike in infections during the five-day Chuseok holiday which starts Sept. 30. Access to cemeteries will be restricted and highway toll fees will be collected this year over fears of new virus outbreaks during the mass migration. For residents of Seoul who have decided to stay in the city instead of traveling to their hometowns to hold ancestral memorial rites during the nation’s biggest holiday, Seongdong-gu has prepared a special event. A glowing installation of the full moon was erected in Salgoji Sports Park along Cheonggye Stream last week where visitors can make “wishes upon the moon.” With a diameter of 12 meters, the artificial moon installation will brighten up the autumn night along with 21 smaller moons. A man takes photographs of the full moon installation in a park in Seongdong-gu, Seoul, Tuesday. Korea Times photo by Choi Won-sukSymbolizing a message of hope in the times of COVID-19 pandemic, the artificial moon will bring people who are exhausted both emotionally and physically together to comfort each other, and renew their will to overcome this virus-driven crisis, the district officials said.A drive-in movie theater will also be opened in Salgoji Park along with the moon installations where visitors can enjoy moonlit movies while abiding by social distancing guidelines. 
  8. 'No Mask No Entry' [PHOTOS]
    In this file photograph taken on April 22, 2020, a woman in a mask walks past a mural of a hand on the side of a building in Midtown, New York City.  AFPBy Bae Eun-joo“No Smoking” is probably the most familiar and common prohibition sign that can be found across the world. Nowadays, another prohibition sign that is being spotted in many locations is “No Mask No Entry.” “No Mask No Entry” policies have become effective in every aspect of our daily life as the South Korean government made it mandatory for the first time last month to wear face masks both indoors and outdoors to help reduce transmission of COVID-19. This was a strengthened measure from four months earlier when the government had ordered that face masks must be worn on public transportation, including subways, buses and taxis, all the time.  People wearing face mask, to prevent the spread of the Covid-19, walk past a coloured wall in La Defense business district in Courbevoie, near Paris, on September 7, 2020. AFPViolators of the “No Mask No Entry” rule can be fined up to 3 million won ($2,520) and charges can be pressed, depending on the severity of the violation. Starting Oct. 13, when the revised law takes effect, anybody not wearing a face mask indoors or outdoors will be subject to a 100,000 won fine. Last month, four passengers who refused to wear face masks inside a subway train were fined 250,000 won each by the Seoul government. They became the first people to be penalized for violating a safety guideline set by the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency.A wedding photographer's assistant, wearing a mask for protection against the spread of coronavirus, holds lighting equipment, as a couple poses for photographs backdropped by Istanbul's iconic Maiden's Tower (Kiz Kulesi) at the Bosphorus Strait separating the European and Asian sides of Istanbul, Friday, Sept. 11, 2020. APIn the United States, more than 30 states have instituted mask orders and local governments have launched their own penalties for violations. Miami Beach, one of the world’s most crowded and popular attractions, is handing out $50 fines for visitors not wearing face coverings, even when outdoors or socially distanced. The city’s mandate is nearly identical to an order issued by Miami-Dade County in July that comes with a $100 fine. The rules provide exceptions for children younger than two years old, individuals with respiratory problems or those involved in “strenuous physical activity.”People wearing face masks to protect against the spread of the new coronavirus walk under a large screen in Tokyo, Monday, Sept. 7, 2020. APStrolling down Rodeo Drive in affluent Beverly Hills, California, without a face mask can result in a $100 fine. In Compton, a first-time violator will get a warning, then a fine of $500 for a second offense. Los Angeles County, home to more than 10 million residents, shuttered around 100 businesses for failing to obey the county’s mask and social distancing orders. Yolo County fines individuals up to $500 and businesses up to $10,000 for noncompliance. Wearing of face masks must not be equated with making a political statement. It is a public health issue and a modest sacrifice everybody has to make to help the world return to the normal it knew before COVID-19 exerted itself over all of our lives. So, simply pull a mask out of your pocket and put it on. Not wearing a mask is no longer an option.
    In this file photograph taken on April 22, 2020, a woman in a mask walks past a mural of a hand on the side of a building in Midtown, New York City.  AFPBy Bae Eun-joo“No Smoking” is probably the most familiar and common prohibition sign that can be found across the world. Nowadays, another prohibition sign that is being spotted in many locations is “No Mask No Entry.” “No Mask No Entry” policies have become effective in every aspect of our daily life as the South Korean government made it mandatory for the first time last month to wear face masks both indoors and outdoors to help reduce transmission of COVID-19. This was a strengthened measure from four months earlier when the government had ordered that face masks must be worn on public transportation, including subways, buses and taxis, all the time.  People wearing face mask, to prevent the spread of the Covid-19, walk past a coloured wall in La Defense business district in Courbevoie, near Paris, on September 7, 2020. AFPViolators of the “No Mask No Entry” rule can be fined up to 3 million won ($2,520) and charges can be pressed, depending on the severity of the violation. Starting Oct. 13, when the revised law takes effect, anybody not wearing a face mask indoors or outdoors will be subject to a 100,000 won fine. Last month, four passengers who refused to wear face masks inside a subway train were fined 250,000 won each by the Seoul government. They became the first people to be penalized for violating a safety guideline set by the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency.A wedding photographer's assistant, wearing a mask for protection against the spread of coronavirus, holds lighting equipment, as a couple poses for photographs backdropped by Istanbul's iconic Maiden's Tower (Kiz Kulesi) at the Bosphorus Strait separating the European and Asian sides of Istanbul, Friday, Sept. 11, 2020. APIn the United States, more than 30 states have instituted mask orders and local governments have launched their own penalties for violations. Miami Beach, one of the world’s most crowded and popular attractions, is handing out $50 fines for visitors not wearing face coverings, even when outdoors or socially distanced. The city’s mandate is nearly identical to an order issued by Miami-Dade County in July that comes with a $100 fine. The rules provide exceptions for children younger than two years old, individuals with respiratory problems or those involved in “strenuous physical activity.”People wearing face masks to protect against the spread of the new coronavirus walk under a large screen in Tokyo, Monday, Sept. 7, 2020. APStrolling down Rodeo Drive in affluent Beverly Hills, California, without a face mask can result in a $100 fine. In Compton, a first-time violator will get a warning, then a fine of $500 for a second offense. Los Angeles County, home to more than 10 million residents, shuttered around 100 businesses for failing to obey the county’s mask and social distancing orders. Yolo County fines individuals up to $500 and businesses up to $10,000 for noncompliance. Wearing of face masks must not be equated with making a political statement. It is a public health issue and a modest sacrifice everybody has to make to help the world return to the normal it knew before COVID-19 exerted itself over all of our lives. So, simply pull a mask out of your pocket and put it on. Not wearing a mask is no longer an option.
  9. What does home mean to you? [PHOTOS]
    A maintenance worker from an internet service provider is repairing a cable on a utility pole. Many residents have left Baeksa Village but minimum services are maintained for those remaining. Korea Times photo by Shim Hyun-chul By Bae Eun-jooWhat does home mean to you? Most people would answer it’s a place that provides safety, security and stability for them and their families. For many Koreans, the symbolic meaning of home has long been success, investment in the future and post-retirement security. Purchasing a new home and throwing a housewarming party were huge celebratory events that meant a jumpstart to accumulating wealth. That, however, is all changing. These days, owning a home is regarded as synonymous with being in debt up to one’s eyeballs. A red circle is sprayed on the wall of a house whose residents have moved out. Korea Times photo by Choi Won-sukApartment prices in Seoul have skyrocketed by 56.6 percent over the past three years despite the government’s numerous measures to curb soaring housing prices focused on punitive taxation and regulations on loans. But all is to no avail as nowhere have property prices risen as much as in Gangnam-gu, the affluent southern Seoul district. The median apartment price in the district reached 1.6 billion in June, 91.6 percent higher than the median price across the capital. High-rise apartment buildings tower over Baeksa Village. Once a redevelopment project is completed, the area will be similarly transformed. Most current Baeksa Village residents will not be able to benefit from the redevelopment plan. Korea Times photo by Choi Won-sukThe Korean government announced last month that it will gradually provide a total of 360,000 housing units in Seoul by 2028 to stabilize the real estate market mainly by developing state-owned properties and promoting redevelopment and reconstruction projects. By easing restrictions on construction of residential buildings, the government would be able to pursue redevelopment projects to build 50-story apartment buildings in the greater Seoul area, far higher than the existing 35-story height restriction.Tightened mortgage rules, tougher capital gains tax and other taxes on property ownership to rein in speculative investments aimed at tackling soaring home prices have now become big hurdles for home buyers of median income. Home purchasers complain of tighter mortgage rules that prevent them from borrowing more than 40 percent of a Seoul property’s price. The maximum loan-to-value ratio falls to 20 percent for homes valued at 900 million won ($750,000) or more. And once you become a homeowner, you are subject to heavy taxes, especially if you own multiple properties. The government passed a bill recently to impose a property tax of up to 6 percent on multiple homeowners, a whopping increase from pervious 3.2 percent, and a 72 percent tax on profits from properties sold within one year of purchase. Street cats have overtaken the empty shantytown. They are likely to lose their territory with the launch of a redevelopment project. Korea Times photo by Choi Won-sukAccording to the Bank of Korea, property accounted for 76 percent of an average household’s estimated assets of 463 million won in 2019. Many young people seem to have given up on the idea of ever owning a home of their own and have rather started to view “home” as a temporary shelter for a reasonable cost. Unlike the established generation who tie their lifetime achievements to owning a permanent home, the younger generations opt to satisfy themselves through gourmet foods, luxury clothing and other small gratifications which are comparatively cheaper than home ownership. A recent poll shows that over 60 percent of people in their 20s and 30s said that owning a home is unnecessary. Recently, Seoul City announced a redevelopment plan for Baeksa Village, a small cluster of ramshackle homes located on the hillside of Mount Buram in northern Seoul. Baeksa Village is one of Seoul’s last remaining “moon villages,” a term for refugee settlements built high up on mountain slopes. The inhabitants were forcefully evicted from more central areas in the 1960s and relocated to the village.Residents have to walk up and down steep slopes since the alleyways are too narrow for shuttle buses. Korea Times photo by Shim Hyun-chulAs soon as news of the redevelopment plan spread, a real estate craze took hold of the neighborhood. Over 50 percent of the villagers have already relocated. Many of the homes are now empty, while the remaining inhabitants are almost all elderly people who rely on coal briquettes in the winter for heating.The Seoul city plans to demolish the village by 2024 and over 2,400 high-rise apartment units are expected to be erected in their place. Concerns are rising that this moon village should be renovated without any drastic changes to the original landscape by conserving the topography of the site and maintaining the inhabitants’ customs, community and culture.
    A maintenance worker from an internet service provider is repairing a cable on a utility pole. Many residents have left Baeksa Village but minimum services are maintained for those remaining. Korea Times photo by Shim Hyun-chul By Bae Eun-jooWhat does home mean to you? Most people would answer it’s a place that provides safety, security and stability for them and their families. For many Koreans, the symbolic meaning of home has long been success, investment in the future and post-retirement security. Purchasing a new home and throwing a housewarming party were huge celebratory events that meant a jumpstart to accumulating wealth. That, however, is all changing. These days, owning a home is regarded as synonymous with being in debt up to one’s eyeballs. A red circle is sprayed on the wall of a house whose residents have moved out. Korea Times photo by Choi Won-sukApartment prices in Seoul have skyrocketed by 56.6 percent over the past three years despite the government’s numerous measures to curb soaring housing prices focused on punitive taxation and regulations on loans. But all is to no avail as nowhere have property prices risen as much as in Gangnam-gu, the affluent southern Seoul district. The median apartment price in the district reached 1.6 billion in June, 91.6 percent higher than the median price across the capital. High-rise apartment buildings tower over Baeksa Village. Once a redevelopment project is completed, the area will be similarly transformed. Most current Baeksa Village residents will not be able to benefit from the redevelopment plan. Korea Times photo by Choi Won-sukThe Korean government announced last month that it will gradually provide a total of 360,000 housing units in Seoul by 2028 to stabilize the real estate market mainly by developing state-owned properties and promoting redevelopment and reconstruction projects. By easing restrictions on construction of residential buildings, the government would be able to pursue redevelopment projects to build 50-story apartment buildings in the greater Seoul area, far higher than the existing 35-story height restriction.Tightened mortgage rules, tougher capital gains tax and other taxes on property ownership to rein in speculative investments aimed at tackling soaring home prices have now become big hurdles for home buyers of median income. Home purchasers complain of tighter mortgage rules that prevent them from borrowing more than 40 percent of a Seoul property’s price. The maximum loan-to-value ratio falls to 20 percent for homes valued at 900 million won ($750,000) or more. And once you become a homeowner, you are subject to heavy taxes, especially if you own multiple properties. The government passed a bill recently to impose a property tax of up to 6 percent on multiple homeowners, a whopping increase from pervious 3.2 percent, and a 72 percent tax on profits from properties sold within one year of purchase. Street cats have overtaken the empty shantytown. They are likely to lose their territory with the launch of a redevelopment project. Korea Times photo by Choi Won-sukAccording to the Bank of Korea, property accounted for 76 percent of an average household’s estimated assets of 463 million won in 2019. Many young people seem to have given up on the idea of ever owning a home of their own and have rather started to view “home” as a temporary shelter for a reasonable cost. Unlike the established generation who tie their lifetime achievements to owning a permanent home, the younger generations opt to satisfy themselves through gourmet foods, luxury clothing and other small gratifications which are comparatively cheaper than home ownership. A recent poll shows that over 60 percent of people in their 20s and 30s said that owning a home is unnecessary. Recently, Seoul City announced a redevelopment plan for Baeksa Village, a small cluster of ramshackle homes located on the hillside of Mount Buram in northern Seoul. Baeksa Village is one of Seoul’s last remaining “moon villages,” a term for refugee settlements built high up on mountain slopes. The inhabitants were forcefully evicted from more central areas in the 1960s and relocated to the village.Residents have to walk up and down steep slopes since the alleyways are too narrow for shuttle buses. Korea Times photo by Shim Hyun-chulAs soon as news of the redevelopment plan spread, a real estate craze took hold of the neighborhood. Over 50 percent of the villagers have already relocated. Many of the homes are now empty, while the remaining inhabitants are almost all elderly people who rely on coal briquettes in the winter for heating.The Seoul city plans to demolish the village by 2024 and over 2,400 high-rise apartment units are expected to be erected in their place. Concerns are rising that this moon village should be renovated without any drastic changes to the original landscape by conserving the topography of the site and maintaining the inhabitants’ customs, community and culture.
  10. Changdeok Palace Moonlight Tour [PHOTOS]
    Visitors holding cheongsachorong (traditional Korean lanterns) pass by Injeongjeon, the main throne hall of Changdeok Palace and National Treasure No. 225, during the Moonlight Tour. Korea Times photo by Choi Won-sukBy Bae Eun-jooSouth Korea’s daily coronavirus cases have been reaching triple digits daily since last week and the government has announced stricter control measures. The government announced a ban on large gatherings such as local festivals, church gatherings and wedding ceremonies with more than 50 estimated attendees indoors or 100 outdoors. This includes the re-suspension of royal palace tours, which had resumed Aug. 13 for a month-long run amid the then seemingly falling number of infections.Changdeok Palace, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is the best-preserved palace of all the royal palaces from the Joseon Kingdom. Korea Times photo by Choi Won-sukRoyal guards stand at the gates of Changdeok Palace. Korea Times photo by Choi Won-sukThe Korea Times was fortunate to join the highly touted Changdeok Palace Moonlight Tour during the brief opening period amid the pandemic crisis.The government started to promote nighttime palace tours in order to revive the growing tourism industry by offering visitors a unique traditional cultural experience in the center of the dynamic Seoul metropolitan city after the sun sets. Changdeok Palace, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the country’s most historically significant attractions, was the principal palace for many kings of the Joseon Kingdom (1392-1910) and is the best-preserved of the five remaining royal Joseon palaces in central Seoul. Subtle lighting is seen after sunset during the Changdeok Palace nighttime tour. Korea Times photo by Choi Won-sukOriginally built in 1405 by King Taejong, the third ruler of Joseon, Changdeok Palace was rebuilt in 1610 after all the royal palaces in Seoul were burnt down during the 1592-98 Japanese invasions of Korea. From then on, it was the primary palace for over 270 years where 13 kings, including the last monarch, reigned over the kingdom.Cheongsachorong lanterns guide the way for visitors throughout the tour. Korea Times photo by Choi Won-sukThe buildings and pavilions of Changdeok Palace, located at the foot of a mountain, were positioned more naturally than the other palaces, following the contours of the land. This created a more relaxed atmosphere, while maintaining the dignity of a royal palace. The whole Changdeok Palace compound covers an area of about 462,000 square meters. Inside the palace is Biwon, or the Secret Garden, which accounts for two-thirds of the total grounds. All visitors to the palace are required to wear face masks to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus. The Changdeok Palace Moonlight Tour is currently suspended due to a spike in the number of virus infection cases. Korea Times photo by Choi Won-sukFirst landscaped in 1623, Biwon served for centuries as a royal retreat and represents the characteristics of traditional Korean landscape gardening that minimizes artificial factors and pursues harmonization with nature. 
    Visitors holding cheongsachorong (traditional Korean lanterns) pass by Injeongjeon, the main throne hall of Changdeok Palace and National Treasure No. 225, during the Moonlight Tour. Korea Times photo by Choi Won-sukBy Bae Eun-jooSouth Korea’s daily coronavirus cases have been reaching triple digits daily since last week and the government has announced stricter control measures. The government announced a ban on large gatherings such as local festivals, church gatherings and wedding ceremonies with more than 50 estimated attendees indoors or 100 outdoors. This includes the re-suspension of royal palace tours, which had resumed Aug. 13 for a month-long run amid the then seemingly falling number of infections.Changdeok Palace, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is the best-preserved palace of all the royal palaces from the Joseon Kingdom. Korea Times photo by Choi Won-sukRoyal guards stand at the gates of Changdeok Palace. Korea Times photo by Choi Won-sukThe Korea Times was fortunate to join the highly touted Changdeok Palace Moonlight Tour during the brief opening period amid the pandemic crisis.The government started to promote nighttime palace tours in order to revive the growing tourism industry by offering visitors a unique traditional cultural experience in the center of the dynamic Seoul metropolitan city after the sun sets. Changdeok Palace, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the country’s most historically significant attractions, was the principal palace for many kings of the Joseon Kingdom (1392-1910) and is the best-preserved of the five remaining royal Joseon palaces in central Seoul. Subtle lighting is seen after sunset during the Changdeok Palace nighttime tour. Korea Times photo by Choi Won-sukOriginally built in 1405 by King Taejong, the third ruler of Joseon, Changdeok Palace was rebuilt in 1610 after all the royal palaces in Seoul were burnt down during the 1592-98 Japanese invasions of Korea. From then on, it was the primary palace for over 270 years where 13 kings, including the last monarch, reigned over the kingdom.Cheongsachorong lanterns guide the way for visitors throughout the tour. Korea Times photo by Choi Won-sukThe buildings and pavilions of Changdeok Palace, located at the foot of a mountain, were positioned more naturally than the other palaces, following the contours of the land. This created a more relaxed atmosphere, while maintaining the dignity of a royal palace. The whole Changdeok Palace compound covers an area of about 462,000 square meters. Inside the palace is Biwon, or the Secret Garden, which accounts for two-thirds of the total grounds. All visitors to the palace are required to wear face masks to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus. The Changdeok Palace Moonlight Tour is currently suspended due to a spike in the number of virus infection cases. Korea Times photo by Choi Won-sukFirst landscaped in 1623, Biwon served for centuries as a royal retreat and represents the characteristics of traditional Korean landscape gardening that minimizes artificial factors and pursues harmonization with nature. 
  11. COVID-era catwalk 'Mask is the new normal' [PHOTOS]
    Models wearing face masks wait in line during a fashion show amid the coronavirus pandemic in Seoul, Aug. 14. Korea Times photo by Choi Won-sukBy Bae Eun-jooFashion is all about making a statement. And in the era of the COVID-19 pandemic, where everyone is advised to wear face masks to curb the spread of the virus, the face mask has become an entirely new form of self-expression.The fashion world has quickly embraced and beautified the face coverings to express personal style without failing to adhere to protective guidelines.Masked models dressed in hanbok are seen behind the stage at a mask fashion show in Seoul, Aug. 14. Korea Times photo by Choi Won-suk The “2020 Face Mask Fashion Show” was staged last Friday with the aim of creating a “contactless” fashion event amid the ongoing virus crisis which has put great strain on the industry.Staged in the bustling streets of Gangnam, synonymous with Seoul’s trendsetting youth, the mask fashion show drew surprise attention from passersby who joined the audience to experience a feast for the eyes. Vibrant patterns of the masks matching to a range of outfits showed vivacity to the spectators tired of the dragged-out virus crisis.Models wearing face masks pose on the runway during a fashion show amid the coronavirus pandemic in Seoul, Aug. 14. Korea Times photo by Choi Won-sukIn celebration of National Liberation Day the next day, key motifs for the dresses at the show were drawn from familiar traditional Korean elements – hanbok (clothes), Hangeul (script), Taegukgi (national flag) and jokduri (women’s coronet).The fashion world hopes to return to physical shows. Meanwhile, staff, models and guests have all received safety instruction to respect social distancing rules. Masks were compulsory backstage and for the audience.  A model wearing a face mask gets ready for a fashion show featuring masks amid the coronavirus pandemic in Seoul, Aug. 14. Korea Times photo by Choi Won-sukMany people have felt masks are an unusual addition to our daily routines in the early stages of the COVID-19 outbreak. Now, after nearly eight months since Korea saw its first COVID-19 positive case, masks feel like a part of our daily life as the virus crisis continues without any end in sight. And wearing a mask has definitely become the “new normal.” A model wearing a face mask poses during a mask fashion show amid the coronavirus pandemic in Seoul, Aug. 14. Korea Times photo by Choi Won-sukSouth Korea has recorded triple-digit increases in new coronavirus infections for the last few days, pushing up the total number of infections to over 15,700 and deaths to over 300. This has raised serious concerns over new outbreaks and fears that the pandemic may grow out of control. At the same time, the need for face masks has become more important than ever. Wearing a mask can become more than just a collective responsibility by opting for the right print and design to suit one’s own aesthetic. After all, the COVID-19 era has borne a new wardrobe essential -- the mask.
    Models wearing face masks wait in line during a fashion show amid the coronavirus pandemic in Seoul, Aug. 14. Korea Times photo by Choi Won-sukBy Bae Eun-jooFashion is all about making a statement. And in the era of the COVID-19 pandemic, where everyone is advised to wear face masks to curb the spread of the virus, the face mask has become an entirely new form of self-expression.The fashion world has quickly embraced and beautified the face coverings to express personal style without failing to adhere to protective guidelines.Masked models dressed in hanbok are seen behind the stage at a mask fashion show in Seoul, Aug. 14. Korea Times photo by Choi Won-suk The “2020 Face Mask Fashion Show” was staged last Friday with the aim of creating a “contactless” fashion event amid the ongoing virus crisis which has put great strain on the industry.Staged in the bustling streets of Gangnam, synonymous with Seoul’s trendsetting youth, the mask fashion show drew surprise attention from passersby who joined the audience to experience a feast for the eyes. Vibrant patterns of the masks matching to a range of outfits showed vivacity to the spectators tired of the dragged-out virus crisis.Models wearing face masks pose on the runway during a fashion show amid the coronavirus pandemic in Seoul, Aug. 14. Korea Times photo by Choi Won-sukIn celebration of National Liberation Day the next day, key motifs for the dresses at the show were drawn from familiar traditional Korean elements – hanbok (clothes), Hangeul (script), Taegukgi (national flag) and jokduri (women’s coronet).The fashion world hopes to return to physical shows. Meanwhile, staff, models and guests have all received safety instruction to respect social distancing rules. Masks were compulsory backstage and for the audience.  A model wearing a face mask gets ready for a fashion show featuring masks amid the coronavirus pandemic in Seoul, Aug. 14. Korea Times photo by Choi Won-sukMany people have felt masks are an unusual addition to our daily routines in the early stages of the COVID-19 outbreak. Now, after nearly eight months since Korea saw its first COVID-19 positive case, masks feel like a part of our daily life as the virus crisis continues without any end in sight. And wearing a mask has definitely become the “new normal.” A model wearing a face mask poses during a mask fashion show amid the coronavirus pandemic in Seoul, Aug. 14. Korea Times photo by Choi Won-sukSouth Korea has recorded triple-digit increases in new coronavirus infections for the last few days, pushing up the total number of infections to over 15,700 and deaths to over 300. This has raised serious concerns over new outbreaks and fears that the pandemic may grow out of control. At the same time, the need for face masks has become more important than ever. Wearing a mask can become more than just a collective responsibility by opting for the right print and design to suit one’s own aesthetic. After all, the COVID-19 era has borne a new wardrobe essential -- the mask.
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