London Korean Links

Covering things Korean in London and beyond since 2006

Picture quiz: does anyone know the location of this wine-cup canal?

A wine-cup stream somewhere in Korea. But where?

I have a pretty book on Korean gardens by Heo Kyun, translated into English and published by Saffron Korea Library. It’s very informative and interesting reading, but I’m not sure I trust the caption which goes with one of its images.

I’m in the process of writing up my Korea trip from back in May. It’s taking much longer than last year because I didn’t have the helpful translator with me all the time, so I’m having to do a lot more research – which includes reading any book in my library I can lay my hands on which might be relevant. Right now, I’m writing up my visit to the Changdeokgung and the Biwon. Hence my perusal of Heo’s Gardens of Korea: Harmony with Intellect and Nature.

When I visited the Changdeokgung’s Secret Garden I failed to take a decent picture of the Ongnyucheon stream (옥류천), where scholars would compose poems as wine cups floated past them. But none of the photographs I’ve found on the web look anything like the images which accompany this post – which come from Heo Kyun’s book, and which claim to be taken in the Secret Garden. For one thing, the Secret Garden is a little bit hilly, and the wine-cup stream in these pictures is in a park which is flat as a pancake. And the bit of the Ongnyucheon to which I was introduced on the guided tour looked nothing like this.

But wherever it is, when it was in use it must have been rather fine, and must surely be worth a visit. Does anyone know where it is?

A wine-cup stream somewhere in Korea. But where?

Click on the images for bigger versions. The very fine photos in the book are by Lee Gapcheol.

4 thoughts on “Picture quiz: does anyone know the location of this wine-cup canal?

  1. Found it, quite by chance, in a book on Korean Confucianism I happened to be reading. It’s the 포석정 (Poseokjeong) in Gyeongju.

    Does anyone know if there’s anything in the very immediate vicinity? Obviously there’s the whole of Gyeongju, Seokkuram etc, but I’m talking about the area within 100 yards of the wine-cup canal.

  2. The photo is Po sok jung (Po seok jeong). It is located at Bae dong, Kyong Joo City, South Kyongsang Province. It is no. 1 historial site, one of many significant sites from the Unified Silla Kingdom period [ the 49th King Heon gang (875~886)]. This site is used for entertainment by the King and male royal members. Guests would sit around this site, citing poems while waiting for the floating drink cup to arrive to them. It has been renovated losing old charm somewhat which I witnessed in the 60s.

  3. I visited this site along with Royal tomb complex, Cheom sung dae, the oldest astronomical observatory in East Asia, the famous observatory, and gye rim forest, the Anapji royal pond garden,[150] and the Gyerim forest.[152] and Gyeongju National Museum. Eui-jong

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