In 1899, the visiting Prince Heinrich of Prussia expressed his astonishment to Emperor Gojong at a traditional archery demonstration. The Prince, hailing from a militarized Prussian culture, sought out demonstrations of Korean martial arts, and Archery was the most impressive among the arts demonstrated. He was familiar with Turkish and Hungarian Archery of Europe, which were similar to Korean Archery. Prince Heinrich suggested making the art into a national sport. The emperor, convinced by the Prince, decreed “let people enjoy archery to develop their physical strength” and established an archery club. In the subsequent standardization of Korean archery, the nature of the bow and the arrow was standardized, as was the range of the targets. Korean traditional archery now uses one specific type of composite bow, bamboo arrows, and a standard target at a standard distance of 120 bo (about 145 meters). Korean Archery as a sport developed under the Japanese Occupation, its textbook, “Joseon eui Goongdo” being published in 1920.
In-Souk Cho has been an archer since 2009 and is a member of the HwangHakJeong Korean Archery Range in Jongno-gu; she received two trophies from IAA-Bhutan International Traditional Archery Tournament in 2019. She is the International Co-director of the UIA Work Programme for Heritage and Cultural Identity. She is also Vice-president of ICOMOS-ISCARSAH. She has a Ph.D in Architecture (Architectural History & Theory), specializing in historic conservation and restoration.
Practicing Korean Traditional Archery
Tuesday 21 April 2020, 7:30pm Seoul time, 11:30am London time
Zoom meeting. Full details on RASKB website