Loss of Authenticity: A Case Study of Jeon-Ju Hanok Village(Korean Traditional House) in South Korea

Monday, 11 July 2016
Location: Dachgeschoss (Juridicum)
Distributed Paper
Byung Sung LEE, Ph.D scholar, India
Jeon-Ju Hanok Village is located in Jeon-Ju, South Korea. The origin of Hanok was when the forceful breakdown of the doors of the castle allowed the Japanese to enter into the castle and to rule over the commercial supremacy till 1945. To fight against this, Koreans started to make the Hanok village which was to show their consciousness of conflict and patriotism.

According to the recent study, tourists visiting Hanok village are increasing by million every year, recording 6 million tourists in 2014. The main programs that attract tourists are handicraft exhibition, Korean traditional academy such as playing Korean traditional musical instruments and also allowing the tourists to understand and to experience Korean traditional wedding, make Korean traditional food and build Hanok house.

With the increasing development, a lot of restaurants, café and shops have entered into the village. It has become convenient for the tourists to enjoy food and coffee, buy cosmetics and souvenir. Moreover, couples and families are able to make great memories by taking pictures in Hanbok (Korean traditional clothes) which they can borrow from the shop. Accommodation for the tourists is also available in Hanok house where all the necessities are placed in modern style.

The purpose of the tourism has become hazy as the tradition gets clouded over with the convenience. The entrance of convenient store, cosmetic shops and cafes are destroying the original sights of the Hanok village. Also, the accommodation system that serves modern style of stay in a traditional house does not allow the tourists to fully experience the perfect tradition of Korean house.

These disadvantages will let Hanok village loss its traditional identity and the tourists will lose their expectation of original purpose, which was to experience the tradition.