Ganghwa Island

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Ganghwa Island
Korean transcription(s)
 • Hangul
 • Hanja
 • Revised RomanizationGanghwado
 • McCune–ReischauerKanghwado
Map showing location of Ganghwa Island.
Map showing location of Ganghwa Island.
Ganghwa Island is located in South Korea
Ganghwa Island
Ganghwa Island
Map showing location of Ganghwa Island.
Coordinates: 37°42′N 126°26′E / 37.700°N 126.433°E / 37.700; 126.433Coordinates: 37°42′N 126°26′E / 37.700°N 126.433°E / 37.700; 126.433
CountrySouth Korea
 • Total302.4 km2 (116.8 sq mi)
 • Total65,500
 • Density220/km2 (560/sq mi)

Ganghwa Island, also known by its native name Ganghwado, is a South Korean island in the estuary of the Han River. It lies in the Yellow Sea off Korea's west coast, separated from Gimpo on the South Korean mainland by a narrow channel spanned by two bridges and from Kaesong (Gaeseong) in North Korea by the main channel of the Han River.

The island is strategically located, controlling access to the river which runs through the former Joseon and present South Korean capital Seoul. Its fortifications were repeatedly attacked during the 19th century. With an area of 302.4 km2 (116.8 sq mi), it now constitutes most of Ganghwa County, a division of Incheon Municipality. It has a population of about 65,500 people, half of whom live in Ganghwa Town (Ganghwa-eup) on the northeast.


"Ganghwado" or "Ganghwa-do" (Korean: 강화도, formerly ) is Korean for "Island Made Prosperous", "Illustrious", or "Flourishing by the River" in reference to its formation from the silt carried downriver by the Han. Former romanizations include Kang-hoa[1] and Kang-hwa.


This island lies in the estuary of Korea's Han River. It is 302.4 km2 (116.8 sq mi), measuring 28 kilometers (17 mi) long and 22 kilometers (14 mi) wide, making it the 4th largest island in South Korea. Its highest point is Mani-san (469 m or 1,539 ft above sea level).


Climate data for Ganghwa (1981–2010, extremes 1971–present)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 12.6
Average high °C (°F) 1.2
Daily mean °C (°F) −3.8
Average low °C (°F) −8.7
Record low °C (°F) −22.5
Average precipitation mm (inches) 17.7
Average precipitation days (≥ 0.1 mm) 5.7 4.7 6.2 6.7 8.4 8.7 13.9 12.0 7.3 5.7 7.0 6.6 92.9
Average snowy days 7.3 4.3 2.4 0.2 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.1 1.5 5.1 20.6
Average relative humidity (%) 66.1 63.0 62.9 62.8 69.5 75.3 82.7 80.3 74.8 69.9 68.2 67.3 70.2
Mean monthly sunshine hours 179.8 188.3 218.3 233.3 241.4 221.0 173.2 201.3 214.4 220.4 170.0 165.9 2,431.5
Percent possible sunshine 58.7 61.8 58.9 59.0 54.8 50.0 38.6 47.7 57.4 63.3 55.7 55.6 54.6
Source: Korea Meteorological Administration[2][3][4] (percent sunshine and snowy days)[5]

Regional specialties[edit]

  • Ganghwa Island Turnip

Ganghwa Island’s Turnip (cultivar of Brassica rapa) has been cultivated in Ganghwa for over a thousand years. The moisture content is over 90% and its main component is carbohydrate. They are a taproot vegetable that has a smell of mustard and tastes like ginseng. This distinctive taste is due to its dark purple part.

Both turnip seeds and full grown turnip are used as an ingredient for folk remedies and oriental medicine because it contains beneficial ingredients for our body. The turnip’s leaves have a lot of nutrients and vitamins and the roots contain tryptophan and glycyrrhizin. It has the trait of anticancer activity and helps to cure dermatopathy, digestion organs, tuberculosis and respiratory disease, and anti-bacterial effect.[6]

Anticancer action: Glucosinolate is contained (an anti-cancer substance) and it is most effective for lung cancer.
Dermatopathy: It cures scars and contused wounds
Digestion organs: It is effective curing cold and aching digestion organs
Tuberculosis and respiratory disease: Stops coughing and prevents tuberculosis
Anti-bacterial effect: rapine has an effect of suppressing bacterium, fungi and parasite from reproducing[7]
  • Saja bal yukssuk

In Ganghwa Island, there is a specific kind of wormwood that is more effective and outstanding than regular wormwood.


Helps blood flow smoothly.
Warms the body up.
The wormwood helps to lower high blood pressure, diarrhea and dizziness.
Wormwood is also good for women.
  • Hwamunseok

Ganghwa’s Hwamunseok (woven sedge mat) is an elegant and refined handicraft that dates back to Goryeo Dynasty.

It is cool and absorbs moisture well in the summer, while also preventing chill in the winter.

Therefore, Hwamunseok helps to maintain one’s health.

  • Yellow sweet potato

It is produced only in Gangwha. Unlike normal sweet potato, it is high in sugar and very soft, which is good for digestion.


  • Goryeo Azalea Festival
Date: The middle of April
Place: Dolmen square, Goryeo mountain

There is a yearly azalea festival held every mid-April in Ganghwa. During the festival, you can make azalea hwajeon which is a pan-fried sweet rice cake with flower petals. Also, a photo and postcard exhibition will take place.

  • Ganghwa Salted Shrimp Festival
Date: Every year at the beginning of October
Place: Oepo-ri dock

Every year at the beginning of October, the salted shrimp festival is held at the Oepo-ri dock, in Ganghwa. You can watch many different kinds of performances and song festivals. Also, you can make Kimchi using cabbage and salted shrimp. There is a salted shrimp auction, but it is almost free. If a manager specifies the price to be 1,000 won, it will be sold to the person who called 900 won rather than 10,000 won.

  • Ganghwa Foundation Day Grand Festival
Date: October 1–3
Place: Chamseongdan on Mt. Mani

Every year, Ganghwa Foundation Day Grand Festival is held at Chamseongdan on Mt. Mani. Chamseongdan was an altar used to offer sacrifices to heaven by Dangun, a legendary founding father of Gojoseon. Ganghwa Foundation Day Grand Festival is held from October 1 until October 3. At this festival, you can see seven Taoist fairies who dance holding fans. On October 3, you can also see carrying sacred fire.

Tourist attractions[edit]

Ganghwa Nadeulgil[edit]

Ganghwa Nadeulgil is a walking tour line consisting of 20 courses. People can witness history from the prehistoric age to the Joseon dynasty and also experience the natural ecologic environment of global mud flat and the migrate habitats of birds.

Recently, the ‘나들길 app’ was launched so that people can enjoy a walking tour more conveniently.


It is 1.5 km west at Ganghwado. The area is 42.31 km2 and the length of the coastline is 42.0 km. Seokmodo is located at 126°20′ degrees east longitude and 37°40′ degrees north latitude. The island currently home to around 1,800 inhabitants. ‘Seokmodo’ appears in 『Daedongyeojido』 and can be interpreted as ‘Water flowing around a corner’ or ‘A rocky beach corner’.

There is 'Ganghwa Nadeul-gil'. Starting from Seokpori dock, tourist can walk by dark-colored ditch and see the vast tidal mudflats unfold in front of tourist. After passing by Bomun dock and a fishing port while walking along the Jebang-gil road, visitors will pass through a quiet and peaceful forest. At the far end of the forest, there is Seokmodo Island’s one and only beach called Minmeoru Beach. Keep walking along the Jebang-gil with the sea on left and Mount Nakga on the right, and tourist will arrive at Bomun Temple where this course ends. *Course: Seokmodo dock - Maeeum-ri dock - Fishing port - Minmeoru Beach -Eoryujeonghang - Bomunsa (10 miles, 5 hours. Level: Easy)[8]

Pungmul Market[edit]

Ganghwa Pungmul Market is a place with long history. A new building for the market was built in 2007, and you can buy grains, vegetables, fruits, etc in a cheap price.

Dealt goods: grains, vegetables, fruits, salted seafood, fresh meat, dried fish, tofu, ginseng, etc.

The Goryeogung Palace Site[edit]

This was the palace site of Goryeo from 1232 to 1270.

position: Incheon Metropolitan City Ganghwa-gun the north gate street(Bungmun street) 42

The Goryeogung Palace Site leads to the cherry blossom tree path on a northern hill (Bukssan) so many people come to see the cherry blossoms in spring and are often used as hiking trails.

Mani Mountain[edit]

Mani Mountain is the highest mountain in Ganghwa.

There is the home of Chamseongdan Altar where Dangun Wanggeom performed ancestral rites in the top of this mountain.

Tidal energy[edit]

Ganghwa Tidal Power Generation Company comprises Dae woo, Lotte, Hyundae and Kolon. They have signed a memorandum of understanding regarding the joint development of tidal power generation and reinforcement facilities in the Ganghwa County of Incheon in South Korea. This 1.4 trillion won worth project will be financed through private capital. 1.4 generators with a capacity of 30 MW will be fitted in 4-km-long tidal wave dam that Will be constructed around the Ganghwa Islands. This project is expected to be completed in 2023.


As the location of the primary fortifications protecting the Joseon capital of Seoul from foreign invasion, Ganghwa Island was the site of several punitive expeditions during the 19th century. The mass execution of Catholic French missionaries and Korean converts under the ministry of the Heungseon Daewongun in the mid-1860s led to a French invasion in 1866 which held the island for several weeks, although Admiral Roze was unable to sail up the shallow and uncharted Han River and fortified monasteries prevented overland incursion. In 1871, a Korean assault on an American diplomatic mission led to the Battle of Ganghwa. Rear Admiral Rodgers took five forts on the island but withdrew after the Koreans refused to meet for negotiations. Following a diplomatic incident related to Korea's refusal to recognize the imperial status of the sovereign of Japan in 1868, the forts at Ganghwa fired upon a Japanese boat from the surveying gunship Un'yō in 1875. During the Japanese Battle of Ganghwa, the Un'yō's captain Inoue Yoshika silenced the batteries with superior firepower, then landed a raiding force which plundered local communities. The Imperial Japanese Navy then blockaded the area and compelled the 1876 Treaty of Ganghwa, which opened Korea to Japanese commerce. When the Mongolia aggression Goryeo, Choe-woo the Goryeo's general changed the capital to Ganghwa at sixth aggression. And they prepared the war. At that time, Goryeo's religion was Buddhism. They want to save their country, so they borrowed the power of Buddha. In this process, the Tripitaka Koreana was made. The Tripitaka Koreana was called Palmandaejanggyeong. It is comprehensive collection of 80,000 Buddhist scriptures.

Invasion of Korea by the three U.S. warships in 1871[edit]


In 1866, the General Sherman arrived at Pyongyang through the Daedong River. The owner of this ship was American, but the ship's captain was Danish, and crews were Chinese and British. One of them was pastor Thomas, who was traveling for missionary work to Joseon. Initially, Pyongyang governor Park Gyu-su, who was Park Ji-won’s grandson, informed about his refusal of the trade and advised them to go back.

Some people of Pyongyang provided pork and chicken to them, even ignoring the kidnapping Lee Ik-Hyun, a Joseon soldier who had shot a cannon at the boat, killing 7. Citizens and Park Gyu-su were furious. Park Gyu-su ordered to open fire on the ship. The General Sherman and all the crew was burned.


In 1871, during the Joseon expedition, America finally decided to open a port. The United States of America ordered the Joseon expedition to Asia led by Fleet Commander Rogers.

On June 1, The United States of America led sounding navigation of Ganghwa Strait. When the fleet arrived to Sondolmok, it was attacked from the coastline by Ganghwa artillery unit.

The American fleet scorched the Chojijin Fort and took it over with naval gunfire. The American army then took over Deokjjinjin Fort on June 11, and began the Gwangseongbo operation. After an hour of shelling of land and sea, the American army captured and took over Gwangseongbo.


The scale that damage of human life caused by war. First, damage of the US was: 3 people dead in battle, 10 people wounded. On the other hand, the damage to Joseon was: 350 people dead in battle, 20 people wounded. It can be seen that the damage to Josean is larger than the damage to the United States.

Heungseon Daewongun is the father of King Gojong. Heungseon Daewongun erected Cheokhwabi in each region of the whole country. In every Cheokhwabi he put the inscription: “If you don’t fight against the western barbarians, it means you negotiate for peace. And that is selling our country.” What is more, he strengthened the national isolation policy. Therefore, Cheokhwabi is a monument to exclude westerners.

Cheokhwabi is located in Deokseong-ri, Bureun-myeon, Ganghwa-gun. The name of the one located in Ganghwa-gun is Deokjinjin gyeong-gobi, it is also called ‘Cheokhwabi of the sea.’ There is a sentence in the front of the monument written in characters, that says: ‘it is guarding the sea gate, thus foreign ship cannot pass. There is a bullet mark remained on it.


Tidal wetlands of Ganghwa. The Maehwa Mareum Habitat is located in Choji-ri, Gilsang-myeon, Ganghwa Island, Incheon, Korea. The Maehwa Mareum is registered as a Ramsar-site since October 13, 2008. It is the first time that a wetland in Korea has been registered as a Ramsar-site. The registered area amounts to 3,015 square metres (0.745 acres) The area around the Maehwa Mareum Habitat has been utilized as farmland and was mainly introduced by eco-friendly farming communities. The Maehwa Mareum is home to various species, like the Blackfaced Spoonbill, Chinese Egret, Yellow-spotted Serpent, Seoul Pond Frog, Narrow-mouth Frog and many more. Especially important for the registration as an official Ramsar site, was the endangered plant maehwa mareum that grows in the rice paddies. The Maehwa Mareum nearly faced destruction because of land consolidation. Fortunately, the Korean National Trust, a civil environmental movement that is dedicated to preserve natural and cultural heritage, bought that land and after consultation with local residents, they decided to preserve the land as a rice paddy wetland.

The Ganghwa mudflats are an intermediate resting place where migratory birds eat and relax while migrating to Japan, Australia, and New Zealand. It is also famous for its breeding grounds, which are known as Natural Monument No.205, the world's largest natural monument. They are located between the southern region and Seokmudo Island and other surrounding islands. The Ganghwa mudflats represent one of the best preserved mudflats in Korea, and have a significant importance in economic productivity, natural purification and marine ecosystems.

The mudflats provide conditions that promote purification more than purification itself, and the excitation of tide and blue is largely affected by this. In the eutrophic waters where there are no tidal flats, nutrients are introduced from the land, suspended organic matter produced in the sea is accumulated on the sea floor, and oxygen is consumed in the process of decomposing it, forming a serious oxygen vacancy. Wetlands can absorb floods and rainwater, such as natural sponges, by first blocking and absorbing surface water, then slowly releasing it, and at the same time, storing large amounts of water, thereby preventing erosion of the river or coast and reducing flood damage. It is a buffer to protect us from natural disasters because it is a buffer zone for preventing floods caused by forests.

Tidal flats are important intermediate destinations for migratory birds migrating along the river, and are used as a place to feed energy or as a place to rest or breed. Because some species of migratory birds have to pass through certain wetlands, the Ramsar Convention has been enacted to protect the world's most important wetlands, and the biodiversity of the tidal flats in the west coast of Korea is also high.

The value of the tidal flats is important as a source of natural products. In foreign countries, the development and use of fruits and timber in the coastal wetlands are still in use in Korea.In the future, valuable medicines and new materials may be extracted from the creatures of this area. Therefore, once again, conservation of biodiversity in salt marsh vegetation and tidal flats should be seriously considered. Recently, we developed products like Mudpack in our country, The number of users of tidal-flat massage is also increasing.

In recent years, wetlands have also been used as a leisure space for fishing, bathing, relaxing and sightseeing, and for artists who love nature - photographers, painters, and writers - And the cultural value of it is becoming more important in many ways. Even if you are buried in everyday life, if you go to the tidal flats, you will see the waves and the whirlwind that spread out over the snowy white sand field, the natural reed bed, and the reed forest, You can see the natural scenery you have been drawing in a realistic manner in the tidal flat.

A typical group of creatures that can be found on the mudflats is the shellfish, the algae, and the shellfish that contains the algae.

The size and shape of the habitat varies greatly depending on the nature of the species and the nature of the environment. The depth from the mudflats to the innermost depths of the oyster bed ranges from centimeters to tens of meters, and generally the depth is correlated with the diameter of the oyster. In addition, there is a high correlation between the length of the organisms and the depth of the habitat in the same species.

The most common form of habitat is the shape of a " U " or " Y " shaped structure with two or more entrances to the surface of the sediment. This form of habitat is formed by a species of filtration that cools down in the form of sediments or forms of habitat.

The habitat of the mudflats is reflected in the habitat of the habitat, ranging from several centimeters to tens of thousands of meters, and differs from the same species, not only in terms of diversity but also in the same species.

In order to cope with poor environmental conditions, the size of the creature in the upper crust of the upper crust can be explained by the survival of the creature's survival patterns, depending on the difference in time, location and temperature.

The mudflat habitat is also a space to store water as well as to cool off. It serves as a shelter to overcome poor environmental conditions. Increasing deposits of sediments and water in the form of sediments increase the interface between sediments and seawater, increasing the interface between sediments and aquatic waters, and the irrigation activity of the organism facilitates the exchange of material exchanges between the seawater and the water between the layers.

See also[edit]



  1. ^ EB (1878), p. 393.
  2. ^ "평년값자료(1981–2010) 강화(201)" (in Korean). Korea Meteorological Administration. Retrieved 2011-05-11.
  3. ^ "기후자료 극값(최대값) 전체년도 일최고기온 (℃) 최고순위, 강화(201)" (in Korean). Korea Meteorological Administration. Retrieved 9 February 2017.
  4. ^ "기후자료 극값(최대값) 전체년도 일최저기온 (℃) 최고순위, 강화(201)" (in Korean). Korea Meteorological Administration. Retrieved 9 February 2017.
  5. ^ "Climatological Normals of Korea" (PDF). Korea Meteorological Administration. 2011. p. 499 and 649. Archived from the original (PDF) on 7 December 2016. Retrieved 9 February 2017.
  6. ^ "강화도 순무". 인천광역시. Retrieved 1 August 2017.
  7. ^ "순무". 농식품백과사전. Retrieved 1 August 2017.
  8. ^ "Hidden trails that highlight Korean beauty". Korea JoongAng Daily. Retrieved 2018-05-25.



Ganghwa Treaty After the Unhyo Incident, Japan demanded unilateral compensation from Joseon. Joseon was coerced to grant Japan the right of extraterritoriality, permission for ocean measurement and the opening of three ports in Pusan, Incheon and Wonsan. Although normally extraterritoriality applies to diplomats, common Japanese who lived in Joseon also gained this right. Before, Joseon was isolated because of the Daewongun’s closed-door policy. By signing the contract Joseon could appear on the global stage. The treaty is considered unequal, and the first step towards Japanese colonialism.

Japan-Korea Treaty of 1882

After Ganghwa treaty, Joseon Dynasty opened ports and accepted advanced civilization from Japan and China actively. In this progress the Im-O Military Revolt occurred because of discrimination between old type army and new type army. After the Im-O Military Revolt, Japan declined politically in Joseon. Japan signed a treaty that demanded compensation for the damage with Joseon. It was the Japan-Korea Treaty of 1882. After Japan-Korea Treaty of 1882, leaders of revolt were punished.

Japan-Korea Treaty of 1905

Because of wins in two wars, First Sino-Japanese War and Russo-Japanese Wars, Japan had supremacy to dominate Joseon. Japan got other countries’ agreement to make Korean Empire protectorate of Japan. They contract Anglo-Japanese Alliance with UK, The Katsura-Taft Agreement with the US and the Treaty of Portsmouth with Russia. Finally, Japan deprived diplomatic rights of Korean Empire through a treaty. It is Japan-Korea Treaty of 1905

Japan-Korea Annexation Treaty of 1910

Korean Empire signed Japan-Korea Treaty of 1905 and fall into country that lose the sovereignty and get formal name of country. Resident-General of Japan pressed 이완용 to accept an annexation treaty draft in August 16, 1910. So 이완용 signed Japan-Korea Annexation Treaty in August 22, 1910 . This treaty regulate that sovereignty of all of Korean Empire is transferred to Japan permanently.