Whimoon High School

Coordinates: 37°30′18″N 127°03′43″E / 37.50500°N 127.06194°E / 37.50500; 127.06194
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Whimoon High School
Motto큰사람이 되자
(Be a great man)
ChairmanKim Jung-bae
Facultyapprox. 79 (2023)
Number of studentsapprox. 1,209 (2023)
TreeZelkova serrata
FlowerMagnolia denudata
Song휘문고등학교 교가 (Song of the Whimoon)
Whimoon High School
Revised RomanizationHwimun Godeunghakgyo
McCune–ReischauerHwimun Kodŭnghakkyo

Whimoon High School (Korean휘문고등학교) is a private high school in South Korea, located in Daechi-dong, Seoul.

It is one of the oldest and most prestigious high schools in South Korea. It is known for having extremely competitive admissions and strong college admission outcomes.[citation needed]


Whimoon High School and Middle School Building (Korean: 휘문고등보통학교) at Jongno, Seoul in year 1922

Whimoon High School traces its beginnings to the opening of Kwangsung-Euisuk in 1901, making it one of the country's oldest high schools still in operation. The founder is Min Young-whi, a nephew of Empress Myeongseong. From the very beginning, Whimoon was intended to be an educational institution to nurture the best and brightest. In 1904, entrance examinations were held to recruit prospective students. Emperor Gojong gave the name school its current the name "Whimoon" in 1906.

In 1914, Whimoon Euisuk became Whimoon Private Normal School and then became Whimoon Middle School in 1928, in line with the changing educational policies of the era. During the Japanese colonial era, the school silently played a role in the Korean independence movement by continuously teaching the Korean language despite it being banned by the colonial government. It first became known for its liberal school culture, an extensive sports program and placing equal emphasis on humanities and liberal arts alongside languages and the sciences. At that time, all schoolboys had to keep a military-style buzz cut and had to abide by a very strict dress code. However, Whimoon did not require its boys to adhere to that mandated hair and dress code. Instead, their students were only expected to maintain a neat appearance and had several types of uniforms to choose from, which was unheard of. The unique school culture would persist into the 1970s.[1]

Initially Whimoon was a six-year school. With the 1957 government policy of "3+3" (3 years of middle school and 3 years of high school), Whimoon was legally split into two separate schools: Whimoon Middle School and Whimoon High School. Both schools still maintain an affiliation, with a large number of alumni from the post-war years having attended both schools.

Originally, the location of the school was middle of Seoul (Jongro-gu). In 1977 and 1979 both schools moved to their current locations in Gangnam, across the Han River. In 2010, it became a self-governing (private) school.[2]


By the law of private school education, Whimoon High School was selected to be a privately-operated high school above numerous other schools. The students who have a higher GPA than other students in their middle school can apply to Whimoon High School.


Whimoon High School is an early pioneer in championing the notion of the "student-athlete" in South Korean education. Students were encouraged to join a sports club to complement their academic pursuits. The two sports which the school is best known for – baseball and basketball – were introduced in 1907 and 1927 respectively.[1]

In 2010, Whimoon Baseball team won the President's National High School Baseball Championship for the fifth time. More recently, in 2014, the baseball team won the Bonghwang High School Baseball Tournament, considered to be one of the country's premier high school baseball tournaments.[3][4]

It was one of the earliest high schools to introduce basketball and has continuously produced players who have gone on to play professionally in the Korean Basketball League and the South Korean national team.[5][6] During the 1960s to 1980s, it gained a reputation as one of the city's top schools for high school basketball, along with Yongsan and Kyungbock High Schools. Since the 2000s, Whimoon has become better known for baseball and the basketball rivalry has been more centered on Yongsan and Kyungbock.[5][7]



  1. ^ a b "실력과 전통의 '파워 엘리트'". The Dong-a Ilbo (in Korean). October 26, 2005.
  2. ^ "Foreign Language High Schools Undergoing Crisis". The Dong-a Ilbo. November 15, 2010.
  3. ^ "Whimoon clinch Bonghwang title". The Korea Times. August 17, 2014.
  4. ^ "Bonghwang tournament, gateway for future baseball stars". The Korea Times. August 2, 2016.
  5. ^ a b "[매거진] 2021년 코트는 우리가 접수한다, 고교농구 정상탈환 노리는 용산고". Jumpball (in Korean). 17 February 2021.
  6. ^ "신흥 명문고(高) 스타들, 코트를 지배하다". The Chosun Ilbo (in Korean). 30 December 2009.
  7. ^ "대학농구의 젖줄, 농구 명문 고교 탐방기 2. 용산고 편" (in Korean). Korea University Sports Federation Official Naver blog. 10 March 2014.
  8. ^ Yoon, Min-sik (August 16, 2013). "Basketball legend Seo talks about rumors, early life". The Korea Herald. Retrieved July 30, 2020.
  9. ^ "Bitter Rivals to Finally Meet in KBL Playoff". The Dong-a Ilbo. March 17, 2005.
  10. ^ "Late Novelists Timeless Literary Values Endure". The Korea Times. April 3, 2008.
  11. ^ "[2017 신인 1차지명] 넥센 휘문고 이정후, 컨택능력 갖춘 '바람의 손자'". The Chosun Ilbo (in Korean). June 27, 2016.

External links[edit]

37°30′18″N 127°03′43″E / 37.50500°N 127.06194°E / 37.50500; 127.06194