April 17: Visit to Masan, Korea
by Mie
"A Personal record of Hiroshima A-bomb Survival", or "The Terao memoir", on the web was recently adopted into an English textbook of a Korean college in Masan. In commemoration with this, we are to visit the city to meet a professor who made the textbook. Mr. Matsumura, the editor of the web site, kindly came to my house for picking up.
We got on a highway from Yufuin junction and arrived at Fukuoka air port after a three-hour drive. We checked -in at the counter of Korean Air Lines. This is the first visit for me to Masan and first experience to Mr. Matsumura to visit Korea. We hope to make a good travel.
Just 40 minutes after take-off, we have already landed at Kimhae International airport north of Pusan. Korea is a quite close neighboring country from Fukuoka of Kyushu. After the immigration procedure and the baggage claim, we soon exchanged money. The rate was about 106 yen to 1,000 Won
We found a gentleman who holds a sheet of paper on which my name was written in Chinese character as "Mr. Nagano" with a wrong character, though. He is Mr. Lee Sung Hee, a professor of Chang-Shing College in Masan city, southern part of Korea. We exchanged greetings: "Welcome to Korea", "Nice to meet you and congratulations for your publication of the textbook." The common language we spoke was English.
He said "You are lucky, here in southern Korea, we have had bad weather until today."
We came up to a parking lot just in front of the terminal. The number plate of private-cars is written in white on the green base plate. yellow number plates are for taxis, he explained.
I sat on the assistant driver's seat. We soon headed west through a broad double-decked provincial road. Professor Lee kindly takes us to a couple of points of interest on the way to Masan to make us learn about Korea.
We came up to a crowded town. They sell on the road many kinds of goods like pepper, leek, strawberry, tomato, and so on. Many people enjoy shopping in the afternoon of a Saturday.

This is the Tomb of King Soo Ro of the Karak Dynasty. He was the founder of the Kingdom which lasted for 491 years in this old region of Pyonhan. he died at the age of 158 in 199 AD. The Tomb covers about six meters in height and 65 meters in circumference. Every spring and autumn, he is worshipped in the Soong Seun Jon. There are many old buildings with beautiful decoration in red. green, blue, brown, and white.

Behind the large gate is the King's tomb mound (right). The site was first constructed in 199 AD. The princess' tomb is located in another place. The site was beautiful and quiet, with a large garden on the back with many azaleas in bloom.

Next we visited a brand-new museum that opened last year. The black bricks were specially manufactured only for the construction use of the museum. The museum contains a vast number of exhibits covering from stone age earthen ware to modern art of the area. I picked up the characters understandable to me and found there has been long cultural exchanges between Korea and Japan.

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