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Jinju

Jinju

[jin-joo]
Jinju or Chinju, city (1995 pop. 329,913), S South Gyeongsang (Kyongsang) prov., S South Korea. It is a transportation, agricultural, and cultural center, with industries producing food products and textiles, especially cotton. It was the capital of the province during the Choson (Yi) dynasty.
Jinju is a city in South Gyeongsang Province, South Korea. It was the location of the first (1592) and second (1593) Sieges of Jinju by Japanese forces during the Imjin War. The Republic of Korea Air Force Education and Training Command is located in the western part of the city. There are cultural-historical tourist attractions in Jinju such as Jinju Castle, the Jinju National Museum, and the Nam-gang Prehistoric Site Museum.

Culture and Festivals

There are cultural events held in Jinju every year. Among these are the Jinju Namgang Lantern Festival which is held in October for approximately ten days. This nationally designated cultural tourism festival, found only in Jinju, features a spectacle of lanterns floating on the Nam River to commerate the patriotic spirit of the 70,000 militia corps and government troops who died for their country defending Jinju from the Japanese forces during the Imjin War (1592-1598). Other major festivals include: the Nongae Festival, the Korean Drama Festival, the Gaecheon Arts Festival and the Jinju National Bullfighting Contest.

The Nongae Festival , held in May each year commemorates and celebrates the sacrifice of the beautiful and patriotic gisaeng (professional Korean entertainer) Nongae's suicide-assassination of a Japanese general together with the 70,000 Koreans who lost their lives in the battle of Jinju Castle during the Imjin War. The festival features an emotional reenactment of Nongae's suicidal drowning of a Japanese general from uiam bawi (righteous rock) below Chokseongnu (Jinju castle pavilion) on the banks of the Nam River.

Gaecheon Arts Festival is annually held from October 3rd to 10th and the entire city turns to the streets for celebration at Korea's first provincial culture art festival, which awakens the artistic spirit of the Korean people. The festival falls around Gaecheonjeol (National Foundation Day) and is widely regarded as one of Korea's finest.

The Jinju National Bullfighting Contest is recognized as Korea's oldest bullfighting event and spectators can witness a test of strength at this bullfighting contest held at a purpose-built traditional Korean sports arena near Jinyang lake.

Population

Jinju is a relatively small city by Korean standards with a population of 340,816. The annual growth of the population is 0.4% since 1995. People between the ages of 20 and 29 represent 17.5% of the city's total population, and justify the city's long-standing reputation as an educational city. The senior population (65 years or older), representing 7.6% of the city's total population, is higher than the provincial average(6.8%). This suggests that Jinju City is providing senior citizens with livable conditions, such as a variety of welfare programs and pleasant living environment.

Jinju Cuisine

Jinju has a number of distinctive local delicacies which reflect the tastes of Jinju people. Perhaps most celebrated is Jinju bibimbab, which distinguishes itself from the common Korean rice and vegetable dish by its use of yukhoe, made with raw beef and generous amounts of sesame oil. Also famous is Namgang (Nam River) Grilled Eel (minmul jangeo), which is caught locally and served in any one of the numerous restaurants overlooking the Nam. Enjoying their food spicy, Jinjuites have also perfected a hot pepper (ttaengcho) version of the popular Korean side dish pajeon (scallion pancake) known by its colloquial name jijimi. This is best enjoyed with a bowl of local rice wine makkeolli.

Silk

Since ancient days, silk processed in Jinju has been known for its superior quality, which is a result of the combination of natural resources (such as clean water of Mt. Jirisan and so on) and human resources. Silk factories in Jinju annually spin out 70% of the national production. Jinju silk has a soft, refined feeling and elegant colors because of its superior dyeing techniques.

City of Education

Jinju is widely known in Korea as an educational city and is home to three national universities: Jinju National University, Chinju National University of Education and Gyeongsang National University, which primarily serve South Gyeongsang and North Gyeongsang provinces. It also has a number of community colleges that serve the local area. Jinju's high schools also offer a high quality of education and have a wide catchment area, reaching beyond the city limits to attract students from surrounding towns such as: Sacheon, Hadong and Sancheong.

Enterprise City

Jinju was named as one of several 'enterprise cities' by the South Korean government. The government has supported Jinju as a hub of bio-industrial technological innovation from Dec. 1, 2000. The government provided 5 billion won from 2000 to 2004 in biological and chemical material industries in Jinju. There are 618 manufacturing companies (the number of employees: 11,806), 1 local industrial complex and 4 rural industrial complexes as part of an integrated urban and rural city.

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