Postcards from Pyongyang under Japanese colonial rule

20140527_152453Just some postcards from my collection from Pyongyang (or Heijō according to the Japanese pronounciation). The stamp visible on some of the postcards is not an official stamp. It’s a stamp saying that you were a good tourist and visited what one of these postcards calls the Otsumitsu-dai but is Ŭlmil-dae in proper Korean, a 18th-century recreation of a sixth-century fortification. The pictures show a Pyongyang that still had its historical sites (if also a national, or I should say: imperial, Shintō shrine), bustled with commercial activity (I particularly like the street car picture) and that can be imagined to have been the “Jerusalem of the East.” Hard to imagine now, but there you go.

 

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