P'osokjong, an Old Paradise in Gyeongju
P'osokjong, an Old Paradise in Gyeongju
  • Lee Sang-ho
  • 승인 2007.07.31 15:12
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One fine spring day, a King and many subjects are sitting around the castle. One of them is selected by King to compose a poem given a limited amount of time. He fails to finish the poem in the given time and he has to accept the penalty, which is drinking the cup dry. Unlike the usual image of a palace, here they act just like old friends and communicate with each other elegantly. Do you think this is just a scene that can be only from a movie? No, this is a real scene in Gyeongju City a long time ago when there was a country named Sin-ra. And the place just above it is called P'osokjong where Yeungnam University's English Magazine, The Yeungnam Observer(YNO) visited.
   P'osokjong is the No.1 historical spot in Korea, and it is located south of Gyeongju City's Namsan. According to some evidence, it is thought that a long time ago there are many other structures around P'osokjong. However, now there are structures, nothing but P'osokjong, which is an artificial circular waterway, two meters wide and ten meters long. The line of waterway had a definite deep groove full of water so that it was possible for a King and retainers to give the cups to others by floating wine cups on water. It was named P'osokjong because its meandering shape is just look like abalone(abalone is Po in Chinese characters). It's not certain when P'osokjong was built, however, it is assumed that it was the early 9th century by historical records. 
The picture above is the actual site of Po'sokjong
At P'osokjong, there are some terrific scientific technologies. To float wine cups well and keep them from capsizing, it was designed hydromechanically. And this system makes the phenomenon of a whirlpool artificially, so the cups can turn around by groove slowly without capsizing, and they stop at some specific spots at two or three minute intervals, so people can grip the cups easily.
   What is the meaning of P'osokjong? It doesn't only mean that P'osokjong is simply a place to drink for a King and subjects. It also has a meaning of the high-class pleasure stage where people can talk on literature and make and promote mutual friendship. Nowadays, drink culture has changed so differently from the past. Many people are trying to forget their worries only by drinking, drinking away their property and getting in accidents such as drunken driving because of drink. Also, these days, many people drink for the end of the year. From these points of view, P'osokjong gives us significance that there is something about a wholesome drinking culture.
   Now, the P'osokjong that was paradise a long time ago, came to the ruin in the past. However, the meaning of P'osokjong is still alive and gives a message to us living today.

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