Vintage photo of North Korea
Probably taken somewhere north of P'yongyang in the 1930s, during the Japanese occupation; all the smoke is from the floor heating. The kitchen fire hearth served as both a cooking stove and a heating system, with all oven's heat and smoke going through flues under the floors. The radiant heat rose up through the floor and made for a nice, toasty home in the winter. But, in the early times, there was no shut-off valve for the heat, so the rooms above the kitchen baked in the summer.
Ulmil Pavilion and Pyongyang town wall, c1910
Hyonmu Gate, Moran Hill, c1910
Hyonmu Gate and Ulmil Pavilion from north, c1930s
Hyonmu Gate played an important role during the Sino-Japanese War of 1894-95. That's why it is depicted in a lot of postcards.
Kisaeng dancing, c1910
The Korean kisaeng were professional girls trained in music, dance, and poetry. "Official kisaeng" (관기 官妓), as depicted in this vintage postcard, were employed by the government and performed at ceremonial banquets. In the background, an ensemble playing traditional Korean instruments. The building in the background is Pubyok Pavilion.
Kisaeng at Moran Hill, 1930s
Tinted postcard, sent as a New Year greeting by C. Ryang in Tumen, Manchuria, to Miss Nasehold in Freiburg, Germany, in 1934. It is postmarked "9.[12.]24" (Showa 9 = 1934).
Waterworks at Rungna Islet, c1910
일제강점기 사진엽서 – "No. 126, Kiurashima at Heijio 朝鮮平壤陵羅島水源地".
A modern water supply system was introduced by the Japanese around 1900. Water from Taedong River was purified in filtration plants on Rungna Islet and pumped to a reservoir on Moran Hill from where it was supplied to downtown Pyongyang. This vintage postcard shows the filtration plant.
Comments and faves
Robert Koehler (33 months ago)
And, judging from the previous photo, the colonial-era filtration plant is still there, right?
I'm sure you've seen it before, but Seoul's old American-built filtration plant is still around, too, and was turned into a museum last year:
Kernbeisser (33 months ago | reply)
The plant is still there but it does no longer serve its original purpose. Having been built by the Japanese, it can't be turned into a museum, of course ..
Pyongyang from Moran Hill, c1910
일제강점기 사진엽서 – "No. 160, View of Heijio 朝鮮平壤牡丹臺市街の遠望".
The pipeline connecting the filtration plant with the reservoir is clearly visible.