Jeju Island

Introduction: Jeju, formerly known as Cheju, is the primary tourist attraction of the South Korean Islands. Jeju means "providence across the sea". It is 1,484.85 square kilometers (1148.84 miles). The capitol of Jeju is Jeju city which is roughly 620 miles. To give a perspective the city of boston is around 90 miles. The city of Jeju is so large because it does incorperate farmland, empty land, and even the summit of a volcano.

Mt. Hallasan (Jeju, Providence of South Korea)


Jeju is a beautiful island in the North Pacific ocean. The island has mostly mild, oceanic temperatures at an average of about 58 degrees Fahrenheit. The island was formed seven hundred thousand years ago, through a volcanic formation. About three hundred thousand years ago Mount Hallasan (pictured above) formed as well. Another name for Jeju is Tamna which means "island country". There is a myth surrounding the islands formation. Three demi-Gods are said to have come out of Mount Hallasan and founded the kingdom of Tamna. Tamna was known as an independant island Kingdom of The Sea but was taken over by Goryeo dynasty and it's name was change to Jeju. For a period of time, during the Choseon Dynasty, Jeju was a place where people were sent into exile.


As of a 2011 census the population of the island is 583,284 residents, in 227,873 households. Annually, the island of Jeju sees about 8,740,000 tourists. The revenue gained from those visits is around 4,000,000,000,000 won which is roughly 3,610,000,000 US dollars.


Jeju is known as one of the most beautiful and natural islands off of South Korea. It is the destination for many vacationers worldwide because of its natural flora and fauna. The summers are mild, as well as the winters, due to the oceanic location and the relative location on the planet.

Map of Jeju

Religion on Jeju

There are three dominant religions on the island of Jeju: Buddhism, Presbyterianism, and Catholicism. All three of these have places of worship on the island. The three churches are the only ones that are registered with the government run Jeju island website.

the geography and the people

Jeju has a tree that represents the island, the Camphor tree. This tree shows the characteristics of the island and the people itself. The Camphor tree will grow even in a wasteland or the crack of a rock. The tree is a symbol of diligence, thriftiness, and  endurance which mirrors the mindset and lives of the Jeju people. In the spring, beautiful red flowers grow on the tree which is representative of the hopes and dreams of all the citizens. The wildlife and natural aspects of Jeju is very symbolic and important to the people who live there.

Camphor Tree

The Korean Rosebay is the flower of the island of Jeju. This too will grow in the cracks of rocks or  wasteland. The symbolism to the Jeju people represents their will and good intentions.

Korean Rosebay

The History and the people

Jeju has been considered fairly diplomatic and independant, but has a history marked with human rights violations and violence. Jeju was involved in what was considered a civil-war like atrocity. The tension began with the end of World War II, and the occupation of the Korean peninsulas. The U.N attempted to hold general elections in the Korean peninsulas and Jeju revolted. Laborors began rallies attempting to protest these elections, 6 protestors were killed and around 2,500 people were arrested. The now rebel forces faught back. On April 3rd, 1948 they broke into 11 prisons, attacked people, and burned down several police stations that were serving as election locations. The South Korean government sent troops to Jeju to back up the police force, though some of the police force denounced the government and joined the Jeju rebels. The government requested a full surrender from the rebels with the complete disarming of the police force on Jeju and a ban on forming future military citizen groups. The demands were too much and conflict continued. After this, across the nation, the South Korean government began rounding up those who did not support the changes being made within the government. Thse people were detained at Jeju, awaiting their fate. People were sorted into groups relating to how severe of a risk they posed to the South Korean government. The biggest risk factors were massacred on August 30th of 1950. By the end of the massacre 70% of villages in Jeju were burned to the ground, and 14,373 people were murdered. The South Korean government covered up this event, and punished those who brought it up in the future. The whole incident was not aknowledged until the 1990's where the South Korean government officially appologized for the "suppression and massacre" (This Day in History).  

The island of Jeju is symbolic to its people because they rely heavily on the beauty and nature that the island is full of. The people of Jeju are proud of their island, the history, and the resilience the people have. They base many of their beliefs and their hopes on the nature that surrounds them. The geography of Jeju plays a great part in not only how the rest of the world has interacted with Jeju, but with how the people live their lives as well.


Halla Mountain. Digital image. Flickr. Flickr, 7 June 2005. Web. 10 Feb. 2015.

Yong-Min, Lee. "Introduction to Jeju." Jeju Special Self-Governing Province. Jeju Special Self-Governing Province, 2007. Web. 11 Feb. 2015.

Yong-Min, Lee. "Main Symbols." Jeju Special Self-Governing Province. Jeju Special Self-Governing Province, 2007. Web. 11 Feb. 2015.

Yong-Min, Lee. "Geography." Jeju Special Self-Governing Province. Jeju Special Self-Governing Province, 2007. Web. 11 Feb. 2015.

Yong-Min, Lee. "Statistics." Jeju Special Self-Governing Province. Jeju Special Self-Governing Province, 2007. Web. 11 Feb. 2015.

"This Day in History - April 03, 1948 - Jeju Massacre." This Day in History - April 03, 1948 - Jeju Massacre. History Channel, 13 Feb. 2015. Web. 12 Feb. 2015.

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