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Ojukheon

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Located in Jukheon-dong, Gangneung-si, Gangwon province, Korea, Ojukheon is a house where Shin Saimdang(1504~1551) was born and gave birth to her third son Yulgok Yi in 1536 (31st year of Jungjong).

Ojukheon was built during the early Joseon Dynasty as an annex to a family house, and remains one of the oldest wooden residential buildings in Korea.

It is said that Ojukheon was the house of Choi Eung-hyun, who served as the Inspector General and Vice Minister of Justice during the early Joseon Dynasty. The house was inherited from Choi Eung-hyun to his son-in-law Yi Sa-on of Yongin, and then to his only daughter Yi of Yongin.

Lady Yi of Yongin had left an inheritance document before she had passed. The document states that she evenly distributed her properties to her five daughters, and gave separate assets to two of her grandchildren for managing family graveyard and for performing ancestral rites.

At this time, the tiled-roofed house in Bukpyeong-town including Ojukheon was inherited to Kwon Cheo-gyun.

Grandchild of Yi of Yongin, Kwon Cheo-gyun is a son of Kwon-hwa who had married Yi’s fourth daughter. And he is a cousin of Yulgok.

Saimdang married Yi Won-su but she continued to spend time at the home of her parents.

For that reason, she gave birth to Yulgok in this place.

The name Ojukheon was derived from the pen name of Kwon Cheo-gyun, the cousin of Yulgok Yi I.

After Kwon Cheo-gyun had inherited Ojukheon from the Yi of Yongin, he had noticed the grove of black-stemmed bamboo(Ojuk) around the house and decided his pen name to be Ojukheon.

Then during the process of naming the house, the tile-roofed house in Bukpyeong-town was named ‘Ojukheon’.

Approaching in the aspects of weather, the name Ojukheon is also related to maritime climate.

Bamboo only grows in a warm places.

It is hard to grow them in the places with such northern latitude of Gangneung. However, Gangneung has relatively warm winter because the maritime climate the East Coast brings, and the influence of warm Donghan ocean current.

Thanks to this warm weather, the bamboo could grow and the name Ojukheon came to be.
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