Historic sites from Japanese colonial period turned into dark tourism destinations

Dark tourist destinations are attracting many
local travelers who are visiting other regions within the country. Korea’s port city of Busan is one of the cities
to see the number of its tourists rise…thanks to several historical sites where people come
to learn dark past of the nation. Cho Sungmin has the story. This house in Korea’s southern port city of
Busan is one of many registered cultural properties of the nation’s Cultural Heritage Administration. The lavish flat, built in 1943, was initially
owned by a Japanese businessman. It then became a residential building for
a U.S. military officer after World War II, and eventually became one of the biggest brothels
in the city catering mostly to Japanese tourists. After so many tragic and sinister events happening
under its roof, the house has become one of the city’s most popular ‘dark tourism’ sites. Dark tourism refers to the practice of visiting
places historically involved in tragedies or death. Other well-known dark tourism sites are the
Catacombs of Paris and the Auschwitz concentration camp in Poland. The residence in Busan, also known as the
‘Culture Empathy House,’…has been featured in films, movies, and music videos. Now, it’s a place that teaches about the dark
events that Korea endured in the first half of the 20th century. “It’s truly a treasure of Busan, as it teaches
the young generation about the nation’s past.” In that vein, a copper mine and a Japanese
artillery encampment near the coastline are also popular dark-tourism sites. Both the copper mine and the artillery base
were built by local residents who were coerced into labor by Japan. History experts say it is ideal to see the
popularity of dark tourism sites in Korea grow, as they shed light on historic facts
and raise awareness on the nation’s past. Cho Sung-min, arirang news.

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