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Cultural assets and History History of Gyeyang

History of Gyeyang

Gyeyang-gu in Incheon Metropolitan City

Incheon Metropolitan City

In accordance with Paragraphs 1 and 2, Article 2 of the Local Autonomy Law amended by Law No. 4789 that was established on December 20, 1994, the directly controlled city was promoted to the metropolitan city. Also pursuant to the statement, ‘county of Paragraph 2, Article 3 shall be established within the jurisdiction of the metropolitan city or province,’ Gun, or county, located within the metropolitan city.

Law No. 4802 or the ‘Act on the Establishment of 9 Autonomous Areas including Gwangjin-gu in Seoul Metropolitan City and the Change of the Jurisdiction between Metropolitan Cites, Directly Controlled Cities, and Metropolitan Areas’ was proclaimed on Dec. 22, 1994 in order to promote convenience of the residents in those areas and encourage balanced regional development. This allowed reasonable adjustment of the administrative districts by the local governments. Therefore, the jurisdiction of Incheon Metropolitan City included the entire Ongjin-gun and Geomdan-myeon of Gimpo-gun in addition to the existing areas, except for Ganghwa-gun and Daebu-myeon that were incorporated to Hwaseong-gun. In consideration of such fact, the area of Incheon Metropolitan City expanded from 339.1㎢ to 954.13㎢, making it the largest metropolitan city in Korea.


부평부 지도 『여지도서(輿地圖書)』

In accordance with Article 4 of Law No. 4802 or ‘Act on the Establishment of 9 Autonomous Districts Including Gwangjin-gu in Seoul Metropolitan City and the Change of the Jurisdiction between Metropolitan Cites, Directly Controlled Cities, and Metropolitan Areas’ that was established on December 20, 1994, Buk-gu was changed to Bupyeong-gu and Yeonsu-gu and Gyeyang-gu were newly established. This regulation was enforced on March 1, 1995.

As this area became Annam-Dohobu at the 2nd year of King Gojong (1215) of Goryeo Period, Gyeyang was first used as the administrative unit indicating ‘Eup’ unit. It had been used for 93 years until it became the Gilju-mok during the 34th year of King Chungryeol of Goryeo (1308).

On April 1, 1914, Bupyeong-gun was abolished and Bucheon-gun was newly established to merge Myeons (administrative division) such as Dong-myeon, Dangsan-myeon, and Hwangeo-myeon. These incorporated Myeons was called Gyeyang-myeon. Gyeyang-myeon was incorporated into Gimpo-gun in 1973 and became Gyeyang-dong in Buk-gu as it was incorporated to Incheon Metropolitan City in 1989. Then, it became Gyeyang-gu of Incheon Metropolitan City on March 1, 1995.

At the opening of the Gyeyang-gu Office on March 1, 1995, Se-yeol Baek was appointed as the Director of the Preparatory Team for the installation of Gyeyang-gu in Incheon Metropolitan City on January 1, 1995 and the Preparatory Team was established on January 4. Many preparations were made for the opening of the office on March 1 such as construction of the temporary office building, personnel organization of the civil servants, etc.

Until the opening of the office on March 1, there were a lot of difficulties and delays encountered as the building was constructed during winter season; however, the opening proceeded without any hitches. Director Se-yeol Baek was appointed as the first Mayor of Gyeyang-gu Office. The inauguration ceremony was held at 11a.m. on March 1, which was a national holiday. In his inauguration speech, the Mayor expressed his administrative goal of developing the cultural and historical identity of Gyeyang-gu and moving towards the world with a sense of ownership and self-confidence.

The temporary office building has a total floor area of 2,890 m2 (about 890 pyeong) at the parking lot site of Labor Welfare Center located at 905, Gyesan-dong. This two-story building, with a total construction cost of 1,145 million KRW, has a lightweight steel structure with a floor area of 5,110 m2 (about 1,545 pyeong). The administrative operations in the temporary building lasted for 7 years and 10 months until the new building was constructed; it was built at 1079-1 in Gyesan-dong on December 1, 2001 and has a land area of 23,566.60 m2 with a total floor area of 35,277.68 m2 (one story below and seven stories above the ground).

Ancient Times

Prehistoric times

The stone artifacts that appear to date from the Bronze Age were found in Gyesan-dong of Bupyeong. According to literature, the name of Bupyeong was first mentioned as Jubutogun during the Goguryeo Period. Then, the King Gyeongdeok of Silla renamed it as Jangje, and it was changed to Suju in the early Goryeo Period. According to the Bupyeongjo of Daedongjiji (Geographical Records of Korea) written by Jeong-ho Kim, Bupyeong was called ‘Jubuto during the Baekje Period.

The Bupyeong area of the Three Kingdoms Period was influenced by the three kingdoms’ stature while they engaged in a heated competition. In terms of geographical condition, Bupyeong area was close to the Han River that flowed to the center of the Korean Peninsula; therefore, it was greatly affected by the three kingdoms’ struggle over the Han River basin. When Baekje ruled the Han River basin (from the early Baekje period until after the rule of King Geunchogo), it naturally belonged to Baekje. However, when Goguryeo occupied the Han River basin (King Gwanggaeto the great and after King Jangsu), it was conquered by Goguryeo. The Han River basin then became Silla’s territory during its occupation (after King Jinheung).

Samhan Period (Proto-Three Kingdoms of Korea)

The historically verifiable political society of the Han race that first appeared at the southern part of the Han River was the Jin State. The Jin State described in the Book of Later Han referred to three kinds of Han - Ma Han, Jin Han, and Byeon Han (B.C. 2 of Wissi Joseon). It was stated that the land area was about 1,570.9 km including 78 nations and its eastern and western sections faced the sea; therefore, all of the three Han states belonged to the Jin State. According the records of each state, it was assumed that Bupyeong was part of Jin Han’s territory at that time.

Three Kingdoms Period

The Gyeyang area was called Jubuto during the Goguryeo Period and was renamed to Jangje-gun in the Unified Silla Period. King Jangsu of Goguryeo, who received the will of the late King Gwanggaeto the great to revenge on Baekje, inherited the king’s policy of territorial expansion and pioneered a vast area. King Jangsu was a lord with 96 years of longevity. In the 15th year of King Jangsu (427 A.D. ), the capital of the kingdom was relocated from Guknae Fortress to Pyeongyang Fortress. During the 58th year of King Jangsu (470 A.D.), Jubutogun was installed at the Gimpo Peninsula, which was the territory of former Daebanggun.

Middle Ages

Wang Geon, local gentry called Hojok at Songak (now Gaeseong area), deported the autocrat Gung Ye, who oppressed the nation in 818 A.D. and came to the throne. He was Taejo, or the founder of Goryeo Dynasty. Wang Geon took Silla in 935 A.D. and in the 19th year of Taejo (936 A.D.), he finally unified the nation with the surrender of the late Baekje. From then on, the Gyeyang Bupyeong area had been included in the territory of Goryeo.


The name that was ascribed to Jubutogun in Goguryeo was renamed to several Ju, Bu, and Hyeon in the 23rd year of King Taejo (940 A.D.); it seemed that its name was changed to Suju at that time.

Annam Dohobu

The name Suju was changed to Annam Dohobu in the 4th year of Uijong of Goryeo (1150). Therefore, Suju, which was the land of Bupyeong, was annexed for 10 years, and the jurisdiction of Annam Dohobu included 6-hyeons such as Geumcheon-hyeon (Sinheung), Dongseong-hyeon (Gimpo), Bunjin-hyeon (Gimpo, Ongjin), Gongam-hyeon (Gimpo, Yangju), Suan-hyun (Gimpo Daegot) , etc.

Gyeyang Dohobu

Annam Dohobu was named as such for 65 years; thereafter, it was renamed to Gyeyang Dohobu in the 2nd year of King Gojong (1215). Since then, Bupyeong has been called Gyeyang and naturally, it was said that Mt. Annam was called as Mt. Gyeyang. However, there was also a belief that it was called Gyeyang because of Mt. Gyeyang. The name of Mt. Gyeyang was said to have originated from a large number of cassia (Gyesu in Korean) and boxwood trees. Since it was stolen by many robbers after the Korean War, it is hardly found today. However, Gyeyang-gu Office has recently planted cassia and boxwood trees.


In the 34th year of King Chungryeol (1308), Gyeyang Dohobu was promoted to Giljumok. Therefore, Gyeyang Dohobu existed for 93 years. King Chungryeol, who liked falcon hunting, often visited Gyeyang. As King Chungryeol passed away two years after its promotion to Giljumok from Gyeyang Dohobu, it was demoted to Bupyeong-bu again.


It was promoted and then demoted again in the 2nd year of King Chungseon (1310) when a local administrative unit called Mok was abolished in the nation. This was the origin of the name Bupyeong, historically or realistically.

Hwangeo-hyeon was incorporated to Bupyeong-bu and Yangcheon-hyeon was divided from Bupyeong-bu. And Inju became independent again as Gyeongwon-bu. .

Modern Ages

The conversion of Goryeo to Joseon brought about a great change in all aspects, including politics, economy, society, and ideology; this was the reason for transition from the Middle Ages to the Modern Ages. The local system of Joseon divided the nation into eight provinces with sub-division of Bu, Mok, Gun, and Hyeon.

Transition of Bupyeong-bu

해동지도의 부평부(18c) 이미지

Bupyeong-bu belonged to Gyeonggiu-do (right Gyeonggi province) after the establishment of Joseon since the end of Goryeo. In the 4th year of King Taejo (1395), some of the counties (Gun and Hyeon) became independent of Seohae-do and the remaining counties were reorganized. Accordingly, Gyeonggiu-do included Guns and Hyeons like Yangju, Cheolwon, Yeonan, etc.

Bupyeong-bu became a Dohobu in the 13th year of King Taejong (1413) and Gimpo-hyeon was incorporated to Bupyeong Dohobu in the following year (1414). It was then separated again in 1416. In the 20th year of King Sejong (1438), the officials and people of Bupyeong hid the location of a hot spring and did not report it to the country. Therefore, it was temporarily demoted to Hyeon. After eight years of its demotion, it was promoted to Dohobu in the 28th year of King Sejong (1446).

Thereafter, Bupyeong Dohobu was abolished due to the sin committed by the eunuch Sun-son Kim from Bupyeong Dohobu in the 11th year of King Yeonsan (1505). It was reinstalled in the following year at the 1st year of King Jungjong (1506); however, it was demoted to Hyeon in the 24th year of King Sukjong (1698) as Bupyeong was the birth place of an arsonist Pil-seong Choi who set fire to Gwangneung, the Royal Tomb of King Sejo. It was reestablished again 10 years later in the 33rd year of King Sukjong (1707). Likewise, it suffered from three times of demotion.

  • 해동지도의 인천(18c) 이미지
  • 동여도의 인천(18c) 이미지

Invasion of Foreign Powers

Seven years of war! Japanese invasions of Korea (1592–1598)

According to Daedongjiji (Geographical Records of Korea), Bupyeong area was invaded by Japanese raiders in the 4th year of King U (1378). As the Japanese invasion began in the 25th year of King Seonjo (1592), Bupyeong area also suffered. Swaemirok, a diary written by Hui-mun O, stated that the Commander Cheon-il Kim led 1,500 soldiers and stationed in Ansan and a soldier Won Choi commanded about 1,800 soldiers.

Some anxious soldiers ran to Ganghwa Island and the remaining soldiers wanted to escape from the battle. At that time, the Japanese raiders stationed at Noryang invaded Hanseo Province including Bupyeong and Gyeyang, knowing that Hanseo was empty.

The Japanese raiders occupied Bupyeong and Gimpo via Incheon and kept moving up through Tongjin. Fortunately, the rescue force arrived and the battle situation turned in favor of the Joseon soldiers. After retreating, the Japanese raiders repaired an old fortress in Mt. Gyeyang and stationed there. They raided nearby towns but as their force stationed in Seoul retreated, they withdrew together. At that time, Bupyeong-bu building and Bupyeong Hyanggyo were lost due to the fires of the invasion.

The Qing invasion of Joseon - The Battle between Joseon and Qing

Forty years after the Japanese invasion of Korea, Joseon was again invaded by Qing with 100,000 troops. This was the Qing invasion of Joseon in the 14th year of King Injo. The royal family and some officials went to Ganghwa Island to evacuate and King Injo went into Namhansanseong Fortress due to blocked path. And there, the battle started.

With the spread of the news that Ganghwa fell to the enemy and the prince, queen, and royal concubines were taken as prisoners, the Royal Court was in conflict about continuing a war or making a peaceful treaty. In the end, King Injo went to Samjeondo (presently Songpa) to surrender and raised a monument to extol the virtue of Qing’s emperor. The inscription of this monument was written in the 6th year of King Injo (1628) by Hanseong Panyun (Mayor of Hanseong, the former capital of Joseon) Jun O who was the Bupyeongbusa (Magistrate of Bupyeong). Currently, it is located in Bupyeong Elementary School in Gyesan-dong.

Daewongun intended to reorganize the traditional order and strengthen the ruling system of the Joseon Dynasty. For his reformative politics, the commercial demands of the Western powers were supposed to be stopped. In addition, French missionaries penetrated the country and engaged in missionary activities before implementation of the Daewogun’s ruling. The number of Catholic believers increased day by day and western freight came in through the border trade in Uiju, Dongrae, etc. For this reason, there was a heightened sense of crisis during the invasion of western powers at that time. Accordingly, there was a strong public opinion that Catholicism should be banned and suppressed, and the introduction of foreign currency should be strictly prohibited. Due to such public opinion, Daewongun maintained the Isolation Policy, refrained from the commercial demands of the West, and ordered the persecution of Catholics.

French campaign against Korea – Opposition to Japanese imperialism

At that time, there were 12 French missionaries, including Berneu and Ridel, and there were more than 20,000 believers in Joseon. Daewongun was initially tolerant of Catholicism and he even attempted to use French missionaries to establish connections with France in order to rein in Russia, which had threatened Joseon across the Tumen River since 1860.

But the negotiations did not push through, and the strong claims of Yusaeng (Confucianists) and gentry arose, which resulted to persecution of Catholics. In January 1866, Daewongun ordered to persecute Catholics during the 3rd year of King Gojong (1866); in just a few months, about 8,000 Catholics, including Jong-sam Nam, and nine French priests were executed. This incident was the massacre of Catholics in 1866. In the same year (the 3rd year of King Gojong (1866)), a French fleet invaded the sea in front of Incheon and this was the French campaign against Korea, or Byeonginyangyo.

Two French warships were stationed at the sea in front of Nanjido Island, the territorial waters of Bupyeong-bu, and the other one anchored in Hodo Island. As soon as he heard this news, Byeong-ro Jo (Mayor of Bupyeong Province (Bupyeong-busa) immediately reported this fact to the court. Accordingly, Bupyeong-busa Byeong-ro Jo and Yeongjong-cheomsa (Commander of Yeongjong) Yeong-gyu Sim were ordered to visit the French ship to strictly condemn and expel the warships. However, the French refused to board the ship so they failed to convey their intention. After receiving the order from the Royal Court, Byeong-ro Jo arrived at the scene, accompanied by Jwasu (overseer) Sa-gyeok Yi and Junggun (Middle-class Military Commander) Yun-seok Hong. They were surprised to see the enormous size of the French warship. They were looking for a boat to ride in; however, the boatman already ran away and left the boat alone. Byeong-ro Jo approached the French warship, which was docked in front of Nanji Island; he took the boat of a boatman who was nearby and he asked for a meeting with the commander by shouting aloud even if his life was at risk. Then, a Korean interpreter appeared and said that the commander was in the warship anchored in front of Beomseom Island and they should go there.

Busa Byeong-ro Jo came to the French warship, but he was so afraid that he was not able to plead with the Admiral Roze and he said, “I was ordered to come here and I beg you to leave at least the territory of Bupyeong.” However, the commander of the French fleet thanked Bupyeongbusa’s visit without uttering a reply regarding the request and he instructed the interpreter to tour Byeong-ro Jo inside the warship.

The interpreter guided the party of Busa Jo and they saw the interior of the warship. They were amazed to see the big cannons, novel military equipment, watches, etc. They were very surprised when they heard the sound of a gramophone. After touring the warship, Busa Jo repeatedly asked the French commander to leave the Bupyeong area. The French commander said, “We will leave when the right time comes,” and then he said, “This ship has run out of rice, meat, and vegetables. If you provide these to us, I will reward your hospitality.” However, the Busa’s party returned and said, “These items cannot be supplied without any order from the Royal Court.” After that, the French fleet reached Seogang and Yanghwajin, which caused the capital of Joseon to fall into turmoil. The French fleet, however, realized that it was difficult to attack the capital with three squadrons, so it scouted only the terrain nearby. The Admiral Roze led seven warships in October of that year and appeared near the sea of Mulchido Island (Jagyakdo Island) in front of Incheon. He landed at Gapgot on the 14th, seized the Ganghwa-bu on the 16th, and plundered equipment , food, and books. Hence, the Royal Court selected brave generals like Gyeong-ha Yi, Gi-jo Yi, Won-hui Yi, etc. and dispatched them in Seoul, Yanghwajin, Tongjin, Gwangseongjin, Bupyeong, and so on. And then, the Corps of Seong-geun Han defeated the French army heading to Seoul at the Munsusanseong Fortress and the corps of Heon-su Yang succeeded in defeating the French army at Jeongjoksanseong Fortress. Eventually, Admiral Roze’s fleet retreated. This was the French campaign against Korea, or Byeonginyangyo, which occurred in Bupyeong and Gyeyang area (1866).

Modern Times

By the latter part of the Joseon Dynasty, the movement towards modern society became apparent with great changes in all fields such as politics, economy, society, and culture.

In terms of economy,

the rapid growth of agricultural productivity provided the basis for social change and commerce,

and industry

showed the growth of commercial capital.

In social terms,

the rise of status according to accumulated wealth became generalized and it caused collapse of the social status structure among the gentry. As a new ideological system that could liberate the common people (Pyeongmin) and slaves (Nobi) and solve the contradictions between Confucian gentry and bureaucratic society, Silhak (Korean Confucian social reform movement) occurred to present the direction of social reform and modernization. Catholicism was newly introduced and affected the order and values of the traditional society, while Donghak rose as an ethnic religion and the peasantry became the center of social movement for reality reformation. With the foundation provided by the scholars of Bukhak (Northern Learning) through port opening and civilization, the Gapsin Coup by the Enlightenment Party (Gaehwapa) and the Political Reform in 1894 (Gabogyeongjang) were triggered regardless of foreign intervention. The internal basis of all these events started from the consciousness of independent reform after the Silhak movement.

As King Gojong ascended the throne, Daewongun, who seized the power, carried out many reformations. Despite the support of the people, the power of the Empress Myeongseong grew while the king promoted the seclusion policy. The Empress gathered the opposition forces and eventually, Daewongun had to resign the position in the 10th year of King Gojong (1873) regardless of his claim to present a written order from the king. When Daewongun resigned, Japan began to promote policy enforcement to open the port of Korea. In 1875, Japan brought about the incident of Unyangho in an attempt to establish the basis for the invasion of Korea, and this was the beginning of Japan’s invasion of Korea.


The French campaign against Korea (Byeonginyangyo) occurred in the 2nd year of King Gojong (1866). In order to defend the west coast in the country, the Gyeujeong was urgently installed at Gagi-gil, Gojan-ri, Mowolgot-myeon in Bupyeong-bu and the military was stationed to defend the coast of Bupyeong area. It remained for 13 years until the 16th year of King Gojong (1879) and was abolished by the establishment of Yeonhuijin.

Installation of Yeonhuijin and Construction of Jungsimseong Fortress

After suffering from the French campaign against Korea (Byeonginyangyo), the United States expedition to Korea (Sinmiyangyo), and Unyangho incident, the Korea-Japanese Treaty for open-door policy was concluded in the midst of the Japanese Navy’s military demonstrations. Accordingly, the Royal Court keenly felt the importance of national defense and particularly, the defense of the West Sea was seriously raised. In other words, the issue of the defense for both Bupyeong and Incheon was raised in October during the 14th year of King Gojong (1877). At that time, Bupyeong and Incheon were regarded as important guard points as Ganghwa for marine defense and the entrance to the capital. Therefore, it was apparent that the Japanese directly came to Incheon and Bupyeong, and did not take the rough path via Ganghwa.

Thus, during the discussion of countermeasures, King Gojong said, “The Japanese ships went directly to Incheon because it is more convenient to use the Incheon route than the Ganghwa route”. Moreover, Yeonguijeong (Chief State Councilor) Choi-eung Yi said, “As the Japanese is well aware of the route to Bupyeong and Incheon, there is no way they could bypass the convenient route and go through the rough road. Hence, our concern is that their ships will go directly to Incheon and Bupyeong.” Accordingly, King Gojong emphasized that it was necessary to install fortifications in Incheon, Bupyeong, etc. against potential invasion. On August 27 in the 15th year of King Gojong (1878), the defense camp was installed and as the construction of the artillery unit was carried out, the coastal areas in Incheon and Bupyeong were fortified and equipped with several camps and artillery units.

When the military camp (Muwiso) was constructed, King Gojong named the one in Incheon as Hwadojin and the other one installed in Bupyeong as Yeonhuijin. However, by succumbing to Japanese pressure, the port of Incheon was opened at the end of the 17th year of King Gojong (1880); thus, such well-preserved protective measure became obsolete. After Incheon was opened on January 1 in the 20th year of King Gojong (1883), the Yeongjongjin was reinstated as Dokjin on April 7 as a safeguard for Incheon Port while the Jungsimseong Fortress was constructed at Gyeongmyeong-hyeon (Jingmei Hill), which passed from Bupyeong to Seogot, in October. The Giyeonhaebangyeong was also installed in Bupyeong on January 4th during the 21st year of King Gojong.

According to the monument of the Jungsimseong Fortress, the Royal Court and Bupyeongbusa (Mayor) Hui-bang Park ordered its construction by mobilizing the residents. The fortress gate was named after the region, Gyeongmyeongmun. A pavilion was built above the gate and it was called ‘Gonghaeru’. The castle was called ‘Jungsimseong’, reflecting its construction through the collective minds of the people. Hwadojin and Yeonhuijin, and Jungsimseong Fortress were built for the coastal defense of the west coast. However, these failed to fulfill their intended purpose, resulting to loss of the national treasury and heavy burden of the people.

Installation of Bupyeong-gun

On December 4 in the 21st year of King Gojong (1884), when the opening ceremony was scheduled to be held, Gaehwadang, or the Enlightenment Party, together with Yeong-sik Hong, who was the president of the Central Post Office, staged a coup. Escorted by 50 cadets and 200 Japanese soldiers, they went into the palace and moved the king and queen from Changdeokgung to Gyeongwoogung. They killed the ministers of the Empress Min’s side and ambassadors who came into the palace by order of the King. This was known as Gapsinjeongbyeon, or the Gapsin Coup. After gaining control of the regime, the Gaehwadang organized a new government and notified the fact to the diplomats of various countries. After taking the King back to the Changdeokgung Palace, they set up 14 innovation policies aimed at building a modern nation. However, the coup failed due to the military intervention of China’s Qing dynasty.

In this way, the enlightenment movement developed into the Joseon Dynasty; it became a modern nation through the Imo incident (military revolt), Gapsin Coup, Donghak peasant movement, etc. Bupyeong and Gyeyang areas was remained as Dohobu according to the provincial administration and demoted to Bupyeong-gun in the 32nd year of King Gojong (1895). With this, they became subordinate to the jurisdiction of Incheon. The goals that were not achieved in the first Gapo Reform, such as the reform of the central government and local government system, were carried out during the second Gabo Reform. The 8-Do (province) system, which had been practiced for 482 years since 1413, was abolished and the nation was divided into 23- Bu (subdivision) while merging Bu, Mok, and Hyeon, naming these as Bu or Gun (county). Accordingly, the number of the counties reached 337.

At this time, Bupyeong-bu became Bupyeong-gun, and was supervised by Incheon-bu. The 23- Bu system was abolished on August 4, 1896 according to Edict No. 35 of the “Local System Revision” and the 13-Bu system was implemented. At that time, Bupyeong-gun belonged to Gyeonggi Province within one year after its belonging to Incheon-bu. According to ‘The History of Bucheon-si (Bucheonsisa)’ published in 1988, there were 3,021 households from a total of 15 myeons in Bupyeong-gun and the total population was 11,194 with 4,981 women and 6,213 men.

Japanese Colonial Period

By concluding the Japan–Korea Annexation Treaty in 1910, the imperial Japanese invaded Korea and Joseon became a Japanese colony. As a result, the country lost its sovereignty. On September 30, 1910, the Gwanchalsa (governor) of each province was designated as the minister of the province upon construction and coexistence of the Japanese General Government Building and local government offices; meanwhile, Bu, Gun, and Myeon became the sub-administrative organization of the provinces. Through this, 13-Do, 12-Bu, 317-Gun, and 4,322-Myeon were confirmed. As the name of Hanseong-bu, which previously controlled Bupyeong-bu, changed to Gyeongseong-bu , Bupyeong came under the direct control of Gyeonggi Province.

Abolition of Bupyeong-gun and Establishment of Bucheon-gun

When the Government General of Korea reformed the local system, Incheon was promoted to Bu due to the necessity of establishing an open port in Incheon since it was the gateway of the west coast. Therefore, such change caused a regional change in the entire area. In other words, the jurisdiction of Incheon-bu was reduced to the open port in accordance with Decree No. 111 promulgated on December 29, 1913 (enacted on Oct. 1, 1914), and all other areas were integrated into Bupyeong-gun. At this time, some areas were merged to form Bucheon-gun, specifically: the whole area of Bupyeong-gun; the remaining area that formerly belonged to Incheon-gun but not incorporated into Incheon-bu; and some parts of Ganghwa-gun. The name ‘Bucheon’ was taken from Bupyeong’s ‘Bu’ and Incheon’s ‘Cheon.’ At the time of such reformation, the administrative district of Bucheon-gun included 148-ri and 15-myeon including Paju-myeon .

The March 1st Movement and Gyeyang

The March 1st Movement, which broke out on March 1, 1919, spread quickly throughout the country; the largest demonstration in the Incheon area occurred in Gyeyang. On March 13 onwards, hundreds of residents of Sorae-myeon and Gyeyang-myeon held a torch in the mountains and called out for national independence. Also, hundreds of people gathered in the town to protest.

Around 1919, there were tens of thousands of Cheondoism members who lived among the people of Gyeyang. They were constantly in contact with Byeong-hui Son, the Master of Cheondoism, and were influenced by the Master Son. They prepared to participate in the March 1st Movement in connection with the people of Master Son. It was around the middle of March when such plan began to spread from resident to resident. They planned the movement in Bunae (Bupyeong), Gyeyang, Seogot, and Gimpo area. They meticulously planned for the independence movement long before and prepared composition and distribution of Sabaltongmun (bowl-shaped herald) to each district, produced the Taegeukgi (Korea’s national flag), made banners, and so on. They set the movement on March 24, which was the market day, around 2 p.m. when the market was close. Part of the plan was for the residents to gather at the Hwangeojangteo Market, as if they came here for shopping. These delegates visited the Gyeyang Office and asked the head and officials of the Myeon Office to cooperate with the movement. However, the head and officials reminded them of their position as public officials, so they agreed with the plan but did not cooperate.

At around 2p.m. on March 24, hundreds of people held the Taegeukgi and shouted for the liberty and independence of Korea. The people followed the chant of the leader Hyeok-seong Sim who waved a big flag on which these words were written: ‘Independence of Korea.’ The crying people went into the street protest and it lasted for quite some time. While being active in the street protest, the leader Hyeok-seong Sim was arrested by the police at around 4 p.m. The people tried their best to release Hyeok-seong Sim from the police. There were young men who were killed the police’s sword and others were injured while clashing with the police. Thirty people were arrested and detained by the police as a result of this independence movement. The scale of the movement held on this market is worth pondering upon. It is the largest demonstration ever held in Incheon. The police in charge of this case was Bunae Jujaeso (Japanese patrol station in Gyesan-dong).

Contemporary Times

Government Establishment and Gyeyang

When the Japanese rule collapsed, a security void occurred in the Korean peninsula. As Bupyeong was in the same state, Bupyeong organized safety units led by students, general public, and Byeong-deok Choi. Their offices were located at the Bupyeong Public Assembly Hall (2nd floor of former Bupyeong-gu Office). The student security unit (composed of middle school and college students) was immediately deployed at Bupyeong Police Station and police boxes to serve their duties. The student security unit performed its duties until the US Armed Forces arrived and executed military administration on September 8, 1945. During this period, Bupyeong was free from theft, robbery, and fire. This was not because the students had the power to control, but because the residents completely cooperated. Such behavior was highly evaluated. The US Armed Forces was stationed at the southern area of the 38th parallel and the Soviet army was stationed at the northern area of the 38th parallel, and they executed military administration. However, no one knew who set up the 38th parallel and when it was established and for what purpose. This matter should also be clarified in the future. The US Armed Forces that landed in Korea on September 7, 1945 started the military administration. On September 11, the Commander of American Forces in Korea John Reed Hodge appointed Archibald V. Arnold as the Military Governor and Stillman as the Commander of Incheon. Hong-jae Im was appointed as the Mayor of Incheon, while Seok-gi Kim was appointed as the Director of Bupyeong District and Won-yong Kim as the Director of Seogot District.

Hong-jae Im was selected to the Mayor on October 16 in the Meeting of the Neighborhood Directors’ Association (current village headmen’s meeting ). The names of Bupyeong, Namdong, Seogot, and Munhak branches were changed to the subdivisions respectively on November 1, 1945, and the name of Jeong (town) was changed to Dong on January 1, 1946. The North Korean communist army, which began to attack at 4 a.m. on June 25, occupied Seoul on June 28 and Incheon on July 3 while progressing southward. Eventually, it reached Nakdonggang River. The people who were occupied by the North Korean army and unable to evacuate from the war endured cruel treatment, while some cooperated with the communist army. Finally, the UN Forces participated in the Korean War under the resolution of the United Nations Security Council. When the UN Forces joined in the war, the situation became favorable to the South Korean side. From the success of the famous Incheon Landing Operation conducted by General MacArthur on September 15, the UN Forces carried the momentum, recapturing Gimpo Airfield on September 17 and restoring the capital Seoul on the 28th.

Once Incheon and Bupyeong were restored, some people gathered at the Bupyeong Public Assembly Hall (2nd floor of former Bupyeong-gu Office) to temporarily manage various affairs until the military and police came back to the force and carried out security and administrative duties. At that time, the atmosphere of the meeting was very enthusiastic but calm. For the Chief of Security, Jae-jun Yi (former CEO of Daelim Industrial Co., Ltd.) was elected and Juh-hwan Yoon was selected as the Administrative Director. Also, those who could take charge of security and administrative affairs in each Dong were selected.

Implementation of the Ward System

By the mid-1950s, the society became stabilized and population grew rapidly. ‘The Ordinance of Establishing the Branch Offices of Incheon-si’ was amended on November 23, 1956 pursuant to Incheon City Ordinance No. 144, and it was executed on January 1, 1957 after obtaining an approval from the Ministry of Home Affairs. According to this, four branch offices like Jungbu, Nambu, Dongbu, and Bukbu were added including the existing five branches, i.e., Bupyeong, Seogot, Namdong, Munhak, and Juan; therefore, a total of nine branch offices were installed. In addition, the organization of the branch offices was established in accordance with Incheon City Rule No. 53 to appoint a director and assistant director for management of the local affairs.

Incheon city went through developmental changes such as population increase, expansion of city organizations, composition of city council, extension of city area, urban planning, etc. In 1967, it implemented the ward system for the expansion of the city administrative organization. The law on the ‘Ward System of Incheon City’ was promulgated on March 30, 1967 pursuant to Law No. 1919 and it was enforced on January 1, 1968. Consequently, all of the branch offices in Incheon were abolished and four districts were established, including Jung-gu, Nam-gu, Dong-gu and Buk-gu. However, the ‘Order of Gu’s Branch Offices’ was promulgated in accordance with Incheon City Rule No. 24 on December 29, 1967 and consequently, one branch office was installed in Namgu and Bukgu. These were the Namdong Branch Office in Nam-gu and Seogot Branch Office in Bukgu. Buk-gu was installed in Bupyeong area and this area was formerly Bunae-myeon and Seogot-myeon. There were 29 legal Dongs and 19 administrative Dongs with a land area of 81.61 km2. The population was 20,475 at the time of the Gu’s establishment. At the same time as the implementation of the ward system, Sipjeong-dong was incorporated into Buk-gu.

Bupyeong-gun as an independent administrative unit was disbanded on April 1, 1914. Then, Bucheon-gun was newly established after taking ‘Bu’ of Bupyeong-gun and ‘Cheon’ of Incheon. It integrated the 12 areas that did not belong to Incheon-bu such as Gueup-myeon of Incheon-bu, Seo-myeon, Namchon-myeon, Jodong-myeon, Sinhyeon-myeon, Jeonban-myeon, Hwangdeungcheon-myeon, Yeongjong-myeon, Yongyu-myeon, Deokjeok-myeon, and Daso-myeon with the Sindo Island, Sido Island, Modo Island, and Jangbongdo Island of Ganghwa-gun, Daebu-myeon and Yeongheung-myeon of Namyang-gun, and Bupyeong-gun. The ‘Revision of Names and Locations of Jurisdiction in Bu and Gun’ was promulgated on September 26, 1936 in accordance with Decree No. 93 and it was enacted on October 1 of the same year. This revision included the incorporation to Incheon-bu of some areas in Hagik-ri, Ongnyeon-ri, and Gwangyo-ri of Munhak-myeon in Bucheon-gun, some parts of Seunggi-ri, and some areas of Dohwa-ri, Yongjeong-ri, Sachung-ri. Jangui-ri, and Ganseok-ri in Daju-myeon. This was the first extension of Incheon’s sub-districts.

The Bunae and Seogot areas of the former Bupyeong-gun, which was under the jurisdiction of Bucheon-gun at that time, was incorporated to Incheon-bu along with Munhak and Namdong area on April 1, 1940 in accordance with Decree No. 40 and Ordinance of Gyeonggi Province No. 5. This was the second extension of Incheon’s sub-districts. As Bupyeong was incorporated into Incheon-bu, the aspect of an independent administrative unit disappeared and it became a part of Incheon.

According to the ‘Act on the Establishment of Incheon City Area,’ which was enacted on January 1, 1968, the name ‘Buk-gu’ appeared as an independent administrative unit within the old Bupyeong area. In other words, the areas in Bunae-myeon and Seogot-myeon became Buk-gu. Also in accordance with Law No. 2597, Sosa-eup was renamed to Bucheon-si on July 1, 1973; consequently, Gyeyang-myeon and Ojeong-myeon were incorporated to Gimpo-gun. On October 1, 1975, the Ojeong-myeon of Gimpo-gun was incorporated into Bucheon-si pursuant to Presidential Decree No. 781.

On January 1, 1989, the Gyeyang-myeon of Gimpo-gun was incorporated into Incheon-si according to Law 401 so it belonged to Buk-gu. Thus, some parts of Bunae-myeon in Bupyeong-gun became independent from Bupyeong-gu while some areas of Bunae-myeon and Gyeyang-myeon were incorporated to Gyeyang-gu. Also, Seo-gu was established with the incorporation of Seogot-myeon and Geomdan-myeon of Gimpo-gun and Bucheon-si was organized by merging Sosa and Ojeong. In other words, Bupyeong-gun was divided into Gyeyang-gu, Bupyeong-gu, Seo-gu, and Bucheon-si of Incheon-si in the past. It is expected that all districts of Bupyeong-bu (Gun) will become independent administrative units in the future.

Incheon Jikhalsi (Direct-controlled Municipality)

The population of Incheon before national independence was less than 200,000. As the population of Incheon exceeded 500,000 in the 1960s, the ward system was implemented in 1968. On December 21, 1968, the Gyeongin Expressway opened, which was an epoch-making event in the history of traffic development in Korea. The pace of economic growth was remarkable and export conditions were satisfactory. The people’s living conditions improved and Incheon’s population increased day by day. The population in 1968 was 500,000 and it exceeded one million in 1980. On April 13, 1981, Incheon-si was promoted to Jikhalsi (direct-controlled municipality) with Daegu-si in accordance with the Law 3424, and it was enforced on July 1, 1981.

The administrative structure of Incheon Jikhalsi, or municipal government, was drastically reorganized. The administrative organization of Incheon Jikhalsi was reorganized on July 1, 1981 according to Incheon Jikhalsi Rule No. 734 and Regulations of Incheon Jikhalsi Office and Department Organization No. 735. There were three offices, seven bureaus, five officials, 33 divisions, and 98 teams. The organization system of Incheon Jikhalsi went through several modifications. Based from the revision made on February 24, 1982 pursuant to Rule 826, the municipal government was composed of two offices, eight bureaus, one headquarters, four officials, 34 divisions, and 98 teams. There were also 2 branch offices in 4 districts with 31 divisions, 107 teams, and 79 Dongs. In 21 project offices, there were two divisions and 37 teams.

Incheon, which had been promoted to a municipal office, was out of the jurisdiction of Gyeonggi Province without direct supervision. It was directly under the jurisdiction of the central government. Incheon Jikhalsi became free from the dual administration; therefore, it was possible to reduce administrative inconveniences while speeding up the administration processes and promoting independent urban development. This resulted to accelerated urban development and more active formulation and execution of independent tax policies and budgets. Consequently, there was an increase in annual revenues by 20 billion KRW, further promoting urban development. As Incheon was promoted to Jikhalsi, the Board of Education was established in Incheon-si. There were education superintendents assigned in the Board of Education. To manage tasks for the elementary, middle, and high schools in Incheon Jikhalsi, several divisions were created under the Education and Management Bureau and General Affairs Bureau: Division of Elementary School Education, Division of Middle School Education, Division of Vocational Education, Division of Social Education, Maintenance Division, Facility Division, Accounting Division, General Affairs Division, and Planning of Inspection Division. .

Incheon’s population steadily increased. As a result, the Seogot branch office of Buk-gu and Namdong Branch office of Nam-gu were abolished on January 1, 1988 in accordance with Presidential Decree No. 12367; Seo-gu was separated from Buk-gu and Namdong-gu was separated from Nam-gu. The jurisdiction of Seo-gu included Baekseok, Sicheon, Geomam, Gyeongseo, Yeonhui, Gongchon, Simgok, Gajeong, Sinhyeon, Seoknam, Wonchang, Gajwa-dong, etc.