Jeju is the smallest province of South Korea, situated on its largest island. Jeju is located in the Korea Strait, southwest of Jeollanam-do Province, which it was a part of until it became a separate province in 1946. Its capital is Jeju City.
In Korean, the word do means both "island" and "province," although each has its own Chinese character. Thus, Jejudo or Jeju-do can refer to either the island or the government administrative unit. The table below also includes the name of Jeju City, the provincial capital.
|English Name||Korean Name||Hangul||Hanja|
Historically, the island has been called by different names including Doi (도이, 島夷), Dongyeongju (동영주, 東瀛州) Juho (주호, 州胡) Tammora (탐모라, 耽牟羅), Seopra (섭라, 涉羅), Takra (탁라, 竣羅) and Tamra (탐라, 耽羅).
Before the year 2000, when the Seoul government changed the official Romanization of han-geul, Jeju was spelled "Cheju". Almost all written references to the island before 2000 use that spelling. In fact, the correct pronunciation is "che-ju", but Koreans hearing a foreigner say "je-ju" will recognize the name. Jejudo was based on a legend.
The island was created entirely from volcanic eruptions hundreds of millions of years ago, and consists chiefly of basalt and lava. The climate is subtropical, warmer than the rest of Korea, yet with four distinct seasons. Half the summer is rainy; winter is fairly dry.
Jeju was an independent country called Tamna (耽羅) until it became a protectorate of Silla in 662. In 938, after the fall of Silla, Tamna became a protectorate of Goryeo. In 1105 Tamna lost its autonomy and became a province of Goryeo. It was King Euijong of Goryeo who changed the island's name from Tamna to Jeju.
In 1271, Jeju became the base of the Sambyeolcho Rebellion against the Mongols. After Sambyeolcho was defeated in 1273, Mongols put Jeju under direct rule, and it became Goryeo territory again in 1367.
When Korea was colonized by Japan in 1910, Jeju became known as Saishu, which is the Japanese reading of the Hanja for Jeju. After the defeat of the Japanese, Jeju became an official part of the new Republic of Korea. In an incident known as the Cheju April 3rd Massacre, 20,000 Jeju Islanders were killed. The cause of this event is still disputed.
Jeju was then a part of Jeolla until 1946, when it became a province of its own. It should be noted that the population of Jeju started an uprising against the Korean government between 1946 to 1948, and approximately 30,000 of the island's population were killed during the uprising. The uprising began in a bid to gain independence from mainland Korea, but the Korean government eventually managed to quell the uprising. 
Historically, Jeju island has been discriminated against due to its location and isolation. The history of Jeju has been completely censored in Korean history books and textbooks.
Society and Culture Edit
Because of the relative isolation of the island, the people of Jeju Island have developed a culture that is distinct from that of mainland Korea. Jeju is home to literally thousands of local legends. Perhaps the most distinct cultural artifact is the ubiquitous harubang "stone grandfather," carved from a block of lava.
Administrative divisions Edit
Jeju Province is divided into two cities ("Si" or "Shi") and two counties ("Gun"). The two cities are further divided into 31 neighbourhoods ("Dong"), while the two counties are divided into seven towns ("Eup") and five districts ("Myeon"). The seven towns and five districts are in turn divided 551 villages ("Ri").
- Provincial flower: Rhododendron (Rhododendron Weyrichii / Max (Chamkkot))
- Provincial tree: Camphor Tree (Cinnamomum camphora siebold / Noknamu)
- Provincial bird: Woodpecker (Dendrocopos leucotos quelpartensis)
Sister Provinces Edit
The powergrid of Jeju Island is connected to the mainland by the HVDC Haenam-Cheju.