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Exploring the Legacy of Choong Ang High School: A Story of Excellence and Perseverance

Updated: Dec 13, 2023

164, Changdeokgung-gil, Jongno-gu, Seoul

서울특별시 종로구 창덕궁길 164

At the top of my list of things to see in Korea was the school my father attended. We went on a Saturday and it was closed to the public for filming. I was resigned to just seeing it from outside. But luckily for me, my cousin who drove us there, also attended this school. He walked up to gate and talked to the guard and a few minutes later, the gate opened! As I entered and walked the campus, I was filled with intense emotions and almost tears thinking of little dad playing with his little friends. The tears quickly turned to a smile as I could almost seem them running around the campus having fun with each other.

My father at his school, then and now.

Choong Ang High School, nestled in the heart of Jong-ro near the enchanting Samcheongdong-gil, stands as a testament to the unwavering spirit of its founders.

Founded by devoted patriots in 1908, Choong Ang High School was envisioned not merely as a place of learning, but a place to nurture the future custodians of the beloved land. In its early years, the school's campus boasted an imposing red-bricked main building, a structure that bore witness to countless dreams and aspirations. Sadly, it was destroyed in 1934.

However, the indomitable spirit of Choong Ang High School prevailed, and in 1937, a magnificent resurrection took place. This architectural masterpiece was designed by none other than Park Dong Jin, one of Korea's pioneering modern architects, who also designed Korea University's main building, library, and the Chosun Ilbo Newspaper Company building.

It is no mere coincidence that the main building of Choong Ang High School bears the distinction of being designated as Historic Site No. 281. Within its hallowed halls, many of the nation's esteemed leaders received their education during a tumultuous era when Korea courageously sought to break free from the shadow of Japanese colonial rule (1910-1945).

On its ground lies the March 1st Memorial Hall. It holds a special place in history, once serving as the humble abode of the dedicated school teachers who meticulously plotted the monumental March 1 Pro-Independence Movement.

Adjacent to this hallowed hall stands the June 10th memorial monument, a solemn tribute to the fearless students who, on the day of the final emperor Sunjong's funeral in the twilight of the Korean Empire, bravely unfurled Korea's national flag and passionately declared their fervor for independence. Their courageous actions resonate through the annals of time, symbolizing the unwavering determination of a people yearning to chart their own destiny.

Just as they were filming that day, apparently many films and dramas had showcased this beautiful historic campus. According to the Koreandramaland site : Revenge of Others (2022); The Sound of Magic (2022); Our Beloved Summer (2021-22); Love Alarm (2021, S2); True Beauty (2020-21); Love With Flaws (2019-20); Love Alarm (2019); My First First Love (2019); Eulachacha Waikiki 2 (2019); Twelve Days (2018); Temperature of Love (2017); Goblin (2016-17); 49 Days (2011); One Fine Day (2006); She is Nineteen (2004); Winter Sonata (2002).

It's fitting to see that so many stories were told there on screen. I felt like I was walking out a movie. A movie of my dad's youth, the nations history and the future ahead. My heart was full.

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