BUSAN -- The Busan municipal government will re-enact the historic parade of Korea's cultural missions to Japan in the Japanese southwestern port city of Shimonoseki this week to promote friendship between the two countries, city officials said Friday.
The ritual, to be held as part of a two-day South Korea-Japan cultural exchange event, will take place for the first time since Oct. 31 last year, when UNESCO added to its Memory of the World heritage program old diplomatic records of the dispatch of envoys of Korea's Joseon Dynasty to the shogun of Japan from the 17th century to the early 19th century.
Busan Vice Mayor Chung Hyun-min will serve as the chief envoy in the parade that will be held from 3:40 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. on Saturday at a park in Shimonoseki.
Thirty college students from the South Korean port city will join the parade of the envoys who shuttled between Korea and Japan.
On Sunday, the city government is scheduled to hold a cultural exchange show, in which 130 members of Korean traditional arts troupes take part.
Busan formed a pact with Shinmonoseki, Japan's Yamaguchi Prefecture, on friendship and cooperation in 1976.
The dispatch of the Korean envoys, called Joseon Tongsinsa, began in 1607 over political reasons for promoting peace after a destructive seven-year war between the two sides, but its functions were later transformed into something more cultural.
During their yearlong journey over land and sea from Seoul to Tokyo, the Korean delegation was treated as state guests, historians say, and their parade led to the transfer of Korea's oriental medicine, music, choreography and other cultural traditions to Japan. A total of 12 such teams of envoys were dispatched between 1607 and 1811. (Yonhap)