Address: Seodaemun Independence Park, Hyonjo-dong, Seodaemun-Gu; Tongnimmun (Independence Gate) subway station
Phone: (+82) 2-363-9750
Location: Seoul, South Korea
Highlight: Heart-rending depiction of Japanese treatment of prisoners during Korea's struggle for independence.
In 1895 Japan seized control of Korea, officially annexed the country in 1911, and occupied the peninsula until the end of World War II. Seodaemun Prison was built by the Japanese in 1907 generally to imprison and torture Korean political prisoners. You may see "wall coffins" used for discipline, squeeze into minuscule solitary-confinement cells and view vivid representations of Japanese torture techniques, along with exhibits on the resistance movement and prison history. It was shut down in 1987 and in 1992 it became part of Seodaemun Independence Park, where everybody can also observe underground cells for female prisoners, the execution ground and a poplar tree that condemned prisoners grabbed en route to the scaffold.