One of the world's oldest civilizations, Korea has a recorded history dating back to approximately 2,333 B.C. It enjoyed long periods of relative peace throughout its history. In 1910, Korea was annexed by Imperial Japan, becoming a colony until 1945. Following World War II, the country was devastated in the Korean War and divided into two political entities as a result, North Korea and South Korea.
Typhoon Shanshan (international designation: 0613, JTWC designation: 14W, designated Typhoon Luis by PAGASA) was a strong typhoon that affected parts of East Asia in late September 2006. The 13th named storm of the 2006 Pacific typhoon season, Typhoon Shanshan was also the seventh typhoon of the year operationally recognised by the Japan Meteorological Agency. In post-operational analysis Shanshan became the eighth typhoon of the year when Typhoon Maria was added to the list. The Joint Typhoon Warning Center considered Shanshan the 13th tropical storm and eighth typhoon of the season, a Category 4-equivalent typhoon in terms of 1-minute average wind speed. The name Shanshan was submitted to the naming list by Hong Kong and is a girls' given name. Shanshan wreaked havoc in Japan, with reports that it caused a tornado which derailed a train. It made landfall first in the Yaeyama Islands, where it caused heavy rains, and later in Kyūshū. The outer bands of Shanshan also affected South Korea. Shanshan also knocked power out to thousands of homes in the two countries, and killed at least eleven people. Damage amounted to $2.5 billion (2006 USD), making Shanshan the sixth costliest disaster worldwide in 2006.
Taepyeongmu (태평무), a Korean dance wishing a great peace for Korea. Its origin is unknown but the late Han Seungjun (한성준 韓成俊 1875-1941), a known dancer and drummer, rearranged it in the early 20th century. It is assumed to have been a court dance occasionally performed by kings during the Joseon dynasty of Korea. Therefore, the costumes used for dancers are almost similar to a king and queen's gwanbok (관복, official clothing). Taepyeongmu is designated as one of the Important Intangible Cultural Properties of South Korea.
Choe Bu (1454–1504) was a Korean official during the early Joseon Dynasty (1392–1910). He is best known for the account of his shipwrecked travels in China from February to July 1488, during the Ming Dynasty (1368–1644). He was eventually banished from the Joseon court in 1498 and executed in 1504 during two political purges. However, in 1506 he was exonerated and given posthumous honors by the Joseon court. Choe's diary accounts of his travels in China became widely printed in the 16th century in both Korea and Japan. Modern historians also utilize his written works, since his travel diary provides a unique outsider's perspective on Chinese culture in the 15th century and valuable information on China's cities and regional differences. The attitudes and opinions expressed in his writing represent in part the standpoints and views of the 15th-century Confucian Korean literati, who viewed Chinese culture as compatible with and similar to their own. His description of cities, people, customs, cuisines, and maritime commerce along China's Grand Canal provide insight into the daily life of China and how it differed between northern and southern China during the 15th century.