While taking a drive through Gyeonggi province, in Yangpyeong County 양평군, I saw a sign for Sonagi Village 소나기 마을. It was only 2 kilometers away, and I had read the short story, Sonagi aka Rain Shower (소나기) when I was in middle school, so I decided to take the detour and check it out.
Sonagi 소나기 (1959) is one of the most well known Korean short stories. It’s a nostalgic story about a young girl from the city who moves to the countryside after her parents go bankrupt. The girl becomes friends with a local boy and they spend a fun day out on a rainy day.
The Sonagi Village was made up of a bunch of huts, like the ones the boy and the girl took shelter in during the rain, and there were sprinklers that went off every so often. At first, there was only one sprinkler going off, and I heard a lot of kids complaining about how weak it was, then all of a sudden the rest of the sprinklers went off and I had to run for cover to protect my camera. 😦
The Hwang Soonwon Literary Museum was dedicated to the various works of the prolific author and his contributions to Korean literature. Hwang Soonwon 황순원 (1915-2000) had a long career, starting out with poetry, then short stories, and later novels. He lived through Japanese colonialism, the Korean War, and several military dictatorships, and because of that a lot of his works focus on resilience in times of adversity. The most inspiring thing about him though was how dedicated he was to cultivating the art of literature in a time where surviving even day by day was a challenge. He is responsible for mentoring a whole generation of younger writers as well. Unfortunately, the museum was in Korean only, so I would not recommend visiting here if you don’t speak Korean.
Sonagi Village and Hwang Soonwon Literary Museum Operating Hours: 9:30am – 6 pm (Mar- Oct) / 9;30 am – 5pm (Nov-Feb) / Closed Mondays, New Years, Lunar New Years, Chuseok
Admission Fee: 2,000 won / adult
Average Viewing Time: 1-1.5 hours
Contact Information: 031) 773-2299 sonagi.go.kr (korean only)