Daeryuk Hall of Seoul National University of Science and Technology, a bridgehead for Joseon’s mine development
In 1931, the Japanese Kwantung army invaded Manchuria, and in 1941, Japan attacked Pearl Harbor, starting the Pacific War. The Japanese colonial government in Korea focused on producing weapons and developing herbal medicines in order to secure victory in World War II. To that end, the Japanese government established two schools in Korea: the Gyeongseong Imperial Engineering College and the Gyeongseong Imperial Mining College. The Gyeongseong Mining College was built to train the professionals needed for mining in Joseon so that Japan could produce the war supplies necessary for victory. Daeryuk Hall was a long, linear two-story brick, steel, and concrete building. The four-story tower in the center of the main hall of the school proves that this is a typical and authoritative school built in the Japanese colonial period. The porch in the center of the building for cars to pass by and the ramp are features commonly found in typical public buildings of the period. After Korea’s liberation from Japan, Daeryuk Hall became part of Seoul National University’s School of Engineering in 1946, but since Seoul National University moved to the Gwanak campus in 1980, it has been used by the Seoul National University of Science and Technology (formerly Seoul National Industrial University). Daeryuk Hall was built by Japan to produce human and material resources, and it continues to fulfill its original purpose as part of a university and silent witness to the history of Seoul.