Culture & Tourism

  The Jinnam festival, a patriotic cultural festival which has the longest history in Korea, is held in commemoration for the international war fought by Joseon, Japan and Myeong. At that time, it was the current Yeosu, Jeonla-nam-do, where the commanding headquarters of Jeonla Left navy base played a pivotal role, behind which the Jeonla Left Naval fleet was the driving force. This role contributed to the preservation of Jeonla-do and the victories in both the Imjin War and the Jeongyujaeran.
Admiral Yi Sun Shin described the situation at that time in his letter to Jipyeong, Hyeon, Deok-Seung of a governmental branch equivalent to today's prosecutors' office(26th year after Seonjo ascended to the throne) like this :

" Honam is the fence of the nation in my view.
If Honam is lost, the entire Joseon Dynasty will disappear."

The purpose of the Jinamje Festival is to commemorate the patriotism of the brave people in '5-administrative area & 5-estuary', the eastern area of current Jeonlanamdo who were never defeated in any naval battles, a record in world's history and to promote the folk-consciousness and the folk art.

Jeonla Left Navy Base was installed in the 10th year of the reign of Seongjong in the Joseon Dynasty(1479), and Jinhaeru, the commanding post building at that time was burned down during the Jeongyujaeran while Admiral Yi Sun Shin was serving in the war as a commoner. Jinnamgwan(National Treasure NO. 304) which is the largest single wooden structure, was built by General Lee, Si-Eon in December of the 32nd year of the reign of Seonjo(1599), who was holding the office of Jeonla Left Command along with Navy Commander of three provinces.

The name of the Jinnam festival is derived from the building(national treasure No. 324) called 'Jimnamgwan' which has a strong meaning, that is, "suppress the South!" or "defeat and submerge Japanese battleship!". It is because Japan is located to the South from the castle city where the king resides.

The castle town fell into the hands of the enemy only 20 days after the 160,000-strong invading Japanese army conquered Busan Castle in the year of Imjin (1592). The government fled to Uiju of Pyeongando. Most of the land was completely devastated and the Dynasty was on the verge of collapse. Right at that time, Admiral Yi Sun Shin and the local people united in spirit and soul through the Jeonla Left navy base fleet and invented the Geobukseon, the world's first iron-clad ship, and prepared for war. On May 04, 1592, they made a patriotic sally against the enemy not only in Jeonla Left province, the operational theater, but also in Yongnam, scoring a great triumph in the history of naval battle, and at the same time, a remarkable triumph 11 times in naval battles during the Imjin War. The purpose of the Jinnam festival is to commemorate the first sally against the enemy in the naval battles, and various events are stagged like patriotic, folk, special events, starting from the evening celebration and parade on May 03.