AskDefine | Define masan

Extensive Definition

Masan is a city in South Gyeongsang Province, South Korea. The city is situated on Masan Bay (마산만, Masan-man), approximately 35 km west of Busan. It is known for its textile industry, and it is the site of Hite Brewery's production facilities.
During the control of the Mongolians, the town was known as Happo (合浦). Therefore, the old and still commonly used name for Masan-man is Happo-man.
Masan is known for its highest peak, Muhaksan. The name Masan means "horse mountain". For that reason, many place names in Masan incorporate the syllable ma (마 or ), meaning "horse" and san, (산 or ), meaning "mountain".


October 1274 After Korean officials encouraged Kublai Khan - head of China's mongol Yuan Dynasty - in 1265 that Japan would be easily subdued, the vassal Koryo Korean state built over 300 large ships to aid an invasion of Japan. With over 20,000 Mongol troops as well as 5,000 Korean, the allied armies departed Masan on board 900 ships on October 2 of 1274 in an attempt to conquer Japan that eventually failed.
May 1, 1899 - The port of Masan was opened with pressure from Japan. Among the initial trading goods were salt, fish, cotton and other goods.
March 15, 1960 - A protest against electoral corruption was spearheaded by the Democratic Party in Masan. Approximately 1000 residents attended the demonstration, which took place at 19:30 in front of the Democratic Party Headquarters in Masan. The protest sparked violent clashes between demonstrators and police officers in which several students were killed. To restore order, authorities blacked out Masan and General Carter B. Magruder eventually dispatched US Marines to quell the unrest.
April 12, 1960 - The body of Kim Ju-yul was discovered in Masan Harbor. Kim - still dressed in his uniform from Masan Commercial High School - had disappeared in the March 15 clashes. Authorities claimed that he had drowned, but many Masan residents did not believe this explanation and forced their way into the hospital where Kim's body was stored. At the hospital, they discovered that grenade fragments behind his eyes had actually killed him. In the following days, mass demonstrations broke out involving as many as 40,000 residents throughout the characteristically politically left-leaning city. During renewed clashes with police, police opened fire and killed several protesters. Once again, the US military was called in to help restore order. At this point, public anger with the government had grown to new highs and rebellion against the Rhee government mushroomed around the country. Authorities subsequently declared martial law.
Thus, the events in Masan in 1960 helped spark the movement against corruption known as the April 19 Movement, which eventually led to the resignation of President Syngman Rhee and the beginning of the Second Republic.
1979 - Protests broke out in Masan (as well as in Busan) against the regime of President Park Chung-hee following a brutal police crackdown on a sit-in strike of female textile workers from YH Trading Company. Workers in Masan's Free-export Zone even managed to create four labor unions.

Administrative divisions

Like most Korean cities, the city center of Masan is divided into administrative dong. Outlying regions are divided into 1 eup and 4 myeon:
  1. Naeseo-eup (내서읍)
  2. Gusan-myeon (구산면)
  3. Jindong-myeon (진동면)
  4. Jinbuk-myeon (진북면)
  5. Jinjeon-myeon (진전면)
  6. Hyeon-dong (현동)
  7. Gapo-dong (가포동)
  8. Woryeong-dong (월영동)
  9. Munhwa-dong (문화동)
  10. Banwol-dong (반월동)
  11. Jungang-dong (중앙동)
  12. Wanwol-dong (완월동)
  13. Jasan-dong (자산동)
  14. Dongseo-dong (동서동)
  15. Seongho-dong (성호동)
  16. Gyobang-dong (교방동)
  17. Nosan-dong (노산동)
  18. Odong-dong (오동동)
  19. Happo-dong (합포동)
  20. Hoewon-dong (회원동) (divided into two administrative dong)
  21. Seokjeon-dong (석전동) (divided into two administrative dong)
  22. Hoeseong-dong (회성동)
  23. Yangdeok-dong (양덕동) (divided into two administrative dong)
  24. Hapseong-dong (합성동) (divided into two administrative dong)
  25. Guam-dong (구암동) (divided into two administrative dong)
  26. Bongam-dong (봉암동)


Masan has two institutions of higher education: Masan College, which is located on the northwestern outskirts of the city, and Kyungnam University (경남대학교), which is located in the southern part of Masan adjacent to Shin Masan.
Masan also features several private schools, or hagwons, many of which teach English to Korean children. Among the schools represented in Masan are: LCI Kids Club, ECC, Ewha, St. Andrew's and G'n'B.


One of the most famous parts of Masan is Sinmasan, an area characterized by its many bars, restaurants, and other forms of entertainment.
Masan's baseball stadium located in the middle of the city and occasionally hosts the Lotte Giants, a Korea Baseball Organization team shared with Pusan. A professional women's baseball team, one of several in South Korea, plays in Sinpo-dong. An amusement park and zoo are on the tiny island of Dot Do in Masan Bay. The park is only open in the summer.
Masan is also very close to Geojedo, which can be reached by either bus, car, or ferry.


Masan is the origin of spicy Monkfish soup(known as the "agoo-chim" stew), a dish which has been featured on the Iron Chef cooking TV show. Masan is generally famous for its fish.
Masan is also home of a famous fish market (locally known as "eo-shi-jang"), located nearby the agoo-chim street. The municipal officer of Masan city hall says, it is the oldest (since over 250 years ago), and the largest fish market in Gyeongsangnam-do; even older than Jagalchi market in Busan city.


Construction of the Machang Bridge was commenced in the Second Quarter of 2004. The bridge will provide a vital link across Masan Bay, alleviate congestion in the tri-city area of Masan, Jinhae, and Changwon, and be an alternative route for travel between Korea’s two southern provinces, Jeollanam-do and Gyeongsangnam-do. The 1.7-kilometer bridge is expected to see operations commence in mid 2008.
Machang Bridge will be the first large-scale bridge to be built in South Korea as a public-private partnership The sponsors of the project, Bouygues Travaux Publics and Hyundai Engineering & Construction, have been pursuing the Project since the late 1990s. MCB Co., Ltd, the Concessionaire, is jointly owned by the sponsors and MKIF

Masan Port

The port was once operated by the Mongolians (Yuan Dynasty in China) and used in the preparations to conquer Japan - which eventually failed. To this day, Masan features the small but historic "Mongojeong" (몽고정,蒙古井) meaning Mongol Well. It is located on Jasan-dong 117, and represents the Mongolian influence on the city. (Picture:
Today, Masan Port is one of the city's most dominating features. It was first opened in 1899. The port connects much of the outside world with the Changwon Industrial Complex, Masan's Free Trade Zone and the future Sachun Industrial Complex..

Sister Cities


masan in German: Masan
masan in French: Masan (Corée)
masan in Korean: 마산시
masan in Japanese: 馬山市
masan in Norwegian Nynorsk: Masan
masan in Polish: Masan
masan in Russian: Масан
masan in Swedish: Masan
masan in Chinese: 马山市
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