Ttittimi Village

Sansuyu Village where Movie ‘Weonangsori’ was set

The documentary film "Weonangsori (cowbell sound)" is getting a great popular response here in Korea. Though the movie is an independent film, more than 2.5 million people have seen the movie, breaking the record of viewer numbers for an independent film, and the number is expected to be well over 3 million people soon. The Korean movie society is wondering how many people will see the movie in the future. Let’s take a tour to the remote mountainside village Ttittimi, where a young cow was filmed while pulling heavy tires to train for the popular movie "Weonangsori."

The name of the village Ttittimi is rather peculiar as well as familiar. How did this village acquire its name? A cliff was called Deum in Korean in the old days. The village is surrounded by many mountains. Therefore neighboring villagers called this village Dwitdeum (back cliff). These words were transformed into Ttittimi after they had been changed to Dwitteum-dittimi. The official name of this village on a map is Dudong, but everyone in the neighboring villages and taxi drivers visiting this village always call the village Ttittimi.

An eminent patriotic scholar, Dugok Hong Ujeong of the Yi Dynasty, came here to settle down at this remote village at the end of Byeongjahoran (Chinese invasion between 1636-1637). Insisting that the Joseon Kingdom must not surrender to the invading Chinese Cheong Kingdom, he could not endure the disgraceful surrender made by King Injo at Samjeondo. He gave up his position in the palace and came here seeking a hermit life in the deep mountainside. He determined to keep his conscience and fidelity as a righteous scholar instead of living in a comfortable place as a high ranking subject of a disgraced kingdom. After he settled down at this remote village, his posterity increased continuously generation after generation, forming a clan of the Namyang Hong family in the village. Even nowadays, one out of two houses belongs to the family of Namyang Hong.

Scholar Hong Ujeong planted Sansuyu at Byeongjahoran period

When the scholar Dugok Hong Ujeong came down to this village, the mountainside around the village was covered with the wild plants and bushes of Darae (Actinidia Arguta). Hong Ujeong planted in the village a few trees of Sansuyu (Cornus officinalis) that he had brought from the capital city of the Joseon Kingdom, Hanyang (currently Seoul), and nowadays the blossoms of Sansuyu fill every corner of the village whenever spring comes around. Most of the Sansuyu trees here are well over 100 years old and some of them are nearly 400 years old. The most recently planted Sansuyu trees are commonly 60 to 70 years old. In particular, the Sansuyu fruits produced at this village have rich medicinal ingredients such as Moromicid and Ogaram that are very effective as nutritional stimulants.

The red fruits of Sansuyu maturing in autumn have been as important as rice for the villagers here. As this village is located in the deep mountainside where few rice paddies or crop patches can be found, Sansuyu fruits functioned like deposit notebooks that supported tuition fees and wedding expenses for the children of the villagers. People say Sansuyu trees planted at Uiseong district originated from this village. However, as cheap Sansuyu fruits are imported from China these days, Sansuyu producers in the village are worrying about their poor market situation

Viewed from the surrounding mountains, the village looks like a yellow basket hidden in the bottom of the mountain valleys. Covered with the thick yellow blossoms of Sansuyu, houses in the villages are almost invisible from the nearby mountains. Sansuyu blossoms blooming over the earth and stone walls of four remaining old style houses look very friendly. Sansuyu blossoms begin to bloom from mid March at this village and last until early to mid April.

Valuable cultural properties at nearby Cheonseongsa Temple

Though the Sansuyu tree fields at Ttittimi Village (where only 13 houses out of all 20 houses are currently inhabited) are as attractive as any other well-known Sansuyu villages in Korea, such as Sandong Village at Gurye-gun Jeollanam-do, Hwajeon-ri Uiseong-gun Gyeongsangbuk-do, Gaegun Village at Yangpyeong-gun and Baeksa Village at Icheon-si Gyeonggi-do, they have been known only to a few people so far. However, it is expected that quite a lot of tourists will visit the village from this year, as Ttittimi Village has been known to the public as the place where the popular movie "Weonangsori" was set.

At Geumbong-ri Bongseong-myeon near Ttittimi Village is a Taegojong order temple, Cheonseongsa, on Munsusan Mountain. Though the temple is not very old or large, it has several precious cultural properties. Seokjoyeoraeipsang (standing stone statue of Buddha) in Muryangsujeon Hall is Tangible Cultural Property No. 133 of Gyeongsangbuk-do. It is 159 centimeters high with a 37 centimeter high head and 53 centimeter wide shoulders and is assumed to have been formed around the end of the Silla Kingdom or in the early Goryeo Kingdom. The Buddha statue was found at an ancient temple site in Bongseong-ri Bongseong-myeon but it was moved to this temple by the master monk Lee Hwaseong in 1967.

Cheonseongsa Samcheungseoktap (three storied stone pagoda at Cheonseongsa Temple), which was nominated as Tangible Cultural Property No. 134 of Gyeongsangbuk-do, is one of the twin pagodas found at the ancient temple site in Seonghwanggok Valley in Bongseong-ri. The other pagoda was moved to Bongseong Elementary School. These twin pagodas bear the characteristic charms of the Goryeo Kingdom period and are each 2.7 meters high.