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High traffic

On 13 February 2008, this talk page was linked from 2channel, a high-traffic website. (See visitor traffic)

Retitle to Namdaemun[edit]

i think this article should be renamed, as namdaemun is by far the more commonly recognized name. sungnyemun is the more obscure, "official" or technical name, afaik. or has this changed recently? Appleby 16:54, 5 December 2005 (UTC)

I always recognised this gate as "Namedaemun" --DandanxD 23:26, 22 December 2006 (UTC)

Google hits for "남대문":


Google hits for "숭례문":


Clearly, this place is much much more commonly known as Namdaemun, and the title should be titled as such.Davidinkorea 02:40, 27 February 2007 (UTC)

The PLACE is known as NamDaeMun, but the structure itself is SungNyeMun. It is indeed widely used, just not among us foreigners (who are usually talking about the location anway). (eunsung) —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 08:04, 27 January 2008 (UTC)

All roadsigns and direction signs in the subways and underpasses in the area refer to the gate as Namdaemun. Sungnaemun is the "poetic name", if you will, but still important to mention. --Bentonia School (talk) 14:20, 12 February 2008 (UTC)

I will dispute that the gate is more widely called Sungnyemun even by Koreans. The Google search was in Korean, not English. Of course they know what Sungnyemun is, but colloquially, they refer to it as Namdaemun. (talk) 07:14, 13 February 2008 (UTC)

Namdaemun is wrong name of Sungnyemun. Namdaemun was name of when Korea under the rule of Japanese imperialism. So Sungnyemun is right. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Nothend (talkcontribs) 02:41, 18 February 2008 (UTC)

I don't know in detail, but I found "Namdaemun", as a popular name of Sungnyemun, in a historical text:
"正南曰崇禮門, 俗稱南大門" (1396)
Did the empire suck that much? :( Mulukhiyya (talk) 10:27, 18 February 2008 (UTC)

남대문 : 2,830,000 / 숭례문 : 1,590,000 / 南大門 : 1,580,000 / 崇禮門 : 118,000/ Namedaemun : 117 / Sungnyemun : 29,900 Caomengde (talk) 06:56, 5 December 2008 (UTC)

I like this quote from below: ""Common knowledge" and "accuracy" are two different issues, and the purpose of Wikipedia is not to preserve common ignorance." Yes, it was the Japanese who changed the name from Sungnyemun to Namdaemun. Just because Namdaemun is more common DOES NOT MEAN it is the correct name. Namdaemun literally means South Gate and is more commonly used, but Sungnyemun is the more historical term and thus more accurate. (talk) 14:43, 18 December 2008 (UTC)

The official name of the gate is Sungnyemun, and the Korean Wikipedia article uses this at the moment. Perhaps we should defer to them on this issue? After all, there are many articles on Wikipedia that use a less common, official name for the title and then follow it up with a "commonly known as" segment. Dotori (talk) 16:46, 30 May 2011 (UTC)

Title change[edit]

I moved this article to the official name, "Sungnyemun". Initially, I intended to move the prior title, Namdaemun (gate) to just "Namdaemun". But the page already functions as the disambiguous page. I don't think Namdaemun with parenthesis (gate) is necessary for this article because Namdamun Market has "Market" in the title. I rather support this official name or request to move "Namdaemun (gate)" to Namdaemun via WP:RM. --Appletrees (talk) 19:06, 10 February 2008 (UTC)

Per WP:UE, we should prefer the English version of the name. That means at the very least Sungnyemun Gate, but probably Great South Gate, which seems to be what most English travel guides use, or South Gate of Seoul. --Dhartung | Talk 03:14, 12 February 2008 (UTC)
You're kidding, right? If you are suggesting, this gate should be titled like Forbidden City, I strongly disagree with your opinion. That common name "Namdaemun" has that meaning "South Gate of Seoul" in hanja, but never has been called like that from outside of Korea. --Appletrees (talk) 09:06, 12 February 2008 (UTC)
I disagree with the move — Namdaemun outranks Sungnyemun 5:1 on Google, and is thus clearly more common. As the market is named after the gate, why not keep the gate at Namdaemun and the market at Namdaemun Market?
BTW, for another case where the popular name outranks the official name, see Kinkaku-ji, which is officially "Rokuon-ji". Jpatokal (talk) 06:25, 12 February 2008 (UTC)

"Common knowledge" and "accuracy" are two different issues, and the purpose of WP is not to preserve common ignorance. Shir-El too 13:17, 12 February 2008 (UTC)

I'm not sure what you mean here, but I will assume you meant that article titles should be "correct" instead of "common". According to our naming conventions guideline,
Generally, article naming should prefer what the greatest number of English speakers would most easily recognize, with a reasonable minimum of ambiguity, while at the same time making linking to those articles easy and second nature.
This is because we want the encyclopedia to be useful to the most number of people. For more information on this guideline, see WP:COMMONNAMES. --Dhartung | Talk 18:42, 12 February 2008 (UTC)
No, I or other people agree to change the title with the most well-known name, Namdaemun. But your suggest for changing it with South Gate of Seoul is completely your original idea. The names of the gate are proper noun just like your name.--Appletrees (talk) 18:57, 12 February 2008 (UTC)
Is Namdaemun the "most well-known name" in English? This is the English-language encyclopedia, and we use English preferentially. --Dhartung | Talk 19:13, 12 February 2008 (UTC)
The name, Namdaemun is the most well-known in not only English speaking world, but also Korea, Japan, China or other Asian countires and Europe. So your original idea of changing the title to South Gate of Seoul is even beyond this discussion. --Appletrees (talk) 19:45, 12 February 2008 (UTC)
I have cited sources in the move discussion now at the bottom of the page. Please do not accuse me of original research again, but cite your own sources to demonstrate this. Personal attacks are not appreciated. --Dhartung | Talk 19:48, 12 February 2008 (UTC)
You're the one who falsely accuses me of making a personal attack to you. I feel offended by your personal attack. Did you cite any reference when you repeatedly urge to move the article? Not that I know of. Read the previous discussion. Is there any opinion on changing the article to South Gate of Seoul except you? Please stop personal attack. --20:01, 12 February 2008 (UTC) —Preceding unsigned comment added by Appletrees (talkcontribs)
Peace. I'm not going to have an argument about having an argument. I'll simply assume for the sake of good relations that you are unaware of the implications of accusing someone of violating a core policy such as WP:OR, and suggest that in future you avoid phrases like "original idea", especially when you bold them. It tends to read as an accusation. As to whether I am the only one with that opinion, why should that matter? We are not voting, and I have every right to make a suggestion, especially one that is backed up by Wikipedia policies and guidelines. If I fail to convince anyone, so be it, but I will regard that as a net loss for the encyclopedia. --Dhartung | Talk 21:40, 12 February 2008 (UTC)
Sometimes, people fail to send others a message as they intend. None says that here is not English Wikipedia, so your bold-text emphasis is redundant. A name indicating something originated from outside of the world can be loaned from the original place. You asserted that the literal meaning should be used for the title regardless of that feature. You also said that I made a personal attack on you which is totally out of good faith. Anyway, this argument with you is hard to say productive, so you better move on.--Appletrees (talk) 22:29, 12 February 2008 (UTC)

Burned Down[edit]

I think someone should mention that the building has burned down to the grown february 10 2008. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:42, 10 February 2008 (UTC)

Yes, burned down longer a building now Rttrt (talk) 22:50, 10 February 2008 (UTC)

yup, jaja ( (talk) 23:33, 10 February 2008 (UTC))

Very sad event. JPBarrass (talk) 16:43, 11 February 2008 (UTC)

It clearly hasn't been totally destroyed, though. The article should say 'partially destroyed', rather than 'destroyed'. Gunstar hero (talk) 16:46, 11 February 2008 (UTC)
I was wondering the same thing. Not only was there surviving parts of the wooden structure, the stone structure was clearly still standing. ;)--Huaiwei (talk) 17:41, 11 February 2008 (UTC)
Dude. Uncool. I've heard nothing until now, and I have a bet the Koreans are frothing at the mouth over this, some historians may even call for blood. :o :P In any case a sad, sad story for a prized monument and classic wooden architecture. It seems like almost the entire history of Korea's architectural achievement is just one story after another about a burned-out shell-of-a-monument.--Pericles of AthensTalk 01:10, 12 February 2008 (UTC)
I just want to cry seeing that 610 years old building was burned down. Cry cry seoul. Tourists will be very dissapointed when visiting Seoul.back to goguryeo (talk) 03:32, 18 February 2008 (UTC)

Oldest surviving wooden structure[edit]

Considering that the gate was almost destroyed during the war, I wonder if the claim that it was the oldest wooden building in Korea is really accurate. Does any-one know how much of the pre-fire building was original? Kdammers (talk) 02:10, 11 February 2008 (UTC)

From sources I've read, as well as signs at the site, I think that basically the structure that was burned down had been there since the 1960s (when it was "renovated"), with only a few pieces of stone/wood remaining from the earlier gate. Keep in mind, the current "renovation and restoration" of Gwanghwamun means that if you go there right now you'll find nothing but a big empty lot - the entire gate has been torn down. So when they say "renovation" in Korea, it seems they mean a complete rebuilding. Otebig (talk) 04:55, 11 February 2008 (UTC)
So, following Your argument, I see no justification for the claim that it was thee oldest wooden building in Korea in Jan. 2008. So the article should be changed unless we find evidence showing that the gate's wood WAS in fact intact.Kdammers (talk) 06:03, 11 February 2008 (UTC)
I would call for these sources to be properly cited before we adopt it within this text. We follow what is published by authoritative souces, not by personal judgements or hearsay, even if the later may be technically more accurate.--Huaiwei (talk) 17:40, 11 February 2008 (UTC)
Not necessarily, Otebig: renovation sometimes requires the complete removal of all artifacts for conservation and restoration, checking the site for additional artifacts, present or potential problems, then returning the artifacts to the exact same location they were taken from. They may just be doing the job thoroughly. Shir-El too 13:35, 12 February 2008 (UTC)

I find some of the previous comments to be rather presumptuous and, in fact, prejudice regarding Korea's restoration programs. Does anyone have any right to suggest that Korea simply rebuilds its artifacts? Regarding Gwanghwamun, when the gate was being taken down, all work was obstructed from the road, but not so from the courtyard, where restoration work was clearly taking place. --Bentonia School (talk) 14:09, 12 February 2008 (UTC)

Anyone can suggest anything. Given Korean reverence for their heritage shaveing such a site seems highly unlikely. However I pointed out above that common knowledge and fact are not the same things: does anyone have a certified, authoritative source to quote - or is this all speculation? Cheers, Shir-El too 15:00, 12 February 2008 (UTC)
Actually, I'm in agreement with your above statement, and was not referring to your post as being prejudice. Cheers! --Bentonia School (talk) 04:57, 13 February 2008 (UTC)
I appreciate that, Bentonia School: it was an attempt to politely curb... uninformed conclusions, let us say. Thank you, Shir-El too 03:02, 15 February 2008 (UTC)

Change of source[edit]

Why was the Korea Times ref. replaced with a CNN source? KT would seem to me to be a better source for Korean stuff than CNN. Kdammers (talk) 06:03, 11 February 2008 (UTC)

Agreed. I don't know why CNN is considered an authoritative source for any story. --Bentonia School (talk) 13:59, 12 February 2008 (UTC)
Regretfully CNN is one of many un-reliable news purveyors. I personally witnessed a breaking news story held up for 3 days, then broadcast with a later, unrelated incident in such a way as to make it appear that the former was the result of the later! Shir-El too 14:50, 12 February 2008 (UTC)
Just to be fair, the Korea Times is not a perfect sources. Besides their pro-Korea bias (which can effect their articles, especially when it seems they try to "soften" embarrassing stories), they tend to not always have their facts in order. For example, on the same day (Feb. 11) one article said "When the last major restoration took place in 1961, only a few parts of the structure were replaced", while another said, "Namdaemun's wooden superstructure was seriously damaged during the Korean War, and had to be restored." The day before they wrote "Namdaemun...was originally built in 1398 and then renovated in 1962, following its destruction during the Korean War." Today (12th) the said that the gate has "surviv[ed] a series of historical catastrophes from the Japanese invasions of the 16th century to the 1950-53 Korean War." Destroyed to seriously damaged to simple repairs to survival - CNN isn't the only one needing fact-checking. Otebig (talk) 15:19, 12 February 2008 (UTC)
Whatever your personal experiences, CNN meets the criteria for WP:RS. Please dispute specific inaccuracies with another source, i.e. "According to CNN, X, but according to the Korean Times, Y." --Dhartung | Talk 19:45, 12 February 2008 (UTC)
But this is about some-thing that happened in Korea. I think, barring mitigating factors, local sources should be preferred to distant summarizers. That's certainly the way it works in normal paper scholarship. I assume there are now a lot of good sources, but I'd like to mention one: 한국일보 from 2008-2-12 has four pages with timed photos of the fire - p. 1, 3-5. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Kdammers (talkcontribs) 02:44, 15 February 2008 (UTC)

Two Korean Pages[edit]

I noticed the Korean Wikipedia has two pages. One for the gate itself (숭례문), and one for the fire (2008년 숭례문 화재 사고). Is there any way we can link to both? —Preceding unsigned comment added by Otebig (talkcontribs) 09:54, 11 February 2008 (UTC)

A thing of great beauty...[edit]

How sad. May it be restored speedily and well. Shir-El too 13:26, 12 February 2008 (UTC)

Indeed. I visited the site today. Very solemn. It's surreal to see it like it is now.--Bentonia School (talk) 14:23, 12 February 2008 (UTC)

It's so sad knowing there are people who would do something like this (assuming the cause was arson)... It looked amazing with all the colorful lighting :( Hopefully they'll restore it soon and make it even betterIgob8a (talk) 21:49, 12 February 2008 (UTC)

Wouldn't matter if they replace it with another of modern construction; the original historical version is irreplaceable. Yet another Korean monument up in smoke; such is the poor history of Korean architecture.--Pericles of AthensTalk 03:26, 13 February 2008 (UTC)
Slightly true. The ideas and culture for which the monument represented haven't gone up in smoke. --Bentonia School (talk) 05:05, 13 February 2008 (UTC)

image of flames[edit]

i recall yesterday seeing images here of the structure in flames.. why are they no longer here? i believe it was very well recorded, so there should be tons of photos available.. (talk) 15:53, 12 February 2008 (UTC)

nevermind.. it's there now. (talk) 15:55, 12 February 2008 (UTC)

Requested move[edit]

This article has been renamed from Sungnyemun to Namdaemun as the result of a move request.

The following is a closed discussion of the proposal. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the proposal was - unopposed move - WP:SNOW Keith D (talk) 22:48, 13 February 2008 (UTC)

  • SungnyemunNamdaemun — Per Wikipedia:Naming conventions (common names): "Use the most common name of a person or thing that does not conflict with the names of other people or things....When choosing a name for a page ask yourself: What word would the average user of the Wikipedia put into the search engine?"

"Namdaemun" is the sole name used in nearly all English references media reports of the recent fire (see "External links"). Most English tour guides such as Lonely Planet use "Namdaemun" although Seoul and Korean government guides use "Sungnyemun (Namdaemun)." Namdaemun as the common name is reflected in the name of the nearby market, Namdaemun market. Also, cf. Dongdaemun which is titled by its common name.

Article was at Namdaemun (gate) until an undiscussed move two days ago[1] but the disambiguator is not necessary since there is only one Namdaemun and it already redirects to this article. — AjaxSmack 18:57, 12 February 2008 (UTC)


Feel free to state your position on the renaming proposal by beginning a new line in this section with *'''Support''' or *'''Oppose''', then sign your comment with ~~~~. Since polling is not a substitute for discussion, please explain your reasons, taking into account Wikipedia's naming conventions.
  • Support, 'Nandaemun' is clearly the more widely-used name in English language sources, judging from the list below. We don't call locations by their official names when the unofficial name is considerably better-known. Terraxos (talk) 02:07, 13 February 2008 (UTC)
  • Support, I agree that 'Nandaemun' appears to be the most widely used name in English. In general I think wikipedia looks foolish when it uses a name different from what major print sources are using. This is especially notable in a time of heightened intrest; I'm guessing a lot of the traffic on this page in the recent few days is due to people reading about "Nandaemun" in the news, googling it, and then getting through to our article despite its less-than-obvious title.Erudy (talk) 02:59, 13 February 2008 (UTC)
  • Support as per own comments earlier on this page; for one thing, Namdaemun getx 5x more Google hits. Jpatokal (talk) 03:00, 13 February 2008 (UTC)
  • Support For as long as I've been residing here and studying Korea, I've come across - in English - Namdaemun far more often than Sungnyemun. If a survey were to be done in Korea of English speaking foreigners asking them if they know Namdaemun and Sungnyemun, I would hypothesize that most would note they know Namdaemun, but don't know Sungnyemun, despite the fact they are two names of the same thing. All English direction signs in the area say Namdaemun, and the gate's two counterparts are referred to also by their directional names, Dongdaemun and Seodaemun. I think this is a no-brainer really. However, Sungnyemun and its meaning should also be listed in the article. --Bentonia School (talk) 05:12, 13 February 2008 (UTC)
  • Support I was the one who renamed it (I forgot my PW, and I did not register with email) to "Namdaemun (gate)". Someon else had previously renamed it to Sungnyemun. I had intended to restore it to just "Namdaemun" but it was taken by a disam. page. I figured adding the "(gate)" was needed because of the disam. page. In my previous post near the top of this page, even in Korean, Namdaemun gets 8 times more hits than Sungnyemun. "Sungnyemun" should be in the article and mentioned a the legal name. (talk) 07:05, 13 February 2008 (UTC)
  • Weak support as while Namdaemun is more common, it violates our "Use English" naming convention, which we are directed to consider in a requested move. We don't have the Eiffel Tower at Tour Eiffel. But Sungnyemun is definitely only used rarely in English-language sources, so the article is right now at the wrong name. I urge editors to read our naming conventions and consider whether they are exercising cultural ownership instead of adhering to Wikipedia consensus. --Dhartung | Talk 19:00, 13 February 2008 (UTC)


Any additional comments:
Comment: You make the same and duplicate thread as the above. The editors who moved the title never had any discussion with other editors. Recent news headlines mostly use the official title of the gate, "Sungnyemun" (I retract my comment becasue using the official title for headline seems to be limited in Korean media and East Asian countries). I don't think the title with parenthesis is necessary as I said the above. But disambiguation page is needed, because sometimes people abbreviate the market as Namdaemum. For the record, I don't disagree with the opinion for changing the title as Namdaemun, but couldn't move it due to double redirect.--Appletrees (talk) 19:55, 12 February 2008 (UTC)
Fair point. However, a disambiguation page is not necessary for Namdaemun market. All that is needed is a hatnote at the top of the article reading: "For the market, see Namdaemun market." AjaxSmack 20:27, 12 February 2008 (UTC)
I should've mentioned it before. According to Korean wikipedia, North Korea has two more Namdaemun. So the existence of the disambiguation page is justified.--Appletrees (talk) 20:39, 12 February 2008 (UTC)
Not if there are no articles at Wikipedia and/or if they're not notable. — AjaxSmack 20:57, 12 February 2008 (UTC)
This is not a duplicate thread. This is a formal area for discussing a requested move. Please read that page for more information. --Dhartung | Talk 21:35, 12 February 2008 (UTC)

  • The same material is repeated in their guide to Seoul.

So, if we are to use English per project guidelines, we should prefer Great South Gate. But in any case Namdaemun is far and away the more common name compared with Sungnyemun. --Dhartung | Talk 19:43, 12 February 2008 (UTC)

More citations in favor of N rather than S

Erudy (talk) 02:51, 13 February 2008 (UTC)

Yes i am so happy it burned down. discussed. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:46, 13 February 2008 (UTC)

The above discussion is preserved as an archive of the proposal. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

Designation of National Treasure[edit]

In this article,Sungnyemun was designated as National Treasure in December 20, 1962.
But in the page of Joongang Ilbo say that, it was designated in 1934, during the Japanese annexation period, the colonial government issued an ordinance to preserve the major Joseon Dynasty cultural properties.
Which is accurate? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 03:46, 13 February 2008 (UTC)

The original designation was indeed in 1934 during the Occupation by the Govenor-General of Korea, that is, the Japanese government. In fact, Japan made an entire list of national treasures in Korea based on the Japanese model. Korea then made its own list of national treasures in 1962, though the artifacts and sites on the updated list were basically the same as the Japanese list. The point of revamping the list in '62 was part of the movement to revitalize and control Korean culture by Korean people. And rightfully so. --Bentonia School (talk) 05:03, 13 February 2008 (UTC)


From some of the pictures, you can see that yes, the damage is very very bad, but the structure hasn't been completely destroyed. Some angles, especially aerial shots, show the roof part collapsed, but a lot of the structure of the first floor, and who knows how much of the fallen and charred beams of the second floor, possibly salvageable. It's too early to talk of it in the past tense, or flatly label the gate "destroyed." Especially since the actual stone gate part is undamaged. Drop the soap! (talk) 04:52, 13 February 2008 (UTC)

Just a minor point[edit]


I'm trying to not be pedantic, but on this article, it should be "an historic gate" not "a historic gate" according to the page on a and an. I have made the change, and if anyone has any vies about it please just write on my talk page

Andypandy2020 (talk) 21:23, 16 February 2008 (UTC) —Preceding comment was added at 21:23, 16 February 2008 (UTC)

Namdaemun? or Sungnyemun.[edit]

Hello. I'm Korean wikipedia user with ID ko:User:Bart0278. and I'm en-1. I think the article's name would be Sungnyemun. Because name namdaemun is name by japanese in Korea under Japanese rule. So i think name should be Sungnyemun. Thank you for reading this :)--Bart0278 (talk) 13:17, 15 August 2008 (UTC)

Which is a Nationalist and prescriptivist POV. --Kjoonlee 13:20, 15 August 2008 (UTC)
Yes, it doesn't matter who invented the name or when. What matters is how common the name is now. And Namdaemun is easily the most common name for the gate, in English AND Korean. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 06:26, 18 May 2009 (UTC)

I agree with the previous editor: articles should be located at their most common name. Exploding Boy (talk) 17:50, 31 May 2009 (UTC)

24-hour market[edit]

This article states Namdaemun is a 24-hour market but it's not. The market closes at approximately 10:00 PM each evening. Perhaps the author is confusing Namdaemun with Dongdaemun? HardyandTiny 01:51, 31 December 2012 (UTC) — Preceding unsigned comment added by Hardyandtiny (talkcontribs)

Change of infobox picture[edit]

As requested in the revision history of Namdaemun by IP Address, my reason is written on talk.

I would like to request the infobox image to be changed from image 'Sungnyemun restored.jpg ' to 'Sungnyemun Gate, front, 2013.jpg'. The reason is a landmark is usually identified in front, not the back of a landmark. More so, the new file is a more recent image available of Sungnyemun.

DoulosCore (talk) 01:09, 24 June 2014 (UTC)

Sounds good. It's a better picture, anyway. Either the one you're advocating, or the "whole view" picture at the bottom. Either would be good in the infobox. Thanks for discussing. (talk) 13:22, 24 June 2014 (UTC)


문교부장관 (29 December 1962). "문교부고시제169호. 《문화재보호법에의한국보지정》". 관보 (in Korean). 공보부.
same ref cheak on ko:숭례문 (연혁, 1962-12-29)
동일한 각주를 한국어 위키백과에서 확인 가능합니다. -- 메이 (talk) 17:05, 8 June 2016 (UTC)

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Suspect claims[edit]

Throughout this article there are unfounded and unsupported claims. For example, in the naming section there is a poorly written portion with no supporting citation that looks almost entirely like nationalist argumentation. While it may well be true it isn’t supported by citation and the inadequate writing seems to support the idea that this contribution isn’t of professional quality. Tstanfield3 (talk) 17:44, 2 November 2018 (UTC)