A River in Darkness: One Mans Escape from North Korea by Masaji IshikawaThe harrowing true story of one man’s life in—and subsequent escape from—North Korea, one of the world’s most brutal totalitarian regimes.
Half-Korean, half-Japanese, Masaji Ishikawa has spent his whole life feeling like a man without a country. This feeling only deepened when his family moved from Japan to North Korea when Ishikawa was just thirteen years old, and unwittingly became members of the lowest social caste. His father, himself a Korean national, was lured to the new Communist country by promises of abundant work, education for his children, and a higher station in society. But the reality of their new life was far from utopian.
In this memoir translated from the original Japanese, Ishikawa candidly recounts his tumultuous upbringing and the brutal thirty-six years he spent living under a crushing totalitarian regime, as well as the challenges he faced repatriating to Japan after barely escaping North Korea with his life. A River in Darkness is not only a shocking portrait of life inside the country but a testament to the dignity—and indomitable nature—of the human spirit.
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Rivers of North Korea
Rivers of North Korea Photo:. North Korea features about 1, miles of inland waterways. Most only allow small boats, if they are navigable at all, but many are short and characterized by dangerous rapids and scenic waterfalls. For locals, river valleys often accommodate rice paddies. As of , the U. Department of State warns against visiting North Korea, as U.
Two South Korean rivers exceed miles in length, the Nakdong, and Han, and these pass through some of the country's largest cities, including Daegu. These two rivers provide water to most of the Koreans and their industries. People fish and irrigate their farms from these waters. Together with other rivers in Korea such as the famous Imjin River and Geum River, the water bodies of Korea have had a significant role in the Korean Peninsula. For the mountainous country of South Korea , these rivers provide the needed fertile alluvial soils for agriculture. From the Taebaek Mountains, it flows miles to the Korean Strait.
North Korea covers an area of 46, square miles and has an estimated population of The country has great scenery with mountains, plains and a great continental and oceanic climate. It originates from Mount Paektu 8, feet above sea level and flows south into the Korean Bay.
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The river also supplies water for use in the cities along its course. During the opening phase of the Korean War —53 , the middle Naktong River constituted part of the last line of defense for the South Korean and American forces that had temporarily retreated to the southeastern tip of the Korean Peninsula. Naktong River. Article Media. Info Print Cite. Submit Feedback. Thank you for your feedback.
The Han River and its surrounding area have played an important role in Korean history. The Three Kingdoms of Korea strove to take control of this land, where the river was used as a trade route to China via the Yellow Sea. The river serves as a water source for over 12 million Koreans. In July , the United States military admitted to having dumped toxic chemicals in the river, causing protests. Currently, the lower stretches of the Han River are lined with pedestrian walkways, bicycle paths, public parks and restaurants, particularly in Seoul. In a survey conducted by Seoul Development Institute of residents and urban planning and architectural experts, The two major branches of the river, the Namhan River and the Bukhan River, come together at Yangpyeong,  Gyeonggi province, at which point it is referred to as the Han River.
The Korean peninsula is mainly mountainous along its east coast, so most of its river water flows west, emptying into the Yellow Sea. Some of these rivers flow through lakes en route to the coast, but these are all artificial reservoirs, as there are no natural lakes on the Korean mainland. A few rivers head south, emptying into the Korea Strait and some more minor rivers flow east to the East Korea Bay , though these are usually little more than streams in comparison. In the list below, tributaries are listed under the river into which they flow and then in upstream order. They are listed counterclockwise, from the Amnok to the Duman. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. This article may require cleanup to meet Wikipedia's quality standards.