Russu-Japanese war in 1904 - 1905 affected Oiyangpo 외양포, a tiny coastal village, located on the southern Gadeokdo 가덕도, an island southwest of Busan 부산. Russian Baltic fleet departed from the Baltic sea to relieve the blockaded and besieged Russian forces at Port Arthur on the Yellow sea in October 1904. It took eight months for the Russian fleet to reach Tsushima Straits.
In 1904, the inhabitants' lands and houses in Oiyangpo were forcibly expropriated according to Korea-Japan Treaty signed in the same year that was the first step to Korea's colonization by Japan. The Korean Government payed compensation to the inhabitants. In 1904, Imperial Japanese army landed Oieyangpo, whose villagers were displaced. The Japaneses started soon constructing the artillery headquarter, barracks, attached facilities, etc., and soon after their artillery batteries were deployed. The above photo taken last September is about the view from behind the village. Japan was concerned about the possibility that the Russian fleet can attack Jinhae 진해 where Imperial Japanese fleet docked. They thought the Baltic fleet had to pass through the sea around Oiyangpo, one of the strategic points on the way to Jinhae.
After the artillery headquarter moved to Masan in 1911, this military base in Oiyangpo had been maintained for the defense of Busan and Jinhae bays. This view shows the artillery training at Masan 마산 where the Imperial Japanese artillery headquarter was located. The same 280mm howitzers that Japanese used during Russu-Japanese war can be seen. Like in Oiyangpo, Japan later built 11 bases including one in Jeju island across the coastline and islands in the southern area of the nation to defend itself against the potential attacks that could be launched by Russia in the early 20th century and America during World War II.
The view shows Japanese 280mm howitzers raining shells on the Russia position during Russo-Japanese war.
The Japanese artillery in Oiyangpo was cleverly hidden from outside. It can be only seen from the air. It was positioned at the foot of mountain behind the village and constructed with the thick concrete walls. It's plan is rectangular-shaped and reserved several explosive warehouses and noise barriers around. Six 280mm howitzers were deployed in 3 positions, one pair each, which had been maintained until Japan's defeat in World War II. However, there have been no exchanges of fire here. After Japan's defeat, US navy landed Oiyangpo and captured this military base.
The sites where the artillery batteries were deployed had been devastated since independence from Japan. There has been only ruins left. But the barracks where Japanese soldiers stayed remained. The inhabitants displaced in 1904 returned their home and have lived in the barracks since then. The properties of the area have been owned by the government and renovation not permitted. Ironically, strict law enforcement has kept the vestiges of Japanese imperialism alive.