Fortresses(seong), including Eup-seong, Gwanbang-seong, and Mokjang-seong, which were used for various purposed during the Joseon Dynasty(1392-1910), are located in Namhae-gun. Gwanbang-seong and Mokjang-seong to be discussed here are one of the materials to understand the identity of Namhae-gun during the Joseon Dynasty. Gwanbang-seong is a fortress designed for the defense against enemies such as Japanese invaders as the region is geographically adjacent to Japan and exposed in all directions.
The fortress was firstly constructed from the reign of Seongjong(r. 1469-1494), when the naval forces were able to perform shore duty. The construction was particularly centered on southern Aenggang-man(bay), where the Japanese invaders often infested. In the early of the Joseon Dynasty, instead of building new fortresses, the old fort, Chiso-seong; existing fortresses located in Pyeongsan-hyeon, Nanpo-hyeon, and Seong-gogae; and other unidentified fortifications were reused. Newly built forts during the Joseon Dynasty were positioned on the base of a mountain and a hill like Seong-gogae and U-gogae. Sampowaeran riot(1510) led to taking an aggressive defensive posture and moving and rebuilding strongholds along the southern shorelines including Gok-po, Sangju-po, and Pyeongsan-po, during the reign of King Jungjong(r. 1506-1544). Most of the naval fortresses located along the south coast were, however, faded away by the reign of King Yeongjo(r. 1724-1776) as the Japanese invasions had decreased after the Jeongyuwaeran war(1597-1598). By the end of the Joseon Dynasty, only a few military positions, including Pyeongsanpo-jin, Mijohang-jin, and Jeokryang-jin, remained in Namhae-gun. Noryangjin-seong and Hopojin-seong might have played a role as Gwanbang-seong. However, so far as is now known, they were constructed to watch over ferries where granaries (haechang and jochang) were. Nammyeon Danghang-ri Gojin-seong refers to U-gogae-boseong in literature. It was first built as a Chiso in Nanpo-hyeon, moved to U-gogae, and then to Gok-po. The Seong-gogae-bo is a noteworthy case in terms of using the place name ‘Seong-gogae’ to call a fort(bo), which indicates that the region already had a fortress. Moreover, blue-gray stoneware pottery sherds and reddish-brown pottery sherds unearthed within the fortress through the surface survey show that the unidentified existing fortress was reutilized during the Joseon Dynasty.
Based on a stele located in backyard of Nangoksa shrine, Naneum-ri, Idong-myeon, Namhaejang-seong (Geumsan ‘Mokjang-seong’) is known as Gwanbang-seong. However, considering various historical records, including maps of pastures in Jinju-mok and Namhae-hyeon in Gyeongsang-do, created in 1678; and the archaeological features of the site such as its size, form, and location, it is understood as the Geumsan Mokjang-seong. The vestiges of farms like horse pasture(jeommajang) are also found in Sangjuk-ri and Jindong-ri in Changseon, where was incorporated as part of Namhae from Jinju. Nonetheless, it is understood that a barrier (seong) was not built, as seen through related literature. It is, therefore, estimated that the entire island of Changseon-myeon was the farm. Further research will need to be carried out to understand the characteristics of Jijok-haebyeon-seong located within Changseon-do island.
In conclusion, Gwanbang-seong was fortresses, tactically constructed within Namhae-gun during the Joseon Dynasty, to protect residents from Japanese raiders infested the southern coast. The fortresses were, therefore, lost their function and moved their locations following the rise and fall of Japanese invaders. Mokjang-seong was built around boundary areas, especially of large farms like Geumsan Mokjang, to help farmers damaged from grazing stock. A fortress was not constructed in a small island like Changseon, but instead, the whole area was used as a farm.