By Feature Editor Song Na-ra (vice chairman)
Arirang Master's performance is held in commemoration of the 12th Seoul Arirang Culture and Arts Festival marking the 10th anniversary of Arirang UNESCO registration. The host, Madam You Myung-ok, is a classical musician and a doctor of natural healing.
She is also an entertainer and scholar who has learned practical skills as an Important Intangible Cultural Asset No. 29 of Republic of Korea also known as the Seodosori and Jeonbuk Intangible Cultural Asset No. 15 AKA Honam Salpuri.
Madam You is leading two organizations Association for the Preservation of Seoul Arirang and the Korean Traditional Music Healing Association.
From the sound of his father's funeral song, Madam You Myung-ok's Arirang was born. As a descendant of the pre-Liberation Korean Independence Army, she grew up listening to his father telling the Heaven about the wishes he could not materialize in the mundane world.
There were at her spacious home various traditional Korean musical instruments named Jing, Kkwaenggwari and drums in the house, and such an environment made her like Arirang and naturally led to her to be called an “Arirang Doctor.”
From lullabies to funeral chanting, her Arirang humanities lectures were Arirang in real life.
Arirang Hanbok Model Contest (at Songpa-gu Community Center):
Madam You showed her talent through 200 performances including Seoul Arirang presentation, Seoul Nori Madang, Seokchon Lake, Arirang Pass, and visiting Seoul Arirang.
She has performed abroad in Uzbekistan, China, Japan, Russia, Belgium and Germany.
In 2017, a funeral rite for the Korean victims of the Japanese forced labor, was sponsored by the Seoul Arirang Conservation Association and was observed at the Pagoda Park in Seoul.
On Jan. 1, 2018, Madam You personally visited Japan for the remains of the Korean victims of forced labor during the Japanese colonial rule, which was co-hosted by the Republic of Korea and North Korea, and brought the remains to the Koreans overseas, which led to many participants to shed tears.
The Seoul Arirang Preservation Association is composed of 25 branches in Seoul and 5 regional branches, and the total number of members is over 100, including advisors.
Over 20 members are participating in the activities to carry on the Seoul Arirang tradition.
By organizing the concept of Seoul Arirang, Madam You produced a Seoul Arirang album, including 7 traditional Arirang songs and 8 creative Arirang songs.
Madam You started with a thesis entitled “Recognition of Arirang Folk Song and a Study on Natural Healing” and on this she received her Ph.D.
Madam You published 20 small papers related to Arirang and held an annual academic conference co-hosted with the Korean Society of Natural Healing, and the research is continuing.
Madam You has written three books, namely: “Arirang! Singing the Healing songs “You Become Healthy,” “Holding My Hands with Arirang as Medicinal Hands” and “A Wonderful Resurrection of Seoul (Hanyang) Arirang.
In fact, as a former hanbok model, she has always worked hard to promote hanbok and Arirang, and performed Arirang performances with ambassadors in Korea.
She translated Seoul Arirang into nine different languages and played a major role in passing a bill to register Arirang as an Intangible Cultural Asset of Korea.
After 30 years of research on Arirang, Madam You created a genre called Traditional Music Healing (Arirang Music Healing) that developed Arirang with natural healing.
Through professional education of members, quality is improved and job creation is created, leading to pleasant and happy cultural activities.
She established a position with practical theories and talents of real-life poetry, and laid a typical foundation for the succession of Seoul Arirang as the chairperson of the Seoul Arirang Preservation Association.
Madam You lectured at the Graduate School of International Theological Seminary, Gyeonggi University Lifelong Education Center, and is currently running the Seoul Arirang Transmission Course under the name of Arirang Institute at Nam Seoul Occupational Training College.
This year marks the 627th anniversary of establishment Seoul as the capital city of Korea. Seoul Arirang refers to Arirang that was formed and sung in the Seoul area.
Jaseun Arirang, Long Arirang, and the movie theme-song Arirang are the main Arirang songs of Seoul.
Dr. Hulbert, who first recorded Arirang, was active in Seoul as an emissary of King Gojong, and Lee Sang-jun, the first person to record Jajeun Arirang, was also active in Seoul.
The emissary of King Gojong, a foreign missionary, an independence activist, and a foreigner “who loved Korea more than Koreans.” He was buried in the Mapo Foreigners Cemetery in Seoul.
As a musician during the Japanese colonial period, he was a choir conductor at Saemunan Church. He tried to preserve and document our traditions and is famous for not speaking Japanese.
The movie theme song was also screened for the first time at Danseongsa Theater in Seoul, and the song is also a typical Seoul song.
The formation process and records of Seoul (Hanyang) Arirang are accurate, and historical sites remain in Seoul.
Seoul Arirang is a very important link that transitions from Arari to Arirang.
In 1394, the capital city of Korea was moved, renamed Hanyang, and during the Japanese colonial period, it was called Gyeongseong, and after liberation in 1945, the lives of grasshoppers in the process of being called Seoul are all in the words of Seoul Arirang.
There is a straw museum, there is a rice museum, and there is a shaman museum, and it would be sheer shame of Seoul if the Capital City would be without an Arirang Museum.
There are countries who claim the traditional Korean clothes (Hanbok) as theirs as well as Arirang. Against this backdrop, there was held a festival which featured Arirang, Hanbok and natural healing.
Just as Hangeul, which was denounced and despised by the intellectuals of the noble class of Joseon Dynasty of Korea because it was “too easy,” found its true value after 400 years by bright-eyed foreigners, the Seoul Arirang also was designated as a cultural property after a long period of undue waiting only because it was “too common” and was not properly managed by officials.
It is pity that our ancestors and their descendants (namely the Korean people of today) who are unable to understand the true value of the most important heritage of the Korean people.
The real cultural heritage in life is Seoul (Hanyang) Arirang.
Right photo shows Madam You flanked on the left by Vice Chairman/Editorial Writer Song Na-ra of The Korea Post media on the left and Chairman Chung Hong-sul of Seji Construction Co., Ltd.
The traditional Korean folk song, Seoul Arirang, born in Seoul, is a precious cultural heritage of Seoul that represents the Capital City of the Republic of Korea. It is an Arirang with a Seoul story that reflects the locality of Seoul, and is the history of Seoul and also an icon of Seoul.
It is hoped that Seoul Arirang will be designated as a Cultural Heritage of the Seoul City and that an environment for responsible transmission will be created based on historical, artistic, and academic qualities.
Our Arirang that was with us in happy times and sad days, our soul and our spirit as well as our history and identity.
Even at the inauguration ceremony of the 20th President, Seoul Arirang was there.
Arirang, the most beautiful song in the world, is now heading to the world as a wonderful tool for healing and training, and furthermore, industry and diplomacy.
Biographical data of Chairperson You:
Doctor of Natural Healing
Head professor of Nam Seoul University of Arts Arirang Institute
Chairperson of the Seoul Arirang Conservation Association
A member of the Screening Committee of Thesis of the Korean Society of Natural Healing
An advisor at the Haetae Crown Arirang Festival Advisory Committee
Co-chairperson of the Audit Monitors Association of the National Assembly
Minor papers: ‘The Effect of Singing Arirang on Stress’ and 20 others
May 2011: Published ‘You become health if you sing Song of Arirang (Dow Publisher House)
March 2014: “Together with Arirang, My Hand is a Hand of Medicine”
January 2021: The Brilliant Rebirth of Seoul Arirang (Hanhaeng Literature)
2012-2022. Had an interview with Chosun Ilbo and 40 other news publications.
May 2016: Appeared in ‘Dreaming Arirang’ (Arirang Music Healing)
December 2019: Appeared in a program entitled, “A round of visit of the village”
KBS TV Neighborhood Appearance (Arirang Gymnastics)
December 2019: Appeared in a KBS Radio program, “You are Korea” and many others.
February 2011: Arirang performance of Daeboreumnori attended by the ambassadors and other officials of 50 countries.
March 2012: Traditional culture concert in commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties with Iran.
August 2012: Arirang performance for American Day for17 African countries
September 2012: Arirang performance for Korea-Uzbekistan international exchange
June 2014: Performed Arirang to commemorate the 41st anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties between Korea and Bangladesh.
August 2014: Liberation Day performance to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the migration of Goryeoin Koreans.
September 2015: Appeared in the Youth Special Lecture in an SBS special program.
December 2016: Performed at the 1st Sakhalin Arirang Festival in Sakhalin, Russia.
April 2017: Performed at the 40th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties with South Africa
March 2018: Presented Arirang performance on the occasion of receipt of the Remains of the Korean Victims of Forced Labor during the Japanese occupation of the Korean peninsula.
February 2019: Presented memorial performance at the Hyeonchungwon for the late Dr. Ahn Ho-sang on the occasion of the 20th anniversary of passage.
February 2019: Presented Arirang performance at the Sakhalin Night Arirang event in Daegu.
March 2019: Hosted a joint event with North Korea to mark the March 1st Korean Independence Movement. 100th anniversary commemoration of joint inter-Korean event
August 2021: Arirang performance of Handanryeon on the occasion of the 76th anniversary of Korean Liberation and the August-15 National Liberation Day joint event hosted by Handanryeon.
March 2022: Presented Arirang performance in commemoration of the 103rd anniversary of the March-1 Independence Movement.
April 2022: Presentation of Master’s Performance at the 12th Culture and Arts Festival on the occasion of the 10th anniversary of UNESCO registration.