This Korean family donated their metallic tableware in February 1943 to help Imperial Japan’s war effort, including their brass Sinseollo (신선로, 神仙爐), a prized cooking vessel that was passed down the generations from their ancestors in the Korean royal court

This article shows a Korean man and his maidservant donating 32 brass items for Imperial Japan’s war effort, including a brass Sinseollo (신선로, 神仙爐), a traditional Korean hot pot cooking vessel which was apparently passed down the generations from his ancestors. Since this type of cooking vessel was traditionally only used in the Korean royal court, it seems that this Korean man came from a privileged family background. The fact that he had a maidservant attests to his wealth. Countless other historical cultural artifacts were likely donated in this way or confiscated and then melted down to make armaments for the Imperial Japanese military.


Gyeongseong Ilbo (Keijo Nippo) February 7, 1943

Brass items donated one after another

“In times like these, it is shameful to keep such extravagant things stored away. Please use this Sinseollo, wash basin, and tableware to make torpedoes for destroying our hated enemies, the U.S. and Britain,” said Ms. Katayama Tamae (44 years old), a resident of 6-103 Jongno-gu, Seoul. Upon her request, her eldest son Mitsuo (25 years old) and her maidservant took 32 items including one brass Sinseollo, which had been passed down from her ancestors, a wash basin, and tableware and donated them at the main office of this newspaper on the morning of February 6th. [Photo: a mountain of brass items in front of Mitsuo and the maidservant]



京城日報 1943年2月7日



The metal collection campaign was escalated in March 1943. This March 28, 1943 Keijo Nippo news photo shows metal pots and tableware being loaded onto a cart driven by oxen.



This March 30, 1943 Keijo Nippo news photo shows more scenes of the metal collections. The upper right photo shows the collection at the Patriotic Women’s Association on Hangang-daero in Yongsan-gu, Seoul.