The alternate history is a genre of fiction consisting of stories that are set in worlds in which history has diverged from the actual history. An classic exemple is The Man in the High Castle by Philip K. Dick, in which the Axis Powers (Nazi Germany, Imperial Japan and Fascist Italy) have won WWII and have divided the world between them. Whose it seems difficult such literary-historical speculations, only have to look to the Korean Peninsula, where exist in reality an alternative history, because that are something else North Korea and South Korea than two variants of the same country under different regimes. And this postcard from Seoul seems to me representative for economic success and prosperity of South Korea.
With over 25 million inhabitants (more than a half of the population of South Korea), the Seoul National Capital Area is the world's second largest metropolitan area, after Greater Tokyo Area. Seoul is also one of the world's top ten financial and commercial centers, and in 2008 it was named the world's sixth most economically powerful city by Forbes. Moreover, it was voted the top travel destination by Chinese, Japanese and Thai tourists for a third consecutive year in 2011. Founded on the Han River in 18 BC, Seoul was the capital of Korea during the Joseon Dynasty, the Korean Empire, and even during the Japanese occupation.
In photo (taken from the top of the Plaza Hotel) can be seen Taepyeongno, one of the major thoroughfares in the central districts of Seoul, and the second longest road in the Gangbuk area, with a 1.1 km length and a 50m width. At the forefront is Seoul Plaza, and beyond it is Seoul City Hall, a governmental building for the Seoul Metropolitan Government in South Korea, in charge of the administrative affairs of Seoul. The building was erected in 1926 (during the Japanese occupation) by the Governor-General of Korea. After liberation in 1945, it served as the city's local government.
The city hall was expanded 6 times. The North building was built in 1962 and the new building in 1986, but both were demolished in 2006. There was a competition for a new city hall, earned by Yoo Kerl. A digital clock was installed in front of the building in 1975, replaced further with an analogue clock. On the left can be seen Koreana Hotel, completed in 1971 and having 344 rooms. In the background it sees Bukhan Mountain (836.5m), a major landmark visible from most districts of the metropolis. During the Joseon era, the peaks marked the extreme northern point of Seoul.
About the stamp
The postcard was sent from Japan, so the stamps are, of course, Japanese. First on the left shows Zao Quasi National Park and was issued on March 15, 1966. The next one is commemorative, issued in 1965 for International Conferences of Otology, Rhinology and Laryngology (ICORL) and Pediatrics (ICP), Tokyo.
Seoul - Wikipedia
Sender: Junko / Kyoto348 (direct swap)
Sent from Osaka (Japan), on 05.04.2012