Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Asian Eyes' Korea - Teddy Bear Museum

A 1902 political cartoon in The
Washington Post
 that spawned
Teddy bear name.
           Day 3, Nov/19/2012, 11 am: We visited yet another museum, this time a Teddy Bear museum, located at the south of Jeju Island in Seogwipo city. The Teddy Bear Museum was said to have quite an impressive variety that have been loved for more than a hundred years the world over. Kent told us that the name Teddy Bear comes from former United States President Theodore Roosevelt, whose nickname was "Teddy". The name originated from an incident on a bear hunting trip in Mississippi in 1902, where Roosevelt was invited by Mississippi Governor for a hunting outing. There were several other hunters competing, and most of them had already killed an animal. A group of Roosevelt's attendants  cornered, clubbed, and tied an American Black Bear to a willow tree. They called Roosevelt to the site and suggested that he should shoot it. He refused to shoot the bear himself, deeming this unsportsmanlike, but instructed that the bear be killed to put it out of its misery. This incident was immortalized in a political cartoon by Clifford Berryman in The Washington Post in the same year catapulted Roosevelt nickname. 
        Teddy Bear museum gallery is grouped into three sections: the History Hall, the Art Hall and the Project Exhibition Hall. After getting our entrance ticket, we headed straight upper gallery where we viewed teddy bears from various countries. In the History Hall, I witnessed the 100-year history of teddy bears including famous scenes, popular teddy bears of different eras, antique teddy bears, the Mona Lisa teddy bear and the teddy bears of Leonardo Da Vinci's “The Last Supper”. In the Art Hall, on display are the latest artworks of world’s famous designers and animation characters beloved by children. Also, how Teddy Bear got its name and fame are included. Some of the famous names -  Aloysius, Archibald Ormsby-Gore, Berlino, Duffy the Disney Bear, Elvis Presley, Fozzie Bear, Grizzly Teddy, Lotso, Microsoft Bear, Misha, Nassur, Nev, Paddington Bear, Pooky, Pudsey Bear, Rilakkuma, Roosevelt Rupert Bear, Rupert (Family Guy), Smokey, Sooty Super Ted, Teddy (Mr. Bean), Teddy Ruxpin Uszatek, Mr Whoppit, Winnie-the-Pooh, and Yogi Bear
           There is a section for the smallest Teddy Bear in the world at the size of 4.5mm. In the project exhibit hall teddy bears are grouped to suit the theme of each exhibition. At the museum garden, there are marvelous teddy bear sculptures and models. The garden decorated with various themes such as the Korean Black bear family and the magical pond is also a great site to behold. Here the imagination runs wild with a non other than Psy, a Gangnam style teddy bear. We have a great time taking pictures with this 'Psy' bear. All tourists posing for picture with it will strike the Gangnam style pose. 
          About close to the hour and right before our meeting time for lunch, we managed to steal a couple of minutes listening to Teddy Bear mimicking Elvis Presley crooning away. Frankly it was a little bit weird listening to the music while watching Teddy Bears in Elvis Presley's outfit dancing to the tune. Despite the hype as a tourist-must-see-place, actually there was nothing much in this museum, only Teddy Bears depicting some celebrities and events. I had expected more exhibitions so I was disappointed with what I saw. This I recommend for kids only.
              Here are some pictures we took at Jeju-do Teddy Bear museum:
Location: 31, Jungmungwangwang-ro110beon-gil, Seogwipo-si, Jeju-do, South Korea.
Tel: +82-64-738-7600 

Jeju-do's Teddy Bear Museum in Seogwipo city, a stone throw away from Ripley's Believe It or Not and Chocolate Factory.
Poster of Teddy bears on what to expect inTeddy Bear Museum.

Newly-wed Teddy Bears, head hung down in despair! Ha Ha, welcome to the real world, Teddy.

Theodore Roosevelt, whose nickname Teddy gave the namesake to the cute bear that we known as Teddy Bear today.

Teddy Bears in a market place in old London.

The more classical Teddy Bears in displays

Charlie Chaplin - an engineer?? I do not recalled that he was even one.

"Houston, the Teddy Bears had landed on the moon"
Terra Cotta bear warriors?

Teddy Bears dressed in Mother Teresa's outfit.
Dracula Teddy Bear - the sucker.

The souvenir shop in Teddy Bear museum. What do they sell? - Teddy Bears of course!

Michaelangalo Teddy Bear

Gandhi Teddy Bear, Fu Manchu and Alexandre the Great.

Even Jeju-do reed village housed Teddy Bear

Psy Teddy Bear waiting to be photographed.

Little M did a horse riding act with Psy Teddy Bear

Korean Black Bear easily topped 10 ft in height

Silly Teddy Bear in Elvis Presley's garb mimicking the crooning to of Elvis' evergreen song, complete with backup teddy girls singers. 

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