HistoryGukje MarketHistory

Representative traditional market of
Busan since the liberation of Korea in 1945

Gukje Market, situated in Jung-gu, central Busan, is a representative traditional market in Busan. After the liberation in 1945, the history of Gukje Market began at the current location as a marketplace for trading goods left by Japanese people and goods brought by Koreans abroad. This vacant lot was crowded with people and was initially called Dottaegi Market (a flea market). The name changed to a Free Market with the erection of a building in 1948 and again the name Gukje Market was given as the market began handling items sourced from the US military in 1950.

The market was booming in the 1950's and 1990's with sales of foreign goods, US army munitions supplies, imported contraband, and electronic products. Despite five big and small fires, Gukje Market kept its spot and was reborn with strong vitality. It was a place that had everything for a person from birth to old age. Gukje Market, which is regarded as a must-see destination, has been a feature of Busan for over 70 years, along with Food Alley, Arirang Street, Youth Street, and Kujae Alley, and has abundant stories about modern Korean history.

In 2017, the market reached a new turning point by refurbishing Global Complex of Cultural Space (609 Youth Mall) centered on 6geonggu (zone 6) and capitalizing on the ideas of young generations. Several shops were opened on 6geonggu (zone 6) Bldg. B. 2F, to boost and transform Gukje Market into an eclectic space of charm and fun. From February 2018, the Global Complex of Cultural Space centered on 1gonggu (zone 1) began development.

  • 1945

    A permanent market was
    established in this wide
    open space as war goods
    left behind by the Japanese
    and products brought by
    Koreans abroad began
    to be traded.

  • 1948 - 1950

    In 1948, nine buildings were rebuilt
    and named 'Free market'.
    After the Korean War, military supplies and
    merchandise of all kinds passed through
    Busan Port and the Free Market was
    renamed to 'Gukje Market' in May 1950.

  • 1969

    Registered as a corporation in
    January as 'Gukje Market'

  • 2014

    More people flocked in
    Gukje Market thanks to
    the popularity "Gukje Market',
    the movie of the same name.

  • 2017

    Opened Global Complex of
    Cultural Space, centered on
    6geonggu (zone 6)

  • 2018

    Following 6geonggu (zone 6), 1geonggu (zone 1) is also opened as Global Complex of Cultural Space

Former appearance of Gukje Market Former appearance of Gukje Market Former appearance of Gukje Market Former appearance of Gukje Market Former appearance of Gukje Market