The other day the weather was so beautiful here in Seoul, so I decided to go on a small adventure by myself while Nara was at work! I happened to find this park while sifting around Naver one night, and it seemed like a very cute place to visit on one of my free afternoons~ 하니공원 Hany Park in 강동구
The park is named after 달려라하니 Run Hany (but I have also seen her name spelled Hani, Ha-ne, and Hunny) a beloved sport-based classic Korean comic book character in 1985 followed by an extremely popular Korean animated series in 1988! The character in the story comes from Sungrae, which is where the park is located!
Hany is a small tomboy and slightly troublesome teenager who lives life a bit carelessly on her own since her Father lives abroad due to work in the Middle East and her Mother died when she was very small. The only thing Hany is very good at is running~ fast! Hong Du-kke is a new track and field coach of her school and takes notice in her talent and gets her to train with him.
I have not written a post on this classic Korean animation character just yet, but she will get her own feature so keep an eye out if you want to know more ^^ If you are very familiar with Japanese classic comics and animation you may notice that she has a bit of a Aim for the Ace! (エースをねらえ) and Cutie Honey vibe going on. Korea loves to make its own versions and twists on things from Japan, so this feels like it was inspired a bit by some other classic titles.
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Hany gained huge popularity as the Seoul 1988 Olympics was held at that time and was considered a huge milestone for Korea after liberation from the Japanese~ so spirits were very high and Sports was the new subject to inspire the people. In 1992 Korea’s 황영조 won the gold medal for men’s marathon for the first time in history, as a result Hany became even more popular! It was still being aired on TV well into the 90′s to inspire children and is a show many grew up watching ♥
Sadly the information plaque was not properly sealed and succumbed to the elements :( You can still make out some of the original art that the statue was inspired by~ I wish the city would fix this up!
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The text reads that this park was dedicated to Korea’s representative and cultural animation/comic “Run Hany” and in remembrance of artist Lee Jinjoo who often came to the park to draw and sketch. Sungnae park actually makes an appearance in the comic so the city decided to call the park Sungnae Hany Park because both Hany and Coach Hong Du-kke are from the Sungrae area + apparently this is the park exact park where both Hany and Naeri trained in the story!
The park itself was very beautiful and peaceful~ just around the corner from a few schools!
Walking down the pathway I found a few more large cut out figures set up to make a scene!
Hany racing against beautiful Na Ye-ri who is her rival to win the national competition.
Cheering for her off to the side is her coach Hong Du-kke, classmate crush Chang-Soo, and Go Eun-ae…the chubby lady who was sent to Seoul to Marry Coach.
The large figures are super cute! The were a bit faded from time and peeling on one side, but the back side of them was still a-ok!
A common site at the parks here in Korea are Grandfathers playing traditional games or socializing. One was kind enough to come over and offer to take my photo for me in English, but I told him I had just finished and not to worry in Korean. I felt a bit bad after though, because I think he was excited to come over and speak some English so I should have taken him up on his offer^^; I went over to say hello to the group of them and spoke a little in Korean + let the kind man who came over show off his English skills in front of his friends (his original plan I think haha).
They were a bit amused I had come all the way to see this park, lol.
These characters sat atop all the signs in the park~ Super cute, but I wish it was Hany characters!!
Well at least the boys and girls bathroom doors did!!
In the far corner they had a nice little playground for kids to use.
sadly the large fiberglass figures have seen better days. I find that Korean children are particularly destructive to things like this… they graffiti any surface they can and it is very disappointing. A good example would be Lotte world which has chicken scratch all over it….. it is such a pity.
this was a little funny though
Running with 하니~♥
This was such a cute little park to visit since it pays tribute to a Korean classic animation that was actually made here in Korea for Koreans. I wish the city would clean and repair the damage a bit +add a few more things! I think it is really important to showcase classic works like this more in Seoul, so much of what kids watch now is just imported from Japan~ but this is a home-grown CLASSIC title.
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Since it is a simple park I recommend not going out of your way to come here unless you live close by or feel like visiting a park for the day~ I was glad I went alone so I did not make Nara come, but at the same time I wish I had brought a lunch or something to enjoy when I arrived!
After some more searching, we also found a blog showing the work in progress of the figures used at the front of the park in 2010!! Check out his progress photos ♥ how neat to see them come together!
Since Hany is a classic character in Korea and the artist + series is from Sungrae, you can find a few appearances of Hany in other places around town apparently! If you know of any others please do let me know ♥ This one above is for a hiking trail~ maybe Hany used it in the comic? ^^
DIRECTIONS TO HANY PARK 하니공원
Getting to Hany Park 하니공원 is a little confusing the first time since the neighborhood is small, however I managed to do it on my own kind of wandering and just eyeballing a map so it is not difficult + it is a park so its a large area you are looking for hehe.
You are going to need to take the Pink Line #8 to Gangdong-gu Office Station (강동구청역)
If you are coming from inside Seoul the best way is to just ride Line #2 to Jamsil and switch to Line #8 for two stops!
I found that it was easier to take the back road a bit sooner to hit the park because in front of it is several large buildings that do not allow you to cut in-between even though a side street is shown! After using exit # 2 follow the road till you come upon a large building on your left + clock and take a left. Once you hit the next side street you will go right and walk a ways down until you hit the park~ so just keep walking!
You have to walk a ways down the street, you will pass a long fenced in area on your right, then a long fenced in area on your left. Just keep going and when that ends the road will open up again and you will be able to easily spot the open area of 하니공원 Hany Park on your left!