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The Origin of ‘Nowon’

Nowon is often called 'Ma-deul'. Ever since the station was positioned in the vast field of reeds and was officially referred to as 'No-Won', people who weren’t familiar with the name 'NoWon', which was a geographical name written with Chinese characters, came up with a different name. They put together the word ‘Ma’ which was derived from the scene of Horses (‘Ma’) running around the field and ‘Deul’ which was derived from the word field (‘deul’) and came up with the pure Korean name ‘Ma-deul’. Both names of 'NoWon' and 'Madeul' well depict the characteristics of the area at the time.

The name 'Nowon' was in use is from early Goryeo to almost the end of the Joseon Dynasty. The name disappeared on the 1st of April in 1914 when it was unified with Hae-deung-chon-myeon and became ‘No-hae-myeon’ due to the change of administrative district during the Japanese Colonization. The name No-he-myeon also disappeared when it was transferred to Seongbuk-gu of Seoul in 1963 and to Dobong-gu in 1973 during the process of full-scale urbanization.

Nowon district, after having gone through various transitions, was divided from Dobong-gu on January 1st of 1988 by readjustment of the administrative districts and became reborn as the present day No-Won-gu. After it became an autonomous district, the name ‘No-Won’, which best describes the characteristics of the area, was selected as the permanent name. No-Won is a familiar name to us all and has been growing successfully since then and it is now the second biggest autonomous district in Seoul, with 640,000 inhabitants.


Nowon was the property of Baekje during the early period of the Three States, it was invaded by Goguryeo under the reign of King Jang-su (475) and belonged to Mae-seong-gun but its ownership returned to Baekje again due to the efforts of the allied forces of Baekje and Shilla,. (551)

Later in 533, Nowon was under Shilla rule and during the reign of King Gyeong-deok of unified Shilla (757), and it belonged to Rae-so-gun. The name Rae-so-gun changed to Gyeon-ju during Goryeo Dynasty and was transferred to Yang-ju during the reign of king Hyeon-jong 9th year (in 1018) and the status remained intact until the end of the Joseon dynasty.

According to「Yeo-ji-do-seo」, which is a compilation of each state of government during the Joseon dynasty under the reign of king Yeong-jo, there were 34 ‘Myeons (subdivision of a county) in Yang-ju-mok of Gyeong-gi-do. Among which were Nowon-myeon and Hae-deong-chon-myeon and the present Nowon-gu area was included in the area. These two places became the property of Nohae-myeon, Yangju-gun, Gyeong-gi-do in 1914.

In 1963, the Nowon area belonged to Seongbuk-gu as No-hae-myun, and was incorporated into Seongbuk-gu, Seoul. And it belonged to Dobong-gu as it was extended in Seongbuk-gu in 1973. No-Won-gu was extended in Dobong-gu on the 1st of January in 1988 and went through the transition of the administrative district and became the Nowon-gu of today.

date of final modification : 2020-03-19 20:59:24