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Mailing Address:
Chosun Gift Shop
PSC 450, Box 315
APO AP  96205-0315

Commercial Phone:

Chosun Gift Shop


      Early in 1996, the ladies of the OWC started work on their dream, a gift shop here in Korea, to bring local Korean handicrafts and gift items from other places in the Orient to the American community stationed in Korea.  The drive was spearheaded by Mrs. L.W. Schlanser, wife of the Chief of Staff, Eighth US Army.  The ladies researched their project as to transportation, customs, location and official regulations.

     In March 1966, Mrs. James Simmerman, President of the OWC, submitted a formal application to General Schlanser who approved the project in principle.  Official recommendations were to start a "Charity Bazaar" for six months from July until Christmas on a trial basis.  some Okinawan glassware and $500 served as the initial investment.  Handicrafts from the Paraplegic Village and the Vocational school for Girls, Young Chin, were added to serve a dual purpose to introduce Korean handicrafts to the American shoppers and to help these institutions with the extra income.

     The project was an instant success.  On Saturday, September 16, 1967, the Chosun Gift Shop held its grand opening in building 3599, a Quonset hut across from the high school.  In addition to operating the shop in Seoul and its branch in Taegu, the ladies loaded their merchandise into trucks and periodically visited remote sites to enable the soldiers stationed there to do their shopping.

     Today, as in the beginning, the Chosun Gift Shop operates with the approval of the command.  The Board of Directors must meet the guidelines of the Gift Shop, Army Regulations and polices pertaining to private organizations.  The shop employees three Korean men, two of whom have been with the ship from its humble beginnings.  The Chosun pays its own way including utilities, all transportation of merchandise from other countries and the delivery of goods from ports in Korea.

     On April 10, 1997, the Chosun Gift Shop burned with tremendous loss of inventory.  With thanks to many benefactors and innumerable volunteer hours, the Chosun Gift Shop reopened in a temporary location several weeks later.  During this initial reopening a salvage operation and inventory was conducted.  The Chosun was again relocated to another temporary location and finally opened its doors to a newly built permanent location on May 26, 1998.  The store was rebuilt with donations and its own money.  The building was then given as a gift to the Army.  The new store sits at the site of the burned store.

     The Chosun Gift Shop is entirely operated by volunteers who are members of the Chosun Gift Shop Association.  Currently, approximately 80 volunteers assist with sales.  The operation is conducted by a board of nineteen members who select and stock items from Japan, China, Thailand and the Philippines to be carried in nine departments.  We no longer stock Korean made items.

     The profits from the shop are returned to the Seoul American Officers' , Civilians' and Spouses' Club  for distribution to American and Korean Projects throughout the country.

     The Chosun Gift Shop is open from 1000 to 1500 hours every Wednesday and Saturday in building 4223 on Yongsan's South Post.


A Volunteer Agency of Seoul Area American Officers Wives' Club
Bldg 4223 Yongsan
Seoul, Korea
(Phone 738-5058)
Fax 822-797-8481