Gwangju (Korean pronunciation: [kwaŋdʑu]) is the sixth largest city in South Korea. It is a designated metropolitan city under the direct control of the central government's Home Minister. The city was also the capital of South Jeolla Province until the provincial office moved to the southern village of Namak in Muan County in 2005.
Gwang (광, Chinese letter: 光) means "light" and Ju (주, Chinese letter: 州) means "province." Areas of scenery along the outskirts of the city gave birth to gasa, a form of Korean classical poetry. Located in the center of the agricultural Jeolla region, the city is also famous for its rich and diverse cuisine.
The city was established in 57 BC. It was one of the administrative centres of Baekje during the Three Kingdoms Period.
In 1929, during the period of Japanese rule, a confrontation between Korean and Japanese students in the city turned into a regional demonstration, which culminated in one of the major nationwide uprisings against Japanese rule during the colonial period.