Started in 1963, Gunhangje marks the 61st event in 2023.
A memorial service was held on April 13, 1952 by residents who built the statue of Admiral Yi Sun-sin and it was held each year since then until 1963 the event was renamed into Gunhangje as the Jinhae naval station took control over the event. In addition to the original intention to commemorate the legacy and noble spirit of Admiral Yi, a new one was added to promote local culture and tradition, becoming a local festival with various contents to enjoy, such as culture and art events and local tradition and customs market. The festival become a larger event since then, and from the third Gunhangje in 1965, Gunhangje Committee started organizing the event and in 1983, Admiral Yi Sun-sin Commemoration Committee and Jinhae City have organized the festival. After the 1980s and 1990s, the focus of Gunhangje has shifted to a cherry blossom festival. The city has become famous for cherry blossom since flower trees were planted to improve the city image as Jinhae was made into a military port city in the Japanese occupation. In 1905. Japanese combined fleet designated Jinhae as a base and built various military facilities. In 1916, Jinhae Naval Port Command Headquarters of Japanese Navy were built, making the city more like a military port while a complex of cherry blossom was built in the farmland covering about 10,000 pyeong to the west of the current Public Stadium to use it as a tourist destination. After liberation, Korean people cut cherry blossom trees since they are Japan's national flower, but in 1962, around the time when almost all cherry blossom trees were about to disappear, botanists discovered that the origin of flowering cherry trees are not Japan but Jeju Island. Since then people's awareness on cherry blossom was changed and launched a campaign to revive 'cherry blossom Jinhae' after May 16 Military Coup. As of December 31, 2003, 266,085 cherry blossom trees are in Jinhae, including 12,316 trees on streets, 169,084 in parks and mountains, 38,261 in the cherry blossom complex and 46,424 trees in public agencies and greenland. Now cherry blossom has become an image representing Jinhae and over 1 million tourists visit the city to enjoy the cherry blossom and the city. Major cherry blossom spots to enjoy in Jinhae include Jangboksan Park, Anmin Road, Naval Academy and Jinhae Naval Base Command, Yeojwacheon Stream, Jewhangsan Park, and the Inland Fisheries Research Institute, and in particular, the naval bases are open to the general public to fully enjoy cherry blossom.