The shrine was mostly empty at midday on a non-holiday Friday, which was good; it was also free, which was better still. The grounds were very large and well-kept.
Who was Nongae? She was a patriotic assassin.
The Japanese, it seems, conquered the Korean city of Jinju in 1593. Afterwards, they held a victory celebration, and they compelled the local gisaeng to join in (a gisaeng was a Korean female entertainer like a Japanese geisha). One of these, named Ju Nongae, won the affection of a top Japanese general. During the victory festivities, the general and his entourage (including Nongae) moved to a scenic spot on a high rock overlooking the river. Suddenly, Nongae embraced the conquering general around the neck and threw herself over the edge, which took him down as well. They both drowned.
Earlier this year, I also happen to have visited the very rock on which this murder-suicide happened. The rock is called "Uiam" within Jinju Fortress. (Nongae is given the title "Uiam" in honor of her act.)
Nongae is a symbol of patriotic loyalty for Koreans.
Here are some pictures from the large, open grounds of the shrine: