A nation that forgets its past has no future: Korea Independence Movement Foundation

김태인 기자l승인2021.04.22

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▲ Korea Independence Movement Foundation / President Park Jeong-su

(PowerKorea) Koreans fought hard against Japan during the colonial years from 1905 to 1945. Many were brave to stand up to sharp swords and guns of Japanese and citizens in Yangsan City were no different. The first Yangsan Uprising was made on March 27, 1919 followed by the second Yangsan Uprising on April 1, 1919. 

Yoon Hyeon-jin is an independence movement activist of Yangsan. He traveled Najing, Beijing and Shanghai in China at the age of 17 in 1909 and met many people to widen his view of the world. In 1912, he went to Japan to study law at Meiji University and organized the Korean Student Society and the Korea Liberation Society. In 1915, he formed a secret society with Kim Chul-soo and in 1916 formed the Shin Donga Alliance by adding Jeong Noh-sik and Jang Duck-su. Back in Korea, Yoon established Uichunyanghang against the Japanese commercial supremacy and it is received as the first modern Korean company and the first form of cooperative. On March 26, 1919, he made exile to Shanghai and joined the provisional government as a key figure alongside Kim Gu and An Chang-ho and engaged in delivering campaign funds. He became ill and died in Shanghai on September 17, 1921, at the age of 30. Many including Kim Gu and An Chang-ho grieved over his death. His burial was honored by the provisional government.

The Korea Independence Movement Foundation was established in 2016 to honor Yoon and to organize commemoration programs. 

“Yangsan fostered many independence movement activists such as Seo Byeong-hee and Kim Chul-soo alongside Yoon. The Independence Hall which will be opened in Gyo-dong of the city in September this year will continue their noble deed and spirit and it will be used for Yangsan citizens to promote love of their hometown and the country” says the Foundation president Park Jeong-su.

The Foundation covers 10% of the total 8 billion won (7.1 million USD) construction expenses. It is the first Independence Hall built by a local government in South Korea and local bigwigs have donated nearly 700 million won for the building. The fund raising campaign is expected to spread to normal citizens. 

“This year marks 100th anniversary of Yoon’s birth and it will be meaningful if the Independence Hall opens in September this year. We have benchmarked other independence halls and their programs and we will introduce a variety of programs for citizens and people to engage” says Park. 

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