Korea's Fight for Freedom eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 228 pages of information about Korea's Fight for Freedom.
to the memorial presented to the Governor-General by certain missionaries in Korea, in January, 1912, he said, ’I assure you that the entire examination of the suspected persons or witnesses is being conducted in strict compliance with the provisions of the law, and the slightest divergence from the lawful process will under no circumstances be permitted.’  How then could any one imagine that it was possible for officials under him to act under any other way than in accordance with the provisions of the law.”

Unfortunately for the noble indignation of the writer, the torture left its marks, and many men are living as I write still bearing them.  Others only escaped from the hell of the Japanese prison in Seoul to die.  They were so broken that they never recovered.

XIV

THE INDEPENDENCE MOVEMENT

The people of Korea never assented to the annexation of their country.  The Japanese control of means of communication prevented their protests from being fully known by the outside world.

It was explained that the movement against the Japanese was due to the work of Koreans living outside of the land and to foreign agitators.  The Japanese blamed the missionaries.  They blamed foreign publicists.  I understand that I was and am esteemed a special malignant.  They never thought to blame themselves.  As a matter of fact, missionaries and the rest of us had nothing to do with it.  The real origin of the movement was among the people themselves, and it was fostered, not by outsiders, but by the iron and unjust rule of Japan.

At the same time, the Koreans living in freedom were naturally concerned over conditions at home.  The large Korean communities in Manchuria and Siberia, estimated to number in all two millions, the flourishing colony in the United States and Hawaii, the Koreans in Mexico and China heard with indignation of what was happening.  Young students and political prisoners released after torture, who escaped to America, fanned the flame to white heat.  The Koreans living outside Korea formed a National Association, with headquarters in San Francisco, under the Presidency of Dr. David Lee, which in 1919 claimed a million and a half adherents.

The steps taken by the Japanese to suppress and prevent discontent often created and fostered it.  This was specially illustrated in the schools.  The new educational system, with its constant inculcation of loyalty to the Mikado, made even the little girls violently Nationalist.  School children were spied upon for incipient treason as though the lisping of childish lips might overthrow the throne.  The speeches of boys and girls in junior schools, at their school exercises, were carefully noted, and the child who said anything that might be construed by the Censor as “dangerous thought” would be arrested, examined and punished.

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Korea's Fight for Freedom from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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