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.

     “2.  Let those who follow us, every man, all the time, every hour,
     show forth with gladness this same mind.

     “3.  Let all things be done decently and in order, so that our
     behaviour to the very end may be honourable and upright.”

     The 4252nd year of the Kingdom of Korea 3d Month.

     Representatives of the people.

     The signatures attached to the document are: 

     Son Pyung-hi, Kil Sun Chu, Yi Pil Chu, Paik Yong Sung, Kim Won
     Kyu, Kim Pyung Cho, Kim Chang Choon, Kwon Dong Chin, Kwon Byung
     Duk, Na Yong Whan, Na In Hup, Yang Chun Paik, Yang Han Mook, Lew
     Yer Dai, Yi Kop Sung, Yi Mung Yong, Yi Seung Hoon, Yi Chong Hoon,
     Yi Chong Il, Lim Yei Whan, Pak Choon Seung, Pak Hi Do, Pak Tong
     Wan, Sin Hong Sik, Sin Suk Ku, Oh Sei Chang, Oh Wha Young, Chung
     Choon Su, Choi Sung Mo, Choi In, Han Yong Woon, Hong Byung Ki,
     Hong Ki Cho.

XV

THE PEOPLE SPEAK—­THE TYRANTS ANSWER

On Saturday, March 1st, at two in the afternoon, in a large number of centres of population throughout the country, the Declaration of Korean Independence was solemnly read, usually to large assemblies, by representative citizens.  In some places, the leaders of the Christians and the leaders of the non-Christian bodies acted in common.  In other places, by mutual agreement, two gatherings were held at the same time, the one for Christians and the other for non-Christians.  Then the two met in the streets, and sometimes headed by a band they marched down the street shouting “Mansei” until they were dispersed.  Every detail had been thought out.  Large numbers of copies of declarations of independence were ready.  These were circulated, usually by boys and schoolgirls, sometimes by women, each city being mapped out in districts.

It was soon seen that every class of the community was united.  Men who had been ennobled by the Japanese stood with the coolies; shopkeepers closed their stores, policemen who had worked under the Japanese took off their uniforms and joined the crowds, porters and labourers, scholars and preachers, men and women all came together.

In every other Korean demonstration, for untold centuries, only part of the nation had been included.  When the yang-bans started a political revolt, in the old days, they did not recognize that such a thing as popular opinion existed and did not trouble to consult it.  Korea had long known demonstrations of great family against great family, of Yis against Mins; of section against section, as when the Conservatives fought the Progressives; and of Independents against the old Court Gang.  But now all were one.  And with the men were the women, and even the children.  Boys of six told their fathers to be firm and never to yield, as they were carried off to prison; girls of ten and twelve prepared themselves to go to jail.

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