Yu Kwan-Soon, the Most Beautiful Flower
History belongs, above all, to the active and powerful man,
the man who fights one great battle.
In 1900s, Japan conquered Cho-Sun. The Japanese Army harshly trampled the people of Cho-Sun with no mercy. Cho-Sun was full of desperate cries of liberty suffering under the oppression Japan. The Japanese strategy of colonization was quite effective to the people. They tried to trample down Cho-Sun people’s nationality and their national self-esteem by forcing them to change their inherited Family names into Japanese names and by prohibiting the use of Korean. It was a really successful way to oppress Cho-Sun people. They were frustrated by Japanese elaborated colonial policies and lost volition to withstand against Japanese occupation.
During this period, December 16th 1902, Yu Kwan Soon was born. Yu Kwan Soon was born as a second daughter of Yu Joong Kwon. Her father realized the importance of education and wished to educate his children. By the help of American missionaries, Yu Kwan Soon was able to attend Ewha School.
She was an ordinary girl before she came to realize about the crisis that her nation was in. She could not understand why the people were afraid to fight back and did nothing even though their nation was in crisis. Although she was just 17 years old, she had great compassion towards her nation than any other person in Cho-Sun.
In March 1 of 1919, a national movement arose against Japan. Many people participated but it was becoming weaker and weaker due to a stronger oppression by Japan and people were once again discouraged. At this time, Yu Kwan Soon stood up at the very front and led the movement. She was never afraid of the Japanese Army and was never discouraged even though people who were older and more educated than her already had given up. This passion and bravery of Kwan Soon set fire on the hidden patriotism of Cho-Sun.
Many people were worried about her and they tried to stop her from continuing the movement because she was only a young girl of 17. However nobody was able to stop her passion and patriotism toward her nation.
In 1919, April 1, she again led the movement and during this movement both of her parents were shot by the Japanese Army. Imagine how painful it was for this girl to lose her parents in such a young age. However even the death of her parents could not stop her love toward her nation.
After this movement, many people were arrested and Yu Kwan Soon was also taken away. She had to endure many different kinds of tortures. It was truly impossible for a 17 year-old girl to withstand the harsh and cruel violence which was not bearable for normal men. However her love for her nation made it possible. Although her body became weak and came to lose vigor, the fire of patriotism in her heart never got weaker and was never shaken.
At first, she was sentence for only 3-year imprisonment due to the consideration of the young and weak girl. However in the second trial, she again strongly acted against Japan. In that trial, Yu Kwan Soon kept insisting, “If Japanese are the ones who are committing the sins, how come they are the ones judging us?” The Judge asked her, “If you repent your deeds and become a Japanese citizen, I will forgive you and treat you with mercy.” But she answered, “Why is it a sin to drive out robbers from my country? I will cry for my nation’s independence whether I am dead or alive.” She even threw a chair to the judge when the judge mentioned words that insulted her nation.
This event increased her imprisonment from 3 years to 7 years and brought more harsh tortures which weren’t ever tried before. However even in such situation, she kept on crying, “Independence! Glorious Cho-Sun!” until her last breath when she died in September 28, 1920.
For the suffering nation, the life of a 17 years old girl was like a flower that was trampled before ever blooming. She had to spend her precious and beautiful teen-age in a prison. Yu Kwan Soon was not able flower her life. However she is and will be remembered as the most beautiful flower of Korea forever
Nietzsche, F. (2007). On the use and abuse of history for life (I. C. Johnston, Trans.).
(Originally published in 1873). Retrieved March 27, 2008, from
Yu Gwan-sun (July 27, 2009) In Wikipedia. The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 03:04 July 27, 2009 from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yu_Gwan-sun
Yu Gwan Sun August 25, 2009 Retrieved from http://enc.daum.net/dic100/contents.do?query1=b17a1155a