Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Monograph # 11 Arthur C. Danto

Gwang-Ju Student Movement

For few years after 3.1 Movement in 1919, there was no such movement against Japan to cry for the nation’s independence. And Japanese colonial policy became harsher than before. In 1920, there was a great depression which swept all over the world. It has resulted as food shortage in Japan. As a way out, Japan increased the quantity of rice she took from Korea, her colony by force. The Japanese policy of hard exploitation brought Koreans to great frustration. Under the frustration, depression and suffering, Koreans were losing their passion and willingness to achieve their nation’s independence. They were too busy to think of the independence of the nation.

Would you believe if it was just an incident of a fight between a 16-year-old Korean boy and a number of Japanese middle school students that set the fire to the movement for nation’s independence once again?

One day, it was October 29, 1929, as usual the school train from Gwang-Ju arrived Na-ju. In the train there were both Korean and Japanese students. When the train arrived to the station, Japanese students Hukuda, Danaka and others ridiculed and did violence to Korean girls, Park Gi-ok and Lee Gwang Chun. Hukuda snatched down Park’s hair and never stopped ridiculing.

Park Jun-Chae, the brother of Park Gi-ok coming into the station saw his sister was being insulted and tried to stop them. But Japanese did not listen to him. Japanese policeman who saw them fighting came to Park Jun-Chae and beat him up with other Japanese there. It was known to other Korean students and group fight between Korean and Japanese students has begun in the station.

It was continued up to November 3, the one of the biggest Japanese national holiday that celebrated birth of Meiji. What was so interesting was that November 3 of 1929 was October 3 in the lunar calendar, the national holiday of Korea that commemorated beginning of Korea. During the commemorative ceremony of Meiji day, Korean students refused to sing Kimigayo, the national hymn of Japan and this once again set fire to fighting between Koreans and Japanese. The group fighting was widened to fighting of all the students in Gwang-Ju region and it was not fighting anymore but a movement of Korea against Japan.

At first, the fighting began with 10-20 people. But later on, the number of people who were involved in the fighting became 500 and again, it became 3000 number of students and citizens participated in the movement

Korean students organized the Student Movement Organization and tried to extend their movement to all the regions in the nation. They also made propaganda movement saying that:

1. Let us recapture our unjustly arrested students.

2. Let us strongly forbid entrance of polices into the schools.

3. Let us abolish colonial educational system.

4. Let us establish up our own educational system

The movements continued until Japan gave up her colonial rule in Korea. In fact, student movement set fire to many of patriot in Korea and brought other movement for independence once again.

The small quarrel between 16 years old Korean boy and other Japanese students just because Japanese insulted Korean girls, brought national movements once again. 24 years later, the government of Korea commemorated the students who fought for their nations by setting November 3 as a Student Independence Movement day. They still remember the students, a young sprit, which brought courage and fire to their nation.


Gwang-Ju Student Movement Retrieved on 20 September 2009 from

Gwang-Ju Students’ Independence Movement Retrieved on 20 September 2009 from

Student’s Day (September 20, 2009). Dusan Encyber. Retrieved on September 20, 2009 from

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