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Korean group in Japan finds martyr’s execution site

Posted December. 20, 2010 11:08,   


A group of ethnic Korean residents in Japan claimed Saturday finding the place where Yoon Bong-gil, a Korean independence fighter against Japanese colonial rule of the Korean Peninsula, was executed by the Japanese military 78 years ago.

Seoul and civic organizations have unsuccessfully tried for years to find the place.

The Ishikawa Prefecture headquarters of the Korean Residents Union, or Mindan, said it found where Yoon was executed in a northwestern valley on Mount Mitsukoji after comparing old Japanese military reports and maps.

At the time of the execution, the Japanese military announced that Yoon was executed at a place on flat ground southeast of the mountain. In internal documents disclosed after Japan’s defeat in World War II, however, the Japanese military said a place east of a road between Kanazawa and Ohara in a northwestern valley of the mountain was a proper place for execution because of a 7-meter-high cliff nearby.

Based on the information, the group’s Ishikawa headquarters formed a task force to track down the location. It compared some 30 maps made in the 1940s and 50s and aerial photographs and pictures taken at the time of the execution, while seeking help from residents in the area.

“People know that Yoon carried out his patriotic mission in Shanghai but only a few are aware that he was taken to Japan for execution,” said Byun Jong-sik, head of the union’s headquarters. “We plan to carry out various projects here to commemorate him.”

Yoon killed senior Japanese brass by throwing a bomb at a ceremony held at Hongkou Park on April 29, 1932. After his arrest, he was put on trial at a Japanese court in May and received the death sentence. He was executing by firing squad on Dec. 19 that year.