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Yuh Woon-hyung: A young man at heart

Posted March. 22, 2019 08:15,   

Updated March. 22, 2019 08:15


There are contrasting views on Yuh Woon-hyung. He is seen as a progressive activist for the Korean independence movement as well as an opportunist. Some say he was a steadfast nationalist while some consider him as a progressive socialist. William Langdon, a political advisor for U.S. Gen. John Hodge, said Yuh was a great leader of the East comparable to Gandhi. On the other hand, Hodge considered him as a “very treacherous person, never a white lily.” A tall, handsome, burly, strong, athletic and fashionable man, the Korean activist was gentle and spoke English, Chinese and Japanese. However, he lived a complicated and unfortunate life that eventually resulted in assassination. What kind of person was he?

Yuh’s handwriting shows no trace of hesitation or redraft. Straight lines indicate that he is a candid and pure person. He had many friends whom he willingly shared his fortune with. If there was a happy occasion in town, he paid special attention to lower class people such as servants. His writing tilts uphill to the right, which shows that he is a positive and bright person. Many say that he was “a young man at heart.” Journalist Lee Kwan-goo remembers him as “fresh.”

Squared and straight writing shows that he is honest and keeps to his word. It is distinctively different from the long, vertical lines usually used by sly people. Yuh did not drink, smoke nor gamble and loved to read, meditate and exercise. He was not an exhibitionist, given that he did not write the first letter of his name particularly large. He was not likely to be treacherous, as Hodge said, considering his clean and neat way of writing. Rather he was likely to have been a nationalist and revolutionist.