Go to contents

Wives spearheaded rallies after husbands’ arrests during Independence Movement

Wives spearheaded rallies after husbands’ arrests during Independence Movement

Posted June. 15, 2019 07:35,   

Updated June. 15, 2019 07:35


The Independence Movement in Yeongdeok County, North Gyeongsang Province where people chanted “Long Live Korea” during protest rallies to seek independence from Japan is worth paying attention because women played a pivotal role.

A total of six women in the region recognized by the government as independence fighters in connection with the March 1st Independence Movement, including one each in Andong City, Gyeongju City, Gumi City and Chilgok County, and two in Yeongdeok County. Yoon Ak-yi (1897-1962, a presidential award winner) and Shin Bun-geum (1886-unknown, a presidential award winner), who were churchgoers of Northern Protestant Church in Wongjeong-dong, the township of Jipum, Yeongdeok County, immediately took part in the protest rallies as soon as their husbands were arrested due to protest rallies.

“Although we are women, we hope to see Korea’s independence, and we demand Korea’s independence’ Yoon Ak-yi said, before chanting the slogan “Long Live Independence Korea” in front of people who flocked to the market. Shin Bun-geum also led a crowd of protesters, chanting “Long Live Independent Korea!” Yoon Ak-yi and Shin Bun-geum were sentenced to eight months and six months in prison, respectively on the charge of violating the national security law by the Japanese colonial government.

Officials in the county say that Yeongdeok is the only place across Korea where couples spearheaded the independence movement.

“The fact that Yoon Ak-yi and Shin Bun-geum, who had known that they could be arrested, took the lead in those protest rallies were not an easy choice for them to make at the time, and is historically significant,” Kang Yoon-jeong, academic research head at the North Gyeongsang Provincial Independence Hall.

Dong-Ki Sung esprit@donga.com