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Independence movement in Goesan

Posted July. 20, 2019 07:30,   

Updated July. 20, 2019 07:30


Independence protest at the Goesan marketplace is significant in that it was the first independence movement in North Chungcheong Province. According to some records, the first independence movement in the province started in Cheongju on March 1 and March 7, 1919, but those are insufficient evidence. It is a widely-accepted theory that the first massive independence movement in North Chungcheong Province started from the Goesan marketplace.

“One of the important features of the Goesan Independence Movement is the participation of municipal clerks, who came to realize the reality of the colonial rule,” said Oh Dae-ryuk, a researcher at the Independence Hall of Korea. Indeed, municipal clerks Koo Chang-hoe and Kim In-soo stood out among the crowd during the Goesan Independence Movement. At around 6 p.m. Hong Sung-hee and Koo Chang-hoe led some 700 crowd to chant for Korea’s independence. Kim In-soo was there as well. He had gotten arrested by the police earlier on March 19 for participating in a protest and was released with a warning.

The History of the March 1st Movement published by the Independence Movement Compilation Committee describes in detail the independence protest at Jangyeon. “Hundreds of people gathered at the square in front of the Ogari town office on April 1. At noon, Kim Ui-hyun stood in front of the crowd and read the declaration of independence and Kim Ui-dae chanted for independence, waving the national flag of Korea. The sound of the crowd chanting for independence shook the earth and the sky.”

“There were a total of 15 independence protests in Goesan and seven of them targeted government offices,” said researcher Oh. “Independence protests were so intense that seven were killed, eight were wounded, and two died from severe punishment and torture in the process. What makes the protests in Goesan more meaningful and unusual is that they were carried out systematically according to plans using circulars.”

Jee-Young Kim kimjy@donga.com