Korean independence movement
|Korean independence movement|
19th and 20th century righteous armies.
|Revised Romanization||Hangil Undong, Dongnip Undong|
|McCune–Reischauer||Hangil Undong, Tongnip Undong|
|Part of a series on the|
|History of Korea|
|North and South States|
|Later Three Kingdoms
|Unitary dynasties period|
|Division of Korea|
The Korean independence movement was a military and diplomatic campaign to achieve the independence of the Korea from the Empire of Japan. After the Japanese annexation of Korea in 1910, local resistance in Korea culminated in the March 1st Movement in 1919, which was crushed and sent Korean leaders to flee into China. In China, Korean independence activists built ties with the Chinese Nationalist Government which supported their Korean government in exile (KPG). At the same time, the Korean Liberation Army, which operated under the Chinese National Military Council and then the KPG, led attacks against Japan.
After the outbreak of the Pacific War gave China global allies in its struggle against Japan, China attempted to use this influence to assert Allied recognition of the KPG. However, the United States was skeptical of Korean unity and readiness for independence, preferring an international trusteeship-like solution for the peninsula. Although China achieved agreement by the Allies on eventual Korean independence in the Cairo Declaration of 1943, continued disagreement and ambiguity about the postwar Korean government lasted until Soviet-Japanese War created a de facto division of Korea into Soviet and American zones, prompting the Korean War.
The date of the Surrender of Japan is now an annual holiday called Gwangbokjeol (literally "Restoration of Light Day") in South Korea, and Chogukhaebangŭi nal (literally "Liberation of Fatherland Day") in North Korea.
Pre-Japanese rule 
During the nearly five centuries of rule by the Joseon Dynasty, it kept control over its internal affairs through careful diplomacy with China and their adherence to strict Neo-Confucianism policy in dealing with foreign affairs.
In the late 19th century and early 20th century, Korea was declared a Japanese protectorate in the 1905 Eulsa Treaty, and officially annexed in 1910 through the annexation treaty. The Japanese rule that ensued was oppressive to a far-reaching degree, giving rise to many Korean resistance movements. By 1919 these became nationwide, marked by what came known as the March 1st Movement.
World War II diplomacy 
Although the Empire of Japan had invaded and occupied northeast China from 1931, the weak Nationalist Government of China tried to avoid declaring war against Japan until the Empire directly attacked Beijing in 1937, sparking the Second Sino-Japanese War. After the United States declared war on Japan in 1941, China became an Ally of World War II, and tried to exercise its influence within the group to support Asian anticolonialist nationalism, which included the demand of the complete surrender of Japan and immediate independence of Korea afterwards.
China tried to promote the legitimacy of the Provisional Government of Korea (KPG), which was established by Koreans in China after the suppression of the March 1st Movement in Korea. The KPG was ideologically aligned with the Chinese government of the time, as independence leader Kim Gu had agreed to Chiang Kai-shek's suggestion to adopt the Chinese Three Principles of the People program in exchange for financial aid. At the same time, China supported the leftist independence leader Kim Won-bong and convinced the two Kims to form the unified Korean Liberation Army (KLA). Under the terms in which the KLA was allowed to operate in China, it became an auxiliary of China's National Revolutionary Army until 1945. China's National Military Council had also decided that "complete independence" for Korea was China's fundamental Korean policy; otherwise, the government in Chongqing tried to unify the warring Korean factions.
Although Chiang and Korean leaders like Syngman Rhee tried to influence the US State Department to support Korean independence and recognize the KPG, the Far Eastern Division was skeptical. Its argument was that the Korean people "were emasculated politically" after decades of Japanese rule, and showed too much disunity, preferring a condominium solution for Korea that involved the Soviets. China was adamantly opposed to Soviet influence in Korea after hearing about Soviet atrocities in Poland since its "liberation". By the Cairo Conference, the US and China came to agree on Korean independence "in due course", with China still pressing for immediate recognition of the exile government and a tangible date for independence. After Soviet-American relations deteriorated, on August 10, 1945 the United States Department of War agreed that China should land troops in Pusan, Korea from which to prevent a Soviet takeover. However, this turnaround was too late to prevent the division of Korea, as the Red Army quickly occupied northern Korea that same month.
Ideologies and concerns 
Although there were many separate movements against colonial rule, the main ideology or purpose of the movement was to free Korea from the Japanese military and political rule. Koreans were concerned with alien domination and Korea’s state as a colony. They desired to restore Korea's independent political sovereignty after Japan invaded the weakened and partially modernized Korean Empire, which was the result of Japan's political maneuvers to invade Korea by manipulating the international community to legitimize a false annexation treaty signed under military coercion. During the independence movement, the rest of the world viewed Korea's resistance movement as a racial anti-imperialist, anti-militarist rebellion, and an anti-Japanese resistance movement. Koreans, however, saw the movement as a step to free Korea from the Japanese military rule.
The South Korean government is criticized for not accepting Korean socialists who fought for Korean independence.
There was no main strategy or tactic that was prevalent throughout the entire resistance movement, but there were prominent stages where certain tactics or strategies were prominent throughout the movement. From 1905 to 1910, most of the movement’s activities were closed off to the elite class or rare scholar. During this time period, militaristic and violent attempts were taken to resist the Japanese and most of the attempts were not organized, scattered, and leaderless to prevent arrests and surveillance by Japan. From 1910 to 1919, was the time of education during the colonial era. During this time was when many Korean textbooks on grammar and spelling were circulated in schools. It started the trend of intellectual resistance to the Japanese rule. This educating time period along with Woodrow Wilson’s progressive principles, created an aware, nationalist, and eager student population. After the March 1st movement of 1919, strikes became prominent in the movement. Up to 1945, universities were used as a haven and source of students who further supported the movement. This support system in schools led to the improvement of school facilities in Korea. From 1911 to 1937, Korea was dealing with economic problems along with the rest of the world, which was going through the Great Depression after World War I. There were many labor complaints that contributed to the grievances against Japan’s colonial rule. During this time period, there were 159,061 disputes with workers concerned with wages and 1018 disputes involving 68,686 farmers in a tenant position. In 1926 the disputes started to increase at a fast pace and movements concerning labor emerged more within the Independence Movement.
Types of movements 
There were broadly three kinds of national liberation groups: (a) the religious groups which grew out of the Korean Confucianist and Christian communities; (b) the former military and the irregular army groups; and (c) business and intellectual expatriates who formed the theoretical and political framework abroad.
Religious groups 
Koreans brought Catholicism to Korea towards the end of the 18th century and faced intense persecution. Methodist and Presbyterian missionaries followed in the 19th century starting off a renaissance with more liberal thoughts on issues of equality and woman's rights, which the strict Confucian tradition would not permit.
The early Korean Christian missionaries both led the Korean independence from 1890 through 1907, and later the creation of a Korean liberation movement from 1907 to 1945. Korean Christians suffered martyrdoms, crucifixions, burnings to death, police interrogations and massacres by the Japanese.
Amongst the major religious nationalist groups were:
an in WW2.
- Donghak Peasant Revolution: Donghak armies were spontaneous countryside uprisings, originally against corruption in the late Joseon dynasty, and later, against Japanese confiscation of lands in Korea.
- Righteous army: Small armies that fought Japanese military police, cavalry and infantry most intensely from 1907–1918, but which carried on till the end of World War II.
- Greater Korea Independence Army (Hangul: 대한독립군; Hanja: 大韓獨立軍)
- Northern Military Administration Office Army (Hangul: 북로군정서; Hanja: 北路軍政署)
- Greater Korea Independence Corps (Hangul: 대한독립군단; Hanja: 大韓獨立軍團)
- Korea Revolution Army (Hangul: 조선혁명군; Hanja: 朝鮮革命軍)
- Korea Independence Army (Hangul: 한국독립군; Hanja: 韓國獨立軍)
- Korean Volunteer Corps (Hangul: 조선의용대; Hanja: 朝鮮義勇隊)
- Korean Volunteer Army (Hangul: 조선의용군; Hanja: 朝鮮義勇軍)
- Korean Liberation Army: The Armed Forces of the Provisional Government of the Republic of Korea, took part in allied action in China and parts of Southern East Asia such as Burma.
- Korean Patriotic Legion (Hangul: 한인애국단; Hanja: 韓人愛國團)
Supporters of these groups included French, Czech, Chinese and Russian arms merchants, as well as Chinese nationalist movements.
Expatriate groups 
Expatriate liberation groups were active in Shanghai, northeast China, parts of Russia, Hawaii, and San Francisco. Groups were even organised in areas without many expatriate Koreans, such as the one established in 1906 in Colorado by Park Hee Byung. The culmination of expatriate success was the Shanghai declaration of independence.
- Korean National Army Corps (Hangul: 국민군단; Hanja: 國民軍團), founded in June 1914. (Hawaii)
- Korean National Association (Hangul: 대한인국민회; Hanja: 大韓人國民會)
- Young Korean Academy (Hangul: 흥사단; Hanja: 興士團)
Sun Yat-Sen was an early supporter of Korean struggles against Japanese invaders. By 1925, Korean expatriates began to cultivate two-pronged support in Shanghai: from Chiang Kai-Shek's Kuomintang, and from early communist supporters, who later branched into the Communist Party of China.
Little real support came through, but that which did developed long standing relationships that contributed to the dividing of Korea after 1949, and the polar positions between south and north.
Royalist influence 
The constant infighting within the Yi family, the nobles, the confiscation of royal assets, the disbanding of the royal army by the Japanese, the execution of seniors within Korea by Japan, and comprehensive assassinations of Korean royalty by Japanese mercenaries, led to great difficulties in royal descendants and their family groups in finding anything but a partial leadership within the liberation movement. A good many of the Righteous army commanders were linked to the family but these generals and their Righteous army groups were largely eliminated by 1918; and cadet members of the families contributed towards establishing both republics post-1945.
List of notable leaders of the movements 
Before Colonial Period 
Provisional Government 
- Ahn Chang Ho
- Hong Jin (Hong Myun-hui)
- Jo So-ang
- Kim Gu
- Kim Kyu-sik
- Lee Beom-seok
- No Baek-rin
- Park Eunsik
- Syngman Rhee
- Yang Gi-tak
- Yi Dong-hwi
- Yi Dong-nyung
- Yi Sang-ryong
Edification movement leaders 
- Ahn Chang Ho
- Han Gyu-seol
- Jeong Jong-myeong
- Jo Man-sik
- Lee Seon
- Mok Dam Sa Ri
- Yang Baek
- Yi Sang-jae
- Yi Sang-seol
Patriotic assassins 
- An Jung-geun
- Gang Ugyu
- Jang In-hwan
- Jeon Myeong-un
- Jo Myeong-ha
- Kim Deuk-soo
- Kim Ik-sang
- Kim Ji-seop
- Kim Sang-ok
- Lee Bong-chang
- Lee Hoe-yeong
- Lee Kang-san
- Lee Kang-to
- Na Seok-ju
- Park Jae-hyeok
- Park Yeol
- Pyeon Gang-ryeol
- Yoon Bong-Gil
Military leaders 
- An Jung-geun
- Dong Jin
- Hong Beom-do
- Hwang Byeong-gil
- Ji Cheong-cheon
- Kim Dubong
- Kim Jwa-jin
- Kim Wonbong
- Lee Beom-seok
- Nam Ja-hyeon
- Pak Yong-man
- Seo Il
- Seo Yun-je
- Yang Sebong
- Yun Se-ju
Religion/Student leaders 
Communist leaders 
- Kim Il-Sung
- Pak Hon-yong, a noted Communist leader
- Yuh Woon-Hyung associated with Communists during the 20s, but later left
Foreign supporters 
See also 
- Gwangju Students Anti-Japanese Movement
- History of Korea
- June 10th Movement
- Korean Liberation Army
- List of Korea-related topics
- Provisional Government of the Republic of Korea
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Korean independence movement|
- Liu, Xiaoyuan. "Resume China's Korean Connection". Recast All Under Heaven: Revolution, War, Diplomacy, and Frontier China in the 20th Century. pp. 40–43, 45, 48–49, 51–52, 56–57.
- Andrew C. Nahm, ed. (1973). Korea Under Japanese Colonial Rule. Western Michigan University.
- Lee (이), Ji-hye (지혜) (2011-08-14). "'사회주의 독립운동가' 번번히 유공자 탈락…유족들 불만 팽배". Nocut News (in Korean). Retrieved 2011-09-03.
- C. I. Eugene Kim, ed. (1977). Korea’s Response to Japan. The center of Korean Studies Western Michigan University.
- "Catholicism in Korea". Tour2KOrea.com. Retrieved 2007-09-20.
- "Protestantism in Korea". Tour2KOrea.com. Retrieved 2007-09-20.
- (Korean)"March 1st Independence Struggle". asianinfo.org. Retrieved 2007-09-20.
- Nam, Gi-tae (2007-10-15). "덴버광역한인회-박희병 지사 묘비 제막식 (Denver metropolitan area Korean association holds grave unveiling ceremony for Bak Hui-byeong)". Korea Daily (in Korean). Retrieved 2007-11-28.[dead link]