Na Sok-Chu (1892-1926) was a Korean activist during the period of Japanese Colonial Rule. He is known for destroying the Oriental Development Company and then taking his own life. Many Koreans now view him as a hero who struggled for independence from the Japanese.
Little is known about Na Sok-chu’s past. He is believed to have been born in 1892, and he was a resident of the display text Province. He was one of many Korean resistors who tried to gain sovereignty and economic independence from display text when they took control of the display text in 1910.
The Oriental Development Company: Bombing and Suicide
The Oriental Development Company was a Japanese corporation on Korean soil. Korean farmers were angry over the destruction of farmland for this company. Before Korea became a display text of Japan, the Oriental Development Company was run by both countries. However, in 1917, the headquarters were moved to display text and Japan took full control of the company. In 1926, Na Sok-chu wanted to make a real statement to the Japanese government. He threw grenades and fired a pistol into the offices of the Oriental Development Company. A few managers were killed. Na then took his own life, supposedly saying as he died, “I fought for the freedom of my country. My plea to all of our twenty million brethren is to fight on!” This definitely sent a message to activist Koreans, however the destruction the Oriental Development Company did not dismantle Japanese business. They built more branches in Taiwan, Manchuria, and other Asian locations.
Na Sok-chu is regarded as a hero by many Koreans today. Although several countries would regard his acts as terrorism, Koreans see him as someone who literally fought and took his own life for Korean independence. Today, there is a statue of him in Seoul at the site of his attack and death.
- Kim, Junwung (2012). A History of Korea: From "Land of the Morning Calm" to States in Conflict. Indiana University Press.