105-Man Incident

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105-Man Incident, 1911

The 105-Man Incident (Hangul: 105인 사건; Hanja: 百五人事件; RR: Baego-in Sageon) or Seoncheon Incident (Hangul: 선천사건; Hanja: 宣川事件;[1] RR: Seoncheon Sageon) took place while Korea was under Japanese rule.

In 1911, apparently as a result of several Korean attempts in 1910 to assassinate Masatake Terauchi, the Governor-General of Korea (Chōsen Sōtoku) arrested over 700 Koreans, many of whom were Christian. In 1912, the Governor-General sent 122 of those arrested to the Court of Justice, and 105 of them were sentenced to imprisonment with hard labor. In the end, only six Koreans had their sentences imposed, but even they were released in 1915 after being granted amnesty.[2]


The incident began in Sensen, a coastal town in Heian-hoku Prefecture. On December 28, 1910, the American missionary George McCune met with Terauchi. The Japanese claimed it was an assassination attempt and arrested over 700 Koreans starting in October 1911. Lead Christian members of Sinminhoe (a Korean independence movement) were specifically targeted in the arrests, and as a result, the organization was dissolved. In particular, notable activists Kim Gu, Cha Yi-seok, and Yang Jeon-baek were imprisoned. A trial of 123 defendants held on June 28, 1912, took place without evidence and confessions were extracted under torture. 105 were found to be guilty of treason and sentenced to forced labor.

Western View[edit]

Initially, westerners were accepting of the incident as they had a favorable view of the Japanese and thought it might be necessary in the time of change. However, when the missionaries began feeling victimized, they distanced themselves from the Japanese government and outside pressure finally forced them to grant amnesty to the prisoners in 1915. [3]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ 105인 사건 (in Korean)
  2. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2012-05-27. Retrieved 2012-07-22.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  3. ^ Nagata, Akifumi. "American Missionaries in Korea and U.S.-Japan Relations 1910-1920" (PDF). The Japanese Journal of American Studies. Retrieved 27 January 2013.

External links[edit]