Hong Jong-u

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Hong Jong-u
Hong Tjyong-ou in Paris
Born (1851-11-17)November 17, 1851
Ansan, Gyeonggi-do, Korea
Died (1913-01-02)January 2, 1913
Incheon or Mokpo, Korea
Nationality Korean
Hong Jong-u
Hangul 홍종우
Revised Romanization Hong Jong-u
McCune–Reischauer Hong Chong-u

Hong Jong-u (홍종우, 洪鍾宇, 1850 – 1913) was a Korean assassin, reformer, activist and statesman during the Korean Empire. He assassinated Kim Okgyun in Shanghai in 1894.


Hong Jong-u was born in Ansan circa 1850. His father died in 1886. Afterwards Hong decided to study in France. In Paris the 40-year-old student worked at the Guimet Museum, where he translated the Chunhyangjeon (춘향전; the tale of Chunhyang), Shimcheongjeon (심청전) and the Jikseong haengnyeong pyeonram (직성행녕편람; a Korean fortune-telling book) into French.

In 1893, Hong traveled to Japan where he decided to assassinate Kim Okgyun and Pak Yeong-hyo, two reform-minded Koreans. In 1894, he shot and killed Kim Okgyun aboard ship en route to Shanghai. He later returned to Korea where he was appointed to high office. With the growing influence of Japan over Korean affairs, the anti-Japan Hong Jong-u resigned his official position. He died in 1913.

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