Talk:Donghak Peasant Revolution

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Request for Japan to invade Korea for help a fabrication[edit]

Historically, Japan's invasion of Korea was justified by Japanese historians as a "request" from Korea. In much the same way that Hitler approached his invasions as "assistance". Without getting into the heated current arguments on Japanese historical revisionism in textbooks, or on the internet by apologists or glossers-over, suffice to say that this article will be both corrected and expanded using the latest historical research as many new documents have been released and much work that was played down as inconsequential is now seen as important. Citations will be made of accurate new research. There is anticipated to be great furor as this is done, and the editors of the wiki are advised of this in advance.

Good idea. Be careful on this point. The editors need not be led into controversy needlessly. POofYS Dated 013:12, 19 April 2005.


A lot POV cruft in here, plus the merge issue. Any takers? -- Visviva 09:56, 26 December 2005 (UTC)

I completely agree. Plus, a lot of the wording is done far too subjectively (words like mercilessly, cruel, oppressive, etc.). I went ahead and made changes to the wording. -- Johgc 22:25, 2 May 2007 (EST)


Any change necessary?--Seonookim (talk) 01:29, 21 January 2013 (UTC)

GA Review (1)[edit]

This review is transcluded from Talk:Donghak Peasant Revolution/GA1. The edit link for this section can be used to add comments to the review.

Reviewer: Khazar2 (talk · contribs) 03:09, 19 May 2013 (UTC)

I'll be glad to take this review. Initial comments to follow in the next 1-3 days. Thanks in advance for your work on this one! -- Khazar2 (talk) 03:09, 19 May 2013 (UTC)


This article appears on first pass to give a good overview of its subject, and it's clear that substantial research has gone into its development. Thanks to everybody involved for their work on it so far.

However, it seems to me that the article will still need substantial work in some areas before being ready for GA status, and for that reason I'm not listing it at this time. The biggest issue I see at a glance is copyediting; the article needs extensive corrections for spelling and grammar. You might consider making a request of the Guild of Copy Editors if you'd like an outside eye for this. I've made a very incomplete list of issues here:

  • "At this time, the religion split into two;" -- a semicolon requires a complete sentence on either side except in the rare case that it's part of a list.
  • "In December the 18th" -- should be "On December 18" or "In December," but never "In December 18".
  • "he wrote a message to the people of Jeongju Fortress;" -- quotations should be preceded by colons, not semicolons
  • "He fined affluent peasants through dubious crimes" -- should be "for", unless he's committing the crimes
  • ". (only those over fifteen had to be taxed)" -- standalone parenthetical requires capital letter and period (i.e., should be a complete sentence)
  • "cooperating eith the " -- should be "with"
  • "In October 10" -- should be "on"
  • "The rebels also lost;" -- should be a colon rather than a semicolon (this is a repeating issue). Also, note that a colon requires a complete sentence before it (i.e., "the rebels also lost the following"); this is another persistent error in the article.
  • "1. many rebel banners" -- is there a reason this list is numbered? I'm not sure an embedded list is needed here at all.
  • "the casualties of Yi Pilje's Revolt in 1871 was still fresh" -- should be "were" ("casualties" is plural)
  • "thunder stroke" -- should be "thunder struck" in English-- if this error is in the original, consider marking it (sic).
  • " who arressted, " -- should be "arrested"
  • "an excerpt is shown below;" -- needs capital "An"

Some other issues:

  • The article appears to rely heavily on website sources. It's difficult for me to judge the reliability of some of the Korean sites, but are you confident that these have the reputation for editorial oversight and factchecking required by the reliable sources policy? The Korean Wikipedia certainly does not qualify as a reliable source for the enormous dialogue quotation.
  • The long dialogue between the judge and prisoner appears to me to be excessive detail (a problem for criterion 3b); can this not be summarized into a few highlights?
  • "Role played by Donghak " -- this section has no citations on its controversy, and no citations for its quotations
  • The controversies section in general needs clearer citations; if it's controversial, it should be cited.
  • The lead should be limited to four paragraphs per WP:LEAD.
  • One-sentence paragraphs should be avoided per WP:LAYOUT.
  • This isn't a GA criterion, but basic words like chicken, spear, sword, rifle etc. don't need to be linked.
  • "Jindo" and "thievery" should be disambiguated.

I hope you won't find this list discouraging. It's clear that progress is being made, and once the above issues are addressed, I hope you'll consider renominating this one. Just let me know if you have any questions, and again, thanks to everybody involved for your work on this important topic. -- Khazar2 (talk) 03:52, 19 May 2013 (UTC)

P.S. As I see it, it's not relying on web sources more than offline ones. There are 33 online sources and 46 book sources, so web sources are just 42%, and book sources are 58%. --Seonookim (What I've done so far) (I'm busy here) (Tell me your requests) 06:50, 15 July 2013 (UTC)

Another comment[edit]

this was posted by error inside the GA review(1) and got the following comment:

Just so you know, this is the closed review that you're posting in (which closed as "not listed"); I'm not sure that's what you meant to do. The current GA review is elsewhere on the page. Cheers, -- Khazar2 (talk) 13:56, 13 August 2013 (UTC)

Apologies. Pldx1 (talk) 16:15, 26 August 2013 (UTC)

I have read this article. My comments can be seen at User:Pldx1/Donghak. Before discussing about some semi-colons, we should better discuss about the content. I think that it remains an important work to do concerning the geolocalisations and the references.

  • I am not sure that the standard reader of has the slightest idea of the localisation of Busan or Incheon. Therefore, we should not suppose that they know where Gobu can be !
  • a map is required. May be user Dmthoth can help, we should ask him.
  • Technically, the references of the books should be improved (there are missing isbn, even missing authors !)
  • Quite all of the references are in Korean. This should be at least indicated clearly, and not masked by tentative traductions of the titles. For several books, the comments by the booksellers doesn't indicate academic books. If you want use 만화, you should present them as such... and indicate why we should trust such source.
  • I am surprised by the lack of references written in English (by Koreans or foreigners, this is not the question). For example, the page History of Korea indicates a large number of such books, that could surely be useful here.

The Donghak Peasant Revolution is one of the most important event in the history of Modern Korea. In 1894, facing a menace from their own people, the Joseon ruling classes (from the King to the provincial yangbans) were so prompt to place themselves under the protection and the direction of the Japanese armed forces. And after the massacre, they became so noisy about 'Independence club' or Yeongeunmun or what else. I hope this article will contribute to our duty of memory... and understanding. Pldx1 (talk) 23:33, 7 August 2013 (UTC)


I have rewriten the references related to the books, in order to use the template {{sfn}} inside the text and regroup the detail of the references at the end, where they can be managed more easily. Apart from this technical move, I am now exploring what are saying the references used at History of Korea. Moreover, the subsection Role played by Donghak seems to be a central one, that should be developped and seperated from the 'fringe' controversies about the Daewongun or the Genyosha. On the contrary, the 1994 다시 피는 녹두꽃 was not only a commemoration of 1894, but a part of the movement that resulted in the 5.18 Special Law passed in 1995. I will try to work on that. Pldx1 (talk) 18:14, 9 August 2013 (UTC)

Comments from Piotrus[edit]

And this was also posted by error inside the GA review(1) Pldx1 (talk) 16:15, 26 August 2013 (UTC)

Hey guys, I am becoming interested in Korean topics (as I moved here), so I am going to try to offer similar comments/support to those topics as I do at WP:POLAND. Thus, this pass by GA review comment. Sadly, I have to say this is far from GA class - I am quickfailing a B-class review due to insufficient inline citations. Please don't submit a GAN for an article where there are unreferenced paragraphs (i.e. a quickfail criteria). --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus| reply here 13:15, 13 August 2013 (UTC)

Not by error, but I have no problem with this being moved here. That said, I'd like to see a reply. The article still has cite needed tags and as such is in no way in the form to pass a GAN in the current state. --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus| reply here 06:52, 27 August 2013 (UTC)

B-class failed[edit]

Whoever passed this as a B-class for milhist: no, the citations are not adequate, there are dozens of uncited paragraphs. --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus| reply here 13:13, 13 August 2013 (UTC)

GA Review (2)[edit]

This review is transcluded from Talk:Donghak Peasant Revolution/GA2. The edit link for this section can be used to add comments to the review.

Reviewer: Hchc2009 (talk · contribs) 18:34, 4 August 2013 (UTC)

A lot of work has clearly gone into the article. My initial concern on reading through the article is the lack of citations in large sections:

  • "While the Sino-Japanese War raged on, Japanese troops occupied Seoul and made a pro-Japanese government there. Before the Battle of Pyongyang, Jeon's strategy seems to have been that he would crush the fleeing Japanese from the south while the Chinese soldiers chased them from the north. However, his prediction proved wrong, with a major Chinese defeat in Pyongyang. Jeon decided that he should defeat the Japanese by taking control of Korea and severing Japanese supply lines. However, knew he would have to get the support of the Northern Jeob, who commanded all Donghak outside Jibgangso-controlled areas."
  • "On September 14, Northern and Southern leaders gathered in Samrye. It is said that Jeon rode a white horse in this meeting. The Northern flags said 'Conquer the South', while Southern ones said 'Conquer the Foreigners' or 'Protect the Nation'. After a month of negotiations, on October 12, Choe Sihyeong finally cried out to the Northern Jeob; "Shall we die while seated?"
  • "The Donghak army's strategy was to surround Gongju from Buyeo and Nonsan. In October 23, a rebel battalion took Yiyin and Hyopyo, four kilometers south of Gongju.
  • "On October 24 and 25, the Battle of Ung Pass, or Ungchi, occurred between rebels and a coalition army of Japanese soldiers, governmental forces, and anti-rebel guerrillas. Ungchi was a pass that led straight to Gongju, and a crucial location for the rebels. However, the rebels were not able to take Ungchi. Most were armed with only bows and arrows, spears, swords and seventeenth-century style muskets, which could not defeat the superior firepower of the coalition. The Northern Jeob experienced severe casualties in Ungchi, because they lacked proper training in war.
  • "The rebels retreated south to Nonsan. Jeon and Son decided that they would capture Gongju through a different pass; Ugeum Pass, or Ugeumchi.
  • "On November 8, two battalions lured governmental forces, so that the major rebel forces would not meet a large governmental army in Ugeumchi. In 3:00 in the afternoon, the rebels concentrated the governmental forces in Yiyin and Hyopyo, where 10,000 rebels were. The other 200,000 rebels were crossing Ugeumchi. However, they encountered a Japanese battalion of 280 soldiers. The Japanese gathered the Korean forces into Ugeumchi. After night passed, the two armies clashed in Ugeumchi in the dawn of November 9.
  • "Jeon placed his army so that the rebels stretched sixteen kilometers, from Panchi to Mount Bonghwang. Jeon was at the center of this line, surrounded by flags and riding on his white horse. The government forces defended the sides (Hyopyo, Ungchi, Mount Bonghwang), while the Japanese were stationed in Ugeumchi proper. In 10:00 in the morning, the rebels charged at Ugeumchi.
  • "Because of their weak weapons, they were unable to cross Ugeumchi. The Japanese used cannons and rifles, and had proper military training."
  • "Although small groups of rebels crossed the 'death line' more than forty times, they were all shot down. After one charge at the Japanese, only 10,000 of the original 200,000 rebels were left. After the following charge, there were 3,000 rebels left. When the rebels finally retreated in November 10, only 500 rebels out of an army of 200,000 remained."
  • "In October 2, the government attacked Seongju and repelled the rebel forces. 10 rebels were executed. The rebels joined forces with Sangju and Gimsan rebels, and 10,000 rebels gathered in the Daema Market. Panicked, the Seongju magistrate, Oh Seokyeong, fled with his servants to Daegu, where he asked for reinforcements. He was not answered."
  • etc.

While the GA standard doesn't require complete citation and references, this does seem minimal, and a lot of the statistics and opinions specifically aren't referenced. Is it likely that you'd be able to upgrade the referencing over the span of a review, or would it be better to go for a fail for now, and upgrade before the next review? Hchc2009 (talk) 18:34, 4 August 2013 (UTC)

All done.Seonookim (What I've done so far) (I'm busy here) (Tell me your requests) 01:27, 5 August 2013 (UTC)

Given that there have been "cn" tags on the article for the last few weeks, and there is a lot of work to be done on the referencing alone, I'm going to have to fail at this point. It would be great to see this article at GA, so please keep trying with it; I'd strongly recommend getting a member of the Guild to conduct a copyedit, by the way. Hchc2009 (talk) 10:44, 26 August 2013 (UTC)


(a) the prose is clear and concise, respects copyright laws, and the spelling and grammar are correct;

  • There are a lot of single and double sentence paragraphs; these break up the flow, and should be brigaded together to form longer narratives.
  • The tense is sometimes a bit odd (e.g. "Gangwon rebels can be divided into two groups" - probably "could be divided" or "were divided"?)
  • Watch for the punctuation around direct quotes - some are missing question marks etc.
  • It could do with a general copyedit for natural English - my advice would be to try the Guild of Copy Editors.

(b) it complies with the manual of style guidelines for lead sections, layout, words to watch, fiction, and list incorporation.

  • Some of the "lists" could, and should, be incorporated into regular prose - e.g. "Chaining rebels together, then burying them alive in a pit" etc.

Factually accurate and verifiable:

(a) it provides references to all sources of information in the section(s) dedicated to the attribution of these sources according to the guide to layout;

  • Various citations are lacking page numbers (and marked up as p. ???)
  • Some volumes have years like "9999a", others are more conventional Western dates

(b) it provides in-line citations from reliable sources for direct quotations, statistics, published opinion, counter-intuitive or controversial statements that are challenged or likely to be challenged, and contentious material relating to living persons—science-based articles should follow the scientific citation guidelines;

The following will need citations:

  • "However, many direct influences were from shamanism and folk beliefs. Witnesses record that Choe Jeu participated in animistic rituals to mountain deities. His incantations and the Sword Dance were also derived from shamanism."
  • "After the Hwangryong, a royal messenger came to Jeon with bribes to quell the rebellion. Jeon killed the messenger, but took the needed money. Jeon then turned north and occupied Jeonju, the largest city in Jeolla province at the time. not choosing to take Naju to the south. Hong Gyehun quickly returned north, beginning the Siege of Jeonju Fortress."
  • "In May 7, Kim Hakjin, the new administrator of Jeonju, ordered Hong to make peace with the rebels. The rebels, suffering from lack of food (The Jeonju Bibimbap cuisine formed in the Siege of Jeonju), accepted. This came to be called the Jeonju Truce. Hong accepted twelve rebel requests (...} Following the truce, the rebels climbed out of the fortress using ladders, and Hong entered the empty fortress."
  • "Most Seogi were progressive Yangban, as the scribes had to have literacy."
  • "Most Seongchal were killed in the Second Revolt."
  • "Meanwhile, the Posa were mostly tiger hunters who served effectively as soldiers, cooperating with the Seongchal and Dongmong to fight against Yangban resistance."
  • "Rebels called themselves 'Hajeob', after the lowest Donghak initiate, and called any other person, even children, 'Jeobjang', a rendering of Jeobju."
  • "The Northern leader Son Byeongheui led 10,000-100,000 Northern Jeob followers as the General of the Northern Jeob. Jeon also led 12,000-100,000 Southerners as the General of the Southern Jeob (most recent estimates give a total army of about 50,000) However, Kim Kaenam was not present; he was leading 5,000 rebels in an attack of Cheongju."
  • "Meanwhile, in Hyopyo, the 10,000 rebels captured various peaks, but whenever the governmental forces seemed to break, they were instantly reinforced by the Japanese. "
  • "In July, Son Haenggwon assaulted Susseonggun bases, taking matchlock rifles, swords, bullets, gunpowder, and tridents. At a similar time, Park Jungjin attacked the Suseonggun at Shimijang village. He was killed, and his daughter captured; descendants destroyed the family tree and burned down the house. After arrivals of new officials, the Jindo rebels joined the Naju rebels. Most were captured and sent back to Jindo. In October 10, 1,322 soldiers, composed mainly of slaves and lower officials, were sent to defend Jindo against possible rebel attacks."
  • "With the guidance of the Hadong rebels, Kim Inbae captured Hadong in September 7."
  • "In September 8, 1894, 7,000 rebels gathered in Sugok Market and established the Chungyeong Daedoso, a center of rebel activities."
  • "The manifesto said the following."
  • "In October 10, 400 rebels gathered in Mount Geumo, a few kilometers west of Jinju, where they were ambushed by Japanese forces. Although the rebels lost more than seventy men in the consequent Battle of Mount Geumo, the rebels still held Jinju Fortress."
  • "Because Kim did not fight at Ugeumchi, his army of 25,000 was still strong."
  • "Kim's opponent was Kuwabara Eiziro and his Japanese battalion, along with governmental troops with little morale. Kim's 15,000 men attacked from south, while Son Cheonmin's 10,000 men attacked from the north. The defenders of Cheongju lacked morale due to the Daejeon Massacre, and Kim nearly broke through the south door. Eiziro suddenly assaulted the rebels, and Kim retreated to Muneui."
  • "By March 22, rebels of Hoenggang, Yeongdeung, Cheongsan, Boeun, Okcheon, Jinjam, Muneui, Goesan, and Yeongpung were already giving the wealth of the rich to the poor, and beat and castrated corrupt Yangban."
  • "In July, 1,000 rebels wandered through various towns, building earthen fortresses in preparation for a Japanese invasion of Chungcheong. "
  • "In August, 1,500 rebels revolted in Cheonan, and took governmental weapons. After organizing their army in Mount Soto, the rebels camped in Mount Seseong with their newfound weaponry. Mount Seseong was more of a low hill, 22 meters high, defended by a low wall, which was in use since the Proto-Three Kingdoms Age. "
  • "Because Gyeonggi was very close to Seoul, rebel activities in Gyeonggi were few. The largest Gyeonggi rebel groups, numbering 1,000 rebels, were in Yicheon, Yeoju, Anseong, and other parts of Southeastern Gyeonggi. "
  • "In September, more than 1,000 rebels attacked Gangneung, which lacked defenses. The rebels gave one sack of rice to each peasant by taking the wealth of the rich, and built strongholds in most marketplaces. The rebels formed their own court, lowered taxes, and punished corrupt Yangban and rich Sangmin. In September 7, an anti-rebel battalion led by Yi Hoewon assaulted the sleeping rebels in the rainy dawn. 20 rebels were killed, and Yi's forces took 7 guns, 157 spears, and 2 horses. The rebels passed the Daegwanryeong Pass into Pyeongchang. By late September, the rebels had reorganized and recaptured Gangneung. they also occupied Pyeongchang, Yeongweol, and Jeongseon. In response, the Japanese army sent Captain Ishimori against the Gangneung rebels in November 3. In November 5, 10,000 rebels had a two-hour-long battle against Ishimori's troops, but were ultimately defeated. The rebels fled to Jeongseon. In November 6, the governmental troops killed 10 rebels in Jeongseon and burned down 70 houses. The rebels again fled to Pyeongchang. Ishimori fought against 3,000 rebels in Pyeongchang in December 1, 1894. The rebels scattered after an hour of battle. 70 rebels were instantly killed, 30 died from their wounds, and 10 prisoners were killed for attempted rebellion. The Gangneung rebels ceased to exist after this battle."
  • "Rebels of these regions were mostly guerrillas in a mountainous terrain. The rebel leader was the legendary Cha Giseok, the Great Jeobju of the Gwandong Region. He led 1,000 rebels, who punished corrupt Yangban and collected taxes from merchants. It is said that Cha killed hundreds of Yangban."
  • "The government asked Maeng Yeongjae, a Confucian scholar, to conquer Cha's 'crowd of roving thieves'. Maeng, who was suppressing the rebels of Yicheon at the time, gladly obliged. In October 21, Maeng and Cha battled in the Jangya Fields, in which more than 30 rebels were killed. The rebels fled to Seoseok, into a pass called 'Seonang Pass'. It was so named because there was an altar to the deity Seonangshin in the pass. In October 22, 2,000 rebels were killed in the consequent Battle of Jajak Pass, the largest battle in Gangwon Province before the Korean War. The rebels lacked guns, and they used birch branches as weapons. They also lacked pots, and cooked rice over cattle hide. Because of the narrowness of the pass, the rebels were crowded, and it was easy for Maeng's troops to fire into the camp and kill rebels. Maeng himself reports that "it was impossible to see how many died", but descendants have given an estimate of 1,800~2,000. Descendants also report that the battle continued for three or four days. The Seonang Pass was renamed Jajak Pass, because the blood made a 'Jajak' sound as it rolled down the pass. In October 26, the survivors, including Cha, regathered. In November 11, they began the Battle of Mount Odae, in which Maeng's soldiers surrounded Mount Odae and began to climb it and defeat the rebels inside. 100 rebels were killed, and 40 houses were burned. Cha was captured in November 14, and beheaded for treason in Chuncheon."
  • "Suzuku's soldiers burned four sacks of rice cakes in Gajichon."
  • "Kim Gu and his rebels sought to reoccupy Haeju, and attacked Japanese scouts in 6:00 am of December 2, 1894. The battle continued until 8:00, when the rebels finally fled. Tens of rebels were again killed, and many were captured. From the captured rebels, Suzuku discovered a manifesto written by Choe Sihyeong, the Donghak patriarch. The manifesto proved that the Haeju rebels were under the command of Choe Sihyeong and the Northern Jeob leaders."
  • "Kim had been betrayed by a friend named Yim Byeongchan, and captured by 80 governmental soldiers who surrounded the house of Kim's brother-in-law. Kim was dragged to Naju. In December 13, he was put to death by beheading, and his corpse was ripped apart in five. The magistrate of Naju ate Kim's intestines and liver."
  • "In December 2, Jeon Bongjun was also captured in a village called Pinori in modern Suncheon(see left), betrayed by his lieutenant Kim Gyeongcheon. Jeon suspected that Kim had betrayed him, and leaped out of the two-story house holding his musket. However, the house was surrounded by governmental soldiers, and he was hit many times with large sticks, causing him to break his legs. Jeon was imprisoned and taken to Seoul. Kim Gyeongcheon went into hiding, because he feared that the rebels would kill him. Trials were not held because the government wanted to put Jeon, Son Hwajung, Choe Gyeongseon, and Kim Deokmyeong to trial all at once. (these four, along with Kim Gaenam, are known as the Five Donghak Generals)"
  • "In December 7, the Japanese finally killed Kim Inbae, the Great Jeobju of Geumgu who had aided the Jinju rebels, in the Battle of Gwangyang Fortress. Kim Inbae's head was tied to a pole and displayed in Gwangyang. However, in Jangheung, the rebel leader Yi Bangeon captured Gangjin in December 7. In December 11, Son Hwajung was also captured."
  • "With the death of Yi Bangeon, the rebels had been completely exterminated, except for 30 rebels who hid in Mount Daedun."
  • "The last battle in the Donghak Revolution was the Battle of Mount Daedun, February 17. The 30 rebels held the mountain for three days, until a Japanese battalion attacked them by climbing up the rocky cliffs. Only a young child survived. However, rebels were still killed into 1895 in various ways. Those included:"
  • "However, the current edition of the North Korean history textbook claims that 'the patriotic line' descends from Jeon Changhyeok (Jeon bongjun's father and Gyojo Shinwon leader) through Jeon Bongjun to Jeon Haesan. The South Korean Ministry of Education claims that this is North Korean textbook revisionism, in order to glorify Kim Il-sung by comparing the Kim family to the Jeon family."

(c) it contains no original research.

  • Has contained various "cn" tags for the last two weeks.

Broad in its coverage:

(a) it addresses the main aspects of the topic;

(b) it stays focused on the topic without going into unnecessary detail (see summary style).

  • Appears reasonable

Neutral: it represents viewpoints fairly and without bias, giving due weight to each.

  • Appears broadly neutral

Stable: it does not change significantly from day to day because of an ongoing edit war or content dispute.

  • Stable

Illustrated, if possible, by images:

(a) images are tagged with their copyright status, and valid fair use rationales are provided for non-free content;

  • File:Jeon Bongjun, before capture.jpg has a creation date of 1895, but the publication date is given as pre-1895 - which presumably can't be right.
  • File:SonByeongHui.jpg needs a US PD-tag
  • File:Donghak rebels.jpg - unclear why this is fair use of a non-free image; the file argues that "This is one of the very few pictures that depict an event in the Revolution", but it isn't an historical piece, dating from 60+ years after the events in the article, and another artist could produce a similar picture if necessary.

(b) images are relevant to the topic, and have suitable captions.

  • Yes.