User:Chiy610/Gwangju Student Independence Movement

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Chiy610/Gwangju Student Independence Movement
Hangul 광주 학생 독립 운동
Revised Romanization Gwangju Hakseng Doknip Undong
McCune–Reischauer Kwangju haksaeng Toknip undong

The Gwangju Student Independence Movement (Hangul: 광주 학생 독립 운동 Hanja:光州學生獨立運動), or Gwangju Student Movement is the Korean independence movement in Gwangju against the Japanese rule of Korea on 1929 which is considered as the biggest Korean independence movement after the March 1st Movement. Soon, this independence movement spread out throughout the Korean Peninsula.


the monument of Sam-il movement at Tapgol park

Shortly after the March 1st Movement, the Provisional Government of the Republic of Korea was established which fostered the independence until the liberation from Japan was achieved. [1] Soon, on 1920, the provisional government led Battle of Qingshanli which is regarded as one of the most successful battles against the Japanese Empire in the independence history of Korea. [2] As a result, the Japan Empire and Japanese General Government responded to this with cruel suppression thus the independence movement faced stalemate. However, as the new clandestine organization for the independence called the New Trunk Association was formed in 1927, the independent movement became much more active with clandestine activities. Also, as the New Trunk Association embraced various political spectrum in Korea, they could gain much more power to struggle against Japan.


The 1st student movement[edit]

On October 30 1929, Japanese students in the train station in Naju harassed a few Korean female students. This became a fuse of anti-Japanese demonstrations in various high schools in Gwangju. Especially, on November 10, when was coincidently both the birthday of Emperor Meiji (明治節) and Gaecheonjeol which was regarded as the National Foundation Day (Hangul :개천절 Hanja : 開天節), students were forced to sing the song Kimigayo, the hymn to the Tennō. In stead of reluctantly singing it, students made a silence or shouted for independence.[3] Jaeseong Jang, one of those students who participated in this activity, started to lead street demonstrations and insisted that they should make this movement towards the resistance against the Japanese rules.

The 2nd student movement[edit]

On November 12, students group led by Jaeseong Jang distributed their mimeographed copies asking to participate in the movement. Later, students from a few high schools such as Gwangju Agriculture High School and Gwangju Girls' High School decided to make a strike against the Japanese regime. In response, authorities decided to impose suspension on students who participated in the movement, but it actually led more people to be encouraged. Among the slogans the students had, the nationalist and socialist views seemed to be distinct.[4]


While the movement was becoming intense, Seokchun Jang, the head of the Gwangju branch of New People's Association, arrived Seoul to report what happened in Gwangju to leaders of New People's Association. From the two conferences he held, he insisted that this movement should become national-wide to struggle for independence. Soon this idea got accepted, and New People's Association began to prepare for demonstrations in Seoul and other major cities. Even though most leaders in Seoul got arrested by the police before their protests, a few schools continued to have demonstrations. This led to the participation from other major political leaders such as Cho Byeong-ok, Han Yong-un, and Song Jin-Woo. Eventually, the number of participated schools proliferated by 323.


Although their protests resulted in the sever repression from the Japanese government, those efforts students made not only encouraged national independence movement, but also became the predecessor of student movements. [5] In 1953, the National Assembly of South Korea announced the establishment of the Student's Day (학생의 날) to celebrate students' efforts on every November 3. Later, in 2006, this name soon changed into Student Independence Movement Anniversary(학생독립운동 기념일).


  1. ^ Sources of Korean Tradition, vol. 2, From the Sixteenth to the Twentieth Centuries, edited by Yŏngho Ch'oe, Peter H. Lee, and Wm. Theodore de Bary, Introduction to Asian Civilizations (New York: Columbia University Press, 2000), 336.
  2. ^
  3. ^
  4. ^ Ibid.
  5. ^