Every year on March 1, South Korea celebrates Independence Movement Day as a public holiday. It is one of the first open manifestations of...
Every year on March 1, South Korea celebrates Independence Movement Day as a public holiday. It is one of the first open manifestations of Korean resistance that occurred on this day. Samil Jeol, also known as the Three-One Movement or March First Movement, is the name given to it since it occurred on March 1, 1919. A peaceful protest against Japan's occupation of Korea drew an estimated two million participants. The protests began in Seoul, the nation's capital, and quickly extended to other regions. A rally in Tapgol Park featured the reading of the Korean Declaration of Independence.
But how did everything start?
Photo Courtesy of Leo Academic Journal
The movement was started by 33 Korean religious and cultural leaders. They created a proclamation of their independence to oppose the Japanese rule of Korea that lasted from 1910 to 1945. And with that, a mass demonstration was organized in Seoul on March 1, 1919.
To abolish Japan's colonial control over Korea, the 33 leaders wanted to increase pressure and international attention. The proclamation was signed and read out in front of a large crowd by a student by the name of Chung Jae-Yong. The crowd formed a peaceful parade. At exactly two o'clock in the afternoon, other special delegates of the movement read the independence declaration from locations around the nation on the day. Millions of people waving Korean flags and walking through the crowded streets chanted, "Long Live Korean Independence."
The Japanese put an end to the movement after a year. Almost two million Koreans had taken part in more than 1,500 protests by this point around the nation. The movement arose so fast that Japanese police could not stifle it, thus, their military forces came to create terrible mass killings. It was estimated that 16,000 people were injured and around 7,000 people died during the migrations. A total of 715 residences, 47 churches, and two schools perished in the fire. A total of 46,000 persons were detained, and around 10,000 of them were tried and found guilty. Although the actual liberation occurred later in 1945, the sacrifices made by these people will live on in Korean history as an unforgettable event.
This movement is started to end government discrimination, unequal education, complicated administrative processes, tax reduction and to protect Korean culture and teachings. And with them taking a step to claim their independence, March 1st became one of Korea's most important memorial days.
We can also celebrate with them by displaying the Korean flag, attending events related to the movement and if you’re in Korea, visit Tapgol Park, it’s where the The Korean Declaration of Independence was read.
This coming March 1st, Koreans will be celebrating its 104th anniversary. This day is really important as it led to Korea’s independence, created a sense of unity and honors Korean heroes.
Thumbnail photo from: Leo Academic Journal
Written by: Jasmine Ticmon
Jasmine Sophia Jhudiel R. Ticmon, or just simply "Jassy," is a Humanities and Social Science Student of Electron College Of Technical Education - Camarin, who writes with luv and fun!