Tuesday, March 1, 2016

March 1st Movement

Koreans have been a people suppressed and subjugated by many nations around them for thousands of years. It is so much a part of a Korean person's identity, the "han" that is interwoven into the subconscious and makes us a people with a bent towards depression and fatalism. I'm reminded of that today--March 1st.

Approximately 2,000,000 Koreans had participated in the more than 1,500 demonstrations, many who were massacred by the Japanese police force and army.[2] The frequently cited The Bloody History of the Korean Independence Movement (Hangul한국독립운동지혈사hanja韓國獨立運動之血史) by Park Eun-sik reported 7,509 people killed, 15,849 wounded, and 46,303 arrested. From March 1 to April 11, Japanese officials reported only 553 people killed with over 12,000 arrested, 8 policemen and military killed, and 158 wounded. Many arrested were taken to the infamous Seodaemun Prison in Seoul where they faced torture, death without trial or due process.
It's likely also why Korea is a land of fierce beliefs, in Christianity and Buddhism. Of course suffering comes from God, suffering refines you and suffering brings you to enlightenment. We were just born to suffer. I'm not trying to impart any words of wisdom or reveal a deep insight into your Korean neighbor. I'm just saying I feel it today. So much sadness, I can touch it.