As printed in A HANDBOOK OF KOREA, 3rd-1979 and 9th-1993;
Published by the Korean Overseas Information Service


Yi Pong-chang

Expansion of Japanese colonial capital during the 1920s resulted in increased poverty and depression for the Koreans, and became a target of the resistance struggle. It also stimulated the rise of the socialist movement that was in vogue at that time throughout the world. Japanese laborers frequently joined Koreans in disputes over Japanese capital interests.

The exiled Provisional Government of Korea made efforts to appeal before the great powers at the League of Nations Conference in Geneva in 1932, but leading countries with colonies of their own refused to discuss the Korean prob­lem. Nevertheless, some countries made persis­tent efforts to recognize the Provisional Government. The Moscow government of Lenio approved the granting of a loan in the amount of two million rubles, while the Canton govern­ment of Sun Yat-sen extended formal recogni­tion to the Provisional Government .

Secret organizations continued to operate at home, attacking and destroying Japanese police stations and government buildings. Korean lead­ers were also active in supplying funds to inde­pendence fighters in Manchuria and Shanghai to promote their military and political activities. Along the northern border many small groups of Korean soldiers continued attacks against the Japanese troops. The Uiyoltan, organized in Manchuria in November of 1919, as an indepen­dence organization, infiltrated its commandos into Seoul and Tokyo to carry out the mission of attacking Japanese government offices and assassinating officials. There were frequent explosion incidents in Korea and Japan, and even in China.

"I am thirty-one years old now. Even if I live another thirty-one years, I think, I couldn't find more pleasure than I did until now. If the only purpose of our life is to experience entertainment, I have tasted it roughly during the past 30years. From now on, I want to devote myself to the independence of my homeland for, an eternal pleasure. For this reason, I came to Shanghai." These words that a patriot, Pong-Chang Yi expressed, should be engraved in our minds deeply.

Japanese imperialists which trampled the Oriental peace under the pretence of "Mutual Prosperity for Asia" made the Chinese Government suppress our Provisional Government which was located in Shanghai, by provoking conflicts between Korea and China; but the patriotic deed of martyr, Pong-Chang Yi who threw a bomb towards a mob of Japanese Imperialists who were on their way to participate in the Japanese Military Ceremony on January 8, 1932, including Emporer Hirohito, gave us a new vitality in the activation of our Provisional Government.

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