As printed in Korean Philately,|
February 2002, Vol. 48, No.1;
by; William M. Collyer
Korean Patriot Ahn Chang-ho
During a break from the American Philatelic Society (APS) EXPO 2002 Stamp Show in the Riverside Convention Center (Riverside, California) 8-10 February 2002, I took a walk on the nearby Main Street Pedestrian Mall. At the intersection of the Main Street Pedestrian Mall and University Avenue, there is a full-sized, standing statue of Korean Patriot, Ahn Chang-ho, wearing a western suit. The life-sized statue of Patriot Ahn Chang-ho was erected by the Memorial Foundation of Riverside, California, and was dedicated on August 11, 2001.
Because the statue was erected only last year (August 11, 2001), there are probably many KSS members who are unaware of its existence and of the importance of Ahn Chang-ho, also known as Dosan Ahn Chang-ho.
Surrounding this statue is a grouping of six plaques depicting the life of the patriot:
#1. “Dosan picking oranges in Alta Cresta Groves about 1912”.
#2. “Dosan studying with children, about 1902".
#3. “Dosan teaching Bible study by oil lamp, about 1904-1906”.
#4. “The ideal of cooperation”.
#5. “Leader of (Korean) Independence Movement about 1919”.
(Dosan organized the Korean Provisional Government in exile in Shanghai. The government upheld the Shanghai Declaration of Independence based on Dosan’s Democratic Ideals.)
#6. “Reconciliation of the ideal of a nation”.
You will recall that the 1919 Shanghai Government in exile issued a two (2) won red revenue stamp which is listed as (PGR 1) in the Korea Standard Stamp Catalogue. (NOTE: The amount on this stamp is incorrectly printed as “tow” instead of “two.”) Peter and I expect to do more research on this revenue stamp and the Korean Government in exile in Shanghai, China circa 1919.
Ahn Chang-ho is the topic of a 300 won stamp issued by Korea in 1983. See Scott 1265, “Ahn Chang-ho (1878-1938) Independence Fighter.”
As printed in A HANDBOOK OF KOREA, 3rd-1979 and 9th-1993;
Published by the Korean Overseas Information Service
Further Moves Against Japanese Rule
The Japanese Government-General was constantly sensitive to the public awareness and education of Koreans. Thus, in a nationwide search conducted in 1910 for books on Korean history and geography, 200,000 to 300,000 were confiscated and burned. Included in the proscription were Korean readers, biographies of national heroes of earlier centuries, and Korean translations of foreign books relating to independence, the birth of the nation, revolution, etc.
The Japanese also re-interpreted Korean history for their own purposes. Historians employed at the Research Department of the Southern Manchurian Railroad Company were ordered to distort Korean history. The Historical Geography of Manchuria, Historical Geography of Korea, and Report of Geographical and Historical Research in Manchuria are products of such historiography. In the History of the Korean Peninsula (1915), the Japanese limited the scope of Korean history to the peninsula, severing it from relations with the Asian continent and brushing aside as fallacy judgments made by Korean historians.
This Japanese attempt to annihilate the Korean national consciousness was even more conspicuous in educational policy. The educational act promulgated in September 1911 was geared mainly to secure manpower for the operation of the colonial establishment. The Japanese also tightened their control of traditional as well as private schools. More than 90 percent of school-age children were denied the opportunity to learn, thereby keeping them illiterate. The 12 years between 1910 and 1922 saw a spectacular decrease in the number of private schools, from more than 2,000 to about 600. Such was the dire effect of the efforts of the Japanese colonial masters to extinguish Korea’s national consciousness.
Early in 1907, when resistance against the Office of the Resident- General was at its height under the leadership of the ‘‘righteous armies," the Shinminhoe came into being. The aim of this secret organization was to recover independence. Led by An Ch’ang-ho, the association continued to grow, and by 1910 had a membership of more than 300, representing all the provinces.
From Syngman Rhee; by Robert T Oliver; Dodd Mead & Co. New York - 1955.
To escape capture by the Japanese, Ahn Chang-ho soon ended up in the U. S; spending time in California and Hawaii.
The one significant political organization that existed in Hawaii, was the Korean National Association, or the "KNA", as it was familiarly called. Ahn Chang-ho, a native of Pyangyang, was one of KNA's principal leaders.
Ahn Chang-ho went to China, after the attack by Japan upon Manchuria, and in 1932 was arrested by the Japanese, charged with complicity in a Shanghai bombing attack by Korean nationalists against the Japanese military leaders. He suffered three years of imprisonment.
In July 1937, he was in Seoul, where he was arrested soon after the attack on the Marco Polo Bridge, which started the "China Incident".
Released from prison in mid-December and suffering from the tortures he endured in jail, he died in the Seoul Medical College Hospital on March 10, 1938, at the age of sixty.