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Biographies of Korean patriots to be published

The Independence Hall of Korea announced Wednesday the launch of a five-year project that traces the legacies of thousands of Korean independence activists and compiles them into an encyclopedia.

“The Who’s Who in the Korean Independence Movement” will feature 16,000 patriots who campaigned against Japanese colonial rule, including well-known heroes Ahn Jung-geun and Yun Bong-gil. The encyclopedia is expected to be published in 2019, the year that marks the 100th anniversary of the foundation of the Provisional Government of the Republic of Korea, the Korean government-in-exile in China founded in 1919. 

Yun Ju-keyng. (Yonhap)
Yun Ju-keyng. (Yonhap)

“This year marks the 70th anniversary of Korea’s independence (from Japan). Announcing the launch of the ‘Who’s Who’ project is a meaningful way to commemorate it,” said Yun Ju-keyng, president of the state-run museum and granddaughter of independence fighter Yun Bong-gil, at the press conference Wednesday.

A group of 130 researchers and experts of the Korean independence movement and modern history, commissioned by the IHK, will reconstruct the individual lives of the activists. They will trace their birthplaces, childhood, education, anecdotes and achievements based on various historical records and interviews.

“There are many independence fighters whose lives are rarely known. The committee will try its best to recover their legacies,” said Jang Seok-hong, director of the Institute of the Korean Independence Movement Studies, an affiliate of the IHK.

The grand plan to retrace Korea’s independence movements was initially envisaged in 1993. Since then, the IHK has published several books on various independence movements and groups in Korea.

The biographies of independence fighters are the last in this series.

By Lee Woo-young  (
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Korea Herald daum