What I’ve discovered
At a turbulent time in Korean history, Ahn Joong-Gun (also An Chung-gun) sacrificed himself in order
to assassinate HiroBumi Ito, the man regarded as the chief architect of the Japanese plans to
occupy and rule Korea.
HiroBumi Ito had been the first Japanese Resident-General of Korea, from 1905 to 1909.
On 19th November 1905 Ito pressured the Korean government into signing the ‘Protectorate Treaty’,
which gave Japan the right to occupy Korea.
After news of this leaked out the Korean people began to form anti-Japanese guerrilla groups.
As a well known educator, Ahn Joong-Gun had established his own school, Sam-Heung (Three Success)
school. As the oppression of his country worsened he went into self-exile in Manchuria where he set up
his own 300-man guerrilla army.
Knowing that he would have no possible means of escape, disguised as a Japanese, Ahn Joong-Gun lay in wait at Harbin Station, Manchuria.
As Ito stepped off the train on 26th October 1909, Ahn Joong-Gun shot him.
Ahn was captured and imprisoned at Lui-Shung prison (Port Arthur), despite five months of barbaric torture his spirit never broke and on 26th March 1910, he was executed.
Unfortunately, as with other attempts to highlight the plight of the Korean people, this event only
served to make the Japanese more determined to clamp down on Korean activists and culminated in the
Japanese troops being deployed to surround the palace.
On August 22nd 1910, with no means of escape Emperor Sunjong was forced to approve the treaty of
annexation, which had already been signed by his ministers.
This brought the Yi dynasty to an end after 519 years.
Mr Ahn’s love for his country was preserved in the calligraphy found in his cell it simply said,
’The Best Rivers and Mountains’; he reputedly wrote this in his own blood after severing a finger.
In his encyclopaedia General Choi told us:
Joong-Gun is named after the patriot Ahn Joong-Gun who assassinated HiroBumi Ito
the first Japanese Governor-General of Korea, known as the man who played the
leading part in the Korea-Japan merger. There are 32 movements in this pattern to
represent Mr Ahn’s age when he was executed at Lui-Shung prison in 1910.