Independence Movement Day is a South Korean holiday celebrated annually on March 1. This day marks one of the earliest instances of public Korean resistance. It occurred on March 1, 1919, giving it the name “Samil Jeol,” “Three-One Movement,” or “March First Movement.” Approximately two million people participated in peaceful protests against Japan’s occupation of Korea. The demonstrations began in Seoul, the capital of South Korea, and quickly spread to the rest of the country. At a rally in Tapgol Park, the Korean Declaration of Independence was read aloud.
The background of Independence Movement Day
In 1946, one year after Korea achieved independence, Independence Movement Day became a national holiday. The holiday was established on May 24, 1949. The movement was initiated by thirty-three religious and cultural leaders from Korea. They issued the Korean Declaration of Independence in opposition to the Japanese occupation of Korea from 1910 to 1945. Koreans had been denied many freedoms. On March 1, 1919, the commemoration day for their late emperor, a massive demonstration was organised in Seoul.
The 33 leaders hoped to bring international attention and pressure to bear on Japan in an effort to end Japan’s colonial rule in Korea. The proclamation was signed and read in public, and a large crowd gathered to hear Chung Jae-Yong read the declaration. The assembly formed a tranquil procession. At precisely 2:00 p.m. on that day, other special delegates of the movement read the independence proclamation from designated locations across the nation.
The movement lasted a year before being suppressed by the Japanese. Approximately two million Koreans had participated in more than 1,500 demonstrations by this point. During the movements, it was estimated that approximately 7,000 people were killed and 16,000 were injured. A fire destroyed approximately 715 homes, 47 churches, and two schools. More than 46,000 individuals were arrested, and approximately 10,000 were tried and convicted.
5 IMPORTANT FACTS ABOUT KOREA DURING THEIR STRUGGLE
No Koreans held prominent positions in the government.
There was a disparity between the quality of education received by Koreans and Japanese.
The rate at which new laws were passed was too rapid for the public to keep up.
The tax burden was too great for the Korean people to bear.
In an effort to suppress Korean culture and education, the Japanese fired Korean village teachers.
INDEPENDENCE MOVEMENT DAY DATES