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Korea's Fight for Freedom

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101 pages
The Project Gutenberg EBook of Korea's Fight for Freedom, by F.A. McKenzieThis eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere at no cost and with almost no restrictions whatsoever. You may copy it,give it away or re-use it under the terms of the Project Gutenberg License included with this eBook or online atwww.gutenberg.netTitle: Korea's Fight for FreedomAuthor: F.A. McKenzieRelease Date: September 3, 2004 [EBook #13368]Language: English*** START OF THIS PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK KOREA'S FIGHT FOR FREEDOM ***Produced by PG Distributed Proofreaders. Produced from images provided by the Million Book Project.KOREA'S FIGHT FOR FREEDOM"Mr. F.A. McKenzie has been abused in the columns of the Japanese press_ with a violence which, in the absence ofany reasoned controversy, indicated a last resource. In answer to his specific charges, only one word has been uttered—'lies!'"Yet these charges embrace crimes of the first magnitude—murder, plunder, outrage, incendiarism, and in short all thehorrors that make up tyranny of the worst description. It is difficult to see how Mr. McKenzie's sincerity could be called intoquestion, for he, too, like many other critics of the new Administration, was once a warm friend and supporter of Japan."In those days, his contributions were quoted at great length in the newspapers of Tokyo, while the editorial columnsexpressed their appreciation of his marked capacity. So soon, however, as he found fault with the conditions prevailing ...
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The Project Gutenberg EBook of Korea's Fight for Freedom, by F.A. McKenzie This eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere at no cost and with almost no restrictions whatsoever. You may copy it, give it away or re-use it under the terms of the Project Gutenberg License included with this eBook or online at www.gutenberg.net Title: Korea's Fight for Freedom Author: F.A. McKenzie Release Date: September 3, 2004 [EBook #13368] Language: English *** START OF THIS PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK KOREA'S FIGHT FOR FREEDOM *** Produced by PG Distributed Proofreaders. Produced from images provided by the Million Book Project. KOREA'S FIGHT FOR FREEDOM "Mr. F.A. McKenzie has been abused in the columns of the Japanese press_ with a violence which, in the absence of any reasoned controversy, indicated a last resource. In answer to his specific charges, only one word has been uttered —'lies!' "Yet these charges embrace crimes of the first magnitude—murder, plunder, outrage, incendiarism, and in short all the horrors that make up tyranny of the worst description. It is difficult to see how Mr. McKenzie's sincerity could be called into question, for he, too, like many other critics of the new Administration, was once a warm friend and supporter of Japan. "In those days, his contributions were quoted at great length in the newspapers of Tokyo, while the editorial columns expressed their appreciation of his marked capacity. So soon, however, as he found fault with the conditions prevailing in Korea, he was contemptuously termed a 'yellow journalist' and a 'sensation monger.'"—From "Empires of the Far East" by F. Lancelot Lawson. London. Grant Richards. "Mr. McKenzie was perhaps the only foreigner outside the ranks of missionaries who ever took the trouble to elude the vigilance of the Japanese, escape from Seoul into the interior, and there see with his own eyes what the Japanese were really doing. And yet when men of this kind, who write of things which come within scope of personal observation and enquiry, have the presumption to tell the world that all is not well in Korea, and that the Japanese cannot be acquitted of guilt in this context, grave pundits in Tokyo, London and New York gravely rebuke them for following their own senses in preference to the official returns of the Residency General. It is a poor joke at the best! Nor is it the symptom of a powerful cause that the failure of the Japanese authorities to 'pacify' the interior is ascribed to 'anti-Japanese' writers like Mr. McKenzie."—From "Peace and War in the Far East," by E.J. Harrison. Yokohama. Kelly and Walsh. Korea's Fight for Freedom By F.A. McKENZIE Author of "The Tragedy of Korea," "The Unveiled East," "Through the Hindenburg Line" etc. 1920 Preface The peaceful uprising of the people of Korea against Japan in the spring of 1919 came as a world surprise. Here was a nation that had been ticketed and docketed by world statesmen as degenerate and cowardly, revealing heroism of a very high order. The soldier facing the enemy in the open is inspired by the atmosphere of war, and knows that he has at least a fighting chance against his foe. The Koreans took their stand—their women and children by their side—without weapons and without means of defense. They pledged themselves ahead to show no violence. They had all too good reason to anticipate that their lot would be the same as that of others who had preceded them—torture as ingenious and varied as Torquemada and his familiars ever practiced. They were not disappointed. They were called on to endure all that they had anticipated, in good measure, pressed down and running over. When they were dragged to prison, others stepped into their place. When these were taken, still others were ready to succeed them. And more are even now waiting to join in the dreadful procession, if the protests of the civilized world do not induce Japan to call a halt. It seems evident that either the world made a mistake in its first estimate of Korean character, or these people have experienced a new birth. Which is the right explanation? Maybe both. To understand what has happened, and what, as I write, is still happening, one has to go back for a few years. When Japan, in face of her repeated pledges, annexed Korea, her statesmen adopted an avowed policy of assimilation. They attempted to turn the people of Korea into Japanese—an inferior brand of Japanese, a serf race, speaking the language and following the customs of their overlords, and serving them. To accomplish this better, the Koreans were isolated, not allowed to mix freely with the outer world, and deprived of liberty of speech, person and press. The Japanese brought certain material reforms. They forgot to supply one thing— justice. Men of progressive ideas were seized and imprisoned in such numbers that a new series of prisons had to be built. In six years the total of prisoners convicted or awaiting trial doubled. The rule of the big stick was instituted, and the Japanese police were given the right to flog without trial any Korean they pleased. The bamboo was employed on scores of thousands of people each year, employed so vigorously as to leave a train of cripples and corpses behind. The old tyranny of the yang-ban was replaced by a more terrible, because more scientifically cruel, tyranny of an uncontrolled police. The Japanese struck an unexpected strain of hardness in the Korean character. They found, underneath the surface apathy, a spirit as determined as their own. They succeeded, not in assimilating the people, but in reviving their sense of nationality. Before Japan acquired the country, large numbers of Koreans had adopted Christianity. Under the influence of the teachers from America, they became clean in person, they brought their women out from the "anpang" (zenana) into the light of day, and they absorbed Western ideas and ideals. The mission schools taught modern history, with its tales of the heroes and heroines of liberty, women like Joan of Arc, men like Hampden and George Washington. And the missionaries circulated and taught the Bible—the most dynamic and disturbing book in the world. When a people saturated in the Bible comes into touch with tyranny, either one of two things happens, the people are exterminated or tyranny ceases. The Japanese realized their danger. They tried, in vain, to bring the Churches under Japanese control. They confiscated or forbade missionary textbooks, substituting their own. Failing to win the support of the Christians, they instituted a widespread persecution of the Christian leaders of the north. Many were arrested and tortured on charges which the Japanese Courts themselves afterwards found to be false. The Koreans endured until they could endure no more. Not the Christians alone, but men of all faiths and all classes acted as one. The story of their great protest, of what led up to it, and the way in which it was met, is told in this book. To the outsider, one of the most repulsive features of
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