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Archive to revive 1907 Korea

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20.09.2019
By Kim Ji-myung

While I was finalizing my dissertation in November 2017, UNESCO decided to list on the Memory of the World Register the very documentary archives I had been researching ― the National Debt Redemption Movement Archives. Those thousands of historical records, handwritten letters and newspaper articles from 1907 to 1910 attest to the first nationwide voluntary fundraising movement by the Korean people.

To briefly explain the backdrop of this civil movement, Korea had long been slowly usurped of her sovereign rights, mainly to Japan, since the 1870s by interfering Japanese advisers, while China, America and Russia were also competing to claim their portion of interest in this waning kingdom.

The period of the Korean Empire from 1897 to 1910 hit Korean society with a paralyzing force on all dimensions. Forced to open the nation by treaties with other countries, through negotiations handled by foreign advisers and interpreters, the royal court and government officials alike were lost, suspicious and divided among themselves.

On the other hand, foreign books, religions and alien cultures came in, shaking the intellectual........

© The Korea Times