From haircuts for hippies by the police to ancient KoreaOct. 1, 1971
Police officers on the beat started to carry more than a baton on this date; scissors and hair clippers joined their arsenal. The government ordered the police to crack down on longhaired men, under the premise of controlling public morals. Hippie-style long hair then in vogue was an eyesore to the older generation, and thus began a war between the police and the generation of love.
The youth being pursued stuck to back alleys or permed their hair to look short, for the police had no mercy. After capturing a suspect, they simply snipped off a fistful of hair. To promote an orderly crackdown, the police began to escort suspects to a police station or barbershop. Step into any police station back then and you’d find several long-haired types awaiting punishment. The government’s efforts brought 677 offenders to justice, among whom 408 were given a decent, albeit unwanted, haircut.
Oct. 3, 1921
Jang Ji-yeon was an independence movement activist who flexed his pen as a sword. When pro-Japanese officials and the Japanese government signed the Eulsa Treaty in 1905 to deprive Korea of diplomatic rights, Mr. Jang wrote an editorial in the Hwangseong Newspaper denouncing the action. His solemn editorial, “Lamenting Bitterly Over This Day,” accused officials and the Japanese. Mr. Jang was imprisoned for “disturbing the peace by publishing without censorship.” Continuing his career at another newspaper, Mr. Jang held fast to his beliefs until he died on this date.
Oct. 3, 2333 B.C.
Korea was founded on this date by the mythological Dangun. The birth myth was first documented in “Samguk Yusa” (Historic Remains of the Three Kingdom Period) penned by Iryeon, a Buddhist monk of the Goryeo dynasty (918 to 1392).
According to the myth, Hwan-ung, a son of the God in heaven, descended to earth to rule over humankind. A tiger and a bear asked him to make them human, and Hwan-ung promised to fulfill their wish if they endured 100 days in a cave without sunlight, subsisting only on sagebrush and garlic. The bear endured the test and became a woman, while the tiger gave up and left the cave. When the bear-woman wished to marry, Hwan-ung transformed himself into a human to wed her. She later gave birth to Dangun.
Dangun founded the Ancient Joseon nation on this date in Asadal, supposedly today’s Pyeongyang. Dangun is thought to have reigned for about 1,500 years, later becoming a divine spirit. Today, Dangun is simply a myth, but the Ancient Joseon he existed. In the northern part of the Korean Peninsula, the Ancient Joseon prospered during the Bronze and subsequent Iron Age, with a private property system and social hierarchy. Ancient Joseon first appears in other countries’ history books in the 7th century B.C. Dangun, however, remained as a fixture of the Korean nation’s ancient firmament, even with a religion called Daejonggyo with Dangun as its God. Dangun’s idea of ruling was hongik ingan, meaning “benefiting mankind far and wide,” which appears in Korea’s constitution. In 1949, Oct. 3 was officially named Gaecheongjeol or “Day the Sky Opened,” also known as National Foundation Day.
by Chun Su-jin