Seoul to commemorate March 1The Seoul Metropolitan Government on Sunday announced about 30 programs to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the March 1 Independence Movement that protested for independence from Japan.
The programs, organized by the Seoul city government, include a re-enactment of a “manse” procession of Korean demonstrators in the historical event, special exhibitions and cultural performances.
Participants will march from Seoul Square in front of Seoul City Hall to the Gwanghwamun intersection on March 1, shouting “Daehan dongnip manse,” which means “Long live the independence of Korea,” as their ancestors did 100 years ago.
More than 10 percent of the Korean population, or about 2 million protesters, took part in the series of anti-Japan rallies held across the country and abroad from March 1, 1919, two days ahead of a funeral for Emperor Gojong of the Korean Empire, through May of that year. The three months of movement ended in failure due to brutal crackdowns by Japan but had a great influence on efforts by other colonial countries to achieve liberation from imperialist powers. The city government will hold a special exhibition to honor about 15,000 Korean independence fighters at Seoul Square from March 2 to 8.
On March 2, at the Sejong Center for the Performing Arts, central Seoul, citizens will have a chance to enjoy a concert to mark the anniversary and the “Yu Gwang-sun Opera Cantata” by the Seoul Metropolitan Chorus.
The Seoul Museum of History will hold a special exhibition, titled “March 1 Movement in Seoul and Pyongyang,” from March 1 through May 26.
Historic sites associated with the 1919 movement will be turned into places where Koreans can remember and honor the spirit of the independence movement.
The government plans to create a public square at the old site of Taehwagwan restaurant where 33 national leaders launched the movement by reading a statement in which they declared Korean independence. Construction of the new square will begin next month for completion by the Aug. 15 Korean Liberation Day.
Construction work to restore “Dilkusha,” the home of Albert Wilder Taylor, an American journalist who broke the news of the 1919 rallies, in Seoul is currently under way, with a goal of completing it in 2020.