A view of the Seodaemun Prison Historic Museum in Seoul where many materials related to the Korean independence fighters who participated in the March 1, 1919 Movement were incarcerated in Seodaemun Prison are on display.
A view of the Korean Independence Hall in Cheonan, South Chungcheong Province. (Photos: KTO)
Over 7.4 million ethnic Koreans in 179 countries marked the centennial anniversary of both the March 1st Independence Movement of 1919 and the establishment of the Korean Provisional Government in China.
Although a century has passed since the independence movement flared up on March 1, 1919, the legacies of the historic movement in Korea and overseas lives on.
Korea Tourism Organization (KTO) wasted no time in coming up with a list of the historic places where the movement occurred 100 years ago, and launched various programs to celebrate the centenary of the famous event on March 1, this year.
The itinerary is family-friendly and involves touring famous sites, learning about the historic events through their own eyes for deeper understanding, instead of reading books. The list includes 12 courses in Seoul, with the first being Seodaemun Prison History Museum;.It has exhibits of many independence fighters’ personal belongings, including their photos.
They were incarcerated after allegedly participating in the independence movement.
The Seoul War Memorial Children Museum is another place that a family can visit. Also on the list are the Seoul National Hyunchung-won National Protection Exhibition Hall and Seoul Baekbum Kim Koo Memorial Hall, the Seoul Patriot Ahn Joong-keun Memorial Hall, and the Seoul Maeheon Yoon Pong-kil Memorial Hall.
The late Kim, Ahn and Yoon were especially notable among independent fighters. Kim led the independence movement in Chunqing, China in the 1930s and early ‘40s, while Ahn assassinated famous Japanese diplomat Hirobumi Ito at the Harbin Railroad Station in northern Manchuria.
Yoon threw a bomb into a Japanese crowd at a meeting in Shanghai, killing and wounding a number of Japanese military leaders at the meeting.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Feb. 19 said in a news release that it will host celebratory events and receptions to mark the occasion at Korean embassies and cultural centers overseas.
Those to be invited include each area's residents, ethnic Koreans, Korean War veterans and non-Koreans who helped Korea's independence movement throughout the year, the ministry will also host 64 projects around the world to honor the meaning of the movement and the formation of the provisional government.
The projects will include traveling expositions of historic sites related to the movement, seminars, photo exhibitions and commemorative publications. In July, a Korean-Chinese friendship caravan will have 100 youths travel to the five locations where the Korean Provisional Government was housed, including Shanghai and Guangzhou.
Another part of the ministry's commemorative plan is the construction of a peace memorial hall in Utoro, a village in the Japanese city of Uji, Kyoto Prefecture. This is where many Koreans who were forced to help build a military airport in Japan when Korea was under Japanese colonial rule live.
Meanwhile, the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism (MCST) and Korea Trade Organization (KTO) jointly held a tourism policy forum related to the development of DMZ tourism programs at Four Seasons Hotel in Seoul on March 14.
The forum was designed to discuss ways of transforming the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) area into a pace of peace and coexistence in accordance with the advent of a new era of peace following the April 27 Panmunjeom Declaration.