Commemorating the 100th Anniversary of the March 1st Movement

The Center for Korean Studies is pleased to present a special program commemorating the one hundredth anniversary of the March 1st Korean Independence Movement. The day-long program will take place at the Center Friday, March 15, 2019, beginning at 9:30 a.m.

The demonstrations in Korea on March 1, 1919, were among the earliest public displays of resistance following the Japanese annexation of Korea in 1910. The movement began with thirty-three Korean cultural and religious leaders drawing up a “Proclamation of Independence” and then organizing a mass demonstration in Seoul for March 1, 1919.

The Center for Korean Studies commemoration particularly highlights Hawai‘i’s significance as a center of the overseas Korean independence movement. The Islands’ Korean residents joined the demands for
“independence, peace, democracy, human rights and a free and equal democratic republic”and provided significant financial support for the movement.

Extract from the proclamation published in Honolulu in 1919

The Center commemoration will include the showing of two documentary films in the morning and an afternoon symposium consisting of presentations on the March 1st Movement. The documentaries are:

  • Footsteps of Korean Americans, which covers the history of Korean Americans and their vital role in the Korean Independence Movement, written by Edward T. Chang and Carol K. Park and
    produced by the Young Oak Kim Center for Korean American Studies at the University of California Riverside. (9:30 a.m.)
  • Arirang: The Korean American Journey, a documentary in honor of the centennial of Korean migration to America by filmmaker Tom Coffman that covers the journey of more than seven thousand Koreans from their homeland to new lives on the sugar plantations of Hawaii. (10:30 a.m.)

The afternoon program will begin with a keynote speech titled “Historical Context and Significance of the March 1st Independence Movement” by historian Byung-ook Ahn, president of the Academy of Korean Studies. Presentations following the keynote include:

  • “The March 1st Movement: In Global Context” by Michael Seth of James Madison University
  • “Hawaii Korean Community Activities Following the March 1st Movement” by Duk Hee Lee Murabayashi of the Korean Immigration Research Institute in Hawaii
  • “The March 1st Movement for Independence and Korean Diasporic Nationalism” by Richard Kim of the University of California, Davis
  • “The righteous Army of Korea as Portrayed in a Korean TV Drama” by Sang Yee Cheon of the University of Hawai’i at Manoa
  • “March 1st Uprising and Its Impact on the Korean American Community” by Edward Chang of the University of California, Riverside.

The program will end with Korean traditional music and dance performances by Hae In Lee and Clara Hur, accompanied by Mary Jo Freshley and Byong Won Lee.

All the day’s activities are free and open to the public. The complete schedule can be found on line here</a>. For further information, contact the Center for Korean Studies at (808) 956-7041.

This program is supported by Academy of Korean Studies grant AKS2018-E31. The University of Hawai‘i is an equal employment opportunity/affirmative action institution.

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