Family Site

Greetings from the President

It is historic that the Junggeun Ahn Memorial Museum reopened on 
October 26, 2010, marking the 100th anniversary of the premature death of the Korean independence fighter and peace activist Junggeun Ahn
(1879-1910).
The original building in Korean blue-tiled style was standing on top of Namsan(=South Mountain), in homage of the great Ahn for 40 years since 1970, but was demolished to be replaced by the new modernish building.

The sense of place is very strong and significant here. During Joseon Dynasty (1392-1910) Namsan was considered sacred, populated by the pine trees which symbolize the Korean spirit. But during colonial rule, the Japanese government built a temple right where the Joseon temple had been and the Koreans were brought and forced to pay respect to the Japanese god for years. Upon liberation from Japan, Korea erected a Memorial Hall to memorialize Ahn, believing that he is the one that can subdue the demonish aggressiveness of Japan.
Though Ahn’s life was cut short by the Japanese government, he showed what was the right thing for men and women to do in time of national crisis and regional disturbance. First, he tried to educate people by setting up and running schools with his own money. Second, realizing that education requires many years, he jumped into action. He led the righteous army and fought against the colonizers. Third, he shot the embodiment of imperial aggression to death. Fourth and last, he used art to convey his idea of peace. Dying at the hands of the enemy at the age of thirty, he showed no signs of outrage, anger, or revenge, but maintained peace and calm.

What was most striking was that until the very last minute of his life, he tried to enlighten humanity through his theory of peace: the unfinished manuscripts of “Peace in Asia” demonstrate that he was more than a hundred years ahead of the concept of the world’s economic community, EU, for instance.

The Junggeun Ahn Memorial Museum tour will, I hope, sober every one of us to the true sense of peace, truthfulness, and humanity. 

March 2017


Young-Oak Lee

Director

Professor Emeritus

Sungkyunkwan University


Ahn Jung Geun Memorial Museum

Sowol, Jung-gu, Seoul, Korea 91 Tel: 02-3789-1016/1026 (Night 02-3789-3232)

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