The QiRanger Adventures

Three – One Day

with 4 comments

Flags Lining the Streets

It’s raining cats and dogs outside, so loud that it actually woke me up before my alarm sounded today. While I had already planned on getting up a little early today, I would have enjoyed the ability to sleep in a little longer. Today marks the First of March, a special day in the Land of the Morning Calm that, sadly, many of the younger generation have forgotten.

Samil, Sino-Korean for Three-One, is the official day set aside for honoring those that started Korea’s Independence movement against Japan. When I saw that this day was approaching on the calendar, the name didn’t register, so I started asking my students and co-workers. Most could not correctly identify the history or purpose of the day, only that it was a “red day” and they didn’t have to work.

I think the date is quite interesting, since most countries celebrate only Independence Day, but here in Korea, we also celebrate those that organized that Independence. Here’s more information from the Wiki:

The March First Movement, or Samil Movement (삼일 운동), was one of the earliest displays of Korean independence movements during the Japanese rule of Korea. The name refers to an event that occurred on 1 March 1919, hence the movement’s name, literally meaning “Three-One Movement” in Korean. It is also sometimes referred to as the Manse Demonstrations (만세운동). During the series of demonstrations that began that day and spread throughout Korea, 7,000 people were killed by Japanese police and soldiers.

The inspiration for the Samil Movement came from the repressive nature of Japanese policies under its military administration of Korea following 1905, and the “Fourteen Points” outlining the right of national “self-determination” proclaimed by President Woodrow Wilson at the Paris Peace Conference in January 1919. After hearing news of Wilson’s speech, Korean students studying in Tokyo published a statement demanding Korean independence.

The March 1st movement resulted in a major change in Japanese imperial policy towards Korea. Japanese Governor-General Hasegawa Yoshimichi accepted responsibility for the loss of control (although most of the repressive measures leading to the uprising had been put into place by his predecessors) and was replaced by Saito Makoto. Some of the aspects of Japanese rule considered most objectionable to Koreans were removed. The military police were replaced by a civilian force, and limited press freedom was permitted under what was termed the ‘cultural policy’. Many of these lenient policies were reversed during the Second Sino-Japanese War and World War II.

Women also found new opportunities after the movement to express their views for the first time in Korea. Ideas of female liberation were allowed to be printed after the rebellion. Such journals as the Sin yoja (New Woman) and Yoja kye (Women’s World) were printed.

The March 1 Movement was a catalyst for the establishment of the Provisional Government of the Republic of Korea in Shanghai in April 1919 and also gave influence on nonviolent resistance in India and many other countries.

On May 24, 1949, March 1st was designated a national holiday in South Korea.


Written by Steve Miller

March 1, 2010 at 7:34 am

4 Responses

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  1. I would’ve loved to sleep in too but since you’re already up…. It sure is a nice rainy day to stay cozy in the apartment.
    I love that you love history–it’s one of the things we have in common. ❤


    March 1, 2010 at 7:58 am

    • I love that about us too. I also love that we have plenty of movies to watch and can snuggle on the sofa under the blanket 😉


      March 1, 2010 at 8:01 am

  2. I didn’t know that! It’s cool that they also give credit to those who organized the independence!

    Have a great day, and lucky you, being able to stay under the blankets and watch movies! 😀


    March 1, 2010 at 4:45 pm

    • It’s one of my favorite things to do with Jo on the weekends!


      March 1, 2010 at 6:53 pm

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