Hyochang
Seoul's Park of Heroes
Kim Gu,  Independence Leaders  and  Wonhyo-daesa
Statue of Great Buddhist Master Wonhyo in Hyochang Park
Museum and Library of Baekbeom Kim Gu, opened in October 2002
"Baekbeom" Kim Gu, 1876-1949, President of the Republic of Korea Government-in-Exile (China),
and the one who probably should have been the first President of the Republic of Korea
the Tomb of Baekbeom Kim Gu
Painting of Kim Gu leading the Donghak Peasant's Rebellion to attack Haeju Fortress in 1894, when he was 18 years old
with Chiang Kai-shek in the late 1930s
After his triumphant return in fall 1945, after Korea's Liberation by the American defeat of Japan in WW-II,
he led the populist Anti-Trusteeship Movement  --
in my opinion, his biggest mistake -- wrongheaded, shortsighted
and disastrous.   Had they accepted Trusteeship, Korea would have had a better chance of remaining united and peaceful...
Ratifying the Constitution of the ill-fated Korean People's Government in 1946, at Changdeok Palace
With Syngman Rhee at Changdeok-gung in 1947.   Rhee gave the order for his assassination
by an army lieutenant two years later,  as Kim refused to give up on the goal of a united Korea.
Death on June 26th, 1949
and Funeral,  burial at Hyochang
the Uiyeol-sa Shrine, in which portraits of seven top leaders and martyrs of the post-1919 Korean Independence
Movement are enshrined in the Neo-Confucian style:  Kim Gu, Yi Dong-nyeong, Jo Seong-hwan, Cha Ri-seok,
Yi Bong-chang, Yun Bong-gil and Baek Jeong-gi.   Memorial services are held here every April 13th.
The tombs of the final three there, called patriotic martyrs, are in the next compound -- along with an empty tomb-
site waiting for the remains of Ahn Jung-geun (1879-1910, assassin of Ito Hirobuni) which have yet to be found.
Statue of Lee Bong-chang, intending to kill Hirohito the "emperor" of Japan in 1931.
the plot failed, and he was arrested and executed.
entrance to the tombs of three top officers of the Korean Provisional Government in Shanghai,
with a sign admonishing visitors to behave politely.
Syngman Rhee [Lee Seung-man], Kim Ku  and General John Hodge meeting in November 1945.
Hodge is the man 5-star Gen. Douglas MacArthur sent to Korea to disarm the Japanese and secure public order;
however, in the cause of "anti-communism" he quickly broke up the Korean People's Government and took over the southern
area, re-instating many pro-Japanese figures and promoting Rhee, incurring public fury and plunging Korea into divisive chaos.
mural on a public wall near Dongjak National Cemetery
His portrait was chosen for the w100,000 bill by the Bank of Korea under the leftist Roh Mu-hyeon
administration at the end of 2007, even though independence activist-hero Ahn Chang-ho had been
selected for the new note on the recommendation of a civil advisory committee in November 2007
(against several other strong competitors such as Dan-gun, Park Chung-hee, Syngman Rhee, Yi
Sun-shin & Wonhyo).  And for that reason the bill was never printed -- the right-wing Lee Myung-bak
administration cancelled the bill in January 2009 due to lingering hatred of Kim as "an appeaser of
communism".  The official reasons for cancelling the printing, however, were given as inflationary
threat and that the great 1861 map of Korea called
Daedong Yeojido that was chosen to be printed
on the back of the bill does not include the Dok-do islets (they are seen on the back here, in an
alternative design).  This all just shows how controversial Kim's image and legacy remain today.