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Korean People’s Awareness of Japan’s Aggression

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Sinhan Minbo

"Oho Guhan Isaui (Alas! Old Korea Is Already Dead)," Sinhan Minbo
(September 21, 1910)


“Oho Guhan Isaui (Alas! Old Korea Is Already Dead)”
Alas! Old Korea is already dead.
The sky has fallen, and the ground has cracked up. With my heart crushed and tears of blood gushing out, I can barely speak. Korea is a nation that has carried on for 4,243 years and has a territory of 82,000 bangri (unit of area).It is a nation where 20 million people live and an advanced country of Oriental civilization. Who would have imagined that it would perish overnight by the vicious sword of those Japanese invaders from Samdo**? Alas! Korea is already dead. By whose hands did it die? It was murdered by the hands of those mortal enemies of ours, the Japanese. Before we get revenge on our enemy, we will not be able to sleep with our legs sprawling comfortably and face others with our heads held high.

To which do our fellow subjects, 12,000li (4,713km) away from here, appeal their grief and indignation upon hearing this bad news? When they call to heaven, there is no reply. When they knock on the ground, there is no answer. They would rather kill themselves than hear the bad news. But, if it were not for us, who would restore our territory? With this grief and indignation, we just close our eyes and prepare to take revenge. Then there is nothing to deplore and be hesitant about anymore. Do not hesitate and come out. Take a sword if you choose to; take a gun if you choose to; take a cannon if you choose to; and annihilate the foe who killed our nation, for he is worse than an enemy who killed our parents. If each of us deals with two, the Japanese invaders will be easily annihilated. Anyone who is right-minded will gladly do it, and this is not arguable.

As the old saying goes, even when bitten and dragged by a tiger, one can live as long as he keeps his head. This means as long as one keeps his composure, there will surely be an opportunity to survive. Subject Koreans, keep your heads! The bereaved of the nation established by our founder Dangun, collect your wits. If we keep our heads, we will survive, but if we lose our heads, there is no hope. We just hang on to our firm determination and hurriedly prepare to fight with blood.

By referring to and comparing media reports back at home and communications by Germans, it can be known that [back at home], the logistics points of Japanese soldiers, which are positioned at every 10li (4km), have our compatriots detained and the streets of the capital are deserted except for Japanese soldiers and policemen. Thinking about the situation where, no matter how enraged they are, our compatriots at home are bound by the enemy and cannot even breathe easily under heavy weight, how can be our hearts not crushed and we not churn out tears of blood?
Foreigners who are not related to us in the least say that the Koreans are helpless and now have suffered the disgrace of annexation but do not even flinch. They only trust the sly words of the Japanese and do not see the truth about the Koreans. However, we know the situation of our compatriots at home as if seeing it with our own eyes. Their pent-up anger has reached the maximum level, and when it explodes, it will shakeheaven and earth like gunpowder touched by fire. Our compatriots at home are likened to gunpowder and we to fire, and there will be a day when we will be in touch like lighting a fuse. This is not XXX by this journalist, and there is no other choice left for the 20 million people.
We will never kneel before the Japanese Emperor; we will never obey the laws of the Japanese; and we will never be enslaved by them. Pressing duties at our hands are to unite as one, strengthen Korean organizations, and establish on our own laws for autonomy and a provisional government that corresponds to international law(as provisional governments are granted under international law).

* The SinhanIlbo is a news paper published by the Korean sresiding in the US.

** Samdo, or “Three Islands,” refers to Tsushima, Iki Island, and Matsuura, where Japanese pirates used to prevail.

- “XXX” means a missing word.

〔Original Text〕

Original Text