Notice: Undefined offset: 1 in /home/dh_bgwnx4/worldcatholicnews.com/wp-content/themes/jnews5745747/class/ContentTag.php on line 86
Ahn Jung-geun drew calligraphic artworks in jail before his martyrdom in 1910
One of five calligraphic artworks by Ahn Jung-geun now recognized as national cultural treasures of South Korea. (Photo: Cultural Heritage Administration)
South Korea’s Cultural Heritage Administration has recognized five paintings by Catholic independence hero Thomas Ahn Jung-geun as cultural treasures of the nation.
The state recognition for the calligraphic works, drawn by Ahn in jail before his execution by Japanese imperial forces, came on May 3, Catholic Times of Korea reported on May 11.
The paintings include a handprint of Ahn before his martyrdom in China in 1910. Ahn signed off all his paintings with the phrase “Written by Ahn Jung-geun” in the Korean language.
With the inclusion of five new items, the Korean government has altogether designated 31 materials related to Ahn as national treasures in recognition of his sacrifice for Korean independence from Japanese rule.
The Cultural Heritage Administration said the five paintings deserved recognition for their historic values.
“These paintings have historical values and symbolize the deeds of Ahn Jung-geun. The quality of the work is comparable to that of the already designated works, the state of preservation is very good, and the history of transmission is clear. Therefore, it is worthy of designation as a treasure,” the agency said.
“They express the universal moral values of mankind and, depending on the interpretation, we can also find a connection with the Oriental Peace Theory advocated by Ahn Jung-geun”
Ignatius Gwang Jo, former chairman of the National History Compilation Committee, said the paintings of Ahn have universal moral values.
“They express the universal moral values of mankind and, depending on the interpretation, we can also find a connection with the Oriental Peace Theory advocated by Ahn Jung-geun,” he said.
Born on Sept. 2, 1879, in Haeju of Hwanghae province (now in North Korea), Ahn Jung-geun was the eldest of four children of his Buddhist parents.
Ahn and his family members became Catholic in 1897 thanks to the evangelization of missionaries.
Ahn collaborated with foreign Catholic missionaries to evangelize among Koreans despite pressure and persecution from Buddhist rulers from the Joseon dynasty. With support from the Catholic Church, he established two schools and served as the principal.
On Oct. 26, 1909, Ahn shot dead Hirobumi Ito, the four-times prime minister of Japan and first Japanese resident governor-general of Korea, in Harbin, northeast China
Korea was a protectorate under imperial Japan and a strong nationalist movement for independence flared up. Historical documents suggest Ahn’s father advised him to join the movement to free the country from Japanese occupation.
On Oct. 26, 1909, Ahn shot dead Hirobumi Ito, the four-times prime minister of Japan and first Japanese resident governor-general of Korea, in Harbin, northeast China.
Ahn was detained and incarcerated by Japanese forces. He was executed by hanging on March 26, 1910, in Lushun prison in China. He was only 31.
For his independence struggle and sacrifice, Ahn is regarded as a national icon in Korea and features regularly in drama, art, literature and music.
In 1962, South Korea’s government awarded Ahn the Order of Merit for National Foundation for his contributions to the independence movement.
Credit: Source link