Proclamation of Korean Independence

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Declaration (Proclamation) of Korean Independence
조선 독립 선언
 (1919) 

The
 first
 decade
 of
 Japanese
 colonial
 rule
 in
 Korea
 was
 one
 of
 harsh
 repression.
 In
 1919,
 however,
 a
 group
 of
 prominent 
Koreans 
secretly
 prepared 
a 
Declaration 
of
 Independence 
rejecting 
Japanese
 rule 
and 
its
 presumptions
 and,
 on
 March
 1,
 read
 the
 document
 aloud
 in
 Seoul’s
 Pagoda
 Park.
 Months
 of
 largely
 peaceful,
 nationwide
 demonstrations
 followed,
 ultimately
 involving
 more
 than
 one
 million
 Koreans.
 Japanese
 authorities
 responded
 with
 force,
 resulting
 in
 thousands
 of
 deaths
 and
 an
 even
 larger
 number
 of
 arrests
 before
 the
 independence
 movement 
was 
put 
down.
 In
 the 
aftermath,
 however, 
Japanese
 government 
officials 
sought 
to 
defuse 
the 
situation
 by
 allowing
 for
 a
 time
 greater
 Korean
 cultural
 and
 political
 expression,
 though
 calls
 for
 outright
 political
 action
 against
 colonial
 rule
 were
 still
 forbidden.
 The
 March
 1
 movement
 has
 remained
 a
 touchstone
 for
 Korean
 nationalist
 sentiment
 up
 to 
the
 present.

Declaration (Proclamation) of Korean Independence


Original text:

The Proclamation of Korean Independence.jpg

宣言書 (선언서)

吾等 (오등) ()我朝鮮 (아조선)獨立國 (독립국)임과 朝鮮人 (조선인)自主民 (자주민)임을 宣言 (선언)하노라 ()로써 世界萬邦 (세게만방) ()하야 人類平等 (인류평등)大義 (대의)克明 (극명)하며 ()로써 子孫萬代 (자손만대) ()하야 民族自存 (민족자존)正權 (정권)永有 (영유)케 하노라
半萬年歷史 (반만년력사)權威 (권위) ()하야 ()宣言 (선언)함이며 二千萬民衆 (이천만민중)誠忠 (성중) ()하야 ()佈明 (포명)함이며 民族 (민족)恒久如一 (항구여일)自由發展 (자유발전) ()하야 ()主張 (주장)함이며 人類的良心 (인류적량심)發露 (발로)基因 (긔인)世界改造 (세게개조)大機運 (대긔운)順應並進 (순응병진)하기 ()하야 ()提起 (제긔)함이니 () ()明命 (명명)이며 時代 (시대)大勢 (대세)ㅣ며 全人類共存同生權 (전인류공존동생권)正當 (정당)發動 (발동)이라 天下何物 (천하하물)이던지 ()沮止抑制 (저지억제)치 못 할지니라
舊時代 (구시대)遺物 (유물)侵略主義强權主義 (침략주의강권주의)犧牲 (희생) ()하야 有史以來累千年 (유시이래루천년)에 처음으로 異民族箝制 (이민족겸제)痛苦 (통고) ()한지 ()十年 (십년) ()한지라 我生存權 (아생존권)剝奪 (박탈)됨이 무릇 幾何 (긔하)ㅣ며 心靈上發展 (심령상발전)障礙 (장애)됨이 무릇 幾何 (긔하)ㅣ며 民族的尊榮 (민족적존영)毁損 (훼손)됨이 무릇 幾何 (긔하)ㅣ며 新銳 (신예)獨創 (독창)으로써 世界文化 (세게문화)大潮流 (대조류)寄與補裨 (긔여보비)奇緣 (긔연)遺失 (유실)함이 무릇 幾何 (긔하)ㅣ뇨
()舊來 (구래)抑鬱 (억울)宣暢 (선창)하려 하면 時下 (시하)苦痛 (고통)擺脫 (파탈)하려 하면 將來 (장래)脅威 (협위)芟除 (삼제)하려 하면 民族的良心 (민족적량심)國家的廉義 (국가적염의)壓縮銷殘 (압축소잔)興奮伸張 (흥분신장)하려 하면 各個人格 (각개인격)正當 (정당)發達 (발달) ()하려 하면 可憐 (가련)子弟 (자제)에게 苦恥的財產 (고치적재산)遺與 (유여)치 안이하려 하면 子子孫孫 (자자손손)永久完全 (영구완전)慶福 (경복)導迎 (도영)하려 하면 最大急務 (최대급무)民族的獨立 (민족적독립)確實 (확실)케 함이니 二千萬各個 (이천만각개) ()마다 方寸 (방촌) () ()하고 人類通性 (인류통승)時代良心 (시대량심)正義 (정의) ()人道 (인도)干戈 (간과)로써 護援 (호원)하는 今日吾人 (금일오인) ()하야 ()하매 何强 (하강) ()치 못하랴 退 ()하야 ()하매 何志 (하지) ()치 못하랴
丙子修好條規以來時時種種 (병자수호조규이래시시종종)金石盟約 (금석맹약) ()하얏다 하야 日本 (일본)無信 (무신) ()하려 안이하노라 學者 (학자)講壇 (강단)에서 政治家 (정치가)實際 (실제)에서 我祖宗世業 (아조종세업)植民地視 (식민지시)하고 我文化民族 (아문화민족)土昧人遇 (토매인우)하야 한갓 征服者 (정복자) () ()할 ᄲᅮᆫ이오 ()久遠 (구원)社會基礎 (사회긔초)卓犖 (탁락)民族心理 (민족심리)無視 (무시)한다 하야 日本 (일본)少義 (소의)함을 ()하려 안이하노라 自己 (자긔)策勵 (책려)하기에 ()吾人 (오인) ()怨尤 (원우) ()치 못 하노라 現在 (현재)綢繆 (주무)하기에 ()吾人 (오인)宿昔 (숙석)懲辯 (징변) ()치 못하노라 今日吾人 (금일오인)所任 (소임)은 다만 自己 (자긔)建設 (건설) ()할 ᄲᅮᆫ이오 () ()破壞 (파괴) ()치 안이하도다 嚴肅 (엄숙)良心 (량심)命令 (명령)으로써 自家 (자가)新運命 (신운명)開拓 (개척)함이오 ()舊怨 (구원)一時的感情 (일시적감정)으로써 ()嫉逐排斥 (질축배척)함이 안이로다 舊思想舊勢力 (구사상구세력)羈縻 (긔미)日本爲政家 (일본위정가)功名的犧牲 (공명적희생)이 된 不自然又不合理 (부자연우불합리)錯誤狀態 (착오상태)改善匡正 (개선광정)하야 自然又合理 (자연우합리)政經大原 (정경대원)으로 歸還 (귀한)케 함이로다 當初 (당초)民族的要求 (민족적요구)로서 ()치 안이한 兩國倂合 (량국병합)結果 (결과)畢竟姑息的威壓 (필경고식적위압)差別的不平 (차별적불평)統計數字上虛飾 (통게수자상허식) ()에서 利害相反 (리해상반)兩民族間 (량민족간)永遠 (영원)和同 (화동)할 수업는 怨溝 (원구)去益深造 (거익심조)하는 今來實績 (금래실적) ()하라 勇明果敢 (용명과감)으로써 舊誤 (구오)廓正 (확정)하고 眞正 (진정)理解 (리해)同情 (동정)基本 (긔본)友好的新局面 (우호적신국면)打開 (타개)함이 彼此間遠禍召福 (피차간원화소복)하는 捷徑 (첩경)임을 明知 (명지)할 것 안인가 ᄯᅩ 二千萬含憤蓄怨 (이천만함분축원) ()威力 (위력)으로써 拘束 (구속)함은 다만 東洋 (동양)永久 (영구)平和 (평화)保障 (보장)하는 所以 (소이)가 안일 ᄲᅮᆫ 안이라 () ()하야 東洋安危 (동양안위)主軸 (주축)四億萬支那人 (사억만지나인)日本 (일본) ()危懼 (위구)猜疑 (시의)를 갈수록 濃厚 (농후)케 하야 그 結果 (결과)東洋全局 (동양전국)共倒同亾 (공도동망)悲運 (비운)招致 (초치)할 것이 ()하니 今日吾人 (금일오인)朝鮮獨立 (조선독립)朝鮮人 (조선인)으로 하야금 正當 (정당)生榮 (생영) ()케 하는 同時 (동시)日本 (일본)으로 하야금 邪路 (사로)로서 ()하야 東洋支持者 (동양지지자)重責 (중책) ()케 하는 것이며 支那 (지나)로 하야금 夢寐 (몽매)에도 ()하지 못 하는不安恐怖 (불안공포)로서 脫出 (탈출)케 하는 것이며 ᄯᅩ 東洋平和 (동양평화)重要 (중요)一部 (일부)를 삼는 世界平和人類幸福 (세게평화인류행복)必要 (필요)階段 (게단)이 되게 하는 것이라 이 엇지 區區 (구구)感情上問題 (감정상문제)ㅣ리오
아아 新天地 (신천지)眼前 (안전)展開 (전개)되도다 威力 (위력)時代 (시대) ()하고 道義 (도의)時代 (시대) ()하도다 過去全世紀 (과거전세긔)鍊磨長養 (련마장양)人道的精神 (인도적정신)이 바야흐로 新文明 (신문명)曙光 (서광)人類 (인류)歷史 (력사)投射 (투사)하기 ()하도다 新春 (신춘)世界 (세게) ()하야 萬物 (만물)囬蘇 (회소)催促 (최촉)하는도다 凍氷寒雪 (동빙한슬)呼吸 (호흡)閉蟄 (폐칩)한 것이 彼一時 (피일시) ()ㅣ라하면和風暖陽 (화풍난양)氣脈 (긔맥)振舒 (진서)함은 此一時 (차일시) ()ㅣ니 天地 (천지)復運 (복운) ()하고世界 (세게)變潮 (변조) ()吾人 (오인)은 아모 躕躇 (주저)할 것 업스며 아모 忌憚 (긔탄)할 것 업도다 ()固有 (고유)自由權 (자유권)護全 (호전)하야 生旺 (생왕) ()飽享 (포향)할 것이며 ()自足 (자족)獨創力 (독창력)發揮 (발휘)하야 春滿 (춘만)大界 (대게)民族的精華 (민족적정화)結紐 (결뉴)할지로다
吾等 (오등) ()奮起 (분긔)하도다 良心 (량심) ()同存 (동존)하며 眞理 (진리) ()幷進 (병진)하는도다 男女老少 (남녀로소) 업시 陰鬱 (음울)古巢 (고소)로서 活潑 (활발)起來 (긔래)하야 萬彚羣象 (만휘군상)으로 더부러 欣快 (흔쾌)復活 (부활)成遂 (성수)하게 되도다 千百世祖靈 (천백세조령)吾等 (오등)陰佑 (음우)하며 全世界氣運 (전세게긔운)吾等 (오등)外護 (외호)하나니 着手 (착수)가 곳 成功 (성공)이라다만 前頭 (전두)光明 (광명)으로 驀進 (맥진)할 ᄯᅡ름인뎌

公約三章 (공약삼장)
()今日吾人 (금일오인)此擧 (차거)正義人道生存尊榮 (정의인도생존존영) ()하는 民族的要求 (민족적요구)ㅣ니 오즉 自由的精神 (자유적정신)發揮 (발휘)할 것이오 ()排他的感情 (배타적감정)으로 逸走 (일주)하지 말라
()最後 (최후)一人 (일인)ᄭᅡ지 最後 (최후)一刻 (일각)ᄭᅡ지 民族 (민족)正當 (정당)意思 (의사) ()發表 (발표)하라
()一切 (일체)行動 (행동)은 가장 秩序 (질서)尊重 (존중)하야 吾人 (오인)主張 (주장)態度 (태도)로 하야금 어대ᄭᅡ지던지 光明正大 (광명정대)하게 하라


朝鮮建國四千二百五十二年三月一日 (조선건국사천이백오십이년삼월일일)  朝鮮民族代表 (조선민족대표)


孫秉熙 (손병희) 吉善宙 (길선주) 李弼柱 (이필주) 白龍城 (백용성) 金完圭 (김완규)
金秉祚 (김병조) 金昌俊 (김창준) 權東鎭 (권동진) 權秉悳 (권병덕) 羅龍煥 (나용환)
羅仁協 (나인협) 梁旬伯 (양순백) 梁漢默 (양한묵) 劉如大 (유여대) 李甲成 (이갑성)
李明龍 (이명룡) 李昇薰 (이승훈) 李鍾勳 (이종훈) 李鍾一 (이종일) 林禮煥 (임예환)
朴準承 (박준승) 朴熙道 (박희도) 朴東完 (박동완) 申洪植 (신홍식) 申錫九 (신석구)
吳世昌 (오세창) 吳華英 (오화영) 鄭春洙 (정춘수) 崔聖模 (최성모) 崔 麟 (최 린)
韓龍雲 (한용운) 洪秉箕 (홍병기) 洪其兆 (홍기조)



English:

We herewith proclaim the independence of Korea and the liberty of the Korean people. This we proclaim to all the nations of the world in witness of human equality. This we proclaim to our descendents so that they may enjoy in perpetuity their inherent right to nationhood.

Inasmuch as this proclamation originates from our five-thousand-year history, inasmuch as it springs from the loyalty of twenty million people, inasmuch as it affirms our yearning for the advancement of everlasting liberty, inasmuch as it expresses our desire to take part in the global reform rooted in human conscience, it is the solemn will of heaven, the great tide of our age, and a just act necessary for the co-existence of all humankind. Therefore, no power in this world can obstruct or suppress it!

Victims of the outdated notions of aggression and brute force, we have now suffered for a decade, for the first time in our long history, under foreign tyranny; our right to existence deprived, our spiritual growth stunted, our national pride and honor damaged, and our opportunity to make our own creative contribution to the progress of world civilization lost.

Surely, if we are to eradicate our longstanding sense of injustice, if we are to extricate ourselves from today’s pain, if we are to forestall tomorrow’s threat, if we are to resuscitate our trampled national pride, if we as individuals are to reach our full potential, if we are to deliver our children from the legacy of shame, if we are to bequeath to our future generations blessing and prosperity, our first and foremost duty is to secure the independence of our people. If each and every twenty million of us carry a sword in our hearts and if we are supported by today’s shared human conscience ready to stand by us equipped with arms of justice and morality, what can stop us from pressing forward to defeat the strongest? If we regroup and build up our strength, what aim can we not accomplish?

Though Japan has repeatedly violated its promises since the Treaty of 1876, we do not here condemn its perfidy. Though its scholars and government officials dismiss our great dynastic achievements in order to prop up its claim that our history began as a foreign colony with a primitive civilization, though it merely seeks a conqueror’s gratification willfully ignoring the ancient foundation and the outstanding characteristics of our people, we do not here take it to task. We are pressed to reprimand ourselves, and thus have little time to reproach others. Busy with today’s work, we have little time to chastise yesterday’s actions.

Today, our only duty is to rebuild ourselves, not to demolish others. It is to explore our new destiny according to the solemn dictates of our conscience, not to squabble with others over fleeting grudges and old animosities. It is to restore our natural, rational foundation by rectifying the unnatural, irrational ambition of the Japanese politicians in the grip of obsolete ideas. The annexation made without national consensus has inevitably led to intimidation used as a temporary measure, inequality caused by discrimination, and statistics falsified to justify it. Just look at the result today! The chasm of rancor has grown so wide that bridging the two peoples with differing interests seems all but impossible.

To boldly right old wrongs, opening a new relationship based on true mutual understating, is certainly the best way for both countries to avert disaster and foster amity. To forcibly bind twenty million people filled with bitterness and enmity will not secure lasting peace. Moreover, it will exacerbate the apprehension and distrust of four hundred million Chinese people who hold the key to East Asian stability, which will undoubtedly lead to the unrest and eventual downfall of the entire region. Therefore, establishing Korean independence today will permit Koreans to return to their rightful lives, will enable the Japanese to break away from their wrongful path and concentrate on their responsibility as a major player in East Asia, and will free the Chinese from their nightmare of uncertainty and anxiety about Japan. Korean independence will indeed be an indispensable step toward the stability of East Asia, which will in turn contribute to the attainment of world peace. With the well-being of all humanity at stake, the establishment of Korean independence is a grave issue that transcends mere animosity between two nations.

Behold! A new world is approaching before our very eyes! The age of might has receded, and the age of morality has arrived. The spirit of humanism cultivated throughout the past century now begins to throw its light on a new chapter in world history. Just as a new spring has come, hastening the rebirth of every living thing, our pulse, once frozen in the bitter cold and snow, now quickens in the warm breeze and sunshine. The good fortune of heaven and earth has returned to us, and we ride the changing tide of the world. Do not hesitate or flinch! By protecting our inalienable individual right to freedom, we will enjoy our lives to the full. By realizing our bountiful creativity, our national civilization will flower in the warmth of spring that pervades the world.

We hereby rise up! Conscience is on our side, and truth marches with us. Men and women, young and old, leave your darkened corners and partake in the joyful resurrection along with all creation! The spirit of our many ancestors protects us from within, and the tide of the new world from without. To begin is to succeed! Let us march straight into the light!


We hereby pledge the following:

  1. Today’s undertaking reflects the demands of our people for justice, morality, survival, and prosperity. Therefore, we will act solely in the spirit of liberty, never in the spirit of enmity.
  2. To the last person and to the last moment, we will forthrightly express the will of the Korean people.
  3. We will respect order in all our actions and ensure that our demeanor and claims are always honorable and upright.


The first day of the third month of the 4252nd year of the founding of Korea,

The signatures attached to the document are:
Son Pyung-Hi
Kil sun-Chu
Yi Pil-Chu
Paik Yong-Sung
Kim Won-Kyu
Kim Pyung-Cho
Kim Chang-Choon
Kwon Dong-Chin
Kwon Byung-Duk
Na Yong-Whan
Na In-Hup
Yang Chun-Paik
Yang Han-Mook
Lew Yer-Dai
Yi Kop-Sung
Yi Mung-Yong
Yi Seung-Hoon
Yi Chong-Hoon
Yi Chong-Il
Lim Yei-Whan
Pak Choon-Seung
Pak Hi-Do
Pak Tong-Wan
Sin Hong-Sik
Sin Suk-Ku
Oh Sei-Chang
Oh Wha-Young
Chung Choon-Su
Choi Sung-Mo
Choi In
Han Yong-Woon
Hong Byung-Ki
Hong Ki-Cho