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Digital Archive International History Declassified

Biographies

Choe Nam-seon

Andrew C. Nahm and James E. Hoare

Choe established a reputation as a poet and as one of the early leaders of the new culture movement in Korea and published many works.

TABLE OF CONTENTS

CHOE NAM-SEON (1890-1957). Choe was born in Seoul, and began publishing while still a child. He was educated at Waseda University in Japan. On his return, he set himself up as a publisher. He soon established a reputation as a poet and as one of the early leaders of the new culture movement in Korea. He was publisher of magazines for Korean youth, such as So-nyeon (Children, 1908) and Cheongchun (Youth, 1914). With his poem, “From the Sea to Children,” he established a new form of Korean poetry. Choe authored the Declaration of Independence of 1919, and after serving a prison term in connection with his activity in the March First Movement, in 1924 he and others organized a vernacular newspaper named Sidae llbo. In 1949, Choe was imprisoned as a traitor for his alleged collaboration during the Japanese colonial period. Released from prison in 1950, he published many historical works, including Korean People’s History, Korea’s Culture, and Korea’s Mountains and Rivers. In 1954, Choe published a new edition of the historical work, Samguk Yusa. He edited the Korean Historical Dictionary in 1955. In 1955, he became a Roman Catholic.

All rights reserved. No portion of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise without the prior written permission of the publisher. (Historical Dictionary of the Republic of Korea, by Andrew C. Nahm and James E. Hoare, published by RLPG Books, appears by permission of the author and publisher).