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Digital Archive International History Declassified


An Jung-geun

James E. Hoare

An Jung-geun was a Korean independence activist who assassinated Ito Hirobumi, the first Japanese resident general of Korea.


AN JUNG- GEUN (1879-1910). Korean patriot, usually known as An Chung-gun in the Republic of Korea, where there is a museum in his honor, and as An Jung-geun in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK). He was born at Haeju, now in the DPRK, and was baptized as a Roman Catholic in 1895. For a time he was a coal merchant, but after the establishment of the Japanese protectorate in 1905, he moved to Vladivostok in Russia, from where he organized a righteous army to fight against the Japanese. On 26 October 1909, he assassinated Prince Ito Hirobumi, the first Japanese resident general of Korea, at Harbin station. An was detained by Russian police and handed over to the Japanese. He was tried and executed in 1910. He is much admired in the DPRK and featured in a two-part film, An Jung-geun Shoots Ito Hirobumi, produced in 1979, which was supposedly based on a revolutionary drama of the same name staged in the early days of the Kim Il Sung’s revolutionary activities. Kim Jong Il is said to have provided guidance to the film’s director, Eom Gil-seon.

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 Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, by James E. Hoare, published by RLPG Books, appears by permission of the author and publisher).