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- Calligraphy by An Jung-geun
Calligraphy by An Jung-geun
This work of calligraphy is by independence fighter An Jung-geun (1879-1910). He has left more than two-hundred works of calligraphy until he received his death sentence in Lushun Prison in Manchuria. The eight letters 見利思義見危授命 means ‘think justice when you see what is right; pay with your life when you face adversity.’
This piece is designated Treasure No. 569 along with twenty-something calligraphic works from the same period. Some of the more famous works by An include 一日不讀書口中生荊棘 (“Unless reading every day, thorns grow in the mouth”) at Dongguk University Museum and 第一江山 (the Most Beautiful Rivers and Hills) at Soongsil University Museum.
An’s writing is powerful and dynamic, reflecting the patriot’s noble cause and unbendable will as he faced certain death by the hands of the Japanese. His signature 大韓國人 安中根 書 reads ‘Korean An Jung-geun’ complete with his handprint missing its tip in place of a seal on every work of calligraphy. An Jung-geun was born in Haeju, Hwanghae-do. He studied sinology in his youth and converted to Catholicism under a French priest in Sincheon at the age of 14.
When Japan-Korea Treaty of 1905 was ratified, An was a drafted a volunteer army in Gangwon-do in July 1907 and fought against colonial Japan. He later fled to Bukgando Island, then on to Vladivostok.
An formed another volunteer army with Yi Beom-yun and Choe Jae-hyeong and led his men across the Dumangang River and on to Gyeongheung where he killed 50 Japanese soldiers and continued his battle in Hoeryeong. When An received information that Ito Hirobumi, a pivotal player in the annexation of Korea, was traveling to Harbin for a conference with Russian Minister of Finance Kokovsev. He disguised himself as a Japanese to penetrate security on October 26 and made it as close as ten steps away from the Prime Minister at Harbin Train Station. An fired three bullets; Ito Hirobumi died on the spot. An was arrested at the crime scene and incarcerated in Lushun Prison until he was executed the following year at 10:00 in the morning on March 26.
An was a talented calligrapher and left numerous works behind. He also authored Dongyang pyeonghwaron (Theory of Eastern Peace) during his time in Lushun Prison, an accurate analysis of current events of his time.
- Designated Number : Treasure No. 569-6
- Designated Date : August 16, 1972
- Category : Illustrated calligraphy on scroll
- Material, Size : Ink on white paper, 32.5 ㎝ x 134.0 ㎝
- Period and Author : Korean Empire (1910), An Jung-geun
- Location : Dong-A University Museum