The aim of this study is to illustrate the processes and activities occurred in the periods from the births of Ahn Chang-ho, Kwangsoo Lee and Kim Chang-se till their meeting in the Shanghai Provisional Government of the Republic of Korea. This paper also deals with the historical movements, so-called “national movements,” conducted by these three persons in Shanghai. Their meeting for the movement was performed without any intended plan. Rather, this unplanned meeting was made up of their patriotism for their nation.
Ahn Chang-ho, in particular, had a democratic point of view, which emphasized gender equality. His excellent understanding and sense of new advanced cultures could also provide him an insightful inspiration as a leader of the nation with the future-oriented educational thought. His outstanding leadership, by which he organized and led several organizations at home and abroad, led to the absolute dedication to the organization and development of the Shanghai Provisional Government of the Republic of Korea in 1919 after the March First Movement. In addition, the ideas and thoughts throughout his life were finally sublimated to the movement longing for independence,i.e. the nation’s long-cherished wish.
Kwangsoo Lee, who opened his eyes to the enlightenment thought through Iljinhoe and studied Japanese by himself, was selected as a member of Iljinhoe and then could go to Japan. With the status of a middle school student at Taisei Middle School in 1906, he went to Japan again in January 1907 and returned to Korea three days before the graduation ceremony of the General College of Meiji Gakuin University. After returning to Korea, he proceeded his post as a teacher at Osan School in Jeongju, because his teaching profession in Osan School was the site of resolution and oath to devote himself prepared for death for his homeland. It is evident that he was so passionate for the national education with his giving up entering high school, considering himself as a devoted patriot who would awaken Joseon people. Later, he contributed to his talent for the activities of Young Korean Academy (Heungsadan) as the president and the chief editor of Independence News (Dongnip Sinmun), the chief of Historical Research and Compilation Committee. Furthermore, he was deeply involved in the establishment for the Provisional Government of the Republic of Korea, Shanghai in 1919.
Kim Chang-se had studied Japanese language in Kobe Middle School, Japan in 1904 and further English language in Seisoku Middle School, Tokyo. After finishing his school, he returned to Korea and became a teacher in Euimyeong School in Sunan. Graduating the Severance Union Medical College, he worked at the Seventh-day Adventist Church Hospital in Sunan. In 1919, he came to work at Red Cross Hospital in Shanghai managed by the Seventh-day Adventist Church in the U.S.A. and also made a great contribution to the organization and establishment of Korean Red Cross and Nurses’ Training School. In particular, he devoted himself to relief activities for our compatriots in Shanghai. He worded actively as an excellent doctor of surgical operation and became both a member and an auditor of the Korean Red Cross Central Committee, receiving trust and respect among Chinese and Westerners with Kwangsoo Lee.
In 1919, Ahn Chang-ho, Kwangsoo Lee and Kim Chang-se had met in Shanghai. Ahn Chang-ho and Kim Chang-se were strongly related with a ‘tie’ of blood relation. Another individual, Kwangsoo Lee, who respected Ahn Chang-ho and loved him throughout his life also became a member of them with the meeting in the same year. This unplanned and unintended meeting in Shanghai, China, could be a great motive force to overcome the sorrow of the loss of the country and inspired them to have a movement for the independence of the motherland that is an inevitable ‘destiny’ foretold already. Due to Kim Chang-se, Kwangsoo Lee came to be interested in the Seventh-day Adventist Church. With his interest in the church, Lee also studied the Bible with Pastor M. G. Conger, who was a professor at Shanghai Missionary College for one year. After studying the Bible, he confessed Novel Love was his view of life. Kwangsoo Lee’s philosophical confession of ‘love’ had a thread of connection to Ahn Chang-ho’s philosophical and practical thought of ‘love.’ He finally decided that he follows Ahn Chang-ho’s teaching and idea and realized them while he was alive. Also, he decided to meet the Joseon’s young people who were sincere for this religious creed with the activities of ‘Suyang Dongmaenghoe’ and to convey Ahn Chang-ho’s idea.
In his first meeting with Ahn Chang-ho, an essayist Pi Chun-deuk became an individual who considered Ahn as his mentor. Pi was inspired by Ahn’s benevolent and great personality. He also regarded Kwangsoo Lee as his another mentor with praising him as a person who has a good heart and is honest and innocent like a child. The meeting of three persons, Ahn Chang-ho, Kwangsoo Lee and Kim Chang-se in the Provisional Government of Korea in Shanghai in 1919, developed the human bond tied with respect and friendship. Later, taking this meeting as an opportunity under the direction of Ahn Chang-ho, Kwangsoo Lee kept active in ‘Suyang Donguhoe’ despite the tough domestic condition with Kim Chang-se.
The driving force of the national movement in Shanghai, China was a hot comradeship of the three persons who had overcome the sorrow of the loss of the country and met each other with a desire and passion for the independence of the motherland, sharing all the joys and sorrows together during the period of Japanese colonialism. Chunwon Kwangsoo Lee respected Dosan Ahn Chang-ho more than anyone else, and Dosan cared for Chunwon more than anyone else. This is the reason why Chunwon’s name is always connected with Dosan. The link between them is ‘respect’ and ‘love.’ Ahn passed at 60-year-old and was buried in Mangu-ri Cemetery. Chunwon presided the funeral on the day as well.