The Haman (咸安) scholar Seocheon Jo Jeonggyu (趙貞奎) planned to move away from the colonial reality, and in 1913 he crossed the Amnok River to Beijing to check up on the actual situation of the region. He discovered the disastrous lives of Korean immigrants living in Seogando, China.
Accordingly, on his way back, he met Lee Seung-hee (李承熙), who was in Andong (安東) at the time, and made a detailed plan. After returning to his hometown, he hurried to prepare for immigration by selling his property, and in August 1914, he arrived in Fengtian (奉天), China, and began to build a base for the Korean community and the Independence Movement. His participation was of great help to Lee Seung-hee, who was leading it, and eventually he played an important role in the immigration to Bongcheon. They expected a stable life by purchasing the land of Deokheungbo (德兴堡), which was 2/3 the size of Yeouido in Seoul.
However, various disasters continued and unfortunately the community building at Deokhungbo ended. Later, he tried to immigrate again to the Qufu (曲阜) of Shandong Province, Confucius’ hometown, but he also failed; in 1916, Lee Seung-hee, his close friend and senior, died. In 1917, the Confucius Branch in Korea was also established. In 1918, when he returned to his hometown due to illness, his immigrant life also ended. As a result, his trip to China can be judged as a series of failures and frustrations.
However, his actions also meant meaningful Confucian resistance in the modern era, which included social responsibility and brotherly affection of the intellectual. Therefore, Deokheungbo is a meaningful historical site that retains the sadness of modern Confucian scholars and Korean immigrants.
In addition, his return contains the symbolism of the transition of the center of the Confucius movement from China to Korea.