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The Memorial Ceremony of the Independence Movement Day(March 1) and Representations of the March 1 Independence Movement of the South Korean Government(1949~1987)

  • The Review of Korean History
  • 2017, (128), pp.431-486
  • Publisher : The Historical Society Of Korea
  • Research Area : Humanities > History

CHOI EUN JIN 1

1국가보훈처

Accredited

ABSTRACT

After the establishment of the South Korean Government until 1987, the memorial ceremony of the Independence Movement Day(March 1) of the governments, the historical, political and social significance of its representations of the March 1 Independence Movement will be examined. In 1949, the Rhee Syng-man government declared that it was the first Independence Movement Day after the Republic of Korea was approved by the UN and became an independent nation. From the beginning, the government commanded the celebration of the March 1, and imposed the state monopoly of memory. The memorial ceremony of the Independence Movement Day at this time was reproduced almost exactly under the authoritarian state. The Rhee Syng-man government converted and monopolized the March 1 Spirit as representations of the ‘liberal democracy’ and ‘anti-communist unification’. However, since the Park Chung-hee's military government was established, the celebration of the Independence Movement Day tended to be reduced. The government celebration of the Independence Movement Day was hosted by the government of Seoul. The ceremony began to be held indoor and it was sharply simplified. The Park Chung-hee government adopted the policy of having a distance from the event of the Independence Movement Day. The Park Chung-hee regime rebuilt the March 1 Spirit as a representation of the ‘national unity’, and combined it with the representation of the ‘modernization of the fatherland’ which prioritizes economic growth. He tried to create self-legitimacy through by representing ‘(anti-communist) peaceful unification’ against North Korea. The Chun Doo-hwan's military regime upgraded the celebration of the national days hosted by the government again, and actively utilized the ceremony of the Independence Movement Day to maintain his regime. During the era, the representation of the ‘national fusion’ and ‘national unification’ of the March 1 Spirit emerged. As the Cold War system continued, the representation of the anti-communist ‘national spirit’ revived. The Chun Doo-hwan government’s perception of the March 1 Independence Movement has a thread of connection to the representation of the ‘national unity’ and ‘(anti-communist) peaceful unification’ during the Park Chung-hee government. The authoritarianism government, only emphasized the distorted nationalism, democracy, and unification to extend the dictatorial regime.

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