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Activities and Political Thoughts of Choi Keun-woo (崔謹愚) as viewed through a human network

Soyoung Yoon 1

1독립기념관

Accredited

ABSTRACT

Choi Keun-woo was one of the leading roles in the 2.8 independence movement in 1919. Nevertheless, research focusing on Choi Keun-woo has not been conducted until now. This thesis attempts to clarify his activities and political thoughts by tracing fragmentary materials about Choi Keun-woo that can be confirmed at present. Choi Keun-woo was born in 1897 to a Yangban family in Kaesong. Around 1914, he moved to Japan and attended Tokyo High Commercial School in Tokyo, Japan, where he led the 2.8 Independence Movement. He escaped from Tokyo to Shanghai at the end of February 1919 and joined Korean students studying in Tokyo, including Lee Kwang-soo, Yoon Hyun-jin, and Shin Ik-hee, to participate in the establishment of the provisional government of the Republic of Korea and worked as the Independent newspaper reporter. At this time, he first met Yeo Woon-hyung. In November 1919, when Yeo Woon-hyeong was invited to Tokyo at the invitation of the Japanese government, he practiced Yeo Woon-hyung and lived a lifetime as a person of Yeo Woon-hyung. Choi Keun-woo moved to Europe in May 1920 at the recommendation of Yeo Woon-hyung. He spent 7 years working and study in Germany and France. He returned to Korea in November 1928. After returning to Korea, he carried out youth movement mainly through sports at the Kaesong Goryeo Youth Association. In 1930, he moved to Dandong, China. Since then, he continued to work as a leader of the Korean community in Dandong and Manchuria until around 1944, while serving as an informant for Yeo Woon-hyung. In 1944, Choi Keun-woo was dispatched to the Provisional Government of the Republic of Korea in Chongqing under the direction of Yeo Woon-hyung, and participated in the Founding Alliance, and after 1945 he helped Yeo Woon-hyung in political activities to establish a new state. After Yeo Woon-hyung’s assassination in 1947, Choi Keun-woo took off his former role as a housekeeper and carried on the will of Yeo Woon-hyung to carry out a political movement to realize peaceful reunification and democratic socialism between the two Koreas. In the process of connecting Choi Keun-woo’s life scattered only with dots, what I discovered is that he took the lead in the 2.8 Independence Movement during the Japanese colonial period, met with the ‘great’ teacher, Yeo Woon-hyung, and realized the meaning of the country. Without being frustrated in the situation, he survived that era with flexibility and perseverance, and finally, he and Yeo Woon-hyung were the first of all to be a person who struggled to prepare for the unified future of Korea after liberation. Choi Keunwoo’s activity at the Manchurian Association was a camouflage technique to help Yeo Woon-hyung’s independence movement under the Japanese colonial watchdog. Choi Keun-woo aimed to build a new country based on democratic socialism, and he was a person who emphasized the belief that the subject of history is the “people,” and that equality as well as freedom is a valuable value by succeeding Yeo Woon-hyung’s movement until the end of his life.

Citation status

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