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A Study of the Issue on Russo-Japanese War and Korean War Prisoners

JaeGon Cho 1

1서강대학교 국제한국학선도연구소

Accredited

ABSTRACT

With the outbreak of Russo-Japanese War(1904-1905), Koreans became the object of the recruitment of human and physical resources, regardless of their will. Also, this event led to an increase of their suffering and sacrifice. During war, there were many war prisoners between both the nations of Russia and Japan, at the battlefields in Manchuria, the Korean Peninsular, and the East Sea regions. Some of the prisoners were repatriated to the opponent nations. In the process, Many Koreans had been involved in war as well, had been arrested for a long period of time, going through the similar course with Japan soldiers did. Later, they were detained in Russian territory for a long term and underwent great suffering. As for forceful arrests and long-term imprisonment, there are five cases: Kim Ha-ryeong in March 1904, Korean crews having boarded in Hakiuramaru in April 1904, 9 peoples including Kim Shi-ham in April and May 1904, Gilju Provincial Governor Lee Ik-ho in February 1905, and Jongseong Provincial Governor Ju Cheol-jun in April 1905. All of them were arrested by the Russian Troops and transferred to 'Medvezhi' near Gulf of Finland on land, During war, most of Korean prisoners were arrested in Hamgyeong province where the land warfare between Russia-Japan, and Vladivostok-No.2 Japanese fleet naval battle were proceeded. But only in the case of Kim Shi-ham, we could not identify the place where he arrested and his movement routes Russia and Japan established each prisoner information bureau during war. Both two countries treated and repatriated prisoners on a mutual-humanitarian level, according to 「Hague Regulation Land War Treaty」 which they signed in 1899, respectively. Nonetheless, such regulations were not fulfilled to Korean prisoners. They underwent national discriminations for treatment and repatriation unlike Japanese soldiers. As a result, the rest of other Koreans except for two provincial governors had to return to Korea through the tough and rough process via Europe, Africa, Indian Ocean, Pacific Ocean and Japan by sea route. The number of deceased of war prisoners were 23. Out of them, there were one Korean and one Chinese. Korean prisoners were repatriated during the turning point of the changing political systems from the Korean Empire Government to the Residency-General. Thus, only the will of the authorities of Japan and Russia triggering war was accepted without consideration of Koreans’ will, at all.

Citation status

* References for papers published after 2022 are currently being built.