|Born||29 Aug 1876|
|Died||26 Jun 1949|
Contributor: C. Peter Chen
ww2dbaseKim Gu, pen name Baekbeom (adopted circa 1910), was born in Joseon Dynasty Korea in 1876 to farmer Kim Soon Young and housewife Kwak Nack Won. At the age of 16, he applied for the Joseon Imperial Examination, but failed. Shortly after, he joined the rebellious Donghak Movement and was made the district leader of the Palbong region. After his para-military regiment suffered a series of defeats at Haeju fort in Hwanghae Province, in the hands of fellow Donghak rebel Lee Dong-yeop, and at Kanggye fort also in Hwanghae Province, he went into hiding. In 1896, he killed Japanese national Josuke Tsuchida with Tsuchida's own Japanese-made sword, believing that Tsuchida had a role in the assassination of Empress Myeongseong in the previous year; Kim was arrested, tortured, and sentenced to death, but Emperor Gwangmu would repeatedly delay his execution, as influenced by popular sentiment. In 1898, he broke out of prison and went into hiding at a Buddhist temple in Gongju in Chungcheong Province. In 1899, he returned to Hwanghae Province and became an educator. In 1904, he married Choi Jun Rye. In 1907, he found the Yangsan School and served as its principal. In 1908, he joined the Shin Min Hoi, an association for non-violent resistance against the Japanese occupation of Korea, which began in 1905. In 1910, he was implicated in the assassination of Hirobumi Ito, as he was associated with the assassin. He was kept in captivity for three years, during which he was tortured, leaving disfiguring wounds on his left ear; he also attempted, in failure, to commit suicide while in prison. In 1919, he exiled himself to Shanghai, China after witnessing the brutal suppression of a non-violent resistance March 1st Movement by the Japanese. He was among the founders of the Provisional Government of the Republic of Korea in Shanghai. He was briefly made the President of the provisional republic in 1927. In 1931, he founded the Korean Patriotic Corps, whose radical members would, in 1932, set off a bomb at Hongkou Park (now Lu Xun Park) in Shanghai which would wound General Yoshinori Shirakawa (who would die a month later) and Yoshinori Shirakawa, and killing several others. When the Second Sino-Japanese War began in earnest in 1937, he would align himself with the Chinese Nationalist Party, later establishing the Korean Liberation Army in China which would see action against Japanese troops in China and Southeast Asia. Between 1940 and 1948, he again served as the President of the provisional republic. He had dreamed of a Korean Liberation Army advance into Korea, but the war would end before his military commanders were able to launch such an operation. Kim arrived in Seoul, Korea in late 1945 and became a member of the interim government. In 1948, the inaugural National Assembly of South Korea nominated Kim as a candidate for the country's first president in secret without his knowledge, but Lee Seung Mahn would ultimately gain the position. On 26 Jun 1949, he was assassinated in his Seoul office by Ahn Doo-hee. Kim was posthumously awarded the Medal of Order of Merit for National Foundation of South Korea and the National Reunification Prize of North Korea.
Last Major Revision: Apr 2014
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|29 Aug 1876||Kim Gu was born in Teot-gol, Hwanghae Province (now Hwanghaenamdo Province), Joseon Dynasty Korea.|
|26 Jun 1949||Kim Gu was assassinated by Ahn Doo-hee in Seoul, South Korea.|
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