The Korea Herald


Poetry plaque linked to freedom fighter repatriated from Japan

By Choi Si-young

Published : June 19, 2024 - 18:31

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The Johyeon Myogagun plaque (KHS) The Johyeon Myogagun plaque (KHS)

The Korea Heritage Service on Wednesday repatriated a poem plaque created by the father of Korean independence fighter Song Jin-woo from Japan, which ruled Korea between 1910 and 1945.

The Johyeon Myogagun plaque is believed to have been made between the mid-19th century and early 20th century. On it is a poem by Song Hun, who wanted to mark the establishment of “myogak,” a hall set up next to a tomb for rituals, in Johyeon -- the old name for areas now known as Gwangdeok-ri in Jeolla Province.

In a biography, Song Jin-woo calls his father Song Hun a pioneering figure. The elder Song founded Damyang School, a modern-style educational institution, in 1905 shortly after Japan began its colonial rule.

The latest repatriation was initiated by a Korean antiquities dealer in Japan who told the KHS he wanted to donate the piece. The agency said it will continue efforts to repatriate Korean heritage items held overseas by employing its local and international networks.