Cho Man-sik, a short bald man who wore Korean traditional hat and overcoat, served time in prison for leading the independence movement in Pyongyang during the March 1st Independence Movement. He wore hanbok, Korean traditional clothes, for his whole life, emphasized that using Korean made products are the short-cut to loving the country, and led social movements by organizing the Association to Promote the Use of Joseon Products. After independence, he was arrested by the Soviet Union Command for carrying out anti-trusteeship movement and murdered by the Communist Party at the Pyongyang prison during the Korean War. Cho’s calligraphy is far from those of an inflexible educated person but rather close to a leader with extraordinary intelligence and acting power. He was inspired by Gandhi’s principle of nonresistance and nationalism and took him as the model for his independence movement. Yet, Cho’s uniform and organized handwriting is conspicuously different from that of Gandhi.
His strong will, which made independence movement or anti-trusteeship movement possible, can be easily confirmed on the last part of his lines as the swoops are exceptional and the pen pressure is strong. His spirit for independence was so strong that he left a will, saying, “When I die, please draw two eyes on my gravestone. I am determined to see Japan collapse even after my death.” He is praised for living only for the independence of Korea and for the people of Korea. It has been said that he had no trouble gaining resonance from people whenever he gave a fervent speech with his clear voice.
The most conspicuous trait in Cho’s handwriting is that the letters are big and written fast. This implies that he had ample vitality, energetic brain activity, and outgoing personality. He was also well known as a heavy drinker. The narrow space between the lines and irregular size makes people feel tension, which reveals his passion, warm and open heartedness, and affluent feelings. Cho also fulfills the qualities of a politician, who should respond quickly in diverse situations. He received absolute love and respect from colleagues in both North Koreans and Vietnam, and members of the communist party also thought highly of Cho’s personality. Figures who have been respected in Korea have a tendency of maintaining broad-mindedness and warm humanity.