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Execution site of patriot Yoon finally found after 79 years

Execution site of patriot Yoon finally found after 79 years

Posted March. 02, 2011 10:08,   

한국어

The site in Japan where Korean pro-independence activist Yoon Bong-gil was executed has been confirmed 79 years after his death.

In the early morning of Dec. 19, 1932, Yoon was executed by firing squad at a military training site in Mitsukoji-machi, Kanazawa, in the village of Uchikawa, Ishikawa Prefecture.

Kim Gwang-man, a producer of modern history documentaries with the Memorial Committee for Patriot Maehun Yoon Bong-gil who has long devoted himself to finding Yoon’s place of death, discovered the site at a valley northwest of the military training site in Kanazawa, ending a long-standing controversy over the site.

“This place was the Kanazawa military training site for the 9th Division of the Japanese military in 1932, and is still used as a training site by Japan’s Self-Defense Force. Since public access is prohibited there, the site of Yoon’s death had to be inferred.”

After comparing the photo of the execution site listed in confidential Japanese internal military documents with that shown on Google Earth, Kim tracked down the place of Yoon’s death. He flew to Kanazawa to make an onsite inspection Friday.

By conducting the inspection with members of the Federation of Korean Residents in Japan in Kanazawa, Korean-Japanese residents, and members of the Japanese elite and civic groups, Kim found the execution site north of the shooting range inside the training site. He said the geography he discovered perfectly matched that in the photo found in Japan’s internal documents.

In 2002, Kim found a document at a library of Japan’s Defense Ministry that said the execution site was on a 7-meter-high cliff in a northwestern valley between Kanazawa and Mitsukoji-machi.

“The surrounding land had changed a bit but the execution site including the 7-meter-high cliff was left unchanged. The execution site wasn’t damaged as it was between the shooting range and the road off on the northern side,” he said.

The site that Kim confirmed was 10 meters east of the place that he had found on Google Earth.

A meeting held Saturday afternoon at the federation’s office confirmed the discovery of Yoon’s execution site. Kim reported the process and outcome of inspection to Kazutoshi Mori, a Kanazawa city council member; a member of a Japanese committee preserving the secret burial of Yoon; historian Takashi Yamaguchi; Hiro Shinya, historian at Yoon’s execution inspection team; Park Hyun-taek, chairman of a Korean committee on Yoon’s secret burial; Byun Jong-shik, director of the Federation of Korean Residents in Japan’s Ishikawa Prefecture chapter; and Park Soon-in, chief librarian of the Kanazawa library’s Korean section.

“Using the confirmation of the execution site as an opportunity, we`ve decided to promote the holy grounds business,” Kim said.



kplee@donga.com