Ahn Jung-geun

Ahn Jung-geun (September 2, 1879 – March 26, 1910) was a Korean independence activist, nationalist, and pan-Asianist.

On October 26, 1909, he assassinated Itō Hirobumi, the first Prime Minister of Japan and then-Japanese Resident-General of Korea, following the signing of the Eulsa Treaty, with Korea on the verge of annexation by Japan.

In 1909, Ahn decided to assassinate Ito Hirobumi, who did the independent maintenance of Korea as the Resident-General of Korea. Ito was to come to Harbin, Manchuria for a meeting with the Finance Minister of the Russian Empire.

On October 26, 1909, Ahn passed the Japanese guards at the train station, hiding a gun in his lunchbox. Ito Hirobumi had come back from negotiating with the Russian representative on the train.
Ahn shot Ito three times with a pistol on the railway platform. He also shot Kawagami Toshihiko, the Japanese Consul General, Morita Jiro, a Secretary of Imperial Household Agency, and Tanaka Seitaro, an executive of South Manchuria Railway, who were seriously injured.

After the shooting, Ahn yelled out for Korean independence in Russian, stating "Корея! Ура!", and waving the Korean flag.

Afterwards, Ahn was arrested by Russian guards who held him for two days before turning him over to Japanese colonial authorities. When he heard the news that Ito had died, he made the sign of the cross in gratitude.

Ahn was quoted as saying, "I have ventured to commit a serious crime, offering my life for my country. This is the behavior of a noble-minded patriot." Despite the orders from the Bishop of Korea not to administer the Sacraments to Ahn, Fr. Wilhelm disobeyed and went to Ahn to give him the Last Sacraments.

Ahn insisted that the captors call him by his baptismal name, Thomas.

In the court, Ahn insisted that he be treated as a prisoner of war, as a lieutenant general of a Korean resistance army, instead of a criminal, and listed 15 crimes Ito had committed which convinced him to kill Ito.

©Korean Safari

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