Yu Kil-chun

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In this Korean name, the family name is Yu.
Yu Kil-chun
Korean name
Hangul 유길준
Hanja
Revised Romanization Yu Gil-jun
McCune–Reischauer Yu Kil-chun
Pen name
Hangul 구당, 천민, 구일
Hanja , ,
Revised Romanization Gudang, Cheonmin, Guyil
McCune–Reischauer Kudang, Chonmin, Kuyil
Courtesy name
Hangul 성무
Hanja
Revised Romanization Seongmu
McCune–Reischauer Sŏngmu

Yu Kil-chun (Korean: 유길준 兪吉濬, 1856-1914) was a Korean politician, philosopher, thinker, reform activist and independence activist during the Joseon Dynasty. His nickname was Gudang, Chunmin, Guyil.

Life[change | change source]

Yu Kil-chun was born in Kwangju. In his early years he studied under Park Kyu-su and Oh Kyung-suk. As a young man in 1881, he went to Meiji Japan to study at Keio University. He then went to the United States in 1884 to study mathematics. After his he was accused of supporting the Gaehwadang (enlightenment party). He was arrested and put in jail from 1885 to 1894.

Between 1894 and 1895, Yu worked for the government of prime minister Kim Hongjip. He was Vice Minister of State for Home Office. In October 1895, Korea's King Gojong claimed that Yu was involved in the assassination of Queen Min. Kim was killed and his cabinet was disbanded. Yu went to the Russian embassy and escaped the country for exile in Japan. He returned to Korea in 1907 after he was pardoned by Emperor Sunjeong.

In 1910, when Korea was annexed by Imperial Japan, Yun started a movement against the annexation. Yu was offered the title danshaku by the Government of Japan, but he refused it. He died in 1914 of a heart problem. He was aged 58.[1]

Works[change | change source]

  • Seoyugyonmun (서유견문)

Notes[change | change source]

  1. 계몽주의자, 군국주의자!:박노자 - 한겨레 21(제502호) 2004.04.01일자

Sources[change | change source]

  • De Ceuster, Koen. “The World in a Book: Yu Kilchun’s Soyu kyonmun.” In Remco E. Breuker, ed. Korea in the Middle: Korean Studies and Area Studies: Essays in Honour of Boudewijn Walraven. Leiden: CNWS Publications, 2008.

Other websites[change | change source]