Seoul to reenact March 1 Independence Movement in main streets Friday
SEOUL, Feb. 26 (Yonhap) -- The March 1, 1919, independence movement against Japan's colonial rule of Korea will be reenacted in various events in the heart of Seoul this week in commemoration of its centennial, officials said Tuesday.
The Seoul Metropolitan Government said it will seek to reproduce the March 1 Independence Movement in a street march, art performances and other events on and near Seoul Square on Friday.
The March 1 Independence Movement began in Seoul on that day 100 years ago and spread throughout the country.
Detailed data are not available but historians estimate that more than 2 million Koreans participated in over 2,000 demonstrations to call for independence from Japan. Korea was a colony of Japan from 1910 to 1945.
The Seoul government said it will also hold an exhibition signifying the funeral of Gojong, the last king of the Joseon Dynasty and the first Emperor of Korea who died mysteriously in January 1919. Historians say the king's sudden death during confinement by colonial Japan proved a catalyst for the March 1 Independence Movement.
The outer wall of Deoksu Palace will be covered with white cloth from Friday to Tuesday to imply the funeral of Gojong, officials said.
"Colonial Japan never permitted a public rally. The people were able to gather for Gojong's funeral and the crowd of mourners turned into demonstrators," said Seo Hae-sung, who organized Seoul's events to commemorate the March 1 movement.
He said a massive street march and art performances will be held on Seoul Square and on the road leading to Gwanghwamun Square on Friday afternoon.
Participants in the street march will reenact the "Manse" movement, shouting, "Daehan dongnip manse," which means, "Long Live the independence of Korea."
At 2:30 p.m., a choir of 3,100 citizens, including 2,000 women, will sing the national anthem and several independence songs of 100 years ago on the city's main square.
The Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra will hold a commemorative concert at the Sejong Center for the Performing Arts Friday evening, while an opera in memory of renowned female independence fighter Yu Gwan-sun will be performed at the same center the following day.
A special exhibition on the March 1 Independence Movement will begin at the Seoul History Museum Friday and continue through May 26.
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