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작성자 편집국 작성일20-05-08 14:46 댓글0건

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[Reminiscences]4.​Repeated Removal

 

  



4.​Repeated Removal


As father often moved the centre of his activities, we had to move house many times.

When I was five years old I left my birthplace for the first time. In the spring of that year we moved to Ponghwa-ri. At that time I was not particularly sorry to part rom my grandfather, grandmother\and family. Still young, I was curious about the unfamiliar place\and new things rather than concerned about parting.

But my heart ached that autumn when we moved to Junggang. My family was very sorry about having to move to the northern
tip of the country. My grandfather would normally support father\and not offer a contrary opinion whatever he did, but he was stunned by the news that his son\and grandsons would be going so far away.

Father made great efforts to console my grandfather when he showed his sadness at the forthcoming parting. Still ringing in my ears is what father said, while giving my grandfather a helping hand in his work on the earthen verandah for the last time.

“Watched, I cannot move freely within Korea. Upon my release rom prison, they told me to stay away rom the independence movement\and farm at home. But I must fight even if

I am thrown into prison repeatedly. The Japanese are hard-hearted fellows. We cannot win back the country by merely cheering for independence.”
 
The day we moved to Junggang my elder uncle wept as he held my father’s hand\and asked him not to forget his home even if he was far away\and to write to him often if he had no time to return.

Father said, holding his hands in his:

“I will not forget my home. How can I forget it? This evil time forces us to part in this way, but when the country wins its independence we will live together\and lead a life full of pleasure, I believe. rom a child you have helped me by making sandals, getting blisters on your palms. I am sorry to leave this large family for you to keep.”

“Brother, it’s nothing. I will take care of father\and mother. Be sure to put up a good fight\and achieve your cherished aim. I will wait here for the day.”

I could not repress my sorrow as I watched them part.

Mother said that we would return home again when the country was independent, but I did not know when that would be\and felt myself choking. In fact my parents were buried in a foreign country without seeing Mangyongdae again. Time\and again I looked back at my grandparents, so loath to part rom them.

I did not like to leave that place\where I was born\and grew up, but I felt relieved about one thing. I liked Junggang because it was far rom Pyongyang gaol. To tell the truth, I still felt uneasy even after my father was released rom prison. I feared that the Japanese might send my father to prison again. In those days I knew nothing of the world\and was naive enough to think that in the mountainous areas far rom Seoul\and Pyongyang there was neither prison nor Japanese.

When I asked how far it was rom Pyongyang to Junggang, someone told me that it was 250 miles. This relieved me. I did not think that the Japanese would pursue us that far. Junggang was said to be the coldest place in Korea. I could easily stand the cold if only father was safe.
  
All our household goods we were to take were the bundle mother made of a few bowls\and spoons\and the haversack father was to sling over his shoulder. When we moved to Ponghwa-ri, we carried some boxes, a table\and brassware\and earthenware, but this time we had nothing to speak of. At that time a friend of my father’s accompanied us.

Getting off the train at Sinanju, we trekked all the way to Junggang, passing through Kaechon, Huichon\and Kanggye. At that time there was no railway to Kanggye.

As we set out on the journey my father was concerned, doubting that I would be able to walk such a long distance. Mother, too, seemed to fear that I would not keep up. As I was only seven years old my parents were naturally anxious about me.

I got a lift on a passing cart at times but walked most of the way. It was the first major physical trial of my life.
At Kanggye we stayed overnight at the inn outside the Nam Gate\and the next day resumed our journey. The owner of the inn, together with the members of the underground\organization in the Kanggye area, warmly welcomed our party. The 125 miles rom Kanggye to Junggang covered many passes\and much desolate scenery.

Mother had a hard time when we crossed Paenang Pass. She was carrying three-year-old Chol Ju on her back\and a load on her head\and had blisters on her feet, as she wore wornout straw sandals. This caused her much trouble.

When we arrived at Junggang, I was disappointed. There, too, the Japanese were swarming like they did in Hwanggum\and Somun Streets in Pyongyang. The Korean people were wandering around, having been driven out of their native land,\whereas the Japanese had come to this remote mountainous area\and were lording it over the people there.
  
Father said that\wherever Koreans lived there were Japanese. I learned that in Junggang there were a police station, a prison\and some military police. On my arrival at Junggang I realized that the whole of Korea had been converted into a sort of a prison.

The Japanese had taken over more than half the upper street of Junggang,\where there were a school, some shops\and a hospital for them.

The people of Junggang said that the Japanese imperialists had begun to stretch their tentacles of aggression there ten years before. Having wrested the right to fell trees in Korea after the conclusion of the Protectorate Treaty in 1905, the Japanese imperialists had set up a forestry administration in Sinuiju\and a branch of it in Junggang\and transferred their felling section there. It was a felling section in name only; in fact it was a sort of a paramilitary group including many ex-servicemen who had received systematic military training, which could be called out at any time in case of emergency. Also in Junggang there were armed policemen\and a garrison.

Father had taken us to Junggang because he intended to set up a surgery there which the independence fighters could frequent\and, with it as a base, wage the anti -Japanese struggle more actively. The position of physician would enable him to hide easily rom the enemy’s surveillance\and to contact people reasonably\and freely.

We settled at Kang Ki Rak’s inn. Kang Ki Rak allotted to us the quietest\and cleanest room at the inn. My father had stayed there for a while on his way back rom Jiandao\where he had gone upon his release rom prison. He used the room\where my family stayed.

Kang Ki Rak was both a dentist\and a photographer, while running the inn,\and he secretly maintained contacts between the\organizations abroad of the Korean National Association\and my father when he was active inside Korea\and between its\organizations at home\and him when he was active abroad.

Through the inn father established contacts with the champions of the independence movement active in the areas along the River Amnok such as Linjiang, Changbai, Junggang, Pyoktong, Changsong\and Chosan,\and in other places at home\and abroad.

Being an influential figure in Junggang, Kang Ki Rak had free access to the government office. The information about the enemy he obtained through the government authorities was a great help to my father in his activities.

To help father I used to keep watch, look after the champions of independence movement who visited the inn\and carry out secret liaison missions, going to Jungsang, Jungdok\and other places. One of my strongest memories rom Junggang is that of my wrestling with a Japanese boy bigger than me who I got down with a belly throw. If a Japanese boy bullied Korean children, I would not let him get away with it. The owner of the inn feared that this might bring trouble later, but my father praised my courage, saying that one should never bow to those who look down on the Korean people.

In those days the anti-Japanese sentiment ran high in Junggang\and the distribution of leaflets, a school strike\and the disposal of some wicked stooges were common.

The enemy came to consider that all the changes in Junggang were connected with my father. The Junggang Police Station, acting on information rom the Police Department of South Phyongan Province, listed my father as a “recalcitrant Korean”\and a “person to be placed under the closest surveillance”\and kept watch over him. At the sub-county office Kang Ki Rak chanced to see a copy of my father’s census register in which his name had been underlined in red. He intimated to my father that he had better leave as soon as possible for his safety since the police had marked him down for arrest. In the meantime a policeman serving at the Junggang Police Station let\drop the remark that my father was going to be arrested. So my father could no longer stay in Junggang. We had to leave even the cold northern tip of the country, taking our bundles with us,\and cross into a foreign land.

A step on rom Junggang,\and there was China. I could not hold back the tears that poured rom my eyes as I rode in a small boat across the River Amnok rom the Jungdok ferry. Leaving Junggang meant my fourth removal. I had looked on Junggang as a strange place, but at the thought that I was having to leave it for a foreign country it seemed as dear as my birthplace. At any rate, it was part of my homeland. Mangyongdae had cradled me,\whereas Junggang\and Ponghwa-ri were unforgettable places which made me realize that Korea,\wherever one went, had been converted into a prison by the Japanese imperialists.

The day we left Junggang was unusually gloomy. The fallen leaves of late autumn drifted desolately up to the ferry. The migratory birds were flying in a flock towards the southern sky. The sight of them saddened me in spite of myself.

Junggang was the last my mother saw of her motherland,\and my younger brother Chol Ju was unable to return to his homeland after crossing the river.

Man experiences many sorrows in his lifetime. The greatest of them is the sorrow of leaving one’s country as a stateless person. However great a sorrow one feels when leaving one’s birthplace, it cannot be compared with the sorrow one experiences when leaving one’s homeland. If a birthplace can be likened to a mother\and a place away rom home, to a stepmother, I wonder what a foreign country which is far stranger can be likened to.

The thought that I would be living in a foreign country\where there were no people to welcome me\and\where I could not make myself understood disgusted me, though I was young,\and everything went dark before my eyes. But in silence I had to endure the sorrow of leaving my country for the sake of my father’s aim of winning back the country.

The boatman groaned over the wretched plight of the Korean people, saying that more\and more people were migrating to Manchuria.

My father said that no one knew how many people had gone abroad, abandoning the fertile land of their birthplaces.
Even before the ruin of the country hordes of people rom this country had left for the wilderness of Manchuria\and Siberia to earn a living. People who had been deprived of the right to existence left the country in desperation, suffering cruel punishment. The waves of emigrants flowed to the United States, Mexico\and other countries on the American continent. Deceived by the fine words that “Flowers are in bloom in all seasons; once seeds are sown they yield a bumper crop;\and if one works three hours a day, one becomes rich in three years,” farmers\and casual labourers had sailed over the Pacific to the American continent\where they were treated as barbarians\and hired as servants in restaurants\and rich men’s houses\or were worked hard on plantations under the scorching sun.

Nevertheless, then they had their own country.

After the ruin of the country, tens of thousands of farmers deprived of their farmland had drifted like fallen leaves to the desolate wilderness of Manchuria.

The Japanese upstarts\and merchants who had dreamed of a windfall swarmed to the land\where our forefathers had lived rom generation to generation,\and the masters of the land who had made it fertile were driven out\and were forced to wander off to foreign countries. So the plight of the nation which has lost its state power can be likened to the fallen leaves\or roadside pebbles, I think.
  
Every day now children of the emigrants visit the ancestral land their forefathers abandoned. Whenever I meet them, I am reminded of the wanderers I saw on the banks of the River Amnok.

In Linjiang many things were strange to me\and not good for me, but one thing was good: I saw little of the Japanese.
Linjiang, a commercial town in Liaoning Province, China, was a centre of communications linking Korea with north\and south Manchuria.

The Japanese imperialists could not openly extend their influence to China at that time, so they secretly sent in their special agents to threaten the independence champions. But Linjiang was better for conducting revolutionary activities than Junggang.

On arriving at Linjiang my father made me learn Chinese under a Chinese teacher for six months\and then immediately saw to it that I was admitted to Linjiang Primary School. After starting at that school I began to learn Chinese in earnest. Later on I continued to study it at Badaogou Primary School\and Fusong Primary School No. 1.

That I gained a good command of Chinese rom my early years is entirely thanks to my father.
At that time I did not understand fully why my father was so quick to make me study the Chinese language\and go to Chinese schools; however, looking back on those days now I realize that father’s farsightedness based on his idea of “Aim High!” was a great help to me. If my father had not made me learn Chinese at an early age I might have had to face a great language barrier at every step of my life for the quarter of a century I spent in China.

Without a good command of Chinese it would have been impossible for us to gain a foothold in Manchuria, the major theatre of our struggle which was waged under the enemy’s harsh repression, let alone an easy establishment of friendly relations with the Chinese people\and a success in effecting an anti-Japanese allied front with them.

The Japanese detectives who were said to have a hound’s sense of smelling\and the Manchukuo police did not suspect me to be a Korean when I was walking in the street, dressed in Chinese clothes\and speaking Chinese fluently. After all, I can say that my knowledge of the Chinese language contributed greatly to the Korean revolution.

Father rented a house through the good offices of Ro Kyong Du, an old acquaintance of his,\and set up a surgery. He used one room as a surgery -cum-dispensary\and hung up a large sign, “Sunchon Surgery,” on the outside wall. He also hung up a diploma rom the Severance Medical College. He obtained the diploma rom a friend of his prior to his departure rom Pyongyang, I think.

After several months father was known as an excellent physician. That he won fame as a physician though he began clinical practice only after reading a few books on medicine cannot be attributed to his diagnostic skill but to his humane treatment.\wherever he went, my father valued people. With unusual devotion he treated\and took good care of his fellow Koreans who, deprived of their birthplaces\and homeland, were leading a sorrowful life in a foreign country.

Many patients visited Sunchon Surgery with little\or no money. Whenever they worried about paying the doctor’s bill, my father would tell them to pay it after the country had won its independence, if at all,\and consoled them, saying, “Though we are now living in poverty in a foreign country, the day is not far off when we will win back our country\and cross the River Amnok

again.”

Our house in Linjiang was always alive with guests, just as in Ponghwa-ri. Among them were patients, but most of them were anti-Japanese champions.
  
It was in those days that my uncle Kang Jin Sok came to Linjiang\and formed the Paeksan Armed Group. This was an armed group with independence champions active in Phyongan Province forming its backbone. The meaning of Paeksan is Mt. Paektu.

In those days the farsighted people of Korea living in Manchuria set great store by the name “Paeksan.” They called the private Korean school set up in Fusong Paeksan School. The youth\organization we formed in Fusong in December 1927, was also called the Paeksan Youth League.

The Paeksan Armed Group was a fairly large\and well-knit grouping of large\and small units rom the Independence Army in the Linjiang\and Changbai areas. Its headquarters was in Linjiang County. The Paeksan Armed Group was active in Junggang, Chosan, Huchang\and other areas of North Phyongan Province in Korea\and, farther, its activities reaching Pyongyang, Sunchon\and Kangso areas.

After his arrival in Manchuria my uncle who had been active as a member of a secret youth\organization in Pyongyang became a lumberjack for a while, staying with us in Linjiang until the armed group was formed. With the formation of the armed group he was appointed commissioner for foreign affairs\and became involved in conducting political work\and raising war funds in North\and South Phyongan Provinces.

My uncle, together with the commanders of the armed group, frequented our house. In those days Pyon Tae U\and Kim Si U, who was in charge of the financial affair of the Paeksan Armed Group, visited our home, accompanied by my uncle. Its commanders often stayed at our home overnight.

Other guests stayed in the front room, but my uncle always slept with us in the back room, with his pistol under his pillow.
In those days my father made great effort to prepare an armed struggle based on his progressive ideas as required by the switchover in the struggle declared at the Kuandian Meeting. Father went frequently to Hongtuga to work with the Paeksan Armed Group. When I woke up one night, I saw father\and my uncle taking a pistol apart under the lamplight. For some reason the sight of it conjured up a scene before me of demonstrators cheering in front of the Pothong Gate at the time of the March First Popular Uprising. At that time I had seen only rakes\and sticks in the hands of the demonstrators. But within a year I saw a pistol in the hands of my uncle. Drawing a bloody lesson rom the death of several thousands, the leading spirits of Korea had armed themselves.

A few days later I received rom father the task of fetching some ammunition\and gunpowder rom Junggang. He seemed to have decided to entrust the task to me since in those days the adults were subjected to close examination at customs posts.

I went to Junggang with a firm determination\and came back safely, carrying with me a bag stuffed with ammunition\and gunpowder. The policemen at the customs post had closely examined the people boarding the boat, but for some reason I had not feared them.

Later my uncle left Linjiang to work with the armed group in the homeland.
But within a month corporal Kim Tuk Su rom the military police in Junggang came to Linjiang\and informed us that my uncle had been arrested. Though he was a corporal in the military police, Kim Tuk Su was a conscientious man who did errands for my father on many occasions.

On returning home rom school, I found my mother weeping.

The arrest of my uncle had stirred the whole of my family.

After leaving Linjiang my uncle conducted vigorous activities in the Jasong, Kaechon\and Pyongyang areas at the head of an armed group. He was arrested by the Japanese police in April 1921 in Pyongyang\and sentenced to 15 years’ imprisonment. He was imprisoned for 13 years\and 8 months before being released on bail\and dying in 1942.

My uncle who fought against gambling, drinking\and superstition, forming an enlightenment\organization called the Miphung Society at his birthplace came to join the noble movement to save the nation. This can be ascribed to the good influence of my grandfather Kang Ton Uk\and my father.

A revolution is not conducted by a few special people alone. If awakened ideologically\and placed under a good influence, anyone is capable of rendering distinguished service in the revolutionary struggle for the remoulding of the world.

After the arrest of my uncle the enemy sent many secret agents\and plainclothes policemen to Linjiang to arrest father. So he used to take shelter in his friend’s house in the suburbs of Linjiang at night, while working at home during the daytime.

But it became impossible for him to remain in Linjiang any longer. We had to move to another place in a foreign country, taking our household goods with us. The whole family left Linjiang, carrying loads on their backs\and shoulders, but it was impossible for us to carry all our household goods, so Missionary Pang Sa Hyon accompanied us, taking them on a sledge to Badaogou, Changbai County\where we were to settle. It is about 62 miles rom Linjiang to Badaogou.

Like Linjiang, Badaogou was a border village near the River Amnok. As in Junggang on the opposite side of the river rom Linjiang there were Japanese military police\and a police sub-station, so in Phophyong just opposite rom Badaogou there were a branch station of the Japanese military police\and a police sub-station.

Though Phophyong is in the northern tip of Korea, the Japanese imperialists deployed repressive forces there densely since the main arena of the independence movement had shifted to Manchuria. The secret agents, military police\and policemen sent rom Phophyong went to Badaogou\and went wild searching for patriots every day.

My house was near the place\where the River Badao joined the River Amnok. Father hung up a new sign “Kwangje Surgery” at our house.

To the right of my house there lived the family of Kim, a member of the Korean National Association,\and to the left another family Kim who ran a noodle house. Just across the street rom our house there lived yet another family Kim who earned a living by selling noodles.

In our neighbourhood lived the merchant brothers Kim who furnished supplies to the armed units in the areas along the River Amnok under my father’s direction. Thus four families Kim who lived around our house were good people.

Only the family who lived to the back of our house was questionable. It turned out later that Son Se Sim, the head of the family, was a secret agent for the Phophyong police sub-station. Son’s family had lived in Junggang before moving to Badaogou after us to keep watch on my father on the instructions of the Japanese police.

In Badaogou my father contacted people rom various walks of life. Among them was a thinker with the surname of Hwang. While working as a clerk at the Namsa Timber Mill, he had embarked on the road of revolution under the influence of a progressive idea. He secretly carried out liaison missions for my father. After being given a task he would leave Badaogou immediately\and fulfil it,\wherever it was,\and then return to my home to wait for another task to be given.

Sometimes he had long talks with my father over a glass of wine. Once he commented animatedly on the situation, referring to an article in the newspaper Asahi Shimbun.
 
When my father went fishing, he followed him to the riverside, carrying a pot stuffed with peppered bean paste,\and caught fish\and gutted them. He frequented our home for about three years,\and one year he joined us in celebrating Harvest Moon Day.

Father was many times taken to the Namsa Timber Mill by him, which was 50 miles away,\and there he taught\and rallied the workers around the anti-Japanese\organizations. The teachers of Rajuk Primary School, too, were given guidance by my father. One year—I am not sure which year it was—the school went on strike, which caused a great sensation.

Phophyong chapel was one place my father frequented in those days. It had no spire tipped with a cross but was an\ordinary tile-roofed house. The only difference that marked it out rom other houses was that the whole of the house was a single room without partitions.

After father’s arrival in Badaogou the chapel was used as a place for teaching people\and as a rendezvous for revolutionaries. Whenever a service was held he went over to Phophyong\and conducted anti-Japanese propaganda. At times he taught them to sing songs, accompanying them on the\organ.

When father could not go, mother\or uncle Hyong Gwon met those who had come to attend the service\and conducted anti-Japanese education among them. I, too, went to the chapel, taking Chol Ju with me,\and learned how to play the\organ rom father.

There were many places for secret rendezvous in the streets of Phophyong which father used.
The cleaner at the Phophyong police sub-station undertook clandestine work. When he discovered some secret information at the police station\and conveyed it to the mail depository, the information would be sent to father.

I often went on secret errands for father. Once I sent some clothes\and food to the patriots detained at the Phophyong police sub-station. The place I frequented most was the mail depository. Father told me to bring rom the mail depository Tong-A Ilbo, Joson Ilbo\and other newspapers, magazines\and publications rom Korea. Father was in charge of the branch office of Tong-A Ilbo in the name of my uncle Hyong Gwon; he received no pay but got the newspapers free.

I used to go to the mail depository a couple of times a week. Unless the river was iced over, it was difficult to travel to\and rom Phophyong.

But after the river was iced over, at times I went there every other day. When I was busy with my studies uncle Hyong Gwon used to go on the errand. When there was a lot of mail addressed to my father, uncle Hyong Gwon\and I would at times go over there together to fetch it. The mail was mainly parcels, magazines\and books on medicine published in Japan.

When we went to Phophyong, we received a great deal of help rom Hong Jong U, an assistant military policeman. He became the supporter\and helper of the revolution under father’s influence. Of course, our relations with him were not satisfactory rom the beginning.

Badaogou was under the jurisdiction of the Phophyong military police sub-station. Subordinated to it were policemen rom the police sub-station\and the local customs officials. In those days the military police\organs had great authority in the border areas.

Father\and other members of the\organization always kept movements at the observation posts of the military police under close surveillance\and they, too, kept close watch on our house.

When Hong Jong U first appeared in the dispensary at our house, wearing the uniform of an assistant military policeman, all my senses were on the alert\and father\and mother were careful to guard against him.
 
After looking around the dispensary awkwardly for a while, he said:

“Today I have visited you merely to convey the compliments of Jang Sun Bong in Anju. When I left for my new post in the border area he told me to seek out\and meet his friend Kim Hyong Jik in Huchang. I was also eager to meet you\and ask you for instruction.”

His words\and manner were very modest for a person wearing the uniform of a military policeman. But my father gave him the cold shoulder the first day.

“You were on intimate terms with corporal Kim Tuk Su in Junggang, so what is the matter with you today?” mother asked him after Hong Jong U had left.

“The sight of Hong in the uniform of a military policeman reminded me of Pyongyang gaol,” he said.
Father regretted having behaved like that towards Hong Jong U who had gone to the trouble of conveying a greeting,\and decided to treat him better the next time.

Later Hong Jong U visited our home again.

One day father said, while talking with mother:

“If Jong U intends to make some secret inquiries into our house, I will make some secret inquiries into the military police through him. If I fail here, I will only endanger myself. But if I could win him over, what a great help it would be for our cause! We have Kim Tuk Su in Junggang\and Hong Jong U in Phophyong.\wherever I go, there are military police.”

From that day on my father gave Hong Jong U positive education. Throwing aside the formal manner used in speaking to assistant military policemen, he behaved sincerely towards him as a compatriot\and treated him well.

Gradually he began to open his mind. It turned out that\originally he had had a national conscience. He was born in Sunchon, South Phyongan Province. However hard he farmed at his home, he could not make ends meet. So he took the examination for an assistant military policeman to make his fortune. But, witnessing the barbarity of the gendarme\and the police in cracking down on the demonstrators during the March First Popular Uprising, he regretted his decision to sit for the examination\and decided to go back to farming. At this juncture he received a notice informing him that he had passed the examination\and a summons to attend drill. Thus he became an assistant military policeman.

The Japanese imperialists reduced their military police\organs at home, set up\and expanded their police\organs on a large scale in Korea\and reinforced the military police\organs in the border areas in the name of the reform of government\organization, switching over rom “sabre rule” to “civil government.” Most of the Korean assistant military policemen were reappointed as policemen\or transferred to the border areas. So he came to Huchang.

One day he came to my father\and expressed his readiness to take weapons rom the military police\and join the independence movement.

Father spoke highly of his courageous decision.

Father said, “It is praiseworthy for you to have decided to join the independence movement. Your Japanese military uniform has not corrupted you. How can we who boast a 5,000-year- long history meekly resign ourselves to slavery in bondage to the Japanese? I think it is better for you to help us in our work by remaining at your present post. If you wear the military police uniform, you may be able to help the independence movement in many ways.”

Later Hong Jong U helped the independence champions as father told him to.
  
Often visiting father, Hong Jong U notified him beforehand on which day he would be standing guard at the ferry\and at what time\and told him to send anyone who wanted to cross the river during his duty. In this way he saw to it many times that revolutionaries crossed the river safely.

Thanks to him my father, too, escaped critical situation on many occasions. When something unpleasant was likely to happen to father, he would come over immediately to Badaogou\and warn him, “Some policemen will soon be here. Take care,”\or he would say to my mother, “When Mr. Kim returns home, please tell him to go to the countryside\and stay there for a few days.”

One day when he came over to Badaogou, having been given the task by the head of the military police sub-station of enquiring into the movements of the independence champions active on the opposite bank\and the Koreans there, he saw a policeman rom the Phophyong police sub-station escorting my father who was bound with a rope to the ferry.

Hong Jong U stood in his way\and shouted at him, “He is one of our men who is working for the military police. Why have you arrested him without notifying us? If any question about Kim is raised, don’t meddle but notify me.”

The policeman begged his pardon for his error\and undid the rope which bound my father’s arms.
Thus father escaped rom a critical situation.

On returning rom patrol, a military policeman once said to the head of the sub-station that doctor Kim was said to be a thinker\and suggested that he be arrested\and questioned.

Hong Jong U showed them the logbook of the military police which recorded information,\and said that it had all been obtained through doctor Kim. He said, “If you want to know the mood of thinkers, you should disguise yourself as a thinker. Only then can you grasp their inmost thoughts. Doctor Kim has rendered us great service in our work.” The information was false, concocted by Hong Jong U himself.

In May 1923 when the post of assistant military policeman was abolished, he said that he would come over to China with his family\and join the independence movement. He did not want to serve the enemy any more, he said.

My father took great pains to dissuade him. He said, “You would do better to return home\and serve in the police, continuing to help us in our work as before. That will be of greater help to us than if you join the Independence Army\and serve in it. When you return home, please visit Mangyongdae\and convey my best regards to my parents.”

On arriving home he visited Mangyongdae\and gave my father’s compliments to my grandparents. He served as a policeman in the homeland as my father had told him to. On several occasions he asked his superiors to transfer him to the Taephyong police sub-station\and began to serve there in 1927. On arriving there to take up his fresh post, he visited our old home at Mangyongdae, having a servant at the sub-station take wine, pork\and\oranges,\and offered my grandparents New Year’s greetings. Mangyongdae was under the jurisdiction of the Taephyong police sub-station.

Hong Jong U did not abandon his conscience as a member of the Korean nation, as my father had taught him,\and consistently protected our family. He transferred to the Taephyong police sub-station to protect our home at Mangyongdae. When he was in charge of Nam- ri, my grandfather\and uncle Hyong Rok were less troubled by the enemy. The head of the police sub -station always told him to watch Kim Hyong Jik’s family closely\and search his house rom time to time since his family had the reputation of being anti-Japanese, but each time Hong Jong U said that he had found nothing special.
  
Immediately after liberation people everywhere caught\and beat up the pro-Japanese, but Hong Jong U was left alone. Although he served as a pensioned policeman in his home town, he did not incur people’s hatred because he did not wrong them\and always overlooked a violation of Japanese law.

He was misunderstood because of his past, but never sought praise for what he did. An\ordinary man would have written to me to dispel any misunderstanding, but he did not do so.

Several years after the Fatherland Liberation War I told some officials to search for him\and they succeeded in finding him in Sunchon. He was an old man of over sixty years. Nevertheless, we sent him to the provincial cadre-training school to give him education.

Even after graduating rom the provincial cadre-training school he led a simple\and quiet life, such being his natural disposition. He devoted his last years entirely to unearthing relics of my father’s revolutionary history.

A police uniform\or title of policeman was no impediment to those who decided to live conscientiously for the country\and nation like Hong Jong U. The important thing is not one’s title\or uniform but one’s idea\and spirit.

The education of the younger generation was always my father’s concern during his time at Badaogou. Even after he left teaching for medicine, father made a great effort to educate young people as before. It was father’s conviction that only when many able cadres were produced by enlightening people at regular schools\and evening schools was it possible to win back the country\and build a rich\and powerful independent country. The summer short course for Korean primary school teachers was held in Sanyuanpu in the summer of 1924 when my father drew up detailed educational\and musical programmes for the pupils.
  
A Korean school was established in the valley of Badaogou through my father’s efforts. Young people\and children rom Phophyong learned to read\and write Korean at the school, cooking food for themselves with rice they had brought rom home.

Wherever he went, my father would say:

“The education of the younger generation is the foundation for national independence\and state building.”
“If a man is illiterate, he is as good as an animal. Only when a man is literate can he prove his worth\and win back his country.”
Bearing what he said in my mind, I studied hard. Badaogou Primary School was a four-year Chinese school. Classes were conducted in Chinese\and Chinese subjects were taught. There was no Korean school in the town.

So, on my return home rom school I received private education rom my father. He taught me the Korean language, geography\and Korean history, told me many stories about Lenin, Sun Yat-sen, Washington\and other famous men. He chose progressive novels\or books for me\and gave me systematic guidance in my reading so that I never failed to read the books he recommended\and related my impressions after reading them. Thanks to him, I read many good books such as Great Men of Korea, Biographies of Korean Heroes\and The Revolutionary History of Russia\and Lenin\and many newspapers\and magazines.

Father exercised tight control over my studies. When we neglected our studies, he at times made not only me\and my brother Chol Ju but also uncle Hyong Gwon stand up so he could lash us on the calf.

Mother, too, showed a great deal of concern for my studies. When I was going to the mountains to collect firewood on returning rom school, she would say, “Don’t worry about collecting firewood. Do your lessons, instead,” so that I spent a longer time on my studies. Seeing mother so solicitous about me, though she led a life of hardship without even being properly clad, I always wondered what I could do to please her. Once when I went over to Phophyong I bought a pair of rubber shoes for her with the money she had given me to buy a pair of canvas shoes for myself,\and I gave her them.

At this she said, “Though young, you think deeply. I don’t mind what kind of shoes I wear. If you study hard\and grow up fit\and well, it will give me pleasure.”

Mother put her whole heart into making me merry\and seeing that I grew up with a bright heart.
So I grew up with optimism\and free of any cares\and worries. Looking back on my childhood, I think I was most mischievous when I lived in Badaogou. Sometimes I worked such terrible mischief that the adults were astounded. How can we think of our childhood apart rom mischief?

When I recall the winter in Badaogou when we made a metre-wide hole in the ice on the River Amnok\and jumped over it for fun after lining up on the riverside, it seems to me that I am reliving my child’s feelings of 70 years ago. We jumped over the ice hole, saying that those children who failed were not qualified to become Korean soldiers in the future. The children used to run towards the hole with all their might, taking it as a shame to be unqualified to become Korean soldiers.

Sometimes the children whose stride was short\or who were frightened fell into the water, failing to jump over the ice hole. Then, as they dried the wet clothes of their children over a brazier, their families would complain, saying that because of Song Ju rom the family which had come rom Pyongyang all the village children might freeze. As the old villagers had heard that Song Ju was the head of the village children, they often muttered my name to lay the blame on me for what had happened to their children.
 
Sometimes I\and the children played games of soldiers on the hill behind Badaogou till late at night, causing their parents to worry. Then the people of Badaogou would search for us all night, losing their sleep. Because this happened frequently, the parents were stricter with their children. However, they could not lock up children whose thoughts were apt to take free flight.

Once my classmate Kim Jong Hang brought a detonating cap he had taken out of a box kept in the shed of his house\and showed it to us. The shed at his house was packed with weapons, clothes, shoes\and the like which were to be sent to the troops of the Independence Army. His brothers bought work clothes, shoes\and the like in large quantities through the agencies of Japanese companies\and sent them to the troops. Having furnished themselves with two boats\and even horses, they bought in goods by lots to supply to the Independence Army.

That day we played near the brazier, cracking pumpkin seeds. Kim Jong Hang whistled with the detonating cap in his mouth. In the course of this the detonating cap came in contact with embers\and exploded, injuring him in many places.

His brother wrapped him in a blanket\and hastily carried him on his back to my father.
If the police had heard that he had been hurt in the explosion of a detonating cap it might have caused great trouble. So, my father hid him in my house, giving him medical treatment for more than 20 days.

On that occasion I learned that Kim Jong Hang’s family was of patriotic merchants who distributed war supplies to the troops of the Independence Army.

Those years were years full of adventure.

But even in those days I was shadowed by one care.

As I grew older, my mental agony due to the ruin of the country increased.


   

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