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TRACING THE ORIGINS OF CHONDOGYO CHONDOGYO-WHAT KIND OF RELIGION IS IT? CHONDOGYO VIEWED THROUGH CHURCH DOCTRINE CHONDOGYO BELIEF AND PRACTICE THE CHONDOGYO PEOPLE'S MOVEMENT, NATIONAL MOVEMENT, AND CULTURAL MOVEMENT APPENDIX : CHONODOGYO ORGANIZATION AND CANONICAL WRITINGS

The Reunification Movement

The New Culture Movement

The Prayer for the Destruction of Japan

The "My Mind Party"(Osimdang, ) Secret Fraternity

The New Korea Society (Singanhoe, ) and Chondogyo

The Yuksip Independence Movement

The Samil Independence Movement

The Enlightened Reform Movement

The Donghak Revolution

The Movement to Exonerate the Religion's Founde








The New Culture Movement


    Following the Samil Independence Movement, in order to cultivate the national consciousness through a greater awareness of, and advocacy for, a new national civilization and culture, Chondogyo carried out on nation-wide scale the New Culture Movement. Effected mainly after the Samil Independence Movement, it was a multi-faceted cultural movement involving people from all walks of society. It included a youth movement, publishing movement, farmer's movement, children'smovement, and women's movement.
 Details of these various movements follow.

1) The Youth Movement

    For some time after the Samil Independence Movement, with the majority of religious workers arrested or in prison, Chondogyo experienced an unavoidable void that made it hard to continue its activist agenda. At this time, young Chondogyo members continued in the spirit of those who had been martyred and searched for new courses of action.
    This resulted, on the second day of the ninth month in the 60th year of Podeok (1919), in the inauguration of the Cheon-dogyo Youth Indoctrination Division (ԳҴ˻ݻ), which church youth members had organized with the objective of disseminating results of their findings on creating a new national culture, new enlightened thinking, and religious doctrine.
    This youth organization expanded to include chapters in every part of the country, and in the fourth month of the following year its name was changed to the Chondogyo Youth Society(ԳҴ). An editorial bureau was set up under the name "Creation Office?(Gaebyeoksa, ܣ). As a result, for the first time in the nation's history a comprehensive general magazine called "Creation?(Gaebyeok, ܣ) entered monthly publication. They also carried on lecture tours, and their athletics bureau was active in organizing a baseball league and in introducing a new gymnastics. In the 63d year of Podeok the juvenile bureau organized the Chondogyo Children's Society for young people's activities.
    Later, in the ninth month of the 64th year of Podeok, the Chondogyo Youth Society was dissolved to make way for the new founding of the Chondogyo Youth Party(ԳҴ). The Chondogyo Youth Party expanded rapidly so that, by the 66th year of Podeok(1925) 30,000 party members were distributed throughout 120 regional chapters. The party divided its activities into seven categories: the farmer's movement, the labor movement, the young people's movement, the women's movement, the student movement, the youth movement, and the common people's movement. They stood at the forefront of enlightenment efforts, demonstrating a dazzling array of activity in every category, and deciding that, on an annual basis, the first day of the twelfth month would be observed as Podeok day.
    Furthermore, from the fifth month of the 67th year of Podeok(1926) they established the "Self-Taught New Person?() system, and in the twelfth month of the 68th year of Podeok they oversaw the setting up the Korea Love of Form Research Center(ϼ).
    Later, on the sixteenth day of the second month in the 72nd year of Podeok (1931), the youth party united with the Chondogyo Youth Alliance(ԳҴ) that had been active in other areas, together renaming themselves the Chondogyo Pure Friends Party(Գ), whereupon they became even more active. In the 73d year of Podeok they established a group study system. In the following year this was developed further with the opening of Korea's first college-level correspondence school, the "Self-Training College?). In the 75th year of Podeok they continued in their efforts at enlightened education by issuing the bulletin "Group Sounds?Dangseong, ).
    During all of this, in the 75th year of Podeok(1934), the secret anti-Japan society, the My Mind Party, was created out of this youth party. While planning national independence demonstrations they were discovered by the Japanese police, and 170 of their members were arrested and imprisoned. Later, in the 78th year of Podeok(1937), along with the increased environment of suppression accompanying Japan's invasion of China, the Pure Friends Party was forced underground.

 2) The Publishing Movement

    After the Samil Independence Movement, Chondogyo, beginning with the publication of the monthly journal 's reation?Gaebyeok, ܣ), placed great importance on publishing as it concerned the cultural movement, and became Korea's undisputed leader in the Publishing Culture Movement. "Creation?first entered publication in the sixth month of the 61st year of Podeok(1920), producing 72 issues before its forced to closure by the Japanese in the eighth month of the 67th year of Podeok. "Creation?has claim to being Korea's first general interest magazine representing contemporary culture and ideas of the 1920's. As its name suggests, the motive for the publication of "Creation?was to express Chondogyo thought on creation and, while giving concrete expression to its religious doctrine, concentrate on the education of the general public, keeping its religious coloration below the surface.
    Furthermore, as it was aimed at the general public, "Creation?was regarded as a publication for the people and by the people. However, because it was also a publication of anti-Japanese nationalist resistance it had to endure innumerable troubles. As a result, 34 issues, beginning with extra editions, were confiscated and their sale prohibited. Added to this were repeated fines, suspensions of publication, and censorship. In the first four years of publication alone, of the 434,000 copies printed no less than 112,000(25%) were confiscated and withdrawn from circulation.
    "Creation?was a cultivated general interest magazine, but it also maintained a strong literary focus and contributed greatly to the development of contemporary literature.
    Following the forced closure of "Creation?in the 67th year of Podeok(1926), Chondogyo continued to turn out numerous periodicals and occasional publications listed as follows: "Unique Heaven and Earth?Byeolgeongon, ܬ), Podeok 67-75, 103 editions; "Fise Star?Hyeseong, ), Podeok 72, 13 editions, ?rontline?Jeilseon, ), Podeok 73, 11 editions, "Student?Haksaeng, ), Podeok 70, 12 editions, "The People? Voice?Chungseong, ), Podeok 64, 18 editions, and "New Friend?Saebeot, ), Podeok 70, 49 editions. Chondogyo also targeted publications for a specific readership, such as "Children's Magazine?Eoriniji, ), "Farmer's Magazine?Nongminji, ), and "Women's Magazine? (Yeoseongji, ).

3) The Farmer's Movement

    The Chondogyo Farmer's Movement generally began with the establishment, on the 29th day of the tenth month in the 66th year of Podeok(1925), the Korean Farmer's Company (Joseonnongminsa, ). The Korea Farme's Company began with the name "Friends?Commune?Sauje, ) but on the fourteenth day of the second month in the 69th year of Podeok, it was reorganized, with regional and local branches reporting to a central office. The number of such farmer's cooperatives grew from 23 to 150 between its beginnings in Podeok 69 to Podeok 74(1933), with the number of staff reaching 200,000. The Korea Farmer'sCompany introduced Korea to its first magazine devoted to farming issues, beginning with the monthlies'sorean Farmer?Joseonnong-min, ), Podeok 66-71, 30 editions, and "Farmer?Nongmin, ), Podeok 71-74, 42 editions. It also emphasized the introduction of modern farming methods with pocket-sized booklets entitled "The People's Reader?Daejungdokbon, ), "The People's Arithmetic?Daejungsansul, ߩ), "A How To On Fertilizer? and "A How To on Sericulture?
    Such specialized targeting of farmer's issues represents a pioneering effort in the role of farmer's education during what was, at the time, a cultural wasteland of ideas and initiative. Chondogyo worked to awaken the heretofore socially neglected farmers to the importance of strengthening the economic base of the farming sector and of elevating their social position. It also sought to inculcate in farmers a sense of self-sufficiency, industry, and cooperation, and further, to awaken within them their consciousness of nation, by introducing them to scientific agricultural methods, emphasizing the importance of maintaining rational life styles by discarding pre-modern, unscientific attitudes. By teaching the Korean writing system(ѱ) Chondogyo also made a great contribution to the eradication of farmer illiteracy.
    Other activities in which Chondogyo stood at the forefront in working to defend and improve farmers?interests were the giving of public lectures and the starting up and running of over 3000 "Farmer? Night Study?Nongminyahak) schools.
    In the 72nd year of Podeok(1931) it opened the separate "Farmer's Cooperative?), and by the 74th year of Podeok the number of regional farmer's cooperatives had grown to 180, with a total membership of over 50,000, and boasting total cash assets of 300,000 Weon. Meriting special mention is the establishment by the Pyeongyang branch of the Farmer's Cooperative in the 72nd year of Podeok of the Farmer's Rubber Factory capable of daily producing 15001 pairs of rubber shoes() specifically designed for farm use. By further introducing collective tilling and harvesting and other methods of community labor, the farmer's cooperative proved very helpful in initiating Korea's democratic cooperative farmer's movement.

4) The Children's Movement

    The Chondogyo Children's Movement was born on the first day of the fifth month in the 62nd year of Podeok (1921) at a Chondogyo Youth Society meeting, where it was decided that a Chondogyo Children's Society would be established, to be organized around lecture tours offered nation-wide. The initiators of the Children's Movement, Gim Gi-jeon, and Bang Jeong-hwan, wanted to remain consistent with the Chondogyo principle of "Human beings are God?(Innaecheon, Ҭ), stating that the purpose of this children's organization was to cultivate and nurture a child's feelings and sentiments?and to promote the ethical treatment and overall betterment of young people.?
    The following year, on the first day of the fifth month in the 62nd year of Podeok-the first anniversary of the Chondogyo Children's Society's founding-came the historic declaration of"Children's Day?Eorininal), which was widely observed throughout the country. The "Children's Day?that our country observes each year has its origins in this Chondogyo Children's Movement. Later, on the seventeenth day of the fourth month in the 64th Year of Podeok(1923), so that it might grow into a movement involving the whole of Korean society, the Chondogyo Children'sSociety joined with children's groups organized by other religions to form the Korean Children? Movement Federation(Ҵ), with the federation's office set up within the walls of the Chondogyo church. In addition to declaring the first day of the fifth month "Children's Day? it announced what may be called the world's first children charter? namely ?asic Articles and Provisions of the Childre's Movement?
    The monthly publication of the magazine "Child?() formed part of this children's movement, beginning with the printing of its first issue on the twentieth day of the third month in the 64th year of Podeok(1923). In all, 122 monthly editions were printed until its forced closing in the seventh month of the 75th year of Podeok(1934). After liberation,"Child?re-entered circulation to produce another 137 editions before finally shutting down.
    Based on the Chondogyo principle "Human beings are God? this monthly "Child?magazine contributed greatly to the children's movement and to the development of a children's literature in harmony with its goals, by affirming humankind's basic dignity, equality, and liberty, by recognizing that children were the future heroes of the nation, and by working to eliminate common unhealthy and anti-social behavior in children.

5) The Women's Movement

    Based on the principle 'I serve God within me?Sicheonju, ), the Chondogyo tenet "Human beings are God?Innaecheon, Ҭ) connotes the belief in the equality of all people regardless of class, gender, or age. To that extent one can naturally conclude that the women's movement for equality with men began with Chondogyo. Especially significant is the sermon by Master Haeweol entitled "Essay for Women?Naesudomun, ҮԳ), for it reflects the importance with which women's position in society was held in Chondogyo thought.
    Chondogyo continued forward Master Haeweol's teaching by forming, in the 65th year of Podeok(1924), the Chondogyo Women's Cultivation Association(ԳҮӥ), which engaged in sweeping and substantial women's activities. The association was organized to help women participate more actively in society. In later days the name of this Chondogyo women'sgroup has changed several times, from Women's Sincerity Association(Ү), to Wives Society(), to Women'sSociety(). During the so-called Dark Period of our nation this organization stressed the importance of women and of the need for their active participation in society. Today this organization can boast a history of more than eighty years.
    This Chondogyo organization, with its nation-wide regional branches, was active mainly in improving the daily lives of women, and of achieving the image of the "new woman?). It has also played a leading role in Korea's women's movement by publishing the women's monthly magazines "Wife?), and ?ew Woman?). The magazine "Wife?began publication just before the forming of the "women's Cultivation Association? in the sixth month of the 63d year of Podeok(1922), by a branch of the Chondogyo Youth Society entrusted with issues of the women's movement. The magazine continued on in this fashion, publishing a total of 16 editions until the ninth month of the 64th year of Podeok, when its name was changed to "New Woman? From that time until the eighth month of the 75th year of Podeok(1934) 38 more editions of the magazine were published (including the period from Podeok 67-Podeok 71, when it was published as "Unique Heaven and Earth?ܬ). The magazines "Wife?and "New Woman?devoted their attention to 1. reform and improvement of daily life, 2. making the home an idyllic place, 3. inculcating virtuous and refined behavior, 4. the education and cultivation of son's and daughters 5. elevating and refining women's interests, and so on. In so doing they played an important pioneering role in lifting Korean women out of their relatively backward position, extending women's rights, and heightening women's consciousness.

 6) The New Education Movement

    Conservative nationalism persisted in the traditional pursuit of learning that emphasized study of the Chinese Classics. It narrow-mindedly and mistakenly scorned as mere imitation of the West the "new education?and its receptiveness of more advanced civilization. By contrast, Chondogyo's progressive nationalism places it head and shoulders above all others in its enthusiasm for the New Education Movement.
    During the time of his exile in Japan, Revered Teacher Euiam, the third supreme leader of Chondogyo, arranged for 64 talented young people in Korea to study abroad there. To get an idea of the zeal with which Chondogyo regarded this type of education one only needs to look at the editorial comments that appeared in the February 14, 1906(10th year of Kwangmu-Kojong's tenth year on the throne) issue of the "Capital Gazette?Hwangseongsinmun), which gave thanks to Son Byeong-heui(Revered Teacher Euiam's name at birth) for his devoted efforts in(new) education("sasonbyeongheuissi yeoleuigyoyuk?.
    Beginning with Boseong Technical School and Dongdeok School for Girls, and on to Yangyeong School and Seondeok School for Girls in Yongsan, Pochang School and Samhoboseong Primary School in Mapo, Munchang Normal School in Cheongpadong, Jonghak School in Cheongju, the Bongyang Education Center in Andong, Bomyeong School in Seoncheon, Changdong School in Jeonju, Gyonam School and Myeongsin School for Girls in Daegu, Chondogyo contributed to the operation of a total of 31 schools. What is more, Chondogyo greatly contributed to the people's, that is to say, the nation's education by offering literacy courses and other programs in its night learning centers throughout the country.
    In this way Chondogyo's New Education Movement for national education was important in raising the nation out of the depths of the "Dark Period?and awakening it to the new world in which it found itself. The brief discussion of the significance and special character of the Chondogyo New Culture Movement offered in the preceding pages can be summarized as follows:
    First, the movement attempted to dissolve and discard the antiquated and obsolete culture of the past and make way for the creation of a new national culture, to relinquish old habits, old systems, and old ways of thinking, and to reform and renew its culture by establishing new values and new expectations for humanity.
    Second, under the principle of "Human beings are God?(Innaecheon), the movement stood to the fore in seeking to create a humanity-centered new culture that could throw off mundane and spiritless materialism and restore humankind's innate individual liberty. Thus it rejected pre-modern "feudal?thinking, and took the position that both capitalism, with its worship of money, and socialist materialism, were inequitable and unjust systems. Third, based on the principle of "supporting the nation and comforting the people?Bogukanmin, ), it naturally assumed a nationalist stance, and while thoroughly embracing those parts of Korea's traditional culture that preserved its national identity it also revealed its position of progressively accepting the civilization of the West.
    Fourth, it showed its special character in carrying forward the People's Cultural Movement that kept the people as its focus and foundation.






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