OWL Magazine Korea

General Jeon Bong-jun Statue at Jongno, Seoul (Photo)

At Jongno Square in Seoul, you can find the statue of General Jeon Bong-jun. General Jeon Bong-jun, the supreme leader of the Donghak Peasant Movement, was born in 1855 and passed away in 1895.

“Donghak Peasant Movement, Supreme Leader, General Jeon Bong-jun”

In 1894, General Jeon Bong-jun led a peasant army in rebellion against the excessive taxes and confiscation of property by the magistrate, Cho Byeong-gap, in Gobu County. Subsequently, in the same year, to repel the Japanese invasion, he led a second uprising on September 2nd, establishing the highest self-governing body for peasants, called “Jipgangso,” and engaging in anti-Japanese armed struggle.

After suffering defeat to the Japanese forces in the Battle of Ugeumchi, General Jeon Bong-jun was captured and imprisoned in Jeonokseo, which is the current location of Yeongpoong Bookstore’s main branch in Jongno.

On April 23, 1895, General Jeon Bong-jun was sentenced to death in a court trial, and in the early hours of the next day, at 2 a.m., he was executed by firing squad alongside his comrades, Son Hwajung, Kim Deokmyeong, Choi Gyeongseon, and Seong Duhan.

“General Jeon Bong-jun Statue Found at Jongno Square”

The statue of General Jeon Bong-jun was erected in 2018 with donations from the public. Created by Professor Kim Su-hyeon of Chungbuk University, the statue depicts General Jeon Bong-jun sitting with a determined gaze on a granite pedestal. It was based on a photograph taken of General Jeon Bong-jun sitting on a furnace after being interrogated at the Japanese consulate.

The location where the statue of General Jeon Bong-jun now stands is the same place where he gave his life for the country. After 123 years, a statue of General Jeon Bong-jun has been placed at the same spot where he sacrificed himself.