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Full text of "The tragedy of Korea"

Plh't.':^yaph hy] 

[F. A. McKeiizie. 









31 West Twenty-third Street 



> <'^ 



I HAVE to tell the story of the awakening and 
the destruction of a nation. My narrative, save 
for a few introductory pages, covers a period of less 
than thirty years, and the greater part of it has to do 
with events that have happened since King Edward 
came to the throne. The brief and tragic history of 
modern Korea has been linked to great international 
developments. It gave excuse for the opening moves 
of what promises to be the main world-conflict of the 
twentieth century — the struggle between an aroused 
China and an ambitious Japan. It afforded a reason 
for the Mikado's declaration of war against Russia. 
It supplies us to-day with a touchstone by which we 
can test the sincerity of the Japanese professions of 
justice, peace, and fair play. 

No unbiassed observer can deny that Korea owes 
the loss of her independence mainly to the corruption 
and weakness of her old national administration. It 
is equally true that the Japanese policy on the 
peninsula has been made more difficult by the 
intrigues and obstinacy of the old Court party. 
Yet, when all hindrances have been allowed for, 


those of us who have witnessed the acts follow- 
ing the Japanese occupation of the land own to a 
sense of grievous disappointment. Affairs have now 
reached a stage when there comes a question of the 
duty of the British people in the matter. I, for 
one, am convinced that we owe it to ourselves 
and to our ally, Japan, to let it be clearly known 
that a policy of Imperial expansion based upon 
breaches of solemn treaty obligations to a weaker 
nation, and built up by odious cruelty, by needless 
slaughter, and by a wholesale theft of the private 
property rights of a dependent and defenceless 
peasantry, is repugnant to our instincts and cannot 
fail to rob the nation that is doing it of much of 
that respect and goodwill with which we all so 
recently regarded her. 

Many of the doings related in this book came 
under my own purview : some chapters, more par- 
ticularly the description of the scenes in the rebellion 
of 1907, are direct individual narrative. Wherever 
possible, I have elected to support my own account 
and conclusions by the evidence of other witnesses. 
In the case of the recent rebellion, my readers must 
rely mainly on my personal observations, as I was, at 
the time when I made my journey, the only white 
man to have travelled through those districts during 
the fighting. I am indebted to many who played 
.a prominent part in the events here recorded for 
their kind and generous assistance and advice. 

F. A. Mckenzie. 



PREFACE . . • • • . • V 

ij^i^nx CHAPTER I 


QUEEN y. REGENT . . . . . ■ ^3 









AFTER THE MURDER . . . . .67 



THE RUSSIAN RiClAJE . . . . .89 




THE RULE OF PRINCE ITO . . . . .142 













WITH THE REBELS . . . . . .197 



THE WIDER VIEW ..... 250 




1. The Trial of Viscount Miura . . .263 

2. Treaties Relating to Korea . . . 269 

Japan- Korean, 1876. ^^ 

American-Korean, 1882-3. 

British-Korean, 1883. 

Convention between China and Japan, 1885. 

Treaty of Shimonoseki, 1895. 

Russo-Japanese Agreement, 1896. 

Anglo-Japanese Alliances. 

Korea at the Portsmouth Conference. 

Japan-Korean Treaties, 1904-7. v^ 

3. Petition from the Koreans of Hawaii . .311 


A KOREAN IN OLD-STYLE DRESS . . . Frontispiece 

A VILLAGE IDOL . . . . . .II 



A GATEWAY OF CHONG-JU . . . . -5° 


THE author's "number onE BOY," WITH WIFE AND CHILD 82 


SEOUL . . . . . . ■ .86 

EASTERN KOREA ...... 98 



CELL, PING-YANG . . . • . . IlS 



PRINCE ITO ....... 142 






INN ........ 182 


OF KOREA ....... 188 

SOLDIERS ....... 193 








DAILY PAPER ....... 23O 




LATE in the seventies, when Pekin was still 
the city of mystery, one annual event never 
failed to arrest the attention of Europeans there. 
During the winter months a large party of strangers 
would arrive, men of odd dress and unfamiliar 
speech. Their long, thickly padded robes were tied 
with short strings, not buttoned like the Chinese, 
and their outer garment was parted in the middle, 
instead of the Chinese style, on the right hand. 
Their dress resembled that of the Pekin folk before 
the Tartars had come, many centuries earlier, and 
they took off their shoes on entering a room, 
like the Japanese. They wore extraordinary hats, 
often of gigantic size, made of horse-hair or of 
bamboo, and their hair was tied in a knot on the 
top of their heads. They were dark-skinned, flat- 
nosed, and black-eyed, and yet there was a strange 
suggestion of the Caucasian in their Mongol coun- 

The visitors, who never exceeded two hundred 
in number, were the ambassadors, tribute-bearers, 
and traders from Chosen, the Hermit Kingdom. 

2 1 


The three chiefs, with their three right-hand men, 
entered into the very heart of the Forbidden City, 
paid their dues to the Emperor, kow-towed, and 
were entertained at an official dinner. The traders 
sold their ginseng — most famed of all Eastern 
sudorifics — their brassware, and their rolls of oiled 
paper. Europeans often tried to hold intercourse 
with them, but without much success. At the end 
of forty days, the embassy and its followers returned, 
back over the great Pekin road, where splendid towers 
had been built centuries since to mark their annual 
march — back over the high pass of Motienling, where 
the world seemed stretched out beneath their feet, 
past the line of stakes, built to separate China from 
its neighbour, under the shadow of the now decaying 
cities of refuge, and through the dreaded bandit 
belt of the Yalu. Then they were swallowed up 
again in the darkness and mystery of their own 

At that time, less than thirty years ago. Chosen, 
now known as Korea, was a country that still reso- 
lutely shut itself off from the outside world. Its 
land borders to the north had for centuries been 
edged by a lawless region, where bandits were 
allowed to live without molestation, and through 
which ordinary travellers could not pass. Even 
Chinamen who crossed the river Yalu were quickly 
decapitated by the stern yangbans on the Korean 
side. Its long, rocky, and forbidding coast line was 
carefully avoided by most foreign ships. Now and 
then an exploring navigator might call at a point 
of the coast, only to be met by a dignified repulse. 


In the seventeenth century two or three dozen Dutch 
sailors were wrecked at different times on the 
Korean shores. Some of them were compelled to 
spend the remainder of their lives there. Others 
escaped, and among them was one Hendrick Hamel, 
who wrote a book on the country which gave very 
little information. Du Halde, the great geographer 
of the eighteenth century, described the people of 
Korea as "generally well made and of sweet and 
tractable disposition ; they understand the Chinese 
language, delight in learning, and are given to music 
and dancing." He further told that their manners 
were " so well regulated that theft and adultery were 
crimes unknown among them, so that there was no 
occasion to shut street doors in the night ; and 
although the revolutions, which are fatal to all States, 
may have somewhat changed this former innocence, 
yet they have still enough of it left to be a pattern 
to other nations." 

In the latter half of the eighteenth century, some 
Korean literary men and officials came under the 
influence of the Catholic missionaries at Pekin, and 
started a campaign for the conversion of Korea. 
They obtained considerable success, and quickly 
aroused bitter official opposition and persecution. 
Many of their converts were tortured and put to 
death, but the faith continued to spread secretly. 
A French missionary tried, in the bravest manner, 
to force his way into Korea. He penetrated the 
bandit lands north of Chosen in the depth of winter, 
crossed the Yalu on the ice, crawled into the town 
of Wi-ju through a drainage hole in the wall, and 


reached Seoul on horseback. Others followed him, 
and the story of their perils and adventures is one 
of the most romantic in the annals of travel. Some- 
times the missionaries entered by small boats from 
China, sometimes overland. They had endless 
disguises, an elaborate secret post, and many ways 
of escaping detection. A priest would be known 
by different names in different places ; he would 
sleep by day and travel by night ; he was now a 
beggar, now a pedlar, and now a high official in 
mourning garb. The French priests and their 
converts had the sword ever hanging over them. 
once, after the authorities had attacked and killed 
a number of their converts, the French bishop, 
Imbert, and two of his comrades came out and 
surrendered themselves, to avoid further bloodshed. 
They were imprisoned and tortured in the most 
diabolical fashion. As a preliminary, they were 
given each sixty-six strokes with a paddle, a punish- 
ment that alone would have killed many men. on 
the day of execution they were taken out to the 
decapitation ground, and there publicly tormented in 
a way impossible to describe in full, before being killed. 
Imbert died in 1839; Ferreol was consecrated as 
his successor in 1843. Ferreol dared everything, and 
forced his way into the land. Others followed him. 
By i860, the native Christians numbered not far 
short of twenty thousand. Then a fresh persecution 
began, more formidable than the first. The Church 
was apparently stamped out, only three missionaries 
escaping, while fourteen, mainly Frenchmen, were 


This last persecution led to political action. The 
French Charge d'Afifaires at Pekin, M. de Bellonet, 
informed the Chinese Government, in very emphatic 
and boastful language, that the French Emperor had 
decided to punish the King of Korea for illtreating 
and killing the missionaries. "The government of 
His Majesty," wrote M. de Bellonet to Prince 
Kung, " cannot permit so bloody an outrage to 
be unpunished. The same day on which the 
King of Korea laid his hands upon my unhappy 
countrymen was the last of his reign ; he himself 
proclaimed its end, which I, in turn, solemnly declare 
to-day. In a few days our military forces are to 
march to the conquest of Korea, and the Emperor, 
my august Sovereign, alone has now the right and 
the power to dispose, according to his good pleasure, 
of the country and the vacant throne." 

Seven French vessels, with a thousand troops, 
arrived at the Han river, and attacked the forts on 
the Kangwha island. Then the troops landed on 
the shore, and advanced against the walls of the 
town of Kangwha. As they approached, a number 
of natives opened on them from behind the walls 
with fire guns, bows and arrows, jingals, and ancient 
matchlocks. The French troops stormed the city, 
swept the natives on one side, and burnt the place 
to the ground. Then they attempted to push their 
success further. The Koreans met them by trickery 
and delay. one expeditionary force of i6o men 
that set out from the fleet against a more distant 
fortress was surprised and largely destroyed. The 
French were harried by constantly increasing armies 


of natives, who hung around their flanks whenever 
they moved. At the end of a few days the French 
Admiral ordered his troops to embark, and the 
expedition returned to China. 

A country thus unknown could not fail to be the 
centre of many marvels. It was stated that in 
Korea the horses were 3 feet high ; that there 
were fowls with tails 3 feet long, that the tombs of 
the kings were made of silver and gold, and the 
bodies of the dead studded with precious stones; and 
that there were hills of silver and mineral resources 
of fabulous value. These stories naturally served 
to excite the cupidity of shady cosmopolitan adven- 
turers around Shanghai. At least two buccaneering 
expeditions were started against the country, and 
one of them ended in tragedy. In 1866 an American 
schooner, the General Sherman, whose crew con- 
sisted of Captain Preston, three Americans, an 
Englishman, and nineteen Malay and Chinese 
sailors, left Tientsin for Korea. She was loaded 
with guns, powder, and contraband articles, and was 
said to be despatched for the purpose of plundering 
the royal tombs at Ping-yang. The ship entered the 
Tai Tong river, and was there ordered to stop by 
local authorities. Its visit roused great excitement^ 
as it was believed to be made in connection with the 
French Catholics, against whom the Government 
was then in full opposition. The Regent of Korea, 
the Tai Won Kun, sent orders that the foreigners 
were not to be allowed to land, and that they were 
either to be driven back or killed. The people of 
Ping-yang prepared for war. Their weapons were 


primitive. They had the fire-arrow or wha-jun, 
which was said to be able to shoot 800 feet and 
then explode with considerable force. The soldiers 
dressed themselves in their dragon cloud armour, 
cloth of many folds reputedly impervious to bullets. 
The bowmen were paraded, and some old style 
cannon brought out. Parties of Koreans on either 
banks of the river opened fire on the ship's 
crew, and for four days an intermittent duel was 
maintained. The ship's guns did considerable 
execution, but for every Korean killed there were a 
dozen to step into his place. Being ignorant of the 
navigation of the river, Captain Preston ran his ship 
on the banks and was unable to float it off. 

After some days' fighting, the Koreans had 
accomplished very little. Their archers and soldiers 
would not approach the ship near enough to do 
much damage, and they soon refused to expose 
themselves to certain death from gun fire. An 
ancient armoured float was brought into play, the 
tortoise boat, a scow mounted with cannon and 
protected by a covering of sheet iron and bull 
hide. The front part of the armour lifted when 
the shot was fired and closed immediately after- 
wards. Even the tortoise boat failed to injure the 
foreign ship. Then a drill-sergeant — Pak by name — 
made himself for ever famous by proposing another 
plan. He fastened three scows together, piled them 
with brushwood, and sprinkled the wood with sul- 
phur and saltpetre. The scows were secured by 
cords, were set alight, and then sent down the river 
towards the General Slicrvian. one failed to do 


any damage. A second trio was prepared, but the 
now fearful crew of the American ship managed to 
keep it off when it approached them. Then came 
a third trio of burning boats, and this set the General 
Sherman on fire. 

The crew were almost suffocated by the stench 
and vapour of the burning sulphur and saltpetre. 
They tried in vain to put out the flames, and as 
the smoke grew thicker and thicker they were forced 
one by one to jump into the water. They were 
seized by the Korean soldiers, now hurrying up in 
boats. Some of the invaders had white flags, which 
they waved wildly but waved in vain. Most of them 
were hacked to pieces before they reached the shore. 
Others were brought to land, where they tried by 
friendly smiles and soft words to win the goodwill 
of the people. But they were not allowed many 
minutes to live. They were pinioned and then cut 
down, mutilated in abominable fashion, and the 
bodies torn to bits. Parts were taken off to be 
used as medicine, and the remainder burnt. The 
General Sherman itself was consumed by flame 
to the water's edge. The anchor chains were 
rescued from the river, dragged in triumph to the 
south gate of the city of Ping-yang, and hung 
high as a warning to all men of the fate awaiting 
those who would dare to disturb the peace of the 
Land of the Morning Calm. When I last visited 
Ping-yang, they were hanging there still. 

A French missionary priest, M. Feron, who had 
been driven from Korea in the great persecution, 
planned another expedition with one Ernest Oppert, 


a Hamburg Jew. Feron knew that the Regent 
laid great store upon the possession of some old 
rel'cs, which had been in his family for many years, 
and which were now buried in one of the royal 
tombs. He thought that if these relics were seized 
the Regent would consent to abandon his persecu- 
tion of the Christians in order to have them returned. 
Oppert, probably fired by the stories of the wealth 
to be had in the tombs, fell in with his scheme. He 
was accompanied by an American named Jenkins, a 
fighting crew of 120 Chinese and Malays, and a 
few European wastrels. They left Shanghai in the 
China, on April 30, 1867, landed near the capital 
and made for the tomb. The people at first fled 
from them.. They cleared away a heavy mound 
of earth over the sarcophagus, only to find that 
the coffin itself was covered with strong granite 
slabs which they were unable to move. Thanks 
to a heavy fog, they were able to work for a 
time before their purpose was discovered, but soon 
they were surrounded by a crowd, which began 
stoning them. The crew threatened to retire and 
leave their leaders to the mercy of the Koreans. 
Oppert and his party regained their ship with 
slight loss of life. Later on the American, Jenkins, 
was brought to trial before the American Consular 
Court at Shanghai, but escaped owing to lack of 
legal proof Oppert himself afterwards published a 
full account of his expedition in volume form. He 
admitted that his purpose was plunder, but justified 
himself by the plea that by securing the relics in 
the royal tomb he and his companions would have 


been able to obtain safety for the Roman Catholic 
converts in the country. 

When the news of the loss of the General 
Sherman reached Shanghai, the American Admiral 
there ordered Captain Shufeldt, Commander of the 
Wachusett to proceed to Korea and obtain 
redress. Shufeldt mistook the line of coast, which 
was unsurveyed, and anchored in a small inlet 
about thirty miles north of the entrance to the 
Han river, the approach to Seoul. In an account 
given by himself sometime afterwards Shufeldt 
said : — 

" From this point I addressed a letter to the King 
of Korea, asking him the reasons for the destruc- 
tion of the General Sherman and the murder of the 
crew, and expressing my surprise at the barbarism 
of the act, particularly as I knew that on the pre- 
vious occasion of the shipwreck of an American 
vessel the King of Korea had transported the crew 
with all their effects, with great care, to the boundary 
of China, where they safely reached their own 
country. After some days' delay, we succeeded in 
getting the official of the village before mentioned 
to send this letter to the Governor of the Province, 
with the request that it might be forwarded to the 
capital of Korea. 

" After remaining at our anchorage for ten or 
fifteen days from the despatch of the courier, 
finding the ship was gradually being frozen in, 
and apprehending that we might not be able to 
get out until the spring, by which time our pro- 
visions would have been exhausted, I determined 

i'iioU\i<iti' fry] 

[F. A. MiKciisic. 



to leave without waiting longer for a reply, with 
the intention, however, of returning later in the 
season after reprovisioning." 

Events occurred to prevent Captain Shufeldt from 
carrying out his original intention, but the full 
reply to his letter, which was received later, 
convinced Americans that the attack on the 
General Sherman was made under strong provo- 
cation. However, in 1871, the American Minister 
at Pekin, Mr. Low, directed Admiral Rodgers 
to proceed to Korea and attack the defences at 
the mouth of the Han river, as a reprisal for 
Captain Preston's death. The attempt was no more 
glorious than that of the French. The Americans 
were able, by their superior weapons, to slaughter a 
considerable number of Koreans. The latter fought 
with great valour, as the invaders themselves 
admitted. After a spell of aimless and needless 
destruction the invaders withdrew. 

All this time greater forces were making for 
the opening of the country. The Korean Govern- 
ment was seriously alarmed by the advance of 
Russia to the north, and by the fact that General 
Ignatieff's brilliant statesmanship had secured the 
Usuri provinces for Russia. In Korea itself two 
great parties, that of the King and that of the 
Regent, were fighting for supremacy, just as a 
little time before the adherents of the Emperor 
and the Tycoon had been struggling in Japan. 
The King, who year by year was becoming more 
powerful, was inclined to favour the admission of 
foreigners. The Regent was opposed to it. China 


had for long refused to admit that she could 
control Korea in any way, but now, driven by 
various reasons, Li Hung Chang began to use 
his undoubted authority in favour of breaking 
down the barriers. Last, and greatest of all, a 
new Far Eastern power had arisen that would not 
brook denial. New Japan was revealing herself, 
strong, modern, and resolute. The Japanese Govern- 
ment, still struggling with mediaevalism and reaction 
at home, found time to send its agents to Seoul. 
These agents secured admission where Europeans 
could not. Able to make themselves understood, 
familiar with all the tricks and wiles of Oriental 
statesmanship, learned in Chinese courtesy, they 
were not to be repulsed. They came, backed by 
gunboats. In 1876 General Kuroda and Count 
(then Mr.) Inouye anchored off Seoul with a 
fleet of two men-of-war and three transports, and 
announced that they were there to make a treaty 
or to make war. In less than three weeks a 
treaty was concluded. In this treaty Japan ad- 
mitted that Korea was an independent state, 
enjoying the same sovereign rights as itself In- 
tercourse was henceforth to be carried on " in 
terms of equality and courtesy, each avoiding the 
giving of offence by arrogance or the manifesta- 
tion of suspicion." Japan was granted the right 
to have an establishment at Fusan ; various ports 
were opened to Japanese trade, and a Japanese 
officer was to reside at each of the open ports 
for the protection of his nationals. 



THE Japanese quickly planted their outposts 
throughout the country. Mr. Hanabusa, their 
representative, established a Legation outside the 
west gate of Seoul. Settlements were made at 
Gensan and Fusan, and a number of enterprising 
Japanese traders settled at those places. Over a 
hundred Koreans were sent to China and Japan to 
study foreign affairs. 

At this time Korea was torn asunder by acute 
dissensions in the royal house. For many years, up 
to 1873, the regent, the Tai Won Kun, had ruled 
during the minority of the King, his son. The King 
had been adopted by the previous monarch, and had 
succeeded him. The Tai Won Kun was without 
question one of the most remarkable characters 
of his day in the Far East. About 5 feet 6 inches 
high, erect and vigorous, with grey, wonderfully 
bright and clear eyes, he looked what he was, a real 
leader of men. In the first days of his rule, he took 
up a strong line for the maintenance of the kingly 
power against that of the nobles. He was a resolute 
opponent of foreigners, and it was under him that 



the worst persecutions of the Roman Catholics had 
taken place. In 1871 he had tablets erected in the 
city of Seoul, calling on the people to drive out 
foreigners : — 

" The barbarians beyond the sea have violated our 
waters, and invaded our land. If we do not fight we 
must make treaties with them. Those who are in 
favour of making a treaty, sell their country. 

" Let this be a warning to ten thousand genera- 

Absolutely without scruple, and indifferent to his 
methods so long as he succeeded in the end, the 
Regent for many years carried on his successful 
warfare against foreigners on the one hand, and the 
nobles on the other. To defeat the foreigners should 
they attempt to land, he raised regiments, clad them 
in bullet-proof armour, consisting of seventy-two 
thicknesses of cotton cloth, armed them with the 
weirdest weapons, and cast cannon from bells for 
their artillery. To break the power of the nobles 
he removed many of their privileges of dress and 
of freedom from taxation. The common man was 
allowed to wear black shoes, hitherto a privilege of 
the highest. The enormous size of ancient hat brim 
was cut down. Rich and poor were ordered to 
reduce the volume of their sleeves. High offices of 
state were thrown open to the capable, whether born 
nobles or commoners. In place after place the 
Regent built magnificent palaces, a mania later on 
adopted by his son, the King, for it is a tradition 
in Korea that when the monarch ceases building his 
reign comes to an end. 


After the King had emerged from his minority, the 
Regent still attempted to be the real ruler. He was 
given the title of "Great Elder," and at first he 
remamed the power behind the throne. This was 
not to continue long, for a new force was arising 
in the state. The King himself, a weak, good- 
natured, and kindly man, had married a daughter 
of the Ming family. After she had given birth to 
a son, the authority of the Queen grew daily. She 
was, in her way, as resolute a character as the Regent 
himself, and soon the fiercest of fights were raging 
between the two. The Queen's brother, Ming- 
Seung-ho, became Prime Minister, and the Regent 
was gradually robbed of his offices. The Tai Won 
Kun was not to be so easily brushed aside. He set 
on foot a thousand schemes of agitation. Mysterious 
risings began in the provinces, and long complaints 
of bad government poured in on the rulers. one 
day a side of the Queen's bedroom was blown to 
pieces, and it was whispered from man to man that 
one of the Regent's servants had put a charge of 
gunpowder there. on another day, the Prime 
Minister was offering sacrifice to his ancestors, when 
he received a box, seemingly from the palace. His 
family, wondering what great honour this was that 
had been sent to him, pressed round to see the 
contents. As the box was opened, it exploded. It 
was an infernal machine, and the Prime Minister's 
mother and his son were killed. The box had come 
from the Tai Won Kun. 

The conclusion of a treaty with the Japanese was 
made in opposition to the Regent's advice, and he at 


once used this as a weapon of attack against the 
Queen. Literary men were sent about the country to 
whisper of the sufferings these foreigners would 
undoubtedly bring upon the nation. " If we admit 
the Japanese," said one to the other, " we must admit 
the white men, and if we admit the white men we 
must adopt their wicked faith." 

The Tai Won Kun's great opportunity did not 
arrive until the year 1882. Negotiations were 
rapidly proceeding at this time for closer relations 
with white Powers, and in the month of May a treaty 
was signed at Chemulpho between Korea and the 
United States, by which the country was opened to 
Americans. That summer a great drought fell on 
the land ; crops failed, Government funds were 
exhausted, soldiers and civil servants were without 
pay, and food was scarce. "It is the anger of 
heaven against us," the people said in whispers. 
" We have admitted foreigners, and this is the 
result." The agents of the Regent were busy every- 
where, and on the evening of the 23rd of July a mob, 
led by them, attacked the King's chief ministers in 
their homes and hacked them to bits. They then 
proceeded to the palace itself The soldiers and the 
mob were one, and a cry went up from all to destroy 
their ruler. The King escaped as though by a 
miracle, and the mob gazed on what they thought 
was the dead body of the Queen. Every one knew 
that she was to have been poisoned by the Regent's 
order, but she had heard of what was coming and 
had prepared, A female attendant was poisoned in 
her place, she slipped out of her rooms, and one of 


her household servants took her on his back and made 
his way through the furious crowds to a place of 
safety. Man after man stopped them demanding to 
know who he was, whom he was carrying, and where 
he was going. His reply always was that he was 
a minor official taking his sister out of the trouble. 
She went to a private house in the city, and from 
there she was carried in a chair into the country. 
one of her chair bearers was a humble water carrier, 
Yi Yong Ik by name, who acted very courageously 
in smuggling her away. That day he laid the 
foundation of his fortunes. Within twenty years he 
was serving his King and country as Prime Minister. 
While a section of the rioters was running amok 
in the palace, another party attacked the Japanese. 
Isolated Japanese who were found in the streets were 
at once murdered. A great crowd threw itself against 
the Japanese Legation, but was repulsed time after 
time by the steady fire of the Minister and his 
assistants. Then some Koreans set fire to the 
building, and the Japanese had to quit it to escape 
the flames. They kept together, and fought their 
way through the city to the palace, where they 
demanded shelter. The General in charge shut the 
gates more securely and ordered them off. By this 
time, happily for them, darkness was coming on, and 
they made their way out of Seoul down to the river, 
and on to Chemulpho. They were again attacked on 
the road, and five of them were killed. At Che- 
mulpho they put out to sea in a fishing boat, were 
rescued next day by a British surveying ship, the 
Flying Fish, and were taken home. 



A cry went up in Japan for instant vengeance 
against the Koreans. Volunteers from every part of 
the country clamoured to be allowed to go and fight 
these barbarians, and public subscriptions were raised, 
in which foreign merchants joined with the islanders. 
The Japanese Government, however, adopted a more 
conciliatory line. Mr. Hanabusa was sent back to 
Seoul in August with a considerable armed escort, 
to demand redress. China, recognising that unless 
she acted now she must ever forfeit her claim to a 
suzerainty over the country, despatched a force of 
4,000 men to put down the rioting. The Queen, 
from her country home, had sent strong repre- 
sentations to Pekin demanding protection, and 
pointing to the Regent as the guilty party. The 
Regent himself, seeing that his plan had miscarried, 
was foremost among the apologists for the outbreak. 
He assured Mr. Hanabusa that it had occurred 
despite his strong efforts to prevent it, and that it 
was nothing but the work of crowds of ignorant and 
misinformed peasants and soldiers. 

The Chinese Generals took command of the city. 
The Japanese were promised a heavy indemnity, a 
new Legation, and greater facilities for trade and 
travel. The Chinese troops arrested over a hundred 
men, executed the leaders with every accompaniment 
of degradation and shame, exposed their mangled 
heads on the city walls, and threw their tortured 
bodies on the dungheaps for the dogs to eat. The 
Regent himself was not allowed to go free. He was 
invited to a banquet at the Chinese camp. As soon 
as he arrived he was seized, sent down to the coast, 


and put on board a Chinese vessel. While his wait- 
ing attendants and his armed men were yawningly 
wondering when the feast would finish, he was 
already on his way to China. There Li Hung Chang 
sent him as a prisoner to Paotingfu, where he 
was kept for several years, but even at Paotingfu 
he managed in one way and another to continue his 
plotting against the throne. 

The attack on the Japanese Legation and the 
intervention of China raised a question that was later 
to be settled by the Chino-Japanese war. Centuries 
before this, both China and Japan claimed suzerainty 
over Korea. Japan had perforce been obliged to 
abandon her claims in the face of her stronger rival. 
But the Japanese Government was by no means 
willing now to permit China to increase her authority 
at the Seoul Court. For a time there was consider- 
able danger of war between the two Powers, but the 
Japanese Government, following its uniform policy, 
submitted for the moment, and gathered strength to 
strike a real blow in the early future. 

The Queen returned to the palace, her power more 
fully established than ever before. The King, follow- 
ing the custom of his ancestors, issued a public pro- 
clamation, which is still of great interest to those who 
would follow the working of the national mind : — 

" For 500 years we have carefully guarded 
our coasts to prevent intercourse with foreigners, 
therefore we have seen and heard but little of other 
people. In Europe and America many wonderful 
things have been invented ; they are all wealthy 
countries, their railways and steamers are all over 


the world, they compete with each other in the per- 
fection of their armies, and are honest in all their 
dealings with each other. Formerly China was the 
first of all nations, but now these kingdoms are her 
equal, and she has made treaties of friendship with 
them. Even Japan, on the extreme edge of the sea, 
has entered into commercial relationship with these 
countries. In the year Ping-tsz (1876), my kingdom 
made a treaty with Japan by which three ports were 
opened to them, and now, contrary to our ancient 
customs, I am about to make treaties with England, 
America, and Germany. For this change I am 
abused by all the scholars and people in the king- 
dom, yet I bear it patiently, knowing there is nothing 
to be ashamed of. Our intercourse with these 
countries will be on terms of equality, and you have 
no reason to be grieved if we permit foreigners to 
dwell in our kingdom. 

" History proves that from ancient times it has 
been the custom of nations to trade with each other, 
yet you stupid literati consider this is an evil custom, 
and wish me to keep aloof from all other nations. 
Why do you not consider that if when foreigners come 
as friends we call out our soldiers and drive them 
away, we shall make enemies of all the people under 
heaven ; we shall stand alone without a friend while 
all other countries are bound together, and if they 
send their armies against us we shall certainly be 
defeated ? 

" You say that if we admit foreigners into our 
country we must of necessity admit their false religion 
also. But we can be friendly without accepting their 


religion. We could treat them according to the 
rules of international law, but must not allow them 
to preach their doctrines. Hitherto, you have only 
read the books of Confucius and Mencius, and 
their doctrines are so firmly rooted in your hearts, 
that even if the foreigners should attempt to propa- 
gate their religion, it is impossible for you to be 
influenced thereby. If some stupid, empty-headed 
people should learn and believe the foreign doctrines, 
we have an unalterable law by which they must die 
and may not be pardoned, so that it will be easy 
to get rid of that religion. The foreign religion is 
wicked and sensual, but consider how greatly our 
people will be benefited by learning their arts and 
manufactures. Their methods of agriculture, med - 
cine, and surgery, their carriages, steamers, guns, &c 
are all excellent, and why should not we learn of 
them ? To learn their trades is one thing, to learn 
their religion is another. Foreign countries are 
strong, we are weak, so unless we learn their ways 
how can we stand against them ? If we can reform 
our home affairs and besides be on friendly terms 
with outside kingdoms, we shall soon be as strong 
and wealthy as other nations. I desire the prosperity 
of my kingdom as much as you do, but that affair in 
the sixth moon (massacre of Japanese), has placed 
me in a difficult position. That was a treacherous 
breach of the treaty, and has brought upon us the 
scorn of the whole world. Our kingdom was in 
danger, our peace disturbed, and we have to pay a 
heavy indemnity. This affair is now settled, and we 
are about to make treaties with America, England, 


Germany. This is in accordance with ancient 
customs, and is not to be looked upon with suspicion 
as an innovation, so let your minds be at peace, and 
let every man attend to his own affairs. When 
foreigners come, treat them with respect ; if they 
ill-use you I will see to that, for I will not favour 
them more than my own subjects. 

" If the common people speak evil of those in 
authority, they ought by law to be put to death, but 
if I punished you without first giving you warning, 
I should not be acting justly. We have now becom.e 
friendly with Western nations, and the stone tablet 
outside the city gate forbidding the approach of 
foreigners must be removed, &c. 


The uprisings did not prevent the broadening of 
intercourse with foreign nations. Both China and 
Korea were already becoming alarmed at the steady 
growth of Japanese activity. Li Hung Chang wrote 
a very remarkable warning to Korean officials on 
this matter, a warning of peculiar significance in 
view of later developments : — 

" Of late years Japan has adopted Western customs. 
. . . Her national liabilities having largely increased, 
she is casting her eyes about in search of some con- 
venient acquisition which may recoup her. . . The 
fate of Loochoo is at once a warning and a regret to 
both China and Korea. . . . Her aggressive designs 
upon Korea will be best frustrated by the latter's 
alliance with Western nations." 


The treaty with the United States, signed on 
May 22, 1882, by Commodore Shufeldt and two 
members of the Korean Cabinet, provided for the 
opening up of intercourse between the two nations, 
for the appointment of diplomatic representatives 
and consuls, for the establishment of extra-territorial 
rights for American citizens, and for a tariff of not 
exceeding 10 per cent., ad valorem, on articles of 
daily use, and not exceeding 30 per cent, on articles 
of luxury. American citizens were given the right 
to live at the open ports. There was one clause 
in this treaty to which the Koreans attributed, 
as it afterwards appeared, excessive importance. 
Korea was guaranteed protection against hostile 
Powers : — 

" If other Powers deal unjustly or oppressively 
with either Government, the other will exert her 
good offices, on being informed of the case, to bring 
about an amicable arrangement, thus showing her 
friendly feelings." 

It was a paper promise, and, so far as America 
was concerned, not worth the paper it was written 
on. This was proved later. 

The same year Admiral Willes and Mr. W. G. 
Aston arranged a British treaty, but the Home 
Government refused to ratify it, objecting to some 
of its provisions. 

Sir Harry Parkes was sent to Korea a few months 
later, armed with special powers, and accompanied 
by Mr. Aston, Mr. (now Sir Walter) Hillier, and 
Mr. C. T. Maude. "After a good deal of hard 
labour and trials of temper and patience " (to quote 


his own words) I a satisfactory British-Korean treaty 
was signed, in which the rights of British subjects 
to trade and to the jurisdiction of their own courts 
were specifically laid down. The British treaty was 
a striking example of unequivocal draughtsmanship, 
and Sir Harry Parkes's experiences in Japan and 
China here stood him in good stead. Other Euro- 
pean Powers also secured treaty rights. 

' " Life of Sir Harry Parkes," vol. ii. p. 205. 



WHEN I first entered Korea," said one of the 
earliest foreign residents to me, " it seemed 
as though I were stepping out of real life into the 
veritable wonderland of Alice. Everything was so 
fantastic, so very different from any other part of 
the world, so absurd, so repulsive, or so bizarre, that 
I had to ask myself, time after time, whether I was 
awake or dreaming." 

In many respects Korean institutions, as seen by 
Europeans and Americans when they first arrived 
in the country, resembled those of China some five 
or six hundred years back. The government was 
an absolute monarchy, the King being assisted by 
a Prime Minister, two associates, and the heads of 
six departments, the Lord Chamberlain's, Finance, 
War, Public Works, Justice, and Registration. The 
country was divided into eight provinces, with a 
governor for each, and under the governor were 
magistrates in charge of districts. To keep these 
officials in order, the King had the equivalent to the 
" personal representative " of the American million- 
aire manufacturer, secret agents who visited various 


parts of the country, examining everything on the 
King's behalf, and reporting to him direct. The 
prisons were an abomination, torture was freely 
employed, periodical jail clearings were made by 
hanging scores of prisoners at a time, and justice 
was bought and sold. The two main curses of 
the Government were the farming of taxes and 
the granting of concessions at the cost of the 
common people. Under the farming of taxes, the 
governor or the magistrate was given a free hand to 
collect as much as he could, and he made his profit 
according to the amount he could squeeze out of 
the people above the sum required by the central 
government. Any man who was sufficiently pros- 
perous became at once the victim of magisterial zeal. 
The magistrate would come to the farmer who had 
been cursed with a specially good crop and beg a 
loan. If the man refused, he would promptly be 
imprisoned, half starved, and beaten once or twice 
a day until he consented. There were good magis- 
trates and bad, but generally the power of the yamen 
was dreaded by every working man. " Why do I 
not grow bigger crops and cultivate more fields ? " 
a Korean farmer once asked me. " Why should I ? 
Bigger crops means greater extortion from the 
governor." The power of the magistrates was 
modified by the unwritten right of rebellion, and by 
direct appeal to the King. When the governor 
became too greedy the people would rise up and 
kill him, and the central authorities would think 
that justice had been done. There can be no doubt 
that under this system individual enterprise was 


severely limited ; no man had any real incentive to 
special industry. 

The granting of concessions to nobles was another 
burden on the people. A noble, a yangban, con- 
sidered that he had a right to live off the working 
classes. When the younger son of a great man 
grew up, his father would ask the king for a con- 
cession. Maybe this would be the right to charge so 
much to every man who crossed a certain ford, or the 
right to impose a tax in some special district. The 
concessionaire would give the nation practically no 
services in return. This may seem amazing to 
Western readers, but we would do well to curb our 
indignation over it. Let us recall the privileges 
granted to certain lords of the manor in England, 
over-lords of commons around which towns have been 
built. The man who wishes to run a drain under the 
common, or to open out a fresh doorway from his 
house, edging the common, on to the open space, finds 
substantial payment promptly levied. The principle, 
that of possessing the right to make charges on the 
community without rendering an equivalent service, 
is the same in each case. 

Life in the capital was relieved from tedium by 
notices in the Daily Gazette like these : — 

" His Majesty orders that Kwon Ik Sang, and 
Song Choung Soup (both being descendants of 
renowned patriots) be given a musical instrument 
each, to be played at the head of their processions on 
the streets in honour of their successes at the recent 
civil examinations." 

"His Majesty announces that 'inasmuch as our 


Queen Dowager is getting old, and inasmuch as it 
will soon be fifty years since she became Queen, I 
will present to her the proper congratulations and 
some garments on the next New Year's day.'" 

For the first few years, the majority of foreigners 
who entered Korea confined themselves to the open 
ports of Fusan and Chemulpho, and to the city of 
Seoul, the capital. In these places they saw Korea 
at its very worst. In Seoul, in particular, great 
armies of hangers-on attached to the nobles and the 
Court gave an impression of laziness, of dirt, and of 
worthlessness which was not borne out in the rural 
districts. Seoul itself presented a fantastic picture. 
The King and Queen ruled in the great palace 
underneath the shadow of the mountain. Acres and 
acres of low, one-storied buildings, surrounded by 
great courtyards and high walls, were filled with 
retainers. There was the famed dancing hall, sup- 
ported by many pillars, and rising above a wonderful 
lake, where the King was amused by his gesang — 
the geisha of Korea. There were at least 4,000 
palace attendants and officials, eunuchs, sorcerers, 
and soothsayers, and hangers-on of every kind. 
These sorcerers — a guild of the blind — were a power 
in the land. They formed a strong clan, and men 
looked with dread on them as they walked through 
the streets in pairs, tapping with long sticks as 
they felt their way, their sightless eyes staring into 

Seoul, planted in an ideal situation, surrounded by 
high hills, and with healthy climate, was remarkable 
among Eastern capitals in that it did not contain a 

I'liotojiroph hy\ 

|/-. .1. M.Kciizi.- 

(ilCSANi;, Till-; liKISllA 1)1" KOKKA. 


single temple where religious worship was carried on. 
Generations before, the Buddhist priests had been 
forbidden to settle within the city limits. The 
Koreans were a singularly non-religious people, their 
main faith being fear of demons. 

The women of the better class lived absolutely 
secluded lives, and regarded the strictness of their 
seclusion as proof of the esteem of their husbands. 
The women of the lower classes worked hard, in 
many cases supporting their families. They wore an 
extraordinary dress, by which the breasts are freely 
exposed, and the chest above the breast carefully 
covered. Although the women were kept in sub- 
servience, the morality of the country was, on the 
whole, good, and would certainly bear very favourable 
comparison with that of Japan. 

The streets of Seoul displayed strange sides of 
life. Now a high official would come along carried 
in a sedan chair, preceded by self-important under- 
lings who would shout to the crowds to clear the way 
for him. Now a man would walk slowly along 
dressed in cream-coloured garments, with a monster 
hat, largely shutting his face from view, and holding 
a fan in front of him. He was a mourner. Under 
Korean etiquette, mourning was a most severe tax on 
a man. For months, or years, after the death of near 
relatives he had to keep himself out of sight of his 
fellows, and cut off his usual work. Sedan chairs, 
closely shut, containing ladies of high position, would 
pass in constant succession. Ordinary men walking 
to and fro were all attired in long white garments, and 
all wore top-knots. There were lines of shops filled 


with mean brass wares, oiled paper and eatables, 
for Korea was a land with practically no manufactures. 
Now a party of spearsmen would move along, with 
thickly padded garments, their faces fiercely frowning 
to justify their reputation for bravery. At sunset the 
gates of the city were closed, and any one, were he 
the highest in the land, who wished to go in and out, 
would have to climb over the great walls that sur- 
rounded Seoul. As darkness came on, signal fires 
were lit high up on the great hills, Namsan and the 
others, four lights on four hills, telling watching 
signallers in distant provinces that all was well, and 
that Korea was at peace. An hour after sunset all 
men retired within doors, and the women came out. 
This was the women's hour, when they could parade 
the streets with freedom. Woe be to the unhappy 
male who found himself among them ! Then the 
great bell in the centre of the city boomed forth its 
warning. It was curfew, and Seoul was at rest. 

It is difficult, in drawing a picture of Korean life 
at that time, not to intensify the shadows and to 
exaggerate the miseries of the people. It would be 
hard to say anything too bad about Seoul itself, but, 
so far as the country people were concerned, a vast 
number of them lived lives of prosperity and suffi- 
ciency. I doubt if there was, proportionately, among 
the Korean people outside of Seoul, anything like 
the amount of suffering there is among the English 
poor to-day outside of London. There were few or 
no beggars in the land. There was no need of an 
elaborate poor-law system. The countryman owned 
and worked his land, and was able, save at a time of 


sperial distress, to store up sufficient in the autumn 
to keep him and his for the coming twelve months. 
While the men of Seoul were lazy, the farmers were 
diligent and were good husbandmen. I have 
travelled through large stretches of country as well 
tended as prosperous European districts. The chance 
visitor was apt to lose all sense of proportion when 
witnessing the outstanding abuses and contradictions 
of Korean life. He saw, for instance, the strange 
system of digging, by which three men pulled at 
a shovel by a system of leverage, and accomplished 
less than one man alone would have done. He was 
revolted by the sight of the bodies of criminals 
decapitated and thrown in the fields for the birds 
and dogs to eat. He was estranged by the spectacle 
of an occasional tortured or beaten prisoner. The 
first few weeks that any foreigner spent in Korea 
were full of repulsion and horror. But as he 
came to know the people better he learnt more and 
more to appreciate their kindheartedness, their lack 
of guile, their genuine simplicity, their willingness to 
learn, and their many lovable and likeable qualities. 
This was my own experience, and in discussing 
Korean life with those who know it better than 
myself, I have learned that it was theirs. I have 
found the Korean a loyal friend, a faithful servant, 
and one who, when given the chance, is capable of 
much. Corruption and cruelty have, to some extent, 
broken his courage and weakened his determination, 
yet very little encouragement will induce the Korean 
servant to undertake the most perilous ventures. 
In the course of my journeys through Korea and 


Manchuria, I found my Korean boys take risks and 
carry through enterprises at which an uneducated 
English lad might well hesitate. I found them serve 
me faithfully, loyally, and well. They have in their 
characters great potentialities. 

The years 1883-4 marked the incoming of the 
foreigner on a large scale. A member of the China 
Customs service — Mr. von Moellendorf — was ap- 
pointed to organise a Customs department on 
Chinese lines ; an English-language school was 
started ; orders were given abroad for thousands of 
breech-loading rifles, for electric-light plant, and for 
foreign live stock, seeds, and foods. Messrs. Jardine, 
Matheson & Co. established a regular steamship 
line from Shanghai to Korea. A German-American 
started a glass factory on the Han river. Foreign 
gold-mining was begun, and foreign traders arrived. 

Various foreign officials, military and civil, 
were engaged. one chief adviser, at a salary of 
1,000 dollars per month, was supposed to advise 
the Government on foreign affairs. Americans, 
Frenchmen, and others were enlisted to start enter- 
prises. These enterprises almost uniformly came to 
nothing. The Korean Government would commence 
a scheme, secure a man, and then within a few 
weeks slacken off. Some one would whisper in the 
King's ear that there was danger in the new idea, and 
the foreigner who arrived full of hope of accom- 
plishing great things would find himself hopelessly 
handicapped. Thus, at one time, four officers, three 
American and one Japanese, were engaged to train, 
first a corps of cadets, and then a body of 4,000 


troops. Money was granted for this, but the 
money was subjected to the pickings of innumer- 
able palace favourites. The officers found very great 
difficulty in obtaining even their salaries, and the 
chief outcome of the enterprise was that cadets and 
soldiers were given new uniforms. A powder-mill 
was started, but it produced no powder. The troops 
were squeezed in every way. one serious riot in the 
capital was due to the fact that a high dignitary had 
caused sand to be mixed with the soldiers' rice, so 
that he might add to his profit. The one foreign 
department that was run with real efficiency was the 
Customs service. Korean officials who really desired 
to do well were hampered by foreign action. Thus, 
a Korean general in charge of some regiments took 
the representative of a European Government along 
one day to inspect his troops. " Look at these rifles," 
the general said. " They have been brought from 
abroad. There are six different varieties of them, 
and not one is any good. The ammunition will 
not fit the guns. How am I to train my men ? 
I want to make them capable soldiers. Could 
you do anything with them if your contractors 
gave you weapons like these ? " 

About the middle of 1884 a new party was 
beginning to make its influence felt. Certain young 
Koreans, who had been over to Japan to study, came 
back as out-and-out advocates of immediate reform. 
They had seen what the Japanese were doing, and 
they wanted to do the same, or more, in Korea. 
They would have Westernised their land, had it been 
possible, by a stroke of the pen. These young men 



threw themselves into the arms of the Japanese 
officials, and together they hatched all kinds of 
schemes for revolutionary changes. Opposed to 
them were the Chinese, who were gaining ever- 
increasing control of the Court. Since the Chinese 
Government sent over troops in the summer of 1882, 
it had constantly and successfully endeavoured to 
make its suzerainty felt. A considerable Chinese 
force was maintained around Seoul. one of the 
Chinese high officials was the famous Yuan Shih 
Kai, afterwards to be the maker of new China, and 
then general in charge of the troops. 

The reformers were familiar with the old Korean 
method of political transformation by murder, and it 
is not surprising that they were not themselves above 
adopting it. on December 4th a new post office was 
opened, and a great banquet given. The leading 
officials and foreign representatives were there, 
among them Ming Yong Ik, the Prime Minister. 
In the course of the dinner Ming Yong Ik was called 
outside, and was there attacked by an assassin, who 
may or may not have been sent by the reform party. 
The banquet broke up in great confusion, and the 
reformers, who had been elaborately preparing for 
this occasion, seized the palace, laid hands on the 
King, and summoned the leaders of the reactionaries 
into their presence. As each leader came in he was 
attacked and killed, until eight in all had been 
murdered. Then the reformers, who were clearly 
acting in co-operation with the Japanese, made the 
King send for a Japanese guard. For the moment it 
seemed as though the Japanese and the reformers 


had triumphed. But the Chinese generals now took 
a hand in the game. Between 2,000 and 3,000 
Chinese soldiers, under Yuan Shih Kai, sup- 
ported by 3,000 Koreans, attacked the palace. 
It was defended by 140 Japanese soldiers, who 
fought desperately, trying to hold the long line 
of the walls. It was evident that they could not 
drive off the great hosts against them, so in the end 
they fired a mine, cleared a way for themselves, and 
fought their way down to the sea, the reformers in 
their midst. As for the post office, which was the 
start of all the trouble, one mail was received in it. 
The building was then burnt, and Korean postal 
activity came to an end for several years. 

The excited soldiers and townsmen, not content 
with driving off the Japanese, made an attack on the 
other foreigners. Several houses were burnt, the 
Japanese Legation was destroyed, and it seemed for 
a time as though all foreigners might be massacred. 
The American Minister and the British and German 
Consul-Generals retired to Chemulpho. For some 
weeks the country was in an uproar. Japan promptly 
despatched Count Inouye to Chemulpho as Ambas- 
sador, accompanied by 2,500 troops. The Chinese 
Ambassador crossed the Yellow Sea backed by 3,000 
soldiers. Again it seemed as though Korea would 
bring war between Japan and China, but once more 
China triumphed and Japan took second place. 

There can be no doubt but that the whole turmoil 
was due to the hasty and ill-advised action of the 
reformers. They tried to do too much in too short a 
time, and their Japanese friends, almost equally 


inexperienced, hurried them on instead of keeping 
them in check. The outcome was bad for all. 
I It increased the trouble between China and Japan, 
and it greatly strengthened the hands of the 
Chinese party.^ At that time China was still almost 
wholly reactionary, and hence real reform was still 
further delayed. 

In April, 1885, the Japanese scored a point in a 
struggle by securing an agreement with China, which 
provided that both countries should withdraw their 
troops from Korea and should send no more there 
without having previously given notice to the other 
of their intention to do so. Such troops were merely 
to remain temporarily, and Korea was to be invited 
to raise a sufficient armed force to ensure her security, 
the force to be drilled by officers of a third Power. 



T APAN, repulsed for the moment, drew back and 
I strengthened her forces. She had long been 
■' preparing to maintain her place by force of arms 
but now her efforts were redoubled. Officers were 
sent to Germany to study military tactics there. 
Foreign instructors were engaged and were used to 
the full. Military men and others were sent as spies 
to China. A new fleet was built up, and the sailor- 
like qualities of the Japanese fishermen were turned 
to the management of ironclads and the handling 
of guns. China, doubtful, hesitating, and wavering, 
moved now this way and now that. Li Hung Chang 
made some preparations. But the viceroys and the 
crowd of classic-sodden censors and officials at Pekin 
crippled his energies. Every Chinaman was still 
imbued with the feeling of the superiority of his own 
nation, and of contempt for the little islanders. To 
the Chinese it seemed as incredible that the wo-jin 
could defeat them as a (e\v years later it seemed 
absurd to the Russians that they would dare pit 
themselves against the might of the Czar's great 



Korea was to be the scene of the first move in the 
world-struggle of the twentieth century. Korea 
slept on ! Certain reforms were undertaken, it is 
true, or to be more exact, certain feeble attempts 
were made at reform. More and more foreign 
advisers came in, but their advice was rarely 
followed. Missionaries obtained a steadily growing 
influence and many converts, and did much good. 
Dr. H. M. Allen, an American missionary, opened a 
Government hospital, and, later on, became American 
Minister to Korea. Some schools were started. 
Commerce grew, a foreign community became 
established in Seoul, and there was much talk of the 
great things that were to be done. But Korea nev^er 
once seriously tackled the question of reform. 
Every effort was stultified by the corruption, the 
weakness, and the inefficiency of the Court officials. 
The Chinese Government appointed a Resident, who 
claimed many privileges and ranked himself as far 
above the representatives of the white Powers. 

By 1893, Japan was ready to move forward and to 
force on events. The Tai Won Kun had returned 
from his exile in 1885, and he and the Japanese 
authorities entered into a friendly alliance. The old 
Regent was now shorn of many of his former honours, 
and had not even authority enough to prevent the 
imprisonment of one of his favourite nephews. But 
he still could claim the loyal service of many secret 
adherents, and he began gradually acting through 

A society called the Tong-haks rose up to the 
south of the country, and started a serious rebellion. 


Tiiey marched towards the capital, 30,000 strong, 
and reached a spot within a hundred miles of Seoul, 
Their avowed purpose was to drive the Japanebe and 
all foreigners out of the country, and to insist upon 
less tyrannical government. The common belief 
among foreigners in Seoul was, however, that their 
uprising had been fostered by the Japanese in order 
to force an issue with China. 

In the spring of 1894, the Tong-haks, in some 
mysterious fashion, acquired a number of good 
weapons, and advanced towards Seoul, capturing 
town after town. Late in April, some 800 Govern- 
ment soldiers, backed by forty Chinese braves, set 
out against the rebel forces, but were defeated. The 
Chinese Resident, General Yuan, at once saw that 
the rebels could threaten the capital itself, and thus 
afford the Japanese a pretext for actively interfering 
and restoring order. He advised the King to beg 
for the aid of China, so that soldiers might be sent, 
and the rebellion put down. The King very re- 
luctantly did this, and, on June 5th, a Chinese force 
of 1,500 men began to arrive at Asan, a place fifty 
miles away from Seoul. More troops followed, and, 
in the end, the Chinese soldiers there may have 
numbered 4,000. A notice of this was sent to the 
Japanese Government, as required under the Treaty 
of April, 1885. The Japanese Government objected 
to the notice on the grounds that China referred to 
Korea as a " vassal state," but no objection was raised 
at the time to the despatch of the troops. 

Four days after the landing of the Chinese at 
Asan the Japanese Minister, Mr. Otori, arrived at 


Chemulpho, with a guard of 300 sailors. It had 
been announced in advance that he was bringing 
thirty constables with him, and when the Korean 
Government saw the number of his escort, they made 
feverish endeavours to persuade him to send the 
sailors back. They did not succeed, and when 
General Yuan asked the Japanese Minister why he 
had landed such a force, the reply was that it was 
simply a guard for the protection of the Japanese in 
Seoul against the Tong-haks, and that it would not 
be retained, but would be replaced by a smaller 
body of soldiers. on June 13th the sailors went 
back, but their place was taken by 1,200 soldiers, 
800 at the Legation in Seoul, 200 between Seoul and 
Chemulpho, and 200 at Chemulpho itself. General 
Yuan again protested, and was assured that the 
despatch of so many soldiers was a mistake. But 
their coming was followed by the arrival of 3,000 more. 
This brought another remonstrance from Yuan, 
and Mr. Otori again declared that the arrival of 
the men was due to a misunderstanding, and that 
he would telegraph to have them sent back. But 
as it was obviously bad to keep so many men cooped 
up on board ship, he would land them for exercise, 
without their arms. Yuan agreed, whereupon the 
3,000 men were landed, fully armed, and were 
marched up to the environs of Seoul. There were 
no Chinese troops whatever in Seoul at this time, 
the one Chinese force being at Asan. The Japanese 
were now also trying to induce China to co-operate 
with them in making Korea accept a joint scheme of 
internal reform. 


All this time the Korean Government was implor- 
ing both sides to withdraw their troops, and was 
begging the foreign representatives to persuade them 
to do this. The foreign representatives had already 
been urging Yuan and Otori in this direction, and 
on June 25th they sent them a formal request on 
the subject. Yuan promptly acknowledged the 
receipt of the note, and telegraphed to the Grand 
Council at Pekin for instructions. The Grand Council 
replied on the same night agreeing to the simul- 
taneous withdrawal of the Chinese and Japanese 
forces. This fact was communicated to the remain- 
ing foreign representatives next morning. The 
Japanese Minister acknowledged the receipt of the 

Mr. Otori had meanwhile been attempting to 
secure an audience with the King, and the King had 
been making all manner of excuses to delay it. 
Japanese troops were continuing to arrive, until their 
number reached about 10,000; and, on June 26th, 
Mr. Otori had his audience. He took up a strong 
attitude, and made a number of specific demands. 
The chief of these was that the Korean Government 
should clearly disavow the Chinese suzerainty once 
and for all. 

The King expressed his amazement at the threaten- 
ing tone taken by the Minister, and at the way in 
which he was bringing over soldiers from Japan. 
"Let us talk over this in a friendly fashion," he 
said. " But how can we be friends when your 
soldiers are here threatening us? Withdraw the 
soldiers and then we will talk." Mr. Otori bluntly 


replied that the soldiers would remain until he had 
been granted what he wanted. 

Two or three days later the First Secretary of the 
Legation, Mr. Sugimura, called at the Korean 
Foreign Office early in the morning, and demanded 
an instant declaration from Korea that she was not 
the vassal of China. He threatened that if this 
was not done, the Japanese troops would at once 
attack, drive the Chinese out of the country, and 
take control of everything. The President of the 
Foreign Office promised that the Japanese should 
have their way, and he showed him a draft of a 
note disowning responsibility for the attitude of the 
Chinese Government, and declaring that Korea was 
independent in her foreign relations and in her 
internal administration. With this Mr. Sugimura 
expressed himself as being for the moment satisfied. 

The Japanese, who were now confident that they 
could carry all before them, went further. on 
July 3rd, Mr. Otori presented another series of 
demands. This time he asked for the appointment 
of a secret commission that was to be named by 
him and to meet at the Japanese Legation. He 
put forward another list of claims for exclusive 
privileges to be granted to Japan. Among these 
were railway concessions from Chemulpho to Seoul, 
and from Seoul to Fusan ; a monopoly in gold mining 
for the Japanese ; the opening of a new port to the 
south-west of Korea, and a number of financial 
concessions. He also asked for a reform of the 

The President of the Foreign Office begged the 


advice of the white men, and they recommended 
that he should propose a joint discussion by all 
the foreign representatives of the points raised. 
This was not done, but a meeting was held to talk 
over the neutrality of parts of Korea, should war 
take place between China and Japan. Both General 
Yuan and Mr. Otori attended, with other diplo- 
matic representatives. All present, save the Japanese 
Minister, urged that, if war broke out, the two Powers 
should recognise the neutrality of Chemulpho, of 
Seoul, and of all Treaty ports. Mr. Otori refused 
to discuss any other point than the neutrality of 
Chemulpho, and on that he said he would not give 
any pledges without instructions from his Govern- 
ment, which it would take three weeks to receive. 

Japan had clearly resolved on war, and it surprised 
no one when, on July 19th, Japanese troops moved 
towards Asan, and the Japanese Minister delivered 
an ultimatum to the Korean Government. This 
ultimatum demanded that the Japanese reforms be 
accepted unconditionally in three days, and that the 
Chinese troops be called upon to withdraw. If this 
were not done, strong measures would be taken. 
The Korean Government, still convinced that Japan 
could do little or nothing against China, replied by 
refusing to promise to initiate reforms, so long as 
Seoul was menaced by the Japanese troops. 

This is not the place to describe the war that 
followed between China and Japan. Its progress 
came as a surprise to the world, including most white 
residents in the Far East. The average Chinaman 
felt assured that in a couple of months the Land 


of the Rising Sun would be turned into a region of 
everlasting darkness, and that all wo-jin would be 
killed ! What could forty millions do against more 
than four hundred millions ? on July 25th the 
Japanese opened hostilities by blowing up a Chinese 
transport, the Kowshin, with 1,200 men on board, 
as she was approaching Korea. Then came rapid 
blows by the Japanese troops, a temporary Chinese 
victory at Asan, followed by the destruction of the 
army at Ping-yang, the naval battle of the Yalu, in 
which the Chinese fleet was destroyed, the capture of 
Port Arthur, and the horrible massacre of the people 
there, the invasion of Manchuria, the capture of 
Wei-hai-wei, and the conclusion of the Treaty of 
Shimonoseki on April 17, 1895. 

A few days before the outbreak of the war, the 
Japanese placed themselves in control of the Korean 
capital. on July 22nd, a number of Japanese troops 
entered Seoul, and it seemed as though there would 
be fighting between them and the native soldiers ; 
but the Japanese returned to their settlement in the 
evening, and the Koreans dispersed. At dawn, on 
the following day, a body of Japanese troops quietly 
moved towards the palace, scaled the walls with 
ladders, and after a little fighting with the palace 
guard, secured possession of the person of the King. 
The Japanese immediately sent for the Tai Won 
Kun, who had co-operated with them in this move, 
and made him once more Regent. He, however, 
became alarmed at the steps the Japanese were 
taking, and he resigned office in a few days, without 
ever having exercised his new power. At the same 


time as the palace was being seized, other parties of 
Japanese troops took possession of the telegraph 
office and cut down the wires, seized the gates of 
the city, occupied some Korean military camps and 
assumed supreme power. 

The Japanese Minister promptly sent a circular 
to the foreign representatives telling them of the 
seizure of the palace, and of the causes that had led 
up to it. According to this account, some Japanese 
troops had been marching by the side of the palace 
in order to camp on the hills beyond, when they 
were fired upon by Korean soldiers. The Japanese 
returned the fire in self-defence, and were subse- 
quently obliged to enter and guard the royal apart- 
ments on account of the Koreans continuing 
hostilities. Mr. Otori gave the usual Japanese 
assurances, with which the world has since grown 
very familiar, that his Government had " no aggres- 
sive intentions against Korea." 

That afternoon all the foreign representatives, 
except those of China and Japan, visited the palace, 
at the royal request. There they found the King and 
the Crown Prince in small and poor quarters, all 
their better rooms being now occupied by Japanese. 
The King was greatly alarmed, and begged the 
Consuls to remain with him all that night, for he 
evidently feared that he would be killed. The 
foreign representatives afterwards saw the Regent, 
who spoke in the bitterest terms of what the 
Japanese had done, but his denunciations were 
received with some scepticism. 

on the day of the actual outbreak of war between 


China and Japan, the King, yielding to force, gave 
Mr. Otori authority to expel the Chinese troops from 
Korea. A treaty was drawn up between Japan and 
Korea, and signed the following month. It consisted 
of three articles : 

1. That the independence of Korea was declared, 
confirmed, and established, and in keeping with it the 
Chinese troops were to be driven out of the country. 

2. That while war against China was being carried 
on by Japan, Korea was to facilitate the movements 
and to help in the food supplies of the Japanese 
troops in every possible way. 

3. That this treaty should only last until the 
conclusion of peace with China. 

Japan at once created an assembly, in the name 
of the King, for the " discussion of everything, great 
and small, that happened within the realm." This 
assembly at first met daily, and afterwards at longer 
intervals. There were soon no less than fifty 
Japanese advisers at work in Seoul. They were 
men of little experience and less responsibility, and 
they apparently thought that they were going to 
transform the land between the rising and setting 
of the sun. They produced endless ordinances, and 
scarce a day went by save that a number of new 
regulations were issued, some trivial, some striking 
at the oldest and most cherished institutions in the 
country. The Government was changed from an 
absolute monarchy to one where the King governed 
only by the advice of his Ministers. The power of 
direct address to the throne was denied to any one 
under the rank of Governor. one ordinance created 


a constitution, and the next dealt with the status 
of the ladies of the royal seraglio. At one hour a 
proclamation went forth that all men were to cut 
their hair, and the wearied runners on their return 
were again despatched hot haste with an edict 
altering the official language. Nothing was too 
small, nothing too great, and nothing too contra- 
dictory for these constitution-mongers. Their doings 
were the laugh and the amazement of every foreigner 
in the place. 

Acting on the Japanese love of order and of 
defined rank, exact titles of honour were provided 
for the wives of officials. These were divided into 
nine grades : " Pure and Reverend Lady," " Pure 
Lady," " Chaste Lady," " Chaste Dame," " Worthy 
Dame," " Courteous Dame," " Just Dame," " Peace- 
ful Dame," and " Upright Dame." At the same 
time the King's concubines were equally divided, 
but here eight divisions were sufficient : " Mistress," 
" Noble Lady," " Resplendent Exemplar," " Chaste 
Exemplar," " Resplendent Demeanour," " Chaste 
Demeanour," " Resplendent Beauty," and " Chaste 
Beauty." The Japanese advisers instituted a 
number of sumptuary laws that stirred the country 
to its depths, relating to the length of pipes, style 
of dress, and the attiring of the hair of the people. 
Pipes were to be short, in place of the long bamboo 
churchwarden beloved by the Koreans. Sleeves 
were to be clipped. The top-knot, worn by all 
Korean men, was at once to be cut off. Soldiers 
at the city gates proceeded to enforce this last 
regulation rigorously. 


The Japanese could have done nothing better 
calculated to alienate the affection of every Korean. 
To the Korean lad the first time that his hair is made 
up into a top-knot is the proudest day of his life, for 
it is the sign that he has passed boyhood and entered 
into man's estate. The top-knot was then and is 
still to a lesser extent, the symbol of manhood, and 
any one who was without it was looked upon as an 
utter outcast. Men who obeyed the ordinance did 
so often with bitter tears, and always with a sense of 
hatred of those who had forced it on them. Had the 
Japanese been content to go more slowly here, they 
would have gained their purpose in a much more 
assured fashion. They were right in supposing that 
the top-knot was bound to disappear, but their 
mistake lay in attempting to do by legislation 
what should have been left to the growing enlighten- 
ment of the people. one sees in Russian Manchuria, 
for instance, where no pressure whatever is brought 
on the great multitudes of Koreans settled there 
to alter their ways, that after a very few years the 
average man abandons his peculiarities of attire 
and of hair dressing, because he finds it convenient to 
do so. My own Korean servants, after a time of 
association with Europeans, came to realise that the 
top-knot, the long sleeves, and the very big hat were 
impracticable and a nuisance, and some of them 
gave them up in consequence. That was a natural 
and proper evolution. The hasty Japanese action 
secured a far longer life for the top-knot, for to 
many people this knot became a symbol henceforth, 
not merely of old Korean life, but of national loyalty. 


Japanese troops remained in the palace for a 
month, and the King was badly treated during that 
time. It did not suit the purpose of the Japarese 
Government just then to destroy the old Korean 
form of administration. It was exceedingly doubt- 
ful how far the European Powers would permit 
Japan to extend her territory, and so the Japanese 
decided to allow Korea still to retain a nominal 
independence. The King and his Ministers implored 
Mr. Otori to withdraw his soldiers from the royal 
presence. Mr. Otori agreed to do so, at a price, and 
his price was the royal consent to a number of conces- 
sions that would give Japan almost a monopoly of 
industry in Korea. The Japanese guard marched 
out of the palace on August 25th, and was replaced 
by Korean soldiers armed with sticks. Later on 
the Korean soldiers were graciously permitted to 
carry muskets, but they were not served out with 
any ammunition. Japanese troops still retained 
possession of the palace gates and adjoining 

I buildings. 

Another movement took place at this time as the 

result of Japanese supremacy. The Ming family — 
the family of the Queen — was driven from power 
and the Mings, who a few months before held 
all the important offices in the kingdom, were 
wiped out of public life, so much so that there 
was not a single Ming in one of the new departments 
of state. 

The action of the Japanese created great resent- 
ment throughout the country. The indignities to 
which the King was submitted in particular caused 



a sense of horror among a people difficult to move 
to united action on public affairs. The only friends 
of Japan at that time were a few Korean officials, 
financially and personally interested. The foreign 
representatives in Seoul were as anti-Japanese as the 
Koreans themselves. 

[F. A. M,Kai:ie 



THE spring of 1895 saw great excitement 
and agitation throughout Korea. The 
Japanese success in the China war was followed 
by the beginning of a policy that clearly pointed 
to the commercial absorption of the country. 
In May the foreign representatives were driven 
to protest against the granting of monopolies, 
and the exclusion of their nationals from com- 
mercial opportunities. A large number of low- 
class Japanese appeared in all parts, and the 
Japanese soldiers adopted a much more aggressive 
and domineering attitude. The more prudent 
Japanese themselves saw the danger of this. 
Count Inouye, v/ho had succeeded Mr. Otori as 
Minister to Korea, was unceasing in his warnings 
as to the injury this conduct would cause. He 
made formal representations to his own Govern- 
ment about the violent ways and rascalities of 
these emigrants. They had been cheating and 
lying to the Koreans, he declared, and bring- 
ing disgrace upon Japan. If steps were not at 

once taken to repress them, every particle of 



respect for Japan would be crushed out in Korea. 
"The Japanese residents in Korea must be 
reformed," he said. The Count made three 
charges against his fellow-countrymen in Korea : 
lack of co-operation, arrogance, and extravagance, 
and backed each point in his indictment with forcible 
illustrations. Under the second head he said : — • 

" The Japanese are not only impolite, but they 
often insult the Koreans. They are rude in their 
treatment of Korean customers, and when there 
is some slight misunderstanding they do not 
hesitate to appeal to fists, and even go as far as 
to throw Koreans into rivers or use weapons. 
Merchants thus frequently become rowdies, and 
many of them are consequently convicted. Those 
who are not merchants are still more rude and 
violent. They say they have made Korea inde- 
pendent, they have suppressed the Tong-haks, and 
those Koreans who dare oppose them, who dare 
disobey them, are ungrateful fellows. How can 
the Koreans help being frightened by the Japanese ? 
But flight follows fright, and hatred follows dislike. 
Then it is only natural for Koreans to seek 
friendship with other foreigners. With restoration 
of peace many Chinese are coming again to 
Korea ; and if the Japanese continue in their 
arrogance and rudeness, all the respect and love 
due to them will be lost, and there will remain 
hatred and enmity against them." 

The Count talked in the same way to the white 
residents in Seoul. " When our troops first entered 
Korea to repress the Tong-haks," he told on 


American, " they paid for every yen's worth of 
supplies. They were considerate and kind, and they 
were well received. Since the war they have belaved 
more like conquerors. The people have been some- 
what incensed against them, and in this have been 
stimulated by intriguers who are interested in 
poisoning them against the Japanese." 

An English paper published at Seoul, the Korean 
Repository, backed up the Count's complaints : — 

" We had not noticed to any considerable extent 
this kind of arrogance among the Japanese in the 
capital before the war. But since the Japanese 
supremacy in Korea this spirit has manifested itself. 
We understand from a trustworthy source that 
traders in the country and in cities outside Seoul are 
extremely rude and violent in their treatment of 
Koreans. Not a day passes but some harmless 
Korean is defrauded and insulted. He ventures to 
expostulate, he tries to resist, only to find that the 
barbarian (we should use the same term in charac- 
terising similar acts of our countryman) from across 
the sea has more muscle and skill than he has, and 
that both will be used when necessity demands. 
What do these adventurers care for law ? They are 
after money, and the rights of Koreans do not enter 
into the account. Japan is to be congratulated that 
Count Inouye sees these evils, and we may be quite 
sure that ' unless the general Japanese correct them- 
selves,' measures will be provided by the Government 
to do it for them." 

The Council of State was still turning out its 
resolutions of reform, urged thereto by the Japanese 


advisers. Some of these reforms were excellent, and 
had it been possible to vivify a people by legisla- 
tion alone, then they would no doubt have done the 
work. Among the men who now came to the front 
were several of the participants in the entente of 
1882, who were brought back by the Japanese. 
Their leader, Prince Pak Yong Hio, a son-in-law of 
the last King, became Premier and Home Minister. 
He was twenty-three years old at the time of the 
attempted murder of the Conservative leaders, and 
he had escaped to Japan, where he learnt more 
wisdom and caution. The Japanese, no doubt, 
thought that he would be a convenient tool in their 
hands. But Pak had no intention of lending himself 
to the service of any but his own countrymen. He 
entered upon his duties with the determination to 
build up a new Korea. He proposed various reforms. 
He wanted a real army, drilled after new methods. 
He sought to have the limited nature of the monarchy 
clearly set forth and recognised. He was strongly in 
favour of education, and was a friend of the mis- 
sionaries. He looked specially to America to aid 

" You can do us a great deal of good," he told one 
American. " You are so far away that you would 
not be suspected of selfish designs. What our people 
need is education and Christianisation. Through 
your missionaries and your mission schools you 
could educate and elevate our people. It would be a 
great aid, and perhaps a tedious work, but your great 
Republic could do this. Your missionaries have 
already done good work in Korea. Our old religions 


sit lightly, and the way to Christian conversion is 
open. An army of Christian teachers and workers 
should be placed in every section of our conntry. 
Our people should be educated and Christianised 
before they undertake any constitutional reform. 
Then we shall have constitutional government and, 
in the distant future, perhaps, a free and enlightened 
country such as yours." 

When, however, the Japanese asked Pak, in his 
capacity as Home Minister, for various concessions 
and privileges, they found that he was very unwilling 
to give away any Korean rights. The Minister was 
distrusted by his fellow-countrymen, who believed 
him to be a mere agent of the Japanese Government. 
He was disliked by the Japanese because he would 
not yield them what they wanted. 

For some months a new power had been coming 
more and more to the front in Korea. Russia was 
making her way eastwards. The Trans-Siberian 
Railway was now being pushed forward to the Pacific, 
and Russian agents were showing the utmost activity 
in every Asian Court. In Seoul, in particular, the 
Russians had adopted a bold and aggressive policy. 

The temporary triumph of the Tai Won Kun was 
not to continue. The Queen, a little, pale-cheeked, 
thin-faced woman, kind to her friends and implac- 
able to her foes, again came to the front. Step by 
step she restored her family to favour. She intrigued, 
now with the Japanese and now against them, and 
each week saw her adding to her power. By the 
summer of that year the old Regent was in utter 
disgrace, and then the Queen secured the overthrow 


of Pak Yong Hio. A Japanese coolie started a 
rumour that the Home Minister was conspiring 
against the King and Queen. The steps Pak was 
taking to limit the powers of the m.onarchy gave 
some countenance to this story. Pak was too honest 
a man to have many partisans. Word was brought 
to him that an order had been issued by the Court 
depriving him of his portfolio, and knowing that this 
meant at least imprisonment, he hastily donned an 
old suit over his official garb, mounted a horse, rode 
away to the Japanese Legation, and asked for pro- 
tection there. The next day he left the Legation 
clad in European clothes, and got away on board a 
Japanese steamer, narrowly escaping arrest. " My 
trouble has come upon me solely through the 
Queen," he said. "She is a very shrewd and ambitious 
woman. She has but one aim, and that is to keep 
the Ming family in power. So long as the Mings 
rule there will be little change in Korea. Our people 
to-day are the subjects of a Royal mistress who can 
dispose of them as she pleases. Their lives and their 
property belong to the Royal Family." It was believed 
that Count Inouye would insist upon the Korean 
Court retaining Pak's services, but he did not do so. 
Pak left Korea solemnly warning his countrymen 
that if they were not careful Japan would destroy 
them. " If Japan establishes a protectorate over 
Korea," he said, " she will eventually absorb or 
control the country. Japan has guaranteed our 
independence, and I want to see that independence 
so maintained." 

As the summer went on, it became more and 


more clear that the Queen was working in direct 
hostility to Japanese interests. Count Inouye had 
a long interview with her shortly before he left 
for Tokyo. He described the state of affairs in an 
important despatch to his Government : — 

" on one occasion the Queen observed to me : 
During the disturbance in the Royal palace last 
year the Japanese troops unexpectedly escorted to 
the palace the Tai Won Kun, who regarded Japan 
from the first as his enemy. He resumed the control 
of the Government, the King becoming only a 
nominal ruler. In a short time, however, the Tai 
Won Kun had to resign the reins of government 
to the King through your influence, and so things 
were restored to their former state. The new 
Cabinet subsequently framed rules and regulations, 
making its power despotic. The King was a mere 
tool, approving all matters submitted by the Cabinet. 
It is a matter of extreme regret to me (the Queen) 
that the overtures made by me towards Japan 
were rejected. The Tai Won Kun, on the other 
hand (who showed his unfriendliness towards Japan) 
was assisted by the Japanese Minister to rise in 
power. . . . 

" I (Count Inouye) gave, as far as I could, an 
explanation of these things to the Queen, and after 
so allaying her suspicions, I further explained 
that it was the true and sincere desire of the 
Emperor and Government of Japan to place the 
independence of Korea on a firm basis, and in 
the meantime to strengthen the Royal house of 
Korea. In the event of any member of the Royal 


Family, or indeed any Korean, therefore, attempting 
treason against the Royal house, I gave the assurance 
that the Japanese Government would not fail to 
protect the Royal house even by force of arms, 
and so secure the safety of the kingdom. These 
remarks of mine seemed to move the King and 
Queen, and their anxiety for the future appeared 
to be much relieved." 

The Count openly expressed great respect for 
the shrewdness and political sagacity of the Queen. 
" She has many enemies in Korea," he said, " but 
she is a woman of unusual force, although given 
to superstitious practices. She fears for her son, 
who is a remarkably bright and promising lad, 
and she is constantly praying to Buddhist gods 
for his safety." 

Count Inouye was succeeded at the beginning 
of September by General Viscount Miura, an old 
soldier who had taken a prominent part in the civil 
wars, Miura had the reputation of being a man 
of the sternest manner, a strict religionist, and a 
Buddhist of the Zen school, who carried the 
ascetic practices of his sect to their utmost 
extreme. He found himself constantly met by the 
Queen's stubborn opposition. In scheme after scheme 
he was checkmated by her. The King, weak, 
irresolute, and easily turned from his purpose, 
was regarded by both sides as little more than a 
cypher. The Queen was the one whom Japan had 
to fear, and Miura knew it. How was he to over- 
come her? His First Secretary, Sugimura, was all 
in favour of extreme measures. 


The Tai Won Kun and the new Minister now 
came in touch with one another. According to the 
Japanese account, Miura was secretly approached 
by the ex-Regent, but probably Sugimura acted 
as the go-between and planned out the course of 
action. The Tai Won Kun desired to return to 
power, the Minister wished to strengthen the 
declining influence of Japan. only one little 
woman stood in the way of both their desires. 
once she was swept aside, all must go well. The 
two parties had several conferences regarding their 
line of action, and everything was done between 
them with a due observance of business forms. 
on October 3rd, Miura, Sugimura, and Okamoto, 
the Japanese adviser to the Korean Department 
of War and of the Household, met in the Legation 
to decide upon their plan of campaign. No moves 
were to be made unless the ex-Regent would 
definitely pledge himself to refrain from interfering 
in the actual administration of the country, and to 
grant the Japanese the commercial and political 
privileges they desired. These demands were drawn 
up in writing. If he consented to them, the 
Japanese troops, the Japanese police and the 
native soldiers, the Kunrentai, drilled and officered 
by Japanese, were to attack the palace, make the 
King a prisoner, kill the Queen, and declare the 
Regent supreme. To quote the exact words of the 
Japanese official report : " It was further resolved 
that this opportunity should be availed of for taking 
the life of the Queen, who exercised overwhelming 
influence in the Court." 


Okamoto visited the Tai Won Kun at his country 
house, showed him the document and urged him 
to join. The old man, who was now eighty years 
of age, his son and his grandson agreed, and gave 
a written promise to place themselves in the hands 
of Japan. In order to cover the tracks of the 
conspirators, and to remove any suspicion that 
might be aroused by the visit, it was given out 
that Okamoto was departing for his own country 
and that he had gone to Tai Won Kun to bid 
him farewell. 

Events were hastened by the action of the Court 

Some weeks before this the Kunrentai troops — 
the soldiers under Japanese officers — had quarrelled 
with the city police, and killed a number of them. 
The Ministers proposed to take advantage of this 
and disband the regiment. The Minister for War 
visited the Japanese Legation and betrayed the plan. 
Thereupon it was resolved to make the attempt on 
the Queen that very night. Colonel Kunsunose, 
Commandant of the Japanese troops in Seoul, was 
already at Chemulpho on his way home on leave. 
A telegram was sent to him to return at once. 
He was ordered to go to the palace with his 
troops under the cover of darkness, to guard the 
gates during an attack, and to permit no persons, 
male or female, to leave. Miura summoned a few 
Japanese soshi, professional bullies, revealed his plan 
to them, and bade them collect their friends and help 
him carry it out. Again I quote the official report : 
" Miura told them that on the success of the enter- 


prise depended the eradication of the evils that had 
done so much mischief in the kingdom for the past 
twenty years, and instigated them to despatch the 
Queen when they entered the palace." The Japanese 
police were also instructed to co-operate, and the 
Korean partisans of the Tai Won Kun were sum- 
moned by messenger to assemble and to assist. The 
Japanese police, it may be said, were ordered to put 
on civilian dress, and provide themselves with swords. 
Two of the soshi, Adachi Kenzo and Kunitomo 
Shigearika, collected twenty-four like-minded bullies, 
and about one-half of these, acting as an inner group, 
were given special orders to find the Queen and kill 
her. Draft manifestos were drawn up in advance for 
publication after the murder. 

About three o'clock on the morning of the 8th the 
Tai Won Kun set out from his country residence 
with a party of Japanese, headed by Okamoto. The 
latter first paraded all his followers outside the main 
gate of the Prince's residence, and told them that the 
" fox," meaning the Queen, was to be dealt with as 
circumstances might decide. The entire party pro- 
ceeded towards the west gate of the city, met the 
Kunrentai, and waited for the arrival of the Japanese 
soldiers. Then all moved on, the Kunrentai to the 
front. The Japanese officers in charge of the Kun- 
rentai troops, the police, and the bullies made a 
central group. There was no difficulty in entering, 
when they reached the palace, for the gates were in 
the hands of Japanese soldiers. Most of the regular 
troops paraded outside, according to orders. Some 
went inside the grounds accompanied by the rabble. 


and others moved to the sides of the palace, surround- 
ing it to prevent any from escaping. A body of men 
attacked and broke down the wall near to the Royal 

Rumours had reached the palace that some plot 
was in progress, but no one seems to have taken 
much trouble to maintain special watch. There were 
two foreigners in charge of the palace guards, Mr. 
Sabatine, a Russian, and General Dye, an American. 
Neither of these came out of the affair with enhanced 
reputation. General Dye was a very charming old 
gentleman, skilled in growing apples. The products 
of his orchard were the admiration of his neighbours, 
but he was of little use in protecting his Royal em- 
ployers. I have been unable to find out exactly what 
he did during the subsequent events, but he seems to 
have been shut in a room and to have done nothing. 
Sabatine was brushed on one side by the conspirators, 
and threatened with death if he interfered. What- 
ever the excuses of these two men, the damning fact 
remains that they lived through that night without 
suffering so much as a scratch, and without striking a 
blow for the woman they were paid to protect. 

At the first sign of the troops breaking down the 
walls and entering through the gates, there was con- 
fusion throughout the palace. Some of the Korean 
bodyguard tried to resist, but after a few of them were 
shot the others retired. The Royal apartment was 
of the usual one-storied type, led to by a few stone 
steps, and with carved wooden doors and oiled-paper 
windows. The Japanese made straight for it, and, 
when they reached the small courtyard in front, their 


troops paraded up before the entrance, while the 
sosni broke down the doors and entered the rooms. 
Some caught hold of the King and presented him 
with a document by which he was to divorce and 
repudiate the Queen. Despite every threat, he 
refused to sign this. Others were pressing into 
the Queen's apartments. The Minister of the House- 
hold tried to stop them, but was killed on the spot. 
The soshi seized the terrified palace ladies, who 
were running away, dragged them round and round 
by their hair, and beat them, demanding that they 
should tell where the Queen was. They moaned and 
cried and declared that they did not know. Now the 
men were pressing into the side-rooms, some of them 
hauling the palace ladies by their hair, Okamoto, 
who led the way, found a little woman hiding in a 
corner, grabbed her head, and asked her if she were 
the Queen. She denied it, freed herself, with a 
I sudden jerk, and ran into the corridor, shouting as 
she ran. Her son, who was present, heard her call 
his name three times, but, before she could utter 
more, the Japanese were on her and had cut her 
down. Some of the female attendants were dragged 
up, shown the dying body, and made to recognise 
it, and then three of them were put to the 

The conspirators had brought kerosene with them. 
They threw a bedwrap around the Queen, probably 
not yet dead, and carried her to a grove of trees in 
the deer park not far away. There they poured 
the oil over her, piled faggots of wood around, 
and set all on fire. They fed the flames with more 


and more kerosene, until everything was consumed, 
save a few bones. 

Almost before the body was alight the Tai Won 
Kun was being borne into the palace under an escort 
of triumphant Japanese soldiers. He at once assumed 
control of affairs. The King was made a prisoner in 
his palace. The Tai Won Kun's partisans were sum- 
moned to form a Cabinet, and orders were given that 
all officials known to have been of the Queen's party 
should be arrested. 

The report of Colonel Hyun-in-Tak, officer in 
charge of the Korean bodyguard, supplies some 
interesting details. Colonel Hyun handed this state- 
ment to Dr. Allen, the American Acting Minister, a 
few days afterwards : — 

" At 2 a.m. on the twentieth day of the eighth 
moon, 504 years since the foundation of the present 
dynasty, two of His Majesty's private police, who had 
been despatched to go round the wall of the palace 
on duty to watch, told me that about 200 Japanese 
soldiers had just gone into the Sam-kom-Boo, the 
barracks in front of the palace. I sent soldiers to 
inquire and found the above statement true. At 
four o'clock, on being informed that Japanese troops 
surrounded the north-western gate of the palace, and 
that they were climbing up in the middle part of the 
north mountain facing towards the palace grounds, 
and that Japanese and Korean soldiers were breaking 
the front gate of the palace, I gave orders to place 


soldiers of His Majesty's bodyguard at all parts ot 
the palace to make resistance. 

"Then I heard that Japanese troops had climbed 
over the wall of the north-western gate, so I went and 
found that about a hundred Japanese troops had 
already come into the back grounds of the palace. 
I shut the gate leading to these grounds, and was in 
the act of resisting with soldiers, but the Japanese 
troops rushed into the palace shooting from the 
front gate, which was opened to them. The soldiers 
of His Majesty's bodyguard resisted by shooting, but 
they were finally defeated and dispersed. Now the 
Japanese troops all rushed to His Majesty's family 
house and surrounded it. About twenty Japanese 
came, dressed in ordinary European clothes, with 
swords, and some in Japanese native costume, also 
with swords, and some regular Japanese soldiers, 
carrying rifles on their shoulders. They got hold 
of me and tied my hands behind my back, and they 
asked me, ' Where is the Queen ? ' beating me all the 
time. I replied,' I do not know.' They asked my 
name, and I gave it. They then dragged me to 
His Majesty's family house, still questioning me as to 
where the Queen was. I said, ' I do not know where 
she is, even if you kill me.' They dragged me in 
front of His Majesty, and pressed me to point out 
the Queen, and I still said I did not know where she 
was. They took me to a building called the Kark 
Kum Chung. I was being beaten all the time. 
Suddenly a lot of the Japanese in His Majesty's 
house made shouts, whereupon my captors let go 
of me and rushed to the house. I went there to 



see what had taken place, and found His Majesty 
had been removed to the outer apartments. I saw 
what I thought to be the Queen lying dead in the 
minor apartments of the house. I was then driven 
out by the Japanese. A little while afterwards, 
hearing that the Japanese were burning the corpse 
of the murdered Queen in the eastern park near by, 
I rushed to the gate, and there I saw clearly that 
the dress of the burning corpse was a lady's." 



THE news of the murder of the Queen was 
received by the foreign community at Seoul 
at first with incredulity, and then with horror. The 
Japanese attempted to prevent details from getting 
abroad. Colonel Cockerill, the famous correspondent 
of the New York Herald was in Seoul at the time, 
and at once cabled to his paper, but his message 
was stopped and the money returned to him. This 
stoppage was afterwards apologised for by the 
Japanese Government. When details were pub- 
lished in Europe and America, they did Japan 
more harm than the loss of a great battle, 

Miura disclaimed responsibility and maintained 
that the crime was solely the work of Koreans. 
When this account became manifestly impossible, he 
said that it was done by the Koreans, helped by a few 
irresponsible soshi. on the day following the murder, 
he wrote to the Korean Minister for Foreign Affairs : 
" I gather that the origin of the emeute was a conflict 
between the drilled (Korean) troops, who desired to 
lay a complaint in the palace, and the guards and 
police who prevented their entrance." In another 



letter he declared that the story that the Japanese 
were engaged in the murder was " a fabrication based 
on hearsay, and unworthy of credence." In an inter- 
view a day or two afterwards, the Viscount said that 
the plot was hatched by Koreans, and carried out 
by Koreans : " If any Japanese have participated in 
it, they were of the class of soshi, vagabonds, marplots 
and disturbers, who could be hired to commit almost 
any crime and by anybody. Japan has done much 
for Korea. It has fought a war to secure Korea's 
independence, it has loaned it money, and has for 
years sent its advisers here to aid in reforming and 
uplifting the country." 

It soon became clear, however, that the real story 
could not be suppressed. The Japanese Government 
thereupon promptly disavowed all knowledge of the 
affair, and promised to undertake a full inquiry, and 
to punish the guilty. Prince (then Marquis) I to, the 
Prime Minister, was specially emphatic : " I believe 
that it is meant to seek out and punish, if possible, 
every unworthy son of Japan connected with this 
crime," he said, " Not to do so would be to condemn 
Japan in the eyes of all the world. If she does not 
repudiate this usurpation on the part of Tai Won Kun 
she must lose the respect of every civilised Govern- 
ment on earth. In the death of the Queen, Japan 
loses a pronounced and implacable foe, but no matter 
how large the game in Korea, she cannot afford to 
uphold the hands of the infamous Tai Won Kun and 
Korean banditti who now surround him. I am 
assured that had Count Inouye continued to repre- 
sent Japan here he could eventually have won the 


Queen over and made her a staunch friend of Japan. 
His withdrawal from Seoul was unfortunate for 
Japan." Miura was promptly recalled and deprived 
of his rank and honours, and he and his chief 
assistants were arrested and placed on trial. But 
it was manifest, even thus early, that the Japanese 
Government had no intention of setting the wrong 
right, and that the arrest of the leaders was a mere 
farce. Prince Ito proved then, as he has shown 
time after time since in his dealings with Korea, 
that whatever the sincerity of his own good intentions, 
and however kindly disposed he may be personally 
to the Korean people, he is willing to condone the 
crimes of his subordinates, when they lead to the 
increase of Japanese power. 

To add to their offence, the Japanese, through 
their mouthpiece, the Tai Won Kun, did everything 
they could to disgrace and degrade the memory of 
the murdered Queen. on October nth a so-called 
Royal Decree was issued in the King's name, de- 
nouncing Queen Min, ranking her among the lowest 
prostitutes, and assuming that she was not dead, but 
had escaped, and would again come forward. " We 
knew the extreme of her wickedness," said the 
decree, " but We were helpless and full of fear of 
her party, and so could not dismiss and punish her. 
We are convinced that she is not only unfitted and 
unworthy to be Queen, but also that her guilt is 
excessive and overflowing. With her We could not 
succeed to the glory of the Royal ancestors, so We 
hereby depose her from the rank of Queen and 
reduce her to the level of the lowest class." Here 


Miura overreached himself. Acting in his person- 
ality as Japanese Minister, he accepted the decree 
which he had caused to be issued through his mouth- 
piece, the Tai Won Kun. He declared, with the 
fervour of a Pecksniff, that " this intelligence has 
profoundly shocked me." But the other foreign re- 
presentatives now intervened. The Russian Minister, 
M. Waeber, promptly and in the most emphatic 
manner refused to accept the decree as coming from 
the King. All of the others, except one, followed 
his lead. Ten days later Miura was recalled. 

The King himself was confined in his palace, and 
surrounded by the Tai Won Kun's party. on the 
day of the murder he was visited by the Russian 
Minister and by Dr. Allen, and they found him in 
a state of utter prostration. The palace attendants, 
officials, and soldiers were clearing out as quickly 
as they could, like rats from a sinking ship, and 
tearing off any symbols that might cause them to 
be rec^nised as members of the Royal party. The 
foreign representatives refused as a body to recog- 
nise the Tai Won Kun, and they insisted upon 
having personal intercourse with the King. The 
poor King was terrified lest he should be poisoned, 
and he refused to eat anything but condensed 
milk, sent to him in sealed cans, or eggs cooked 
in their shells. In order to prevent him from 
being murdered, Dr. Aveson, a doctor who had 
done splendid service in Korea, and other American 
missionaries, went to the palace and stayed there 
night after night, thinking that the presence of 
foreign witnesses might restrain the conspirators. 


At the same time the missionaries and the ladies of 
the Legations, hearing of the King's difficulties with 
his food, cooked special dishes themselves and sent 
them regularly to him in tin boxes, fastened with 
a Yale lock. 

General Dye still remained around the Royal 
person, but all possible pressure was used to re- 
move him and to replace him by a Japanese. 
Colonel Cockerill, who had audience with the King 
two days after the murder, wrote a vivid impression 
of the scene : " Mounting a few steps, and crossing 
a verandah, we entered a small room and turned to 
the left. We saw in the doorway a still smaller 
apartment, decorated in simple Korean style. The 
poor King was standing, pigeon-toed and pallid, 
beside his flabby son, still known as the Crown 
Prince. The King is small in stature, thin, and 
bloodless-looking ; the events of the past few days 
have added to his waxiness, and his nervousness was 
painful to behold. Turning to the Rev. H. J. Jones, 
who acted as interpreter, he inquired if he might 
shake hands with us. one by one he shook each 
of us by the hand with considerable fervour, and 
then placed the hand of each visitor in that of his 
grinning, imbecile son by his side. 

" At this point the Russian Minister passed to the 
King a large tin box which contained, as he ex- 
plained, some fruits and food from his own table. 
The King, who lives in hourly fear of poison, took 
the box in his own hands. The key was passed to 

" The King, who stood on the right of the new 


War Minister, pleaded with his eyes to M. Waeber, 
and motioned with his hands to indicate that the 
faithful Dye should not be taken from him. His 
whole body twitched as though he was afflicted with 
St. Vitus' dance, and his eyes were pleading sorrow- 
fully." I 

Early in the following year Miura, his two chief 
assistants, Sugimura and Okamoto, and forty-five 
others were brought up for examination at a Court of 
Preliminary Inquiries at Hiroshima. It was common 
talk in Japan that whatever the evidence might be 
the accused were to be acquitted, but no one thought 
that the Court would bring in the amazing finding 
it did. This finding is probably unequalled in judi- 
cial annals. The Judge of the Court of Preliminary 
Inquiry reported that Miura and his assistants had 
planned, in co-operation with the Tai Won Kun, 
to murder the Queen ; they had used the military 
and police to aid them ; they had enlisted the ser- 
vices of a number of men for this purpose ; they had 
instigated them to dispatch the Queen, and the men 
had been led against the palace to accomplish this. 
" About dawn," the report went on, " the whole party 
entered the palace through the Kwang-hwa Gate, 
and at once proceeded to the inner chambers. Not- 
withstanding these facts, there is no sufficient 
evidence to prove that any of the accused actually 
committed the crime originally m.editated by them. 
. . . For these reasons the accused, each and all, are 
hereby discharged." 

The verdict was very popular in Japan, and Miura 
• New York Herald, October 12, 1895. 


at once became a national hero. Shortly afterwards 
hi? full honours and titles were restored to him, and 
he retains them to this day. It had been the inten- 
tion of his counsel, Mr. Masujima, to plead justifi- 
cation, had the case come on for trial. Mr. Masujima 
published his side of the case in a Japanese periodical 
shortly afterwards. Probably no civilised lawyer has 
in recent years more openly avowed the doctrine of 
" killing no murder," when the killing is to secure 
political supremacy. " Whatever may be thought by 
weaker minds, the result of the eineute has been 
most happy for the peace and progress of the world," 
wrote Mr. Masujima. " Had the Queen been suc- 
cessful in her conspiracy, all the efforts made by 
Japan for the resuscitation of Korea would have been 
fruitless. The only political party which could reform 
Korea, and thereby maintain her independence, 
would have been extirpated. The Queen was 
Korean at heart, and was accustomed to violent 
and treacherous methods. Supported by a foreign 
power in her policy, she was ready to resort to any 
means to execute her programme. The promise of 
any foreign assistance to her was inciting and 
dangerous. Such a course of diplomatic procedure 
must be put down. The hneute crushed the mischief 
The form of the Queen's conspiracy was criminal, 
and the Japanese Minister was justified in preventing 
the execution of the criminal attempt. He did only 
his duty as soon as he was in charge of the peace 
and order of Korea. The root of political troubles, 
the effects of which would have lasted for a long 
time to come, was torn up. Considering the class 


of diplomacy prevailing in Korea, Viscount Miura 
has accomplished only a triumph." ^ 

If the Japanese escaped so easily, some others did 
not. Three Koreans, who had taken no part in the 
crime, were seized by the Tai Won Kun, and were 
rapidly tried and executed. one of them was a 
poor soldier, who had accidentally passed through 
the grove where the Queen's body was burnt, and 
had seen the deed done. The two others were 
apparently as guiltless as he. These executions were 
declared to be evidence that the Tai Won Kun had 
no hand in the crime of October 8th. The foreicfn 
representatives did what they could to prevent them, 
and sent full reports of the affair to their Govern- 
ments. Some of them urged their Home Authorities 
to intervene, but in vain. The British Consul-General, 
Sir Walter Hillier, did splendid work at this time to 
secure justice and peace. 

" I wonder if the statesmen in Tokyo have an idea 
that this sort of thing will raise Japan in the estima- 
tion of the world at large ? " wrote Colonel Cockerill, 
in a paragraph that voiced the sentiments of 
Europeans in the Far East. " Does not Marquis 
Ito well know that in the diplomacy of civilised 
nations the empire of Japan, which was advancing 
so proudly and rapidly, has dropped back a quarter 
of a century? If he does not know it, then he is not 
the guide I took him to be. The semi-barbaric con- 
dition of Korea has given to her benevolent neighbour 
an opportunity to teach bloody instructions which 
will not soon be forgotten, I fear, and as a sincere 
' The Far East, February, 1896, vol. i. p. 20. 


well-wisher of Japan, I grieve to record facts which 
not only proclaim her cruelty, but her injustice and 
indifference where her interests are involved. It is 
to be hoped that Viscount Miura will not be advanced 
in rank by his Government or rewarded with a medal 
commemorative of his great diplomatic sagacity. 
His rank is that of the man who planned the St. 
Bartholomew massacre, and the villain who blew up 
the consort of the Scottish Queen. I learn that at 
Hiroshima he is now the idol of the hour. He is 
called upon by distinguished officials, and upon the 
evening of his release he gave a grand banquet. His 
friend, the Tai Won Kun, has probably sent him a 
letter of congratulation." 



THE situation in Seoul after the recall of 
Viscount Miura was tangled. The King was 
still nominally supreme ruler of the country, but he 
was completely in the hands of the ex-Regent's 
party. Japan had sent Count Inouye as Envoy 
Extraordinary to find some way of smoothing over 
things, and he, while relaxing nothing of his 
country's grip of Korea, still modified some of the 
more offensive administrations of the Yi party. 
A large number of the dead Queen's adherents had 
fled to Legations and foreign houses, and were 
sheltered and protected there under extra-territorial 

At the end of November, some Koreans of the old 
palace guard, who were out of employment and in 
distress, attempted a counter revolution. It was a 
complete failure, for the troops in the palace were 
forewarned, and were lying in wait for the attack. 
It served, however, to bring upon the heads of the 
white men — who had no connection whatever with 
it — torrents of abuse from the Japanese. one 

Japanese newspaper, published in Seoul, distin- 



guished itself by openly accusing the Russian and 
American representatives, and a number of American 
missionaries whom it named, of having made the 
conspiracy, and some of them of having actually 
taken part in the attack. In short, the Japanese 
tried, by stirring up much dust over this November 
business, to make the public forget the doings of 
October 8th. This brought a very vigorous protest 
from Colonel Cockerill : " I decline to believe any- 
thing in the shape of news sent out from Korea by 
the correspondents of the Japanese newspapers," he 
wrote. " A more flagitious and unconscionable lot of 
liars I have never known. As the Japanese Govern- 
ment exercises a strong censorship over its home 
press, it might be well for it to try its repressional 
hand upon the Japanese sheet published in Seoul, 
the Ka7tjoshinipo^ which is labouring zealously, it 
would seem, to bring about the massacre of foreign 
representatives in Korea." 

In keeping with Inouye's policy of conciliation, a 
decree was issued in the latter part of November 
restoring the late Queen to full rank. She was 
given the posthumous title of " Guileless ; revered," 
and a temple called "Virtuous accomplishment" was 
dedicated to her memory. Twenty-two officials of 
high rank were commissioned to write her biography. 
But the King was still kept a prisoner. 

The Russian Minister, M. Waeber, again inter- 
vened. on February 9, 1896, his Legation guard 
was increased to 160 men. Two days afterwards 
the Europeans in Seoul were aroused by the 
intelligence that the King had escaped from his 


gaolers at the palace, and had taken refuge with the 
Russians. A little before seven o'clock in the morn- 
ing the King and Crown Prince left the palace 
secretly, in closed chairs, such as women use. Their 
escape was carefully planned. For more than a 
week before, the ladies of the palace had caused 
a number of chairs to go in and out by the several 
gates in order to familiarise the guards with the idea 
that they were paying many visits. So when, early 
in the morning, two women's chairs were carried out 
by the attendants, the guards took no special notice. 
The King and his son arrived at the Russian Legation 
very much agitated and trembling. They were ex- 
pected, and were at once admitted. As it is the 
custom in Korea for the King to work at night and 
sleep in the morning, the members of the Cabinet did 
not discover his escape for some hours, until news 
was brought to them from outside that he was safe 
under the guardianship of his new friends. 

Excitement at once spread through the city. 
Great crowds assembled, some armed with sticks, 
some with stones, some with any weapons they could 
lay hands on. A number of old Court dignitaries 
hurried to the Legation, and within an hour or two 
a fresh Cabinet was constituted, and the old one 
deposed. During the morning a Royal Proclamation 
was issued : — 

" Alas ! Alas ! on account of Our unworthiness and 
maladministration the wicked advanced and the wise 
retired. Of the last ten years, none has passed with- 
out troubles. Some were brought on by those We 


had trusted as the members of the body, while others, 
by those of Our own bone and flesh. Our dynasty 
of five centuries has thereby often been endangered, 
and milh'ons of Our subjects have thereby been 
gradually impoverished. These facts make Us blush 
and sweat for shame. But these troubles have been 
brought about through Our partiality and selfwill, 
giving rise to rascality and blunders leading to 
calamities. All have been Our own fault from the 
first to the last. 

" Fortunately through loyal and faithful subjects 
rising up in righteous efforts to remove the wicked, 
there is a hope that the tribulations experienced may 
invigorate the State, and that calm may return after 
the storm. This accords with the principle that 
human nature will have freedom after a long pres- 
sure, and that the ways of Heaven bring success 
after reverses. We shall endeavour to be merciful. 
No pardon, however, shall be extended to the prin- 
cipal traitors concerned in the affairs of July, 1894, 
and of October, 1895. Capital punishment should be 
their due, thus venting the indignation of men and 
gods alike. But to all the rest, officials or soldiers, 
citizens or coolies, a general amnesty, free and full, 
is granted, irrespective of the degree of their offences. 
Reform your hearts ; ease your minds ; go about your 
business, public or private, as in times past. 

" As to the cutting of the top-knots — what can We 
say ? Is it such an urgent matter ? The traitors, by 
using force and coercion, brought about the affair. 
That this measure was taken against Our will is, no 
doubt, well known to all. Nor is it Our wish that 


the conservative subjects throughout the country, 
moved to righteous indignation, should rise up, as 
they have, circulating false rumours, causing death 
and injury to one another, until the regular troops 
had to be sent to repress the disturbances by force. 
The traitors indulged their poisonous nature in every- 
thing. Fingers and hairs would fail to count their 
victims. The soldiers are Our children. So are the 
insurgents. Cut any of the ten fingers, and one would 
cause as much pain as another. Fighting long con- 
tinued would pour out blood and heap up corpses, 
hindering communications and traffic. Alas! If this 
continues the people will all die. The mere con- 
templation of such consequences provokes Our tears 
and chills Our heart. We desire that as soon as 
these Our commands arrive the soldiers should 
return to Seoul and the insurgents to their respective 
places and occupations. 

" As to the cutting of top-knots, no one shall be 
forced. As to dress and hats, do as you please. 
The evils now afflicting the people shall be duly 
attended to by the Government. This is Our own 
word of honour. Let all understand. 
" By Order of His Majesty, 

"Acting Home Minister and Prime Minister. 

" nth day, 2nd moon, ist year of Kon Yang." 

The heads of the Consulates and Legations called 
and paid their respects to the King, the Japanese 
Minister being the last to do so. For him this move 
meant utter defeat. Later in the day, a second 


Proclamation was spread broadcast, calling on the 
soldiers to protect their King, to cut off the heads 
of the chief traitors, and to bring them to him. This 
gave the final edge to the temper of the mob. Great 
parties sought out the old Cabinet Ministers to slay 
them. Two Ministers were dragged into the street 
and slaughtered there with every accompaniment of 
brutality. one was cut down by a horrible gash 
extending from the back of the neck to the front of 
the ears, the crowd shouting like wild beasts as he 
fell. The people hurled stones on the dead bodies, 
some stamping on them, some spitting on them, and 
some tearing limb from limb. one man whipped out 
his knife and carved a piece of flesh from the thigh of 
one of the corpses. He put it to his mouth, and said 
to the others, " Let us eat them." But this was too 
much even for the frenzied people, and the crowd 
shrank back in horror. on the 19th, another Cabinet 
Minister was murdered in his country home. In 
one respect, however, the upheaval brought peace. 
Throughout the country districts, the people had 
been on the point of rising against the Japanese, who 
were reported to be universally hated as oppressors. 
Now that their King was in power again, they settled 
down peaceably. 

The Japanese were now in disgrace and had 
lost all power. They at once steadily set them- 
selves, by yielding, by patient diplomacy, and by 
secretly keeping the country in a ferment, to restore 
their influence. For the moment, the Russians 
were supreme. It is universally admitted that 
Russia could have had no better representative 



than her Minister, M. Waeber. Here was one 
totally unlike the accepted type of the subtle and 
tortuous Russian diplomat — a type, one may add, 
more often found in romance than in real life. A 
kindly, simple, straightforward man, his policy was 
as open as the day, and even the other foreign repre- 
sentatives were amazed at the disinterestedness of 
his actions. He regarded the King as his guest, and 
he placed the big Russian Legation at the Royal 
disposal, asking for nothing in return, not even 
attempting to secure those concessions for his country 
which almost any other man of whatever nationality 
would have obtained under the circumstances. The 
King held his Court in the great central apartment of 
the Legation, and his various Cabinet Ministers had 
their burrows around him. There are many humorous 
stories of the Royal habits and freaks at this time — 
stories which it would be merely malicious to repeat. 
The King sought the friendship of foreigners, and it 
is said that he even, once or twice, went to the Seoul 
Club, which adjoins the Legation there, and had a 
game of billiards. 

The people of Korea had been shaken to the 
depths by the events of the past few months, and 
were ready to launch out into genuine reform. 
Unfortunately the King was now far more feeble 
than before. The murder of his wife and the terror 
Japan had driven into his soul, had caused him to 
assume an attitude of cunning, and to change his 
mind and alter his policy whenever he thought that 
he was subjecting himself to the slightest risk. A 
remarkable figure among the younger Koreans came, 

I'I'otofi'-it'i ''.vj [/••. .1. McKaizU: 

TIIK .\rTll()lv''s "MMHIK- onK lidY," WITH WIl-K AND (.HU.I). 


for the moment, to the front. In the uprising of 
18S2, one of the most prominent of the reformers 
had been So Jai Peel — Dr. Philip Jaisohn, to give 
him his European name. With the others, Jaisohn 
had to flee for his life, and he went to Japan 
and then, soon afterwards, to San Francisco. He 
knew but little English, and was totally unac- 
quainted with foreign ways, and he had at first 
difficulty in earning enough for food. When people 
demanded to know what he could do, he held up his 
hands : " I have two hands, and with these I am 
willing to work at anything that you give me." He 
progressed so rapidly that, after a time, he entered 
college and graduated with honours. He became an 
American citizen, joined the American Civil Service, 
and in due course was made Doctor of Medicine by 
Johns Hopkins University. He acquired a practice 
as a physician in Washington, and was lecturer for 
' two medical schools. After the murder of the Queen, 
J he threw up his American connection and returned 
' to Korea under a ten years' contract with the Govern- 
ment as Foreign Adviser. 

Jaisohn was a sincere and uncompromising re- 
former. His brain was humming with ideas. The 
changes that had been instituted under the Japanese 
regime, such as the cutting of top-knots and the like, 
were forgotten by the Koreans as soon as the 
Japanese lost power. Everything was reverting to 
the old ways. Jaisohn tried other methods. He pro- 
posed open-air lectures, the establishment of schools 
and the general Americanisation of the country. He 
established a public park outside the city for experi- 


ments in the cultivation of fruit-trees, plants, and 
shrubs. A part of the park was to be reserved for 
outdoor games. He started a paper. The Independent, 
in April, 1896, a four-page sheet with one page in 
English and three in Korean. This was, at first, 
issued three times a week, but soon a separate Korean 
edition was published as a daily. Led by him, a 
number of officials established the Independence 
Club, and, as a testimony to the reality of Korean 
independence, a great arch was erected outside the 
city. The purpose of the Club was " to discuss 
matters concerning the official improvements, customs, 
laws, religion, and various pertinent affairs in foreign 
lands." " The main object of the Club," said Jaisohn, 
" is to create public opinion, which has been totally 
unknown in Korea until lately." 

It seemed for the moment as though the reformers 
would secure a real hold on affairs. Schools were 
started. The missionaries were obtaining a steadily 
growing influence, the way they had stood up for 
national rights during the Japanese control having 
raised them greatly in the popular esteem. In 
answer to vigorous appeals from his people, the King 
finally emerged from the Russian Legation, and 
settled in a palace in the heart of the city. He took 
the title of Emperor, and the name of Korea was 
altered from Chosen to Tai-han. But gradually the 
old gang of officials regained control, A certain 
amount of foreign influence was undoubtedly used to 
cripple the reformers, for it was not to the interest of 
at least one Power that Korea should become really 1 
independent and efficient. The Independence Arch ( 


that had been started amid great excitement, was 
finished unnoticed. In May, 1898. the Government 
paid Dr. Jaisohn for the balance of his contract and 
dismissed him. A mass meeting was held outside 
the South Gate, imploring the Government to alter 
its decision, but in vain. The foreign merchants 
offered to provide Jaisohn with a salary if he would 
continue to live in the country, but he decided to 
return to America, and is to-day practising as a 
physician in Philadelphia. 

The Independence Club had for some time before 
Jaisohn's departure been coming more and more 
into opposition to the Government. Thus, at the 
beginning of 1898, it presented a memorial to the 
Emperor, stating that, if Korea was to remain free, 
" it must not lean upon another nation nor tolerate 
foreign interference in the national administration ; 
and it must help itself by adopting a wise policy, and 
enforcing justice throughout the realm." The memo- 
rialists spoke to the King with great frankness. 
" Even the power of appointing and dismissing 
Government officials has been taken from our own 
authorities," they wrote. " The dishonest and cor- 
ruptive classes thus created, take this opportunity to 
satisfy their contemptible nature by bringing foreign 
influence to bear upon Your Majesty, and some go so 
far as to even oppress and threaten the Throne for 
their personal gain, and for the interests of their 
foreign employers. Impossible stories and baseless 
reports which these classes continually bring to Your 
Majesty produce the most damaging effect upon 
Your Majesty's saintly intelligence. There is an old 


saying that ice is generally discovered after stepping 
repeatedly upon frost. Hence it is perfectly natural 
for us to come to the conclusion, after witnessing so 
many lamentable events which have taken place, that 
before many moons the entire power of self-govern- 
ment will have become a matter of past record. If it 
is once lost, repentance cannot restore it." 

The Independents were determined to have genuine 
reform, and the mass of the people were still behind 
them. The Conservatives, who opposed them, now 
controlled practically all official actions. The Inde- 
pendence Club started a popular agitation, and for 
months Seoul was in a ferment. Great meetings of 
the people continued day after day, the shops closing 
that all might attend. Even the women stirred from 
their retirement, and held meetings of their own to 
plead for change. To counteract this movement, the 
Conservative party revived and called to its aid an 
old secret society, the Pedlars' Guild, which had in 
the past been a useful agent for reaction. The 
Cabinet promised fair things, and various nominal 
reforms were outlined. The Independents' demands 
were, in the main, the absence of foreign control, care 
in granting foreign concessions, public trial of impor- 
tant offenders, honesty in State finance, and justice 
for all. In the end, another demand was added to 
these — that a popular representative tribunal should 
be elected. 

When the Pedlars' Guild had organised its forces, 
the King commanded the disbandment of the 
Independence Club. The Independents retorted by 
going en bloc to the police headquarters, and asking 


to be arrested. Early in November, 1898, seventeen 
of the Independent leaders were thrown into prison, 
and would have been put to death but for public 
clamour. The people rose and held a series ot such 
angry demonstrations that, at the end of five days, 
the leaders were released. 

The Government now, to quiet the people, gave 
assurances that genuine reforms would be instituted. 
When the mobs settled down, reform was again 
shelved. on one occasion, when the citizens of 
Seoul crowded into the main thoroughfare to renew 
their demands, the police were ordered to attack them 
with swords and destroy them. They refused to 
obey, and threw off their badges, saying that the 
cause of the people was their cause. The soldiers 
under foreign officers, however, had no hesitation in 
carrying out the Imperial commands. As a next 
move, many thousands of men, acting on an old 
national custom, went to the front of the palace and 
sat there in silence day and night for fourteen days. 
In Korea this is the most impressive of all ways of 
demonstrating the wrath of the nation, and it greatly 
embarrassed the Court. 

The Pedlars' Guild was assembled in another 
part of the city, to make a counter demonstration. 
Early in the morning, when the Independents were 
numerically at their weakest, the Pedlars attacked 
them and drove them off on attempting to return 
they found the way barred by police. Fight after 
fight occurred during the next few days between the 
popular party and the Conservatives, and then, to 
bring peace, the Emperor promised his people a 


general audience in front of the palace. The meet- 
ing took place amid every possible surrounding that 
could lend it solemnity. The foreign representatives 
and the Government officials were in attendance. 
The Emperor, who stood on a specially built plat- 
form, received the leaders of the Independents and 
listened to the statement of their case. They asked 
that their monarch should keep some of his old 
promises to maintain the national integrity and to do 
justice. The Emperor, in return, presented them, 
with a formal document, in which he agreed to their 
main demands. 

The crowd, triumphant, dispersed. The organisa- 
tion of the reformers slackened, for they thought that 
victory was won. Then the Conservative party 
landed its heaviest blows. The reformers were 
accused of desiring to establish a republic. Dis- 
sensions were created in their ranks by the promo- 
tion of a scheme to recall Pak Yong Hio. Some of 
the more extreme Independents indulged in wild 
talk, and gave an excuse for official repression. 
Large numbers of the reform leaders were arrested 
on various pretexts. Meetings were dispersed at the 
point of the bayonet, and the reform movement was 
broken. Though the Emperor did not yet realise it, 
he had, in the hour that he consented to crush the 
reformers, pronounced the doom of his country and 
of his own Imperial rule. 




HE action of M. Waeber in giving shelter to 
to the King was in keeping with the new 
aggressive poHcy of the Russian Government in the 
Far East. From the moment that the Trans-Siberian 
Raihvay had been determined upon, Russian states- 

I men convinced themselves of the possibility of great 
schemes of territorial domination on the Pacific 
Coast. Russia was to be mistress of China, owner of 
Manchuria, dictator of Korea and patron of Japan. 
The results of the Chino-Japanese War were far 
from welcome to the St. Petersburg statesmen, 
and when, under the Treaty of Shimonoseki, China 

I ceded the Liaotung Peninsula to Japan, Russia saw 
that her Eastern expansion would be definitely 
stopped. This contingency had, however, been pre- 
pared for. Russia had been sending warships to 
the Far East, and had secured the co-operation of 
France and Germany. The Kaiser, foreseeing pos- 
sible dangers from the rise of a great yellow Power, 
willingly lent his assistance, and France was the 
traditional ally of Russia. So within a week of the 

news of the ratification of the treaty, Russia, Ger- 



many, and France presented a Note to Japan 
requesting that the territories ceded to it on the 
mainland of China should not be permanently 
occupied, as such occupation would be detrimental 
to the lasting peace of the Far East. Japan was in 
no position to begin war against three combined 
Powers, and refusal would have meant war. She 
looked to England, but England, while strictly 
standing aloof from the European representations, 
yet privately recommended Japan to yield. Amid the 
anger, and to the shame of the people who thus saw 
themselves robbed of the fruits of their victory, the 
Tokyo Government gave way. At the same time 
Japan began to build greater ships, to extend her 
fortifications, to strengthen her army, and to prepare 
for revenge. 

It was Russia's hour of triumph, and for a time 
her representatives in the Far East assumed an air 
of domineering intolerance exceedingly galling to 
others. Russia was spoken of as supreme in Asia, 
and the paramount Power in Europe. Sober Eng- 
lish reviews described her as " the protector of 
China and Korea." Russian diplomacy was now 
mainly and primarily bent on securing the realisa- 
tion of a very natural and praiseworthy ambition. 
Shut in by the Black Sea to the south of Europe, 
with a limited outlook to the north on the Baltic, 
and with only Vladivostock, ice-bound for many 
months of the year, as her premier port on the 
Pacific, Russia wished to secure a terminus for her 
Trans-Siberian line that should have safe and open 
waters all the year round. Such a port might be 


found either in Korea, where there are several 
splendid harbours, or in the Liaotung Peninsula. 
For the moment Russia paid attention to Korea. 

Unable to meet her rival by force, Japan turned to 
diplomacy. In the summer of 1896 two remarkable 
agreements were drawn up between the respective 
Governments, one being signed by M. Waeber and 
Baron Komura at Seoul, and the second by Marshal 
Yamagata and Prince Lobanof at Moscow. Under 
the first of these, the Powers mutually consented to 
advise the Korean Emperor to return to his own 
palace, and Japan promised to take effective 
measures for the control of Japanese rowdies. 
Russia agreed that the Japanese guards, three com- 
panies of soldiers then in Korea, should remain for 
a time for the protection of the Japanese telegraph 
line from Fusan to Seoul, and that, when they were 
withdrawn, they should be temporarily replaced by 
groups of gendarmes at twelve intermediate posts 
between Fusan and Seoul. These gendarmes were 
not to exceed 200, and were to be retained 
until such time " as peace and order have been 
restored by the Government." In addition to these, 
two companies of Japanese troops were to be 
stationed at Seoul, one at Fusan, and one at 
Gensan, each company not exceeding 200 men. 
The Russian guards were not to be more numerous 
than those of Japan. In the Lobanof- Yamagata 
agreement Japan and Russia promised mutually to 
afford their assistance to Korea, if necessary, for 
foreign loans ; to leave to the native Government, as 
soon as possible, the formation and maintenance of 


a national army and police sufficient to maintain 
internal peace ; and to keep the telegraph lines in 
Japanese hands ; while Russia reserved the right to 
build a telegraph line from Seoul to her own frontier. 
These Agreements have been spoken of as an added 
humiliation to Japan ; on the contrary, considering 
the circumstances when they were drawn up, they 
redound to the credit of the skill of the Japanese 

Unfortunately for Russia, the prudent and states- 
manlike policy of M. Waeber did not meet with the 
approval of his official superiors, and in September, 
1897, M. de Speyer succeeded him as Charge 
d'Affaires. The change was received with universal 
regret by all foreigners in Korea. M. Waeber had 
done splendidly. He had been a real influence for 
good throughout the country, and, even from an 
exclusively Russian point of view, his cautious 
policy had gained for his Government more credit 
and influence than any other course of action could 
have done. A Russian-language school had been 
started by the Korean Government, mining and 
timber concessions had been granted to Russians, 
Colonel Potiata and a number of Russian officers 
and men had been employed to reorganise and drill 
the Korean troops, and Russia's financial and 
political influence had been supreme. Admiral 
Alexieff, now rising into power, thought that this 
was not enough. 

M. de Speyer plainly had orders to quicken the 
pace, and he did so. He assumed a most aggressive 
and unpleasant attitude towards other foreigners, and 


this quickly brought matters to a crisis, and caused 
his downfall. 

The Korean Customs and Treasury had for some 
time been under the charge of Mr, (now Sir John) 
McLeavy Brown, an experienced member of the 
Chinese Customs, who was delegated to manage 
the Korean service. Mr. Brown had entire control 
of the Customs revenue, and none of it could be 
spent without his consent and signature. Himself a 
man of order, discipline, and unbending economy, 
his methods came upon the Korean officials as an 
unpleasant shock. Time after time he refused to 
make grants from the Customs funds for outlays 
with which he did not agree. He kept salaries 
within a strict limit, and he made people work for 
their money. When high officials wanted to appoint 
their near relations to posts with handsome pay and 
no work, Mr. Brown intervened. When a sinecurist 
died, Mr. Brown forbade the appointment of a suc- 
cessor. He held the keys of the purse. The 
Japanese had forced a loan on Korea in 1895 of 
3,000,000 yen. Mr. Brown saved enough money to 
pay two-thirds of it off, and before very long paid 
three-quarters of a million more. He would have 
settled the final balance, but Japan requested that it 
might be left. Thanks to his activity, new streets 
were made in the capital, old thoroughfares were 
widened, improved sanitation was introduced, the 
roadway to the Pekin Pass was transformed, a 
magnificent palace was begun for the Emperor, and 
a scheme was formulated for surveying and lighting 
the coast. 


The Russian authorities began to regard Mr. 
Brown's position and influence with alarm. A 
Russian Financial Adviser, Mr. Kerr Alexieff. agent 
of the Russian Finance Minister, arrived in Seoul on 
October 5, 1897. on the 25th of the same month, 
the Department of Foreign Affairs appointed him as 
successor to Mr. Brown. The latter ignored the 
order, and held on. When it was suggested that he 
should either share responsibility or act as the 
assistant to Alexieff, he peremptorily declined. The 
native officials, who saw the chance of plunder, 
rebelled against the Brown administration, and they 
were encouraged to do so by the Russians. M. 
Alexieff doubled all their salaries. Numbers of 
boxes of silver dollars were taken out of the 
Treasury and scattered freely among the palace 
officials. The Mint, which had up to now been 
working steadily in Mr. Brown's hands, began 
making erratic experiments in finance. All this time 
the old chief sat still. Then one day the British 
fleet appeared in Chemulpho Harbour. It was seen 
that, for once, the British Government had really , 
made up its mind to act. Men, familiar with the 
wavering action of Downing Street in Far Eastern 
affairs, could not credit the news. Yet it was true, 
and when the Russians realised it, they promptly 
gave way. De Speyer soon afterwards left Seoul in 
semi-disgrace, and M. Alexieff and his officials with- 
drew. Mr. Brown was restored to a considerable 
part of his old authority, but unfortunately not 
to all. The British did not go so far as they 
might have done. Had they carried their action 


to its logical end, it would have been better for 

In 1898 there came the announcement of the 
leasing by China to Russia of the Liaotung Penin- 
sula. This step ended all hopes of a Japanese- 
Russian alliance, and it made it no longer neces- 
sary for Russia to maintain such a hold on Korea. 
About the same time that Russia secured Port 
Arthur, she entered into a fresh treaty with Japan 
about Korea. She could afford to be generous, 
and she was. Both Powers pledged themselves 
to recognise the entire independence of Korea, 
and both agreed not to take any steps for the 
nomination of military instructors or financial ad- 
visers without having come previously to a mutual 
agreement. Russia definitely recognised the supreme 
nature of the Japanese enterprises in Korea, and 
promised not to impede the development of the 
commercial and industrial Japanese policy there. 

The news of this agreement and the fact that the 
Russian military instructors and financial adviser 
were withdrawn from Seoul came as an over- 
whelming surprise to Europe. " The Convention 
simply registers the victory of Japan in the long 
diplomatic duel she has been fighting with Russia 
over Korea since the peace with China," proclaimed 
the Times. The Russian Official Messenger tried 
to put the best face it could on the matter, but 
it was not very successful. 

" Since the conclusion of the Chino-Japanese War 
the Imperial Government has spared no effort to 
secure the integrity and complete independence of 


the State of Korea. At the outset, when the ques- 
tion of placing the financial and military organisation 
of the young State on solid bases was being con- 
sidered, it was natural that the latter could not do 
without foreign support. That is why, in 1896, the 
Sovereign of Korea addressed to the Emperor a 
pressing request to send to Seoul Russian military 
instructors and a Financial Adviser. Owing to the 
assistance which Russia tendered her at the time of 
need, Korea has now entered upon a path where she 
can manage her own affairs even in an administrative 
respect. This circumstance made it possible for 
Russia and Japan to proceed to a friendly exchange 
of views to determine in a clear and precise manner 
the reciprocal relations of the new position of affairs 
created in the Korean Peninsula. The pourparlers 
in question led to the conclusion of the subjoined 
arrangement, the object of which is to complete the 
Protocol of Moscow, and which was signed in pur- 
suance of the Emperor's command by our Minister 
at Tokyo. By the essential stipulation of this 
arrangement, the two Governments confirm de- 
finitively their recognition of the sovereignty and 
entire independence of the Korean Empire, and at 
the same time pledge themselves mutually to abstain 
from all interference in the internal affairs of that 
country. In the event of Korea needing the assist- 
ance of the two contracting States, Russia and Japan 
pledge themselves to adopt no measure with regard 
to Korea without preliminary agreement between 

" The Convention attests the fact that the two 


friendly States, having extensive, but at the same 
time perfectly reconcilable interests in the Far East, 
have quite naturally recognised the necessity of re- 
ciprocally securing tranquility in the neighbouring 
peninsula by safeguarding political independence 
and internal order in the young Korean Empire. 
In consequence of the conclusion of this friendly 
arrangement, Russia will be in a position to direct 
all her care and afforts to the accomplishment of 
the historical and essentially peaceful task devolving 
upon her on the shores of the Pacific Ocean." ^ 

Subsequent events, however, were to prove that 
Russia's abandonment of Korea was only temporary. 
Within a few months her representatives were again 
intriguing and seeking to recover domination. 

' Translation in the Times. 




THE Japanese had directed their energies care- 
fully, cautiously, and deliberately to recover 
lost ground. Both France and America were now 
making their influence felt in Korea, and Russia 
soon renewed her activity. The French were 
specially desirous of holding railway concessions, 
knowing that command of railway lines involves 
more or less sovereignty. An American, Mr. J. 
Morse, had been given the right to build a line from 
Chemulpho to Seoul. The Japanese advanced the 
money, and secured an option which they took up in 
1898. A French syndicate, working under Russian 
direction, obtained authority to build a railway from 
Seoul to Wi-ju. It was probably intended to con- 
nect this with the Trans-Siberian line by Moukden 
and Antung, if the plan for the line to Port Arthur 
failed. Soon after the French had obtained their 
concession, however, the Port Arthur lease was 
granted, and so the Wi-ju-Seoul line dropped for the 
time from sight. The Japanese were building a line 

southwards from Seoul to Fusan, which would make 










it possible to travel from Japan to the Korean capital 
in less than twenty-four hours. 

Many foreigners were now doing business in 
the country. British, American, and Continental 
financiers had obtained mining concessions. An active 
American house, Messrs. Collbran and Bostwick, 
established itself in Seoul, and started several big 
enterprises. There were many signs of undoubted 
progress. More schools were started, and a Govern- 
ment hospital was established. Diplomatic relations 
had for some time been maintained with various 
foreign Powers, although the Korean Ministers 
abroad often found it difficult to draw their salaries. 
Electric light works were opened in Seoul, and an 
electric tramway laid down ; the police were put into 
modern uniform, and the army was supplied with 
modern weapons, and drilled on modern lines. Korea 
entered the postal union, and telegraph lines, mainly 
under Japanese control, were in working order. In 
Seoul itself many outstanding features of the old life 
had by now disappeared. Signal fires were no longer 
lit on the hills, nor were the city gates closed at sunset. 
Great public buildings in foreign style had arisen 
in the capital ; several native newspapers flourished, 
and Christianity obtained a great and growing hold 
in many districts, especially to the north, and had a 
profound effect on the lives of the people. Cities 
like Ping-yang and Sun-chon were centres of a move- 
ment as remarkable as any in the annals of modern 
Christian propagandism. 

Undoubtedly much still remained that was very 
bad indeed. The Emperor had never shown the 


same strength of mind since the murder of his wife. 
He was more and more at the mercy of the palace 
ch'ques and ambitious Ministers. In the early- 
nineties he allowed one man, Yi Yong Ik, to obtain 
predominance. Yi Yong Ik was the coolie who had 
helped the Queen to escape in the great rising of 
1882. His advance since then had been meteoric, 
and by 1902 he had secured almost absolute power. 
Tall, broad-shouldered, and commanding in appear- 
ance, knowing his own mind and of domineering 
temper, he swept to one side the feeble and vacil- 
lating hangers-on of the Court. Having been a 
poor man himself, he knew every trick of the poor in 
avoiding taxation, and he could squeeze more out of 
a district than any of his rivals. Under him the 
people were more harshly governed, and the Imperial 
Treasuries were fuller than for long before. He was 
hated from end to end of the country, but it must be 
admitted that his rule was not wholly bad. He 
started new enterprises and encouraged certain forms 
of industrial activity, especially when they promised 
any extra profit to the Crown. 

A growing number of educated and foreign -trained 
Koreans of the better classes sought for genuine 
reform. Some threw themselves into the hands of 
the Japanese, hoping to accomplish under Japan 
what their Government would not do alone. Reform, 
however, was constantly checked by the removal of 
good officials, and by periodical ferments in the 
country. Secret societies in rural districts maintained 
temporary uprisings, winter by winter. Really con- 
scientious officials rarely remained long in office. 


for neither Japan nor Russia desired to see Korea 
become independently and by herself efficient. I 
have the best reason for believing that some, at least, 
of the uprisings in rural districts were promoted and 
indirectly led by men other than Koreans. 

It would be easy to show the ridiculous side of the 
transformation. For instance, the Korean Navy had 
one ship, which was good for nothing ; it also had, 
if I remember rightly, thirty-nine admirals. When 
the electric tramway was first opened in Seoul, the 
drivers and conductors were greatly hindered because 
coolies constantly slept in the roadways, and used the 
rails as pillows. The conductors became quite expert 
in throwing these men off the track. It is said — 
although I cannot guarantee the truth of this story — 
that a number of high officials presented a petition to 
the Emperor protesting against the action of the 
tramway company. The petitioners pointed out that 
sleep is natural for man, and that to disturb sleep 
suddenly is injurious. They therefore begged the 
Emperor to issue a command to the tramway drivers 
that when they came upon a man sleeping across the 
track, they should stop their cars and wait until he 

one or two people sleeping in this manner on the 
line were run over and killed. Thereupon a mob 
rose, destroyed a tramcar and nearly killed the 
driver. The leaders were arrested and brought 
before a city judge. When asked what excuse they 
had, the leader spoke out vigorously. *' Our fathers 
have told us," he said, " that we must on no account 
disturb the stone tortoise which sleeps outside our 


city gates." (This stone tortoise is a symbolic and 
ancient memorial near Seoul). " They told us that 
once the tortoise awakes, great troubles will happen 
to our country. Now the hissing of these electric 
cars will awaken the tortoise, and we are not going 
to have it. The cars must stop ! " 

The Japanese had, by the early part of the new 
century, considerable settlements in Seoul, in Che- 
mulpho, in Fusan, and elsewhere. The prudence of 
Mr. Hayashi, the Japanese Minister, was to some 
extent counteracted by the conduct of many of these 
immigrants. A friendly critic, writing on the matter 
in 1 90 1, said : — 

" Now, it is well known how the Japanese of the 
lower class treat Koreans of the same class, even 
under present conditions. Every foreigner has seen 
it and understands very well that this one thing 
does more to prevent cordial relations between 
Koreans and Japanese than any other. The 
Japanese Government acts with the utmost wisdom 
in carefully scrutinising every Japanese who pro- 
poses to come to Korea, and the removal of this 
check would be a severe blow to good order and a 
fatal bar to the growth of friendly relations. An 
eye-witness of the events in Song-do two years ago 
tells us how the Japanese went into the ginseng 
fields and literally helped themselves to the valuable 
roots, and what is more, the Japanese police who 
were sent to that place actually connived with and 
protected the Japanese thieves in this wanton spolia- 
tion. No, it is absolutely necessary that the Japanese 
Government hold such men in check, or the results 


will be most deplorable both for the Koreans and for 
the Japanese in this country. We fully sympathise 
with Japanese efforts to develop the wealth of Korea, 
and believe that no others are so well prepared to do 
it as they, and it is for this very reason that we 
strongly favour every regulation which would tend 
to prevent bitter feeling between Koreans and 

As time went on it became more and more clear 
that the struggle between Russia and Japan over 
Korea was not yet ended. The Russians, under 
M. Pavloff, carried on a somewhat aggressive cam- 
paign in Seoul itself, and secured the co-operation 
of Yi Yong Ik. When Japan put forward one claim, 
Russia advanced another. Thus, in 1902, the Russian 
Minister told the Foreign Office that as Korea had 
granted Japan the right to lay telegraph cables along 
her shores, Russia would expect to receive permis- 
sion to connect the Korean telegraphs in the north 
with the Siberian system at Vladivostock. Russia 
obtained a timber concession on the River Yalu, and 
laid telegraph wires and built up a Russian station at 
Masampo on the Korean side of the river. This 
station was practically a cavalry depot, and was 
occupied, despite protests, by Russian troops. 

The year 1903 found Korea the centre of a very 
interesting situation. Russia had aroused serious 
alarm, especially among English and American 
people, by her determined and exclusive policy in 
the Far East. She had practically seized Manchuria, 
although she did not attempt, outside the Liaotung 
Peninsula, to interfere with local administration there. 


Her forces were steadily, and apparently irresistibly, 
advancing upon Korea itself, and it seemed only a 
question of time before at least Northern Korea must 
become Russian. The hostile action of Russian re- 
presentatives in Mongolia in dealing with Protestant 
missionaries there had enlisted the missionary forces 
of England against Russia. The commercial methods 
of her Eastern officials had created the bitterest 
opposition among English and American merchants. 
As the Russians advanced everything possible was 
done by them to promote their own trading interests 
at the cost of the foreigners. While it is true that 
no hostile tariff was instituted by the Russians in 
Manchuria, it is yet undeniable that they manipu- 
lated freight rates on the China Eastern Railway, so 
as to bar foreign manufactures. The orgies of the 
officials at Port Arthur and Vladivostock, the drunken 
gaiety of the great military settlements there, the 
doings of the contractors, the greedy and immoral 
crowds attracted by the new r^gijue, all had their 
effect on Western opinion. The West saw the sordid 
side of it all. Russia, for the moment, appeared as 
the panderer, the corrupter, and the foe. Men forgot 
the splendid energy and great foresight shown in the 
building of the Trans-Siberian Railway and in the 
creation of the Pacific coast provinces. The finer 
sides of the Russian character, the kindliness, the 
good-humour, the solidity, and the long endurance, 
were for the moment hidden from sight. Every tale 
that could tell against Russia was repeated broad- 
cast. Every incident that showed the unfavourable 
side of her commercial policy was shouted aloud. 













Unfortunately, there was all too much lying on the 
surface ready at hand for the critics. Russia was 
presenting her foes with a rod with which to 
scourge her. 

While Russia in the East was thus displaying 
herself to the world in an aspect that created at 
once fear and repulsion, Japan showed us her best. 
The efficiency and self-restraint of the Japanese 
troops, who formed part of the allied army in the 
Boxer uprising of 1900, astonished the world. Their 
courage, their admirable organisation, and their dis- 
cipline were commented on by military experts 
and correspondents of many lands. In 1902 Japan 
stepped to a place among the Great Powers by 
securing an alliance with England. Her statesmen 
announced that they stood for the independence 
of Korea and for the Open Door. Russia was 
for exclusive trading privileges ; Japan was for 
equal opportunities for all nations. Russia ignored 
English and American opinion ; Japan took every 
direct and indirect opportunity of placating it. 
Paid agents lectured English audiences upon the 
beauties and glories of Nippon. A careful and 
clever press propaganda was initiated, and books 
and articles of all kinds, from grave, political 
treatises to light studies, all singing the glories of 
Japan, were encouraged. 

Japan succeeded in creating an atmosphere favour- 
able to herself, and it is but justice to admit she 
could not have done so but for the fact that many 
of her doings at that time redounded to her credit. 
Month by month, too, she was increasing her fighting 


strength. The tens of millions obtained from China 
had been devoted to a scheme of military and naval 
expansion. Russia's great surface show of might 
concealed unsuspected and overwhelming sources of 
weakness. Japan, the second-rate Asiatic Power 
of yesterday, was building up for herself ships and 
fighting armies better than any on the Pacific. 

The Japanese now felt themselves strong enough 
to force the pace. Their hour of revenge was coming. 
They chose Korea as the main issue of their quarrel, 
and when Russia proceeded, in 1903, to occupy the 
territory around Masampo, Japan spoke out in 
unmistakable terms. on August 12, 1903, the 
Japanese Government formally demanded of Russia 
a mutual engagement to respect the independence 
and territorial integrity of China and Korea, and to 
maintain the principle of equal opportunity for the 
commerce and industry of all nations in those two 
countries. It further demanded reciprocal recog- 
nition of Japan's preponderating interests in Korea 
and Russia's special railway enterprises in Manchuria, 
and recognition by Russia of the exclusive right of 
Japan to give advice and assistance to Korea in the 
interests of reform and good government there. 

The Russians, in reply, asked for a guarantee that 
Korea should not be used by Japan for strategical 
purposes. They particularly demanded the preser- 
vation of full freedom of navigation through the 
Straits of Korea, and they wished a definite pledge 
that Japan would erect no fortifications in the 
Peninsula. The Russians were no doubt willing to 
hand Korea over to Japan for commercial and 


political, but not military, purposes, on condition 
that Japan did not interfere with them in Man- 
churia. St. Petersburg refused to be hurried, and 
Russian officials in the Far East laughed to scorn 
the idea that Japan would dare to attack their great 
nation. Korea despatched a formal declaration of 
neutrality to the Powers and thought that she had 
made herself safe. 

The end is known to all men. on February 10, 
1904, the Emperor of Japan, " sitting on the same 
throne occupied by the same dynasty from time 
immemorial," formally declared war against Russia. 
His main reasons, as stated in the declaration of war, 
were the threatened Russian absorption of Manchuria 
and the consequent imperilment of the integrity of 

The Japanese Government, in an official communi- 
cation sent out at the time to the Powers, repeated, 
in the most solemn and formal manner, that its 
purpose was to maintain the independence and terri- 
torial integrity of Korea and to uphold the policy of 
the Open Door and equal opportunities for all nations. 

Even before the declaration of war had been 
issued, on the evening of February 8th, a Japanese 
fleet approached the harbour of Chemulpho, landed 
troops there, and next day fought and destroyed 
two Russian warships in the harbour. Those of us 
who stood on the frozen shores on that cold February 
night, looking at the trim and alert Japanese infantry, 
their figures revealed by the glowing coal and paraffin 
fires on the landing-stage, knew that the old history 
of Korea was over and that a new era had begun. 



on the same day that the battle of Chemulpho 
was fought between the Japanese and Russian 
warships, Japanese troops took possession of the 
city of Seoul, and surrounded the palace of the 
Emperor, The Russian Minister, M. Pavloff, was 
made a semi-prisoner in his own house, and a few 
days later was conducted with every show of 
courtesy to the coast. A new treaty between Japan 
and Korea, probably drawn up in advance, was 
signed — the Emperor being ordered to consent 
without hesitation or alteration — and Japan began 
her work as the open protector of Korea. The 
Korean Government now promised to place full 
confidence in Japan, and to follow her lead ; and 
Japan pledged herself, " in a spirit of firm friendship, 
to ensure the safety and repose" of the Korean 
Imperial house, and definitely guaranteed the in- 
dependence and territorial integrity of the country. 
Korea further promised to give Japan every facility 
for military operations during war. 

The pro-Russian officials around the Emperor were 
naturally much alarmed. At first it seemed to them 



impossible that war had begun on their soil, and that 
the Japanese had driven the Russians out. A day or 
two before the landing of the Japanese, Yi Yong Ik, 
the Prime Minister, in the course of a conversation 
with myself, emphatically declared his confident 
belief that Korea would not be mixed up in any 
Russo-Japanese conflict. " Let Russia and Japan 
fight," he said, " Korea will take no share in their 
fighting. Our Emperor has issued a declaration of 
neutrality, and by that we will abide. If our 
neutrality is broken, the Powers will act without 
being asked, and will protect us." 

The Japanese at first behaved with great modera- 
tion. The officials who had been hostile to them 
were left unpunished, and some were quickly em- 
ployed in the Japanese service. The troops marching 
northwards maintained rigid discipline, and treated 
the people well. Food that was taken was paid for 
at fair prices, and the thousands of labourers who 
were pressed into the army service as carriers were 
rewarded with a liberality and promptitude which 
left them surprised. The Japanese rates of payment 
were so high that they materially affected the labour 
market. Mr. Hayashi did everything he could to 
reassure the Korean Emperor, and repeated promises 
were given that Japan desired nothing else than the 
good of Korea and the strengthening of the Korean 
nation. The Marquis Ito was soon afterwards sent 
to Seoul on a special mission from the Mikado, and 
he repeated and reaffirmed the declarations of friend- 
ship and help even more emphatically than the 
Resident Minister. 


All this was not without effect upon the Korean 
mind. The people of the north had learnt to dislike 
the Russians, because of their lack of discipline and 
want of restraint. They had been alienated in 
particular by occasional interference with Korean 
women by the Russian soldiers. I travelled largely 
throughout the northern regions in the early days of 
the war, and everywhere I heard from the people 
during the first few weeks nothing but expressions 
of friendship to the Japanese. The coolies and 
farmers were friendly because they hoped that 
Japan would modify the oppression of the native 
magistrates. A large section of better-class people, 
especially those who had received some foreign 
training, were sympathetic, because they credited 
Japan's promises and had been convinced by old 
experience that no far-reaching reforms could come 
to their land without foreign aid. As victory 
followed victory, however, the attitude of the 
Japanese grew less kindly. A large number of 
petty tradesmen followed the army, and these showed 
none of the restraint of the military. They travelled 
about, sword in hand, taking what they wished and 
doing as they pleased. Then the army cut down the 
rate of pay for coolies, and, from being overpaid, 
the native labourers were forced to toil for half 
their ordinary earnings. The military, too, gradually 
began to acquire a more domineering air. It was 
enough for any man in the north to be suspected of 
holding intercourse with the Russians, for his death 
to follow, and follow quickly. The Japanese, them- 
selves past-masters in the art of espionage, were the 


most rigid suppressors of attempts to spy upon their 
own doings. There is little doubt that many people 
were unjustly put to death in this way. A man who 
had Russian money on him was at once dealt with 
as a spy. This, however, was nothing more than 
might have been expected during the strain of 

In Seoul itself a definite line of policy was being 
pursued. The Korean Government had employed 
a number of foreign advisers. These were steadily 
eliminated; some of them were paid up for the full 
time of their engagements and sent off, and others 
were told that their agreements would not be renewed. 
Numerous Japanese advisers were brought in, and, 
step by step, the administration was Japanised. This 
process was hastened by a supplementary agreement 
concluded in August, when the Korean Emperor 
practically handed the control of administrative 
functions over to the Japanese. He agreed to engage 
a Japanese financial adviser, to reform the currenc}', to 
reduce his army, to adopt Japanese military and edu- 
cational methods, and eventually to trust the foreign 
relations to Japan. one of the first results of this 
new agreement was that Mr. (now Baron) Megata was 
given control of the Korean finances. He quickly 
brought extensive and, on the whole, admirable 
changes into the currency. Under the old methods, 
Korean money was among the worst in the world. 
The famous gibe of a British Consul in an official 
report, that the Korean coins might be divided into 
good, good counterfeits, bad counterfeits, and 
counterfeits so bad that they can only be passed 


off in the dark, was by no means an effort of 
imagination. In the days before the war it was 
necessary, when one received any sum of money, to 
employ an expert to count over the coins, and put 
aside the worst counterfeits. The old nickels were 
so cumbersome that a very few pounds' worth of them 
formed a heavy load for a pony. Mr. Megata 
changed all this, and put the currency on a sound 
basis, naturally not without some temporary trouble, 
but certainly with permanent benefit to the country. 
The next great step in the Japanese advance was 
the acquirement of the entire Korean postal and 
telegraph system. This was taken over, despite 
Korean protests. More and more Japanese gen- 
darmes were brought in and established themselves 
everywhere. They started to control all political 
activity. Men who protested against Japanese action 
were arrested and imprisoned, or driven abroad. A 
notorious pro-Japanese society, the II Chin Hoi, was 
fostered by every possible means, it being said that, 
for a time, the members received direct payments 
through Japanese sources. The payment at one 
period was put at 50 sen (is.) a day. Notices were 
posted in Seoul that no one could organise a political 
society unless the Japanese headquarters consented, 
and no one could hold a meeting for discussing affairs 
without permission, and without having it guarded 
by Japanese police. All letters and circulars issued 
by political societies were first to be submitted to the 
headquarters. Those who offended made themselves 
punishable by martial law. 
, Gradually the hand of Japan became heavier and 


heavier. Little aggravating changes were made. The 
Japanese mih'tary authorities decreed that Japanese 
time should be used for all public work, and they 
changed the names of the towns from Korean to 
Japanese. Martial law was now enforced with the 
utmost rigidity. Scores of thousands of Japanese 
coolies poured into the country, and spread abroad, act- 
ing in a most oppressive way. These coolies, who had 
been kept strictly under discipline in their own land, 
here found themselves masters of a weaker people. 
The Korean magistrates dared not punish them, 
and the few Japanese residents, scattered in the 
provinces, would not. The coolies were poor.v 
uneducated, strong, and with the inherited brutal 
traditions of generations of their ancestors who 
had looked upon force and strength as supreme 
right. They went through the country like a 
plague. If they wanted a thing they took it. If 
they fancied a house, they turned the resident out. 
They beat, they outraged, they murdered in a 
way and on a scale of which it is difficult for 
any white man to speak with moderation. Koreans 
were flogged to death for offences that did not 
deserve a sixpenny fine. They were shot for 
mere awkwardness. Men were dispossessed of 
their homes by every form of guile and trickery. 
It has been my lot to hear from Koreans them- 
selves and from white men living in the districts, 
hundreds upon hundreds of incidents of this time, 
all to the same effect. The outrages were allowed 
to pass unpunished and unheeded. The Korean 
who approached the office of a Japanese resident 



to complain was thrown out, as a rule, by the 

one act on the part of the Japanese surprised 
most of those who knew them best. In Japan itself 
opium-smoking is prohibited under the heaviest 
penalties, and elaborate precautions are taken to shut 
opium in any of its forms out of the country. Strict 
anti-opium laws were also enforced in Korea under 
the old administration. The Japanese, however, now 
permitted numbers of their people to travel through 
the interior of Korea selling morphia to the natives. 
In the north-west in particular this caused quite a 
wave of morphia-mania. 

The Japanese had evidently set themselves to 
acquire possession of as much Korean land as 
possible. The military authorities staked out large 
portions of the finest sites in the country, the 
river-lands near Seoul, the lands around Ping-yang, 
great districts to the north, and fine strips all along 
the railway. Hundreds of thousands of acres were 
thus acquired. A nominal sum was paid as compen- 
sation to the Korean Government — a sum that did 
not amount to one-twentieth part of the real value 
of the land. The people who were turned out 
received, in many cases, nothing at all, and, in 
others, one-tenth to one-twentieth of the fair value. 
The land was seized by the military, nominally 
for purposes of war. Within a few months large 
parts of it were being resold to Japanese builders 
and shopkeepers, and Japanese settlements were 
growing up on them. This theft of land was one 
of the most outrageous tyrannies possible to imagine 


'/■" '■' 

I /■ . . I . .ii \ i\t II . II. 



on a weaker nation. It beggared thousands of 
formerly prosperous people. 

The Japanese Minister pushed forward, in the 
early days of the war, a scheme of land appropria- 
tion that would have handed two-thirds of Korea 
over at a blow to a Japanese concessionaire, a 
Mr. Nagamori, had it gone through. Under this 
scheme all the waste lands of Korea, which 
included all unworked mineral lands, were to be 
given to Mr. Nagamori nominally for fifty years, 
but really on a perpetual lease, without any pay- 
ment or compensation, and with freedom from 
taxation for some time, Mr. Nagamori was simply 
a cloak for the Japanese Government in this matter. 
The comprehensive nature of the request stirred even 
the foreign representatives in Seoul to action. A 
wave of indignation swept over the nation, and for the 
moment the Japanese had to abandon the scheme. 

It may be asked why the Korean people did not 
make vigorous protests against the appropriation 
of their land. They did all they could, as can be 
seen by the " Five Rivers " case. one part of 
the Japanese policy was to force loans upon the 
Korean Government. on one occasion it was 
proposed that Japan should lend Korea 
2,000,000 yen. The residents in a prosperous 
district near Seoul, the " Five Rivers," informed 
the Emperor that if he wanted money, they would 
raise it and so save them the necessity of borrow- 
ing from foreigners. Soon afterwards these people 
were all served with notice to quit, as their land 
was wanted by iho Japanese military authorities. 


The district contained, it was said, about 
15,000 houses. The inhabitants protested, and 
finally a large number of them went as a deputa- 
tion into Seoul, and demanded to see the Minister 
for Home Affairs. They were met by a Japanese 
policeman, who was soon reinforced by about 
twenty others, and these refused to allow the 
people forward. In a few minutes police and mob 
were freely fighting. Many of the Koreans were 
wounded, some of them severely, and finally, in 
spite of a stubborn resistance, they were driven 
back. Afterwards a mixed force of Japanese 
police and soldiers went down to their district, and 
firing blank cartridges, drove them from their 

The foreign protests began now to be more and 
more frequent, and many Europeans and Americans 
who were most strongly sympathetic with Japan 
at the beginning, veered over to an attitude of 
criticism and semi-hostility. Papers like the 
Korea Review, which had at first been outspokenly 
friendly, began more and more to question. " We 
have consistently upheld the Japanese in their 
opposition to Russian intrigue in the Far East," 
wrote the editor of the Korea Review. " Japan is 
doing a splendid work and is fitting herself to do 
a still greater work in this region. She probably 
aspires to be a leader of opinion in this part of 
the world, and to bring her influence to bear 
upon China for the renovation of that enormous 
mass of humanity. That is a much larger work 
than the mere absorption of a little corner of the 


Far East like Korea ; but if Japan breaks her 
solemn pledges to Korea and continues to treat 
this people as she is now doing, she is sure to 
injure herself in the eyes of the world. Japan 
is fighting Russia because of the latter's broken 
promises in Manchuria, but if Japan herself breaks 
the promises she has made to Korea, how can 
she gain the countenance and acquiescence of the 
Western Powers in any plan for large work in the 
rehabilitation of China? The best thing for 
Japan, from the merely selfish standpoint, would 
be to clear her skirts of all suspicion of double- 
dealing with Korea, to give this people even- 
handed justice, to visit swift and exemplary 
punishment on any Japanese subject who treats 
a Korean less justly than he would a fellow- 

The Japanese brought over among their many 
advisers, one foreigner — an American, Mr. Stevens — 
who had for some time served in the Japanese 
Foreign Ofifice. Mr. Stevens was nominally in the 
employment of the Korean Government, but really 
he was, and is, a more thorough-going servant of 
Japan than many Japanese themselves. Two 
foreigners, whose positions seemed fairly established, 
were greatly in the way of the new rulers. one 
was Dr. Allen, the American Minister at Seoul. 
Dr. Allen had shown himself to be an independent 
and impartial representative of his country. He was 
very friendly to the Japanese cause, but he did not 
think it necessary to shut his eyes to the darker 
sides of their administration. This led to his down- 


fall. He took opportunity on one occasion to tell 
his Government some unpalatable truths. Influence 
against him was employed in a subtle and delicate 
way, and it was implied that he was not wholly a 
persona gratia to the Japanese authorities. In con- 
sequence he was very summarily and somewhat dis- 
courteously recalled, greatly to the surprise and 
indignation of the American community in Korea. 
The next victim was Mr. McLeavy Brown, the Chief 
Commissioner of Customs. Mr. Brown had done 
everything possible at first to work with the 
Japanese, but later there came conflicts of authority 
between him and Mr. Megata. Negotiations were 
entered into with the British authorities, and in 
the end Mr, Brown received his cong^. When the 
Russians had tried to turn Mr. Brown away, they 
were met by the assembling of a British fleet in 
Chemulpho Harbour ; when the Japanese tried it, 
their act passed almost without comment, save 
from those well acquainted with the country. Mr. 
Brown was too loyal and self-sacrificing to dispute 
the ruling, and he submitted in silence. 

Revisiting the interior of Korea in the summer of 
1906, I saw much that appalled me. I quote here 
some of my personal impressions as written at the 
time : — 

" When I first heard these charges from the 
Koreans I naturally suspected exaggeration. I 
talked the matter over with the leading Japanese, 
but these, while partly admitting some of the com- 
plaints, claimed that they were past — temporary 
wrongs incidental to war time — and that all is 


going right now. I found, however, when I went 
into the country, too many new cases to enable 
me to accept this view. 

" I questioned the European and American resi- 
dents, and compared notes with many scores of 
them. Diplomats, missionaries, merchants, doctors, 
and teachers all told me practically the same tale, 
and that tale elaborated and confirmed the Korean 
case. I say all, but that is not quite accurate. I 
found four white men who defended the Japanese 
policy. one was an American official in the Japanese 
service, and the other three were tradesmen doing 
considerable business with the Japanese authorities. 

" Apart from these four, the attitude was generally 
this : ' We are no more pro-Russian than ever we 
were,' the people would say. * We believe in the 
splendid future before Japan if she only will rise 
to it. But the Japanese doings in Korea during 
the past two years have been so bad that we cannot 
keep silence.' 

" I made great efforts to find an independent white 
man who would stand up for the Japanese policy 
At last I thought I had found one in an American 
missionary doctor, living in the interior, who last 
year wrote forcibly and eloquently for Japan. Alas ! 
I came to see the doctor at an unfortunate moment. 
Some Japanese soldiers had only the previous day 
invaded the home of one of his chief native preachers, 
and had badly beaten the preacher when he attempted 
to stop them from penetrating into his women's 
quarter. Soldiers had seized the home of an elderly 
servant of the doctor not many days before. His 


Korean neighbours were suffering because of the 
seizure of their lands. I heard no defence of Japan 

" The barbarities of the Korean courts and prisons 
still remain unchecked. My attention was called to 
the state of the prisons, and I visited two of them. 
In the first, at Ping-yang, I found eighteen men and 
one woman confined in one cell. Several of the men 
were fastened to the ground by wooden stocks. The 
prisoners were emaciated, and their bodies showed 
plain signs of horrible disease. Their clothing was 
of the poorest, the cell was indescribably filthy, and 
the prisoners were confined in it, without exercise 
and without employment, year after year. one man 
had been in the cell for six years. 

" The second prison, Sun-chon, was much worse. 
In the inner room there — so dark that for some 
moments I could see nothing — I found three men 
fastened flat on the ground, their heads and feet in 
stocks and their hands tied together. The room had 
no light or ventilation, save from a small hole in the 
wall. The men's backs were fearfully scarred with 
cuts from beatings. Their arms were cut to the bone 
in many places by the ropes that had been tightly 
bound around them, and the wounds thus made were 
suppurating freely. The upper parts of the limbs 
were swollen ; great weals and blisters could be seen 
on their flesh. one man's eyes were closed, and the 
sight gone, heavy suppuration oozing from the closed 
lids. Presumably the eyes had been knocked in by 
blows. The men had lain thus confined without 
moving for days. I had them brought out into the 


sunshine. It was difficult work ; one of them had 
already largely lost the use of his limbs, owing to 
their contraction. They were all starved and so 
broken that they had not even spirit to plead. The 
place was the nearest approach to hell I have ever 

" While in Japan, before my present visit to Korea, 
I had the privilege of a long interview with the 
Marquis Ito, the Resident-General and head of the 
Japanese administration. The Marquis Ito is, as all 
the world knows, the greatest and most famous of 
the older statesmen of Japan. His coming to Korea 
when he did was an act of splendid self-sacrifice. 

" As the Marquis unfolded his plans for the im- 
provement of Korea my heart rose. There was to 
be reform, justice, and conciliation. Any mistakes 
in the past were to be remedied. ' I feel that I stand 
midway between the Koreans and my own people to 
see justice done to both,' the Marquis declared. 

" Standing in the cell at Sun-chon I recalled those 
words, and despite the strength, sincerity, and high 
purpose of the Marquis, they seemed little better than 
a hollow mockery." ^ 

Lest it should be thought that I have allowed 
personal sympathy with the Korean people to colour 
my statement of their grievances, I would appeal to 
the evidence of a witness strongly and consistently 
pro-Japanese — Mr. George Kennan. As all who were 
behind the scenes to any extent in Japan at the 
period during and following the war are aware, the 
Japanese authorities had no abler or more powerful 

' London Daily Mail, September S, 1906. 


advocate in the Press of America than this writer. 
Mr. Kennan's great strength lay in his unquestion- 
able sincerity, and in the influence he possessed in 
America, thanks to his former writings on Siberia. 

In the late summer of 1905 Mr. Kennan visited 
Korea and wrote some articles on the Korean 
question in the New York Outlook. He strongly 
supported the Japanese cause in the Hermit King- 
dom, and emphatically condemned the corruption 
and weakness of the Korean Government and nation. 
But when Mr. Kennan came down to actual adminis- 
trative details, he could not shut his eyes to plain 
facts. He admitted that the Japanese "have not 
displayed in that field (Korea) anything like the 
intelligent prevision, the conspicuous ability and 
the remarkable capacity for prearrangement that 
they have shown in the arena of war." 

After an outspoken condemnation of the Naga- 
mori scheme, and of the employment by the Japanese 
of some of the worst of the old Korean officials, Mr. 
Kennan went on : — 

" Having disappointed expectation by failing to 
reform the Korean Civil Service, and having irritated 
the people by proposing to turn over a large part of 
the Empire to a foreign syndicate, the Japanese 
authorities made a third mistake in allowing their 
own countrymen to swarm into Korea by tens of 
thousands before they had provided any legal 
machinery for the adjudication and settlement of 
disputes between the immigrants and the natives. 
In Japan, as in every other country, there are good 
men and bad men, men who are fair and honest and 


men who are reckless and unscrupulous. When a 
new and undeveloped country is suddenly thrown 
open to business enterprise, it is likely to be invaded 
first by speculators, exploiters, and adventurers, who 
expect to fish in troubled waters, and who think that 
they can make big profits by taking early advantage 
of native ignorance and inexperience. Such has 
been the case in some of our own colonial de- 
pendencies, and such was the case in Korea. The 
Japanese who went there first were largely men who 
wanted to get rich quickly, and who had no scruples 
with regard to methods. Considerations of Imperial 
welfare and policy were nothing to them, and any 
action seemed to them permissible if it did not 
land them in jail. Many of them regarded the rights 
of the Koreans as some of us regard the rights of the 
Indians, and when the two nationalities came into 
conflict the Koreans invariably went to the wall. 
The immigrants not only cheated the natives when 
they had the opportunity, but, relying upon the 
absence of legal control, often ill-treated them 
personally and deprived them of their property by 
force. The Japanese authorities, of course, dis- 
approved of this, and did what they could to prevent 
it ; but fifty or sixty thousand immigrants scattered 
over a country more than twice as big as Indiana, 
and almost as destitute of means of intercommuni- 
cation as Alaska, are not to be controlled by half 
a dozen consuls ; and as the victims of the ill-treat- 
ment had no protection from their own officials, and 
no redress in their own courts, they were practically 


" The Koreans are mostly exaggerators or bare- 
faced liars, by heredity and by training, and it is 
impossible to accept, without careful verification, the 
statements which they make with regard to Japanese 
misbehaviour ; but I am satisfied, from cases that I 
have investigated, and from the testimony of the 
Japanese themselves, that the natives have good 
ground for complaint. To illustrate by a few 
examples : — 

(i) "A Japanese coolie goes to the stand of a 
Korean fruit-seller, eats half a yen worth of peaches 
or grapes, throws down five or ten sen, and walks 
away. The Korean dealer follows him and insists 
upon having the market value of the fruit consumed. 
The demand leads to an altercation, and at the end 
of it the Japanese kicks or cuffs the Korean and goes 
on his way, leaving the latter defrauded and insulted. 

(2) " Half a dozen Japanese prospectors in the 
country find a piece of unowned and unoccupied 
land which needs only irrigation to make it valuable. 
They discover that they can irrigate it by changing 
the course of a small stream which waters the rice- 
field of a Korean farmer lower down, and they pro- 
ceed at once to dig the necessary ditches. When 
the owner of the rice-field protests, they browbeat 
and intimidate him, and tell him that if he has a 
valid claim to that water privilege, he can go to the 
Japanese Consul and prove it. 

(3) " The Korean Government, through one of its 
Cabinet officers, secretly sells to a Japanese syndicate 
the right to share equally with the Koreans in the 
fishing privileges on a certain stretch of coast. The 


syndicate immediately assumes that this concession 
grants an exclusive right, and its employees proceed 
to drive away the Korean fishermen and confiscate 
the fish which the latter have already caught. In 
June, 1905, a quarrel over a transaction of this kind 
occurred near Masampho, and in the fight that 
ensued fourteen men are said to have been killed. 
(4) " A Korean from the country goes to a 
Japanese broker in Seoul and exchanges 400 yen for 
Korean nickels. As the money, in the shape of 
nickels, is bulky, and as the Korean has no immediate 
use for it, he leaves it with the broker on deposit and 
takes a receipt. When, some time later, he calls for 
it, the broker assumes an air of surprise and declares 
that he — the depositor— has already withdrawn it. 
The Korean produces the receipt as evidence of the 
debt, and insists that if the broker had paid the 
money he would have taken up the voucher. The 
broker merely reiterates the statement that he has 
returned the deposit, and explains that his failure 
to take up the receipt was due to inadvertence. The 
Korean goes to the Japanese consulate with his com- 
plaint and is turned back at the door. He then gets 
an American missionary to accompany him, and 
finally succeeds in gaining admittance. The Japanese 
Vice-Consul, not knowing that the missionary under- 
stands the Korean language, begins to abuse the 
unfortunate depositor for dragging a foreigner into 
the case, whereupon the American explains, mildly, 
that he has accompanied the Korean merely because 
the latter has failed to get admission alone. The 
Vice-Consul says that he will investigate tiie case, 


but he fails to do so and the Korean loses his 

(5) " A Korean leases his house to a Japanese for 
one year, and at the expiration of that period sells it 
to another person. The tenant in possession refuses 
to move out, and defies the owner to eject him. The 
Japanese Consul fails to take action upon the com- 
plaint of the Korean, and the latter is virtually 
deprived of his property without any process of law. 

(6) " A Japanese railroad contractor makes a deal 
with a Korean official for the services of 100 Korean 
coolies, who are to be paid at the rate of a yen and 
a half each per day. Instead of giving the money 
to the labourers who have earned it, the contractor 
hands it over to the official, who steals two-thirds 
of it and gives the coolies only one-third. When the 
latter refuse to work any longer for 50 sen a day, 
the official and the contractor together resort to 

. force. 

" The above are only samples of hundreds of cases 
in which the conflicting rights or interests of Koreans 
and Japanese fail of settlement for lack of adequate 
judicial machinery. The Japanese immigrants are 
not subject to the jurisdiction of Korean courts, and 
the Koreans cannot get justice in the Japanese con- 
sular courts, for the reason, principally, that the latter 
are swamped with business. In all Korea I have no 
doubt that there are a thousand disputes or quarrels 
between Koreans and Japanese every month ; and it 
is utterly impossible for half a dozen consuls to 
investigate such a number of cases, or even to listen 
to the complaints of the injured parties. The result 


is universal miscarriage of justice and a steadily 
growing anti-Japanese feeling throughout the penin- 
sula. . . . 

" But it is not of the Japanese immigrants alone 
that the Koreans complain. They assert, and un- 
doubtedly believe, that they are often treated unfairly 
by the Japanese authorities. Take, for example, the 
disputes and grievances growing out of the expro- 
priation of land and the employment of Korean 
coolies by Japanese railway companies. These 
corporations, or their employees, have frequently 
made payments for land and labour, not to the 
landowners and labourers, but to the Korean Govern- 
ment or its officials, and have trusted the latter to 
distribute the money equitably among the persons 
entitled to it. In many, if not in most, cases such 
distribution has not been properly or honestly made, 
and many Koreans consequently have been left 
without reimbursement for land taken and without 
the stipulated wages for labour performed. They 
naturally throw the blame for this state of affairs 
upon the Japanese authorities, who, they think, 
should either have supervised the action of the 
Korean officials or have compelled the railway com- 
panies to make direct payment to the coolies whom 
they hired and the farmers whose land they seized. 
Laying aside the question of equity, there can be no 
doubt, I think, that, as a mere matter of policy, the 
Japanese authorities should have made sure in every 
case that the Koreans actually received the money 
which the corporations paid. They were well aware 
of the incapacity and corruption of the Korean 


administration, and they made, to say the least, a 
serious mistake in judgment when they allowed 
Korean officials to act as middlemen between 
Japanese corporations on one side and the Korean 
people on the other. Such a course was sure to lead 
to dissatisfaction and trouble. 

" Take, for an example of another kind, the staking 
out by the Japanese military authorities of a large 
area of occupied and cultivated land in the suburbs 
of Seoul. The Koreans believe that the Japanese, 
in the exercise of the right of eminent domain, intend 
to seize all this land and evict the owners, without 
giving the latter adequate compensation for their 
houses and farms ; and they protest against such 
injustice. I am assured, by an official who ought 
to be well informed, that the stakes and flags, which 
I myself saw, and which seemed to me to cover 
several square miles of inhabited and cultivated terri- 
tory, were not intended to mark out the boundaries 
of a contemplated land-seizure, but were put up by 
Japanese military engineers in the working out of a 
strategic plan of defence. I hope and trust that such 
may be the case ; but even if this statement be 
accepted, it is extremely impolitic on the part of 
the Japanese to allow a storm of alarm, indignation, 
and protest to be raised over a matter which might 
be settled by a few words of explanation. The anti- 
Japanese agitation in Korea is already threatening 
and serious — why increase the trouble by permitting 
the Korean people to think that the suburban resi- 
dents of Seoul are virtually to be robbed of territory 
which certainly covers three or four square miles and 


is caid to contain more than 1,100 houses? If, on 
the other hand, the military authorities really intend 
to take possession of the land covered by the flags 
and stakes which I saw — if they propose to evict 
hundreds of families from their houses and farms 
and leave them to get compensation from their own 
Government of extortioners and robbers — such action 
will be not only recklessly imprudent, but in the 
highest degree unjust." ^ 

' Mr. Kennan here presumably refers to the district from 
which the native Koreans have since been completely evicted 
by the Japanese, 




AS the summer of 1905 drew to a close, it became 
more and more clear that the Japanese 
Government, despite its many promises to the con- 
trary, intended completely to destroy the independ- 
ence of Korea. Even the Court officials were at 
last seriously alarmed, and set about devising means 
to protect themselves. The Emperor had thought 
that because Korean independence was provided for 
in treaty after treaty with the Great Powers, therefore 
he was safe. He had yet to learn that treaty rights, 
unbacked by power, are worth little more than the 
paper they are written upon. In particular, he 
trusted to a definite guarantee given by the American 
Government. In the treaty of 1882 it was provided 
that if other Powers dealt unjustly or oppressively 
with Korea, America would exert her good offices 
to bring about an amicable arrangement. A semi- 
official messenger, Professor Hulbert, an American 
educationalist in the employment of the Korean 
Government, was dispatched to Washington with a 
letter from the Emperor, calling attention to the 

great evils Japan was inflicting upon Korea, and 



asking for American aid. The Japanese allowed 
Professor Hulbert to leave unhindered, but before 
he could present his letter to the Foreign Office at 
Washington, the old Korean Government was already 
overthrown. Professor Hulbert met with a very 
cold reception in Washington, for the Japanese 
prestige was then at its greatest. " What do you 
expect us to do ? " senators asked him, when he told 
them of what was happening. " Do you really 
believe that America ought to go to war with Japan 
over Korea ? " So far from pleading the case of 
Korea with Japan, America was the first to fall in 
with and give its open assent to the destruction of 
the old administration. on the first intimation from 
Japan it agreed, without inquiry and with almost 
indecent haste, to withdraw its Minister from Seoul, 
Early in November the Marquis Ito arrived in 
Seoul as Special Envoy from the Emperor of Japan, 
and he brought with him a letter from the Mikado, 
saying that he hoped the Korean Emperor would 
follow the directions of the Marquis, and come to 
an agreement with him, as it was essential for the 
maintenance of peace in the Far East that he should 
do so. on November 15th Marquis Ito was received 
in formal audience, and there presented a series of 
demands, drawn up in treaty form. These were, in 
the main, that the foreign relations of Korea should 
now be placed entirely in the hands of Japan, the 
Korean diplomatic service be brought to an end, 
and the Ministers recalled from foreign Courts. The 
Japanese Minister to Korea was to become supreme 
administrator to the country under the Emperor, 


and the Japanese Consuls in the different districts 
were to be made Residents, with the powers of 
supreme local governors. In other words, Korea 
was entirely to surrender her independence as a 
State, and was to hand over control of her internal 
administration to the Japanese. The Emperor met 
the request with a blank refusal. The conversation 
between the two, as reported at the time, was as 

The Emperor said — 

" Although I have seen in the newspapers various 
rumours that Japan proposed to assume a protecto- 
rate over Korea, I did not believe them, as I placed 
faith in Japan's adherence to the promise to main- 
tain the independence of Korea which was made by 
the Emperor of Japan at the beginning of the war 
and embodied in a treaty between Korea and Japan. 
When I heard you were coming to my country I 
was glad, as I believed your mission was to increase 
the friendship between our countries, and your 
demands have therefore taken me entirely by 

To which Marquis Ito rejoined — 

" These demands are not my own ; I am only 
acting in accordance with a mandate from my 
Government, and if Your Majesty will agree to the 
demands which I have presented it will be to the 
benefit of both nations and peace in the East will be 
assured for ever. Please, therefore, consent quickly." 

The Emperor replied — 

" From time immemorial it has been the custom 
of the rulers of Korea, when confronted with 


questions so momentous as this, to come to no 
decision until all the Ministers, high and low, who 
hold or have held office, have been consulted, and 
the opinion of the scholars and the common people 
have been obtained, so that I cannot now settle this 
matter myself." 

Said Marquis Ito again — 

" Protests from the people can easily be disposed 
of, and for the sake of the friendship between the two 
countries Your Majesty should come to a decision 
at once." 

To this the Emperor replied — 

" Assent to your proposal would mean the ruin 
of my country, and I will therefore sooner die than 
agree to them," 

The conference lasted nearly five hours, and then 
the Marquis had to leave, having accomplished 
nothing. He at once tackled the members of the 
Cabinet, individually and collectively. They were 
all summoned to the Japanese Legation on the 
following day, and a furious debate began, starting 
at three o'clock in the afternoon, and lasting till late 
at night. The Ministers had sworn to one another 
beforehand that they would not yield. In spite of 
threats, cajoleries, and proffered bribes, they 
remained steadfast. The arguments used by 
Marquis Ito and Mr. Hayashi, apart from personal 
ones, were twofold. The first was that it was 
essential for the peace of the Far East that Japan 
and Korea should be united. The second appealed 
to racial ambition. The Japanese painted to the 
Koreans a picture of a great united East, with the 


Mongol nations all standing firm and as one against 
the white man, who would reduce them to submission 
if he could.i The Japanese were determined to give 
the Cabinet no time to regather its strength. on the 
17th of November, another conference began at two 
in the afternoon at the Legation, but equally without 
result. Mr. Hayashi then advised the Ministers to 
go to the palace and open a Cabinet Meeting in 
the presence of the Emperor. This was done, the 
Japanese joining in. 

All this time the Japanese Army had been making 
a great display of military force around the palace. 
All the Japanese troops in the district had been for 
days parading the streets and open places fronting 
the Imperial residence. The field-guns were out, 
and the men were fully armed. They marched, 
counter-marched, stormed, made feint attacks, 
occupied the gates, put their guns in position, and 
did everything, short of actual violence, that they 
could to demonstrate to the Koreans that they were 
able to enforce their demands. To the Cabinet 
Ministers themselves, and to the Emperor, all this 
display had a sinister and terrible meaning. They 
could not forget the night in 1895, when the 
Japanese soldiers had paraded around another palace, 

' As it may be questioned whether the Japanese would use 
such arguments, I may say that the account of the interview 
was given to me by one of the participating Korean Ministers, 
and that he dealt at great length with the pro-Asian policy 
suggested there. I asked him why he had not listened and 
accepted. He replied that he knew what such arguments 
meant. The unity of Asia when spoken of by Japanese meant 
the supreme autocracy of their country. 


and when their picked bulh'es had forced their way 
inside and murdered the Queen. Japan had done 
this before ; why should she not do it again ? Not 
one of those now resisting the will of Dai Nippon 
but saw the sword in front of his eyes, and heard 
in imagination a hundred times during the day the 
rattle of the Japanese bullets. 

That evening Japanese soldiers, with fixed bayonets, 
entered the courtyard of the palace and stood near 
the apartment of the Emperor. Marquis Ito now 
arrived, accompanied by General Hasegawa, Com- 
mander of the Japanese army in Korea, and a fresh 
attack was started on the Cabinet Ministers. The 
Marquis demanded an audience of the Emperor. 
The Emperor refused to grant it, saying that his 
throat was very bad, and he was in great pain. The 
Marquis then made his way into the Emperor's 
presence, and personally requested an audience. 
The Emperor still refused. " Please go away and 
discuss the matter with the Cabinet Ministers," he 

Thereupon Marquis Ito went outside to the 
Ministers, "Your Emperor has commanded you to 
confer with me and settle this matter," he declared. 
A fresh conference was opened. The presence of 
the soldiers, the gleaming of the bayonets outside, the 
harsh words of command that could be heard through 
the windows of the palace buildings, were not without 
their effect. The Ministers had fought for days 
and they had fought alone. No single foreign 
representative had offered them help or counsel. 
They saw submission or destruction before them. 


" What is the use of our resisting ? " said one. " The 
Japanese always get their way in the end." Signs 
of yielding began to appear. The acting Prime 
Minister, Han Kew Sul, jumped to his feet and said 
he would go and tell the Emperor of the talk of 
traitors. Han Kew Sul was allowed to leave the 
room and then was gripped by the Japanese Secretary 
of the Legation, thrown into a side-room and 
threatened with death. Even Marquis Ito went out 
to him to persuade him. " Would you not yield/' 
the Marquis said, " if your Emperor commanded 
you ? " " No," said Han Kew Sul, " not even then ! " 

This was enough. The Marquis at once went to 
the Emperor. " Han Kew Sul is a traitor," he said. 
" He defies you, and declares that he will not obey 
your commands." 

Meanwhile the remaining Ministers waited in the 
Cabinet Chamber. Where was their leader, the man 
who had urged them all to resist to death ? Minute 
after minute passed, and still he did not return. 
Then a whisper went round that the Japanese had 
killed him. The harsh voices of the Japanese grew 
still more strident. Courtesy and restraint were 
thrown off. " Agree with us and be rich, or oppose 
us and perish." Pak Che Sun, the Foreign Minister, 
one of the best and most capable of Korean states- 
men, was the last to yield. But even he finally gave 
way. In the early hours of the morning commands 
were issued that the seal of State should be brought 
from the Foreign Minister's apartment, and a treaty 
should be signed. Here another difficulty arose. 
The custodian of the seal had received orders in 


advance that, even if his master commanded, 
the seal was not to be surrendered for any such 
purpose. When telephonic orders were sent to him, 
he refused to bring the seal along, and special 
messengers had to be dispatched to take it from 
him by force. The Emperor himself asserts to 
this day that he did not consent. 

The news of the signing of the treaty was received 
by the people with horror and indignation. Han 
Kew Sul, once he escaped from custody, turned 
on his fellow-Ministers as one distraught, and 
bitterly reproached them. " Why have you broken 
your promises ? " he cried. " Why have you broken 
your promises ? " The Ministers found themselves 
the most hated and despised of men. There 
was danger lest mobs should attack them and tear 
them to pieces. Pak Che Sun shrank away under 
the storm of execration that greeted him. on 
December 6th, as he was entering the palace, one 
of the soldiers lifted his rifle and tried to shoot 
him. Pak Che Sun turned back, and hurried to the 
Japanese Legation. There he forced his way into 
the presence of Mr. Hayashi, and drew a knife. 
" It is you who have brought me to this," he cried. 
" You have made me a traitor to my country." He 
attempted to cut his own throat, but Mr. Hayashi 
stopped him, and he was sent to hospital for 
treatment. When he recovered he was chosen by 
the Japanese as the new Prime Minister, Han Kew 
Sul being exiled and disgraced. Pak did not, how- 
ever, hold office for very long, being somewhat too 
independent to suit his new masters. 


As the news spread through the country, the 
people of various districts assembled, particularly 
in the north, and started to march southwards to 
die in front of the palace as a protest. Thanks to 
the influence of the missionaries, many of them were 
stopped. " It is of no use your dying in that way," 
the missionaries told them. "You had better live 
and make your country better able to hold its 
own." A number of leading officials, including all 
the surviving past Prime Ministers, and over a 
hundred men who had previously held high office 
under the Crown, went to the palace, and demanded 
that the Emperor should openly repudiate the 
treaty, and execute those Ministers who had 
acquiesced in it. The Emperor tried to temporise 
with them, for he was afraid that, if he took too 
openly hostile an attitude, the Japanese would punish 
him. The memorialists sat down in the palace 
buildings, refusing to move, and demanding an answer. 
Some of their leaders were arrested by the Japanese 
gendarmes, only to have others, still greater men, 
take their place. The store-keepers of the city put 
up their shutters to mark their mourning. 

At last a message came from the Emperor : 
" Although affairs now appear to you to be dangerous, 
there may presently result some benefit to the 
nation." The gendarmes descended on the peti- 
tioners and threatened them with general arrest if 
they remained around the palace any longer. They 
moved on to a shop where they tried to hold a 
meeting, but they were turned out of it by the 
police. Min Yong Whan, their leader, a former 


Minister for War and Special Korean Ambassador 
at Queen Victoria's Diamond Jubilee, went home. 
He wrote letters to his friends lamenting the state 
of his country, and then committed suicide. Several 
other statesmen did the same, while many others 
resigned. one native paper, the Whang Sung 
Shimbun, dared to print an exact statement of what 
had taken place. Its editor was promptly arrested, 
and thrown into prison, and the paper suppressed. 
Its lamentation voiced the feeling of the country : — 

" When it was recently made known the Marquis 
Ito would come to Korea our deluded people all 
said, with one voice, that he is the man who will 
be responsible for the maintenance of friendship 
between the three countries of the Far East (Japan, 
China, and Korea), and, believing that his visit to 
Korea was for the sole purpose of devising good 
plans for strictly maintaining the promised integrity 
and independence of Korea, our people, from the 
sea-coast to the capital, united in extending to 
him a hearty welcome. 

" But oh ! How difficult is it to anticipate affairs 
in this world. Without warning, a proposal contain- 
ing five clauses was laid before the Emperor, and 
we then saw how mistaken we were about the 
object of Marquis Ito's visit. However, the Emperor 
firmly refused to have anything to do with these 
proposals and Marquis Ito should then, properly, 
have abandoned his attempt and returned to his 
own country. 

" But the Ministers of our Government, who are 
worse than pigs or dogs, coveting honours and 


advantages for themselves, and frightened by empty 
threats, were trembling in every limb, and were 
willing to become traitors to their country and 
betray to Japan the integrity of a nation which has 
stood for 4,000 years, the foundation and honour of a 
dynasty 500 years old, and the rights and freedom of 
twenty million people. 

" We do not wish to too deeply blame Pak Che 
Sun and the other Ministers, of whom, as they are 
little better than brute animals, too much was 
not to be expected, but what can be said of the 
Vice-Prime Minister, the chief of the Cabinet, whose 
early opposition to the proposals of Marquis Ito 
was an empty form devised to enhance his reputa- 
tion with the people? 

" Can he not now repudiate the agreement or 
can he not rid the world of his presence ? How can 
he again stand before the Emperor and with what 
face can he ever look upon any one of his twenty 
million compatriots ? 

" Is it worth while for any of us to live any 
longer ? Our people have become the slaves of 
others, and the spirit of a nation which has stood 
for 4,000 years, since the days of Tun Kun and Ke-ja 
has perished in a single night. Alas ! fellow-country- 
men. Alas ! " 

Suicides, resignations, and lamentation were of 
no avail. The Japanese gendarmes commanded the 
streets, and the Japanese soldiers, behind them, were 
ready to back up their will by the most unanswer- 
able of arguments — force. 

Naturally, as might have been expected by those 


who know something of the character of the 
Japanese, every effort was made to show that there 
had been no breach of treaty promises. Korea was 
still an independent country, and the dignity of 
its Imperial house was still unimpaired. Japan had 
only brought a little friendly pressure on a weaker 
brother to assist him along the path of progress. 
Such talk pleased the Japanese, and helped them 
to reconcile the contrast between their solemn 
promises and their actions. It deceived no one 
else. To-day even, the Japanese papers make little 
or no more talk of Korean independence. " Korean 
independence is a farce," they say. They say it 



MARQUIS ITO was made the first Japanese 
Resident-General in Korea. There could 
have been no better choice, and no choice more 
pleasing to the Korean people. It is noteworthy 
that, although the Marquis has been the main repre- 
sentative of the Mikado in wresting its indepen- 
dence from Korea, he is yet regarded by the 
responsible men there with a friendliness such as 
few other Japanese inspire. Every one who comes 
in contact with him feels that, whatever the nature 
of the measures he is driven to adopt because of 
Imperial policy, he yet sincerely means well by the 
Korean people. The faults of his administration 
may be the necessary accompaniments of Japanese 
Imperial expansion, but his virtues are his own. It 
was a noble act for him to take on himself the most 
burdensome and exacting post that Japanese diplo- 
macy had to offer, at a time when he might well look 
for the ease and dignity of the close of an honour- 
sated career. 

The Marquis brought with him several very capable 

Japanese officials of high rank, and began his new 


I'k'IW I'. ITO. 


rule by issuing regulations fixing the position and 
duties of his staff. Under these, the Resident- 
General became in effect supreme Administrator of 
Korea, with power to do what he pleased. He had 
authority to repeal any order or measure that he con- 
sidered injurious to public interests, and he could 
punish to the extent of not more than a year's im- 
prisonment or not more than a 200 yen fine. This 
limitation of his punitive power was purely nominal, 
for the country was under martial law and the courts- 
martial had power to inflict death. Residents and 
Vice-Residents, of Japanese nationality, were placed 
over the countn/, acting practically as governors. 
The police were placed under Japanese inspectors 
where they were not themselves Japanese. The 
various departments of affairs, agricultural, com- 
mercial, and industrial, were given Japanese directors 
and advisers, and the power of appointing all officials, 
save those of the highest rank, was finally in the hands 
of the Resident-General. This limitation, again, was 
soon put on one side. Thus, the Resident-General 
became dictator of Korea — a dictator, however, who 
still conducted certain branches of local affairs there 
through native officials and who had to reckon with 
the intrigues of a Court party which he could not as 
yet sweep on one side. 

To Japan, Korea is chiefly of importance as a 
strategic position for military operations on the 
continent of Asia and as a field for emigration. The 
first steps under the new administration were in the 
direction of perfecting communications throughout 
the country, so as to enable the troops to be moved 


easily and rapidly from point to point. A railway 
had already been built from Fusan to Seoul, and 
another was in course of completion from Seoul to 
Wi-ju, thus giving a trunk line that would carry large 
numbers of Japanese soldiers from Japan itself to the 
borders of Manchuria in about thirty-six hours. A 
loan of 10,000,000 yen was raised on the guarantee 
of the Korean Customs, and a million and a half of 
this was spent on four main military roads, connect- 
ing some of the chief districts with the principal 
harbours and railway centres. Part of the cost of 
these was paid by the loan and part by special local 
taxation. It may be pointed out that these roads 
are military rather than industrial undertakings. The 
usual methods of travel and for conveying goods in 
the interior of Korea is by horseback and with pack- 
ponies. For these, the old narrow tracks served, 
generally speaking, very well. The new roads are 
finely graded, and are built in such a manner that 
rails can be quickly laid down on them and artillery 
and ammunition wagons rapidly conveyed from 
point to point. Another railway has been pushed 
forward, and is now nearing completion, from Seoul 
to Gensan, on the east coast. 

The old Korean " Burglar Capture Office," the 
native equivalent to the Bow Street Runners, was 
abolished, as were the local police, and police 
administration was more and more put in the hands 
of special constables brought over from Japan. The 
Japanese military gendarmerie were gradually sent 
back and their places taken by civilian constables. 
This change was wholly for the good. The gen- 


darmerie had earned a very bad reputation in country 
parts for harshness and arbitrary conduct. The 
civilian poh"ce proved themselves far better men, more 
conciliatory, and more just. The one complaint that 
may be made about this change is that it has not 
gone far enough. In dealing with improved police 
administration I would, however, except the methods 
of treating political offenders in Seoul itself I heard, 
even as late as the autumn of 1907, amazing and 
incredible stories of what is being done to these. I 
have been unable to get positive proof, either affirma- 
tively or otherwise, and can consequently only say 
that Seoul must be left out of my references. 

one real improvement instituted by the Residency- 
General was the closer control of Japanese immi- 
grants. Numbers of the worst offenders were laid by 
the heels and sent back home. The Residency 
officials were increased in numbers, and in some parts 
at least it became easier for a Korean to obtain a 
a hearing when he had a complaint against a 
Japanese. The Marquis Ito spoke constantly in 
favour of a policy of conciliation and friendship, and 
after a time he succeeded in winning over the co- 
operation of some of the foreigners. 

It became more and more clear, however, that the 
aim of the Japanese was nothing else than the entire 
absorption of the country and the destruction of 
every trace of Korean nationality. one of the most 
influential Japanese in Korea put this quite frankly 
to me. " You must understand that I am not 
expressing official views," he told me. "Butif)-ou 
ask me as an individual what is to be the outcome 

1 1 


of our policy, I can only see one end. This will take 
several generations, but it must come. The Korean 
people will be absorbed in the Japanese. They will 
talk our language, live our life, and be an integral 
part of us. There are only two ways of colonial 
administration. one is to rule over the people as 
aliens. This you English have done in India, and, 
therefore, your Indian Empire cannot endure. India 
must pass out of your rule. The second way is to 
absorb the people. This is what we will do. We will 
teach them our language, establish our institutions, 
and make them one with us." That is the benevolent 
Japanese plan ; the cruder idea, more commonly 
entertained, is to absorb the Korean lands, place all 
the industry of the country in Japanese hands, and 
reduce the natives to the place of hewers of wood and 
drawers of water for their triumphant conquerors. 
The Japanese believes that the Korean is on a wholly 
different level to himself, a coward, a weakling, and 
a poltroon. He despises him, and treats him 

The great complaint against the Japanese officials 
in Korea is that they uniformly look at matters from 
a Japanese and not a Korean point of view. There 
is a wholesale system of exploitation that touches 
every side of Korean life. Concessions are granted 
to Japanese, contracts are given on the most generous 
terms to Japanese, and emigration laws, land laws, 
and general administrative measures are made solely 
with regard to Japanese interests. When a loan of 
10,000,000 yen was raised for national improvements, 
the money was obtained from the Nippon Kogyo 


Ginko at an issuing price of 90 yen per 100 yen bond 
and bearing interest at 6^ per cent., the Ct'stoms 
Revenue being given as security. Such terms are 
outrageous. A chance paragraph in "^io. Japan Times 
informs us that " the Korean Government has to 
pay 250,000 yen to our postal authorities for their 
trouble in doing part of the internal revenue work." 
In other words, the Japanese first seize the Korean 
Post Office, turn the old Korean employes out, 
officer it with their own people, give a service 
that is not so good as the old, and then mulct 
the Korean nation of a heavy annual fine for their 
trouble. The town of Chemulpho is almost wholly 
a Japanese settlement, and the question of water 
supply there is a difficult one. The Residency- 
General kindly consented to spend 2,300,000 yen of 
the national loan in laying down waterworks for this 
port. That is to say, the Korean people all over the 
land were made to pay for the water supply of the 
Japanese town. I might go on with very man)- 
similar instances, great and small. There is a 
systematic plan of greedy exploitation. 

The policy of the new administration towards 
foreigners has been one of gradual, but no less sure, 
exclusion. I deal with the results of Japanese ad- 
ministration upon trade in a later chapter. Every- 
thing that is possible has been done to rob the white 
man of whatever prestige is yet left to him. The 
most influential white men in Korea are the mission- 
aries, and they have a large, enthusiastic, and 
growing following. Careful and deliberate attempts 
have been engineered to induce their converts to turn 


from the lead of the EngHsh and American teachers 
and to throw in their lot with the Japanese. The 
native Press, under Japanese editorship, syste- 
matically preaches anti-white doctrines. Any one 
who mixes freely with the Korean people hears from 
them, time after time, of the principles the Japanese 
would fain have them learn. I have been told of 
this by ex-Cabinet Ministers, by young students, and 
even by native servants. one of my own Korean 
" boys " put the matter in a nutshell to me one day. 
He raised the question of the future of Japan in 
Asia, and he summarised the new Japanese doctrines 
very succinctly. " Master," he said to me, " Japanese 
man wanchee all Asia be one, with Japanese man top- 
side. All Japanese man wanchee this ; some Korean 
man wanchee, most no wanchee; all Chinaman no 

It may be thought that the Japanese would at least 
have learnt from their experience in 1895 not to 
attempt to interfere with the dress or personal habits 
of the people. Nothing among all their blunders 
during the earlier period was more disastrous to them 
than the regulations compelling the men to cut off their 
top-knots. These did Japan greater harm among the 
common people than even the murder of the Queen. 
Yet no sooner had Japan established herself again 
than once more sumptuary regulations were issued. 
The first was an order against wearing white 
dress in winter-time. People were to attire them- 
selves in nothing but dark-coloured garments, and 
those who refused to obey were coerced in many ways. 
The Japanese did not at once insist on a general 


system of hair-cutting, but they have been bringing 
the greatest pressure to bear on all in an) way 
under their authority. Court officials, public servants, 
magistrates, and the like, have all been commanded 
to cut their hair. Officials are evidently instructed 
to make every one who comes under their influence 
have his top-knot off. The II Chin Hoi, the pro- 
Japanese society, has followed in the same line. 
European dress is being forced on those connected 
with the Court. The national costume, like the 
national language, is, if possible, to die. Ladies of 
the Court are ordered to dress themselves in foreign 
style. The poor ladies in consequence find it im- 
possible to show themselves in any public place, for 
they are greeted with roars of derision. 

one would imagine that the Japanese sense of 
humour would stop them from acting so. But 
then they are anything but a humorous people. 
Officials who are dignified and imposing in their 
old costumes, present the most comic of spectacles 
in the new. Some of the leaders of the II Chin Hoi, 
known to me, look like nothing so much as a mad- 
man's copy of the most fantastic costume cartoons in 
Punch. The mistake of the Japanese is perhaps a 
natural one. They made their own people alter their 
ways in a hurry, and they fancy that other races 
should hasten and do likewise. 

The lowered status of the white in Korea can be 
clearly seen by the attitude of many of the Japanese 
towards him. I have heard stories from friends of 
my own, residents in the country, quiet and in- 
offensive people that have made my blood boil. It 


is difficult, for instance, to restrain one's indignation 
when a missionary lady tells you of how she was 
walking along the street when a Japanese soldier 
hustled up against her and deliberately struck her 
in the breast. The Roman Catholic bishop was 
openly insulted and struck by Japanese soldiers in 
his own cathedral, and nothing was done. The 
story of Mr. and Mrs. Weigall typifies others. 
Mr. Weigall is an Australian mining engineer, and 
was travelling up north with his wife and assis- 
tant, Mr. Taylor, and some Korean servants, in 
December, 1905. He had full authorisations and 
passports, and was going about his business in a 
perfectly proper manner. His party was stopped at 
one point by some Japanese soldiers, and treated in 
a fashion which it is impossible fully to describe in 
print. They were insulted, jabbed at with bayonets, 
and put under arrest. one soldier held his gun close 
to Mrs. Weigall and struck her full in the chest with 
his closed fist when she moved. The man called 
them by the most insulting names possible, keeping 
the choicest phrases for the lady. Their servants 
were kicked. Finally they were allowed to go away 
after a long delay and long exposure to bitter 
weather, repeated insults being hurled after them. 
The British authorities took up this case. There was 
abundant evidence, and there could be no dispute 
about the facts. All the satisfaction, however, that 
the Weigalls could obtain was a nominal apology. 

Then there was the case of the Rev. Mr. McRae, 
a Canadian missionary living in north-eastern Korea. 
Mr. McRae had obtained some land for a mission 

Pholotiraph />>•] [F. --i- Mch'einie. 



station, and the Japanese military authorities there 
wanted it. They drove stakes into part of the 
property, and he thereupon represented the case to 
the Japanese officials, and after at least twice asking 
them to remove their stakes, he pulled them up 
himself The Japanese waited until a fellow-mis- 
sionary, who lived with Mr. McRae, had gone away 
on a visit, and then six soldiers entered his compound 
and attacked him. He defended himself so well that 
he finally drove them off, although he received some 
bad injuries, especially from the blows from one of 
the men's rifles. Complaint was made to the chief 
authorities, and, in this case, the Japanese promised 
to punish the officer concerned. But there have 
been dozens of instances affecting Europeans of all 
ranks, from consular officials to chance visitors. In 
most cases the complaints are met by a simple denial 
on the part of the Japanese. Even where the offence 
is admitted and punishment is promised, the Euro- 
peans will assure you that the men, whom it has 
been promised to imprison, come and parade them- 
selves outside their houses immediately afterwards in 
triumph. In Korea, as in Formosa, the policy is 
to-day to humiliate the white man by any means 
and in any way. 

Two regulations of the Japanese, apparently 
framed in the interests of the Koreans, are held by 
many to be a dangerous blow at their rights. New 
land laws have been drawn up, by which fresh title- 
deeds are given for the old and complicated deeds 
of former times. As the Koreans, however, point out, 
large numbers of people hold their land in such a 


way that it is impossible for them to prove their 
right by written deeds. It is feared that, under 
these new measures, it will be possible to dispossess 
such families. Until the end of 1905 large numbers 
of Koreans went abroad to Honolulu and elsewhere 
as labourers. The Residency-General then framed 
new emigration laws, nominally to protect the 
natives, which have had the result of making the old 
systematic emigration impossible. I hear from all 
sides that the families who would fain escape the 
Japanese rule and establish themselves in other lands 
have every possible hindrance put in their way. 
The men of the north, at least, are well aware that 
they can obtain in the Russian Usuri provinces easy 
conditions of living, fair administration, and justice. 
The condition of the Koreans in Eastern Siberia, 
prosperous, peaceful, and contented, is an amazing 
contrast to that of those under Japanese rule in 
Korea itself. 

Act after act has revealed that the Japanese con- 
sider Korea and all in it belongs to them. Do they 
want a thing ? Then let them take it, and woe be to 
the man who dares to hinder them ! This attitude 
was illustrated in an interesting fashion by a bit of 
vandalism on the part of Viscount Tanaka, Special 
Envoy from the Mikado to the Korean Emperor. 
When the Viscount was in Seoul, late in 1906, he 
was approached by a Japanese curio-dealer, who 
pointed out to him that there was a very famous 
old Pagoda in the district of P'ung-duk, a short 
distance from Song-do. This Pagoda was presented 
to Korea by the Chinese Imperial Court a thousand 


years ago, and the people believed that the stones of 
which it was constructed possessed great curative 
qualities. They named it the " Medicine King 
Pagoda " (Yakuo-to), and its fame was known 
throughout the country. It was a national memorial 
as much as the Monument near London Bridge is a 
national memorial for Englishmen. Viscount Tanaka 
is a great curio-collector, and when he heard of this 
Pagoda, he longed for it. He mentioned his desire 
to the Korean Minister for the Imperial Household, 
and the Minister told him to take it if he wanted it. 
A few days afterwards, Viscount Tanaka, when 
bidding the Emperor farewell, thanked him for the 
gift. The Korean Emperor looked blank, and said 
that he did not know what the Viscount was talking 
about. He had heard nothing of it. 

However, before long, a party of eighty Japanese, 
including a number of gendarmes, well armed and 
ready for resistance, swooped down on Song-do. 
They took the Pagoda to pieces and placed the 
stones on carts. The people of the district gathered 
round them, threatened them, and tried to attack 
them. But the Japanese were too strong. The 
Pagoda was conveyed in due course to Tokyo. 

Such an outrage could not go unnoticed. The 
story of the loss spread over the country and reached 
the foreign Press. Defenders of the Japanese at first 
declared that it was an obvious and incredible lie. 
The Japan Mail in particular opened the vials of its 
wrath and poured them upon the head of the editor 
of the Korea Daily News — an English daily pub- 
lication in Seoul — who had dared to tell the 


tale. His story was " wholly incredible." " It is 
impossible to imagine any educated man of ordinary 
intelligence foolish enough to believe such a palpable 
lie, unless he be totally blinded by prejudice." The 
Mail discovered here again another reason for sup- 
porting its plea for the suppression of " a wholly 
unscrupulous and malevolent mischief-maker like the 
Korea Daily News." " The Japanese should think 
seriously whether this kind of thing is to be tamely 
suffered. In allowing such charges at the door of the 
Mikado's special Envoy who is also Minister of the 
Imperial Household, the Korea Daily News delibe- 
rately insults the Mikado himself. There is indeed 
the reflection that this extravagance will not be 
without compensation, since it will demonstrate 
conclusively, if any demonstration were needed, how 
completely unworthy of credence have been the 
slanders hitherto ventilated by the Seoul journal to 
bring the Japanese into odium." The Japan Mail, 
although edited by a British subject, is generally 
regarded as a semi-official Japanese Government 

There were instant demands for denials, for 
explanations, and for proceedings against the wicked 
libeller. Then it turned out that the story was true, 
and, in the end, the Japanese officials had to admit 
its truth. It was said, as an excuse, that the Resident- 
General had not given his consent to the theft, and 
that Viscount Tanaka did not intend to keep the 
Pagoda himself, but to present it to the Mikado. 
The organ of the Residency-General in Seoul, the 
Seoul Press, made the best excuse it could. " Vis- 


count Tanaka," it said, " is a conscientious official, 
liked and respected by those who know him, whether 
foreign or Japanese, but he is an ardent virtuoso and 
collector, and it appears that in this instance his 
collector's eagerness got the better of his sober judg- 
ment and discretion." But excuses, apologies, and 
regrets notwithstanding, the Pagoda was not returned, 
and it remains in Japan to this day. 



THE Court party was from the first the strongest 
opponent of the Japanese. Patriotism, tradi- 
tion, and selfish interests all combined to intensify 
the resistance of its members. Some officials found 
their profits threatened, some mourned for perquisites 
that were cut off, some were ousted out of their places 
to make room for Japanese, and most felt a not 
unnatural anger to see men of another race quietly 
assume authority over their Emperor and their 
country. The Emperor led the opposition. Old perils 
had taught him cunning. He knew a hundred ways 
to feed the stream of discontent, without himself 
coming forward. Unfortunately there was a strain 
of great weakness in his character. He would 
support vigorous action in secret, and then, when 
men translated his speech into deeds, he would 
disavow them at the bidding of the Japanese. on 
one point he never wavered. All attempts to make 
him formally consent to the treaty of November, 
1905, were in vain. " I would sooner die first ! " he 

cried. " I would sooner take poison and end all ! " 






f < 

- J 







_) - 


The palace in the heart of Seoul, with its 
4,000 hangers-on, was a nest of intrigue. It is 
the custom of Japanese defenders to paint this 
palace as a centre of the worst Oriental debauchery. 
This is wrong. The Emperor lived in a little build- 
ing adjoining the American Legation, a simple 
Korean house, with a modern audience-chamber 
attached. In the outer courts of the palace there 
were, it is true, numbers of attendants and depen- 
dants of all kinds. There was the usual group of 
Court eunuchs, and there were among the officials 
a number of sorcerers. The Emperor was somewhat 
strictly ruled by one wife. Lady Om, and the 
simplicity and sobriety of his daily life was a marked 
contrast to that of many Oriental monarchs. Those 
sons of Nippon who speak of the debauchery of the 
Korean Courts invite an obvious retort which I shall 
leave to others to make. 

In July, 1906, the Marquis I to began to exercise 
stronger constraint on the personal life of the Emperor. 
one evening a number of Japanese police were 
brought into the palace. The old palace guards 
were withdrawn, and the Emperor was made virtually 
a prisoner. Police officers were posted at each gate, 
and no one was allowed in or out without a permit 
from a Japanese-nominated official. At the same 
time many of the old palace attendants were cleared 
out. The Resident-General thought that if the 
Emperor were isolated from his friends, and if he 
were constantly surrounded by enthusiastic advocates 
of Japan, he might be coerced or influenced into 
submission. Yet here Marquis I to had struck against 


a vein of obstinacy and determination that he could 
scarce have reckoned with. 

The Emperor had taken every opportunity to send 
messages abroad protesting against the treaty. He 
managed, time after time, still to hold communica- 
tion with his friends, but the Japanese took good 
care that traitors should come to him and be loudest 
in their expressions of loyalty. Little that he did 
but was immediately known to his captors. In the 
early summer of 1907 the Emperor thought that he 
saw his chance at last of striking a blow for freedom 
through the Hague Conference. He was still con- 
vinced that if he could only assure the Powers that he 
had never consented to the treaty robbing Korea of 
its independence, they would then send their Ministers 
back to Seoul and cause Japan to relax her hand. 
Accordingly, amid great secrecy, three Korean 
delegates of high rank were provided with funds and 
dispatched to the Hague under the guardianship of 
Mr. Hulbert. They were not expert in the ways 
of foreign diplomacy, nor was their guide. Even had 
they been practised in all the finesse of European 
Courts, they might have effected nothing. As it was, 
they reached the Hague only to be refused a hearing. 
The Conference would have nothing to say to them. 

This action on the part of the Emperor gave the 
Japanese an excuse they had long been looking for. 
The formation of the Korean Cabinet had been 
altered months before in anticipation of such a crisis, 
and the Cabinet Ministers were now nominated not 
by the Emperor, but by the Resident-General. The 
Emperor had been deprived of administrative and 


executive power. The Marquis Ito had seen to it 
that the Ministers were wholly his tools. The 
time had come when his tools were to cut. The 
Japanese Government assumed an attitude of silent 
wrath. It could not allow such offences to go 
unpunished, its friends declared, but what punish- 
ment it would inflict it refused to say. Proceed- 
ings were much more cleverly stage-managed than 
in November, 1905. Nominally, the Japanese had 
nothing to do with the abdication of the Emperor. 
Actually the Cabinet Ministers held their gathering 
at the Residency-General to decide on their policy, 
and did as they were instructed. They went to 
the Emperor and demanded that he should abandon 
the throne to save his country from being swallowed 
up by Japan. At first he refused, upon which their 
insistence grew greater. No news of sympathy or 
help reached him from foreign lands. Knowing the 
perils surrounding him, he thought that he would 
trick them all by a simple device. He would make 
his son, the Crown Prince, temporary Emperor, 
using a Chinese ideograph for his new title which 
could scarce be distinguished from the title giving 
him final and full authority. Here he over-reached 
himself, for, once out, he was out for good. on 
July 19th, at six o'clock in the morning, after an 
all-night conference, the Emperor was persuaded to 
abdicate. A few hours later he issued his final 
decree. It was not without pathos. 

" Let Heaven hear ! For over forty years We have 
followed the work of our illustrious ancestors. Many 
troubles have come on us, and events have gone 


opposite to what We desired. Perhaps We have 
not always selected the best men for the national 
posts. Disturbances have constantly grown more 
acute, and all efforts to remedy them have generally 
failed. Difficulties have become pressing, and never 
has the distress among our people, or the heavy work 
of governing them, been so harassing as now. We 
are in fear and trepidation, and We feel as though 
walking on ice covering deep water. Occupants of 
our throne have become weary of their duties 
before us, and have resorted to abdication. We 
hereby hand over to the Crown Prince the task of 
administering the great affairs of State, and order 
the Bureau of Ceremony of the Imperial Household 
to carry out the details thereof" 

The new Emperor, feeble of intellect, could be 
little more than a tool in the hands of his advisers. 
His father, however, intended to remain by his side, 
and to rule through him. In less than a week the 
Japanese had prepared a new treaty, providing still 
more strictly for the absolute control of everything 
in the country by Japan. The six curt clauses of 
this measure were as far-reaching as they could 
possibly be made. No laws were to be acted upon 
or important measures taken by the Government 
unless the consent and approval of the Resident- 
General had been previously given. All officials 
were to hold their positions at the pleasure of the 
Resident-General, and the Government of Korea 
agreed to appoint any Japanese the Resident- 
General might recommend to any post. Finally, j 
the Government of Korea was to engage no 


foreigner without the consent of the Japanese 

A few days later a fresh rescript was issued in 
the name of the new Emperor, ordering the disband- 
ment of the Korean Army, This was written in the 
most insulting language possible. " Our existing 
army, which is composed of mercenaries, is unfit 
for the purposes of national defence," it declared. 
It was to make way " for the eventual formation of 
an efficient army." To add to the insult, the Korean 
Premier, Yi, was ordered to write a request to the 
Resident-General, begging him to employ the 
Japanese forces to prevent disturbances when 
the disbandment took place. It was as though 
the Japanese, having their heel on the neck of the 
enemy, slapped his face to show their contempt for 
him. on the morning of August ist some of the 
superior officers of the Korean Army were called to 
the residence of the Japanese commander, General 
Hasegawa, and the Order was read to them. They 
were told that they were to assemble their men next 
morning, without arms, and to dismiss them after 
paying them gratuities, while at the same time their 
weapons would be secured in their absence. one 
officer. Major Pak, commander of the smartest and 
best of the Korean battalions, returned to his 
barracks in despair, and committed suicide. His 
men learnt of what had happened and rose in 
mutiny. They burst upon their Japanese military 
instructors and nearly killed them. They then 
forced open the ammunition-room, secured weapons 
and cartridges, posted themselves behind the win- 



dows of their barracks, and fired at every Japanese 
they saw. News quickly reached the authorities, 
and Japanese companies of infantry hurried out and 
surrounded their barracks. one party attacked the 
front with a machine-gun, and another assaulted 
from behind. Fighting began at half-past eight in 
the morning. The Koreans defended themselves 
until noon, and then were finally overcome by a 
bayonet charge from the rear. Their gallant 
defence excited the greatest admiration even 
among their enemies, and it was notable that for 
a few days at least the Japanese spoke with more 
respect of Korea and the Korean people than they 
had ever done before. only one series of incidents 
disgraced the day. The Japanese soldiers behaved 
well and treated the wounded well, but that night 
parties of low-class bullies emerged from the 
Japanese quarter, seeking victims. They beat 
they stabbed and murdered any man they could 
find whom they suspected of being a rebel. Dozens 
of them would set on one helpless victim and do him 
to death. This was stopped as soon as the Resi- 
dency-General knew what was happening, and a 
number of offenders were arrested. 

Marquis Ito was made a Prince, a few months 
afterwards, by the Mikado for his services in Korea. 



LATE in August the new Emperor of Korea was 
crowned amid the sullen silence of a resentful 
people. Of popular enthusiasm there was none. A 
few flags were displayed in the streets by the order 
of the police. In olden times a coronation had been 
marked by great festivities, lasting many weeks. 
Now there was gloom, apathy, indifference. News 
was coming in hourly from the provinces of up- 
risings and murders. The II Chin Hoi — they call 
themselves reformers, but the nation has labelled 
them traitors — attempted to make a feast, but the 
people stayed away. " This is the day not for feast- 
ing but for the beginning of a year of mourning," 
men muttered one to the other. 

The Japanese authorities who controlled the 
coronation ceremony did all they could to mini- 
mise it and to prevent independent outside pub- 
licity. In this they were well advised. No one 
who looked upon the new Emperor as he entered 
the hall of state, his shaking frame upborne by two 
officials, or as he stood later, with open mouth, fallen 

jaw, indifferent eyes, and face lacking even a flicker- 



ing gleam of intelligent interest, could doubt that the 
fewer who saw this the better. Yet the ceremony, 
even when robbed of much of its ancient pomp and 
all its dignity, was unique and picturesque. 

The main feature of this day was not so much 
the coronation itself as the cutting of the Emperor's 

on the abdication of the old Emperor, the Cabinet 
— who are enthusiastic hair-cutters — saw their oppor- 
tunity. The new Emperor was informed that his 
hair must be cut. He did not like it. He thought 
that the operation would be painful, and he was quite 
satisfied with his hair as it was. Then his Cabinet 
showed him a brilliant uniform, covered with gold 
lace. He was henceforth to wear that on ceremonial 
occasions, and not his old Korean dress. How could 
he put on the plumed hat of a Generalissimo with a 
top-knot in the way ? The Cabinet were determined. 
A few hours later a proclamation was spread through 
the land informing all dutiful subjects that the 
Emperor's top-knot was coming off, and urging 
them to imitate him. 

A new Court servant was appointed — the High 
Imperial Hair-cutter. He displayed his uniform in 
the streets around the palace, a sight for the gods. 
He strutted along in white breeches, voluminous 
white frock-coat, white shoes, and black silk hat, 
the centre of attention. 

Early in the morning there was a great scene 
in the palace. The Imperial Hair-cutter was in 
attendance. A group of old Court officials hung 
around the Emperor. With blanched faces and 


shaking voices they implored him not to aban- 
don the old ways. The Emperor paused, Tearful, 
What power would be filched from him by the 
shearing of his locks ? But there could be no 
hesitating now. Resolute men were behind who 
knew what they were going to see done. A few 
minutes later the great step was taken. 

The Residency-General arranged the coronation 
ceremony in such a manner as to include as many 
Japanese and to exclude as many foreigners as 
possible. There were nearly a hundred Japanese 
present, including the Mayor of the Japanese settle- 
ment and the Buddhist priest. There were only 
six white men — five Consuls-General and Bishop 
Turner, chief of the Anglican Church in Korea. The 
Japanese came arrayed in splendid uniforms. It is 
part of the new Japanese policy to attire even 
the most minor officials in sumptuous Court dress, 
with much gold lace and many orders. This enables 
Japan to make a brilliant show in official ceremonies, 
a thing that is not without effect in Oriental Courts. 

Shortly before ten o'clock the guests assembled in 
the throne-room of the palace, a modern apartment 
with a raised dais at one end. There were Koreans 
to the left and Japanese to the right of the Emperor, 
with the Cabinet in the front line on one side and 
the Residency-General officials on the other. The 
foreigners faced the raised platform. 

The new Emperor appeared, borne to the plat- 
form by the Lord Chamberlain and the Master of 
the Household. He was dressed in the ancient 
costume of his people, a flowing blue garment 


reaching to the ankles, with a robe of softer 
cream colour underneath. on his head was a 
quaint Korean hat, with a circle of Korean orna- 
ments hanging from its high, outstanding horse- 
hair brim. on his chest was a small decorative 
breastplate. Tall, clumsily built, awkward, and 
vacant-looking— such was the Emperor. 

In ancient days all would have kow-towed before 
him, and would have beaten their foreheads on 
the ground. Now no man did more than bow, 
save one Court herald, who knelt. Weird Korean 
music started in the background, the beating of 
drums and the playing of melancholy wind instru- 
ments. The Master of Ceremonies struck up a 
chant, which hidden choristers continued. Amid 
silence, the Prime Minister, in smart modern attire, 
advanced and read a paper of welcome. The 
Emperor stood still, apparently the least interested 
man in the room. He did not even look bored — 
simply vacant. 

After this there was a pause in the proceed- 
ings. The Emperor retired and the guests went 
into the anterooms. Soon all were recalled, and 
the Emperor reappeared. There had been a quick 
change in the meantime. He was now wearing his 
new modern uniform, as Generalissimo of the Korean 
Army. Two high decorations — one, if I mistake not, 
from the Emperor of Japan — hung on his breast. 
He looked much more manly in his new attire. 
In front of him vv^as placed his new head-dress, a 
peaked cap with a fine plume sticking up straight 
in front. The music now was no longer the ancient 


Korean, but modern airs from the very fine 
European-trained band attached to the palace. 
The Korean players had gone, with the old dress 
and the old life, into limbo. 

The Japanese Acting Resident-General and mili- 
tary commander, General Baron Hasegawa, strong 
and masterful-looking, stepped to the front with a 
message of welcome from his Emperor. He was 
followed by the doyen of the Consular Corps, M. 
Vincart, with the Consular greetings. This Consular 
message had been very carefully sub-edited, and all 
expressions implying that the Governments of the 
different representatives approved of the proceed- 
ings had been eliminated. Then the coronation 
was over. 

Two figures were conspicuous by their absence. 
The ex-Emperor was not present. According to 
the official explanation, he was unable to attend 
because " his uniform had not been finished in time." 
Really, as all men knew, he was sitting resentful 
and protesting within a few score yards of the spot 
where his son was crowned. 

The second absent figure was the Russian 
Consul-General, M. de Plangon. It was announced 
that M. de Plancon was late, and so could not attend. 
Seeing that M. de Plancon lives not ten minutes' 
walk from the palace, and that the guests had to 
wait nearly an hour after the time announced before 
the ceremony began, he must have over-slept very 
much indeed on that particular morning. Oddly 
enough, M. de Plancon is usually an early riser. 



THE Korean Emperor had been deposed and 
his army disbanded. The people of Seoul, 
sullen, resentful, and powerless, victims of the apathy 
of their sires and of their own indolence and folly, 
saw their national existence filched from them, and 
scarce dared mutter a protest. The triumphant 
Japanese soldiers stood at the city gates and within 
the palace. Princes must obey their slightest wish, 
even to the cutting of their hair and the fashioning 
of their clothes. General Hasegawa's guns com- 
manded every street, and all men dressed in white 
need walk softly. 

But it soon became clear that if Seoul, the capital, 
was overawed, some parts of the country were not. 
Refugees from distant villages, creeping after night- 
fall over the city wall, brought with them marvellous 
tales of the happenings in the provinces. District 
after district had risen against the Japanese. A 
" Righteous Army " had been formed, and was 
accomplishing amazing things. Detachments of 
Japanese had been annihilated and others driven 



back. Sometimes the Japanese, it is true, were 
victorious, and then they took bitter vengeance, 
destroying a whole countryside and slaughtering 
the people in wholesale fashion. So the refugees 
said. How far were these stories true ? I am 
bound to say that I, for one, regarded them with 
much scepticism. Familiar as I was with the 
offences of individual Japanese in the country, it 
seemed impossible that outrages could be carried 
on systematically by the Japanese Army under the 
direction of its officers. I was with a Japanese 
army during the v/ar, and had marked and admired 
the restraint and discipline of the men of all ranks 
there. They neither stole nor outraged. Still more 
recently I had noted the action of the Japanese 
soldiers when repressing the uprising in Seoul 
itself. Yet, whether the stories of the refugees 
were true or false, undeniably some interesting 
fighting was going on. 

By the first week in September it was clear that 
the area of trouble covered the eastern provinces 
from near Fusan to the north of Seoul. The rebels 
were evidently mainly composed of discharged 
soldiers and of hunters from the hills. We heard 
in Seoul that trained officers of the old Korean 
Army were drilling and organising them into 
volunteer companies. The Japanese were pouring 
fresh troops into these centres of trouble, but the 
rebels, by an elaborate system of mountain-top 
signalling, were avoiding the troops and making 
their attacks on undefended spots. Reports showed 
that they were badly armed and lacked ammuni- 


tion, and there seemed to be no effective organisation 
for sending them weapons from the outside. 

The first rallying-place of the malcontent Koreans 
was in a mountain district from eighty to ninety 
miles east of Seoul. Here lived many famous Korean 
tiger-hunters. These banded themselves together 
under the title of Eui-pyung(the "Righteous Army"). 
They had conflicts with small parties of Japanese 
troops and secured some minor successes. When 
considerable Japanese reinforcements arrived they 
retired to some mountain passes further back. 

The tiger-hunters, sons of the hills, iron-nerved, 
and operating in their own country, are naturally 
awkward antagonists even for the best regular troops. 
They are probably amongst the boldest sportsmen in 
the world, and they formed the most picturesque and 
romantic section of the rebels. Their only weapon 
is an old-fashioned percussion gun, with long barrel 
and a brass trigger seven to eight inches in length. 
Many of them fire not from the shoulder, but hold 
their guns low. They never miss. They can only 
fire one charge in an attack, owing to the time 
required to load. They are trained to stalk the 
tiger, to come quite close to it, and then to kill it 
at one shot. No tiger-hunter in the field to-day has 
ever failed to hit his prey. The man who fails once 
dies ; the tiger attends to that. 

Some of the stories of Korean successes reaching 
Seoul were at the best improbable. The tale of one 
fight, however, came to me through so many different 
and independent sources that there was reason to 
suspect it had substantial foundation. It recalled the 


doings of the people of the Tyrol in their struggle 
against Napoleon. A party of Japanese soldiers, 
forty-eight in number, were guarding a quantity of 
supplies from point to point. The Koreans prepared 
an ambuscade in a mountain valley overshadowed 
by precipitous hills on either side. When the troops 
reached the centre of the valley they were over- 
whelmed by a flight of great boulders rolled on 
them from the hill-tops, and before the survivors 
could rally a host of Koreans rushed upon them 
and did them to death. 

Proclamations by Koreans were smuggled into the 
capital, written in the usual bombastic national style. 
Parties of Japanese troops were constantly leaving 
Chinkokai, the Japanese quarter in Seoul, for the 
provinces. There came a public notice from General 
Hasegawa himself, which showed the real gravity of 
the rural situation. It ran as follows : — 

" I, General Baron Yoshimichi Hasegawa, Com- 
mander of the Army of Occupation in Korea, make 
the following announcement to each and every one 
of the people of Korea throughout all the provinces. 
Taught by the natural trend of affairs in the world 
and impelled by the national need of political 
regeneration, the Government of Korea, in obedi- 
ence to His Imperial Majesty's wishes, is now 
engaged in the task of reorganising the various 
institutions of State. But those who are ignorant 
of the march of events in the world and who fail 
correctly to distinguish loyalty from treason have 
by wild and baseless rumours instigated people's 
minds and caused the rowdies in various places to 


rise in insurrection. These insurgents commit all 
sorts of horrible crimes, such as murdering peaceful 
people, both native and foreign, robbing their pro- 
perty, burning official and private buildings, and 
destroying means of communication. Their offences 
are such as are not tolerated by Heaven or earth. 
They affect to be loyal and patriotic and call them- 
selves volunteers. But none the less they are 
law-breakers, who oppose their Sovereign's wishes 
concerning political regeneration and who work the 
worst possible harm to their country and people. 

" Unless they are promptly suppressed the trouble 
may assume really calamitous proportions. I am 
charged by His Majesty, the Emperor of Korea, with 
the task of rescuing you from such disasters by 
thoroughly stamping out the insurrection. I charge 
all of you, law-abiding people of Korea, to prosecute 
your respective peaceful avocations and be troubled 
with no fears. As for those who have joined the 
insurgents from mistaken motives, if they honestly 
repent and promptly surrender they will be pardoned 
of their offence. Any of you who will seize insur- 
gents or will give information concerning their 
whereabouts will be handsomely rewarded. In case 
of those who wilfully join insurgents, or afford them 
refuge, or conceal weapons, they shall be severely 
punished. More than that, the villages to which 
such offenders belong shall be held collectively 
responsible and punished with rigour. I call upon 
each and every one of the people of Korea to under- 
stand clearly what I have herewith said to you and 
avoid all reprehensible action." 




The Koreans in America circulated a manifesto 
directed against those of their countrymen who were 
working with Japan, under the expressive title of 
"explosive thunder," which breathed fury and 
vengeance. "Our twenty million people," they 
declared, "are getting very angry. Their patriotic 
wrath has reached the heavens, and their patriotic 
blood is as high as the highest tide. We are going 
to burn down your houses and cut off your heads, 
and then we will divide your flesh into twenty million 
pieces that will be eaten by twenty million people. 
Then we will divide your blood into twenty million 
cups that will be drunk by all of us again. Even 
after eating and drinking your flesh and blood we 
will not be satisfied. You are unique criminals, you 
base-born wretches, hid in foreigners' houses and 
walking with the protection of foreign troops. Even 
the children know your cry." 

Groups of Koreans in the provinces issued other 
statements which, if not quite so picturesque, were 
quite forcible enough. Here is one : — 

" Our numbers are twenty million, and we have 
over ten million strong men, excluding old, sick, and 
children. Now, the Japanese soldiers in Korea are 
not more than eight thousand, and Japanese merchants 
at various places are not more than some thousands. 
Though their weapons are sharp, how can one man 
kill a thousand ? We beg you our brothers not to 
act in a foolish way and not to kill any innocent 
persons. We will fix the day and the hour for you 
to strike. Some of us, disguised as beggars and 
merchants, will go into Seoul. We will destroy the 


railway, we will kindle flames in every port, we will 
destroy Chinkokai, kill Ito and all the Japanese, 
Yi Wang Yong and his underlings, and will not 
leave a single rebel against our Emperor alive. 
Then Japan will bring out all her troops to fight us. 
We have no weapons at our hands, but we will keep 
our own patriotism. We may not be able to fight 
against the sharp weapons of the Japanese, but we 
will ask the Foreign Consuls to help us with their 
troops, and maybe they will assist the right persons 
and destroy the wicked ; otherwise let us die. Let 
us strike against Japan, and then, if must be, ail 
die together with our country and with our Emperor, 
for there is no other course open to us. It is better 
to lose our lives now than to live miserably a little 
time longer, for the Emperor and our brothers will 
all surely be killed by the abominable plans of Ito, 
Yi Wang Yong, and their associates. It is better 
to die as a patriot than to live having abandoned 
one's country. Mr. Yi Chun went to foreign lands 
to plead for our country, and his plans did not carry 
well, so he cut his stomach asunder with a sword and 
poured out his blood among the foreign nations to 
proclaim his patriotism to the world. These of our 
twenty million people who do not unite offend 
against the memory of Mr. Yi Chun. We have to 
choose between destruction or the maintenance of 
our country. Whether we live or die is a small 
thing, the great thing is that we make up our minds 
at once whether we work for or against our country." 
A group of Koreans in the southern provinces 
petitioned Prince Ito, in the frankest fashion : — 


'' You spoke much of the kindness and friendship 
between Japan and Korea, but actually you have 
drawn away the profits from province after province 
and district after district until nothing is left wherever 
the hand of the Japanese falls. The Korean has 
been brought to ruin, and the Japanese shall be 
made to follow him downwards. We pity you very 
much ; but you shall not enjoy the profits of the ruin 
of our land. When Japan and Korea fall together 
it will be a misfortune indeed for you. If you would 
secure safety for yourself follow this rule : memorialise 
our Majesty to impeach the traitors and put them to 
right punishment. Then every Korean will regard 
you with favour, and the Europeans will be loud in 
your praise. Advise the Korean authorities to carry 
out reforms in various directions, help them to 
enlarge the schools, and to select capable men for 
the Government service ; then the three countries, 
Korea, China, and Japan, shall stand in the same 
line, strongly united and esteemed by foreign nations. 
If you will not do this, and if you continue to encroach 
on our rights, then we will be destroyed together, 
thanks to you. 

" You thought there were no men left in Korea ; 
you will see. We country people are resolved to 
destroy your railways and your settlements and your 
authorities. on a fixed day we shall send word to 
our patriots in the north, in the south, in Ping-yang 
and Kyung Sang, to rise and drive away all Japanese 
from the various ports, and although your soldiers 
are skilful with their guns it will be very hard for 
them to stand against our twenty million people. 


We will first attack the Japanese in Korea, but when 
we have finished them we will appeal to the Foreign 
Powers to assure the independence and freedom of 
our country. Before we send the word to our fellow- 
countrymen we give you this advice." 

It was clear that some interesting fighting was 
going on. I resolved to try to see it. This, I soon 
found, was easier attempted than done. 

The first difficulty came from the Japanese 
authorities. They refused to grant me a passport, 
declaring that, owing to the disturbances, they could 
not guarantee my safety in the interior. An inter- 
view followed at the Residency-General, in which 
I was duly warned that if I travelled without a pass- 
port I would be liable, under International treaties, to 
" arrest at any point on the journey and punishment." 

This did not trouble me very much. My real fear 
had been that the Japanese would consent to my 
going, but would insist on sending a guard of 
Japanese soldiers with me. It is more than doubtful 
if, as things are now, the Japanese have any right 
to stop a foreigner from travelling in Korea, for 
the passport regulations have long been virtually 
obsolete. This was a point that I was prepared to 
argue out at leisure after my arrest and confinement 
in a Consular gaol. So the preparations for my 
departure were continued. 

The traveller in Korea, away from the railroads, 
must carry everything he wants with him, except 
food for his horses. He must have at least three 
horses or ponies : one for himself, one pack-pony, 
and one for his bedding and his " boy." Each pony 


needs its own " mafoo," or groom, to cook its food 
and to attend to it. So, although travelling h'ghtly 
and in a hurry, I would be obliged to take two horses, 
one pony, and four attendants with me. 

My friends in Seoul, both white and Korean, were 
of opinion that if I attempted the trip I would 
probably never return. No white man had gone 
in the worst regions since the beginning of the 
trouble. Korean tiger-hunters and disbanded soldiers 
were scattered about the hills, waiting for the chance 
of pot-shots at passing Japanese. They would 
certainly in the distance take me for a Japanese, 
since the Japanese soldiers and leaders all wear 
foreign clothes, and they would make me their target 
before they found out their mistake. A score of 
suggestions were proffered as to how I should avoid 
this. one old servant of mine begged me to travel 
in a native chair, like a Korean gentleman. This 
chair is a kind of small box, carried by two or four 
bearers, in which the traveller sits all the time 
crouched up on his haunches. Its average speed 
is less than two miles an hour. I preferred the 
bullets. A member of the Korean Court urged me 
to send out messengers each night to the villages 
where I would be going next day, telling the people 
that I was an " Ingoa tai " (English gentleman) and 
so they must not shoot me. And so on and so forth. 

This exaggerated idea of the risks of the trip 
unfortunately spread abroad. The horse merchant 
demanded specially high terms for the hire of his 
beasts, because he might never see them again. I 
needed a "boy," or native servant, and although 



there are plenty of " boys " in Seoul none was to 
be had. 

I engaged one servant, a fine upstanding young 
Korean, Wo by name, who had been out on many 
hunting and mining expeditions. I noticed that he 
was looking uneasy, and I was scarcely surprised 
when at the end of the third day he came to me 
with downcast eyes. " Master," he said, " my heart is 
very much frightened. Please excuse me this time." 

"What is there to be frightened about?" I 

" Korean men will shoot you and then will kill me 
because my hair is cut." The rebels were reported 
to be killing all men not wearing top-knots. 

Exit Wo. Some one recommended Han, also with 
a great hunting record. But when Han heard the 
destination he promptly withdrew. Sin was a good 
boy out of place. Sin was sent for, but forwarded 
apologies for not coming. 

one Korean was longing to accompany me — my 
old servant in the war, Kim Min Gun. But Kim 
was in permanent employment and could not obtain 
leave. " Master," he said contemptuously, when he 
heard of the refusals, " these men plenty much afraid." 
At last Kim's master very kindly gave him per- 
mission to accompany me, and the servant difficulty 
was surmounted. 

My preparations were now almost completed, pro- 
visions bought, horses hired, and saddles overhauled. 
The Japanese authorities had made no sign, but they 
knew what was going on. It seemed likely that they 
would stop me when I started out. 


Then fortune favoured me. A cablegram arrived 
for me from London. It was brief and emphatic : — 

" Proceed forthwith Siberia." 

My expedition was abandoned, the horses sent away, 
and the saddles thrown into a corner. I cabled 
home that I would soon be back. I made the 
hotel ring with my public and private complaints 
about this interference with my plans. I visited the 
shipping offices to learn of the next steamer to Vladi- 

A few hours before I was to start for the south I 
chanced to meet an old friend, who questioned me 
confidentially, " I suppose it is really true that you 
are going away, and that this is not a trick on your 
part ? " I left him thoughtful, for his words had 
shown me the splendid opportunity in my hands. 
Early next morning, long before dawn, my ponies 
came back, the boys assembled, the saddles were 
quickly fixed and the packs adjusted, and soon we 
were riding as hard as we could for the mountains. 
The regrettable part of the affair is that many 
people are still convinced that the whole business 
of the cablegram was arranged by me in advance 
as a blind, and no assurances of mine will convince 
them to the contrary. 

As in duty bound, I sent word to the acting 
British Consul-General, telling him of my departure. 
My letter was not delivered to him until after I had 
left. on my return I found his reply awaiting me at 
my hotel. 


" I consider it my duty to inform you," he wrote 
"that I received a communication on the 7th inst. 
from the Residency-General informing me that, in 
view of the disturbed conditions in the interior, it is 
deemed inadvisable that foreign subjects should be 
allowed to travel in the disturbed districts for the 
present. I would also call your attention to the 
stipulation in Article V. of the treaty between Great 
Britain and Korea, under which British subjects 
travelling in the interior of the country without a 
passport are liable to arrest and to a penalty." 

In Seoul no one could tell where or how the 
" Righteous Army " might be found. The informa- 
tion doled out by the Japanese authorities was 
fragmentary, and was obviously and naturally 
framed in such a manner as to minimise and dis- 
credit the disturbances. It was admitted that the 
Korean volunteers had a day or two earlier 
destroyed a small railway station on the line to 
Fusan. We knew that a small party of them had 
attacked the Japanese guard of a store of rifles, not 
twenty miles from the capital, and had driven them 
off and captured the arms and ammunition. Most 
of the fighting, so far as one could judge, appeared to 
have been around the town of Chung-ju, four days' 
journey from Seoul, It was for there I aimed, 
travelling by an indirect bridle-path in order to avoid 
the Japanese as far as possible. 

The country in which I soon found myself pre- 
sented a field of industry and of prosperity such as 
I have seen nowhere else in Korea. Between the 
somewhat desolate mountain ranges and great 


stretches of sandy soil we came upon innumerable 
thriving villages. Every possible bit of land, right 
up the hillsides, was carefully cultivated. Here were 
stretches of cotton, with bursting pods all ready for 
picking, and here great fields of buckwheat white 
with flower. The two most common crops were rice 
and barley, and the fields were heavy with their 
harvest. Near the villages one would see more 
ornamental lines of chilies and beans and seed plants 
for oil, with occasional clusters of kowliang, fully 
twelve and thirteen feet high. 

In the centre of the fields was a double-storied 
summer-house, made of straw, the centre of a system 
of high ropes, decked with bits of rag, running over 
the crops in all directions. Two lads would sit on 
the upper floor of each of these houses, pulling the 
ropes, flapping the rags, and making all kinds of 
harsh noises, to frighten away the birds preying on 
the crops. 

The villages themselves were pictures of beauty 
and of peace. Most of them were surrounded by a 
high fence of wands and matting. At the entrance 
there sometimes stood the village "joss," although 
many villages have now destroyed their idols. This 
" joss " is a thick stake of wood, six or eight feet 
high, with the upper part roughly carved into the 
shape of a very ugly human face, and crudely 
coloured in vermilion and green. It is supposed to 
frighten away the evil spirits. 

The village houses, low, mud-walled, and thatch- 
roofed, were seen this season at their best. Gay 
flowers grew around. Melons and pumpkins, 


weighted with fruit, ran over the walls. Nearly 
every roof displayed a patch of vivid scarlet, for the 
chilies had just been gathered, and were spread out 
on the housetops to dry. In front of the houses were 
boards covered with sliced pumpkins and gherkins 
drying in the sun for winter use. Every courtyard 
had its line of black earthenware jars, four to six feet 
high, stored with all manner of good things, mostly 
preserved vegetables of many varieties, for the coming 

I had heard much of the province of Chung- 
Chong-Do as the Italy of Korea, but its beauty and 
prosperity required seeing to be believed. It afforded 
an amazing contrast to the dirt and apathy of Seoul, 
Here every one worked. In the fields the young 
women were toilmg in groups, weeding or har- 
vesting. The young men were cutting bushes on the 
hillsides, the father of the family preparing new 
ground for the fresh crop, and the very children 
frightening off the birds. At home the housewife 
was busy with her children and preparing her 
simples and stores ; and even the old men busied 
themselves over light tasks, such as mat-making. 
Every one seemed prosperous, busy, and happy. 
There were no signs of poverty. The uprising had 
not touched this district, save in the most incidental 

My inquiries as to where I should find any signs 
of the fighting always met with the same reply — 
" The Japanese have been to I-Chhon, and have 
burned many villages there." So we pushed on for 
I-Chhon as hard as we could. 


The chief problem that faces the traveller in Korea 
who ventures away from the railways is the question 
of how to hasten the speed of his party. " You 
cannot travel faster than your pack," is one of those 
indisputable axioms against which the impatient 
man frets in vain. Now, the pack-pony is led by a 
horseman, who really controls the situation. If he 
sulks and determines to go slowly nothing can be 
done. If he hurries, the whole party must move 

The Korean mafoo regards seventy li (about 
twenty-one miles) as a fair day's work. He prefers 
to average sixty li, but if you are very insistent he 
may go eighty. It was imperative that I should cover 
from a hundred to a hundred and twenty li a day. 

I tried a mixture of harsh words, praise, and 
liberal tips. I was up at three in the morning, 
setting the boys to work at cooking the animals' 
food, and I kept them on the road until dark. Still 
the record was not satisfactory. It is necessary in 
Korea to allow at least six hours each day for the 
cooking of the horses' food and feeding them. This 
is a time that no wise traveller attempts to cut. 
Including feeding-times, we were on the go from 
sixteen to eighteen hours a day. Notwithstanding 
this, the most we had reached was a hundred and 
ten li a day. 

Then came a series of little hindrances. The 
pack-pony would not eat its dinner ; its load was 
too heavy. " Hire a boy to carry part of its load," I 
replied. A hundred reasons would be found for 
halting, and still more for slow departure. 


It was clear that something more must be done. 
I called the pack-pony leader on one side. He was a 
fine, broad-framed giant, a man who had in his time 
gone through many fights and adventures. " You 
and I understand one another," I said to him. 
" These others with their moanings and cries are 
but as children. Now let us make a compact. You 
hurry all the time and I will give you " (here I 
whispered a figure into his ear that sent a gratified 
smile over his face) " at the end of the journey. The 
others need know nothing. This is between men." 

He nodded assent. From that moment the trouble 
was over. Footsore mafoos, lame horses, grumbling 
inn-keepers — nothing mattered. " Let the fires burn 
quickly." " Out with the horses." The other horse- 
keepers, not understanding his changed attitude, 
toiled wearily after him. At night-time he would 
look up, as he led his pack-pony in at the end of 
a record day, and his grim smile would proclaim that 
he was keeping his end of the bargain. 



" T T is necessary for us to show these men some- 

i. thing of the strong hand of Japan," one of the 
leading Japanese in Seoul, a close associate of the 
Prince I to, told me shortly before I left that city. 
" The people of the eastern mountain districts have 
seen few or no Japanese soldiers, and they have no 
idea of our strength. We must convince them how 
strong we are." 

As I stood on a mountain-pass, looking down on 
the valley leading to I-Chhon, I recalled these words 
of my friend. The " strong hand of Japan " was 
certainly being shown here. I beheld in front of me 
village after village reduced to ashes. 

I rode down to the nearest heap of ruins. The 
place had been quite a large village, with probably 
seventy or eighty houses. Destruction, thorough and 
complete, had fallen upon it. Not a single house was 
left, and not a single wall of a house. Every pot with 
the winter stores was broken. The very earthen fire- 
places were wrecked. 

The villagers had come back to the ruins again, 

and were already rebuilding. They had put up 



temporary refuges of straw. The young men were 
out on the hills cutting wood, and every one else was 
toiling at house-making. The crops were ready to 
harvest, but there was no time to gather them in. 
First of all, make a shelter. 

During the next few days sights like these were to 
be too common to arouse much emotion. But for 
the moment I looked around on these people, ruined 
and homeless, with quick pity. The old men, vener- 
able and dignified, as Korean old men mostly are, the 
young wives, many with babes at thei-r breasts, the 
sturdy men, they formed, if I could judge by what I 
saw, an exceptionally clean and peaceful community. 

There was no house in which I could rest, so I sat 
down under a tree, and while Min Gun was cooking 
my dinner the village elders came around with their 
story. one thing especially struck me. Usually the 
Korean woman is shy, retiring, and afraid to open her 
mouth in the presence of a stranger. Here the women 
spoke up as freely as the men. The great calamity 
had broken down the barriers of their silence. 

" We are glad," they said, " that a European man 
has come to see what has befallen us. We hope you 
will tell your people, so that all men may know. 

" There has been some fighting on the hills beyond 
our village," and they pointed to the hills a mile or 
two further on. "The Eui-pyung" (the volunteers) 
" had been there, and had torn up some telegraph 
poles. The Eui-pyung came down from the eastern 
hills. They were not our men, and had nothing to 
do with us. The Japanese soldiers came, and there 
was a fight, and the Eui-pyung fell back. 


"Then the Japanese soldiers marched out to our 
village, and to seven other villages. Look around 
and you can see the ruins of all. They spoke many 
harsh words to us. ' The Eui-pyung broke down the 
telegraph poles and you did not stop them,' they 
said. ' Therefore you are all the same as Eui-pyung. 
Why have you eyes if you do not watch, why have 
you strength if you do not prevent the Eui-pyung 
from doing mischief? The Eui-pyung came to your 
houses and you fed them. They have gone, but we 
will punish you.' 

" And they went from house to house, taking what 
they wanted and setting all alight. one old man — 
he had lived in his house since he was a babe suckled 
by his mother — saw a soldier lighting up his house. 
He fell on his knees and caught the foot of the 
soldier. ' Excuse me, excuse me,' he said, with many 
tears. ' Please do not burn my house. Leave it for 
me that I may die there. I am an old man, and near 
my end.' 

" The soldier tried to shake him off, but the old 
man prayed the more. * Excuse me, excuse me,' he 
moaned. Then the soldier lifted his gun and shot 
the old man, and we buried him. 

" one who was near to her hour of child-birth was 
lying in a house. Alas for her ! one of our young 
men was working in the field cutting grass. He was 
working and had not noticed the soldiers come. He 
lifted his knife, sharpening it in the sun. ' There is a 
Eui-pyung,' he said, and he fired and killed him. 
one man, seeing the fire, noticed that all his family 
records were burning. He rushed in to try and 


pull them out, but as he rushed a soldier fired, and 
he fell." 

A man, whose appearance proclaimed him to be of 
a higher class than most of the villagers, then spoke 
in bitter tones. " We are rebuilding our houses," he 
said, " but of what use is it for us to do so ? I was a 
man of family. My fathers and fathers' fathers had 
their record. Our family papers are destroyed. 
Henceforth we are a people without a name, dis- 
graced and outcast." 

I found, when I went further into the country, that 
this view was fairly common. The Koreans regard 
their family existence with peculiar veneration. The 
family record means everything to them. When it 
is destroyed, the family is wiped out. It no longer 
exists, even though there are many members of it 
still living. As the province of Chung-Chong Do 
prides itself on the large number of its substantial 
families, there could be no more effective way of 
striking at them than this. 

I rode out of the village heavy-hearted. What 
struck me most about this form of punishment, how- 
ever, was not the suffering of the villagers so much 
as the futility of the proceedings, from the Japanese 
point of view. In place of pacifying a people, they 
were turning hundreds of quiet families into rebels. 
During the next few days I was to see at least 
one town and many scores of villages treated 
as this one. To what end? The villagers were 
certainly not the people fighting the Japanese. All 
they wanted to do was to look quietly after their 
own affairs. Japan professes a desire to conciliate 


Korea and to win the affection and support of her 
people. In one province at least the policy of house- 
burning has reduced a prosperous community to ruin, 
increased the rebel forces, and sown a crop of bitter 
hatred which it will take generations to root out. 

We rode on through village after village and hamlet 
after hamlet burned to the ground. The very attitude 
of the people told me that the hand of Japan had struck 
hard there. We would come upon a boy carrying a 
load of wood. He would run quickly to the side of 
the road when he saw us, expecting he knew not 
what. We passed a village with a few houses left. 
The women flew to shelter as I drew near. Some 
of the stories that I heard later helped me to judge 
why they should run. Of course they took me for 
a Japanese. 

All along the route I heard tales of the Japanese 
plundering, where they had not destroyed. Here 
the village elders would bring me an old man badly 
beaten by a Japanese soldier because he resisted 
being robbed. Then came darker stories. In Seoul 
I had laughed at them. Now, face to face with the 
victims, I could laugh no more. 

That afternoon we rode into I-Chhon itself. This 
is quite a large town. I found it practically deserted. 
Most of the people had fled to the hills, to escape 
from the Japanese. I slept that night in a school- 
house, now deserted and unused. There were the 
cartoons and animal pictures and pious mottoes 
around, but the children were far away. I passed 
through the market-place, usually a very busy spot. 
There was no sign of life there. 


I turned to some of the Koreans. 

" Where are your women ? Where are your chil- 
dren ? " I demanded. They pointed to the high and 
barren hills looming against the distant heavens. 

" They are up there," they said. " Better for them 
to lie on the barren hillsides than to be outraged 



DAY after day we travelled through a succession 
of burned-out villages, deserted towns, and 
forsaken country. The fields were covered with a 
rich and abundant harvest, ready to be gathered, 
and impossible for the invaders to destroy. But 
most of the farmers were hiding on the mountain- 
sides, fearing to come down. The few courageous 
men who had ventured to come back were busy 
erecting temporary shelters for themselves before 
the winter cold came on, and had to let the harvest 
wait. Great flocks of birds hung over the crops, 
feasting undisturbed. 

Up to Chong-ju nearly one-half of the villages 
on the direct line of route had been destroyed by 
the Japanese. At Chong-ju I struck directly across 
the mountains to Chee-chong, a day's journey. 
Four-fifths of the villages and hamlets on the main 
road between these two places were burned to the 

The few people who had returned to the ruins 
always disclaimed any connection with the " Righ- 
teous Army." They had taken no part in the fight- 


Ing, they said. The volunteers had come down 
from the hills and had attacked the Japanese ; the 
Japanese had then retaliated by punishing the local 
residents. The fact that the villagers had no arms, 
and were peaceably working at home-building, 
seemed at the time to show the truth of their 
words. Afterwards when I came up with the Korean 
fighters I found these statements confirmed. The 
rebels were mostly townsmen from Seoul, and not 
villagers from that district. 

Between 10,000 and 20,000 people had been driven 
to the hills in this small district alone, either by the 
destruction of their homes or because of fear excited 
by the acts of the soldiers. 

Soon after leaving I-Chhon I came on a village 
where the Red Cross was flying over one of the 
houses. The place was a native Anglican church. 
I was later on to see the Red Cross over many houses, 
for the people had the idea that by thus appealing 
to the Christians' God they made a claim on the 
pity and charity of the Christian nations. 

In the evening, after I had settled down in the 
yard of the native inn, the elders of the Church 
came to see me, two quiet-spoken, grave, middle- 
aged men. They were somewhat downcast, and 
said that their village had suffered considerably, the 
parties of soldiers passing through having taken 
what they wanted and being guilty of some outrages. 
A gardener's wife had been violated by a Japanese 
soldier, another soldier standing guard over the 
house with rifle and fixed bayonet. A boy, at- 
tracted by the woman's screams, ran and fetched 

l'lioh<i;ni['li (nj 

I /•. .1. .Ill /vV;i-;;i-. 



the husband. He came up, knife in hand. " But 
what could he do?" the elders asked. "There was 
the soldier, with rifle and bayonet, before the door." 

Later on I was to hear other stories, very similar 
to this. These tales were confirmed on the spot, so 
far as confirmation was possible. In my judgment 
such outrages were not numerous, and were limited 
to exceptional parties of troops. But they produced 
an effect altogether disproportionate to their num- 
bers. The Korean has high ideals about the sanctity 
of his women, and the fear caused by a comparatively 
few offences was largely responsible for the flight of 
multitudes to the hills. 

In the burning of villages, a certain number of 
Korean women and children were undoubtedly 
killed. The Japanese troops seem in many cases to 
have rushed a village and to have indulged in miscel- 
laneous wild shooting, on the chance of there being 
rebels around, before firing the houses. In one hamlet, 
where I found two houses still standing, the folk 
told me that these had been left because the 
Japanese shot the daughter of the owner of one of 
them, a girl of ten. " When they shot her," the 
villagers said, " we approached the soldiers, and 
said, ' Please excuse us, but since you have killed 
the daughter of this man you should not burn his 
house.' And the soldiers listened to us." 

In towns like Chong-ju and Won-ju practically all 
the women and children and better-class families had 
disappeared. The shops were shut and barricaded 
by their owners before leaving, but many of them 
had been forced open and looted. The destruction in 



other towns paled to nothing, however, before the 
havoc wrought in Chee-chong. Here was a town 
completely destroyed. 

Chee-chong was, up to the late summer of this 
year, an important rural centre, containing between 
2,000 and 3,000 inhabitants, and beautifully situ- 
ated in a sheltered plain, surrounded by high 
mountains. It was a favourite resort of high 
officials, a Korean Bath or Cheltenham. Many of 
the houses were large, and some had tiled roofs — a 
sure evidence of wealth. 

When the " Righteous Army " began operations, 
one portion of it occupied the hills beyond Chee- 
chong. The Japanese sent a small body of troops 
into the town. These were attacked one night on 
three sides, several were killed, and the others were 
compelled to retire. The Japanese despatched rein- 
forcements, and after some fighting regained lost 
ground. They then determined to make Chee-chong 
an example to the countryside. The entire town 
was put to the torch. The soldiers carefully tended 
the flames, piling up everything for destruction. 
Nothing was left, save one image of Buddha and 
the magistrate's yamen. When the Koreans fled, five 
men, one woman, and a child, all wounded, were left 
behind. These disappeared in the flames. 

It was a hot early autumn when I reached Chee- 
chong. The brilliant sunshine revealed a Japanese 
flag waving over a hillock commanding the town, and 
glistened against the bayonet of a Japanese sentry. 
I dismounted and walked down the streets and over 
the heaps of ashes. Never have I witnessed such com- 










plete destruction. Where a month before there had 
been a busy and prosperous community, there was 
now nothing but Hnes of little heaps of black and grey 
dust and cinders. Not a whole wall, not a beam, and 
not an unbroken jar remained. Here and there a 
man might be seen poking among the ashes, seeking 
for aught of value. The search was vain. Chee- 
chong had been wiped off the map. " Where are 
your people ? " I asked the few searchers. " They 
are lying on the hillsides," came the reply. 

Up to this time I had not met a single rebel soldier, 
and very few Japanese. My chief meeting with the 
Japanese occurred the previous day at Chong-ju. As 
I approached that town, I noticed that its ancient 
walls were broken down. The stone arches of the 
city gates were left, but the gates themselves and 
most of the walls had gone. A Japanese sentry and 
a gendarme stood at the gateway, and cross-examined 
me as I entered. A small body of Japanese troops 
were stationed here, and operations in the country 
around were apparently directed from this centre. 

I at once called upon the Japanese Colonel in 
charge. His room, a great apartment in the local 
governor's yamen, showed on all sides evidences of 
the thoroughness with which the Japanese are con- 
ducting this campaign. Large maps, with red marks, 
revealed strategic positions now occupied. A little 
printed pamphlet, with maps, evidently for the use of 
officers, lay on the table. 

The Colonel received me politely, but expressed his 
regrets that I had come. The men he was fighting were 
mere robbers, he said, and there was nothing for mc 


to see. He gave me various warnings about dangers 
ahead. Then he very kindly explained that the 
Japanese plan was to hem in the volunteers, two 
sections of troops operating from either side and 
making a circle around the seat of trouble. These 
would unite and gradually drive the Koreans 
towards a centre. 

The maps which the Colonel showed me settled 
my movements. A glance at them made clear that 
the Japanese had not yet occupied the line of country 
between Chee-chong and Won-ju. Here, then, was 
the place where I must go if I would meet the 
Korean bands. So it was towards Won-ju that I 
turned our horses' heads on the following day, after 
gazing on the ruins of Chee-chong. 



IT soon became evident that I was very near to the 
Korean forces. At one place, not far from 
Chee-Chong, a party of them had arrived two days 
before I passed, and had demanded arms, A little 
further on Koreans and Japanese had narrowly 
escaped meeting in the village street, not many 
hours before I stopped there. As I approached one 
hamlet, the inhabitants fled into the high corn, and 
on my arrival not a soul was to be found. They 
mistook me for a Japanese out on a shooting and 
burning expedition. 

It now became more difficult to obtain carriers. 
Our ponies were showing signs of fatigue, for we 
were using them very hard over the mountainous 
country. It was impossible to hire fresh animals, as 
the Japanese had commandeered all. Up to Won-ju 
I had to pay double the usual rate for my carriers. 
From Won-ju onwards carriers absolutely refused 
to go further, whatever the pay. 

" on the road beyond here many bad men are to 

be found," they told me at Won-ju. " These bad 

men shoot every one who passes. We will not go 



to be shot." My own boys were showing some 
uneasiness. Fortunately, I had in my personal ser- 
vant Min Gun, and in the leader of the pack-pony 
two of the staunchest Koreans I have ever known. 

The country beyond Won-ju was splendidly suited 
for an ambuscade, such as the people there promised 
me. The road was rocky and broken, and largely 
lay through a narrow, winding valley, with over- 
hanging cliffs. Now we would come on a splendid 
gorge, evidently of volcanic origin ; now we would 
pause to chip a bit of gold-bearing quartz from the 
rocks, for this is a famous gold centre of Korea. An 
army might have been hidden securely around. 

Twilight was just gathering as we stopped at a 
small village where we intended remaining for the 
night. The people were sullen and unfriendly, a 
striking contrast to what I had found elsewhere. In 
other parts they all came and welcomed me, some- 
times refusing to take payment for the accommodation 
they supplied. "We are glad that a white man has 
come." But in this village the men gruffly informed 
me that there was not a scrap of horse food or of rice 
to be had. They advised us to go on to another 
place, fifteen li ahead. 

We started out. When we had ridden a little way 
from the village I chanced to glance back at some 
trees skirting a corn-field. A man, half-hidden by 
a bush, was fumbling with something in his hands, 
something which he held down as I turned. I took 
it to be the handle of a small reaping-knife, but it 
was growing too dark to see clearly. A minute 
later, however, there came a smart " ping " past 


my ear, followed by the thud of a bullet striking 

I turned, but the man had disappeared. It would 
have been merely foolish to blaze back with a "380 
Colt at a distance of over a hundred yards, and there 
was no time to go back. So we continued on our way. 

Before arriving at Won-ju we had been told that 
we would certainly find the Righteous Army around 
there. At Won-ju men said that it was at a place 
fifteen or twenty miles ahead. When we reached 
that distance we were directed onwards to Yan-gun. 
We walked into Yan-gun one afternoon, only to be 
again disappointed. Here, however, we learned that 
there had been a fight that same morning at a village 
fifteen miiles nearer Seoul, and that the Koreans had 
been defeated. 

Yan-gun presented a remarkable sight. A dozen 
red crosses waved over houses at different points. 
In the main street every shop was closely barricaded, 
and a cross was pasted on nearly every door. These 
crosses, roughly painted on paper in red ink, were 
obtained from the elder of the Roman Catholic 
church there. A week before some Japanese 
soldiers had arrived and burned a few houses. They 
spared one house close to them waving a Christian 
cross. As soon as the Japanese left nearly every 
one pasted a cross over his door. 

At first Yan-gun seemed deserted. The people 
were watching me from behind the shelter of their 
doors. Then men and boys crept out, and gradually 
approached. We soon made friends. The women had 
fled. I settled down that afternoon in the garden of 


a Korean house of the better type. My boy was 
preparing my supper in the front courtyard, when 
he suddenly dropped everything to rush to me. 
" Master," he cried, highly excited, " the Righteous 
Army has come. Here are the soldiers." 

In another moment half a dozen of them entered 
the garden, formed in line in front of me and saluted. 
They were all lads, from eighteen to twenty-six. 
one, a bright-faced, handsome youth, still wore the 
old uniform of the regular Korean Army. Another 
had a pair of military trousers. Two of them were 
in slight, ragged Korean dress. Not one had leather 
boots. Around their waists were home-made cotton 
cartridge belts, half full. one wore a kind of tar- 
boosh on his head, and the others had bits of rag 
twisted round their hair. 

I looked at the guns they were carrying. The six 
men had five different patterns of weapons, and not 
one of them was any good. one proudly carried 
an old Korean sporting gun of the oldest type of 
muzzle-loaders known to man. Around his arm 
was the long piece of thin rope which he kept 
smouldering as touch-powder, and hanging in front 
of him were the powder horn and bullet bag for 
loading. This sporting gun was, I afterwards found, 
a common weapon. The ramrod, for pressing down 
the charge, was home-made and cut from a tree. 
The barrel was rust-eaten. There was only a strip 
of cotton as a carrying strap. 

The second man had an old Korean army rifle, 
antiquated, and a very bad specimen of its time. 
The third had the same. one had a tiny sporting 


gun, the kind of weapon, warranted harmless, that 
fathers give to their fond sons at the age of ten. 
Another had a horse-pistol, taking a rifle cartridge. 
Three of the guns bore Chinese marks. They were 
all eaten up with ancient rust. 

These were the men — think of it — who for weeks 
had been bidding defiance to the Japanese Army ! 
Even now a Japanese division of regular soldiers 
was manoeuvring to corral them and their comrades. 
Three of the party in front of me were coolies. The 
smart young soldier who stood at the right plainly 
acted as sergeant, and had done his best to drill his 
comrades into soldierly bearing. A seventh man 
now came in, unarmed, a Korean of the better class, 
well dressed in the long robes of a gentleman, but 
thin, sun-stained and wearied like the others. 

A pitiful group they seemed — men already doomed 
to certain death, fighting in an absolutely hopeless 
cause. But as 1 looked the sparkling eyes and 
smiles of the sergeant to the right seemed to rebuke 
me. Pity ! Maybe my pity was misplaced. At 
least they were showing their countrymen an 
example of patriotism, however mistaken their 
method of displaying it might be. 

They had a story to tell, for they had been in the 
fight that morning, and had retired before the 
Japanese. The Japanese had the better position, 
and forty Japanese soldiers had attacked 200 of 
them and they had given way. But they had killed 
four Japanese, and the Japanese had only killed 
two of them and wounded three more. Such was 
their account. 


I did not ask them why, when they had killed 
twice as many as the enemy, they had yet retreated. 
The real story of the fight I could learn later. As 
they talked others came to join them — two old 
men, one fully eighty, an old tiger-hunter, with 
bent back, grizzled face, and patriarchal beard. 
The two new-comers carried the old Korean sporting 
rifles. Other soldiers of the retreating force were 
outside. There was a growing tumult in the street. 
How long would it be before the triumphant 
Japanese, following up their victory, attacked the 
town ? 

I was not to have much peace that night. In 
the street outside a hundred noisy disputes were 
proceeding between volunteers and the townsfolk. 
The soldiers wanted shelter ; the people, fearing the 
Japanese, did not wish to let them in. A party of 
them crowded into an empty building adjoining the 
house where I was, and they made the place ring 
with their disputes and recriminations. 

Very soon the officer who had been in charge of 
the men during the fight that day called on me. He 
was a comparatively young man, dressed in the 
ordinary long white garments of the better-class 
Koreans. I asked him what precautions he had 
taken against a night attack, for if the Japanese 
knew where we were they would certainly come on 
us. Had he any outposts placed in positions? 
Was the river-way guarded ? " There is no need for 
outposts," he replied. " Every Korean man around 
watches for us." 

I cross-examined him about the constitution of the 


rebel army. How were they organised ? From what 
he told me, it was evident that they had pract.'cally 
no organisation at all. There were a number of 
separate bands held together by the loosest ties. 
A rich man in each place found the money. This he 
secretly gave to one or two open rebels, and they 
gathered adherents around them. 

He admitted that the men were in anything but 
a good way. " We may have to die," he said. 
" Well, so let it be. It is much better to die as 
a free man than to live as the slave of Japan." 

He had not been gone long before still another 
called on me, a middle-aged Korean gentleman, 
attended by a staff of officials. Here was a man 
of rank, and I soon learned that he was the 
Commander-in-Chief for the entire district. I was in 
somewhat of a predicament. I had used up all my 
food, and had not so much as a cigar or a glass of 
whisky left to offer him. one or two flickering 
candles in the covered courtyard of the inn lit up his 
careworn face. I apologised for the rough surround- 
ings in which I received him, but he immediately 
brushed my apologies aside. He complained bitterly 
of the conduct of his subordinate, who had risked an 
engagement that morning when he had orders not 
to. The commander, it appeared, had been called 
back home for a day on some family affairs, and 
hurried back to the front as soon as he knew of the 
trouble. He had come to me for a purpose. " Our 
men want weapons," he said. " They are as brave as 
can be, but you know what their guns are like, and 
we have very little ammunition. We cannot buy. 


but you can go to and fro freely as you want. Now, 
you act as our agent. Buy guns for us and bring 
them to us. Ask what money you like, it does not 
matter. Five thousand dollars, ten thousand dollars, 
they are yours if you will have them. only bring 
us guns ! " 

I had, of course, to tell him that I could not do 
anything of the kind. When he further asked me 
questions about the positions of the Japanese I was 
forced to give evasive answers. To my mind, the 
publicist who visits fighting forces in search of informa- 
tion, as I had done, is in honour bound not to com- 
municate what he learns to the other side. ! could 
no more tell the rebel leader of the exposed Japanese 
outposts I knew, and against which I could have sent 
his troops with the certainty of success, than I could 
on return tell the Japanese the strength of his forces. 

All that night the rebels dribbled in. Several 
wounded men who had escaped from the fight the 
previous day were borne along by their comrades, 
and early on the following morning some soldiers 
came and asked me to do what I could to heal them. 
I went out and examined the men. one had no less 
than five bullet -holes in him and yet seemed remark- 
ably cheerful. Two others had single shots of a rather 
more dangerous nature. I do not profess to be a 
surgeon, and it was manifestly impossible for me to 
jab into their wounds with my hunting-knife in the 
hope of extracting the bullets. I found, however, 
some corrosive sublimate tabloids in my leather 
medicine case. These I dissolved, and washed the 
wounds in them to stop suppuration. I had some 


Listerine, and I washed their rags in it. I bound the 
clean rags on the wounds, bade the men lie stiU and 
eat little, and left them. 

Soon after dawn the rebel regiments paraded in 
the streets. They reproduced on a larger scale the 
characteristics I had noted among the few men 
who came to visit me the evening before, poor 
weapons and little ammunition. They sent out men 
in advance before I departed in the morning to warn 
their outposts that I was an Englishman who must not 
be injured. I left them with mutual good wishes, 
but I made a close inspection of my party before we 
marched away to see that all our weapons were in 
place. Some of my boys begged me to give the 
rebels our guns so that they might kill the Japanese ! 
We had not gone very far before we descended 
into a rocky and sandy plain by the river. Suddenly 
I heard one of my boys shout at the top of his 
voice, as he threw up his arms, " Ingoa Tai." We 
all stopped, and the others took up the cry. " What 
does this mean ? " I asked. " Some rebel soldiers 
are surrounding us," said Min Gun, " and they are 
going to fire. They think you are a Japanese." I 
stood against the sky-line and pointed vigorously to 
myself to show that they were mistaken. " Ingoa 
Tai ! " I shouted, with my boys. It was not dignified, 
but it was very necessary. Now we could see creep- 
ing, ragged figures running from rock to rock, closer 
and closer to us. The rifles of some were covering 
us while the others advanced. Then a party of a 
couple of dozen rose from the ground near to hand, 
with a young man in a European officer's uniform 


at their head. They ran to us, while we stood and 
waited. At last they saw who I was, and when they 
came near they apologised very gracefully for their 
blunder. " It was fortunate that you shouted when 
you did," said one ugly-faced young rebel, as he 
slipped his cartridge back into his pouch ; "I had you 
nicely covered and was just going to shoot." Some 
of the soldiers in this band were not more than 
fourteen to sixteen years old. I made them stand 
and have their photographs taken, and the picture on 
the page opposite will show their appearances better 
than much description. 

By noon I arrived at the place from which the 
Korean soldiers had been driven on the day before. 
The villagers there were regarded in very unfriendly 
fashion by the rebels, who thought they had 
betrayed them to the Japanese. The villager? told 
me what was evidently the true story of the fight. 
They said that about twenty Japanese soldiers 
had on the previous morning marched quickly to 
the place and attacked 200 rebels there. one 
Japanese soldier was hurt, receiving a flesh 
wound in the arm, and five rebels were wounded. 
Three of these latter got away, and these were the 
ones I had treated earlier in the morning. Two 
others were left on the field, one badly shot in 
the left cheek and the other in the right shoulder. 
To quote the words of the villagers, " As the 
Japanese soldiers came up to these wounded men 
they were too sick to speak, and they could only 
utter cries like animals — 'Hula, hula, hula!' They 
had no weapons in their hands, and their blood was 


running on the ground. The Japanese soldiers heard 
their cries, and went up to them and stabbed them 
through and through and through again with their 
bayonets until they died. The men were torn very 
much with the bayonet stabs, and we had to take 
them up and bury them." The expressive faces of 
the villagers told more eloquently than mere descrip- 
tion how horrible the bayonetting was. 

Were this an isolated instance, it would scarcely 
be necessary to mention it. But what I heard on 
all sides went to show that in a large number of 
fights in the country the Japanese systematically 
killed all the wounded and all who surrendered 
themselves. This was not so in every case, but it 
certainly was in very many. The fact is confirmed 
by the Japanese accounts of many fights, where the 
figures given of Korean casualties are so many killed, 
with no mention of wounded or prisoners. 

Another point deserves mention. In place after 
place the Japanese, besides burning houses, shot 
numbers of men whom they suspected of assisting the 
rebels. When describing these executions to me the 
Koreans always finished up by mentioning how, after 
the volley had been fired, the Japanese ofificer in com- 
mand of the firing party went up to the corpse and 
plunged his sword into it or hacked it. An English- 
man, of whose accuracy I have every reason to be 
assured, heard the same tale. He lived near a 
Japanese military station on the outskirts of the 
rebellion, and he attended one of the executions 
there to see if this was so. The prisoner was led 
out, his hands tied behind him, and a Japanese 


soldier leading him by a halter around the neck. 
As they passed along on their way to the firing- 
ground the Japanese soldier noticed the watching 
foreigner. Thereupon he deliberately jerked the 
halter to make the prisoner stumble, and then gave 
him a heavy prod in the stomach with the butt-end 
of his rifle. on this occasion, however, there was no 
slashing of the body after death. 



IT may be asked why the Europeans and Ameri 
cans living in Korea did not make the full facts 
about the Japanese administration known at an 
earlier date. Some of them did attempt it, but the 
strong feeling that generally existed abroad in favour 
of the Japanese people — a feeling due to the magnifi- 
cent conduct of the nation during the war — caused 
complaints to go unheeded. The American Minister 
at Seoul, Dr. Allen, was recalled as the indirect result 
of an effort to show his Government that the Japanese 
claims and assumptions should not be taken without 
some critical examination. Many missionaries in 
Korea, while indignant and resentful at the injury 
done to their native neighbours, counselled patience, 
and believed that the abuses were temporary and 
would soon come to an end. It must be remembered 
that, at the beginning of the Russo-Japanese War, 
every foreigner in the country, except a small group 
of pro-Russians, sympathised with Japan. We had 
all been alienated by the follies and mistakes of the 
Russian Far Eastern policy ; we saw Japan at her 
very best, and we believed that her people would act 

15 «^ 


well by this weaker race. Our favourable impres- 
sions were strengthened by the first doings of the 
Japanese soldiers, and when scandals were whispered, 
and oppression began to appear, we all looked upon 
them as momentary disturbances due to a condition 
of war. We were unwilling to believe anything but 
the best, and it took some time to destroy our favour- 
able prepossessions. I speak here not only for 
myself, but for many another white man in Korea 
at the time. 

I might support this by many quotations. I take, 
for instance. Professor Hulbert, the editor of the 
Korea Review^ to-day one of the most persistent and 
active critics of Japanese policy. At the opening of 
the war Professor Hulbert used all his influence in 
favour of Japan. " What Korea wants," he wrote, 
" is education, and until steps are taken in that line 
there is no use in hoping for a genuinely independent 
Korea. Now, we believe that a large majority of 
the best-informed Koreans realise that Japan and 
Japanese influence stand for education and enlighten- 
ment, and that while the paramount influence of any 
one outside Power is in some sense a humiliation, 
the paramount influence of Japan will give far less 
genuine cause for humiliation than has the paramount 
influence of Russia. Russia secured her predomi- 
nance by pandering to the worst elements in Korean 
officialdom. Japan holds it by strength of arm, but 
she holds it in such a way that it gives promise of 
something better. The word reform never passed 
the Russians' lips. It is the insistent cry of Japan. 
The welfare of the Korean people never showed its 


head above the Russian horizon, but it fills the whole 
vision of Japan ; not from altruistic motives mainly 
but because the prosperity of Korea and that of 
Japan rise and fall with the same tide." ^ 

Month after month, when stories of trouble came 
from the interior, the Korea Review endeavoured to 
give the best explanation possible for them, and to 
reassure the public. It was not until the editor was 
forced thereto by consistent and sustained Japanese 
misgovernment that he reversed his attitude. 

Foreign visitors of influence were naturally drawn 
to the Japanese rather than to the Koreans. They 
found in the officials of the Residency General a body 
of courteous and delightful men, who knew the Courts 
of Europe, and were familiar with world affairs. on 
the other hand, the Korean spokesmen had no power 
or skill in putting their case so as to attract European 
sympathy. one distinguished foreigner, who returned 
home and wrote a book largely given up to laudation 
of the Japanese and contemptuous abuse of the 
Koreans, admitted that he had never, during his 
journey, had any contact with Koreans save those 
his Japanese guides brought to him. Some foreign 
journalists were also at first blinded in the same way. 

Such a state of affairs obviously could not last. 
Gradually the complaints of the foreign community 
became louder and louder, and visiting publicists 
began to take more notice of them. Here they were 
met by a fresh difficulty. Editors at home were as 
unwilling to believe anti-Japanese stories as the 
journalists themselves had been, and, in some cases 

' Korea Review, February, 1904. 


known to me, the criticisms were entirely suppressed 
by the home editors. This did not always happen. 
Thus, the London Tribune permitted Mr. Douglas 
Story, in the spring of 1906, to present the case of 
the Korean Emperor. In the summer of the same 
year, the London Daily Mail printed several articles 
by myself, giving a detailed criticism of the Japanese 
policy, backed up by numerous stories of outrages 
and suffering, and based on a recent tour through the 
country. It was then uphill work to attempt to 
make the Korean case known, but there has been, 
since that time, a growing willingness to hear both 
sides of the question. When, in the autumn of 1905, 
I spoke fully on the new issues, I was sharply taken 
to task by influential English journals. " It is too 
late to talk," they said. " The thing is done." No 
single word of encouragement or sympathy was 
uttered. That is now no longer the case. 

The main credit of standing up for the Korean 
people must be given to a young English journalist, 
Mr. E. T. Bethell, editor of the Korea Daily News. 
In the summer of 1904, he settled in Seoul as tem- 
porary correspondent of a London daily paper, and 
started a modest bi-lingual journal, the Korea Daily 
News, printed partly in English and partly in Korean. 
The first number was barely issued before the nation 
was agitated by the great Nagamori land question. 
Mr. Bethell took up an attitude of sharp hostility to 
the granting of the Nagamori claims, and subsequent 
events have justified him. He came, in consequence, 
into direct conflict with the Japanese Legation, and 
after some attempts had been made to win him over 

\iu'. i:. T. iiKTiii;i.i., liiMiiiv' (II nil- kohka ikulv xims. 


or secure his silence, it was resolved to crush him. 
This naturally led to his close association with the 
Korean Court. The Daily News became openly pro- 
Korean ; its one daily edition was changed into two 
separate papers — one, the Dai Han Mai II Shinpo, 
printed in the Korean language, and the other, 
printed in English, still calling itself by the old name. 
Several of us thought that Mr. Bethell at first 
weakened his case by extreme advocacy and by his 
indulgence in needlessly vindictive writing. Yet it 
must be rememberered, in common justice to him, that 
he was playing a very difficult part. The Japanese 
were making his life as uncomfortable as they 
possibly could, and were doing everything to obstruct 
his work. His mails were constantly tampered with ; 
his servants were threatened or arrested on various 
excuses, and his household was subjected to the 
closest espionage. He displayed surprising tenacity, 
and held on month after month without showing any 
sign of yielding. The complaint of extreme bitterness 
could not be urged against his journal to the same 
extent after the spring of 1907. From that time he 
adopted a more quiet and convincing tone. He 
attempted on many occasions to restrain what he 
considered the unwise tactics of some Korean ex- 
tremists. He opposed the dispatch of the delegates 
to the Hague, and he did his best to influence 
public opinion against taking up arms to fight 

Failing to conciliate the editor, the Japanese 
sought to destroy him. In order to cut the 
ground from under his feet an opposition paper, 


printed in English, was started. An able Japanese 
journalist, Mr. Zumoto, became the editor. Mr. 
Zumoto is well known to all who have followed 
modern Japanese affairs as Prince Ito's leading 
spokesman in the Press. A member of the Civil 
Service and ambitious for a diplomatic career, he 
was taken from his Government work first to be 
permanent secretary to Ito when Premier, and 
then to act as editor to the Japan Times, the 
semi-official Japanese Government organ in Tokyo. 
When Ito was made Resident-General Mr. Zumoto 
accompanied him as official member of his staff. 
Let it be said here that few could have done the 
work in Seoul better than Mr. Zumoto. A broad- 
minded Japanese, a man of delightful personality 
and rich culture, he has won the universal esteem 
of all who know him. 

Mr. Zumoto's personal charms, however, failed 
to enable his paper, the Seoul Press, to supplant 
the Daily News. Here we had and have the 
amazing journalistic situation of two daily papers 
being published in the English language in a 
city containing probably not more than a hundred 
white men. one of these papers is able to keep 
up a handsome office, with safes, typewriters, 
and sumptuous electric fittings that would do 
credit to a daily with a circulation of 50,000. 
Native journals were also started under Japanese 
editorship, to compete with the Dai Han Mai II 
Shinpo. But here again Mr. Bethell's native 
paper more than held its ground, for the Korean 
people, as they have told me in parts, regard it as 


the only mouthpiece through which they can 
voice their wrongs. 

These Japanese-edited papers have in some cases 
taken up a decidedly anti-white line. one example 
may show this. Let me quote from the Tai Kan 
Nippo, a Seoul daily, printed in Korean, but controlled 
by the Japanese. In the issue of September 6, 1907, 
it wrote : "It is great folly for our countrymen 
to believe the flattery of the Korea Daily News, 
and not to realise the approaching danger. They 
are like Chinese opium-smokers. 

"The editor of the Korea Daily News is an 
Englishman, with deep-set eyes and white nose, 
with white face and yellow hair. The difference 
between his and our races is great. To-day race 
is against race. Is it wise for the Korean people 
to give their confidence to men of another race, 
and to alienate men of their own race ? 

" The Korea Daily Nezus takes advantage of 
the ignorance of the Koreans, and secures a large 
circulation for itself. Be its motives great or small, 
we are not inclined to discuss them. 

"The tone of the paper has done great damage 
to our country. A ruinous problem confronts us. 
The Japanese have great interests here. If our 
people trust their own Government they will 
support them. If, however, our people follow the 
guiding of the Englishman Bethell's cooked pen 
we cannot tell what will happen to them. Separated 
from their Government and creating strife among 
their neighbours, their trouble will be very great. 

" Asia for the Asiatics and Europe for the 


Europeans is the law of nature. The interests 
of our country and the welfare of the people depend 
on proximity and friendship. If we turn these 
upside down the results will be ruinous. Briefly, 
it is our advice to our own people to trust men 
of their own colour, and to read no papers but 
those of their own people, such as the Whang Sun, 
Che Kuk, the Kuk Min, and our own." 

English-speaking papers in the Far East, under 
Japanese influence, were also called into service 
against the little Seoul daily. Of these the Japan 
Daily Mail was easily first. This paper is edited 
by Captain Brinkley, a well-known Irishman for- 
merly in the Japanese Government service and 
since Foreign Adviser to the premier Japanese 
shipping company, the Nippon Yusen Kaisha. 
Captain Brinkley's great knowledge of Japanese life 
and language is admitted and admired by all. His 
independence of judgment is, however, weakened 
by his close official connection with the Japanese 
Government, and by his personal interest in Japanese 
industry. His journal is regarded generally as a 
Government mouthpiece, and he has succeeded in 
making himself a more vigorous advocate of the 
Japanese claims than even the Japanese themselves. 
It can safely be forecasted that whenever a dis- 
pute arises between Japanese and British interests 
Captain Brinkley and his journal will play the part, 
through thick and thin, of defenders of the Japanese. 

The Japan Daily Mail sought to prepare 
public opinion for the suppression of the Korea 
Daily News. At the end of 1906 it wrote: "Our 


own belief is that the most expedient course in 
this case is the most drastic. Press regulations 
should be enated such as would bring a paper 
like the Korea Daily News into immediate collision 
with the criminal law. What is the conceivable 
use of such a journal and on what moral principle 
is its editor entitled to publicly ventilate day 
after day his malevolent prejudices ? We cannot 
see that any place exists for a character of the 
kind on the stage of legitimate journalism, and as 
Englishmen we should feel pleased were this 
persistent enemy of our ally thrust out of sight." 

The Korea Daily News itself stated its position 
about the same time : — 

" We wish our readers happiness in the coming 
year. We take advantage of this occasion to say 
a few words about ourselves, our ideas, and about 
the people among whom we dwell. Antagonists 
have on many occasions endeavoured to persuade 
others that the Korea Daily News is by way of 
being an 'outcast' newspaper; that its existence 
is precarious, and that it is irresponsible. Further 
we have noticed that an impression prevails that 
the outspoken tone which the newspaper has 
adopted from the first brings the editor into 
personal danger. 

"Nothing could be further from the truth. It 
is recognised, we believe, by everybody in Korea 
that we write from conviction and with a full 
sense of responsibility, and we may add that the 
Japanese, whose proceedings we have so frequently 
to call into question, were the first to recognise 


this. They have tried to bribe us, it is true, and 
they have also supplied us with the kind of news 
which they would like to see published, but in all 
their dealings with us they have been amiability 

" one thorn still sticks in our side, and that is 
the miserable system of — apparently — irresponsible 
espionage. This even we hope will presently be 
done away with. 

" So much for our personal affairs, and now 
for our ideas. From the inception of this newspaper 
we have held the belief that any interference by 
Japan in Korean affairs could only be disastrous. 
We still hold this belief, and are confident that 
the future will bring our justification. During 
the war there were many straws which showed us 
whither the wind was blowing, and it was plain 
enough that the alleged treaty of November 17, 
1905, was the inevitable solution (so far as the 
Japanese Government was concerned) of an almost 
impossible situation. The Japanese people were 
persuaded that the treaty of Portsmouth gave them 
Korea, and a ceremony resembling annexation had 
to be carried out. 

" All this we realise and appreciate, but we none 
the less believe that a modification of the ideas of 
the Japanese people and of the methods of the 
Japanese Government is imperative or desirable 
in the near future. 

" Korea is not for Japan. This we believe, and 
shall always believe. Japan's attempts to assume 
control here can only result in waste of money 


and an increase of the ill-feeling which already 
unmistakably exists. 

" It is true that corruption prevails in Korean 
official circles, but it is equally true that many 
of the Japanese who have obtained positions here 
are quite as corrupt as the most corrupt Korean." 

Diplomacy was now brought into play. During 
the summer of 1906 the Japanese authorities caused 
a number of articles to be translated from the Dai 
Han Mai II Shmpo, and submitted them to the 
British Governm.ent, with a request that Mr. Bethell's 
journals might be suppressed. It must be under- 
stood that the British journalist in the Far East 
occupies a somewhat different position to that of 
his colleagues at home. He is governed by a 
series of " Orders in Council " issued by the 
British Government, and is practically at the mercy 
of his own Minister, who can, for cause shown, 
have his paper suppressed and possibly himself 
expelled from the territory. Several incidents of 
this kind have occurred. Thus in 1876 Sir Harry 
Parkes suppressed the Bankoku Shivibun^ a verna- 
cular Japanese paper, started by Mr. Black, of Yoko- 
hama. The contents of this paper were entirely 
inoffensive, but the Tokyo Government strongly 
objected to a foreigner issuing a paper in the 
native language, without being under the control 
of their Press laws. This led Sir Harry Parkes 
to issue a notification forbidding British subjects, 
under severe penalties, from printing or publish- 
ing papers in Japanese. Later, Mr. Lillie, editor 
of the Siam Free Press, was deported by the 


Government of Siam, on the charge of attacking the 
Government of the country, permission first having 
been obtained from the British Minister. There 
was still another case in Siam where Mr. Tilleke, 
the proprietor of a journal published in Bangkok, 
was convicted of crime and sentenced to six months' 
imprisonment. The editor of Mr. Tilleke's journal 
strongly criticised the sentence, declaring it to be 
a miscarriage of justice. In consequence an order 
for his deportation was issued by the acting judge 
at the Consular Court, and was only held over on 
his making an apology. The Supreme Court later 
unanimously quashed Mr. Tilleke's conviction, but 
this did not affect the power of the Consular Court 
to punish the editor. So recently as 1904 the 
British in Northern China were stirred by an 
attempt to coerce Mr. John Cowen, the editor of 
the China Times. Mr. Cowen had been writing 
somewhat freely about the action of the Russian 
authorities during the war, and the Consul-General 
at Tientsin ordered him to find security that he 
would not repeat the offence, and threatened him 
with deportation. The journalist defied the Consul- 
General, and in the end won. 

It can be understood that when the news went 
abroad that the Japanese authorities were attempt- 
ing to persuade the British Government to suppress 
the Korea Daily News, it caused considerable 
interest to all Far Eastern residents. In order 
to strengthen the hands of the authorities on the 
spot the British Foreign Office issued, early in 1907, 
a fresh series of " Orders in Council " dealing with 


British journalism in the Far East The heads of 
the British Legation in Tokyo, who are, p-^rhaps 
not unnaturally, whole-hearted advocates of the 
Japanese cause, were very sympathetic towards a 
policy of vigorous action. In September, 1907, 
Mr. Cockburn, the British Consul-General, at Seoul 
visited Tokyo, and it was common talk at the time 
that he had been summoned there to discuss what 
should be done with the Daily News and its 
obstinate editor. 

The blow fell soon after Mr. Cockburn's return. 
on Saturday, October 12th, Mr. Bethell received 
a summons to appear on the following Monday 
at a specially appointed Consular Court, to answer 
the charge of adopting a course of action likely to 
cause a breach of the peace. Proceedings were 
taken, not as had been expected under the revised 
"Order" issued in 1907, but under Article 83 of the 
China and Korea Order in Council of 1904: — 

" Where it is proved that there is reasonable 
ground to apprehend that a British subject is 
about to commit a breach of the public peace — 
or that the acts or conduct of a British subject 
are or is likely to produce or excite to a breach 
of the public peace — the Court may, if it thinks 
fit, cause him to be brought before it, and require 
him to give security, to the satisfaction of the Court, 
to keep the peace or for his future good behaviour, as 
the case may require." 

The trial took place in the Consular buildings, Mr. 
Cockburn acting as judge. The short notice made 
it impossible for Mr. Bethell to obtain counsel 


or legal advice, as there are no English lawyers in 
Seoul, and he would have had to send to Shanghai 
or Kobe. This placed him at an obvious dis- 
advantage. He had to plead his own cause with 
practically no preparation, without legal knowledge, 
and without trained advice. I have no wish here to 
make the slightest reflection on Mr. Cockburn's 
personal attitude in this case, for he has won the 
high esteem and confidence of all under him. He 
was acting as the mouthpiece and agent of his 
superiors in Tokyo, and it would be unfair to 
saddle him with responsibility. 

Eight articles were produced in court as the 
basis of the charge against Mr. Bethell, some of 
these having appeared in the Korea Daily News, 
some in the Dai Han Mai II Shinpo, and some 
in both papers. Six articles were comments on 
or descriptions of the fighting then taking place 
in the interior. one dealt with the proposed visit of 
the Crown Prince of Japan to Korea, and one was 
an article in Korean, urging the people to value and 
cherish their independence. The articles on the 
fighting were no stronger than, if as strong, as the 
statements which I myself have made in the pre- 
vious chapters of this book, when telling what I 
saw on my autumn journey. In order that a fair 
judgment may be passed I print the articles 
verbatim at the end of this chapter. 

The trial, trivial as it may have appeared to 
some, was yet the most deadly blow struck at 
the freedom of the British Press within this gene- 
ration. None, however, would have imagined its 


seriousness by the looseness of the proceedings. 
Mr, Bethell, not being a lawyer, was unable to 
take advantage of the hundred and one points 
that arose in his favour. He wanted to know 
who was the real complainant in the case. The 
charge had been nominally advanced by Mr. 
Holmes, a member of the staff at the British 
Consulate, but it was obvious that he was 
merely a cover for the real movers. When the 
accused asked at whose instigation the proceedings 
were taken, the judge refused to permit the question 
to be answered. one official of the Japanese Resi- 
dency-General, Mr. Komatz, came forward and swore 
that, in his opinion, the ill-feeling between the 
Japanese and Koreans was caused by Mr. Bethell's 
two papers. Bishop Turner was called upon to 
testify that the Koreans were hostile to the Japan- 
ese. His evidence could not have been quite 
palatable to the Japanese themselves. 

The Judge. Are there any Koreans in Seoul 
who hold anti-Japanese opinions? In other words, 
what is the feeling of the Korean people towards 
the Japanese in Korea ? 

Bishop Turner. In conversation with Koreans 
I have certainly noticed a very strong feeling against 
the Japanese. 

The Judge. Do you from your general know- 
ledge think the feeling widespread ? 

The Bishop. Yes, I do. 

The Judge. Widespread? 

The Bishop. Yes, very widespread. 

Another witness, Major Hughes, the only one 


called for the defence, declared that in his opinion 
Mr. Bethell's articles were not calculated to excite a 
breach of the public peace. The judge's decision was 
as anticipated. He convicted the editor, and ordered 
him to enter into recognisances of ^300 to be of 
good behaviour for six months. The Korea Daily 
News itself, in commenting on the matter, said, 
" The effect of the judgment is that for a period of 
six months this newspaper will be gagged, and there- 
fore no further reports of Japanese reverses can be 
published in our columns." 

The last has not yet been heard of this case. The 
British Foreign Office, upon which the real responsi- 
bility must lie, has by its action placed itself among 
those who condone the doings of the Japanese troops 
in the interior, for it was mainly on the publication 
of the details of the acts of these troops that the 
charges were based. It is impossible to think that 
our Foreign Office should have moved in this way for 
any other reason than from want of knowledge, and 
it has yet to be seen if British public opinion will 
permit British officials to silence those who, despite 
possible faults of style and maybe, in the opinion of 
some, faults of taste, are making a fight, and a fight 
against heavy odds, for justice to a weaker race. 

The articles in the Korea Daily News, on which 
the charges were based, were as follows : — 

September 2, 1907. 
" We have repeatedly commented upon the manner 
in which Japan has gone to work to subjugate Korea, 


and reports that have just reached us from the 
country are illustrative of the unpleasant and unn^^ces- 
sary methods she is now using. If it is the desire of 
the authorities to create a terrible race hatred among 
the Korean people for Japan, we can only say that 
their desire will be consummated very rapidly, unless 
the great question of humanity is a little more studied. 

" on Saturday afternoon last two Korean ex- 
soldiers were shot by Japanese troops outside the 
west gate of the city of Su Won. The officer in 
charge then drew his sword, and going up to the two 
poor wretches who were dying, plunged it into their 
stomachs, almost disembowelling them. 

" The act has caused great excitement and rage 
in the city, and as a result, when four more men were 
led out to be shot on Sunday, all Koreans were for- 
bidden to approach within a quarter of a mile of the 
place of execution. Japanese civilians were, how- 
ever, allowed to be present. 

" At Yong-san on Saturday evening a Korean and 
his wife, the latter with a baby tied to her back, 
were quietly walking along the high-road near the 
Japanese barracks, when a Japanese soldier, with- 
out any reason, fired at them. 

" The bullet struck the woman in the side, killing 
her instantly. The baby's fingers on one hand were 
blown to pieces. 

" In wild despair the husband rushed to the 
barracks and poured out the tragic tale to the officer. 
He was listened to, and then offered a small sum of 
money as compensation. on his refusing, he was 
driven out into the road. No information can be 



obtained as to whether the murderer has been 
punished or not ; but it is safe to assume that no 
notice has been taken of his act. 

" In the peaceful Httle village of Cha Ma-Chang, 
just a few miles from the east gate of Seoul, the 
Japanese soldiers on their way to I-Chhon and Chang 
Chu have caused considerable trouble. They are 
compelling the local farmers to act as their coolies, 
and on refusal seize them by force and carry them 
away. The women have also been assaulted, and 
the whole village is in a state of terror. 

" The farmers argue very logically that it is unfair 
to expect them to act as baggage coolies to Japanese 
soldiers. They reason that as good Korean patriots 
it is unreasonable to expect them to carry ammuni- 
tion that will be used to shoot down their fellow- 
countrymen ; as if they do, they are likely to be 
attacked and fired upon by other Koreans. That no 
wages are paid for their services ; that they are 
not coolies, but are respectable farmers ; and that it 
is a busy time just now in the fields and the crops 
cannot be neglected. These reasons would appear 
convincing to most, but have no effect on the officers. 

" on the Coronation Day several men were seized 
and marched off with heavily-laden jiggies at the 
point of the bayonet. Ponies are being comman- 
deered in all directions, whilst no payment is offered 
for anything that is taken. The majority of the 
villagers have fled to the mountains. 

" If the latter incidents happen within a few miles 
of Seoul, one is tempted to ask what is going on far 
out in the country.'' 


September 10, 1907. 

" The trouble in the interior has become so serious 
that the Japanese military authorities have decided 
to use extreme measures to stamp it out. The pro- 
clamation of General Baron Hasegawa, Acting 
Resident-General and military Commander-in-Chief, 
is one of those frank announcements which, although 
possibly necessary, create feelings of horror and pity. 
Horror, because of the ruthlessness of the order ; 
pity, because of the tragedies and sufferings that are 
inevitable among the people. Over all these hangs 
the supreme tragedy : the hopelessness of the struggle. 
one is compelled to admire the misguided patriotism 
of the people who have determined to strike a blow 
for their country and die. It is the highest order of 
courage ; it is also the most pitiful. 

" The proclamation orders the destruction of all 
villages where insurrection has taken place. Such 
an order should be the last resort of all ; for it means 
the carrying on of war against women and children 
and aged people. It means suffering unutterable ; it 
means the murder of the defenceless. The situation 
is not so bad as to really cause the adoption of 
extreme measures. Gentler methods could have 
been used to suppress the trouble, and could have 
been used effectually. The bitter winter will soon 
be here ; and the burning of entire villages and 
towns is simply inexcusable. As a last resort it 
might have been pardonable ; but in the present 
condition of affairs it is a revival of barbaric 


"What is the condition of things in Korea? In 
the south about 2,000 people have risen and attacked 
the Japanese officers. The majority of them are 
armed with old weapons. Artillery, they are with- 
out. To replenish their stock of ammunition is very 
difficult, whilst their organisation is of a rather low 
order. Against them we have trained Japanese 
troops with the latest magazine rifles, with light, 
quick-firing machine guns, and with infinite resources 
so far as reinforcements and commissariat are con- 
cerned. If it is impossible for the Japanese, with 
these advantages over the Koreans, to suppress the 
rising without burning to the ground hundreds and 
thousands of houses, then we have to say that the 
army now in Korea has sadly deteriorated in com- 
parison with the Japanese armies who fought in 
Manchuria. The ancients had a saying that those 
whom the gods wish to destroy, they first make mad. 
The critic of Japan may well remember this old 
aphorism ; for if Japan persists in carrying out these 
extreme methods of suppression she will succeed in 
building up a race hatred quite as fierce and quite as 
relentless as Oliver Cromwell did among the people 
of Ireland. 

" Marquis Ito, for the apparent purpose of obtain- 
ing publicity abroad, has sought to make it under- 
stood that Japan's policy in Korea is a conciliatory 
one. General Hasegawa has by his proclamation 
taken the wind out of Marquis Ito's sails. We may 
say, however, that General Hasegawa is acting under 
instructions from Tokyo, which have been sent to 
him with the complete approval of Marquis Ito. 


And so we have Marquis Ito openly preaching the 
gospel of conciliation, and we have General Hase- 
gawa, who is the Acting Resident-General, promising 
the destruction of all Koreans who are suspected of 
disaffection. There are two orators and two plat- 
forms. Marquis Ito addresses himself in velvet to 
the civilised nations. General Hasegawa threatens 
the Koreans with the armed forces of Japan. Of 
General Hasegawa's proclamation we have little to 
say ; but the inducements which are extended to 
Koreans to betray their neighbours or friends are 
very clearly not in accordance with the ideas of 
honour which prevail amongst Western nations, and 
fall far behind the standard which two Japanese 
barons so sedulously sought to impress upon the 
white man in Europe and America during Japan's 

Septeinber 12, 1907. 

" The rising in the south of Korea is now marked 
with the worst attributes of warfare. It is no longer 
civilised warfare ; it has developed into war without 
mercy. We by no means wish to insinuate that it is 
only the Japanese who are the offenders. on the 
contrary, we freely admit that the Korean insurgents 
have copied the examples of the Japanese soldiers 
and are burning houses and killing people. We 
would merely like to point out that the authorities 
started these methods and that the Koreans have 
followed suit. They have evidently an understanding 
of the old proverb, ' What is sauce for the goose is 
sauce for the gander.' 


" Reliable information has reached us from the 
interior, and we publish it without comment. Our 
informant deals with the condition of things in 
Chhung-Chhung-Do. He arrived on Tuesday evening 
from Pyeng Tak, having walked from his home near 
Chhung-Chu city. He reports that for a distance of 
nearly seventy li along the high-road from Chei Chyen 
city the Japanese troops have burned to the ground 
every village and every house. The desolation is 
appalling. There is nothing left but ruins and 
smoking straw. 

" on Monday last the magistrate of Chin-Tchun 
called in the aid of fifty Japanese soldiers, and the 
townsmen having provided the soldiers with whatever 
they required, the volunteers held a meeting, and 
decided to punish what they considered treachery on 
the part of their countrymen. A few hours later they 
assembled in large numbers and attacked the town. 

" At the first signs of attack the insurgents fled to 
the hills, upon which the volunteers then attacked the 
Japanese garrison of fifty men. They defeated the 
Japanese, killing eight soldiers and driving the rest 
in the direction of An Song. They then burnt the 
entire town, which is by no means a small one. 
The Korean volunteers are using ancient rifles, and 
are said to be short of ammunition, but during this 
fight they captured a considerable number of modern 
rifles and a fair amount of ammunition. 

" At the same time another body of volunteers 
ambuscaded a small party of Japanese soldiers in 
one of the valleys in the mountains, and killed them 

I'lioloi^rtit'li hyi 

[F. .1. M, k'l'iizic. 

Jnl NNAI.ISM IN KoKliA ; Till': COMl'OSlToUS Iv'ooM ol A 


" In Chhung-Chu city there are over 1,000 
Japanese soldiers. The officers have adopted the old 
methods of warfare, for they are paying practically 
nothing for the stores they seize. It is also reported, 
but we do not vouch for the report, that the soldiers 
are killing both women and children. 

" Thousands of non-combatants have been robbed 
and rendered houseless by the Japanese soldiers, 
which has naturally resulted in a large increase of 
the volunteer forces." 

September 21, 1907. 

" Telegraphic messages from Tokyo, which reached 
us this morning, say that the Crown Prince of Japan, 
Prince Yoshi-hito, will arrive in Seoul on October 
lOth, on a 'visit of inspection.' This visit appears 
to make a departure from the tradition which has 
hitherto been observed when the two nations have 
held intercourse with each other. Korea has had 
many visitors from Japan who carried messages from 
one Emperor to the other, and has always recipro- 
cated on equal terms, but this expedition, uninvited, 
to the best of our belief, to Korea, is a very distinct 
advance from a ceremonial point of view, upon 
anything which Japan has so far attempted in Korea ; 
and we cannot see, much as we must admire the 
Imperial family of Japan, how this new step can 
conduce in any way to the improvement of the 
relations between the two countries, especially at a 
time when Japanese troops are butchering Korean 
patriots — misguided surely, but still patriots. 

"And what has become of the Imperial House 


of Korea? To all intents and purposes the Emperor 
is now sufifering at Japanese hands in much the same 
way as the common Korean people have suffered 
for some years. He is being quartered upon. No 
one can imagine for a moment that the Emperor 
spontaneously invited the Crown Prince of Japan 
to come to Korea. Neither can it be believed that 
the weak Emperor looks forward to the coming 
visitation with feelings other than those of the greatest 

" It was only two days ago, possibly in anticipation 
of the visit of H.I.J.H. the Prince Yoshi-hito, that 
the retired Emperor and the reigning Emperor were 
separated from each other on orders of the men who 
comprise the Cabinet Council. This separation 
rudely broke a companionship which had continued 
unbroken for over a quarter of a century ; as for 
this time the Emperor and his father lived, ate, and 
slept in the same house. 

" The present Emperor can by no means be 
described as a strong man. The retired Emperor 
had his weaknesses, but had many accomplishments 
which enabled him to preserve his balance upon the 
throne so long as he did. If common report is 
correct, the new Emperor has none of these advan- 
tages, and the separation from his father will 
probably leave him more than ever at sea. 

" That this separation was forcible is clear to every 
one who lives at Seoul, and that it carries behind 
it further designs upon Korea — Independence, In- 
tegrity, Welfare, Imperial Dignity, and so forth — 
is generally apprehended. During the war the brick 


which the Japanese most frequently threw at the 
Koreans was labelled ' intrigue.' And now in our 
humble way we heave that brick back to where it 

September 24, 1907. 

" We have received a long letter from a valued 
correspondent (a foreigner) concerning the trouble 
in the interior. He has only recently returned from 
the scene, and he writes of things that he saw. Our 
correspondent is an unbiassed man with no axe to 
grind for either party. 

" He says : ' This business is a big thing. The 
Japanese by their methods are either deliberately or 
through ignorance and incapacity causing it to grow 
rapidly. In Chhin-Chun Eup the Eui-pyeng, or 
Righteous Army, drove out two Japanese who had 
somehow got possession of Korean houses and burnt 
their belongings. on September 9th twenty-seven 
Japanese soldiers entered the town and burnt sixty- 
five houses ; I saw these myself, and they were nothing 
more than a heap of ashes. The Kun gu's official 
residence was destroyed, and part of the large house 
of Mr. Yi Han Eung. The Japanese then took 
possession of the remaining part of the house and 
slept in it, having driven the owners away, and after 
a few days left it in a filthy condition. They even 
dragged doors and windows off their hinges, pulled 
the paper off the walls and strewed filth, fragments 
of cigarettes, food, and broken beer-bottles through- 
out the best rooms of the house. As the owner of 
the house had already been beaten by the volunteers 


for refusing to aid them (he is a rich man) the 
Japanese acts of vandalism at his house seem some- 
what unnecessary and inhuman. 

" ' Whilst I was in this town a body of ten 
volunteers passed through in the evening. It was 
a moving sight to see these poor patriots marching 
in single file with their ancient muskets slung over 
their right shoulder and a fuse in their left hand. 
They were perfectly orderly and quiet and made no 
disturbance in the town whatever. 

" ' I was twice accosted by the Eui-pyeng in my 
travels, but was always treated politely. one of 
them told me that they were glad to see any 
foreigners in the country, except the Japanese, and 
that they wished to learn from foreigners mechanical 
and other arts, and were determined to save their 
country or die in the attempt. 

" * Both here and in every other village where I 
stopped I warned Koreans of the uselessness of 
fighting for their independence as things are now, 
and implored them to bear their humiliation for a 
number of years, during which they must acquire 
Western arts and sciences, and not to put their trust 
in Russia, England, China, America, or any other 
nation, but to trust in the future and prepare them- 
selves to be ready to claim their independence when 
the time comes. 

" ' They were quite respectful but determined to 
fight on. I hope, however, that I have deterred many 
from joining them, and I may say without boasting 
that I believe I have done more to pacify the Koreans 
than any Japanese in this country. one Korean, 


pointing to his ruined home, said to me, " Our religion 
teaches us to love our enemies, but it is very hard to 
love the Japanese when you see that sort of thing." 

"'Not a single Japanese soldier or civilian did 
I see, and only one or two fugitive Koreans with 
their hair cut, not one individual displayed in foreign 
elastic-sided boots and green or purple stockings. 
It was a disappointment. 

'" In one village I was in, the Eui-pyeng captured 
a member of the notorious II Chin Hoi, but although 

I inquired very carefully, I could not hear that they 
had done him any damage. 

" ' The people all speak well of the Eui-pyeng, 
whom they declare to be strictly disciplined and 
well officered. The Japanese, guided by men of the 

II Chin Hoi, men who are now the avowed, but who 
always have been the real, enemies of their country, 
go about in considerable numbers, and live the life of 
ruthless brigands. They live by plunder and theft, 
and destroy wherever they go. At the same time 
they are utterly incapable of suppressing the dis- 
turbances, which grow rapidly under the inhuman 

" ' These freebooters pillage, assault, and kill 
wherever they go. one village I was in the people 
were full of deep wrath because they had shot a 
small boy who was cutting firewood on the hillside. 
He was quite alone, they told me, and there were 
none of the Eui-pyeng within miles of the place. 
They plunder isolated villages, and seize horses and 
oxen. They never pay a cent for anything, and no 
one is safe from their violence and greed. To call 


the Righteous Army rebels is ridiculous when one 
goes among them and realises that they are fighting 
for home and country against a set of ruffians. 

" ' I saw four places where engagements had been 
fought. At one place it had been a drawn battle, 
the Japanese retiring with five killed. The other 
three were Japanese victories, owing to the long 
range of their rifles and their superior ammunition ; 
and only one of their victories was obtained without 
casualties to themselves. I saw enough to realise 
that it was no picnic for the Japanese. 

" * The Chinese are about as usual in all the places 
I visited, and everybody is perfectly safe, with the 
exception of the Japanese and the II Chin Hoi. 

" ' one is forced to ask who is in charge of these 
men who are nothing more than brigands. Their 
mode of warfare seems to be purposely designed to 
stir every honest man into a frenzy. Is this their 
object ? If not, why do they practise so wicked, so 
mad a policy ? Let the authorities either police the 
whole disaffected districts effectually and properly, 
or else confess their incapacity for controlling Korea. 

" ' In spite of all this misery and destruction the 
harvest promises well in most parts ; while, although 
there has been so long a drought, the rice crop is on 
the whole a heavy one. Even now, by the constant 
attention and clever manipulation of the water 
supply, many of the rows are still covered with two 
or three inches of that most necessary element' 

" So writes our correspondent. We make no 
comment. It is needless." 


September 26, 1907. 

" We are informed that a bad fight took place 
about eight miles frou Su-won on Sunday, Septem- 
ber 1 2th. Thirty volunteers were surrounded by 
Japanese troops, and although no resistance was 
offered, were shot down in the most cold-blooded 
fashion. This not being quite enough to satisfy the 
conquerors, two other volunteers who had been 
captured were brought out and were decapitated by 
one of the officers. We may mention that this news 
does not come from native sources ; it comes from 

October i, 1907. 

" Reliable information from the south states that 
on the 26th ult. several Japanese soldiers arrived in 
Yea San and arrested Mr. Yi Nam Kiu, a former 
high official in the district. In their anxiety his son 
and servants followed the party and begged to know 
the reason of the seizure, upon which the soldiers 
opened fire upon them, killing the majority. They 
then put Mr. Yi against a post and shot him." 

The article which appeared solely in the Dai Han 
Mai II Shinpo (October ist) was : — 

"Valuing that which is Valuable. 

" Oh ! Korean nation ! Is not independence the 
most valuable thing in the world ? 

"The rights of a people exist by virtue of the 
independence of their country, and the more com- 


plete the independence the fuller the rights of the 
people. If independence is impaired so are the rights 
of the people, and if it is completely lost the rights 
of the people are lost with it. Independence is the 
life and soul, body and limbs of a nation. Having 
it, a nation lives, without it, it dies ; therefore the 
two words Tok-lip (Independence) represent one of 
the most valuable things in the world, difficult to 
obtain and difficult to keep. 

"Even the Jewel of Bouhoo and the Jade of Whasi 
were not easily obtained or carelessly guarded ; 
therefore how much more difficult it is to obtain 
and maintain that independence which concerns the 
life or death of a whole race of people ! 

" Think ! What are the histories of the struggles 
for independence in America, Greece, and Italy? 
How many patriots suffered great misery ? How 
many lost all they had, and how many lost their 
lives ? 

" The glorious independence of these nations now 
shines to the four directions of the compass, yet the 
blessings which the present generations enjoy were 
purchased with the blood of their ancestors. 

" Korea came by her independence easily ; the 
nation did not struggle for it and the people did not 
suffer to obtain it. It was a gift from God, and, 
coming easily, was lightly guarded. The people did 
not try to appreciate the nature of the gift and the 
value of national independence. An ancient philo- 
sopher has written that if a man receives 1,000 
taels of gold without cause, great blessings or great 
calamities will befal him. Independence came to us 


without any effort on our part, and great calamity 
was therefore to come to us. 

"If directly we had received our independence 
we had devoted ourselves to strengthening and con- 
serving our new position, and if our Government and 
all political parties had united to work unceasingly 
for the progress and enlightenment of our people, 
then great blessings would have been ours and the 
foundations of independence laid ten years ago would 
have been rendered safe. With no appreciation of 
the value of independence, we did the exact opposite. 
Not valuing the blessings of God, we spent in idle 
pleasure the time and energy which should have been 
devoted to education and the strengthening of the 
nation. We spurned the gift of God, and our un- 
happy condition to-day is our own fault. Independ- 
ence, the great safeguard of a nation, came to us 
easily, and, valuing it lightly, we lost it almost at once. 
Chomeng once gave away something he valued, but 
finding that it was not appreciated, he stole it back 
again, and similarly those who gave us independence 
have now deprived us of it. 

" History tells us that the independence of the 
United States, Italy, and Greece was only gained 
after many years of affliction and trouble, and by 
the loss of many thousands of lives, and in the same 
way the people of Korea must pay the proper price 
before they attain full happiness. Tiiere are usually 
failures before success is reached, and why, there- 
fore should our hearts fail us now and our footsteps 
falter ? 

"Our independence, to be complete, must be 


gained by our own efforts and held by our own 
strength. Let our watchword, then, be ' Independ- 
ence' ; and though our troubles be infinite, let us not 
break even though we are bent ten thousand times, 
and in the end we shall shake off outside oppression 
and restraint and once more build up an independent 

" If we do this, we shall prove our capacity to the 
world ; if we do not, there will be no place for us in 
all the wide world or on all the broad ocean. 

" Therefore consider this and act." 



UP to the year 1904 Korea presented a possible 
and expanding field for British trade and 
British influence. The Customs Service was under 
an Englishman. British houses had their branches 
in Chemulpho and elsewhere. British goods, more 
particularly cottons, were acquiring an ever-grow- 
ing market, and our Open Door rights were made 
secure by treaty. To-day the British chief of the 
Customs has gone and a Japanese has taken his 
place. The numerous European assistants in the 
Customs Service have nearly all been sent adrift and 
their positions occupied by a greatly augmented 
number of Japanese. While we still have a nominal 
Open Door, it is freely charged that Japanese 
merchants are able to bring their goods into the 
country on more advantageous terms than our own 
people. Our trade in Korea is doomed as surely 
as our Formosan trade was doomed when Japan 
took over that island. The Residency-General has 
adopted on the surface a policy of encouragment to 
the foreigner, but in truth a policy of exclusion. 

17 ^41 


The encouragement is confined to gracious words 
and fair promises, but the reality consists of 
conditions so onerous and uncertain that foreign 
capitalists will not put fresh money into the land. 

It was perhaps natural that, when Japan took over 
Korea, one of the earliest rules of the Residency- 
General was that Japanese should be employed for 
every service, and that contracts should always go to 
Japanese firms wherever they could possibly supply 
the goods. It was reasonable, too, that the 
Residency-General should seek to improve the old 
loose and uncertain methods of granting conces- 
sions. But it was soon found that under the 
seeming fairness in trade regulations provisos were 
inserted that would hoplessly cripple any non- 

This can be well illustrated by the case of the 
mining laws. When the Japanese came to Korea 
in 1904 there was good promise of considerable 
mining enterprise in the country. Representatives 
of various nations had already secured concessions, 
and the American mines yielded high profits. Great 
financial groups in London, Paris, and New York 
had their representatives on the spot, seeking 
power to open up fresh fields. The Japanese first 
announced that they would delay granting any 
concessions until proper regulations should be 
framed. Japanese prospectors were given a free 
hand to travel over the country, while the white 
prospectors were kept back. Then, in 1906, the 
new mining regulations appeared. In many re- 
spects these were fair and even liberal, but they 


were wholly vitiated by certain clauses which 
placed the holders of the rights entirely at the 
mercy of the Minister of Agriculture, a Japanese- 
appointed official. Articles 9 and 10 declared that 
the owners of a mining right could not amalgamate, 
divide, sell, assign, or mortgage a claim without per- 
mission from the Minister of Agriculture. Article 1 1 
gave the same Minister the right to stop all opera- 
tions at will. " In case the holder of a mining right 
does not carry on operations properly, or when his 
method of work is considered to involve danger, or 
to be injurious to public interests, the Minister of 
Agriculture, Commerce, and Industry shall order the 
required improvement or precautionary measures or 
the suspension of operations." In Article 12 the 
power of absolute forfeiture was laid down. " The 
Minister of Agriculture, Commerce, and Industry, 
may revoke the permission to carry on mining 
operations when the mining operations are con- 
sidered to be injurious to public interests." 

The result of this has been what one would expect. 
Great financiers now refuse to advance money for 
Korean enterprises ; the biggest syndicate of all is 
withdrawing from the country, and British engineers, 
known to me, are, as I write this in London, looking 
for fresh engagements because the Japanese mining 
regulations have made it impossible for them to 
continue their work in Korea. No one will put 
half a million of money in mining development 
and plant to have before him the possibility of 
it being confiscated at the whim of an official. 
" We have refused no English requests for a mining 


right," the Japanese say. No, but they have made 
the mining rights not worth having, or certainly not 
worth investing the heavy sums in development that 
are necessary if good work is to be done. 

There has been considerable talk during the last 
year of a Customs alliance between Japan and Korea. 
This is advocated by men like Count Okuma, who 
call insistently for the sweeping away of old Korean 
treaties. The foreign merchants in Korea believe that 
unless active steps are taken this union will come, 
and they point out that, if it comes, the last vestiges 
of their trade will be taken away. Foreign goods 
would then have to pay the high Japanese tariff when 
brought into Korea, and Japanese goods would be 
admitted free. The probability of this coming to 
pass is wholly denied by the responsible authorities 
at the Residency-General. " only the greedy com- 
mercial party in Japan wants it," a high official once 
assured me. There are great difficulties in the way 
of carrying out such a proposal. It could not be done 
without the consent of the various Powers possessing 
treaty rights with Korea. Japan might, of course, 
denounce such treaties and refuse to acknowledge 
them further, but such a course would do her so much 
harm that it is not likely to be followed. From the 
point of view of the Residency-General the step is 
undesirable at this time, because it would destroy 
one of the principal sources of Korean revenue. 

There is an old and true story of how some years i 
after Korea had been opened to foreign trade a 
foreign Minister rose in the House of Commons to 
reply to a question on the Hermit Kingdom. " The 

l'liolot<rat>h by] 1 '• ■ A.McK'iiizU: 



honourable member asks if we are taking steps to 
protect British trade in Korea," he said. "There 
is no such thing as British trade there. There is not 
a single British firm in Korea, and no British goods 
go there." At the time one of the leading British 
houses in the Far East had been settled in Che- 
mulpho for eighteen months, and was doing well. 
But word of this enterprise had not yet reached 
Downing Street. 

No one can deny the reality of British trade in 
Korea now. But there is still danger that the same 
indifference in official circles may sweep it away. I 
refuse to contemplate the possibility of our Govern- 
ment giving its consent to the abrogation of our 
Open Door rights there. But, apart from so 
extreme a measure, we are permitting other things 
to go on that cannot fail to harm us. one of the 
most annoying and dangerous of these is the free 
sale of Japanese fraudulent imitation of well-known 
British goods. This affects our trade not only in 
Korea, but also in Manchuria and China. Not long 
since I was walking through a town in Northern 
Asia with an American Consul stationed there. My 
friend pointed out to me article after article in the 
big stores with an English label, but which we could 
see in a moment were nothing but the bogus products 
of an Osaka factory. " You British are wonderful 
people," he said. " You make good things and earn 
a high reputation for them. Then you will allow a 
sneaking little Japanese trader to spread the vilest 
counterfeits of your stuff all over Asia. Your reputa- 
tion is destroyed, not merely for those particular 


goods, but for many others. And yet you do not 
even protest, and you have no officials on the spot 
to safeguard your interests." 

Early last year English commercial men were 
aroused by the reports of an amazing case in 
Japan, which shed vivid light on the difficulties 
before our manufacturers there. The Japanese 
agents for " Black and White " whisky summoned 
a man, Nishiwaka, for imitating their trade mark. 
Nishikawa made no secret of the fact that he had 
copied the " Black and White " trade-mark as closely 
as he could. " I wanted to make the whisky look as 
much as possible as though it had been imported 
from abroad, and I considered the ' Black and 
White' the best," he told the court. For all 
practical purposes the two labels — I have seen both 
— were not distinguishable. There was no dispute 
about the facts, and there was no question that 
people had been deceived. The court dismissed the 
charge, on the ground that it did not constitute an 
offence in Japanese law. This decision has been 
upheld on appeal. 

The " Black and White" case was only a very bad 
instance of what is going on constantly. In Korea 
British trade feels the result of this. When you buy 
English goods in the Japanese quarter in Seoul you 
must look very carefully at the label. Usually, a 
mis-spelled word or a letter turned upside down 
gives away the imitation. A friend of mine bought 
a so-called Christy's hat for her little boy. The boy 
went out in the rain and was soaked. The hat 
promptly went soft and shapeless, the lining came 


out, and underneath the lining was a padding of 
Japanese newspapers. 

The British merchant and manufacturer have 
a right to expect that their Government will do 
something to protect them against this kind of 
unfair competition. Friendly representations to the 
Japanese Government would go far to check it. The 
Japanese imitation is destroying the reputation of 
the British original from Canton to Harbin. 

The piece-goods trade in Korea is gradually being 
wiped out by Japanese competition. A paragraph 
from the report of Messrs. Noel, Murray & Co., 
of Shanghai, last August, gives the attitude of the 
leading British houses engaged in this business in 
the Far East. 

"The feelings of many of the British import 
houses here who have been for years interested in 
the trade of Korea can better be imagined than 
described as they see its total extinction slowly but 
surely getting nearer and nearer. Probably because 
the British trade with that country does not figure 
to any great extent in the Board of Trade Returns, 
the Government does not consider the actions of 
Japan towards that country are worthy of notice. 
But for years past a steady trade in Manchester 
goods have been done through Shanghai, and this 
is altogether doomed if Japan is quietly allowed to 
absorb the trade, as she is evidently trying to do, 
by bringing about a Customs Union. The report 
that the United States is willing to aid and abet 
her in doing so, as a sop to counteract the awkward 
situation that has been raised over the immigration 


question, is only natural, considering her commercial 
relations with Korea are of no importance. It is, 
however, quite time a halt was called and a re-valua- 
tion made of the Open Door and ' fair field and 
no favour' protestations that were so much to the 
fore a few years ago both with regard to the 
Manchurian and Korean trades." 

Those who explain the expansion of Japanese 
commerce in Korea solely by unfair means make 
a serious mistake. The Japanese traders are show- 
ing great enterprise in many ways. Not unnaturally, 
they secure subsidies wherever they can, both from 
the Japanese and Korean Governments. one of 
their successful methods was displayed last Sep- 
tember when a big exhibition was opened in the 
centre of Seoul. The exhibition secured a heavy 
grant of money from the Korean Government and 
was run under direct official patronage. Great 
efforts were made to compel the new Emperor to 
open it in person. But the Emperor was obstinate, 
and refused to come. Parties of geisha and oiran, 
dressed in scarlet knickers and fancy garments, 
paraded the streets with music, advertising the 
show. There were constant geisha entertainments 
in the grounds, and everything was done to attract 
the people. 

The exhibition was mainly a display of Japanese 
manufactured goods of all kinds, with a few general 
educational items added. I seardied carefully for 
Korean or foreign articles, but all that I could 
find were reputed French wines, displayed by a 
Japanese firm. Koreans attended in great num- 


bers, and the exhibition resulted in a great impetus 
to the sale of Japanese goods in Korea, 

The articles shown might have been a revelation 
to those who are still inclined to pooh-pooh Japanese 
manufactures. They were nearly all, it is true, 
imitations of European designs. In furniture, in 
pottery, in foods, in medicines, the one idea seemed 
to be to approach the European styles as closely 
as possible. The European discovers much to 
amuse him in the little variations between these 
copies and our own originals. The Korean buyer, 
however, does not notice the difference. To him the 
Japanese imitation is as good as the other. It is far 
cheaper. It is pushed on him by a man who speaks 
his language and knows his ways. No wonder that 
it sells, while the European wares lie unpacked in 
the warehouse. 



THE policy of Japan in Korea to-day cannot be 
fully understood unless it is regarded not as an 
isolated manifestation, but as a part of a great 
Imperial scheme. Japan has set out to be a supreme 
world-Power, and she is rapidly realising her ambi- 
tion. Yesterday her territory was limited, her people 
were desperately poor, her army and fleet were 
thought to be negligible quantities, and her aspira- 
tions were pityingly looked upon as the fevered 
dreams of an undeveloped people. To-day we are 
in danger of over-estimating the Japanese force and 
strength as greatly as yesterday our fathers under- 
estimated it. Japan has found Imperialism a costly, 
dangerous, and burdensome policy. Her navy and 
her army have won her world-glory, but she is still 
struggling and staggering under a load that even yet 
may be too much for her. 

Japanese statesmen realise that they must have 
fresh territories in which to settle their people. Their 
own land is crowded and over-populated. Each year 
sees an increase of from 6oo,ocK) to 700,000 people. 

The 33,000,000 in the Japan of 1872 are now just on 



50,000,000, and the rate of increase grows greater 
each year. The vast majority of these people are 
still very poor, and Japan to-day has slums in her 
cities and problems of child-labour, sweated labour, 
and starvation, rivalling those of Western nations. 
Unbacked by great natural resources or by consider- 
able reserves of wealth, her Government is trying to 
carry through the most gigantic and costly of tasks 
on a foundation of patriotism and splendid national 

For myself, necessary as I have thought it to be 
in carrying out my duty as a publicist to criticise 
the more dangerous sides of this expansion, I 
cannot but feel the most profound and genuine 
respect for the loyalty and high racial ambitions that 
have carried the nation so far. The casual visitor 
to Japan to-day sees great and glaring faults, but 
those of us who have lived longer among her people 
and have gone deeper into her problems, wonder not 
that there are faults, but that development has reached 
a stage when faults are noted. 

Not long since I was on the train from Seoul to 
Fusan. It was five hours late. It had broken down 
twice. The locomotive, badly cleaned and badly 
handled, was scarce able to drag its load, and 
carriages had been discarded to lighten it. 

Some of us, standing in the Korean station — 
wet, cold, and miserable — were passing caustic 
remarks about Japanese engine-drivers and the way 
they muddled and misused their engines. A quiet 
Scotsman turned on us with a single question. 
" Do you ever reflect," he asked, " on the wonder 


that these people can do as well as they do? 
Think of it," he continued. " The driver was 
probably two years ago an agricultural labourer in 
a village, and had never seen an engine. He is 
running this train badly, it is true, but he is running 
it, and in twelve months' time he will be handling it 
well. What man of another nation could have done 
the same?" 

The quiet Scotsman had touched the heart of the 
problem. It is barely thirty years since Japan was 
still torn in the struggle between feudalism and 
modernity. The men who to-day are managing 
cotton mills wore, in their younger manhood, two 
swords and fantastic armour. Yesterday the kiheitai 
(irregular soldiers) walked through their districts 
armed to the teeth, terrorising peaceful farmers ; 
now the same kiheitai work their ten hours a day in 
the factory for fifteen pence. Yesterday the dainty 
wife sat modestly at home waiting for her lord to 
return from his political brawls ; to-day the same 
wife is busy over the spinning-jenny in the factory, 
while her lord is doing his share in shop or ware- 
house. The thing is a world-miracle, and the longer 
one contemplates it the greater the miracle appears. 

Japan has broken her solemn promises to Korea 
and has evaded in every way her pledged obligations 
to maintain the policy of equal opportunities, because 
she is driven thereto by heavy taxation, by the poverty 
of her people, and by the necessity of obtaining fresh 
markets and new lands for settlement. Her people 
are now the most heavily taxed in proportion to 
income of any in the world. At the beginning of 


the Russo-Japanese War a scheme of Imperial taxa- 
tion was instituted that was thought to read, the 
final extreme possible to bear as a national war 
burden. This taxation was further increased in 1905, 
it being understood that the extraordinary special 
taxes were to be abolished on the last day of the 
year following the restoration of peace. The land 
tax was increased during the war from 120 to 700 
per cent., the business tax 150 per cent., the income 
tax from 80 to 270 per cent., and the sugar duties 
from 100 to 195 per cent. There were also various 
other increases. Great national industries, such as 
tobacco and railways, were nationalised, and Japan 
succeeded in sending up her ordinary income from 
;^25,ooo,ooo to over ;^40,ooo,ooo. At the end of the 
war the Government announced that under existing 
circumstances the promised remission of the war 
tax could not be carried out, so they were kept on to 
their full extent. Now for the financial year of 1908-9 
the Government is compelled to impose a number of 
taxes over and above the war burden, and despite 
this it is faced by the probability of a heavy deficit 
next year. 

So long as Japan could meet the deficiency by 
foreign loans, the problem of making both ends meet 
was capable of easy solution. But the most opti- 
mistic financier hesitates, at the present time, to 
suggest a loan either in the European or American 
markets. For months a careful campaign has been 
waged to enable a new loan to be floated in Paris, 
but so far without success. The Manchurian Rail- 
way issue was an open failure, although only half 


of the money really needed was asked for. The 
Japanese Finance Commissioners who were in Europe 
last summer returned home disappointed. " You can 
rest assured," one of them was told by a leading 
financial authority, " that Europe has not another 
sovereign to lend Japan for increased arma- 

The monetary difficulties have been increased by 
the disastrous results of commercial speculation in 
the summer of 1907, when large numbers of banks 
and institutions failed. The situation is such to-day 
that the Government must decide on one of two 
alternatives. It must either reduce expenditure, and 
thus limit some of its cherished schemes, or it must 
find excuse for an aggressive campaign against its 
wealthy neighbour, China. It is this which may 
explain the Japanese breaches of the Open Door 
policy. The Government, no doubt, feels that it 
cannot afford to miss anything that would expand 
its commerce and improve its national income. 

The financial problem has led, in turn, to the labour 
problem. The inevitable result of high taxation has 
been to raise the cost of living. It is probably an 
understatement that the cost of living has doubled 
in Japan in a few years. 

one outcome of this rise in the cost of living has 
been a series of formidable strikes, particularly 
among the miners — strikes often accompanied by 
violence and loss of life. In April last several 
hundred miners at the Horolai coal-mine attempted 
to destroy the mine buildings, fought the police, 
wounding five of them, and set fire to the mine 


offices and the go-downs, using dynamite to destroy 
the buildings. 

At the Ashio copper-mine the men rose, cut down 
the telegraph lines, extinguished all the lights in the 
pits, blew up the watch-houses with dynamite, and 
started a general riot. A bomb was thrown into the 
watch-house and blew it to atoms. The rioters were 
thoroughly organised, and had supplies of kerosene 
and explosives for their work. In the end a heavy 
body of troops and over 300 police had to come 
and restore order. In this riot no less than 830 
houses were burnt and a number of lives were lost. 
At the Besshi copper-mine, in June, there were 
serious disturbances and grave fights, involving a 
direct loss of ^200,000. Offices were set on fire, and 
damage done which it will take a year to repair. In 
September some thousands of dyeing operatives went 
on strike. An epidemic of strikes ran through many 

The outcome of these upheavals has been that the 
men have generally obtained large increases of wages, 
in some cases as much as 45 per cent. The strike 
movement is not yet over ; it may be said barely to 
have begun. 

This rapid increase in wages is wounding the new 
Japanese manufacturers in their most vital point. An 
attempt was made to obtain cheap labour last year 
by importing a number of Chinese coolies. The 
Government quickly intervened, and had the coolies 
expelled, to the accompaniment of considerable in- 
dignity and suffering. Japan has no hesitation in 
protecting herself from cheaper labour, whatever she 


may say about America having similar protection 
for her people. 

This labour question raises yet another issue. 
Japan's success as a manufacturing nation has so far 
been largely due to the low wages of her toilers. The 
cotton mills, with an unlimited supply of women 
workers at fivepence a day, and children at a few 
pence a week, the factories with skilled workmen earn- 
ing an average wage of sixty sen (i5d.) a day, are able 
to turn out goods very cheaply. The Japanese work- 
ing man is, in the opinion of all competent authorities, 
not nearly so capable a handler of machinery as is 
the European. Generally speaking, it takes two 
Japanese to do the work of one European where 
much machinery is used. Japanese deftness lies 
largely in handicrafts. 

So long as human material was cheap this did not 
much matter. But now we have labour appreciating 
all the time, until in some districts known to me 
two shillings a day has to be paid. Firms that land 
goods at Japanese ports are already becoming loud in 
their complaints of the cost of handling freight. 

The Japanese manufacturer thus finds his labour 
bill rising, while his direct taxation is double or 
treble what it once was. At the same time a new 
commercial rival is arising. The factory system is 
being introduced into parts of China, especially 
around the Yangtze Valley, and the Chinese are 
beginning to produce, on a considerable scale, 
certain lines of goods in competition with Japan. 

In China labour is still paid a minimum wage 
and taxation is low. The Chinese worker is at 


least equal to the Japanese. What China has lacked 
up to now has been Government direction, and skilled 
Government aid in finance, in securing cheap freight, 
and in finding and keeping customers. Dear labour 
and high taxation threaten Japan more nearly and 
more seriously than any Armada from foreign lands. 

What are the main causes of these crushing 
national burdens ? They are, without doubt, mainly 
due to the great amount spent on the army and the 
navy and on commercial subsidies. A great parade 
was made in some quarters, at the beginning of 
1908, because of an announcment that the Japanese 
Government had resolved to modify its military and 
naval expenditure for the coming year. The com- 
mentators were probably not aware that this so-called 
modification was merely a slight clipping off in 
a great scheme of expansion. Japan still spends 
twice as much on her fighting forces as five years 
ago. The national policy since the conclusion of the 
treaty of Portsmouth has been, as it was previously, 
strongly in favour of the rapid and considerable 
enlargement of both the fleet and the army. There 
's, it is true, a party, both in the Cabinet and out of 
it, that would keep defence expenditure within 
bounds. But this party is at present only able to 
exercise a slightly moderating influence. 

A comparison of the fighting strength of the 
nation immediately before the war and to-day will 
best show this. At the end of 1903 Japan had six 
good battleships. To-day she has thirteen, and three 
more are being built. Of these thirteen ships, two— 
the Satsuma and the Aki — are of the Dreadnought 



class, and exceed the Dreadnought in displacement. 
The three now building will far surpass in tonnage, 
horse-power, and armaments our own coming 
monsters, the Belkrophon, Temeraire^ and the Superb. 
Here is an exact comparison : — 

Displacement. I.H.P. Armaments. 

Bellerophon...^ . ( lo 12", and 27 

Superb"'' "') 1 small Q.F. 

Displacement. I.H.P. Armaments. 

Japanese battleships 22,000 26,500 

(-12 12", 
\ 10 8", and 
( 12 47 Q-P- 

Before the war Japan had six efficient armoured 
cruisers. To-day she has twelve, besides four now 
being built, of which one is near completion. Some 
of these new armoured cruisers are battleships in all 
but name. As against fourteen protected cruisers 
before the war, there are now eighteen. Her nineteen 
destroyers have risen to fifty-four, and her forty-five 
torpedo-boats to eighty-five. In addition, she has 
accumulated a considerable fleet of submarines. 
There are seven in commission and six now under 
construction. It is not too much to say that the 
Japanese Navy is to-day nearly twice as efficient and 
powerful as it was three months before the outbreak 
of the Russian War. 

The increase in the army has been also consider- 
able. At the close of the Russian campaign the 
Minister for War, General Terauchi, wanted to 
resign, and was only induced to continue in office by 
a promise that his plans for the expansion of the 


army would be considered as favourably as possible. 
The war party asked that the army should be in- 
creased from thirteen to twenty-five divisions. This 
was afterwards reduced by the Minister to twenty- 
one divisions. The Finance Department declared 
that such a programme was impossible, for the 
country could not bear the burden. As a com- 
promise, it was decided early last year to enlarge 
the army to seventeen divisions, with two further 
divisions in Korea and Manchuria. Other increases 
took place, which still further added to the military 
strength. Thus the time for infantry training was 
reduced from three years to two. As need hardly 
be pointed out, this will give the infantry a reserve, 
in a few years, 50 per cent, greater than before. A 
thousand men were added to each division. 

The Japanese military authorities also seriously set 
themselves to eradicate the various weaknesses 
revealed in their organisation during the Russian 
War. In England a number of open scandals pre- 
ceded the very effective changes which have been 
made in our land forces since the Peace of Vereenig- 
ing. Japan managed better. Scandals were sup- 
pressed, and all dirty linen was washed in private, 
but a most careful and relentless inquiry was insti- 
tuted behind closed doors. 

Cavalry had been a conspicuously weak arm of 
the service during the war. Experts were called 
in from Austria and other countries, fresh breeding 
stock was introduced, and the authorities will accom- 
plish the seemingly impossible task of making real 
horse-masters of some of their countrymen. The 



Japanese field artillery was hopelessly out-classed by 
the Russian. If Japan were fighting to-day much 
of her field artillery would be found equal to that 
of any other Power. Vast sums have been spent 
to create steel foundries in Japan, in order that 
the country may be able to supply within its own 
borders the steel used for war material. This policy 
has since been carried a step further, and late last 
year the Japanese finally concluded an agreement 
with Messrs. Armstrong, and Vickers and Maxim 
by which Armstrong, Vickers and the Japanese are to 
build, in co-partnership, works in Japan itself. These 
works will have the benefit of the Armstrong and 
Vickers secrets and designs, and it is expected that 
a monster arsenal will be created at the Hokaido, 
doing for Asia what Krupps, Armstrong, Vickers, 
and Creusot have accomplished for Europe. 

Steps have been taken to increase the esprit and 
the military pride of the soldiery. Soon after the 
war more ornamental dressings were given to 
military uniforms, and the Japanese soldier now, in 
his red and gold-trimmed dress, looks very different 
from the shapeless and slouching yokel who formerly 
excited the derision of superficial European onlookers. 
There is nothing extraordinary in this. Japan is 
only following the line taken by many great conquer- 
ing nations before, and those who would follow the 
reasons for her action need but study Napoleonic 
history. Her army and navy are at once her 
strength and danger. Her soldiers, strong, successful, 
and determined, look with some scorn on the quiet 
and somewhat sober statesmen who keep them in 


check. They are working out, under new conditions, 
the same conclusions that have always made the 
Samurai the strength of and potentially the most 
dangerous class in Japan. 

Happily for the world, while the military clans are 
strong, they are not yet omnipotent. There is a 
school of statesmen, not perhaps a growing school, 
that sees the real hope of Japan's future in peaceful 
expansion. A generation ago, Okubo, leader of those 
who overthrew the Shogunate, died under the hands 
of an assassin for loyalty to his principles. Twelve 
years ago Ito kept his countrymen in check when 
they were furious to avenge the insults that were put 
upon them by Russia. The school of Okubo and Ito 
is not yet dead. Ito, it is true, is laughed at by many 
of the younger men, who declare that while his ways 
were good enough for their fathers, they have entered 
into a wider inheritance, and will prove themselves 
worthy of it. The future of Japan, the future of the 
East, and, to some extent, the future of the world, 
lies in the answer to the question whether the 
militarists or the party of peaceful expansion gain 
the upper hand in the immediate future. If the 
one, then we shall have harsher rule in Korea, steadily 
increasing aggression in Manchuria, growing inter- 
ference with China, and, in the end, a Titanic 
conflict, the end of which none can see. Under the 
others Japan will enter into an inheritance wider, 
more glorious and more assured than any Asiatic 
power has attained for many centuries. Given peace 
and fair dealing, her commerce cannot fail to expand 
by leaps and bounds. once her merchants have learnt 


to purge themselves of their inherited trickery, once 
they have discovered that bogus trade-marks, poor 
substitutes, and smartness do not build up permanent 
connections, their future is certain. Japan has it in 
her yet to be, not the Mistress of the East, reigning, 
sword in hand, over subject races — for that she can 
never permanently be — but the bringer of peace to 
and the teacher of the East. Will she choose the 
nobler end ? 



THE following is the full text of the findings of the Japanese Court 
of Preliminary Inquiries that tried Viscount Miura and his 
associates for the murder of the Queen of Korea : — 

"Okamoto Ryunosuke, born the 8th month of the 5th year of 
Kaei (1852), Adviser to the Korean Departments of War and 
of the Household, shizoku of Usu, Saiga Mura, Umibe Gun, 
Wakayama Ken. 

" Miura Goro, Viscount, Sho Sammi, first-class Order, Lieutenant- 
General (first reserve), born nth month 3rd year Kokwa 
(1846), kwazoku of Nakotomisaka Cho, Koishikawa ku, Tokyo 
Shi, Tokyo Fu. 

"Sugimura Fukashi, Sho Rokui, First Secretary of Legation, born 
1st month ist year Kaei (1848), heimin of Suga Cho, 
Yotsuyaku, Tokyo Shi, Tokyo Fu, and forty-five others. 

" Having, in compliance with the request of the Public Procurator, 
conducted preliminary examinations in the case of murder and sedition 
brought against the above-mentioned Okamoto Ryunosuke and forty- 
seven others, and that of wilful homicide brought against the afore- 
mentioned Hirayama Iwawo, we find as follows : — 

"The accused, Miura Goro, assumed his official duties as His 
Imperial Majesty's Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary 
at Seoul; on the ist September, the 28th year of Meiji (1895). 
According to his observations, things in Korea were tending in a 
wrong direction. The Court was daily growing more and more 
arbitrary, and attempting wanton interference with the conduct of 
State affairs. Disorder and confusion were in this way introduced into 
the system of administration that had just been reorganised under the 
guidance and advice of the Imperial Government. The Court went 
so far in turning its back on Japan that a project was mooted for 



disbanding the Kunrentai troops, drilled by Japanese officers, and 
punishing their officers. Moreover, a report came to the know- 
ledge of the said Miura that the Court had under contemplation a 
scheme for usurping all political power by degrading some and 
killing others of the Cabinet Ministers suspected of devotion to the 
cause of progress and independence. Under these circumstances, he 
was greatly perturbed, inasmuch as he thought that the attitude 
assumed by the Court not only showed remarkable ingratitude 
towards this country which had spent labour and money for the 
sake of Korea, but was also calculated to thwart the work of 
internal reform and jeopardise the independence of the Kingdom. 
The policy pursued by the Court was consequently considered to be 
injurious to Korea, as well as prejudicial, in no small degree, to 
the interests of this country. The accused felt it to be of urgent 
importance to apply an eflective remedy to this state of things, so 
as on the one hand to secure the independence of the Korean 
Kingdom, and, on the other, to maintain the prestige of this 
Empire in that country. While thoughts like these agitated his 
mind, he was secretly approached by the Tai Won Kun with a 
request for assistance, the Prince being indignant at the untoward 
turn that events were taking, and having determined to undertake 
the reform of the Court and thus discharge his duty of advising the 
King. The accused then held at the Legation a conference with 
Sugimura Fukashi and Okamoto Ryunosuke, on the 3rd October 
last. The decision arrived at on that occasion was that assistance 
should be rendered to the Tai Won Kun's entry into the palace by 
making use of the Kunrentai, who, being hated by the Court, felt 
themselves in danger, and of the young men who deeply lamented 
the course of events, and also by causing the Japanese troops stationed in 
Seoul to offer their support to the enterprise. It was further resolved 
that this opportunity should be availed of for taking the life of the 
Queen, who exercised overwhelming influence in the Court. They 
at the same time thought it necessary to provide against the 
possible danger of the Tai Won Kun's interfering with the conduct 
of State affairs in the future — an interference that might prove of a 
more evil character than that which it was now sought to over- 
turn. To this end, a docunjent containing pledges required of the 
Tai Won Kun on four points was drawn by Sugimura Fukashi. 
The document was carried to the country residence of the Tai Won 
Kun at Kong-tok-ri on ihe 15th of the month by Okamoto 
Ryimosuke, the latter being on intimate terms with His Highness. 
After informing the Tai Won Kun that the turn of events demanded 
His Highness's intervention once more, Okamoto presented the 


note to the Prince, saying that it embodied what Minister Miura 
expected from him. The Tai Won Kun, together with his son 
and grandson, gladly assented to the conditions proposed and alsu wrote 
a letter guaranteeing his good faith. Miura Goro and others 
decided to carry out the concerted plan by the middle of the 
month. Fearing lest Okamoto's visit to Kong-tok-ri (the Tai Won 
Kun's residence) should excite suspicion and lead to the exposure 
of their plan, it was given out that he had proceeded thither 
simply for the purpose of taking leave of the Prince before depart- 
ing from home, and to impart an appearance of probability to 
this report it was decided that Okamoto should leave Seoul for 
Ninsen (Inchhon), and he took his departure from the capital on 
the 6th. on the following day. An Keiju, the Korean Minister of 
State for War, visited the Japanese Legation by order of the 
Court. Referring to the projected disbanding of the Kunrentai 
troops, he asked the Japanese Minister's views on the subject. It was 
now evident that the moment had arrived, and that no more delay 
should be made. Miura Goro and Sugimura Fukashi consequently 
determined to carry out the plot on the night of that very day. on 
the one hand a telegram was sent to Okamoto requesting him to 
come back to Seoul at once, and on the other they delivered to 
Horiguchi Kumaichi a paper containing a detailed programme 
concerning the entry of the Tai Won Kun into the palace, and 
caused him to meet Okamoto at Yong-san so that they might proceed 
to enter the palace. Miura Goro further issued instructions to 
Umayabara Muhon, Commander of the Japanese Battalion in Seoul, 
ordering him to facilitate the Tai Won Kun's entry into the palace by 
directing the disposition of the Kunrentai troops, and by calling 
out the Imperial force for their support. Miura also summoned 
the accused, Adachi Kenzo and Kunitomo Shigeakira, and requested 
them to collect their friends, meeting Okamoto at Yong-san, and 
act as the Tai Won Kun's bodyguard on the occasion of His High- 
ness's entrance into the palace. Miura told them that on the success of 
the enterprise depended the eradication of the evils that had 
done so much mischief in the Kingdom for the past twenty years, 
and instigated them to dispatch the Queen when they entered the 
palace. Miura ordered the accused, Ogiwara Ilidejiro, to proceed 
to Yong-san, al the head of the police force under him, and after 
consultation with Okamoto to take such steps as might be neces- 
sary to expedite the Tai Won Kun's entry into the palace. 

"The accused, Sugimura Fukashi, summoned Suzuki Shigemoto 
and Asayama Kenzo to the Legation, and after acquainting them 
with the projected enterprise, directed the former to send the 


accused, Suzuki Junken, to Yong-san to act as interpreter, and the 
latter to carry the news to a Korean named Li Shukwei, who was 
known to be a warm advocate of the Tai Won Kun's return to the 
palace. Sugimura further drew up a manifesto explaining the 
reason of the Tai Won Kun's entry into the palace, and charged 
Ogiwara Hidejiro to deliver it to Horiguichi Kumaichi. 

" The accused, Iloriguchi Kumaichi, at once departed for Yong- 
san on horseback. Ogiwara Hidejiro issued orders to the police- 
men that were off duty to put on civilian dress, provide themselves 
with swords and proceed to Yong-san. Ogiwara himself also went 
to the same place. 

" Thither also repaired by his order the accused, Watanabe 
Takajiro, Nariai Kishiro, Oda Yoshimitsu, Kiwaki Sukunorin, and 
Sakai Masataro. 

" The accused, Yokowo Yutaro, joined the party at Yong-san. 
Asayama Kenzo saw Li Shukwei, and informed him of the pro- 
jected enterprise against the palace that night. Having ascertained 
that Li had then collected a few other Koreans and proceeded 
towards Kong-tok-ri, Asayama at once left for Yong-san. Sukuzi 
Shigemoto went to Yong-san in company with Sukuzi Junken. 
The accused, Adachi Kenzo and Kunitomo Shigearika, at the 
instigation of Miura, decided to murder the Queen, and took steps 
for collecting accomplices. The accused, Hirayama Iwabiko, Sassa 
Masayuki, Matsumura Tatsuki, Sasaki TaHasu, Ushijima Hidewo, 
Kobayakawa Hidewo, Miyazumi Yuki, Sato Keita, Sawamura 
Masao, Katano Takevvo, Fuji Masashira, Hirata Shizen, Kikuchi 
Kenjo, Yoshida Tomokichi, Nakamura Takewo, Namba Harukichi, 
Terasaki Taikichi, lyuri Kakichi, Tanaka Kendo, Kumabe Yone- 
kichi, Tsukinari Taru, Yamada Ressei, Sase Kumatetsu, and 
Shibaya Kotoji, responded to the call of Adachi Kenzo and Kuni- 
tomo Shigeakira by Miura's order to act as bodyguard to the 
Tai Won Kun on the occasion of his entry to the palace. 
Hirayama Iwahiko and more than ten others were directed by Adachi 
Kenzo, Kunitomo Shigeakira, and others to do away with the 
Queen, and they resolved to follow the advice. The others, who 
were not admitted into this secret but who joined the party from 
mere curiosity, also carried weapons. With the exception of Kunitomo 
Shigeakira, Tsukinari Taru, and two others, all the accused men- 
tioned above went to Yong-san in company with Adachi Kenzo. 

"The accused, Okamoto Ryunosuke, on receipt of a telegram 
stating that time was urgent, at once left Ninsen for Seoul. Being 
informed on his way, about midnight, that Horiguchi Kumaichi was 


waiting for him at Mapho, he proceeded thither and met the persons 
assembled there. There he received from Horiguchi Kumaichi a 
letter from Miura Gore, the draft manifesto already alluded to, and 
other documents. After he had consulted with two or three others 
about the method of effecting an entry into the palace, the whole party 
started for Kong-tok-ri, with Okamoto as their leader. At about 
3 a.m. on the 8lh they left Kong-tok-ri, escorting the Tai Won Kun's 
palanquin, together with Li Shukwei and other Koreans, When 
on the point of departure, Okamoto assembled the whole party 
outside the front gate of the Prince's residence, declaring that on 
entering the palace the ' fox ' should be dealt with according as 
exigency might require, the obvious purport of this declaration being to 
instigate his followers to murder Her Majesty the Queen. As the 
result of this declaration Sakai Masataro and a few others, who had 
not yet been initiated into the secret, resolved to act in accordance 
with the suggestion. Then slowly proceeding towards Seoul, the 
party met the Kunrentai troops outside the west gate of the 
capital, where they waited some time for the arrival of the Japanese 

" With the Kunrentai as vanguard, the party then proceeded towards 
the palace at a more rapid rate. on the way they were joined by 
Kunitomo Shigeakira, Tsukinari Taru, Yamada Ressei, Sase Kuma- 
tetsu, and Shibuya Katoji. The accused, Hasumoto, Yasumaru, and 
Oura Shigehiko, also joined the party, having been requested by 
Umagabara Muhon to accompany as interpreters the military officers 
charged with the supervision of the Kunrentai troops. About dawn 
the whole party entered the palace through the Kwang-hwa Gate, and 
at once proceeded to the inner chambers. 

" Notwithstanding these facts, there is no sufficient evidence to prove 
that any of the accused actually committed the crime originally medi- 
tated by them. Neither is there sufficient evidence to establish the 
charge that Hirayama Iwahiko killed Li Koshoku, the Korean Minister 
of the flousehold, in front of the Kon-Chong palace. 

" As to the accused, .Shiba Shiro, Osaki Masakichi, Yoshida Hanji, 
Mayeda Shunzo, Hirayama Katsukuma, and Hiraishi Yoshitaro, there 
is not sufficient evidence to show that they were in any way connected 
with the aff"air. 

" For these reasons the accused, each and all, are hereby discharged 
in accordance with the provisions of article 165 of the Code of 
Criminal Procedure. The accused, Miura Goro, Suginuira Fukashi, 
Okamoto Ryunosuke, Adachi Kenzo, Kunitomo Shigeakira, Terasaki 
Taikichi, Hirayama Iwahiko, Nakamura Takewo, Fuji Masashira, lyuri 
Kakichi, Kiwaki Sukenori, and Sokoi Masutaro, are hereby released 


from confinement. The documents and other articles seized m con- 
nection with this case are restored to their respective owners. 
" Given at the Hiroshima Local Court by 


" Judge of Preliminary Enquiry ; 
" Tamura Yoshiharu, 
"Clerk of the Court. 

" Dated, 20th day of the ist month of the 29th year of Meiji. 
"This copy has been taken from the original text. — Clerk of the 
Local Court of Hiroshima." 


The Governments of Japan and Chosen, being desirous to resume the 
amicable relations that of yore existed between them, and to promote 
the friendly feelings of both nations to a still firmer basis, have for this 
purpose appointed their Plenipotentiaries, that is to say : The 
Government of Japan, Kuroda Kiyotaka, High Commissioner Extra- 
ordinary to Chosen, Lieutenant-General and Member of the Privy 
Council, Minister of the Colonisation Department, and Inouye Kaoru, 
Associate High Commissioner Extraordinary to Chosen, Member of 
the Genro In ; and the Government of Chosen, Shin Ken, Han-Choo- 
Su-Fu, and In-Jisho, Fu-So-Fu, Fuku-s6-Kwan, who, according to the 
powers received from their respective Governments, have agreed upon 
and concluded the following Articles : — 

Art. I. — Chosen being an independent state enjoys the same 
sovereign rights as does Japan. 

In order to prove the sincerity of the friendship existing between the 
two nations, their intercourse shall henceforward be carried on in terms 
of equality and courtesy, each avoiding the giving of offence by 
arrogance or manifestations of suspicion. 

In the first instance, all rules and precedents that are apt to obstruct 
friendly intercourse shall be totally abrogated, and, in their stead, rules, 
liberal and in general usage fit to secure a firm and perpetual peace, 
shall be established. 

Art. II. — The Government of Japan, at any time within fifteen 
months from the date of signature of this Treaty, shall have the right to 
send an Envoy to the Capital of Chosen, where he shall be admitted to 
confer with the Rei-sohan-sho on matters of a diplomatic nature. He 
may either reside at the capital or return to his country on the com- 
pletion of his mission. 

The Government of Chosen in like manner shall have the right to 
send an Envoy to Tokyo, Japan, where he shall be admitted to confer 
with the Minister for Foreign Ali'airs on matters of a diplomatic nature. 



lie may either reside at Tokyo or return home on the completion of 
his mission. 

Art. III. — AH official communications addressed by the Government 
of Japan to that of Chosen shall be written in the Japanese language, 
and for a period of ten years from the present date they shall be 
accompanied by a Chinese translation. The Government of Chosen 
will use the Chinese language. 

Art. I\^. — Sorio in Fusan, Chosen, where an official establishment 
of Japan is situated, is a place originally opened for commercial inter- 
course with Japan, and trade shall henceforward be carried on at that 
place in accordance with the provisions of this Treaty, whereby are 
abolished all former usages, such as the practice of Sai-ken-sen (junk 
annually sent to Chosen by the late Prince of Tsushima to exchange a 
certain quantity of articles between each other). 

In addition to the above place, the Government of Chosen agrees 
to open two ports, as mentioned in Article V. of this Treaty, for 
commercial intercourse with Japanese subjects. 

In the foregoing places Japanese subjects shall be free to lease land 
and to erect buildings thereon, and to rent buildings the property of 
subjects of Chosen. 

Art. V. — on the coast of five provinces, viz. : Keikin. Chiusei, 
Jenra, Kensho, and Kankio, two ports, suitable for commercial purposes, 
shall be selected, and the time for opening these two ports shall be in 
the twentieth month from the second month of the ninth year of Meiji, 
corresponding with the date of Chosen, the first moon of the year 

Art. VI. — Whenever Japanese vessels, either by stress of weather or 
by want of fuel and provisions, cannot reach one or the other of the open 
ports in Chosen, they may enter any ports or harbour either to take 
refuge therein, or to get supplies of wood, coal, and other necessaries, 
or to make repairs ; the expenses incurred thereby are to be defrayed by 
the ship's master. In such events both the officers and the people of 
the locality shall display their sympathy by rendering full assistance, 
and their liberality in supplying the necessaries required. 

If any vessel of either country be at any time wrecked or stranded on 
the coasts of Japan or of Chosen, the people of the vicinity shall 
immediately use every exertion to rescue her crew, and shall inform the 
local authorities of the disaster, who will either send the wrecked 
persons to their native country or hand them over to the officer of their 
country residing at the nearest port. 

Art. VII. — The coasts of Chosen, having hitherto been left un- 
surveyed, are very dangerous for vessels approaching them, and in order 
to prepare charts showing the positions of islands, rocks, and reefs, as 


well as the depth of water whereby all navigators may be enabled to 
pass between the two countries, any Japanese mariners may freely 
survey said coasts. 

Art. VIII. — There shall be appointed by the Government of Japan 
an officer to reside at the open ports in Chosen for the protection of 
Japanese merchants resorting there, providing such arrangement be 
deemed necessary. Should any question interesting both nations arise, 
the said officer shall confer with the local authorities of Chosen and 
settle it. 

Art. IX. — Friendly relations having been established between the 
two contracting parties, their respective subjects may freely carry on 
their business without any interference from the officers of eitlier 
Government, and neither limitation nor prohibition shall be made on 

In case any fraud be committed, or payment of debt be refused by 
any merchant of either country, the officers of either one or of the other 
Government shall do their utmost to bring the delinquent to justice and 
to enforce recovery of the debt. 

Neither the Japanese nor the Chosen Government shall be held 
responsible for the payment of such debt. 

Art. X. — .Should a Japanese subject residing at either of the open 
ports of Choseji commit any offence against a subject of Chosen, he shall 
be tried by the Japanese authorities. Should a subject of Chosen 
commit any offence against a Japanese subject, he shall be tried by the 
authorities of Chosen. The offenders shall be punished according to 
the laws of their respective countries. Justice shall be equitably and 
impartially administered on both sides. 

Art. .\I. — Friendly relations having been established between the 
two contracting parties, it is necessary to prescribe trade relations for 
the benefit of the merchants of the respective countries. 

Such trade regulations, together with detailed provisions to be added 
to the Articles of the present Treaty, to develop its meaning and 
facilitate its observance, shall be agreed upon at the capital of Chosen 
or at Kokwa Fu in the country, within six months from the present 
date, by Special Commissioners appointed by the two countries. 

Art. XII. — The foregoing eleven Articles are binding from the date 
of the signing thereof, and shall be observed by the two contracting 
parties, faithfully and invariably, whereby perpetual friendship shall be 
secured to the two countries. 

The present Treaty is executed in duplicate, and copies will be 
exchanged between the two contracting parlies. 

In faith whereof we, the respective Plenipotentiaries of Japan and 
Chosen, have affixed our seals hereunto, tliis twenty-sixth day of the 


second monlh of the ninth year of Meiji, and the two thousand five 
hundred and thirty-sixth since the accession of Jinimu Tenno ; and, in 
the era of Chosen, the second day of the second moon of the year 
Heishi, and of the founding of Chosen the four hundred and eighty- 


Inouye Kaoru. 
Shin Ken. 
In Ji-sho. 



Whereas, on the twenty-sixth day of the second month of the ninth 
year Meiji, corresponding with the Korean date of the second day of 
the second month of the year Heishi, a Treaty of Amity and Friendship 
was signed and concluded between Kuroda Kiyotaka, High Com- 
missioner Extraordinary, Lieutenant-General of H.I.J.M. Army, 
Member of the Privy Council, and Minister of the Colonisation Depart- 
ment, and Inouye Kaoru, Associate High Commissioner Extraordinary 
and Member of the Genro-In, both of whom had been directed to 
proceed to the city of Kokwa in Korea by the Government of Japan ; 
and Shin Ken, Dai Kwan, Han-Choo-Su-Fu, and Injisho, Fu-So- 
Fu Fuku-so-Kwan, both of whom had been duly commissioned for that 
purpose by the Government of Korea : — 

Now therefore, in pursuance of Article XI. of the above Treaty, 
Miyamoto Okadzu, Commissioner despatched to the capital of Korea, 
Daijo of the Foreign Department, and duly empowered thereto by the 
Government of Japan, and Chio Inki, Koshoo Kwan, Gisheifudosho, 
duly empowered thereto by the Government of Korea, have negotiated 
and concluded the following articles : — 

Art. I. — Agents of the Japanese Government stationed at any 
of the open ports shall hereafter, whenever a Japanese vessel has 
been stranded on the Korean coast, and has need of their presence at 
the spot, have the right to proceed there on their informing the local 
authorities of the facts. 

Art. n. — Envoys or Agents of the Japanese Government shall 
hereafter be at full liberty to despatch letters or other communications 
to any place or places in Korea, either by post at their own expense, 
or by hiring inhabitants of the locality wherein they reside as special 

Art. hi. — Japanese subjects may, at the ports of Korea open to 
them, lease land for the purpose of erecting residences thereon, the rent 
to be fixed by mutual agreement between the lessee and the owner. 

Any lands belonging to the Korean Government may be rented by a 

19 ^73 


Japanese on his paying the same rent thereon as a Korean subject 
would pay to his Government. 

It is agreed that the Shumon (watch-gate) and the Shotsumon 
(barrier) erected by the Korean Government near the Kokwa (Japanese 
official establishment) in Sorioko, Fusan, shall be entirely removed, 
and that a new boundary line shall be established according to the 
limits hereinafter provided. In the other two open ports the same 
steps shall be taken. 

Art. IV. — The limits within which Japanese subjects may travel 
from the port of Fusan shall be comprised within a radius of ten ri, 
Korean measurement, the landing-place in that port being taken as a 

Japanese subjects shall be free to go where they please within 
the above limits, and shall be therein at full liberty either to buy 
articles of local production or to sell articles of Japanese production. 

The town of Torai lies outside of the above limits, but Japanese 
subjects shall have the same privileges as in those places within them. 

Art. V. — ^Japanese subjects shall at each of the open ports of Korea 
be at liberty to employ Korean subjects. 

Korean subjects, on obtaining permission from their Government, 
may visit the Japanese Empire. 

Art. VI. — In the case of the death of any Japanese subject residing 
at the open ports of Korea, a suitable spot of ground shall be selected 
wherein to inter his remains. 

As to the localities to be selected for cemeteries in the two open 
ports other than the port of Fusan, in determining them regard shall 
be had as to the distance there is to the cemetery already established 
at Fusan. 

Art. VII. — Japanese subjects shall be at liberty to traffic in any 
article owned by Korean subjects, paying therefor in Japanese coin. 
Korean subjects, for purposes of trade, may freely circulate among 
themselves at the open ports of Korea such Japanese coin as they may 
have possession of in business transactions. 

Japanese subjects shall be at liberty to use in trade or to carry away 
with them the copper coin of Korea. 

In case any subject of either of the two countries counterfeit the 
coin of either of them, he shall be punished according to the laws of 
his own country. 

Art. VIII. — Korean subjects shall have the full fruition of all and 
every article which they have become possessed of either by purchase 
or gift from Japanese subjects. 

Art. IX. — In case a boat despatched by a Japanese surveying vessel 
to take soundings along the Korean coasts, as provided for in Article VII. 


of the Treaty of Amity and Friendship, should be prevented from 
returning to the vessel, on account either of bad weather or 'he ebb 
tide, the headman of the locality shall accommodate the boat party in 
a suitable house in the neighbourhood. Articles required by them for 
their comfort shall be furnished to them by the local authorities, and 
the outlay thus incurred shall afterwards be refunded to the latter. 

Art. X. — Although no relations as yet exist between Korea and 
foreign countries, yet Japan has for many years back maintained 
friendly relations with them ; it is therefore natural that in case a 
vessel of any of the countries of which Japan thus cultivates the friend- 
ship should be stranded by stress of weather or otherwise on the 
coasts of Korea, those on board shall be treated with kindness by 
Korean subjects, and should such persons ask to be sent back to their 
homes they shall be delivered over by the Korean Government to an 
Agent of the Japanese Government residing at one of the open ports 
of Korea, requesting him to" send them back to their native countries, 
which request the Agent shall never fail to comply with. 

Art. XI. — The foregoing ten Articles, together with the Regulations 
for Trade annexed hereto, shall be of equal effect with the Treaty of 
Amity and Friendship, and therefore shall be faithfully observed by 
the Governments of the two countries. Should it, however, be found 
that any of the above Articles actually cause embarrassment to the 
commercial intercourse of the two nations, and that it is necessary to 
modify them, then either Government, submitting its proposition to 
the other, shall negotiate the modification of such Articles on giving 
one year's previous notice of their intention. 

Signed and sealed this twenty-fourth day of the eighth month of the 
ninth year Meiji, and two thousand five hundred and thirty-sixth 
since the accession of H.M. Jimmu Tenno ; and of the Korean era, 
the sixth day of the seventh month of the year Heishi, and the found- 
ing of Korea the four hundred and eighty-fifth. 

(Signed) Miyamoto Okadzu, 

Commissioner and Dajio of the 
Foreign Department. 

Cho Inki, 
Kbsho JCwan, Gisheifudosho. 


Signed at Gensan, May 22, 1882. 
^{^Ratifications exchanged at Hanyang, May 19, 1883.] 

Art. I. — There shall be perpetual peace and friendship between the 
President of the United States and the King of Chosen and the citizens 
and subjects of their respective Governments. If other Powers deal 
unjustly or oppressively with either Government the other will exert 
their good offices, on being informed of the case, to bring about an 
amicable arrangement, thus showing their friendly feelings. 

Art. II. — After the conclusion of this Treaty of amity and com- 
merce the high contracting Powers may each appoint diplomatic repre- 
sentatives to reside at the Court of the other, and may each appoint 
Consular representatives at the ports of the other which are open to 
foreign commerce, at their own convenience. 

The officials shall have relations with the corresponding local 
authorities of equal rank upon a basis of mutual equality. The 
Diplomatic and Consular representatives of the two Governments 
shall receive mutually all the privileges, rights, and immunities, 
without discrimination, which are accorded to the same classes of 
representatives from the most favoured nations. 

Consuls shall exercise their functions only on receipt of an exe- 
quatur from the Government to which they are accredited. Consular 
authorities shall be bona-Jide officials. No merchants shall be per- 
mitted to exercise the duties of the office, nor shall Consular officers 
be allowed to engage in trade. 

At ports to which no Consular representatives have been appointed 
the Consuls of other Powers may be invited to act, provided that no 
merchant shall be allowed to assume Consular functions, or the pro- 
visions of this Treaty may be, in such case, enforced by the local 

If Consular representatives of the United States in Chosen conduct 
their business in an improper manner their exequaturs may be re- 



voked, subject to the approval previously obtained of the Diplomatic 
representative of the United States. 

Art. III. — Whenever United States vessels, either because of 
weather or by want of fuel or provisions, cannot reach the nearest 
open port in Chosen, they may enter any port or harbour either to 
take refuge therein or to get wood, coal, and other necessaries or to 
make repairs; the expenses incurred thereby being defrayed by the 
ship's master. In such event the officers and people of the locality 
shall display their sympathy by rendering full assistance, and their 
liberality by furnishing the necessities required. 

If a United States vessel carries on a clandestine trade at a port not 
open to foreign commerce, such vessel with her cargo shall Lie seized 
and confiscated. 

If a United States vessel be wrecked on the coast of Chosen the coast 
authorities, on being informed of the occurrence, shall immediately 
render assistance to the crew, provide for their present necessities, 
and take the measures necessary for the salvage of the ship and the 
preservation of the cargo. They shall also bring the matter to the 
knowledge of the nearest Consular representative of the United 
States, in order that steps may be taken to send the crew home and 
save the ship and cargo. The necessary expenses shall be defrayed 
either by the ship's master or by the United States. 

Art. IV. — All citizens of the United States of America in Chosen, 
peaceably attending to their own affairs, shall receive and enjoy for 
themselves and everybody appertaining to them the protection of the 
local authorities of the Government of Chosen, who shall defend them 
from all insult and injury of any sort. If their dwellings or property be 
threatened or attacked by mobs, incendiaries, or other violent or law- 
less persons, the local officers, on requisition of the Consul, shall 
immediately dispatch a military force to disperse the rioters, appre- 
hend the guilty individuals, and punish them with the utmost rigour 
of the law. 

Subjects of Chosen guilty of any criminal act towards citizens of the 
United States shall be punished by the authorities of Chosen accord- 
ing to the laws of Chosen ; and citizens of the United States, either on 
shore or in any merchant vessel, who may insult, trouble, or wound 
the persons or injure the property of the people of Chosen shall be 
arrested and punished only by the Consul or other public functionary 
of the United Slates thereto authorised, according to the laws of the 
United States. 

When controversies arise in the kingdom of Chosen between citizens 
of the United States and subjects of His Majesty, wiiich need to be 
examined and decided by the public officers of the two nations, it is 


agreed between the two Governments of the United States and Chosen 
that such case shall be tried by the proper official of the nationality of 
the defendant according to the law of that nation. The properly 
authorised official of the plaintiff's nationality shall be freely permitted 
to attend the trial and shall be treated with the courtesy due to his 
position. He shall be granted all proper facilities for watching the 
proceedings in the interests of justice. If he so desire he shall have the 
right to be present, to examine and cross-examine witnesses. If he is 
dissatisfied with the proceedings he shall be permitted to protest against 
them in detail. 

It is, however, mutually agreed and understood between the high 
contracting Powers that whenever the King of Chosen shall have so 
far modified and reformed the statutes and the judicial procedure of his 
kingdom that, in the judgment of the United States, they conform to 
the laws and course of justice in the United States, the right of exterri- 
torial jurisdiction over United States citizens in Chosen shall be aban- 
doned, and thereafter United States citizens, when within the limits of 
che kingdom of Chosen, shall be subject to the jurisdiction of the native 

Art. V. — Merchants and merchant vessels of Chosen visiting the 
United States for the purpose of traffic shall pay duties and tonnage 
dues and fees according to the Customs regulations of the United States, 
but no higher or other rates of duties and tonnage dues shall be exacted 
of them than are levied upon citizens of the United States or upon 
citizens or subjects of the most favoured nation. 

Merchants and merchant vessels of the United States visiting Chosen 
for purposes of traffic shall pay duties upon all merchandise imported 
and exported. The authority to levy duties is of right vested in the 
Government of Chosen. The tariff of duties upon exports and imports, 
together with the Customs regulations for the prevention of smuggling 
and other irregularities, will be fixed by the authorities of Chosen and 
communicated to the proper officials of the United States, to be by the 
latter notified to their citizens and duly observed. 

It is, however, agreed in the first instance, as a general measure, that 
the tariff upon such imports as are articles of daily use shall not exceed 
an ad valorem duty of lO per cent. ; that the tariff upon such im- 
ports as are luxuries — as, for instance, foreign wines, foreign tobacco, 
clocks and watches— shall not exceed an ad valorem duty of 30 per 
cent., and that native produce exported shall pay a duty not to exceed 
5 per cent, ad valorem. And it is further agreed that the duty upon 
foreign imports shall be paid once for all at the port of entry, and that 
no other dues, duties, fees, taxes, or charges of any sort shall be levied 
upon such imports either in the interior of Chosen or at the ports. 


United States merchant vessels entering the ports of Chosen shall 
pay tonnage dues at the rate of five mace per ton, payable once 'n three 
months on each vessel, according to the Chinese calendar. 

Art. VI. — Subjects of Chosen who may visit the United States 
shall be permitted to reside and to rent premises, purchase land, or to 
construct residences or warehouses in all parts of the country. They 
shall be freely permitted to pursue their various callings and avocation, 
and to traffic in all merchandise, raw and manufactured, that is not 
declared contraband by law. Citizens of the United States who may 
resort to the ports of Chosen which are open to foreign commerce, 
shall be permitted to reside at such open ports within the limits of the 
concession and to lease buildings or land, or to construct residences or 
warehouses therein. They shall be freely permitted to pursue their 
various callings and avocations within the limits of the ports and to 
traffic in all merchandise, raw and manufactured, that is not declared 
contraband by law. 

No coercion or intimidation in the acquisition of land or buildings 
shall be permitted, and the land rent as fixed by the authorities of 
Chosen shall be paid. And it is expressly agreed that land so 
acquired in the open ports of Chosen still remains an integral part of 
the kingdom, and that all rights of jurisdiction over persons and 
property within such areas remain vested in the authorities of Chosen, 
except in so far as such rights have been expressly relinquished by this 

American citizens are not permitted either to transport foreign 
imports to the interior for sale, or to proceed thither to purchase native 
produce, nor are they permitted to transport native produce from one 
open port to another open port. 

Violation of this rule will subject such merchandise to confiscation, 
and the merchants offending will be handed over to the Consular 
authorities to be dealt with. 

Art. VII.^The Governments of the United States and of Chosen 
mutually agree and undertake that subjects of Chosen shall not be per- 
mitted to import opium into any of the ports of the United States, and 
citizens of the United States shall not be permitted to import opium into 
any of the open ports of Chosen, to transport it from one open port to 
another open port, or traffic in it in Chosen. This absolute prohibition 
which extends to vessels owned by the citizens or subjects of either 
Power, to foreign vessels employed by them, and to vessels owned by 
the citizens or subjects of either Power and employed by other persons 
for the transportation of opium, shall be enforced by appropriate 
legislation on the part of the United Slates and of Chosen, and 
oflenders against it shall be severely punished. 


Art. VII. — \\Tienever the Government of Chosen shall have reason 
to apprehend a scarcity of food within the limits of the kingdom, His 
Majesty may by decree temporarily prohibit the export of all bread- 
stuffs, and such decree shall be binding upon all citizens of the United 
States in Chosen upon due notice having been given them by the 
authorities of Chosen through the proper officers of the United States ; 
but it is to be understood that the exportation of rice and breadstuffs 
of every description is prohibited from the open port of Yin-Chuen. 

Chosen having of old prohibited the exportation of red ginseng, if 
citizens of the United States clandestinely purchase it for export it shall 
be confiscated and the offenders punished. 

Art. IX. — Purchase of cannon, small arms, swords, gunpowder, 
shot, and all munitions of war is permitted only to officials of the 
Government of Chosen, and they may be imported by citizens of the 
United States only under written permit from the authorities of Chosen. 
If these articles are clandestinely imported they shall be confiscated, 
and the offending party shall be punished. 

Art. X. — The officers and people of either nation residing in 
the other shall have the right to employ natives for all kinds of 
lawful work. 

Should, however, subjects of Chosen, guilty of violation of the laws 
of the kingdom, or against whom any action has been brought, conceal 
themselves in the residences or warehouses of United States citizens or 
on board United States merchant vessels the Consular authorities of 
the United States, on being notified of the fact by the local authoritie.s, 
will either permit the latter to despatch constables to make the arrests, 
or the persons will be arrested by the Consular authorities and handed 
over to the local constables. 

Officials or citizens of the United States shall not harbour such 

Art. XI. — Students of either nationality who may proceed to the 
country of the other in order to study the language, literature, law, 
or arts, shall be given all possible protection and assistance, in 
endence of cordial goodwill. 

Art. XII. — This being the first Treaty negotiated by Chosen, and 
hence being general and incomplete in its provision, shall, in the first, 
instance, be put into operation in all things stipulated therein. As to 
stipulations not contained herein, after an interval of five years, when 
the officers and people of the two Powers shall have become more 
familiar with each other's language, a further negotiation of com- 
mercial provisions and regulations in detail, in conformity with inter- 
national law and without unequal discriminations on either part, shall 
be had. 


Art. XIII. — This Treaty and future official correspondence between 
the two contracting Governments shall be made on the part of Chosen 
in the Chinese language. 

The United States shall either use the Chinese language, or if 
English be used it shall be accompanied with a Chinese version in 
order to avoid misunderstanding. 

Art. XIV. — The high contracting Powers hereby agree that should 
at any time the King of Chosen grant to any nation or to the merchants 
or citizens of any nation, any right, privilege, or favour connected 
either with navigation, commerce, political or other intercourse, which 
is not conferred by this Treaty, such right, privilege, and favour shall 
freely enure to the benefit of the United States, its public officers, 
merchants, and citizens ; provided always, that whenever such right, 
privilege, or favour is accompanied by any condition or equivalent 
concession granted by the other nation interested, the United States, 
its officers and people, shall only be entitled to the benefit of such 
right, privilege, or favour upon complying with the conditions or 
concessions connected therewith. 

In faith whereof the respective Commissioners Plenipotentiary have 
signed and sealed the foregoing at Yin-Chuen, in English and Chinese, 
being three originals of each text of even tenor and date, the ratifica- 
tions of which shall be exchanged at Yin-Chuen within one year from 
the date of its execution, and immediately hereafter this Treaty shall be, 
in all its provisions, publicly proclaimed and made known by both 
Governments in their respective countries in order that it may be 
obeyed by their citizens and subjects respectively. 

R. W. Shufeldt, 
Commodore United States Navy, Envoy of the 
United States to Chosen. 

Shin Chen, 
Chin Hong Chi, 
Members of the Royal Cabinet of Chosen. 


Signed at Hanyang, November 26, 1883. 
\_RatiJications exchanged at Hanyajtg, April 28, 1884.] 

Her Majesty the Queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain 
and Ireland, Empress of India, and His Majesty the King of Korea, 
being sincerely desirous of establishing permanent relations of 
friendship and commerce between their respective dominions, have 
resolved to conclude a Treaty for that purpose, and have therefore 
named as their Plenipotentiaries, that is to say : 

Her Majesty the Queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain 
and Ireland, Empress of India, Sir Harry Smith Parkes, Knight 
Grand Cross of the Most Distinguished Order of Saint Michael and 
Saint George, Knight Commander of the Most Honourable Order of 
the Bath, Her Majesty's Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Pleni- 
potentiary to His Majesty the Emperor of China ; 

His Majesty the King of Korea, Min Yong-Mok, President of His 
Majesty's Foreign Office, a Dignitary of the First Rank, Senior Vice- 
President of the Council of State, Member of His Majesty's Privy 
Council, and Junior Guardian of the Crown Prince ; 

Who, after having communicated to each other their respective full 
powers, found in good and due form, have agreed upon and concluded 
the following Articles : — 

Art. I. 

1. There shall be perpetual peace and friendship between Her 
Majesty the Queen of the United Kingdom and Ireland, Empress 
of India, her heirs and successors, and His Majesty the King of Korea, 
his heirs and successors, and between tbeir respective dominions and 
subjects, who shall enjoy full security and protection for their persons 
and property within the dominions of the other. 

2. In case of differences arising between one of the High Contracting 
Parties and a third Power, the other High Contracting Party, if 



requested to do so, shall exert its good offices to bring about an 
amicable arrangement. 

Art. II. 

1. The High Contracting Parties may each appoint a Diplomatic 
Representative to reside permanently or temporarily at the capital 
of the other, and may appoint a Consul-General, Consuls, or Vice- 
Consuls, to reside at any or all of the ports or places of the other 
which are open to foreign commerce. The Diplomatic Representatives 
and Consular functionaries of both countries shall freely enjoy the 
same facilities for communication, personally or in writing, with the 
authorities of the country where they respectively reside, together with 
all other privileges and immunities as are enjoyed by Diplomatic or 
Consular functionaries in other countries. 

2. The Diplomatic Representative and the Consular functionaries 
of each Power and the members of their official establishments shall 
have the right to travel freely in any part of the dominions of the 
other, and the Korean authorities shall furnish passports to such British 
officers travelling in Korea, and shall provide such escort for their 
protection as may be necessary. 

3. The Consular officers of both countries shall exercise their 
functions on receipt of due authorisation from the Sovereign or 
Government of the country in which they respectively reside, and 
shall not be permitted to engage in trade. 

Art. III. 

1. Jurisdiction over the persons and property of British subjects in 
Korea shall be vested exclusively in the duly authorised British 
judicial authorities, who shall hear and determine all cases brought 
against British subjects by any British or other foreign subject or 
citizen without the intervention of the Korean authorities. 

2. If the Korean authorities or a Korean subject make any charge 
or complaint against a British subject in Korea, the case shall be heard 
and decided by the British judicial authorities. 

3. If the British authorities or a British subject make any charge 
or complaint against a Korean subject in Korea, the case shall be 
heard and decided by the Korean authorities. 

4. A British subject who commits any offence in Korea shall be 
tried and punished by the British judicial authorities according to 
the laws of Great Britain. 

5. A Korean subject who commits in Korea any offence against a 
British subject shall be tried and punished by the Korean authorities 
according to the laws of Korea. 


6. Any complaint against a British subject involving a penalty or 
confiscation by reason of any breach either of this Treaty or of any 
regulation annexed thereto, or of any regulation that may hereafter 
be made in virtue of its provisions, shall be brought before the British 
judicial authorities for decision, and any penalty imposed, and all 
property confiscated in such cases shall belong to the Korean 

7. British goods, when seized by the Korean authorities at an open 
port, shall be put under the seals of the Korean and the British 
Consular authorities, and shall be detained by the former until the 
British judicial authorities shall have given their decision. If this 
decision is in favour of the owner of the goods, they shall be 
immediately placed at the Consul's disposal. But the owner shall be 
allowed to receive them at once on depositing their value with the 
Korean authorities pending the decision of the British judicial 

8. In all cases, whether civil or criminal, tried either in Korean 
or British Courts in Korea, a properly authorised official of the 
nationality of the plaintiff" or prosecutor shall be allowed to attend 
the hearing, and shall be treated with the courtesy due to his position, 
lie shall be allowed, whenever he thinks it necessary, to call, examine, 
and cross-examine witnesses, and to protest against the proceedings 
or decision. 

9. If a Korean subject who is charged with an off"ence against the 
laws of his country takes refuge on premises occupied by a British 
subject, or on board a British merchant-vessel, the British Consular 
authorities, on receiving an application from the Korean authorities, 
shall take steps to have such person arrested and handed over to 
the latter for trial. But, without the consent of the proper British 
Consular authority, no Korean officer shall enter the premises of 
any British subject without his consent, or go on board any British 
ship without the consent of the officer in charge. 

10. on the demand of any competent British Consular authority, 
the Korean authorities shall arrest and deliver to the former any 
British subject charged with a criminal offence, and any deserter from 
a British ship of war or merchant- vessel. 

Art. IV. 

1. The ports of Chemulpho (Jeuchuan), Wunsan (Gensan), and Pusan 
(Fusan), or, if the latter port should not be approved, then such other 
port as may be selected in its neighbourhood, together with the city 
of Hanyang and of the town of Yanghwa Chin, or such other place in 


that neighbourhood, as may be deemed desirable, shall, from the 
day on which this Treaty comes into operation, be opened to British 

2. At the above-named places British subjects shall have the right to 
rent or to purchase land or houses, and to erect dwellings, warehouses, 
and factories. They shall be allowed the free exercise of their religion. 
All arrangements for the selection, determination of the limits, and 
laying out of the sites of the foreign Settlements, and for the sale of 
land at the various ports and places in Korea open to foreign trade, 
shall be made by the Korean authorities in conjunction with the com- 
petent foreign authorities. 

3. These sites shall be purchased from the owners and prepared for 
occupation by the Korean Government, and the expense thus incurred 
shall be a first charge on the proceeds of the sale of the land. The 
yearly rental agreed upon by the Korean authorities in conjunction with 
the foreign authorities shall be paid to the former, who shall retain a 
fixed amount thereof as a fair equivalent for the land tax, and the 
remainder, together with any balance left from the proceeds of land 
sales, shall belong to a municipal fund to be administered by a Council, 
the constitution of which shall be determined hereafter by the Korean 
authorities in conjunction with the competent foreign authorities. 

4. British subjects may rent or purchase land or houses beyond the 
limits of the foreign settlements, and within a distance of 10 Korean li 
from the same. But all land so occupied shall be subject to such con- 
ditions as to the observance of Korean local regulations and payment 
of land tax as the Korean authorities may see fit to impose. 

5. The Korean authorities will set apart, free of cost, at each of the 
places open to trade, a suitable piece of ground as a foreign cemetery, 
upon which no rent, land tax, or other charges shall be payable, and 
the management of which shall be left to the Municipal Council above 

6. British subjects shall be allowed to go where they please without 
passports within a distance of 100 Korean li from any of the ports and 
places open to trade, or within such limits as may be agreed upon 
between the competent authorities of both countries. British subjects 
arc also authorised to travel in Korea for pleasure or for purposes of 
trade, to transport and sell goods of all kinds, except books and other 
printed matter disapproved of by the Korean Government, and to 
purchase native produce in all parts of the country under passports 
which will be issued by their Consuls and countersigned or sealed by 
the Korean local authorities. These passports, if demanded, must be 
produced for examination in the districts passed through. If the pass- 
port be not irregular, the liearcr will be allowed to proceed, and he 


shall be at liberty to procure such means of transport as he may require. 
Any British subject travelling beyond the limits above named without a 
passport, or committing when in the interior any offence, shall be 
arrested and handed over to the nearest British Consul for punishment. 
Travelling writhout a passport beyond the said limits will render the 
offender liable to a fine not exceeding lOO Mexican dollars, with or 
without imprisonment for a term not exceeding one month. 

7. British subjects in Korea shall be amenable to such municipal, 
police, and other regulations for the maintenance of peace, order, and 
good government as may be agreed upon by the competent authorities 
of the two countries. 

Art. V. 

1. At each of the ports or places open to foreign trade, British subjects 
shall be at full liberty to import from any foreign port, or from any 
Korean open port, to sell to or to buy from any Korean subjects or 
others, and to export to any foreign or Korean open port, all kinds of 
merchandise not prohibited by this Treaty, on paying the duties of the 
Tariff annexed thereto. They may freely transact their business with 
Korean subjects or others without the intervention of Korean officials 
or other persons, and they may freely engage in any industrial 

2. The owners or consignees of all goods imported from any foreign 
port upon which the duty of the aforesaid Tariff shall have been paid 
shall be entitled, on re-exporting the same to any foreign port at any 
time within thirteen Korean months from the date of importation, to 
receive a drawback certificate for the amount of such import duty, 
provided that the original packages containing such goods remain 
intact. These drawback certificates shall either be redeemed by the 
Korean Customs on demand, or they shall be received in payment of 
duty at any Korean open port. 

3. The duty paid on Korean goods, when carried from one Korean open 
port to another, shall be refunded at the port of shipment on production 
of a Customs certificate showing that the goods have arrived at the port 
of destination, or on satisfactory proof being produced of the loss of the 
goods by shipwreck. 

4. All goods imported into Korea by British subjects, and on which 
the duty of the Tariff annexed to this Treaty shall have been paid, may 
be conveyed to any Korean open port free of duty, and, when trans- 
ported into the interior, shall not be subject to any additional tax, 
excise or transit duty whatsoever in any part of the country. In like 
manner, full freedom shall be allowed for the transport to the open 
ports of all Korean commodities intended for exportation, and such 


commodities shall not, either at the place of produclion, or when being 
conveyed from any part of Korea to any of the open ports, be subject to 
the payment of any tax, excise or transit duty whatsoever. 

5. The Korean Government may charter British merchant-vessels for 
the conveyance of goods or passengers to unopened ports in Korea, and 
Korean subjects shall have the same right, subject to the approval of 
their own authorities. 

6. Whenever the Government of Korea shall have reason to apprehend 
a scarcity of food within the kingdom, His Majesty the King of Korea 
may, by Decree, temporarily prohibit the export of grain to foreign 
countries from any or all of the Korean open ports, and such pro- 
hibition shall become binding on British subjects in Korea on the 
expiration of one month from the date on which it shall have been 
officially communicated by the Korean authorities to the British Consul 
at the port concerned, but shall not remain longer in force than is abso- 
lutely necessary. 

7. All British ships shall pay tonnage dues at the rate of 30 cents 
(Mexican) per register ton. one such payment will entitle a vessel to 
visit any or all of the open ports in Korea during a period of four 
months without further charge. All tonnage dues shall be appropriated 
for the purposes of erecting lighthouses and beacons, and placing buoys 
on the Korean coast, more especially at the approaches to the open 
ports, and in deepening or otherwise improving the anchorages. No 
tonnage dues shall be charged on boats employed at the open ports in 
landing or shipping cargo. 

8. In order to carry into effect and secure the observance of the pro- 
visions of this Treaty, it is hereby agreed that the Tariff and Trade 
Regulations hereto annexed shall come into operation simultaneously 
with this Treaty. The competent authorities of the two countries may, 
from time to time, revise the said Regulations with a view to the 
insertion therein, by mutual consent, of such modifications or additions 
as experience shall prove to be expedient. 

Art. VI. 

Any British subject who smuggles, or attempts to smuggle, goods 
into any Korean port or place not open to foreign trade shall forfeit 
twice the value of such goods, and the goods shall be confiscated. The 
Korean local authorities may seize such goods, and may arrest any 
British subject concerned in such smuggling or attempt to smuggle. 
They shall immediately forward any person so arrested to the nearest 
Britisii Consul for trial by the proper British judicial authority, and may 
detain such goods until the case shall have been finally adjudicated. 


Art. VII. 

1 . If a British ship be wrecked or stranded on the coast of Korea, 
the local authorities shall immediately take such steps to protect the 
ship and her cargo from plunder, and all the persons belonging to her 
from ill-treatment, and to render such other assistance as may be 
required. They shall at once inform the nearest British Consul of the 
occurrence, and shall furnish the shipwrecked persons, if necessary, 
with means of conveyance to the nearest open port. 

2. All expenses incurred by the Government of Korea for the rescue, 
clothing, maintenance, and travelling of shipwrecked British subjects, 
for the recovery of the bodies of the drowned, for the medical treatment 
of the sick and injured, and for the burial of the dead, shall be repaid 
by the British Government to that of Korea. 

3. The British Government shall not be responsible for the repay- 
ment of the expenses incurred in the recovery or preservation of a 
wrecked vessel, or the property belonging to her. All such expenses 
shall be a charge upon the property saved, and shall be paid by the 
parties interested therein upon receiving delivery of the same. 

4. No charge shall be made by the Government of Korea for the 
expenses of the Government officers, local functionaries, or police who 
shall proceed to the wreck, for the travelling expenses of officers 
escorting the shipwrecked men, nor for the expenses of official 
correspondence. Such expenses shall be borne by the Korean 

5. Any British merchant-ship compelled by stress of weather or by 
want of fuel or provisions to enter an unopened port in Korea shall be 
allowed to execute repairs, and to obtain necessary supplies. All such 
expenses shall be defrayed by the master of the vessel. 

Art. VIII. 

1. The ships of war of each country shall be at liberty to visit all the 
ports of the other. They shall enjoy every facility for procuring supplies 
of all kinds, or for making repairs, and shall not be subject to trade or 
harbour regulations, nor be liable to the payment of duties or port 
charges of any kind. 

2. When British ships of war visit unopened ports in Korea, the 
officers and men may land, but shall not proceed into the interior unless 
they are provided with passports. 

3. Supplies of all kinds for the use of the British Navy may be landed 
at the open ports of Korea, and stored in the custody of a British 
officer, without the payment of any duty. But if any such supplies are 
sold, the purchaser shall pay the proper duty to the Korean authorities. 


4. The Korean Government will afford all the facilities in their 
power to ships belonging to the British Government which may be 
engaged in making surveys in Korean waters. 

Art. IX, 

1. The British authorities and British subjects in Korea shall be 
allowed to employ Korean subjects as teachers, interpreters, servants, 
or in any other lawful capacity, without any restriction on the part of 
the Korean authorities ; and, in like manner, no restrictions shall be 
placed upon the employment of British subjects by Korean authorities 
and subjects in any lawful capacity. 

2. Subjects of either nationality who may proceed to the country of 
the other to study its language, literature, laws, arts, or industries, or 
for the purpose of scientific research, shall be afforded every reasonable 
facility for doing so. 

Art. X. 

It is hereby stipulated that the Government, public officers, and 
subjects of Her Britannic Majesty shall, from the day on which this 
Treaty comes into operation, participate in all privileges, immunities, 
and advantages, especially in relation to import or export duties on 
goods and manufactures, which shall then have been granted or may 
thereafter be granted by His Majesty the King of Korea to the 
Government, pnblic officers, or subjects of any other Power. 

Art. XI. 

Ten years from the date on which this Treaty shall come into 
operation, either of the High Contracting Parties may, on giving one 
year's previous notice to the other, demand a revision of the Treaty or 
of the Tariff annexed thereto, with a view to the insertion therein, by 
mutual consent, of such modifications as experience shall prove to be 

Art. XII. 

1. This Treaty is drawn up in the English and Chinese languages, 
both of which versions have the same meaning, Init it is hereby agreed 
that any difference which may arise as to interpretation shall lie 
determined by reference to the English text. 

2. For the present all official communications addressed by the 
British authorities to those of Korea shall l)e accompanied by a 
translation into Chinese. 



Art. XIII. 

The present Treaty shall be ratified by Her Majesty the Queen of the 
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, Empress of India, 
and by His Majesty the King of Korea, under their hands and seals ; 
the ratifications shall be exchanged at Hanyang (Seoul) as soon as 
possible, or at latest within one year from the date of signature, 
and the Treaty, which shall be published by both Governments, shall 
come into operation on the day on which the ratifications are exchanged. 

In witness whereof the respective Plenipotentiaries above named 
have signed the present Treaty, and have thereto afiixed their seals. 

Done in triplicate at Hanyang, this twenty-sixth day of November, 
in the year eighteen hundred and eighty-three, corresponding to the 
twenty-seventh day of the tenth month of the four hundred and ninety- 
second year of the Korean era, being the ninth year of the Chinese 
reign Kuang Hsii. 

(L.S.) Harry S. Parkes. 
(L.S.) Signature in Chinese of MiN YoNG-MOK, 
the Korean Plenipotentiary. 

Regulations under which British Trade is to be conducted 

IN Korea. 

I. — Entrance and Clearmice of Vessels. 

I. Within forty-eight hours (exclusive of Sundays and holidays) after 
the arrival of a British .ship in a Korean port, the master shall deliver 
to the Korean Customs authorities the receipt of the British Consul 
showing that he has deposited the ship's papers at the British Con- 
sulate, and he shall then make an entry of his ship by handing in a 
written paper stating the name of the ship, of the port from which she 
comes, of her master, the number, and, if required, the names of her 
passengers, her tonnage, and the number of her crew, which paper 
shall be certified by the master to be a true statement, and .shall be 
signed by him. He shall, at the same time, deposit a written manifest 
of his cargo, setting forth the marks and numbers of the packages and 
their contents as they are described in the bills of lading, with the 
names of the persons to whom they are consigned. The master shall 
certify that this description is correct, and shall sign his name to the 
same. When a vessel has been duly entered, the Customs authorities 
will issue a permit to open hatches, which shall be exhibited to the 
Customs officer on board. Breaking bulk without having obtained 


such permission will render the master liable to a fine not exceeding 
100 Mexican dollars. 

2. If any error is discovered in the manifest, it may be corrected 
within twenty-four hours (exclusive of Sundays and holidays) of its 
being handed in, without the payment of any fee, but for any altera- 
tion or post entry to the manifest made after that time a fee of 
5 Mexican dollars shall be paid. 

3. Any master who shall neglect to enter his vessel at the Korean 
Custom-house within the time fixed by this Regulation shall pay a 
penalty not exceeding 50 Mexican dollars for every twenty-four hours 
that he shall so neglect to enter his ship. 

4. Any British vessel which remains in port for less than forty-eight 
hours (exclusive of Sundays and holidays) and does not open her 
hatches, also any vessel driven into port by stress of weather, or only in 
want of supplies, shall not be required to enter or to pay tonnage dues 
so long as such vessel does not engage in trade. 

5. When the master of a vessel wishes to clear, he shall hand in to 
the Customs authorities an export manifest containing similar parti- 
culars to those given in the import manifest. The Customs authorities 
will then issue a clearance certificate and return the Consul's receipt for 
the ship's papers. These documents must be handed into the Consulate 
before the ship's papers are returned to the master. 

6. Should any ship leave the port without clearing outwards in the 
manner above prescribed, the master shall be liable to a penalty not 
exceeding 200 Mexican dollars. 

7. British steamers may enter and clear on the same day, and they 
shall not be required to hand in a manifest except for such goods as are 
to be landed or transhipped at the port of entry. 

II. — Landing and Shipping of Cargo, and Payment of Duties. 

1. The importer of any goods who desires to land them shall make 
and sign an application to that effect at the Custom-house, stating his 
own name, the name of the ship in which the goods have been imported, 
the marks, numbers, and contents of the packages and their values, and 
declaring that this statement is correct. The Customs authorities may 
demand the production of the invoice of each consignment of mer- 
chandise. If it is not produced, or if its absence is not satisfactorily 
accounted for, the owner shall be allowed to land his goods on payment 
of double the Tariflduty, but the surplus duty so levied shall be refunded 
on the production of the invoice. 

2. All goods so entered may be examined by the Customs officers at 
the places appointed for the purpose. Such examination shall be made 


without delay or injury to the merchandise, and the packages shall be 
at once restored by the Customs authorities to their original condition, 
in so far as may be practicable. 

3. Should the Customs authorities consider the value of any goods 
paying an ad valorem duty as declared by the importer or exporter 
insufficient, they shall call upon him to pay duty on the value deter- 
mined by an appraisement to be made by the Customs appraiser. But 
should the importer or exporter be dissatisfied with that appraisement, 
he shall within twenty-four hours (exclusive of Sundays and holidays) 
state his reasons for such dissatisfaction to the Commissioner of Customs, 
and shall appoint an appraiser of his own to make a re-appraisement. 
He shall then declare the value of the goods as determined by such 
re-appraisement. The Commissioner of Customs will thereupon, at 
his option, either assess the duty on the value determined by this 
re-appraisement, or purchase the goods from the importer or exporter 
at the price thus determined, with the addition of 5 per cent. In the 
latter case the purchase-money shall be paid to the importer or exporter 
within five days from the date on which he has declared the value 
determined by his own appraiser. 

4. Upon all goods damaged on the voyage of importation a fair 
reduction of duty shall be allowed, proportionate to their deterioration. 
If any disputes arise as to the amount of such reduction, they shall be 
settled in the manner pointed out in the preceding clause. 

5. All goods intended to be exported shall be entered at the Korean 
Custom-house before they are shipped. The application to ship shall 
be made in writing, and shall state the name of the vessel by which the 
goods are to be exported, the marks and number of the packages, and 
the quantity, description, and value of the contents. The exporter 
shall certify in writing that the application gives a true account of all 
the goods contained therein, and shall sign his name thereto. 

6. No goods shall be landed or shipped at other places than those 
fixed by the Korean Customs authorities, or between the hours of 
sunset or sunrise, or on Sundays or holidays, without the special 
permission of the Customs authorities, who will be entitled to reasonable 
fees for the extra duty thus performed. 

7. Claims by importers or exporters for duties paid in excess, or by 
the Customs authorities for duties which have not been fully paid, shall 
be entertained only when made within thirty days from the date of 

8. No entry will be required in the case of pro^/isions for the use of 
British ships, their crews and passengers, nor for the baggage of the 
latter which may be landed or shipped at any time after examination by 
the Customs officers. 


9. Vessels needing repairs may land their cargo for that purpose 
without the payment of duty. All goods so landed shall remain in 
charge of the Korean authorities, and all just charges for siorage, 
labour, and supervision shall be paid by the master. But if any 
portion of such cargo be sold, the duties of the Tariff shall be paid 
on the portion so disposed of. 

10. Any person desiring to tranship cargo shall obtain a permit from 
the Customs authorities before doing so. 

III. — Protection of the Revenue. 

1. The Customs authorities shall have the right to place Customs 
officers on board any British merchant-vessel in their ports. All such 
Customs officers shall have access to all parts of the ship in which 
cargo is stowed. They shall be treated with civility, and such 
reasonable accommodation shall be allotted to them as the ship affords. 

2. The hatches and all other places of entrance into that part of the 
ship where cargo is stowed may be secured by the Korean Customs 
officers between the hours of sunset and sunrise, and on Sundays and 
holidays, by affixing seals, locks, or other fastenings, and if any person 
shall, without due permission, wilfully open any entrance that has been 
so secured, or break any seal, lock, or other fastening that has been 
affixed by the Korean Customs officers, not only the person so offending, 
but the master of the ship also, shall be liable to a penalty not exceeding 
100 Mexican dollars. 

3. Any British subject who ships, or attempts to ship, or discharges, 
or attempts to discharge, goods which have not been duly entered at 
the Custom-house in,the manner above provided, or packages containing 
goods different from those described in the import or export permit 
application, or prohibited goods, shall forfeit twice the value of such 
goods, and the goods shall be confiscated. 

4. Any person signing a false declaration or certificate with the 
intent to defraud the revenue of Korea shall be liable to a fine not 
exceeding 200 Mexican dollars. 

5. Any violation of any provision of these Regulations, to which no 
penalty is specially attached herein, may be punished by a fine not 
exceeding 100 Mexican dollars. 

Note. — All documents required by these Regulations, and all other 
communications addressed to the Korean Customs authorities, may be 
written in the P^nglish language. 

(L.S.) Harry S. Parkes. 

(L.S.) Signature in Chinese of Min Yong-Mok, 

the Korean Plcnipotaitiary. 


The Import Tariff ranged from 5 to 20 per cent. A few articles, 
such as books, agricultural instruments, types, plants, trees, shrubs, 
&c., came in free, while adulterated drugs, arms, ammunition, counter- 
feit coins, and opium were prohibited. 

Export Tariff. 

Class I. — Duty free export goods : — 

Bullion, being gold and silver refined ; coins, gold and silver all 
kinds ; plants, trees and shrubs, all kinds ; samples, in reasonable 
quantity ; travellers' baggage. 

Class II. — All other native goods or productions not enumerated in 
Class. I will pay an ad va/orejn duty of 5 per cent. 

The exportation of red ginseng is prohibited. 


1. In the case of imported articles the ad valorem duties of this 
Tariff will be calculated on the actual cost of the goods at the place of 
production or fabrication, with the addition of freight, insurance, &c. 
In the case of export articles the ad valorem duties will be calculated 
on market values in Korea. 

2. Duties may be paid in Mexican dollars or Japanese silver yen. 

3. The above Tariff of import and export duties shall be converted 
as soon as possible, and as far as may be deemed desirable, into 
specific rates by agreement between the competent authorities of the 
two countries. 

(L.S.) Harry S. Parkes. 

(L.S.) Signature in Chinese of Min Yong-Mok, 

Korean Plenipotentiary. 


The above named Plenipotentiaries hereby make and append to this 
Treaty the following three declarations : — 

I. With reference to Article III. of this Treaty, it is hereby declared 
that the right of extra-territorial jurisdiction over British subjects in 
Korea granted by this Treaty shall be relinquished when, in the judg- 
ment of the British Government, the laws and legal procedure of 
Korea shall have been so far modified and reformed as to remove the 
objections which now exist to British subjects being placed under 
Korean jurisdiction, and Korean Judges shall have attained similar 
legal qualifications and a similar independent position to those of 
British Judges. 


2. With reference to Article IV. of this Treaty, it is hereby declared 
that if the Chinese Government shall hereafter surrender the right of 
opening commercial establishments in the city of Hanyang, which was 
granted last year to Chinese subjects, the same right shall not be 
claimed for British subjects, provided that it be not granted by the 
Korean Government to the subjects of any other Power. 

3. It is hereby declared that the provisions of this Treaty shall apply 
to all British Colonies, unless any exception shall be notified by Her 
Majesty's Government to that of Korea within one year from the date 
in which the ratifications of this Treaty shall be exchanged. 

And it is hereby further stipulated that this Protocol shall be laid 
before the High Contracting Parties simultaneously with this Treaty, 
and that the ratification of this Treaty shall include the confirmation of 
the above three declarations, for which, therefore, no separate act of 
ratification will be required. 

In faith of which the above-named Plenipotentiaries have this day 
signed this Protocol, and have thereto affixed their seals. 

Done at Hanyang this twenty-sixth day of November, in the year 
eighteen hundred and eighty-three, corresponding to the twenty-seventh 
day of the tenth montli of the four hundred and ninety-second year 
of the Korean era, being the ninth year of the Chinese reign 
Kuang Hsii. 

(L.S.) Harry S. Parkes. 

(L.S.) Signature in Chinese of Min Yong-Mok, 

Korean Plenipoleiiliary. 

APRIL, 1885 

Ito, Ambassador Extraordinary of the Great Empire of Japan, 
Minister of State and the Imperial Household, First Class of the 
Order of the Rising Sun and Count of the Empire ; 

Li, Special Plenipotentiary of the Great Empire of China, Grand 
Guardian of the Heir Apparent, Senior Grand Secretary of State, 
Superintendent of the North Sea Trade, President of the Board of 
War, Viceroy of Chih-li and Count Shiriu-ki of the first rank ; 

In obedience to the Decrees which each of them respectively is 
bound to obey, after conference held, have agreed upon a Convention 
with a view to preserving and promoting friendly relations (between 
the two great Empires), the Articles of which are set down in order as 
follow : — 

It is hereby agreed that China shall withdraw her troops now 
stationed in Korea, and that Japan shall withdraw hers stationed there- 
in for the protection of her Legation. The specific term for effecting 
the same shall be four months commencing from the date of the 
signing and sealing of this Convention, within which term they shall 
respectively accomplish the withdrawal of the whole number of each of 
their troops in order to avoid effectively any complications between the 
respective countries : the Chinese troops shall embark from Masampo 
and the Japanese from the port of Ninsen. 

The said respective Powers mutually agree to invite the King of 
Korea to instruct and drill a sufficient armed force, that she may herself 
assure her public security, and to invite him to engage into his service 
an officer or officers from amongst those of a third Power, who shall be 
intrusted with the instruction of the said force. The respective Powers 
also bind themselves, each to the other, henceforth not to send any of 
their own officers to Korea for the purpose of giving said instruction. 

In case of any disturbance of a grave nature occurring in Korea 
which necessitates the respective countries or either of them to send 
troops to Korea, it is hereby understood that they shall give, each to- 



the other, previous notice in writing of their intention so to do, and 
that after the matter is settled, they shall withdraw their troops and not 
fiirther station them there. 

Signed and sealed this i8th day of the 4th month, of the l8th year of 
Meiji (Japanese Calendar) ; the 4th day of the 3rd moon of the iith 
year of Kocho (Chinese Calendar). 

(L.S.) ITO, 

Ambassador Extraordinary of the Great 

E7)ipire of Japan, Ss'c, 

(L.S.) Li, 

Special Plenipotentiary of the Great 

Empire of China, ^c. 


The Chinese and Japanese Plenipotentiaries, who met at Shimono- 
seki to discuss the terms of peace between the two countries, dealt with 
the independence of Korea. The Japanese proposal submitted on 
April 1st was : — 

" China recognises definitively the full and complete independence 
and autonomy of Korea, and in consequence the payment of tribute 
and the performance of ceremonies and formalities by Korea to China 
in derogation of such independence and autonoiny shall wholly cease 
for the future." 

In reply Li Hung Chang wrote : — 

" The Chinese Government some two months ago indicated its 
willingness to recognise the full and complete independence and 
guarantee the complete neutrality of Korea, and is ready to insert 
such a stipulation in the Treaty ; but in due reciprocity, such stipula- 
tion should likewise be made by Japan. Hence the article will require 
to be modified in this respect." 

on April 6th the Chinese Plenipotentiary was asked to formulate 
his wording of the clause. He did so (April 9th) as follows : — 

"China and Japan recognise definitely the full and complete inde- 
pendence and autonomy, and guarantee the complete neutrality of 
Korea, and it is agreed that the interference by either in the internal 
affairs of Korea in derogation of such autonomy or the performances of 
ceremonies and formalities by Korea inconsistent with such independ- 
ence, shall wholly cease for the future." 

To this Japan replied (April loth) : — 

"The Japanese Plenipotentiaries find it necessary to adhere to this 
Article as originally presented to the Chinese Plenipotentiary." 

The clause finally appeared in the Treaty as originally framed by 


The Representatives of Russia and Japan at Seoul, having conferred 
under the identical instructions from their respective Governments, 
have arrived at the following conclusions :^ 

I. While leaving the matter of His Majesty's, the King of Korea, 
return to the Palace, entirely to his own discretion and judgment, the 
Representatives of Russia and Japan will in a friendly way advise His 
Majesty to return to that place, when no doubts concerning his safety 
there could be entertained. 

The Japanese Representative, on his part, gives the assurance, that 
the most complete and effective measures will be taken for the control 
of Japanese soshi. 

n. The present Cabinet Ministers have been appointed by His 
Majesty from his own free will, and most of them held ministerial or 
other high offices during the last two years, and are known to be 
liberal and moderate men. 

The two Representatives will always aim at recommending to His 
Majesty to appoint liberal and moderate men as Ministers and to show 
clemency to his subjects. 

HI. The Representative of Russia quite agrees with the Representa- 
tive of Japan that, at the present state of affairs in Korea, it may be 
necessary to have Japanese guards stationed at some places for the pro- 
tection of the Japanese telegraph line between Fusan and Seoul, and 
that these guards, now consisting of three companies of soldiers, should 
be withdrawn as soon as possible and replaced by gendarmes, who will 
be distributed as follows : fifty men at Tai-ku, fifty men at Ka-heung, 
and ten men each at ten intermediate posts between Fusan and Seoul. 
This distribution may l)e liable to some changes, but the total number 
of the gendarme force shall never exceed 200 men, who will 
afterwards gradually be withdrawn from such places where peace and 
order have been restored by the Korean Government. 

IV. For the protection of the Japanese settlemcnls at Seoul and the 
open pfjrts against possible attacks by the Korean populace, two 



companies of Japanese troops may be stationed at Seoul, one company 
at Fusan and one at Gensan, each company not to exceed 200 
men. These troops will be quartered near the settlements and shall 
be withdrawn as soon as no apprehension of such attack could be 

For the protection of the Russian Legation and Consulate, the 
Russian Government may also keep guards not exceeding the number 
of Japanese troops at those places, and these will be withdrawn as soon 
as tranquility in the interior is completely restored. 

{Signed) C. Waeber, {Signed) J. Komura, 

Representative of Russia. Representative of [apan. 

Seoul, May 14, 1896. 


The Secretary of State, Prince Labanow-Rostovsky, Foreign 
Minister of Russia, and Marshal Marquis Yamagata, Ambassador 
Extraordinary of His Majesty, the Emperor of Japan, having ex- 
changed their views on the situation in Korea, agreed upon the 
following articles : — 

I. For the remedy of the financial difficulties of Korea, the Govern- 
ments of Russia and Japan will advise the Korean Government to 
retrench all superfluous expenditure and to establish a balance between 
expenses and revenues. If, in consequence of reforms deemed indis- 
pensable, it may become necessary to have recourse to foreign loans, 
both Governments shall, by mutual concert, give their support to 

II. The Governments of Russia and Japan shall endeavour to leave 
to Korea, as far as the financial and commercial situation of that 
country will permit, the formation and maintenance of a national armed 
force, and police of such proportions as will be sufficient for the 
preservation of internal peace without foreign support. 

III. With a view to facilitate communications with Korea the 
Japanese Government may continue to administer the telegraph lines 
which are at present in its hands. 

It is reserved to Russia (the right) of building a telegraph line 
between Seoul and her frontiers. 

These different lines can be repurchased by the Korean Government 
as soon as it has the means to do so. 

IV. In case the above matters should require a more exact or detailed 
explanation, or if subsequently some other points should present them- 
selves upon which it should be necessary to confer, the representatives 
of both Governments shall be authorised lu negotiate in a spirit of 

(St[ipte(^) LoBANOw. Yamagata. 
Moscow, y«w^ 9, 1896. 



Baron Nishi, Minister for Foreign Affairs of His Majesty the Emperor 
of Japan, and Baron Rosen, le Conseiller d'Etat actuel et Chambellan, 
Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary of His Majesty the 
Emperor of all the Russias, duly authorised to that effect, have agreed 
upon the following Articles in pursuance of Article IV. of the Protocol 
signed at Moscow on the 9th June (28th May), 1896, between Marshal 
Marquis Yamagata and Prince Lobanow, Secretary of State : — 

Art. I. — The Imperial Governments of Japan and Russia defini- 
tively recognise the sovereignty and entire independence of Korea, and 
mutually engage to refrain from all direct interference in the internal 
affairs of that country. 

Art. II. — Desiring to avoid every possible cause of misunderstanding 
in the future, the Imperial Governments of Japan and Russia mutually 
engage, in case Korea should apply to Japan or to Russia for advice 
and assistance, not to take any measure in the nomination of military 
instructors and financial advisers without having previously come to a 
mutual agreement on the subject. 

Art. III. — In view of the large development of Japanese commercial 
and industrial enterprises in Korea, as well as the considerable number 
of Japanese subjects resident in that country, the Imperial Russian 
Government will not impede the development of the commercial and 
industrial relations between Japan and Korea. 

Done at Tokyo, in duplicate, this 25th day of April, 1898. 




The Anglo-Japanese Alliance, January, 1902. 

Art. I. — The High Contracting Parties, having mutually recognised 
the independence of China and Korea, declare themselves to be entirely 
uninfluenced by any aggressive tendencies in either country. Having 
in view, however, their special interests, of which those of Great 
Britain relate principally to China, while Japan, in addition to the 
interests which she possesses in China, is interested in a peculiar 
degree, politically as well as commercially and industrially, in Korea, 
the High Contracting Parlies recognise that it will be admissible for 
either of them to take such measures as may be indispensable in order 
to safeguard those interests if threatened either by the aggressive action 
of any other Power or by disturbances arising in China or Korea, and 
necessitating the intervention of either of the High Contracting Parties 
for the protection of the lives and property of its subjects. 

The Anglo-Japanese Alliance, September 27, 1905. 

Preamble. — The Governments of Japan and Great Britain, being 
desirous of replacing the Agreement concluded between them on the 
30th of January, 1902, by fresh stipulations, have agreed upon the 
following Articles, which have for their object : — 

(a) The consolidation and maintenance of the general peace in the 
regions of Eastern Asia and of India ; 

(b) The preservation of the common interests of all Powers in China 
by insuring the independence and integrity of the Chinese Empire and 
the principle of equal opportunities for the commerce and industry of 
all nations in China ; 

(c) The maintenance of the territorial rights of the High Contracting 
Parties in the regions of Eastern Asia and of India, and the defence of 
their special interests in the said regions. 

Art. HI. —Japan possessing paramount political, inilitary, and 



economic interests in Korea, Great Britain recognises the right of 
Japan to take such measures of guidance, control, and protection in 
Korea as she may deem proper and necessary to safeguard and 
advance these interests, provided always that such measures are not 
contrary to the principle of equal opportunities for the commerce 
and industry of all nations. 


The first clause of the Japanese demands at the Portsmouth Confer- 
ence dealt with Korea :^ 

" Russia, acknowledging that Japan possesses in Korea paramount 
political, military and economical interests, to engage not to obstruct 
or interfere with any measures of guidance, protection and control 
which Japan finds it necessary to take in Korea." 

In reply the Russian representatives made the following statement : — 

" Le premier article ne souleve pas d'objection. Le Gouvernement 
Imperial, reconnaissant que le Japon possede en Coree des interels 
prepondcrants politiques, militaires et economiques, est prct a s'engager 
ii ne point obstruer ni intervenir en ce prendre en Coree. II va sans 
dire que, de protection et de controle que le Japon considerera 
necessaire de prendre en Coree. II va sans dire que la Russie et les 
subjets russes jouiront de tous les droits qui appartiennent ou 
appartiendront aux autres Puissances Etrangeres et leurs ressortissants. 
II est egalement entendu que la mise en vigueur par le Japon des 
mesures susmentionnees ne portera pas atteinte aux droits souverains 
de I'Empereur de Coree. En ce qui concerne particulicrement les 
mesures militaires, le Japon, dans le but d'eloigner toute cause de 
malentendu, s'abstiendra de prendre des mesures qui pourraient 
menacer lasecurite du territoire russe limitrophe de la Coree." 

The clause of the Treaty as finally arranged was : — 

" The Imperial Russian Government, acknowledging that Japan 
[xjssesses in Korea paramount political, military, and economical 
interests, engage neither to obstruct nor interfere with the measures 
of guidance, protection, and control which the Imperial Government 
of Japan may find it necessary to take in Korea. 

" It is understood that Russian subjects in Korea shall be treated 
exactly in the same manner as the subjects or citizens of other foreign 
Powers, that is to say, they shall be placed on the same footing as 
the subjects or citizens of the favoured nation. 

" It is also agreed that, in order to avoid all cause of misunderstand- 
ing, the two High Contracting Parties will ai)Stain, on the Russo- Korean 
frontier, from taking any military measure which may menace the 
security of Russian or Koiean territory." 

2 1 •'°5 


Mr. Hyashi, Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary 
of His Majesty the Emperor of Japan, and Major-General Yi Tchi 
Yong, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs interim of His Majesty the 
Emperor of Korea, being respectively duly empowered for the purpose, 
have agreed upon the following Articles : — 

Art. I. For the purpose of maintaining a permanent and solid 
friendship between Japan and Korea and firmly establishing peace in 
the Far East, the Imperial Government of Korea shall place full con- 
fidence in the Imperial Government of Japan and adopt the advice of 
the latter in regard to improvement in administration. 

Art. II. The Imperial Government of Japan shall in a spirit of 
firm friendship ensure the safety and repose of the Imperial House of 

Art. III. The Imperial Government of Japan definitively guaran- 
tees the independence and territorial integrity of the Korean Empire. 

Art. IV. In case the welfare of the Imperial House of Korea 01 
the territorial integrity of Korea is endangered by aggression of a third 
Power or internal disturbances, the Imperial Government of Japan 
shall immediately take such necessary measures as the circumstances 
require, and in such cases the Imperial Government of Korea shall 
give full facilities to promote action of the Imperial Japanese Govern- 

The Imperial Government of Japan may, for the attainment of the 
above-mentioned object, occupy, when the circumstances require it, 
such places as may be necessary from strategical points of view. 

Art. V. The Governments of the two countries shall not in future, 
without mutual consent, conclude with a third Power such an arrange- 
ment as may be contrary to the principle of the present Protocol. 

Art. VI. Details in connection with the present Protocol shall be 
arranged as the circumstances may require, between the Representative 
of Japan and the Minister of State for Foreign Affairs of Korea. 

Done at Seoul, February 23, 1904. 

This relation between the two countries was further made closer with 
the restoration of peace, and by a new convention concluded at that 
time Korea was placed under the protection of Japan. 



1. The Korean Financial Department to engage a Japanese as Super- 
intendent of Korean finances in order to carry out fiscal reforms. 

2. Japan to advance the necessary funds to Korea in order to enable 
her to effect financial reforms, 3,000,000 yen being lent as first in- 

3. Sound currency system to be established by abolishing the 
present Mint and withdrawing the copper coins now in circulation. 

4. Currency union to be established between Japan and Korea, and 
Japanese money to be accepted as legal tender by the Koreans. 

5. A Central Bank to be established in Korea to facilitate the collec- 
tion of taxes and the handling of public money. 

6. A model administrative system to be adopted in Kyong-kwi 
Province, and similar system to be adopted in other provinces when 
this experiment proves successful. 

7. Mr. W. n. Stevens is to be engaged by the Korean Foreign 
Department as its Adviser in order to improve foreign intercourse. 

8. Korea to recall her Ministers and Consuls stationed abroad when 
she decides to place her foreign aflfairs and the protection of her subjects 
staying abroad in charge of Japan. 

9. The Foreign Ministers to Korea to be withdrawn from Seoul and 
the Foreign Consuls alone to remain on duty with the withdrawal of 
the Korean Ministers and Consuls from the foreign countries. 

10. The Korean army, at present 20,000, to be reduced to 1,000, 
and all the garrisons in the provinces to be disbanded, one at Seoul 
alone being kept. 

11. Military arms to be made common between Japan and Korea 
with the object of adjusting the existing military system in the latter 

12. Soothsayers, fortune-tellers, and other officials ministering to 
superstition to be expelled from the surroundings of the Sovereign 
to uphold his dignity. 

13. All superfluous Government offices and officials to be dis- 



14. Government posts to be made open to all classes of the people, 
without regard to rank and family relation. 

15. The practice of selling Government posts to be prohibited, and 
the officials to be selected from among those who are competent. 

16. Salaries of the Ministers of State and other Government 
officials to be increased so as to awake in them a stronger sense 
of responsibility. 

17. Definite educational policy to be established, and organisation 
of universities, middle schools, and primary schools to be modelled 
after that existing in Japan ; also technical schools to be established 
in order to encourage industry. 

18. A distinct line of demarkation to be drawn between the Court 
and the Government. 

12. The present foreign Advisers to be reduced in number with the 
abolition and amalgamation of the Government offices. 

20. The post of Supreme Adviser to the Korean Government to 
remain unfilled for the present. 

21. Agriculture to be improved by reclaiming waste lands and 
developing the natural resources of the soil. 


Signed November 17, 1905. 

The Japanese and Korean Governments, being desirous of strengthen- 
ing the identity of interests which unite the two Empires, have, with 
the same end in view, agreed upon the following Articles, which will 
remain binding until the power and prosperity of Korea are recognised 
as having been firmly established : — 

I. The Japanese Government, through the Foreign Office at Tokyo, 
will henceforward take control and direct the foreign relations and 
affairs of Korea, and Japanese diplomatic representatives and Consuls 
will protect the subjects and interests of Korea abroad. 

II. The Japanese Government will take upon itself the duty of 
carrying out the existing Treaties between Korea and foreign countries, 
and the Korean Government binds itself not to negotiate any Treaty 
or Agreement of a diplomatic nature without the intermediary of the 
Japanese Government. 

III. (a) The Japanese Government will appoint under His Majesty 
the Emperor of Korea a Resident-General as its representative, who 
will remain in Seoul chiefly to administer diplomatic afliiirs with the 
prerogative of having private audience with His Majesty the Emperor 
of Korea. 

(l>) The Japanese Government is entitled to appoint a Resident to 
every Korean open port and other places where the presence of such 
Resident is considered necessary. These Residents, under the super- 
vision of the Resident-General, will administer all the duties hitherto 
appertaining to Japanese Consulates in Korea and all other affairs 
necessary for the satisfactory fulfilment of the provisions of this 

IV. All the existing Treaties and Agreements between Japan and 
Korea, within limits not prejudicial to the provisions of this Treaty, 
will remain in force. 

V. The Japanese Government guarantees to maintain the security 
and respect the dignity of the Korean Imperial House. 



In witness whereof the undersigned, with due power granted by 
their respective Governments, have signed this Treaty and affixed 
their seals. 

Hayashi Gonsuke, 

Japanese Minister Plenipotentiary and 

Envoy Extraordinary. 

Pak Che Soon, 

Korean Minister of State for Foreign 



The Government of Japan and the Government of Korea, with the 
object of speedily providing for the power and wealth of Korea and 
also of promoting the welfare of the Korean people, have agreed on the 
following Articles : — 

Art. I. The Government of Korea shall follow the guidance of the 
Resident-General in effecting administrative reforms. 

Art. II. All the laws to be enacted and all important administrative 
measures to be undertaken by the Korean Government shall previously 
receive the consent and approval of the Resident-General. 

Art. III. Distinction shall be observed between the administration 
of justice by the Government of Korea and the business of ordinary 

Art. IV. The appointment and dismissal of high officials of Korea 
shall be at the pleasure of the Resident-General. 

Art. V. The Government of Korea shall appoint to the Govern- 
ment offices of Korea any Japanese the Resident-General may 

Art. VI. The Government of Korea shall engage no foreigner 
without the consent of the Resident-General. 

Art. VII. Clause i of the Japan-Korea Agreement signed 
August 22, Meiji 37 (1904), is rescinded. 

July 24, 40th year Meiji. 

July 24, nth year Kwangmu. 

Resident-General Ito. 
Prime Alinister Yi. 


Honolulu, T.H. 

July 12, 1905. 
To His Excellency, 

The President of the United States. 

Your Excellency, — The undersigned have been authorised by the 
8,000 Koreans now residing in the territory of Hawaii at a special 
mass meeting held in the city of Honolulu, on July 12, 1905, to present 
to your Excellency the following appeal : — 

We, the Koreans of the Hawaiian Islands, voicing the sentiments of 
twelve millions of our countrymen, humbly lay before your Excellency 
the following facts : — 

Soon after the commencement of the war between Russia and Japan, 
our Government made a treaty of alliance with Japan for offensive and 
defensive purposes. By virtue of this treaty the whole of Korea was 
opened to the Japanese, and both the Government and the people have 
been assisting the Japanese authorities in their military operations in 
and about Korea. 

The contents of this treaty are undoubtedly known to your Excellency, 
therefore we need not embody them in this appeal. Suffice it to state, 
however, the object of the treaty was to preserve the independence of 
Korea and Japan and to protect Eastern Asia from Russia's aggression. 

Korea, in return for Japan's friendship and protection against Russia, 
has rendered services to the Japanese by permitting them to use the 
country as a base of their military operations. 

When this treaty was concluded, the iCoreans fully expected that 
Japan would introduce reforms into the governmental administration 
along the line of the modern civilisation of Europe and America, and 
that she would advise and counsel our people in a friendly manner, but 
to our disappointment and regret the Japanese Government has not 
done a single thing in the way of improving the condition of the Korean 
people. on the contrary, she turned loose several thousand rough and 
disorderly men of her nationals in Korea, who are treating the inolTen- 
sive Koreans in a most outrageous manner. The Koreans are by nature 
not a quarrelsome or aggressive people, but deeply resent the liigli- 
handed action of the Japanese towards them. We can scarcely believe 
that the Japanese Government approves the outrages committed by its 



people in Korea, but it has done nothing to prevent this state of 
affairs. They have been, during the last eighteen months, forcibly 
obtaining all the special privileges and concessions from our Govern- 
ment, so that to-day they practically own everything that is worth 
having in Korea. 

We, the common people of Korea, have lost confidence in the 
promises Japan made at the time of concluding the treaty of alliance, 
and we doubt seriously the good intentions which she professes to have 
towards our people. For geographical, racial, and commercial reasons 
we want to be friendly to Japan, and we are even willing to have her as 
our guide and example in the matters of internal reforms and education, 
but the continuous policy of self-exploitation at the expense of the 
Koreans has shaken our confidence in her, and we are now afraid that 
she will not keep her promise of preserving our independence as a 
nation, nor assisting us in reforming internal administration. In other 
words, her policy in Korea seems to be exactly the same as that of 
Russia prior to the war. 

The United States has many interests in our country. The industrial, 
commercial, and religious enterprises under American management, 
have attained such proportions that we believe the Government and 
people of the United Stales ought to know the true conditions of Korea 
and the result of the Japanese becoming paramount in our country. 
We know that the people of America love fair play and advocate 
justice towards all men. We also know tliat your Excellency is the 
ardent exponent of a square deal between individuals as well as 
nations, therefore we come to you with this memorial with the hope 
that Your Excellency may help our country at this critical period of our 
national life. 

We fully appreciate the fact that during the conference between the 
Russian and Japanese peace envoys. Your Excellency may not care to 
make any suggestion to either party as to the conditions of their settle- 
ment, but we earnestly hope that Your Excellency will see to it that 
Korea may preserve her autonomous Government and that other 
Powers shall not oppress or maltreat our people. The clause in the 
treaty between the United States and Korea gives us a claim upon 
the United States for assistance, and this is the time when we need 

it most. 

Very respectfully, 

Your obedient servants, 

{Sgd.) P. K. YooN. 

Syngman Rhee. 






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