First son of Ahn Tae-Hun 안태훈 and Baek Cheon-Jo 백천조 of the Sunheung Ahn 순흥안씨 family lineage ; Ahn Jung-Geun안중근 was born on September 2 in 1879. As a boy –when his childhood name was Ahn Eung-chil 안응칠-, he learned Chinese literature and Western sciences, but was more interested in martial arts and marksmanship. Kim Gu 김구, future leader of the Korean independence movement who had taken refuge in Ahn Tae-Hun's house at the time, wrote that young Ahn Jung-Geun was an excellent marksman, liked to read books, and had strong charisma. Ahn Jung-Geun devoted himself to the education of korean people right after the Japan–Korea Treaty of 1905.
In 1909, Ahn Jun-Geun passed the Japanese guards at the Harbin Railway station (China), to go find Ito Hirobumi the Japanese prime minister who has been negotiating with the Russian representative on the train. He shot the Japanese prime minister three times and seriously injured the Japanese Consul General “Kawagami Toshihiko”, Secretary of Imperial Household Agency “Morita Jiro” and executive of South Manchuria Railway “Tanaka Seitaro”. Ahn yelled out for Korean independence in Russian, stating "Корея! Ура!", and waving the Korean flag.
Ahn Jung-Geun refused to be treated as a criminal but, as “prisoner of war and as a lieutenant general of the Korean resistance army”. He then listed reasons why he killed Ito Hirobumi :
1. Assassinating the Korean Empress Myeongseong
2. Dethroning the Emperor Gojong
3. Forcing 14 unequal treaties on Korea.
4. Massacring innocent Koreans
5. Usurping the authority of the Korean government by force
6. Plundering Korean railroads, mines, forests, and rivers
7. Forcing the use of Japanese banknotes
8. Disbanding the Korean armed forces
9. Obstructing the education of Koreans
10.Banning Koreans from studying abroad
11.Confiscating and burning Korean textbooks
12.Spreading a rumor around the world that Koreans wanted Japanese protection
13.Deceiving the Japanese Emperor by saying that the relationship between Korea and Japan was peaceful when in truth it was full of hostility and conflicts
14.Breaking the peace of Asia
15.Assassinating the Emperor Komei.
Ahn Jung-Geun is also known for his calligraphy works he made in prison. Many prison guards such as Chiba Toshichi who respected him, made requests to Ahn for calligraphy works. He left many calligraphy works which were written in the jail of Lushun although he hadn't studied calligraphy formally. He would leave on his calligraphy works a signature of "大韓國人" (Great Korean) and a handprint of his left hand that was missing the last joint of the ring finger, which he had cut off with his comrades in 1909 as a pledge to kill Ito. Some of the works were designated as Treasure No. 569 of the Republic of Korea in 1972. One of his famous works is "一日不讀書口中生荊棘" (일일부독서 구중생형극; Unless one reads every day, thorns grow in the mouth), a quote from the Analects of Confucius.
The movie “Thomas An Jung-geun 도마 안중근” is a dramatized story of the event, released in 2004.
Actor “Yu Oh-seong” as “Ahn Jung-geun”, and actor “Yoon Joo-sang” as Ito Hirobumi.
Watch the movie here :
Part 1 LINK
Part 2 LINK