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HOME  > Past issues  > 2018 May 23 - 29  > War killed young poet in prison
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2018 May 23 - 29 [SOCIAL ISSUES]
column 

War killed young poet in prison

May 28, 2018

Akahata 'Morning breeze' column

Yun Dong-ju was a young poet from Jiandao, currently China's Yianbian Korean autonomous region (Jilin province). He died in a Fukuoka prison in February 1945.

While he was at Doshisha University in Kyoto, he called for Korea's independence from Japanese colonial rule. In July 1943, he was arrested by the Special Political Police (Tokko) under the Public Order Maintenance Law on charge of taking part in the Korean independence movement.

Yun Dong-ju in his late teens intended to publish his poetry collection. However, many people around him warned, "It's too dangerous," so he had to abandon the hope of getting his poems published. It was about the time when the proletarian poetry movement had to go underground. A number of poems he had written in the Korean language were confiscated by the Tokko police at the time of his arrest. The only works of his that remain are poems that he sent to his friends.

After the war, he received his claim to fame in Korea as a national poet. In 1984, his work, "Sky, Wind, Stars, and Poems", was translated by Ibuki Go into Japanese and published in Japan. Then, the Japanese version of the poem became used in a public high school textbook with authorization from the Ministry of Education.

Yun Dong-ju is just one example, but the war and colonial rule killed many young talents and distorted society totally.
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