What is Korean Liberation Day?
YONGSAN, Republic of Korea -- Korean Liberation Day is celebrated each year. After the end of World War II, Japan terminated their 30 years of dictatorship against the Korean government ending the torture and oppression of millions of people.
During the Japanese Imperial Period (1910~1945) Koreans suffered greatly. The Japanese government captured Korean men to serve in the Japanese army and many were killed. They forced Koreans to learn Japanese by having armed teachers. The infamous 'Maruta' was a medical experiment on a living body and thousands of Koreans and Chinese prisoners were killed during this experiment. Many women were raped, men were killed and children were abused during this period.
Koreans celebrate the day of liberation because they finally received their freedom from the Japanese government.
The Korean Liberation came when Japan surrendered to the Allied Nations. Korean officials confirmed the liberty through the Cairo Declaration and again at the Potsdam Declaration. On Aug. 15, 1945 the emperor of Japan said he accepted the liberty of Korea and admitted defeat to the Allied Nations during a radio broadcast. It is commonly believed that immediately after the broadcast, Korean people poured into the streets hailing the national flag. Ironically few people possessed a radio, which is why the official celebration was held on August 16.
Fighters for liberation went door to door to officially declare that Korea has finally achieved freedom. Prisoners arrested from the fight against the Japanese government were released. The day was filled with joy, but also disorder. With many people in the streets, there were some worries about a riot. This led to the formation of a vigilante group to support civilians.
The day of liberation holds a lot of meaning to Koreans. Without liberation, it is unknown how much longer the Japanese government would have ruled Koreans. This fact gives Koreans more appreciation for the celebration.
This will be the 68th anniversary of Korea liberation. To celebrate, on August 15th, people place the nation's flag on their houses and hold anniversary events including concerts and exhibitions to remember and appreciate Korea's history and freedom.