Cho Myung-ha (1905.4.4. ~ 1928.10.10.)
In 1918, after graduating from a local school in Pungcheon, Hwanghae Province, Cho Myung-ha crossed over to Japan in September 1926.
While working as a contract worker for various companies in Japan, he completed his studies at a commercial school in Osaka.
On April 28, 1926, the ‘Songhaksan Incident,’ the attack on Governor-General Saito Makoto at Changdeokgung Palace, deeply impressed him and further ignited his determination for independence.
In Taiwan, he worked disguised as a tea delivery person at a tea house called ‘Fugui Yuan’. While practicing throwing knives and waiting for the perfect moment, an opportunity that would never come again arose.
Upon hearing the news that General Kuni Kuniyoshi, a high-ranking officer in the Imperial Japanese Army and the father-in-law of Emperor Hirohito, had arrived in Taiwan, Cho Myung-ha completed the preparation.
On May 14, 1928, around 9:50 a.m., there was a crowd of welcoming people in front of the National Library in Taichung.
As the car carrying General Kuni made a left turn at the intersection in front of the library around 9:55 a.m., Cho Myung-ha, standing among the welcoming crowd, pulled out a poisoned dagger and rushed forward.
While there is no precise record confirming the success of the assassination attempt on General Kuni, it is documented that the General went to three different hospitals within 10 days after the attack.
In January 1929, General Kuni died from peritonitis.
Cho Myung-ha was arrested on the spot where the incident took place and was sentenced to death for the so-called “Crime against the Imperial Family” and “Tragic Incident.”
On October 10, he met his end at the Taipei Prison at the age of twenty-four.
Due to strict media control in Korea, Japan, and Taiwan for a month after the incident, it remained unknown in his homeland. Moreover, Cho Myung-ha carried out the act alone without any support, unlike the cases of Ahn Jung-geun, Yun Bong-gil, and Lee Bong-chang.
The distorted narrative of the incident was reported as the “reckless act of a pessimistic Korean youth.”
“The incident involving a young Korean who, in a state of pessimism,
decided to commit suicide by chance.”
– Japanese Army Secret Document
Cho Myung-ha, who will be recognized as one of the ‘Four Great Independence Activists’ alongside Ahn Jung-geun, Lee Bong-chang, and Yun Bong-gil. Now it is your turn to complete what he had dreamed of for the better future!