The Wave of the Jeju Uprising - Dragons News

Thursday, May 24, 2018

The Wave of the Jeju Uprising

By Eury H.

Recently, the “Jeju Uprising (4.3 Jeju Incident)” wave reached Korea International School Jeju (KISJ), which is a few decades after the incident. Its current still lingers through the medium called a ‘badge’. Students started to wear the Camellia flower badge to represent the incident for the remembrance of the past. The movement was initiated by the KISJ Service Leading and Learning(SLL) group.

Before looking at the billow of the 4.3 Incident event in KISJ, here is a brief encapsulated history. Although there are multiple interpretations of it, according to naver encyclopedia; during occupation, the Japanese military base was located in Jeju. As a result, Koreans living in Jeju suffered much more than Koreans who lived in the mainland because the Japanese exploited Jeju citizens by forcing them to work at construction sites. After Korea regained independence in 1945 from Japan, people in Jeju were especially optimistic. However, the ideologies between the government and Jeju citizens conflicted. The citizens had an ideology that the North and South Koreas should be reunited. On the other hand, the government insisted that they should have a North and South Korea. Consequently, Jeju citizens staged protests and the government lashed out by mercilessly shooting demonstrators. There were 14,302 casualties(1/9 of the Jeju population) and two thirds of the Jeju territory was destroyed. In short, the revolt on Jeju Island was caused by anti-government sentiment following Japanese occupation of World War II.

If you want to know more about it, there are few links attached at the bottom of the article.

To offer the condolences to the sacrificed Jeju citizens of the massacre, the 2017/2018 Grade 8 Jeju SLL team created a Camelia badge to honor those from the past and not to have an incident of this magnitude to be repeated. Young Taek L.(G8), the representative of KISJ SLL, sent an email to all members of KISJ stating: Please help us remember by supporting our badge campaign. This is a campaign started on the 4.3 peace foundation (supported by the government), and we have taken it on in our own way. With the help of the 5th graders, the Jeju SLL students have made over 1700 badges for our entire KIS students, faculty, and staff. Please help us pass along the message of this campaign, the badges, and the hope that we can show togetherness in our community.

By the virtue of the middle school SLL Jeju team, badges were provided to the KISJ students in April 3rd and many students and faculty members participated in the movement by wearing the camellia badge. Irene J.(G10) said, “I would like to thank middle school students who made the badges and sent them to high school.” Kate N.(G11) also paid her respect to the middle school students and said, “I witnessed the sincerity and warm-heart of the SLL students. They might have a hard time making it, but they accomplished it!” It is true that having this event was an arduous job. According to Young Taek L. he said, “we faced unfathomable kinds of difficulties starting from manufacturing Camellia flowers to contentedly sharing badges to all community member. These concerns were heavily discussed by students but immediately vanished after realizing endeavoring Jeju SLL students and elementary students making Camellia flowers and assured support from Business staff.”

The wave for remembrance happened not only on April 3rd, but also throughout the whole week. There are some students who would like to hold the event annually. Katrina H.(G12) said, “I want to give hats off to those who spent time preparing the badges and spreading them to the entire school. It worked out well, I hope we annually wear those badges.” Irene J.(G10) had a consensus opinion with Katrina. She mentioned, “I think it's a good phenomenon. I hope this will continue every year.” Some students even kept the badge around their belongings such as pencil case, bag or their outer wear. Additionally, various high school students appreciated the kindness of the middle school students. Henry K.(G11) joyfully said, “I was glad that it was actually the younger members of KISJ that took initiative to commemorate the incident. I think it was a great SLL idea and raised awareness throughout the whole KISJ community.” Jiwoo L.(G11) also replied by stating, “I blame the omnipotent God for taking those great lives of honors. I think the project turned out well because I bet it was a great chance to inform non-koreans about such.”

Not only the students, but also foreign faculty members had a great chance to know about the incident. Ms. Lo, Chinese teacher, said that she had never heard about it until after coming back from spring break. She learned about it from a teachers' meeting held on Monday and on the following day her students told her about it when the teachers gave the badges to them. She added, “I think it has successfully raised the awareness of the incident although people have different levels of understanding of the history.”

Francis A. Walker said, “We come, not to mourn our dead soldiers, but to praise them.” The current initiated from the KISJ SLL team reached the whole KISJ community and brought a powerful event of remembrance of the Jeju Uprising. The majority of the KISJ members appreciated the wave of commemoration and it should not be stopped until it has spread far and wide.
About the author
Eury is a grade 11 student at KISJ.  
She is a current Honors Journalism student

Here are the few links if you want to get know more about it:

Link for Korean adults or teenagers:

Link for Korean Children:

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