[KS] Shin Chae-Ho and Daejonggyo

Brother Anthony ansonjae at sogang.ac.kr
Sun Jul 23 23:05:35 EDT 2006

I have been thinking some more about Richard McBride's very interesting query, as a complete ignoramus and 
the very opposite of an expert in Korean history. I am currently putting together a brief English-language 
account of the life of the Ven Hyodang (Choi Beom-sul) who was an admirer of Danjae Sin Chae-Ho, to the 
point of having planned (fruitlessly) to publish a Complete Works in 1942, and that has made me aware of 
him.  Having read that article that I recommended in my initial KS reply, I would have said that the common 
account making Danjae an adherent of Daejonggyo has probably got confused by the shared reference to 
Dangun, and deduced a link that is the reverse of the facts. If Danjae formulated his vision of the minjok 
descended from Dangun in that series of articles he published in the Daehan Maeil Sinbo in August – 
September 1908, entitled Toksa sillon, it could even be thought that he was the original inspiration for 
Hongam's 1908 "mystical experience" (when was the exact date?) and certainly the public launching of 
Daejonggyo on January 15, 1909 suggests that Hongam might have owed at least some debt to Danjae.

Danjae left Korea for ever in early 1910, and that makes it hard to believe that he participated actively 
in the initial development of Daejonggyo, at least. Rather, if Hongam soon made Manjuria his center, that 
too might be thought to reflect the influence of Danjae's ideas about Manjuria as the essential Korean 

There are, however, various sites on the Internet (my main source of quick information) that claim that 
Danjae played a leading role in formulating the 1918 “Muo Declaration of Independence.”But that was the 
work of the Jung-gwang-dan, precisely part of the Daejonggyo-inspired righteous army in Manjuria. There, I 
believe, lies the main basis for linking Danjae and Daejonggyo. Later, of course, he is known to have 
adapted socialist and anarchist ideas . . . so what is the answer?

I would be very grateful for some better qualified responses to this question.

Brother Anthony
Sogang University, Seoul

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