Recently, a small Korean fashion brand has introduced Korea’s great historical figure ‘Yun Bong-gil’ to the world. Yun Bong-gil is a brave and righteous figure who set off a lunch box-shaped bomb against Japanese war criminals during the Japanese colonial period.
During the Japanese colonial period, the Japanese committed countless unimaginable crimes against Koreans, such as human medical experiments and forced conscription. On April 29, 1932, Yun Bong-gil made a lunch box-shaped bomb at the Emperor’s birthday party and threw it at the Japanese war criminals. As a result, Yun Bong-gil was immediately arrested at the site, severely beaten, and sentenced to death in December of the same year. He was subsequently executed by firing squad.
Since then, Japan has stated that Yun Bong-gil’s remains were buried in Kanazawa Cemetery, but none of his remains were found there. However, as a remains excavation team warned that “they will dig up the entire cemetery until they find his remains”, the Japanese, frightened, confessed where Yun Bong-gil was buried.
Yun Bong-gil’s remains were buried in a narrow street between a cemetery office and a garbage dump, not in the Kanazawa Cemetery. People passing the road were forced to step on the remains of Yun Bong-gil since there was no sign or burial mound. This was intended to force everyone to step on Yun Bong-gil’s remains in revenge for the destruction of Japanese military forces.
Even today, the Japanese depreciate Yun Bong-gil’s memory as that of a “terrorist”. Even Koreans who admire Yun Bong-gil are mocked as “a crazy group that respects terrorists.” In addition, Japanese right-wing forces are defaming Yun Bong-gil’s reputation with the phrase “Yun Bong-gil is a terrorist” along with a photograph of a stake set in Takeshima at the Yun Bong-gil memorial monument in Kanazawa City, Japan.
Accordingly, a small Korean fashion brand, Lakai Korea, launched a bracelet with a new design to inform the world of the inhumane brutality carried out during the Japanese colonial period and their secondary harassment, which continues to this day.
This product contains Yun Bong-gil’s heartbreaking story. In particular, it introduces an episode of Yun Bong-gil with Kim Gu, another Korean independence activist, on the day of bombing.
On April 29, 1932, Yun Bong-gil said to Kim Gu, ‘now I have only an hour for my watch,’ at a dinner with him, and switched his new watch worth 6 won with Kim Gu’s old watch worth 2 won. Yun Bong-gil’s watch stopped at 7 am on April 29, 1932 when he said goodbye, promising to meet Kim Gu in the heaven later. The design of the pocket watch of Yun Bong-gil was engraved with the meaning of ‘forever’ commemorating his time exchanged with life for the independence of his country.
Lakai Korea is a fashion brand that takes the lead in promoting the history of Korea. After launching in Korea in 2017, each product has been released with the traditional image of Korea. It is a company that is supported by many Koreans for its consistent patriotism, such as donating its proceeds to historical organizations in Korea.
In March, on Independence Movement Day, which commemorated the day when Korea’s intention for independence was announced to the world, they conducted an advertisement for Korean traditional costumes in Times Square in New York, USA, to rally against China’s Northeast Project. They also caused an issue by satirizing China’s Northeast Project on April Fool’s Day.
In response to malicious comments from Chinese and Japanese netizens who strongly opposed this, they announced that they would stop selling in the Chinese market indefinitely and proceed with international lawsuits. They are preparing to proceed with a lawsuit in the US where the advertisement was posted.
There are many heroes in the small country of Korea who sacrificed their lives to protect their country. And Lakai Korea, not forgetting their sacrifice, became the first company in the world to fight for its own history.
“It’s not important that we are doing it first. We just hope this doesn’t happen anymore, and we’ll do our best to fight.”
As it is a country that has risen above pain, many Koreans are participating along with this company that has set out to protect their own history, making it a great example for people all over the world.