2019 is the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Provisional Government of the Republic of Korea. Over 100 years ago, the Independence Movement swept through the Korean peninsula against Japan’s colonial rule. In 1919, Korean independent activists formed the Korean Provisional Government in China to start its 27-year journey fighting for Korea’s independence.
The Korean provisional government was formed in Shanghai on April 13, 1919. With the help of the Chinese government, the exiled Koreans had to keep moving, Hangzhou, Zhenjiang, Nanjing, Changsha, Guangzhou, and Liuzhou, before finally settling in Chongqing in 1940. Chongqing was the last place for the Korean Provisional Government to stay in China.
In this episode, we visited the site of the Provisional Government of the Republic of Korea in Chongqing, China. Moreover, we also have a Korean exchange student, John Kim, who used to work part-time as a guide in the museum, to explore the stories with us during those eventful years.
The site is now hidden among the skyscrapers in downtown Chongqing. It covers an area of about 1,300 square meters and has a construction area of 1,770 square meters, housing photos, and historical displays. Five restored exhibition buildings, with brick and wood as the main building materials, restored the original appearance of the Korean temporary government office site to the maximum extent. Here visitors can learn about the unforgettable stories during the provisional government’s time in Chongqing as well as the significant step to formed the Liberation Army. “The Provisional Government of the Republic of Korea forms our roots, and this site is our spiritual home.” President Moon Jae-in of the Republic of Korea wrote in the museum’s visitors registry during his visit in 2017.