Korean contemporary history from the beginning of the 20th century is among the most fascinating to read. If you are a history tragic, and especially if you have never looked at any Asian history, I encourage you strongly to look up some of the key events that have unfolded since the the colonisation by Japan (1910). Independence was gained on 15 August 1945.
The Independence that was won in 1945 with the unconditional surrender of the Japanese continues to be celebrated today, and interestingly enough, is an occasion marked with as much enthusiasm by both countries on either side of the DMZ dividing the Korean Peninsula.
The political machinations that emerged (looking solely at South Korea) are contested with speculation and guile that reads better than a Clancy novel as people examine the legacy of such events. I still do not know near enough to be a good authority, but know enough to be intrigued. As a study of human nature and power alone, it is fascinating.
At the next Korea Roundtable on 14 August, we look at two of the key players who led the struggle for Independence prior to the end of Japanese colonial rule: Ahn Chang-ho and Kim Gu. Ahn Chang-ho, who is also known as Dosan in much of his writing (worth reading), died while under Japanese custody in 1938 from severe illness. Kim Guwas assassinated in 1949.
Come to lunch on Tuesday 14 August to learn more about this chapter of Korean history. You can RSVP here. Lunch is at O Bal Tan restaurant on Pitt St, Sydney on Tuesday 14 August from 12.30 pm until 2 pm and includes a full BBQ lunch.