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World Ch. Schedule : WED 09:05 KST

* Date : 2016-05-14

Century-old Truth, Baek Cho-wol monk
Century-old Truth Unveiled at Jingwan Temple
The 1000 year old Jingwan Temple on Mt. Bukhan in Eungpyeong district, Seoul suddenly bustled about in May 2009. During renovation of the temple's Chilseonggak Shrine, a mysterious bundle was found inside a wall between a Buddhist altar and a column.
The bundle revealed a great treasure: Dongnib Sinmun, Sindaehan Sinmun, Jayu Sinjongbo and Joseon Dongnib Sinmun, all of which are invaluable independence movement-related papers published during the Japanese colonial era. What drew the most attention was a Korean flag also found in the bundle. Believed to have been used during the Samil Independence Movement, the flag was made by painting the taegeuk design over a Japanese flag. Rarely do we ever find a flag actually used during the Samil Independence Movement. The flag found at Jingwan Temple is historically significant in this light as a poignant testament to the Samil movement.
Despite brutal torture and persecution, Baek Cho-wol was a great monk of the time who refused to let go of his commitment to Korean independence

Baek is believed to have been the owner of the flag discovered at the templeAt the young age of 17, he entered priesthood at Yeongwon Temple in Mt. Jiri. In his late 20s, he rose to the senior rank of overseeing the temple. While independence movement was flaring up nationwide, he was enraged that the Buddhist circle was not part of the movement. He came up to capital Seoul and wholly dedicated himself to the freedom campaign with Jingwan Temple as the base of operation.
He gathered war funds from various temples and delivered them to the Korean provisional government in Shanghai. He also supported Buddhist youths involved in independence movement overseas. He was arrested by Japanese police and endured brutal torture. He was also under constant monitoring. During repeated arrests and releases, he even managed to form a secret organization called the Ilsim Association which he expanded nationwide as he led Buddhist independence endeavors.

He believed that by uniting people's hearts into one will, Joseon's independence and even global peace could be achieved.
He was a great monk who gave his life for the country and people and demonstrated a life of an acting Buddhist.
Marking the 70th anniversary of Korean liberation, the Arirang Prime episode titled "Century-old Truth, Buddhist Priest Baek Cho-wol" seeks to highlight Korean Buddhism that rose up during the colonial period as a leading force in the independence movement. The program will also examine how the Ilsim ideology proclaimed by the great priest Baek in his resistance to the Japanese affects modern Koreans.

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