As the Korea Herald told us on the anniversary of his death, March 26, president Lee Myung-bak pledged to find Ahn's remains:
"Today marks the 100th anniversary of Ahn's death. I will do my best as the president (of South Korea). I will seek every means to bring the remains back to South Korea in close cooperation with Japan and China, albeit belated."[...] Ahn was a "patriot who sacrificed himself for the country and its people when they suffered difficulty, and also a pioneer who advocated the peace and conciliation of the world and the East Asian region," the president said.
Above are scenes of him advocating peace and reconciliation from the 2004 film Doma An Jung-geun. The Joongang Ilbo also reported on the commemoration ceremonies:
[I]n Hyochang Park in Yongsan, central Seoul, where the Ahn family shrine is located, a Seoul-based commemorative association held a separate memorial service to pay respects to the freedom fighter.Well, as long as they're only advocating "peace and conciliation" and not commemorating assassination, all's well. There was also
Ten high schools in Seoul, including Paiwha Girls’ High School, organized events to honor Ahn, such as hand printing, reading his writings and writing letters in his memory.
At Cheonggye Plaza in Seoul was an exhibition of 25 photos depicting Ahn’s history, including pictures of the gun and bullets Ahn used to assassinate the first resident-general of Korea, Hirobumi Ito. [Emphasis added]
a memorial ceremony for Ahn at Luishun prison in the port city of Dalian, northeast China, where he was executed. It was the first ceremony to be held by Korean visitors with the authorization of the Chinese government.I like the fact both parties are trying to outdo each other in being politically correct. Can you imagine some politician ever questioning the deification of Ahn? Speaking of deities, this article was interesting:
The Grand National Party placed a large portrait of Ahn and placard saying “I am the son of the Republic of Korea” in Korean outside the party’s headquarters in Yeouido, Seoul.
Democratic Party Chairman Chung Sye-kyun said during the party’s Supreme Council meeting that Ahn’s passion for independence must be respected and honored.
Cardinal Nicholas Cheong Jin-suk, South Korea's highest-ranking catholic priest, created controversy with his remark that seemingly supported the Catholic church's posture 100 years ago in its ambiguous relationship with Ahn Jung-geun[.]The article may be mistaken in saying that this week is "the 100th anniversary of Ahn's patriotic act," unless dangling from a noose is a 'patriotic act'. At any rate, if not a deity, he has become a general, at least; here we see "documents related to independence fighter Ahn Jung-geun at the “General Ahn Jung-geun Room” at the Army headquarters of Gyeryongdae, South Chungcheong Province[.]"
In his sermon this week, which marks the 100th anniversary of Ahn's patriotic act, Cheong said the church's decision 'to suspend the priesthood of a Western priest for three months for his sympathetic involvement in Ahn's final days before the latter's execution was a "best decision" to protect the priest, Hankyoreh said.
The Chosun Ilbo and Donga Ilbo also have articles about new documents discovered about his final days, as well as questions about the location of his body. The Korea Herald also has an interview with his granddaughter:
President Lee Myung-bak ordered his government Monday to work with China and Japan on the stalled project. Ahn also requested help from the two governments.I doubt very much Japan feels the same way about the project.
"I'm sure that Japan and China also feel the way we do about the project and that it would put all our hearts and minds to rest if his remains were found," she said.
The Herald also had an article about attempts to retrieve the sword that killed Empress Myeongseong (which can be seen here (via Korea Beat)):
A committee will be launched today in order to retrieve "Hizendo," the sword used to kill Empress Myeongseong, Korea's last empress, from Japan, to commemorate the 100th anniversary of patriot Ahn Jung-geun's death. [...]I can only imagine the response if Japan demanded that a hundreds-of-years-old Korean artifact be given to them or destroyed. I'm sure that final sentence should really help move things along.
The sword, originally made in the 16th century, had reportedly been used by Katsuaki To, one of the three attackers who killed the Korean empress in 1895. He later donated the sword to the Kushida Shrine [in Fukuoka].
The organizing members of the committee said the sword should be either returned to Korea or destroyed because it symbolizes the tragic development between Korea and Japan.