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  • Writer's pictureBright Wisdom

15th August, Korea's Liberation Day [광복절: gwang-bok-jeol]

Korea's Liberation Day, observed on August 15th, commemorates the end of Japanese colonial rule over the Korean Peninsula.

This significant day marks the liberation of Korea from Japan's imperialistic control, which lasted from 1910 to 1945. The day is a national holiday in both North and South Korea.

Korean Flag
Korea Liberation Day

Key events leading to Korea's Liberation Day:

Japanese Colonial Rule:

In 1910, Japan formally annexed Korea, subjecting the Korean people to harsh imperial rule. During this period, Koreans faced cultural suppression, forced labor, and other forms of oppression.

World War II:

The tide of World War II began to turn against Japan, leading to its eventual defeat. As the war drew to a close, the Allied powers decided to dismantle Japan's colonial empire, which included Korea.

Surrender of Japan:

On August 15, 1945, Japan officially announced its surrender to the Allies, marking the end of World War II. This surrender had significant implications for Korea's liberation, as the colonial rule was effectively coming to an end.


With Japan's surrender, the Korean Peninsula was liberated from Japanese colonial control. The Korean people welcomed the news with great jubilation and relief, marking August 15th as a day of celebration.

Division of Korea:

However, the liberation also marked the beginning of a new era for Korea, as the country became divided along the 38th parallel into two separate zones of occupation, controlled by the Soviet Union in the north and the United States in the south. This division eventually led to the establishment of two separate states, North Korea and South Korea.

15th August, Korea's Liberation Day [광복절: gwang-bok-jeol]

광복절 (pronounced gwang-bok-jeol) means "a glorious day of recovery"

In South Korea, Liberation Day is celebrated with various events and activities, including official ceremonies, parades, cultural performances, and speeches. It's a time for reflection on the nation's history and the sacrifices made during the struggle for independence. The national flag of South Korea, known as the Taegeukgi, is commonly displayed during these celebrations.

Korea's Liberation Day is a momentous occasion that honors the Korean people's resilience and determination in their fight for freedom and self-determination.

Leading up to Korea's Liberation Day, there have been significant sacrifices made by our ancestors who fought for independence, along with the help of other nations to end World War II.

I would like to share a YouTube clip that allows visitors to experience and learn about the events that unfolded inside Seodaemun Prison. The clip includes English subtitles.

Seodaemun Prison was constructed by the Japanese colonial authorities in 1908, during the period of Japan's occupation of Korea (1910-1945). The facility was utilized to incarcerate Korean individuals involved in anti-Japanese activities and those who resisted colonial rule.

Today, the prison stands as a museum commemorating the sacrifices and hardships endured by Korean independence activists during this tumultuous period.

"A nation that forgets its past has no future. We didn't shed our blood and sweat for nothing. So, please cherish your love for our country deep in your hearts."

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