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◈ 윤치호일기 (1906년) ◈

◇ 3월 ◇

해설목차  1권  2권 3권  4권  5권  윤치호

1. 3월 21일

1
21st. (27th of 2nd Moon, Byong-o Year). Wednesday. Very windy and chilly.
 
2
Went to see father at his villa outside of the North Gate. He was very much put out by the official proclamation which forbids private marriages until the nuptial ceremonies of the Crown Prince shall be over. "Kil-Yong-i," said Father, "Can't be married, then. What a nonsense to stick to such oldtime usages!" The good old gentleman forgot that in marrying a boy scarcely over 11 years old he is sticking to one of the worst usages of the degenerate Korea. I suggested that Tal-Yong-i, in whom Father thinks the sun rises and sets, and whom he intends to marry in a year or so, though the boy is only 6 years now―I suggested that this boy at least, should not be spoiled by the unnaturally early marriage. Father said with a considerable degree of heat. "Quit talking nonsense! You think only of the Foreign custom, being ignorant of the usages of Korea. Just think how old we are." "But sir," said I, "you must think of the fifty or sixty years of the children. The world has changed. They must be educated to take care of themselves before they are married." "They can be educated after marriage," was the reply. I felt so miserable at the thought that I am unable to introduce any reforms into my family, owing to the persistent opposition of my Father to all ideas that do not reek with the stinking smells of the old rotten Korea!
 

2. 3월 25일

1
25th. Sunday. A very cold, windy, cheerless day.
 
2
In a letter to Mr. Stevens, I said; "The Seoul papers inform me that Marquis Ito has urged the Korean Cabinet to abolish the smaller magistracies, devoting the money thus saved to educational purposes. If the report be true, the Marquis is proposing to do a wise thing in a unwise way. To explain:
3
There are in the 13 provinces of Korea something like 360 and odd magistracies or "Kuns." Some of them are so small that their annual revenues are not sufficient to cover the local expenses. These and others ought to be united with or into larger ones to simplify the administrative machine and to economize the public expenditure. To do this, however, one ought to consider two factors;
4
1. the throwing thousands of men out of what they regard as their hereditary occupations;
5
2. the sentiment of the people of the magistracies abolished. These factors working together have frustrated repeated attempts in that direction and supplied a source of ill-gotten wealth to corrupt ministers. It was only a few years ago, when the uncle of Yi Chi Yong, the present Minister of Home Affairs, held that office, that the attempts were made to annex the magistracy of Sung-Chin to that of Kil-ju. While the people of Kil-ju bribed the Minister for annexation, those of Sung-Chin bribed him for separation. The two districts were united and separated half a dozen times, according to which side bribed most. There were riots, bloodshed and burning of the government buildings etc. in the afflicted districts.
 
6
The corrupt Ministers got rich while the people were ruined. This sickening scandal continued for three or four years. There were other instances of this kind, but the one above cited was the most notorious. I tell you without fear of contradiction that the scheme of the abolition of smaller magistracies is nothing but a scheme of robbery on the part of the Korean Cabinet. Why is Marquis Ito lending his influence to such schemes? Some say: "Well, the bribery will cease when the people find out that it does not work." Bribery not work in Korea! Tell me the sun is made of green cheese! With the possible exception of Pak Jai Soon, the corruption of the Home Minister and of his colleagues is the song of the street. Why, I would not risk a nickel, a Korean nickel at that, on the most solemn oath of the whole layout of them-the glorious Cabinet. The outcome of the proposed measure will be the reinforcement of the highway robbers throughout the country-and Heaven knows we have robbers enough to spare. As it is, blackmailing and brigandism are the safest and the most paying businesses at present in Korea, except that of being a corrupt judge or Minister. No. No! This is no time for reform of that kind.
7
First: Give us a Cabinet in whose honesty the people can trust. I suppose Japan is sort of honor-bound to support the present Minister as a payment for value received. Besides their corruption can not hurt the Japanese. The our protectors ought to see to it that the corruption and selfishness of the Japan-favored Cabinet don't hurt the Koreans, at least, no more than necessary to advance the interest of Japan.
8
Secondly: Deliver the people from the plagues which already afflict the people the imperial extortions of all kinds, the Japanese grabbers, the squeezing governors, the Il-Chins and Tong-Haks and other forms of associated robbers etc.
9
Thirdly: Wait until the financial panic is entirely over, and order established in the money market. These done, the people will have learned to trust the honest intentions of the government and of the Japanese. Then, and not till then, should the proposed scheme be put into effect. The small and unpaying magistracies are an evil; but there are greater evils which should be looked after first. I know that my protest is an egg thrown against a rock. But I have to relieve my conscience of a burden, though, in so doing, I bore you, the only friend to whom I can talk with the utmost freedom."
 

3. 3월 30일

1
30th. Tuesday.
 
2
A running resume of some of the leading events of the past two months.
3
1. On the 16th January a very cold day went to Song-Do at the invitation of Mr. Collyer to address his people. Leaving the South Gate station about 8:20 a.m. arrived at Song-Do a little past 12 a.m. At the station I was met by Mr. Collyer, Uncle Yi's son, and the delegates of the cotton goods merchants, etc. of Song-Do. Walked to Uncle Yi's house. On the way Mr. Collyer draw my attention to a bridge made by the Japanese with the ironplated gates of the Little West Gate. "A few planks," said he, "would have served the purpose without desecrating the old gate." On every hand, the Japanese treat the Koreans as animals who have no feelings or sentiments. They change the names of the streets in Seoul as fast as their settlement extends. The names of the stations are spelt according to the Japanese pronunciation of the Chinese characters. They romanize the name of Song-Do into "Kan-Yo," for instance. They then write in Korean alphabet the same in order to force the Japanese language on the Koreans. O, the bitterness of the Japanese!
4
There is not a grave of the Kings of the Song-Do dynasty that has not been dynamited, by the brutal Japanese. All this is so sickening to me. Took supper at Mr. Collyer's house. Was glad to see Mrs. Collyer well. Met Mr. and Mrs. Wasson, a young couple just from America. Mrs. Wasson, a very pretty woman, but her husband appeared so delicate and pale. I don't think they will stand the hardships of the Song-Do life. At 7 p.m. went to the South Ward Chapel capable of seating six hundred people on ordinary occasions. The house was packed to the last corner, while the crowd out side of the house was as packed. I addressed them on the kind of education which the Koreans need. Ten years ago I visited Song-Do with Dr. Reid. There was not a missionary, nor a Christian, not a chapel. Now there are three missionary families, two ladies and hundreds of Christians. It is a great pity that the Southern Methodists have not made Song-Do their center of operation. Their scatteration is largely responsible for the weakness of the Mission as a christianizing agency in Korea. By the comity of the Missions, Song-Do has been assigned to the Southern Methodists.
5
Yet the Southern Methodists have so far failed to come up to their responsibility. They have not a school, not a dispensary, not a community. Schism has already split the little fold and an "Independent Church," so called, had been set up by a few leading Christians who were offended by the unwillingness of the Missionaries to give them a Y.M.C.A. or to teach them English. The Japanese seem to be making most of this condition of affairs. Song-Do ought to have 30 missionary families instead of three. The Southern Methodists are playing with one of the most hopeful fields for Christians. By the afternoon train on the 18th January, I returned to Seoul.
6
2. Sometime early in February, Son Byong Hui, the leader of Tonghaks who had lived in Tokio under the name of Yi Sang Hun returned to Seoul. His followers actually lined the whole distance from Pusan to the Capital. He claims to be the leader of a new religion and goes about in a swell style. He lives on the contributions of the poor people, who flock to him not for his religion, so called, but for the protection which his Japanese influence may secure for them. Yi Chi Yong and other rotten Yang-bans who used to hunt down Tong-Haks like rabbits are reported to be joining the new sect―for protection. Oh, the stinking rottenness of the Korean Yang-bans from the highest to the lowest!
7
3. In the night of the 16th February, Yi Kun Taik, the Minister of War, was attacked in his bedchamber by three assassins and was seriously wounded. Thanks to the skill of the modern surgery, his wounds were successfully healed by the Japanese doctor. To Korea under the present circumstances, one Yi Kun Taik more or less can make no difference, while the unfortunate affair has given a convenient pretext to the Cabinet and the Japanese to persecute and terrorize any and all whom they suspect as unfriendly to the new regime of double tyranny.
8
4. On the 2nd March, the 8th of the Second Moon, Marquis Ito, the Resident General, arrived at Seoul. This day the birthday of the Crown Prince was well enough chosen by our protectors to humiliate us to the dust. The most hopeless and sickening sign of Korea's degeneracy was the crowd of Koreans who flocked to the station and lined the streets to see our new tyrant arrive.
9
5. In the evening of the first Monday of this month, a business meeting of the Y.M.C.A. was held. At its close, Mr. Kim, the Korean Secretary, proposed to raise a relief fund to be sent to the famine district of Japan. As the chairman, I had no desire to make any speech for the matter, so I put it to the vote. The motion was frozen to death―to the chagrin of Mr. Gillet. To raise a fund to feed any portion of the nation who is crushing out the very life of the Koreans!
10
6. From the latter part of January, this has been one of the coldest winters I have seen in Seoul. This month has been as disagreeable as a March can be. The latest snow fell on the 23rd, midnight. The earliest thunder storm of this year, on the 18th.
 
11
On the 29th inst. Dr. Gale, the popular missionary, left Seoul for Europe. His learning, his affability and his tact have enabled him to reach and hold many a Korean who would have nothing to do with the more or less overbearing messengers of the Gospel.
12
From the 25th March, I was given the burden, the botheration, of managing the affairs of the family. I don't like the job at all, as I shall have all the annoyances, without the freedom, of the master of the house. But for the sake of my dear mother, I would not have consented to the arrangement.
13
I suggested to Mr. Stevens weeks before the arrival of Ito that a mixed committee of the Koreans and the Japanese be appointed for the purpose of receiving and examining the complaints against the Japanese outrages throughout the country, and of recommending such measures of restitution as may be deemed necessary to the proper authorities. This may not, and surely cannot, rectify any or all of the thousand-and-one lawless deeds the Japanese have committed in the past, but it will certainly have a deterrent effect on the future conduct of our protectors. Mr. Stevens warmly approved of the suggestion and promised to do his best to get the committee appointed. But so far nothing has been done in that direction. The long and the short of it is that while Mr. Stevens's opinions on foreign affairs are sought after and acted upon by the Japanese, his suggestions in civil matters are practically as unheeded as those of mine. His views are too just and honest (comparatively) to suit the tricky and mean Japanese.
14
Mr. Stevens actually told me time and again that Takezoye had known nothing about Kim Ok Kiun's plans in '84 and that the Japanese government had no share in Miura affair of '95. Mr. Stevens is too shrewd a man of the world to believe such a stuff; but he has so often repeated the story that it seems to have acquired in his mind the crystallization of imitation truth. I smile at this sort of assertions as I do when my father tells me, and others, that he had no ambition for offices and that he was compelled to accept them just to save me from the dangers of an unfriendly government.
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