Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Monk's crusade helps Korean history go home

A pledge by Japan to hand over cultural artefacts from the Korean peninsula's last dynasty has been welcomed in South Korea -- particularly by a monk who spent four years trying to make it happen.

Shocked to discover that valuable items -- including royal records of the Chosun Dynasty (1392-1910) -- were still held by Japan after its 1910 annexation of the peninsula, Hye Moon, now 37, began a campaign for their return in 2006.

"I wondered why such precious cultural properties had yet to be returned to our country," Hye, who lives in Seoul, told AFP.

Then on Tuesday, after more than 40 trips to Japan intended to persuade politicians and lawmakers, Hye finally got the news he had long sought ahead of the August 29 centenary of the annexation.

Japan's government issued a fresh apology for the 1910 - 1945 colonial rule and said it would hand over the items South Korea had been demanding "in the near future"...

Continue reading from The Buddhist Channel.

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