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UC Riverside Young Oak Kim Center for Korean Studies proficient at MSU - making stuff up!

In a taped interview Center Director Edward T. Chang said: "I am re-writing the history of Korea. Korean Historians don't like that. I am not even a historian. I am not even trained in ethnic history. I found all of the relevant documents. In 1911 convention in Riverside the 21 documents passed were almost identical to what they announced in the 1917 Declaration and  what they adopted in the Shanghai Korean Provisional Government."

The statements above and below from the UC Riverside Director of The Young Oak Korean Studies Center make numerous claims based on his grossly misinterpretation of history and self-serving revised facts. While Chang condemns Korea's historians Chang's claims conflict with Korean history records and facts in Korea and in America. Far too many of Chang's claims are incorrect. Professor Edward T. Chang is not qualified to make claims that his knowledge is superior to historians and professors in Korea...or anywhere.

Chang says - Korean Historians Don't Know the Roots

of the Shanghai Korean Provisional Government!

장태한 허위선전
리버사이드 대학교수 장태한은 미국 남가주에 위치하는 리버사이드시가 ‘한국독립운동의
메카’라고 지칭하면서 현재 미주에서 선전 사업을 전개하고있다.
다음은 2021년12월2일 WBUR 라디오에서 인터뷰한 내용이 가관이다.
장태한 왈, ‘태평양 건너서 파차파 캠프가 대한민국의 독립을 위해서 기여했다. 1909년에
창설된 대한인국민회는 한국을 일제 식민지주의에서 해방하기를 원했다. 다수의 그룹
회원들이 파차파 캠프에서 거주했다. 1911년 도산이 한국 여행에서 돌아오자 이 그룹은
제3 컨벤션을 리버사이드에서 거행했다. 컨벤션에서 이 그룹은 1919년도 상해
임시정부의 민주공화주의의 기반인 21통치 조항을 통과시켰다.’
‘현재 까지 한국 역사 학자들은 상해임시정부가 어떻게 어디서민주공화주의를 갑자기
선포하게 됐는지 몰랐다. 나는 그 기원을 1911년에 가주 리버사이드에서 개최된
북미대한인국민회 제3컨벤션이라고 추적한다.’

On December 2, 2021WBUR Radio Interview Edward Chang makes some false claims about Korean historians and the Korean Provisional Government

From an ocean away, Pachappa Camp helped lay the foundation for Korea's independence. Founded in 1909, the Korean National Association wanted to free Korea from Japanese colonialism, Chang says.

Many members of the group lived in Pachappa Camp. In 1911, after Dosan returned from a trip to Korea, the group held its third convention in Riverside. At that convention, the group passed 21 articles of governance that served as “the basis for forming democratic republicanism of [the] Shanghai-based provisional government of Korea in 1919,” he says.

“Until now, historians in Korea really did not know how and where all of a sudden [the] Korean provisional government of Shanghai declared democratic republicanism,” Chang says. “I trace it back to Riverside, California, in 1911 [at the] third Korean National Association of North America Convention.”

Chang appeared on Hot Off The Press show in 2021 to promote his book Pachappa Camp before its April release by Rowman and Littlefield/Lexington Press. Chang was a guest of Katherine Henshaw, Dr. Georgia Warnke and Catherine Gudis.

During the show Chang presents himself as a prolific researcher of Korean history, Korean American history and Dosan Ahn Chang Ho's history. Chang made many astounding incorrect claims. Chang claims "he discovered" things Korean historians do not know or understand. As the people on this show fall for the UC Riverside hoax they foolishly become impressed by and supportive of Chang's numerous inaccurate claims. Any viewer of this show should not take this interview as a credible assessment of the history of Koreans in Riverside or anywhere else.  

Chang provides no evidence of his claims. Chang is not qualified to make a claim about the Korean Provisional Government since he admittedly doesn't teach real history. Riverside's influence on South Korea's political development is a misrepresentation of history, as well. Chang has fatally reached beyond credibility relying on misinterpreted and exaggerated information from Lee Sun Ju's 2004 paper, Ellen Thunn's novel stories and the questionable translations of old Sinhanminbo newspaper article.

Most people at Pachappa were uneducated and had no ability to participate in the kind of political activity Chang associates with Pachappa. Most of them could hardly speak English let alone debate ideals of democracy. The Korean brain trust was in San Francisco. It was the Chinmokhoe members such as Yi Dae Wi and Song Jong Ik who never resided in Riverside who were the key political thinkers. Pak Young Man was another who heavily influenced Korean political strategy outside of Riverside. Koreans in Redlands had more political savvy as a community. When the names of Koreans in San Francisco, Redlands, Claremont, Lompoc, Los Angeles are compared to Riverside a different more accurate point of view of Pachappa solidifies as a migrant labor camp.

This video statement by Chang defies everything seriously studied and properly learned about the Korean Provisional Government in Shanghai. Pachappa history cannot support its activities were the basis of the formation of the Korean Provisional Government. Different political policies used in developing the Korean Provisional Government are overlooked and most likely unknown by Chang and the entire University of California System. Why no Peer Review?

At 17:45 in the video a major Chang make stuff up claim: "Historians agree there was no debate no opposition of establishing democratic republicanism. How is this possible? I argue because Koreans in the US particularly here in Riverside already practiced democratic republicanism form of government here in Riverside and they saw how it worked they were able to translate it into current form of government." Absolutely incorrect.

How is it possible Chang's claims are qualified? They are not. The Korean Provisional Government's history is too complex to make simple-minded claims like Chang makes. Can Chang explain how the Korean government today is a democratic republicanism run system set up by Dosan and people from Riverside? He can't because it is an incorrect claim.

Three things cannot be hidden: the sun, the moon and the truth. Buddha

The Korean Provisional Government in Shanghai was the merge of three different groups of anti-Japanese political activists' choices of Cabinet Members who represented a broad spectrum of political ideology of how to run a government. Groups of Koreans in Vladivostok, Siberia and Seoul established three different provisional governments with in a month of the March First Movement in 1919. Claiming there was no debate is completely incorrect. Does it seem logical there was no debate considering the different political ideologies of these groups and exposure to different concepts than Pachappa's politics?


Chang boldly professes he will re-write history during his Hot Off The Press interview. To claim there was no opposition to "democratic republicanism" is an example of Chang's incorrect assessment of Korean history. The harsh clash in Shanghai between "President" Syngman Rhee and Minister of Defense Lee Tong Hwi is a clear example of antagonistic views that were never settled. Lee Tong Hwi left the KPG because Rhee objected to Lee's ties to Lenin and militarism. Rhee's leadership was never accepted by the KPG. Rhee was impeached for his detrimental behavior to everyone in Shanghai the Independence Movement. And, fed up with the endless "debates" and "opposition" to sensible governance former Acting Premier Dosan Ahn Chang Ho quit as Minister of Labor in 1921.This friction is well known KPG history and is not debatable. It is one of many inaccurate and mistaken claims made by Chang in direct opposition to the truth. Chang and Joong Hwan Oh easily pulled the "Korean history wool" over Rowman and Littlefield's eyes duped to print trashed history.

International Journal of Korean Studies Han-Kyo Kim Professor Emeritus University of Cincinnati:

Moreover, Pak Yong - man, who vehemently opposed the KPG in Shanghai, perhaps for both policy and personal reasons, was active in northern China, preparing for immediate military actions against Japan. Pak's followers in Hawaii gave him the financial and moral support for his campaign. In short, the Korean communities in America provided two crucial ingredients to energize the independence movement in the period following the March First Movement: leaders and financial resources.

By the end of 1921, however, the KPG had lost much of its steam. An Ch'ang-ho and other members of the cabinet resigned, voicing disagreement with Syngman Rhee, who in turn abruptly left Shanghai for the United States. When the Washington Disarmament Conference met in 1921-1922, it was Dr. Philip Jaisohn who submitted a petition signed by the representatives of various Korean groups in Korea, asking for recognition of the Korean Provisional Government as the legitimate government of the Korean people.

One of the root causes for the internal discord among the Koreans must be attributed to the inability of Syngman Rhee, Ahn Chang-ho and Pak Yong-man to work together for the common end that they passionately sought. The marked divergences and contrasts in family and educational background, differences in personality, and different political policy priorities among the three leaders ultimately prevented them from agreeing on a common approach. This situation consequently, splintered and weakened the nationalist movement.

The families of both Rhee and Pak belonged to the yangban class, while Ahn was born into a commoner's family.

The Korean leader in America who understood the concepts of American democracy - like Joseph Boland discusses - most clearly was Pak Young Man

Very few Koreans at Pachappa could think in these terms of democratic ideology. Look at the quotes from Notes on Republicanism by Joseph Boland. Democratic republicanism was more of an ideal of the early anti-monarchy thinkers like Soh Jae Pil, Sin Chae Ho and Dosan. This ideal was more connected to the early Independence Movement than Korea's "democracy" today. From 1948 on the Constitution was altered 9 times. Some of the Provisional Government political ideology is part of the Constitution of South Korea. How can Chang explain Pachappa was the key development for modern Korean politics?

"As a result of conflicts between the Crown and the House of Commons in England, and even more so between the American colonies and the British government, republicanism evolved into democratic-republicanism, a specific form of democratic theory. The keystone of democratic republicanism was the principle that all legitimate government derived from the consent of the people and consisted of rule by the people. Politics came to be seen as a perpetual battle between rulers and the ruled, or between power and liberty. ...In the pre-revolutionary debate with the colonists the representativeness of Parliament, and the principle of
virtual representation upon which it was based, were discredited. Americans groped for a new theory of sovereignty, eventually coming to believe that sovereignty lay with the people as a whole and that all elected officials were their agents, to whom they delegated specific powers and gave instruction on particular matters."

Today's Korean politics do not reflect the claims Chang makes. Most Koreans do not understand democracy because they don't learn history or study logic.

Thus it was, in 1948, constitutional democracy was introduced, after 1987, procedurally it became consolidated. Now all that is left is to add substance and depth to Korean democracy.

Kang Won-taek / Political Science Professor, Seoul National University
Q. What is left to resolve to make Korea a more mature democracy?
Democracy is not something that just ends at a particular point, it’s something that keeps going. We have succeeded in creating a democracy, it’s been consolidated, now it must progress a further step, so that we can live together in one community in which the lives of all are considered. In a community, one does not merely assert one’s own rights, one also considers what one must do for the community, and what one’s community needs. In that respect, we must seriously consider the problem of political education of citizens.

Yun Seong-I / Political Science Professor, Kyunghee University
Q. What is left to resolve to make Korea a more mature democracy?
As yet, the average citizen’s engagement is lacking, and grassroots democracy remains weak. We must consider how get citizens involved in the politics of their lives and active within grassroots democracy. When this happens, it can be said that our democracy has progressed a step future.

Now Korean society needs to improve the functionality of politics as a resolver of social conflict create reliable political leadership and improve political accountability. Moreover, we must raise the people’s interest and sense of responsibility, while getting citizens more involved in the political process.

Irresponsible Journalism and Media Coverage

People posing as "professional" journalists from major media companies have been easily duped by bad information. they did not fact check! It is not proper to publish freewheeling claims with no substantial proof.

The "professional journalists" who wrote these articles below published trash not the truth. They were lazy and irresponsible and did not check any facts. The journalists support the claim this is a hidden history. It is not. Riverside and Pachappa's significance have been exaggerated. Dosan Ahn Chang Ho's history has been misrepresented to embellish the Pachappa Camp hoax.

  • There were never 1000 Korean people in Pachappa.
  • Wrong - 300 Korean residents in Riverside during the Independence Movement
  • Dosan Ahn Chang Ho did not find Pachappa. Im Jung Ki and Yi Kang did.
  • The Korean Labor Bureau was started in San Francisco n 1903.
  • Redlands, Ca was as important if not more important than Riverside
  • The Korean Provisional Government claims are tragically incorrect.
  • Chang did not discover anything new related to Dosan.
  • Chang did not discover anything new about Independence Movement history.

“People said it’s like destiny,” he said. “I’ve been teaching in Riverside for almost 30 years, and I didn’t know anything about it.” Only an ignoramus would be a Korean Professor who claims he did not know anything about Riverside. 

How could this be true? Edward Chang himself called me on the phone begging me to come to the May 1, 1998 Sister City Ceremony with Gangnam City Mayor at Riverside City Hall. I attended. This nightmare of Bull Shit started then.

This is a hoax for gullible ripe for picking suckers not "professional" journalists. This is not the type of history to blindly dump in the racial prejudice grocery cart.

“Pachappa Camp was not only the first Koreatown in America but also the center of early Korean community and independence movement activities during the early 20th century,” Chang said. “This fills a void of modern Korean American and Korean history. Dosan Ahn Chang Ho is such a towering figure and yet we didn’t know about this. Pachappa Camp was the origins of the democratic origins in Korea.” 

“People tend to ignore Riverside or make it a footnote; but people should remember that Riverside was one of the most important historical sites of early Korean American history and pay tribute to our labor,” Chang said. 

Knowing history is crucial to dismantling white supremacist ideology, he said. 

On August 11, 2001 local Korean Americans gathered to erect the Dosan Ahn Chang Ho memorial statue in downtown Riverside. Pachappa Camp became a historic Korea Town formally recognized by the city on March 23, 2017. 

“Pachappa Camp: The First Koreatown in the United States” was a project five years in the making. Chang researched English and Korean journals, newspapers, and made headway when two visiting Korean graduate interns majoring in Korean literature translated articles written in old Korean, to modern Korean language. 

“Many of these primary source materials are newly discovered and shed new light on not only the formation of Pachappa Camp, but more importantly uncover the buried past of early Korean American history,” Chang said. 

PBS Stephanie Sy has no idea about Korean names: Chang knew that early Korean immigrants to the U.S. had worked in Riverside's once bountiful orange groves, including Korean independence Ahn Chang Ho, also known as Dosan. But he had no idea that Ho had founded a whole community of Korean immigrants here. He credits two graduate student interns for their translation of old Korean newspapers to confirm what historians had previously overlooked.

  • Stephanie Sy:

    One reason historians may have previously overlooked the Pachappa Camp is that it was short-lived, lasting less than 15 years. A deep freeze hit the orange trees of Riverside in 1913, and most of the citrus workers fanned out to other California farming towns in search of work.

    But the previously unknown significance of the Pachappa Camp may also have to do with the erasure of Asian Americans' contributions in U.S. history. It's why Chang calls this research the most important of his career.

    Why was it gratifying?

  • Edward Chang:

    Because it filled a void of — a vacuum of Korean American history, modern Korean history, Asian American history, uncovering the buried past of our legacy.

  • Stephanie Sy:

    Chang says the exhibit has attracted the interest of Korean scholars, who are now reexamining their nation's early independence movement.

    For the "PBS NewsHour," I'm Stephanie Sy in Riverside, California.

  • Ahn founded an employment agency for Korean laborers that eventually became a highly complex and self-governed settlement. Dosan’s Republic had no running water or electricity, but the principles of governance honed there became the building blocks for modern South Korean democracy, according to a forthcoming paper from UC Riverside professor Edward Taehan Chang.

    “Dosan Ahn Chang Ho had a vision of establishing a model community. He was experimenting with it at Pachappa Camp,” Chang said.

    Chang encountered the previously undiscovered settlement on a 1908 insurance company map, a tiny dot labeled “Korean Settlement.” He found an archive of a Korean newspaper, Sinhan Minbo, which revealed aspects of life and suggested that Korean Americans at Pachappa Camp and elsewhere helped found South Korean democracy. The settlement is the subject of an exhibit at UC Riverside opening Oct. 16 called “Pachappa Camp: The First Koreatown in the United States.”

    Pachappa Camp was later settled by Japanese and Mexican immigrants, and in the 1950s the land was redeveloped by an oil company. Today the land is primarily occupied by a Southern California Gas Co. facility. The nearby railroad tracts have gone quiet, replaced by the muffled roar of the 91 Freeway.

    Drawn by the booming citrus industry that made the city one of California’s richest at the time, Ahn started an employment agency to help other Koreans find work nearby. Slowly, a settlement grew from a few dozen to a few hundred residents. At its height, almost 1,000 people were living in what was known as Pachappa Camp, named for the street where it was started.

    But Pachappa Camp was unique, said Prof. Edward T. Chang, a professor of ethnic studies and the founding director of the Young Oak Kim Center for Korean American Studies at the University of California, Riverside.

    For one thing, he told me recently, “it was a family settlement” — as opposed to the mostly bachelor societies formed by other immigrant laborers. Men and women lived together at Pachappa Camp.

    The biggest thing that set Pachappa Camp apart, however, was the fact that it was a distinctly Korean community — the first in the United States, predating the founding of Los Angeles’s Koreatown by the businessman Hi Duk Lee by more than half a century.

    And while Ahn’s life and legacy have been deeply studied, extensively documented and honored, his role in founding a Korean community in Riverside was virtually unknown until about five years ago, when Chang stumbled across a 1908 map issued by an insurance company. It had a caption labeling a Korean settlement in Riverside.

    “I thought, ‘Korean settlement? In Riverside?’” he said.

    But what Ahn was doing in the Inland Empire for more than five years before he moved his family to Los Angeles in 1913 was a puzzle. That puzzle turned into what Chang described as the most gratifying research of his career.

    “People said it’s like destiny,” he said. “I’ve been teaching in Riverside for almost 30 years, and I didn’t know anything about it.”

    As it turned out, Pachappa Camp was also a place where Ahn honed many of the democratic ideas that he brought back to Korea, which had been a monarchy and was occupied by Japan.

    “I was able to trace the birth of whole democratic institutions to here in Riverside,” Chang said. “I was uncovering all of this and I was so shocked.”

    Chang said that it was frustrating that it took a surge in anti-Asian hate to bring the issue to the fore. Still, he said, “Asian-American invisibility in the national dialogue on race is finally being cracked.”