The Sin Min Hoe - New Peoples Association (SMH-NPA) was a political and social movement developed by Korean patriots in California in 1906. The organization officially launched in Korea in 1907 when Dosan returned to Korea for the first time since he left in 1902.
Dosan was a key and central figure in many of the social, political and educational reform movements as well as in the anti-Japanese independence movement. The SMH-NPA section will present the story of many important historical figures who were part of the early movements and would appear as Dosan did throughout the entire Independence activities or until they died.
The following photos below are some of the main SMH-NPA participants.
Yang Ki Tak General Director/Seoul Regional Director
Yi Dong Nyong Secretary
Jeon Dok Ki Treasurer/Kyungsang Regional Director
Yi Dong Hwi Inspector & Hamhung Regional Director
Yu Dong Yol Executive & Inspector
Noh Baek Nin Inspector
Kim Ku Hwanghae Regional Director
Yi Sung Hun Northern Pyonyang Regional Director
Yun Chi Ho Executive Principal Taesung School
Yi Kap Inspector
Sin Chae Ho Chief Editor Korea Daily News
Cho Sung Hwan
Moon Il Pyong
According to Yoon Kyung Ro in his account of Cha Kyun Sul’s testimony on trial in Japanese Court in Seoul for the “105 Incident”…
The following incident supported the fact that Shin-min-hoe was a remarkable and complete underground organization. Cha Kyun-Sul who was a teacher of Dae-myung school in Sun-chun remembered that in the beginning of 1910, he was finally admitted to Shin-min-hoe after passing strict and difficult tests and procedures.
Lee Seung-Hoon came to Dae-myungSchool where I worked as a teacher and asked me "What do today's young people think?" I answered with "working in a business world." Then, he told me to have more progressive view and to throw away timeworn ideal. ....When I went over to Yang Joon-Myung's house for meeting, Yang Joon-Myung said "When our country is in danger, everyone should try best for national sovereignty." This was when Lee Seung-Hoon asked me if I had thought about the question he asked previously. He also asked me if I would be able to sacrifice my life for the country. When I told him that I knew the right answer to this question but was not sure whether I could sacrifice my life, he replied firmly, "You should be able to sacrifice your life for the country." So I finally said “I will sacrifice my life when in need."(13)
We can consider a couple of points when reading the above. First of all, this was a confession during the trial regarding the Case of 105 People and he might have been coerced to confess assuch. However, since it was in September 1910, right after Japan took total control of Korea; this sort of secret conversation was not so unlikely to happen. Secondly, a cross section of the nature of Shin-min-hoe as a downright secret organization was revealed. Every potential member had to go through three secret interviews with leaders and strict admission procedures. Thirdly, strong, sincere patriotism was required as an admission qualification. That is, each potential member had to prove their determination to sacrifice their lives for the country in order to be admitted as a member of Shin-min-hoe. Another point was the fact that Lee Seung-Hoon and Yang Joon-Myung had a responsibility of admission committee. They were deciding qualifications of membership for the local chapters, not Dosan. Therefore, Dosan probably left full responsibility and management of a local chapter to its leaders while he concentrated on management of the headquarters.
Even after admitted into the organization, members were presented with only the purpose of the organization and the name of the organization, Shin-min-hoe was kept as a secret. Moreover, as the first condition of joining the organization, everyone had to sign an oath that said, "If I was caught by an authority, I will sacrifice my life to protect the identity of this organization."(14) One Japanese police who finally found out about Shin-min-hoe through the Case of 105 People said "I knew the existence of Shin-min-hoe around 5 or 6 years ago but I was never able to find out the true identity of this organization. Faith of its members is truly amazing and remarkable."(15) Dosan established a downright underground secret organization, Shin-min-hoe with a long term vision of continuing it for Anti-Japan movement, enlightenment movement, and independence movement for national salvation.
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Do not recognize anyone as a leader based on vanity... Examine his qualities not by rumors that go around but by looking into his history and actions. »Dosan