UT-Martin Professor Authors Korean Leader’s Biography (220)

MARTIN, Tenn. — A University of Tennessee-Martin professor has written a biography of the late Song-su Kim, entrepreneur and leader of the Korean nationalist movement during Japanese colonial rule (1910-45).

 Dr. Choong-soon Kim, UT-Martin professor of anthropology, said Friday he had a long-time interest in the Korean leader.

 “I attended a high school he founded, although I saw him only once,” Dr. Kim said. “He had already had a stroke and was partially paralyzed. He died in 1955.”

 Song-su Kim’s entrepreneurial activities included starting a newspaper and opening the first modern textile plant in Korea, the author said.

 Published in May by State University Press of New York, “A Korean Nationalist Entrepreneur” examines the responses of various independent movement groups to Japanese rule.

 Song-su Kim, the nationalist movement leader, encouraged non-violent resistance, beginning with what he called “self-strengthening” of the Korean people.

 After independence, some Koreans accused Song-su Kim of collaborating with the Japanese, but Dr. Kim writes in his English language book that Song-su Kim’s moderate approach was realistic at a time when independence was unobtainable.

 “Social, cultural and economic self-strengthening was certainly an acceptable secondary goal,” writes the professor.

 Song-su Kim’s great-grandson, Jae-Hokin Kim, now a director of his great-grandfather’s newspaper in Korea, earned bachelor’s and master’s degree at UT-Martin, Dr. Kim said.

 “The Korean Herald” published a review of Dr. Kim’s book in its July 1 edition.

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 Contact: Dr. Choong-soon Kim (901-587-7517)