Notes: The events in this article take place in Pyeongsan-gun in what is now North Korea. The incident happened on April 8, 1919, when the Imperial Japanese Army was suppressing Korea’s March 1st Independence Movement by arresting, imprisoning, and executing large numbers of Korean demonstrators who wanted Korea to become a free, independent country.
On April 8, 1919, two Imperial Japanese soldiers and their Korean collaborator went to a village to arrest a protest leader, but they were surrounded by 100 protestors. The Korean collaborator ran away from the scene. The soldiers fired their guns until they were out of ammunition, and then they wielded their swords, but they were soon overwhelmed by the protestors, who knocked them unconscious with stones, then tied them up for family members of dead and wounded protestors to kill them in revenge. But then the ward leader intervened and stopped the family members from killing the two soldiers, since he did not want the Imperial Army to crack down on his village in retaliation. He let the two soldiers go on horseback. But soon Imperial Army reinforcements arrived, arrested 20 of the protestors, and rescued the Korean collaborator who ran away. The two soldiers survived with heavy injuries to their heads.
Gyeongseong Ilbo (Keijo Nippo) April 16, 1919
Two military police nearly killed
Surrounded by 100 rioters, they finally drew their swords and fought them
Following orders, Military Police Corporals Okemoto Masao, Yoshino Toshichi, and Assistant Park of the Namcheon Military Police Detachment in Hwanghae Province went to Sanmak-dong, Mak-ri, Bosan-myeon, Pyeongsan-gun in their jurisdiction on April 8 to arrest a riot leader, but were surrounded by about 100 rioters and were forced to use their weapons.
The assistant apparently ran away as soon as possible. The two military police officers ran out of bullets at some point, then drew their swords and entered the crowd, risking life and limb in the struggle, but the mob threw rocks at them. The two men finally became unconscious and completely lost their ability to resist.
The mob cruelly tied Private Okemoto to a nearby tree and tied Private Yoshino in a farm field, and temporarily withdrew from the scene. Then, family members of those who had been killed or injured by the military police turned around shortly thereafter and attempted to kill the two privates with clubs and stones.
At this time, the ward leader intervened to prevent the family members from attacking the two men. Although he had resisted our military forces at first, the ward leader was also afraid of the troubling consequences of the family members’ actions. Thus, he saved the two privates and gave them horses, which enabled them to narrowly escape from death. The two privates arrived back at their Military Police Detachment on the same day at 4 p.m.
Upon receiving the report, a team of four military police and assistants under Chief Nakajima was immediately dispatched, and with the support of neighboring units, they arrested 20 rioters, rescued Assistant Park who had gone missing, and returned to their detachment. One of the two corporals had sustained head injuries, and the other had sustained forehead injuries. Although both were seriously injured, they were still in good spirits and progressing well.