Japanese abductee escaped Korean Communist guerrillas in 1939 and told police about meeting Kim Il-sung and his comrades, many of whom were women

This is a short article from 1939 where a Japanese abductee escaped captivity from Korean Communist Guerrillas to tell the Japanese police in Ranam, Korea about meeting Kim Il-sung and his comrades, many of whom were women.


Gyeongseong Ilbo June 3, 1939

Astonished by Female Bandits

Kim Il-sung was a Gentleman

A Kidnap Victim Shares His Experience

[Telephone Report from Ranam] On the 22nd of last month, a person who had been kidnapped by bandits in the jurisdiction of the Samjang Police Station returned and spoke about the interesting inner workings of the bandits, based on his experiences of living with them deep in the mountains for over ten days.

One surprising thing was the presence of many female bandits among them, not just men as he had initially thought. These people are primarily ethnic Koreans from the Gando region and usually handle cooking and sewing for the bandits.

It was unique that they cook rice in a washbasin, but it was also surprising that they skillfully made Western clothes and combat hats using a proper hand-operated sewing machine. All of them uniformly expressed nostalgia for their homeland and said they wanted to return to Korea as soon as possible.

He met the leader who introduced himself as Kim Il-sung. Kim was a fair-skinned, good-looking man in his thirties, about 5 shaku and 5 or 6 sun tall (167 to 170 cm tall). He was bald, wore a combat hat, dressed in brown woolen clothes, and wore jika-tabi footwear.


京城日報 1939年6月3日








Source: https://archive.org/details/kjnp-1939-06-03/page/n10/mode/1up

Note: I also photographed a copy of the article in the National Library of Korea. Since the newspaper copies from the Internet Archive and the National Library of Korea were different, comparing and contrasting the smudged and blurred newsprint in both copies helped me decipher the text.

Copy of news article photographed at the National Library of Korea.