SEOUL, May 31 (Korea Bizwire) — Kenkoku Junior High School, part of the Baekdu Hagwon in Osaka, a Korean school for Korean Japanese students, announced on Tuesday that it will host the 2023 International Yun Dong-ju Poetry Recitation Contest.
The contest aims to promote the poetry of prominent Korean poet Yun Dong-ju (1917-1945), who spread ideas of peace through his beautiful poems during the period of Japanese occupation, while also strengthening ties between South Korea and Japan.
Yun Dong-ju, one of Korea’s most cherished poets, was an intellectual who lived during the Japanese occupation. While he did not directly engage in armed struggle, his poetry resonated with themes of resistance and the anguish of life.
Notably, Yun Dong-ju’s poems often contemplate his personal journey, which diverges from the collective path of his people. In a profoundly moving manner, he expresses a deep sense of shame following his studies in Japan.
During the final years of the Pacific War, Yun Dong-ju faced constant surveillance by the Japanese government due to his opposition to the Japanese conscription system. Enduring numerous hardships, he was apprehended just before returning home. Tragically, at the young age of 29, he passed away while in custody at Fukuoka Prison in Japan, the cause of his death remaining unknown.
This contest welcomes Korean residents in Japan and Japanese high school students. It consists of two categories: one for participants who speak Korean as their mother tongue and another for those who do not.
Participants must choose Yun’s renowned poem “Foreword” as the designated poem and select one of his other poems to recite as a free verse.
They are then required to upload a video of their recitation to the contest’s official website.
The application deadline is June 9. The main competition will take place on June 24 at the high school for those who pass the preliminary round.
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