Yang, Joo-eun

Yang, Joo-eun: He supported the independence movement for life in San Francisco.


Born as a son of a ginseng peddler, he immigrated to Hawaii in late 1903 to work at a sugar plantation. He moved to San Francisco in 1906. He soon joined Dosan Ahn Chang Ho’s Korean National Association and Hung Sa Dahn, With his badge #6, he continued to live with Dosan’s spirit for the next 68 years. During an interview on May 20, 1978 with Min, Pyong-yong, he said: “Hung Sa Dahn has a unique mission in America. Dosan taught to unite one community and love Korea. Dosan was a colossal star in the Korean American community. Dosan taught us to love Korea even if we live just for one day and emphasized education.” He was a live witness of an assassination of Durham Stevens on March 23, 1908 by patriots Chang,  In-whan  and  Jeon,  Myeong-woon. He was right on the spot when the heroic and patriotic acts were committed against this traitor. He said since Asians were prohibited   from purchasing arms, Chang, In-whan carried his white roommate’s gun. Contrary to reports that Jeon, Myeong-woon carried a fake gun, he said Jeon possessed a real gun. He ran and operated a restaurant called Uncle Sam for 40 years. Out of his sale proceeds, he set aside a certain amount for Korean independence funds as well as students and political exiles and it spanned from 1918 through 1944 and he never ceased his support. For which, Kim Goo of the Provisional Government sent him a letter of appreciation. In 1961, he donated to National Central Library his life time collection of Shin Han Min Bo and tremendous collection of important documents and materials of Korean National Association, Gong  Lip  Hyup  Hoe and Dae Dong Bo Gook Hoe for the study of Korean independence movement. He married picture bride Lee, Jae-hyun and had two daughters: Han-mee and Han-sook. He passed away in 1981 at the age of 103. He was buried in Cypress Cemetery in San Francisco. In 1997, the South Korean government posthumously recognized him with the Order of Merit of National Foundation / Patriotism Award for his enduring service for the Korean independence movement.