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Han Yong-un
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Han Yong-un
His childhood name was Yucheon(裕天). His Buddhist name was Manhae(萬海, 卍海).
 He was born on July 12, 1879 in Seonggok-ri, Gyeolseong-myeon, Hongseong-gun, Chungcheongnam-do. In 1896, he went into seclusion for several years at Ose’am at Baekdamsa in Seoraksan and studied Buddhist scriptures. He also encountered Western modern thought through various readings. In 1905, at Baekdamsa in Gangwon-do, he was ordained as a monk by Venerable Yeon’gok. In 1908, he went to Japan where he made pilgrimages to temples in Tokyo and Kyoto, and studied Buddhism and Eastern philosophy for six months at the Soutou Daehaknim.

 In 1911, against the backdrop of the Annexation of Korea to Japan, Han convened a meeting with fellow monks Pak Han-yeong and others ,and succeeded in crushing a plan to merge with Japan's Soutuo sect. Han gave a great shock to the intellectual world by publishing a treatise titled Reform in Joseon Buddhism (1913), which boldly and bitterly criticized the stagnation, backwardness, and hermitism of Korean Buddhism. In 1918, he founded and presided over the youth enlightenment magazine Yushim, and, as a participant in the March 1st Movement in 1919, he was arrested by the Japanese police and spent three years in prison, during which time he writing Reasons for Joseon Independence. After his release from prison in 1922, Han called passionately for the awakening of Korean young people through lectures, and in 1924 he was made president of the Buddhist Youth Association. In 1926, he published The Silence of Love, a collection of poems he wrote while secluded at Baekdamsa in Naeseorak, creating a big stir in the literary world. In 1927, he became a promoter of the Shinganhoe and served as the head of its Gyeongseong branch, and was also active as a de facto leader of the ‘Joseon Buddhist Alliance’ and ‘Mandang’.

 In 1931, at age 50, while living in seclusion in Simujang, Seongbuk-dong, Seoul, Han took over the magazine Buddhism, which he continued to publish; and carried out a Buddhist youth movement and a movement to popularize Buddhism. From this time, he wrote novels such as Black Wind (1935), Regret (1936) and A Short Life (1938), as well as a large number of Chinese poems and sijo. He refused to change his name to a Japanese name as ordered by the colonial government, and died of a stroke on May 9, 1944 while opposing the deployment of Korean student soldiers to the Pacific War. His remains were cremated and buried in Mang’uri Cemetery. In 1962, Han was posthumously awarded the Republic of Korea Order of Merit, and in 1967, a monument to his life was erected in Pagoda Park. A wide range of studies have been conducted on Han’s thoughts on Buddhism, the independence movement, and his literary activities.
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