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The Grass Roof

New Horizons

The Grass Roof

Oct 04 1944




COLUMBIA BROADCASTING SYSTEM

AMERICAN SCHOOL OF THE AIR

NEW HORIZONS: THE GRASS ROOF

WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 4, 1944

9:15-9:45 AM, EWT 


CUE: (COLUMBIA BROADCASTING SYSTEM)

(........30 seconds..........)






ANNCR: Columbia presents ... NEW HORIZONS!


MUSIC: (THEMATIC)


ANNCR: Today - the drama of a distant land - Korea! A preview of thirty broadcasts, programs of travel and adventure that will carry you to all parts of our wartime world brought to you each week by the American School of the Air which, next Monday, officially opens its fifteenth season of daily programs. On every weekday, you will hear the fascinating stories of science, music, world geography, literature and current affairs. And now . .


SOUND: KOREAN LIBERTY BELL, LIKE GREAT BELL OF MOSCOW: FADE UNDER


ANNCR: The Liberty Bell of Korea - 1500 years old when last it pealed out - rung by unseen hands on the midnight of March 3rd, 1919. Today and every day, millions are praying that it will soon ring again, ring out for freedom and independence . . Symbol of Korea - THE GRASS ROOF!


MUSIC:


ANNCR: Here with us today are two men well equipped to bring us the story of Korea. First - our guide and commentator on New Horizons programs - Dr. Roy Chapman Andrews, noted explorer of Asia and honorary director of the American Museum of Natural History. Dr. Andrews...


ANDREWS: The land of Korea reaches out from the mainland of Asia into the Yellow Sea. Only a narrow strait separates it from the Japanese islands, but that separation is great - to Korea. We are honored to have with us today a native of that far country, a man who is bringing us the story of his people in the pages of his own autobiography - from which we have taken today's program. Mr. Younghill Kang - Korean-American author of "The Grass Roof." Mr. Kang, there are two questions that must puzzle our listeners. Perhaps you will put us straight.


KANG: I will try, Dr. Andrews.


ANDREWS: Well, we want to know the proper name for your country. Is it Korea, or is it Chosen, as we find it on our recent maps?


KANG: We call our country Korea, Dr. Andrews. The Japanese insist upon referring to it as Cho-Sen, but even this is not original with them. It was the Chinese who first called it Chosyon.


ANDREWS: That brings up my other question, Mr. Kang. Are the natives of Korea Japanese, as Nippon would have us believe, or are they Chinese? 


KANG: According to Korean-Chinese history, which is centuries older than the Japanese, the founder of Korea was a Chinese king who came to our land with thousands of his followers in 1122 B.C. We are said to be of the Mongol family, but our facial characteristics are distinct from both Chinese and Japanese. Our literature - our correspondence - before the Japanese came in - were exclusively in Chinese characters. Does this answer your question, Dr. Andrews?


ANDREWS: Yes - but I have one more before we turn to your book. Younghill Kang is your Americanized name, isn't it?


KANG: Yes. In my native Korean, I was called Han Chung-Pa - Han being our family name. Chung-Pa, meaning "Green-of-the-Mountain" was given to me (FADING) when I was born


MUSIC:


ANDREWS: A year after Chung-Pa was born - in 1902, in the office of Marquis Ito, there is great concern with the Archives of Secret Documents of his Imperial Japanese Majesty.


ITO: Shuji!


SOUND: (CHAIR HASTILY PUSHED BACK - HEELS CLICKING)


SHUJI: Your Excellency?


ITO: Bring the data on Cho-Sen from the files.


SHUJI: (MYSTIFIED) Cho -- Cho-Sen?


ITO: (IMPATIENTLY) Korea, you fool! How many times must I tell you its official title? Cho-Sen!


SHUJI: A thousand apologies, Excellency.


SOUND: (FILING CABINET UNLOCKED - INDEX RIPPLED - CABINET RE-LOCKED)


SHUJI: (MOUTHING NAME) Cho--Sen, Excellency.


ITO: The resume--read it to me.


SHUJI: Peninsula and 200 islands, 86,000 square miles--


ITO: Never mind that.


SHUJI: Population, 22 million. Eastern boundary, Sea of Japan--


ITO: How inconsiderate of them. Continue.


SHUJI: North frontier, Tumen River, having common boundary with Russia for 11 miles-----


ITO: He-he. They will regret that, too. The harbors?


SHUJI: Excellent and nearly all ice-free. Climate, superb for nine months of the year, and three months of rain, heat and damp not injurious to health.


ITO: Wasted on the swine. Go on, don't stop.


SHUJI: Mountains heavily timbered; also rich in coal, iron ore, crystal, talc, galena, silver and ... gold.


ITO: How much gold?


SHUJI: Eighteen and a half million yen annually. Fishing industries, twelve million yen annually. Agriculture: 85 million bushels of rice, 200 million pounds of cotton; also large volumes of barley, beans, wheat and grains of all kinds. On good land, two crops a year ...


ITO: They will feed us in our war with Russia.


SHUJI: Russia?


ITO: Don't interrupt! Go on with the resume! 


SHUJI: A thousand pardons...Abundant rearing of silk worms....


ITO: Hm! They dare to compete with our workers!


SHUJI: The Korean...


ITO: Cho-Sen, you idiot!


SHUJI: (TREMBLING) Forgive me, forgive me, Excellency ... The Cho-Sen worker is docile, industrious, intelligent ----


ITO: Perhaps, perhaps, but we have the markets.


SHUJI: Have they not a commercial treaty with the United States of America since 1877?


ITO: It shall be invalidated!


MUSIC: (WHIPCHORD... AND FADE UNDER)


ANDREWS: Two years passed -- aLmost three, and in the Korean village of Song-Dune-Chi, the Village of the Pine Trees, where Chung-Pa lived, life went on serenely. The natives were suspicious of the Japanese but not aware of their coming doom -- of the noose that was being drawn, carefully but surely. They were too steeped in their poetry, their scholarship and their ancestor worship. They did not notice.


MUSIC: (ORIENTAL LULLABY AND FADE)


CHUNG-PA: (CHILDISH VOICE - CALLING) Uncle Pak-Sa...Uncle Pak-Sa.


SOUND: DOOR SLIDING OPEN


GRANDMA: What is it, Chung-Pa? Why are you not asleep?


CHUNG-PA: (PLAINTIVELY) Uncle Pak-Sa told me no story tonight, Grandma.


GRANDMA: You've had enough of poetry and learning for today.


CHUNG-PA: But he promised it. It is my due.


GRANDMA: He was summoned to the square to hear the news.


CHUNG-PA: Then you tell me one.


GRANDMA: Such as?


CHUNG-PA: Why do we like the Chinese and not the Japs?


GRANDMA: Because as far back as 1500 years ago we gave the Japs Buddhims, our Chinese script, literature and ethics -- and how do you think they rewarded us?


CHUNG-PA: By attacking us.


GRANDMA: Many times. Three hundred years ago they sent an army of 300,000 against us. China came to our rescue with 60,000 men and together we shed our blood across the land for six years. Korea has never forgotten and never fully recovered from this invasion.


CHUNG-PA: Yun-Koo and Chak-Doo-Shay wanted me to be a Jap in our-war game, today, but I refused.


GRANDMA: You were right. They are savages.


CHUNG-PA: Shall we fight them again, Grandma?


GRANDMA: Heaven forbid. We have had only a ten-year rest since the last war.


CHUNG-PA: We won, Grandma, didn't we?


GRANDMA: No, the barbarians did, and they forced our king to renounce Chinese protection and to submit to the Japanese throne in the future.


CHUNG-PA: Uncle Pak-Sa says the Japs started the plot against our king in the first place.


GRANDMA: Then you do know that story, you little monkey. Why do you make me tell it over and over?


SOUND: OUTER DOOR OPENING AND CLOSING HURRIEDLY - HEAVY FOOTSTEPS IN THE NEXT ROOM


GRANDMA: (FURTIVELY) Your Uncle has returned! Quick, lie back on the mat and go to sleep; Goodnight.


PAK-SA: (APPROACHING, MUFFLED) Mother? Mother!


SOUND: DOOR SLIDING SHUT


GRANDMA: Shhh! What is it, son?


PAK-SA: Mother, it's come! Another imperial edict forced upon us by the Japs!


MUSIC: HARSH CHORD


GRANDMA: (GASP) Why? What is it they want of us now?


PAK-SA: The use of our roads in their war against Russia.


GRANDMA: Their savage troops to overrun us again?


PAK-SA: Not only that, but they have compelled us to decree that all treaties with Russia are annulled.


GRANDMA: They are hemming us in; they are cutting us off from all help. The vulture fighting off the flock, isolating the prey for the kill!


MUSIC:


ANDREWS: Centuries of aggression against a studious and peace-loving people boiled over like the poisons from a witch's cauldron within the next few years. Indignities followed injustices with ever-mounting speed.


MUSIC: CRESCENDO CHORD AND FADE INTO B.G.


SOUND: BABBLE OF MURMURING VOICES


FIRST: With their soldiers on our soil, they have made us sign over all our communications systems.


SECOND: All our postal, telegraphic and telephone services.


MUSIC: CRESCENDO CHORD AND FADE INTO B.G.


FIRST: In our capital of Seoul they have opened the First Bank of Japan, with branches in all other towns.


SECOND: Japanese currency is now the legal tender of Korea.


MUSIC: CRESCENDO CHORD AND FADE INTO B.G.


SECOND: All future treaties must be concluded through the medium of Japan.


MUSIC: CRESCENDO CHORD AND FADE INTO B.G.


FIRST: And Marquis Ito has been installed as resident general.


MUSIC: DOUBLE DISCHORD - HOLD FOR TWO SECONDS AND OUT


ANDREWS: Marquis Ito! Marquis Ito, who for years had been placing the life of Korea at his fingertips, now had it under his thumb. How quickly that life had changed!.. The Korean Empress Min struggled against the domination. She was found murdered within her own chamber!... Prince Yong, minister of the Korean war cabinet, went to the Hague Conference to protest against the Japanese treatment. He failed to make the principal governments understand and committed suicide!.. Japan disbanded the Korean army. Taxes and higher taxes threw the "docile" workers into a turmoil of rebellion and guerrilla warfare...Then, in 1910, Japan pushed through another little "treaty," the coup-de-grace which virtually enslaved 22 million Koreans.


MUSIC: (MINOR)


SOUND: (TYPEWRITER CLICKING BUSILY - FADE AND HOLD IN B.G.)


SHUJI: My dear wife: The civilizing of Cho-Sen has begun. The Emperor of Korea---


SOUND: (TYPEWRITER STOPS. ERASER ON PAPER FOLLOWED BY BLOWING. CLICKING RESUMES.)


SHUJI: The Emperor of Cho-Sen today made complete and permanent cession to the Emperor of Japan of all rights and sovereignty over the whole of Cho---Sen. My good friend the Marquis, for his magnificent services to Nippon, has been promoted from resident-general to Governor-General. May his merciful administration continue to flourish...


ANDREWS: Events and oppressions of the next few months told the story.


ITO: (THROUGH FILTER) The Governor-General has absolute power in Cho-Sen, independent of cabinet or diet, and responsible only to His Imperial Majesty, the Emperor of Japan.


SOUND: (MUFFLED BRASS GONG-BEAT)


ITO: Our military autocracy must be established and preserved.


SOUND: (MUFFLED GONG-BEAT)


ITO: National ideals and antiquated culture of the natives must be ignored and discouraged.


SOUND: (MUFFLED GONG-BEAT)


ITO: In order to preserve peace and harmony, only two classes shall co-exist: upper, Japanese; lower -- the natives.


SOUND: (MUFFLED GONG-BEAT)


ITO: Cho-Sen wage earners shall receive at least 40% less pay than Japanese for the same positions and kinds of work.


SOUND: (MUFFLED GONG-BEAT)


ITO: Every book, newspaper, magazine and periodical must first be submitted to the Japanese censor.


SOUND: (MUFFLED GONG-BEAT)


ITO: Japanese citizens shall receive preferential attention in all public places, regardless of the number of natives preceding them.


SOUND: (MUFFLED GONG-BEAT)


ITO: (ACCELERATING) Korean language, forbidden. Korean history, forbidden. History of western nations, forbidden. Political economy, forbidden. (CROSS FADE) Subjects that stimulate ancient patriotism, forbidden, forbidden, forbidden..


MUSIC: (STACCATO CHORDS)


ANDREWS: In one year alone under this system, there were more than 80,000 arrests for one offense or another. Fines, flogging, imprisonment and exile to inaccessible islands were common. And for every Korean thus removed, at least five, Japs - immigrants -- "Colonizers," they called them - were brought in, given choicest lands and modern implements. What happened in the average farmer-scholar home, where children were growing up, (CROSS FADE) in the home of Chung-Pa, now nine years old?


SOUND: (CHILDISH BLOWING ON HOME-MADE BAMBOO FLUTE.)


CHUNG-PA: (BURSTING INTO TEARS)


GRANDMA: (SURPRISED) What ails you, Chung-Pa? You do not like your birthday flute?


CHUNG-PA: (THROUGH SOBS) It is beautiful, even though it is only bamboo.


GRANDMA: Then why do you weep? It is not like a young poet to do so.


CHUNG-PA: Because now I cannot be a Korean scholar, or the prime minister of Korea.


GRANDMA: There is no longer a future for Koreans in our country.


CHUNG-PA: Grandma - (PAUSE) - I want to go to the capital and study Western schooling.


GRANDMA: (HORRIFIED) Western schooling? Like the Japs? Good heavens, child!


CHUNG-PA: Why not? If I had it, I could learn to use it against them.


GRANDMA: Cultivate yourself in body and mind first, according to the wisdom of Confucius. Next administer a family well, and only after that is accomplished, seek to administer the nation.


CHUNG-PA: I cannot wait that long.


GRANDMA: Say no more. I must speak with your Uncle Pak-Sa about it.


CHUNG-PA: I have already. It is what I have asked of him for my birthday.


GRANDMA: We cannot afford a Western School.


CHUNG-PA: I could work in a Japanese store.


GRANDMA: Heaven forbid!


CHUNG-PA: Uncle Pak-Sa has gone to talk about with Mr. Benson at the Christian Mission.


SOUND: (DOOR OPENING AND CLOSING)


GRANDMA: (ANGRILY) Son, have you been to the Christian Mission?


PAK-SA: Yes, mother. The American Mission is the only place left in all Korea where one may speak his thoughts freely.


GRANDMA: And what thoughts did you speak of so freely?


PAK-SA: I consulted with the missionary. He said knowledge of other languages and sciences can do no harm.


GRANDMA: (DEFEATED) Then Chung-Pa will go to a Western school.


PAK-SA: It is better than committing suicide, as many of the young men of our village did the day we were annexed.


SOUND: (MUFFLED MARCHING - APPROACHING)


PAK-SA: Listen to them. They've swarmed over the village like armies of ants.


CHUNG-PA: (EXCITEDLY) It's a squad of Jap policemen!


SOUND: (MARCHING UP AND HALTED ABRUPTLY)


CHUNG-PA: They're stopping here.


SOUND: (SWORD BANGING ON OUTER DOOR..DOOR OPENING)


POLICEMAN: (SNAPPING) Why is the flag of Korea over your gateway?


PAK-SA: We did not know it was not permissible.


POLICEMAN: It is not. This land is now Cho-Sen. Japanese territory. You must hang the sun flag of Japan instead.


PAK-SA: We have never had such a flag in this house.


POLICEMAN: You will buy one!


PAK-SA: We are poor; we have little money.


POLICEMAN: You will get one, even if you have to sell a piece of land.


PAK-SA: I cannot sell my land!


POLICEMAN: I say you will!


SOUND: (SWORD BLOWS RAINING UPON BODY)


GRANDMA: (SCREAMING) Don't beat him! He did nothing on purpose! He meant no harm by it.


POLICEMAN: (SHOUTING) Get away, you old hag!


SOUND: SEVERAL BLOWS, SHRIEK, AND MOAN FROM GRANDMA, BODY THUD UPON FLOOR


CHUNG-PA: (WHIMPERING) Grandma, Grandma!


SOUND: DOOR BANGING SHUT. WHIMPERING AND MOANING HOLD IN B.G. TILL END OF FOLLOWING. MARCHING RESUMES UP AND FADES OUT


MUSIC:


ANDREWS: Anything served as an excuse for mistreating the Korean people. Even if they went to American missions, they were spied out and punished. The Japanese police considered all Christian centers as hotbeds of rebellion, for the missionaries were gaining great numbers of followers. There was rigid censorship imposed on historic documents that dealt with independence movements and emancipators, but books that told of Washington and Lincoln, strangely enough, were still being published in Japan. These found their way into the hands of the Korean undergrounds. Young men like Chung-Pa saw the advantage of learning the Japanese language. He read Japanese books and, through them, he learned of western sciences. Under the porch of the night school attended by Chung-Pa ...


SOUND: RUNNING FEET: DOOR QUICKLY OPENING AND SLAMMING SHUT


SOO-SAN: (BREATHLESS) Here, Chung-Pa. Here are the books I promised you. Put them out of sight, quickly!


CHUNG-PA: Were you followed, Park Soo-San?


SOO-SAN: Yes, I think so. I'm always being followed.


CHUNG-PA: But why? Do they suspect us already?


SOO-SAN: Only me, little one. Ever since I served a jail sentence.


CHUNG-PA: Are you a thief? What did you steal?


SOO-SAN: Nothing. I only printed a text-book on Korean history. Now I am hounded.


CHUNG-PA: (BITTERLY) As if that will stop us.


SOO-SAN: No, nothing must, not even the tortures we have yet to face. Korea must have leaders, is waiting for leaders with western education, western ideas of progress.


CHUNG-PA: But how many students are there -- like us, ready to make any sacrifice necessary?


SOO-SAN: More than you would believe, a well-organized band of patriots throughout the land. And there are many others in exile working for the country.


CHUNG-PA: Are there any in America?


SOO-SAN: Hardly any.


CHUNG-PA: But Japan and China have government students there. Why haven't we?


SOO-SAN: Because Korea has no quota there; Japan saw to that. You should go to America to study.


CHUNG-PA: (SIGHING) Ah, if only I could.


SOO-SAN: All who can must make their way there. America holds all that the West has ever thought or known of freedom and science.


CHUNG-PA: And if we have not the means?


SOO-SAN: Then we must study Western methods wherever and however we can -- even from the Japanese.


MUSIC:


ANDREWS: So Chung-Pa outraged his family's Korean traditions by cutting his hair, and buying a Western hat. Fortified by this gear, and a few pennies he could borrow, he ran away from home and walked 300 miles for sixteen days in order to attend a Japanese school in the capital of Seoul. And what great gem of knowledge rewarded him on his first day (FADE) when the principal spoke?


SOUND: HUBBUB OP ASSEMBLED STUDENTS IN B.G. SHARP RAP OF STICK ON HOLLOW BLOCK (JAP GAVEL)


PRINCIPAL: And the essential principle of education is the making of loyal and good subjects to the Japanese emperor. You must try very hard to be good Japanese...We shall now stand up and say: "The Mikado is sacred and inviolable."


MUSIC:


ANDREWS: Chung-Pa swallowed his pride that first day of Japanese tutelage, but he could not swallow a lie later on......


TEACHER: The first king of Japan -- Jimmu -- was a cousin of that venerable Tan-Koon, the first King of Korea --- (EMBARRASSED-- QUICKLY) eh, eh -- now called Cho-Sen. Their fathers were two blood brothers. But - while Jimmu's children were civilized, Tan-Koon's were savages. For this reason it was a good thing for Japan to annex Cho-Sen, in order to civilize her ....What is it, Chung-Pa? Why have you your hand raised?


CHUNG-PA: Did not Jimmu's date go back only to 660 B.C.?


TEACHER: It did.


CHUNG-PA: And did not Tan-Koon date back to 2,333 B.C.?


TEACHER: Well, he -- er (OBVIOUS THROAT CLEARING)


CHUNG-PA: Then how do you account for the difference of almost 2,000 years, even by Japanese count?


SOUND: (SWORD DRAWN AND BANGED ON DESK)


TEACHER: (SHOUTING) I should cut off your head for such treason! Stand up until the class is over!


CHUNG-PA: Perhaps I could explain myself better in Korean.


TEACHER: Speaking Korean in a Japanese Government School is punishable by a fine the first time and by imprisonment the second. Come with me to the principal at once. Class dismissed.


MUSIC: AGITATO, BABBLING BROOK EFFECT CROSS FADE


TEACHER: (PUFFING) ... And that is why I brought him here.


PRINCIPAL: Well, that is regrettable, Chung-Pa Han.


CHUNG-PA: Han Chung-Pa, sir, if you please. The Han first.


PRINCIPAL: In our country it is the reverse, and this is now our country.


CHUNG-PA: There are many who do not think so.


PRINCIPAL: They will soon change their minds. The sooner the better. For you, too, Chung-Pa --- Now, as to your misdemeanors, I have had complaints from other teachers as well, but I am willing to overlook all of them. If you will promise not to repeat your contradictory actions, and to apologize to the teachers you have offended, you will be forgiven.


CHUNG-PA: I cannot.


PRINCIPAL: And why not?


CHUNG-PA: Because in each case I was right and they were wrong, only they would not admit it.


MUSIC:


ANDREWS: Chung-Pa had to leave his lessons in western science, for no Japanese school would ever admit him again. Bitter and disillusioned, he was forced to turn his eyes from the vision of America --- of freedom from oppression. Chung-Pa turned back to the roof of his family but his homecoming was filled with sadness. The village was almost bare of the familiar and beloved faces. Many has escaped into the cold wilderness of Siberia and northern Manchuria rather than suffer among their enemies. Chung-Pa tells of his new life.


CHUNG-PA: (CHOKING WITH GRIEF) Uncle Pak-Sa, a revered poet, a highly sensitive human, finally imprisoned by the Japs and tortured! And now he is free again, but to what use? He is feeble-minded.... Little Grandma dead, of hardships, and grief over a broken home ....Childhood friends prematurely aged in sorrow, their lives a bitter cup without spirit or warmth ... Japanese spies and officials watching every move you make, listening to every breath you take ... Oh, Heavenly Fathers, (CROSSFADE) if ever a man faced darkness without hope (FADE) if ever a man had cause for vengeance ---


ANDREWS: But Chung-Pa did find a new hope. If America was beyond his reach, he would at least bring it closer through books. He learned English at the American mission High School. He read books against the day when he could go to an American college. And he delighted the principal of the Mission High School, Mr. Luther, with his remarkable progress. And after school hours, unbeknownst to Mr. Luther, Chung-Pa and other students could still be found in the Mission classrooms -- holding discussions with the fearless itinerants of Korea, the patriotic men and women of the underground. At those secret sessions Chung-Pa found his loyalties again divided: the Christians and Buddhists among them preached a pacifist demonstration rather than wholesale, futile massacre; the others agitated for an armed uprising....The Jap police in the meantime, were keeping an eye on Chung-Pa. He had a "record" as a school disrupter. Why did he like the Mission School so much? (CROSS FADE) They would find out from Mr. Luther, the innocent principal.....


POLICEMAN: What goes on in your mission so much, Mr. Principal?


LUTHER: God's work, education.


POLICEMAN: So many hours every day?


LUTHER: If the students wish to use the classrooms and books after hours, it would be heartless to turn them out.


POLICEMAN: We find in your library this book by Kipling. Story about elephant who refuses to serve second master...It is now forbidden.


LUTHER: Impossible! Kipling... a fairy tale ... forbidden? But why?


POLICEMAN: Because it is agitating literature. It is teaching Korea to rebel against her second master, Japan.


LUTHER: What next!


POLICEMAN: No more preachment to students against smoking.


LUTHER: But most of them are too young to smoke.


POLICEMAN: No matter. Japanese government has monopoly on all tobacco manufacture. To speak against what government does is treason.


LUTHER: Bless my soul....Have you any objections to our lecturing on the [...] of too much drink?


POLICEMAN: No -- so long you don't mention saki or any other Japanese beverage.


LUTHER: That's very kind of you. Thank you.


POLICEMAN: Another thing. This boy Chung-Pa Han. He will make trouble for your mission. You must send him away.


LUTHER: He's made no trouble at all. In fact he's the most amazing scholar I've ever seen.


POLICEMAN: Best advice is send him away. Good day.


MUSIC:


ANDREWS: For Chung-Pa's safety, Mr. Luther found a means of getting him out of the village. He got him a job at Seoul, helping an American lady translate "Pilgrim's Progress." While the lad was en-route, a more significant drama was being enacted at the capital.


SOUND: MUFFLED GONG BEAT


ITO: The Emperor of Korea is hereby informed that he will issue the following statement to the Peace Conference now in session at Versailles. "The Korean people are entirely satisfied with their status and feel only gratitude for the many benefits and advantages brought to them by the Imperial Japanese Government." The Emperor and the nobles of Korea are instructed to sign and deliver this statement.


SOUND: (MUFFLED GONG BEAT)


ANDREWS: The document was never signed. And the day that Chung-Pa arrived at Seoul, the capital was stunned. That morning, the Emperor and the maid who brought his rice .. were found .. both dead! No one but the Japanese doctors were allowed to see the bodies. . Spreading like wildfire, the news of the murders infuriated the Korean people. The Japanese masters dared not forbid a day of national mourning nor stem the demand for passports to the capital. At once, the underground seized the chance . . the moment for which leaders had worked and waited ten whole years. ...A month later 20 million Koreans were electrified with two mysterious words...


MUSIC: (PUNCTUATING EACH OF FOLLOWING)


MIXED VOICES: (DRAMATIC WHISPERS) March Fourth!... March Fourth!..... March Fourth!.....March Fourth! (FADE INTO B.G.)


ANDREWS: It was the date of the mourning ceremonies for the murdered emperor. Multitudes began crowding into the capital. ...The Japs, too, were busy, worried for the first time. Special armies and extra police were being assembled to quell any sign of protest. Then, the revolutionary leaders used a surprise tactic. Chung-Pa and others quickly received new orders. The date of assembly had been moved up to March first. The Korean Declaration of Independence was to be read in various parts of the city at 2 o'clock. The Christian and Buddhist leaders had won their point; the whole nation had agreed to a peaceful demonstration. The revolution was to be unconditionally pacifist.


MUSIC: (SENTENTIOUS. FADE AND HOLD IN B.G. FOR FOLLOWING)


CHUNG-PA: (ISSUING INSTRUCTIONS) Immediately following the reading of our Declaration of Independence, we will cry with full voice: 'Mansei! O live ten thousand years, Korea!' Then we shall demonstrate as much as we can, all over Seoul, until we are stopped by the police. Never, under any condition, use no fists and throw no stones. This is not a riot, but a demonstration. Use only the voice of Korea!


ANDREWS: By 2 o'clock the public park was a sea of people from every walk of life and every faith. For once, Christians, Buddhists, Confucians, and those of every creed were united in a common purpose. A hush filled the atmosphere as the speaker rose to the platform near the pagoda and began the reading of the Declaration of Independence. It had been written by "Six Grass Roofs," the pen-name of Korea's greatest historian and scholar.


SPEAKER: (VOICE ECHOING) With this we declare our Korea an independent nation, and Koreans a free people...(FADE)


ANDREWS: Chung-Pa knew every word of it by heart. He repeated them after the speaker for the benefit of those around him (CROSS FADE) afraid they would not hear all the precious words...


CHUNG-PA: With this we announce her independence to the ten thousand nationalities of the world, and we reveal the Great Truth of the equality of man. With this we endow our sons and our sons' sons for innumerable generations with the just right of (FADE) national existence always. 


ANDREWS: The mighty, billowing river of freedom loving men was held spellbound to the end, and then came (CROSS FADE) the Three Items of Pledge....


CHUNG-PA: One--Show only your desire for freedom and never let rebellion run wild -- Two--To the very last person, to the very last minute, show all people the idea of right...Three--In all your deeds, prize order, so that your claim and attitude to the end will be fair, high and honorable...In the 4,252nd year of the Korean Kingdom in March. Signed by the 33 representatives of Korea.


SOUND: (BURST OF WILD CHEERING FROM VAST MULTITUDE. CRIES OF "MANSEI! MANSEI!" FROM CHARACTERS. SLOW FADE)


ANDREWS: The 33 signers of the Declaration---15 Christians, 15 Chuntoists and 3 Buddhists---awaited arrest calmly, resigned to the torture that was certain to follow. Their bravery and devotion has no parallel in Korean history...With the leaders led away to jail. Japanese armed fury stormed into action with redoubled violence. What started as a peaceful demonstration from a gentle people ended in a riot of bloodshed, wholesale arrests and horror. At least 11,000 Koreans in Seoul alone were arrested, and flogged before they were released, or sentenced...


CHUNG-PA: I was among them, and many of my friends. So it went throughout the land, the Japanese burning, pillaging, and killing at every time and place the cry of "MANSEI" was raised or written. All of us of the underground were being ferreted out and hounded. Hounded wherever we fled.


SOO-SAN: (FILTER) Don't let them frighten you, little Chung-Pa. We must go to America while there is yet time. I can get Chinese passports. Come with me.


SHUJI: (FILTER) You will never get a passport!


POLICEMAN: (FILTER) We will arrest you again, on the eve of your departure!


SOO-SAN: (FILTER) You can bribe an official to get you on board ship at Yokohoma. Thieves among thieves always take bribes. I will send you the money. Goodbye, little fellow. I shall not live to see you again. Tell the world our story. Goodbye, little fellow, goodbye.


MUSIC: (SWELL TO CRESCENDO AND FADE)


ANDREWS: Thank you, Mr. Kang, for your tragic but magnificent autobiography. It's people like you who make us appreciate what a precious possession freedom is and that we must never take it for granted.


KANG: Dr. Andrews, even in the midst of my new life here, I can never forget Korea and all enslaved countries. I am only eighteen years old but I have seen for myself the difference between slavery and freedom. I know why all of us - each in his own way - must go on fighting for what is good - and right!


MUSIC: UP AND INTO FINALE


ANDREWS: This is a Korean's story of his country. We shall hear more of Korea - or Chosen - as war in the Orient moves closer to the Japanese homeland. The air distance from Korea to Japan proper is only 120 miles across the Strait of Korea. Because of its location and because of its great economic value, we must expect Japan to fight, both in war and at the conference tables, to keep her hold on Chosen. A little larger than our state of Idaho, the peninsula and its many surrounding islands are extremely mountainous. There is no known mineral that is not found in Korea. Iron, silver, gold, and copper are plentiful, and the soil is so productive that, before the Japanese came, in 1905, Korean farmers raised more than enough grain for all their needs. The seas around their land are teeming with fish. Today, the fishing and agricultural industries are operated for Japan's benefit and Koreans live on a miserable diet, of rice, soybeans, sweet potatoes and corn. Korean national spirit, as we have heard it expressed today in Grass Roof, is still strong. Korea had the first government-in-exile, established in 1919. Today, it operates from headquarters in Chungking.


MUSIC:


ANNCR: You have been listening to New Horizons, a presentation of Columbia's American School of the Air, which next Monday begins its 15th season of daily programs, featuring science, music, travel and geography, literature, and current affairs. School of the Air broadcasts are endorsed by the National Education Association. School teachers wishing to make use of them in the classroom may obtain a free 96-page Teacher's Manual, describing all the programs in detail, by writing to their nearest CBS station.


Listen next Wednesday when New Horizons presents The Story of Flight - The Air Age.


John Allen Wolfe speaking.


Today's program, The Grass Roof, written by Younghill Kang and adapted for radio by Charles Leonard, was directed by Richard Sanville for CBS..


THE COLUMBIA BROADCASTING SYSTEM

- fade theme 20 seconds -

WABC ...NEW YORK


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