On 2008 December 1, at 11 a.m. the contribution ceremony about Crown Prince Yeongchin’s seven remains when he was adult was held in Administration Building. The remains are donated from Cha Gil Jin who is the president of Korean Buddhism newspaper. This contribution President Young Sil Han took part in was hospitably treated. Among seven remains, six remains are clothes which Crown Prince Yeongchin (1897~1970) would wear when he lived in Japan. The contributed remains are a photo album including wedding picture and images of life in Japan, documents related to Lee Wang Gik who was charge in task connecting with Yeongchin in Japan’s Imperial Household Agency, a hat, and formal dress. Whole remains worth are more than 100 million Won. The remains are being exhibited in Sookmyung Women’s University Museum (S.U.M) after December 8.
The Relationship between SMU and Crown Prince Yeongchin
As Royal Private University, Sookmyung Women’s University was founded in 1906 without any alien funds but only by royal support and native capital. The founder was Qeen Sunheon who emphasized an important of women education. This contribution is more meaningful in that founder, the Queen Sunheon, is the mother of Prince Yeongchin. S.U.M possesses Crown Prince Yeongchin’s remain in his childhood, Sakyusam which he was dressed in his childhood as Ritual Coat for a Child at present so Cha Gil Jin decided donation for Sookmyung Women’s University.
Who is Crown Prince Yeongchin?
Originally, Qeen Sunheon was Qeen Myung Sung’s court lady. After, Qeen Myung Sung was murdered by Japan in 1895, she had a emperor’s baby and became a queen. The baby is right Crown Prince Yeongchin who has brother, Sun Jong having different mother.
In 1907, as Sun Jong, the first born son, became King, he gave a position, Crown Prince, Yeongchin because Sun Jong didn’t have descendants. Then, as soon as Yeongchin became the Crown Prince at 11 years old, he was brought to Japan forcibly. His misfortune was started from this. He had to go Japan to study by pressure of Japan but his mother, Qeen Sunheon and Imperial House worried about that he went to a foreign country alone. Finally, Imperial House accepted this on condition of visiting Chosun whenever vacation. However, Qeen Sunhuen didn’t see his son until she lived this world.
Crown Prince Yeongchin’s life in Japan clearly showed that how hard the fall of Chosun’s descendant lived. When Chosun lost national right in 1910 Japan reduce Crown Prince Yeongchin to the lower rank and didn’t allow visiting Chosun not correspond with promise. Ten years later, by Japan’s forcible demand, he married to Nashimoto Masako who had Korean name Lee Bang Ja. Although he already was engaged to women in Korea Japan broke off his engagement. Japan found the women who couldn’t conceive a child because they wanted not to leave Chosun’s offspring. In1945, when Japan got defeated, all of his property was confiscated by the state. He really wanted to return to his fatherland, government of Lee Seung Man refused his entry into a country. He came back to home in 1963 but that time, he already had amnesia that lost memory and was aphasiac, loss of speech. After return to father country, spending seven years on being in sick, he ended his life.
The story of returning to Sookmyung by Cha Gil Jin
The man named Kishikenji who comes of a decent family in Japan visited me (Cha Gil Jin) with a woman in October, 1999. She is the seventeenth generation of Dokugawa Iyeyas family. They ask me the way of how to Princess Masako become pregnant saying they researched about me for two years. I attached the condition, “If Princess Masako successes to be pregnant, please build a memorial tower on Geumgangsa in Nagano. Geumgangsa is the temple that soothes the departed Korean spirit who was sacrificed in construction site during World War II. “ The reason why I suggested this condition is that I thought Princess Masako didn’t conceive because of retribution for the deeds committed during World War II.
Kishikenji nod approval about my condition. Cha Gil Jin believed Kishikenji kept promise so I performed a memorial service for the dead in Seoul. Two month later, the news about Princess Masako’s pregnancy. However, Kishikenji, exactly saying, Japanse royal household didn’t kept the promise. If Japan kept the promise, they could not be justified about their conduct in World War II. In result, Princess Masako had a miscarriage for not providing nutrition to a fetus.
In 2000, this time a Japan’s archbishop invited me. A condition was changed. He said “To build memorial tower is so difficult, instead, we hold a memorial service for the drafted Korean victim.” In fact, I wanted to build memorial tower but the most important thing is Japan’s apology. I agreed this suggestion, and nest year Masako gave a birth baby. Instead of Tower, they performed the memorial service so instead of son, they had a daughter.
In return for this event, Japan’s archbishop arranged meeting with government official. They presented Crown Prince Yeongchin’s album, clothes and so on for me as a mark of appreciation. It was very thankful event but I think I just keep these remains for a while.
Sookmyung Universuty said, concerning this contribution “This contribution ceremony is meaningful in that Crown Prince Yeongchin’s remains are contributed to our school which founded by Chosun Royal House-hold. S.U.M possesses Sakyusam which is Ritual Coat for a Child and clothes of Lee Gu (1931-2005) who is the last royal grandchildren so this contribution has deep meaning.” Also, the president Cha said, “As sun finds her mother, Prince Yeongchin’s remains are returned to Sookmyung Women’s University which founds his mother, as he became in his mother’s arms, Sookmyung Women’s University also makes its influence as reputation royal university.” As the president Cha’s speech, Sookmyung’s further leap is expected in 2009 also.