Seodaemun Prison History Hall

Seoul, South Korea

Seodaemun Prison History Hall

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Seodaemun Prison History Hall is a museum and former prison in Seodaemun-gu, Seoul, South Korea. It was constructed beginning in 1907. The prison was opened on October 21, 1908, under the name Gyeongseong Gamok. During the early part of the Japanese colonial period it was known as Keijo Prison (Keijō Kangoku, the Japanese pronunciation of Gyeongseong Gamok). Its name was changed to Seodaemun Prison in 1923, and it later had several other names.

The prison was used during the Japanese colonial period to imprison Korean liberation activists, and could originally hold around 500 inmates. It had a separate facility for women and young girls. In 1911, Kim Koo was imprisoned. He was one of the more important figures in the Korean liberation movement. In 1919, shortly after the March 1st Movement, the number of imprisoned increased drastically. About three thousand liberation activists were imprisoned, and shortly before the colonization ended in 1945, the number of prisoners was at 2980. Among imprisoned after the March 1st Movement was Ryu Gwansun, who died from the torture inflicted on her.

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