Tuesday, September 6 1921: Shotaro Kokubu, the Vice Minister of the King Yi Bureau, died.

1921 (Taisho 10) On Tuesday, September 6, Shotaro Kokubu, the Vice Minister of the King Yi Bureau of Korea under Japanese rule, died suddenly. Kokubu is a well-known diplomat proficient in Korean, and served as an interpreter during negotiations between Japan and the ROK by Hirobumi Ito. When the Chosen Sotoku-fu was established in 1910 (Meiji 43), he became the head of the Personnel Bureau. Because of the strong trust of the Yi Dynasty, he transferred the former royal family of Korea to the Yi Dynasty Bureau under the jurisdiction of the Minister of the Imperial Household, and served as the second vice minister after the Minister of the Yi Dynasty Bureau. The Minister of King Lee was Ri Saikoku (Lee Jae-guk), a pro-Japanese aristocrat politician who belonged to the Lichang family.

During the wedding ceremony held the night before, that is, the night of the 5th, at the Chosun Hotel in Kyongcheng (now Seoul), Shotaro Kokubu, Undersecretary of the King Lee Bureau, had a tumor in the intestine which he had been suffering from for a long time, which caused volvulus and made him writhing. In other words, it is a dangerous symptom that the intestines twist and block. The wedding ceremony was held by the son of Keiji Okamoto, a chokunin engineer of the Communication Bureau of Chosen Sotoku-fu, and the daughter of Mr. Ichise, a stationmaster of Namdaemun Station. The Chosen Governor-General Saito Makoto was also present. Shotaro Kokubu continued to suffer through the night, but passed away at 11 AM on the following day, the 6th. He was 59 years old.

Shotaro Kokubu was born in 1862 (Bunkyu 2) in Izuhara-machi, Tsushima City, Nagasaki Prefecture. Tsushima has historically been a bridge between Japan and the Korean Peninsula, and in recent times the “Korean Language Institute” was established as a domain school for learning Korean, an essential language for interaction with Korea. I mean 1727 (Kyoho 12). It is a school where students study Korean for three years from 9 AM to 3 PM, and it is said to be the first language school in Japan. The Korean Language Institute was located in Izuhara-machi, Tsushima City, the birthplace of Shotaro KOKUBUN. It could be said that becoming an interpreter of Korean was a destiny.

In the Meiji period, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, not the Tsushima clan, came to be in charge of diplomacy with Korea. 1872 (Meiji 5) On October 25, the Korean Language Institute in Tsushima Domain became the Korean Language Institute, a training institution under the direct control of the Meiji Government. Korean is Korean. The boy who was studying there was Shotaro Kokubu (10). The following year, the Korean Language Institute moved to Busan and was renamed the Choryang-gwan Language Institute. Choryang-dong is an old name of Busan. It is famous for the Choryang-dong Wakan, which was established in Busan in the 15 century to accommodate Japanese envoys.

In 1880 (Meiji 13), the Choryang-kan Language Institute eventually became the Korean Language Department of the Tokyo School of Foreign Languages (now Tokyo University of Foreign Studies). The Meiji period was the time when people had more interest in the Korean Peninsula than now. Therefore, there are many Japanese who study Korean, and among them Shotaro Kokubu was a representative diplomat in the era from the late Meiji era to the Taisho era. He lived on the Korean Peninsula for about 40 years, of course with his family, and devoted his whole life as a diplomat to the Korean Peninsula.

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