By Kim Se-jeong
Descendants of Korean independence activist Lee Hoe-yeong (1867-1932) gathered in Seoul, Friday, to celebrate his 150th birthday.
The activist founded Shinheung Military Academy in Manchuria under Japanese rule and trained young resistance fighters. Rep. Lee Jong-kul of the Democratic Party of Korea is his grandson.
During the ceremony held in Seoul, the younger Lee remembered his grandfather's courage. "He was the perfect example of noblesse oblige (meaning privilege entails responsibility)," Rep. Lee said at the Seoul YWCA.
Lee was born to a noble family on March 17, 1867. He had five siblings.
In 1910, the entire family moved to Manchuria where they opened an autonomous governing body for Korean immigrants and founded Shinheung Military Academy to train young resistance fighters against Japan.
In 1919, he moved to Beijing then to Shanghai where he helped form the interim Republic of Korea government. Back in Beijing in 1924, he founded an anarchist group and published magazines. In 1932, he was arrested at Dalian upon his arrival from Shanghai and died in November that year.
Posthumously, he was awarded the Order of Merit for National Foundation in 1962 from the government. His descendants opened Woodang Memorial Hall in 1990 to remember his achievements.