Anarchism in Korea

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Anarchism in Korea dates to the Korean independence movement under Japan's early 20th century occupation. Korean anarchists federated across their end of the continent but their efforts were perforated by regional and world wars.


Japan's occupation of Korea in 1910 encouraged a national liberation movement whose more radical proponents gravitated towards anarchism. In 1923, Sin Chaeho released his "Declaration of the Korean Revolution", which cautioned Koreans against replacing one oppressor with another, or becoming a society that would exploit another. He pushed for the revolution to guarantee new freedoms and material improvements, not just the removal of foreign control.[1] The Korean anarchists named their newspaper Talhwan (Conquest) and advocated for anarcho-communism. Sin Chaeho joined other Korean anarchists in creating the Eastern Anarchist Federation from exile in 1927 with members across China, Japan, and Vietnam.[2]

Following the end of World War II, Korea was the first southeast Asia region to see a sizable anarchist movement, given state communism in China and repression in occupied Japan. While the Korean Anarchist Federation opposed a united national front before the war, during the war, some anarchists joined their exiled government in the fight for independence. Some anarchists encouraged alliance with the government to protect Korea against foreign invaders, and others continued to advocate for a federation of autonomous units across the country.[2] After the war, workers and peasants began a process of social reconstruction through independent unions, but this process was stunted by the imposition of government from foreign forces in 1948, which led to the Korean War in the 1950s.[3]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Graham 2013, p. 539.
  2. ^ a b Graham 2013, p. 540.
  3. ^ Graham 2013, pp. 540–541.


  • Graham, Robert (2013). Anarchism: A Documentary History of Libertarian Ideas. 3. Montreal: Black Rose Books. ISBN 978-1-55164-337-3. OCLC 824655763.

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