Jeong Seong-gil, honorary director of Keimyung University Dongsan Medical Center Museum, showed to the public, through the Yonhap News Agency, photos that were date September 1, 1923, the day of the 7.9-magnitude Great Kanto Earthquake that hit Tokyo. According to Jeong, the many lifeless bodies in the photos are Koreans who have been killed by Japanese vigilantes—the standing men in the photos—who took to heart rumors that Koreans had poisoned wells and committed arson as they took advantage of the disaster.
Jeong said that he acquired the photos during his visit to Japan several years ago. He didn’t really have plans of showing to the public because they showed much too gruesome and disgraceful images. But when he heard that Japanese government officials decided to remove references to the said massacre from high school textbooks, he felt like he needed to show the photos so that the people will be reminded of what had happened almost a century ago. “It’s a shameful and humiliating moment in our history, but we have to protect spirits of some 6,000 Korean victims of the massacre,” Jeong said. “By presenting photos and other pieces of evidence, we must expose brutal acts committed by the Japanese in the past.”
Yonhap News claims that Japanese media reported on January 25 that the education ministry has resolved to revise the sentence “Many Koreans were massacred in the aftermath of the great earthquake,” into “Tombstones commemorating Korean victims of the Great Kanto Earthquake read, ‘Koreans lost their precious lives.'” While no particular sources have been mentioned for such, what we have already confirmed is that Education Minister Hakubun Shimomura said the government felt the need to review textbooks as to wartime history statements to be able to insert “forward-looking expressions.”