Dosan Ahn Chang Ho’s legacy remains, to this day, a monumental relic in the minds of countless Koreans who remember the fracture that divided the country during the Japanese imperialism of South Korea. His leadership, philosophy, and walk of life were manifested into the very pillars of hope needed to free the country from its imperial rule. Dosan understood that fighting for the Korea’s independence requires an understanding of not only who the country is fighting its independence from but also for whom the independence is fought for. Trust and unity became the fundamental tenets to Dosan’s activism, and it remains to this day a hopeful reminder for the future of the country.
While a lot of Dosan’s deeds were memorable and inspirational in their own rights, there is one in particular that shed light onto his commitment to his country and fellow citizens. Dosan immigrated to the United States, and one of the first things he saw was two Korean men fighting. They were arguing over who would have access to this part of the street to sell their goods. At that moment, Dosan understood that the Korean community was not organized. It required more than a simple ethnic label to define a community. He started a Korean-American organization, and to raise funds, he began work on the fields harvesting oranges. Even under the scorching heat of the summer sun, he arrived to work on the fields in a suit, committed to breaking the social image that Koreans were poor people.
Dosan was truly a man of the people, but more specifically, he was a man for the people. He was an intelligent man-he knew that building a community started with culturing an encouraging and diligent perspective on an individual level. As such, each and every one of his actions sought to inspire and stir. His accomplishments rightfully earned him an important place in one of the most sensitive and tumultuous chapters of Korea’s history.
<Jisoo Ku Jserra Catholic High School 9th Grade