Philip Ahn Cuddy (68 ) , an American who is not good at Korean but knows more about Korean history than Koreans, is the grandson of Dosan Ahn Chang-ho. It seemed that the spirit of Dosan, who worked hard for the independence movement and fostering descendants while traveling between Korea and overseas, was passed down to Mr. Cuddy as a legacy.
Cuddy, who we met at the Kyunghyang Shinmun in Jung-gu, Seoul on the 18th, laughed broadly, saying, “Informing the history of Dosan is my selling point.” When he asked if the expression ‘fate’ would be more appropriate than ‘sell’, he shook his head and said, “Sell, sell”. He was assisted as an interpreter by Hwang Seong-min, the grandson of independence activist Hwang Byung-hak.
Mr. Cuddy’s maternal grandfather, Dosan, his maternal grandmother, Lee Hye-ryeon, and his mother, An Su-san, are all men of independent merit. Dosan, who moved to the United States in 1902, worked at an orange farm to make a living and to finance the independence movement, and the anecdote of entering an American elementary school to study English is famous. Dosan’s spouse Lee Hye-ryeon raised her five siblings alone after Dosan left for China to work for the Shanghai Provisional Government. On behalf of Mr. Cuddy’s parents who went to work, Lee showed Dosan’s photos and writings and taught Dosan’s life trajectory.
Susan Ahn, the third and eldest of Dosan’s five siblings, was the first Asian American to enlist in the US Navy. She was the first female gunnery officer and served as a codebreaker in the Pacific War. She worked as a codebreaker in the Navy, married an Irish-American, and gave birth to Mr. Cuddy. Since interracial marriage was illegal in Maryland in 1955, when Cuddy was born, the Cuddy siblings were born in a military hospital rather than a regular hospital.
My grandfather and grandmother fought against Japanese imperialism, and my parents fought against Japanese imperialism and racial discrimination. Mr. Cuddy said his destiny is to fight those who try to obscure or distort history. Covering the dark side of a person in order to increase his or her achievements is a distortion of history.
Mr. Cuddy said, “Dosan’s biggest mistake was supporting Syngman Rhee.” Dosan, who led the Korean American community, and former President Syngman Rhee together contributed to the launch of the Provisional Government in Shanghai. There was also a prior rapport with Dosan in the former President Lee’s case of the League of Nations’ mandate petition. This incident sparked a strong anti-President movement inside and outside the Provisional Government, but Dosan supported former President Lee. However, the two later had a conflict over the line of the independence movement. When former President Lee’s diplomatic campaign failed to produce any results, Dosan saw that the most important thing was to nurture the skills of independence activists from a long-term perspective.
“Koreans don’t know much about Dosan. Syngman Rhee was elected as the president of the Provisional Government in Shanghai because Dosan was from Pyongyang, and because he had a worse educational background and was younger than Syngman Rhee. It is Dosan who puts everything into provisional activities in Shanghai. Syngman Rhee accused Dosan of being a communist in Chicago in 1925 as the conflict with Dosan intensified. I also have a record of Dosan being arrested by the police. He was released without charge, of course.”
The Korean government is promoting the construction of a memorial hall for former President Lee. Although the budget has not been finalized, the Ministry of Patriots and Veterans Affairs last April estimated that the project would cost about 46 billion won over three years. Cuddy called the move ” wrong and ridiculous “. He said that covering the wrongs in order to increase his achievements was a “historical revisionist act,” and he said, “Isn’t Rhee Seung-man the one who killed so many Koreans in the Jeju 4·3 Incident?” “What is not true is not history,” he emphasized.
“My dream is to surf with North and South Koreans”
Dosan always asked his children to ‘live as good American citizens, but never forget Korea’. Cuddy said her family’s settling down in America brought her both pain and fortune. My family had to live longing for Korea all their lives and suffered extreme racial discrimination, but there were many choices because they were in the United States. My mother was able to serve in the military at that time, and Mr. Cuddy’s maternal uncle and Dosan’s sons Phillip Ahn, Pilseon Ahn, and Pilyoung Ahn worked as actors스포츠토토 in the United States. Cuddy is a first-generation Korean surfer who started surfing as a teenager at the urging of her mother.
On the occasion of her last liberation day, Cuddy met descendants of independence activists at Wave Park in Siheung, Gyeonggi Province. He shared Dosan’s spirit of ‘love others as you love yourself’ and taught his young descendants how to surf. “I was happy,” he said, telling the story of an 8-year-old kid who followed him around saying he wanted to ride again. Surfing is also a means through which he can communicate with Korea.
Cuddy, who has the Taegeuk symbol engraved on his surfboard, dreams of surfing in the sea with people from South and North Korea. Divided Korea has not yet been completely liberated, he said, waiting for Dosan’s hometown, Pyongyang, to be able to enter and exit freely. He also criticized the South Korean government for naming a submarine capable of carrying a submarine -launched ballistic missile ( SLBM ) as Dosan An Chang-ho. How can you write the name of Dosan, who missed Pyongyang, on a submarine built to attack North Korea?
“If Dosan’s life philosophy was sincerity , Lee Hye-ryeon’s was courage (courage).Courage , Susan An was persistence . My philosophy is accountability . When the day comes when Dosan’s history can be known in the hometown of Dosan, a unified Korean peninsula, I will fulfill my responsibility.”