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Dongui-danji-hoe (An Alliance of Cutting off Fingers)

From Autobiography of Ahn Eung-chil by Ahn Jung-geun

The Inaugural Declaration of Dongui-danji-hoe
Nowadays, we the Korean people have not found a solution for our crisis even though our nation is put under the desperately dangerous circumstances and our people are on the verge of annihilation. Some say they will have nothing special to do when things become favorable, while others say they would be able to rely on the assistance of foreign powers, but actually they are saying just nonsense. They are only interested in leading an idle life or are only requesting others to help them. Only when we the 20 million compatriots act with one heart and mind and are engaged in a life-and-death struggle can we recover our sovereignty and preserve our existence. But as our compatriots are only talking about patriotism and solidarity without having a burning heart and a single organization which we are anxious to have, we hereby organize a special alliance titled Dongui-danji-hoe. It is a small thing that each member of this alliance cuts off one finger, but more broadly it, first, is a symbolic gesture that we could dedicate our life to our country and, second, is an indicator that we would act with one mind and heart. Today, we are making a pledge by shedding blood under the fine weather and the blue sky. From now on, we should rectify our previous faults and act with one heart and mind. After we reach our goal without changing our mind in the process, we will be able to enjoy peace and joy forever.

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