Ahn wrote this essay with a pencil at prison at 2:30 p.m. on Nov. 6, 1909. The Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs rewrote it for a
clean copy and submitted it to the superior authority.
Thoughts of Ahn Eung-chil, the Korean
Heaven begot humans and all have become brothers and sisters. It is a fair-minded feeling that we love freedom and life and detest death. Nowadays, the people around the world say – without doubt – that we are living in the age of civilization, but I alone lament that we are actually not. As I understand it, civilization is something in which both the people of the East and the West alike, the wise and the stupid, and men and women of all ages would preserve their heaven-granted innate nature, respect morality and enjoy their own career, peace and prosperity in their respective land without being in conflict with each other. Today’s world, however, falls far short of the expectation, as the so-called civilized people in high society compete each other when they are supposed to discuss freely, and develop the life-threatening lethal machine when they have to conduct research. It is highly deplorable that, as a result, we see every day the smokes from cannons and the raining bullets in the six continents in the East and the West. When it comes to the circumstances of East Asia, it is too terrible to record. As Hirobumi Ito is indifferent to the general situation under heaven and is mapping out ferocious policies on his own volition, the entire East Asia is now destined to head into collapse. Alas, it is by no means right that many young people being worried about the international situations are just looking on with folded arms without any plan, waiting for death. Therefore, after much thought, I have decided to reawaken the youth of East Asia by showing them the crimes of the old devil, Ito by shooting him in front of all people.