The Institute for Research in Collaboration Activities (IRCA) has revealed an article in the March 31, 1939 edition of the Manshu Shimbun, a Japanese-language newspaper printed in the Japanese puppet state of Manchukuo, that told that tale of a young, 23-year-old elementary school teacher in Mungyeong, Gyeongsangbuk-do, Korea named Park Chung-hee, who — despite being too old — applied to become an officer in the Manchukuo army, sending with his application an oath of loyalty written in his own blood.

Heartwarming stuff.

Unfortunately for Park, his application was rejected. But fault him not for a lack of perseverance — in April 1940, he managed to get into the Manchukuo army academy, graduating with honors in 1942 and receiving as a gift from Manchukuo emperor Puyi. With his good grades, he entered the Japanese army academy in 1942, graduating in 1944. In December of 1944, he became a reserve second lieutenant in the Japanese army and, simultaneously, an infantry second lieutenant in the Manchukuo army. In July 1945, he was promoted to a first lieutenant in the Manchukuo army.

I’m not sure if it’s still the case today, but back when I lived in Mungyeong, the small house in which Park lived when he was a teacher was used as a memorial. In it, it said Park used to privately curse the Japanese to his students. Funny how that works.

Sorry… just love this poster.