General Baegya Kim Jwa-jin was born in 1889 (26th year of King Gojong's reign) as the second son of Kim Hyeong-gyo, the 12th grandson of Seonwon, Kim Sang-yong.
The general was described as a broad-minded and intelligent child. He even established the Homyeong School at the age of 18, training promising students and teaching modern academic disciplines. After the Gwangbok-dang (Liberation Group) incident, he was imprisoned for 3 years. Then he moved to Manchuria where he signed on the Muo Declaration of Independence, considered the prelude to the 1919 Independence Movement, with 39 other Korean representatives.
He organized a Bungnogunjeongseo in 1919 and was appointed as a general. He set up a military officer training camp (Sagwanyeonseongso) to train independence fighters. At the age of 31, he lured some 3,000 Japanese soldiers heading to Siberia for battle to Cheongsan-ri, Hwaryong-hyeon, and caused about 1,200 casualties over the course of 7 days. This was the Cheongsan-ri Battle, considered as the most monumental achievement in the independence movement period, that occurred on October 21, 1920.
He was appointed as the commander-in-chief after organizing Sinminbu with Kim Hyeok, Choi Ho and Na Jung-so in 1925. Then he organized the Korean Alliance with Kim Jong-jin and Yi Eul-gyu in 1929 and dedicated himself to educating and bettering the welfare of Korean Americans as the head of the organization. He allied with an anti-Japanese group in China to prepare for a war against Japanese Colonial Government, and while doing so, he was assassinated by Park Sang-sil incited by Japanese Colonial Government in front of a rice mill near he Sansa Station in Northern Manchuria on January 24, 1930.
The Hongseong-gun Office started a project in 1991 to restore the house where General Kim was born. As a result, the house, gate section, and sarangchae have been restored, and an administration office and an exhibition building have been built. Also, General Kim’ shrine was constructed on a 9,500m2 land from 1998 to 2001 and the construction involved the erection of three inner and outer gates and a memorial building and the establishment of a parking lot, etc. A festival is held every October to commemorate General Kim’s victory in the Cheongsanli Battle.
General Kim’s birthplace was where he was born and raised. Restoring this place started in 1991 and the construction was completed including a birthplace, a gate section house, a detached house, an administration office and an exhibition building.
This memorial stone describes about General Kim’s achievement who devoted his life to independence movement. It was constructed with the donation from Korea Young Mens’ Association Hongseong Corps in 1949. It was located at Namsan Park in Ogwanli, Hongseongeup, but was later moved to Paekya Park, which had been built behind Kim’s birthplace.
This statue articulates his manly mien as a general of independence army when he wiped out Japanese army in Cheongsanli battle when he was 31 years old. On the pedestal engraved with doves, a symbol of piece, a poem was written showing his pain that was severe enough to compare it with gut-wrenching pain that is compared with his achievement as a general.
Baekyasa is a shrine of General Kim Jwajin. It was a part of project restoring General Kim’s birthplace and surrounding area in 1991. A shrine number 1, a memorial service building, inside three gates, outside three gates and parking lot were newly constructed.
The building was named as ‘Waryongjae’ emphasizing that Kim practiced martial arts in Waryong creek. Commemorating his victory of Cheongsanli battle inWharyonghyun, China, inside-three gates was named as Cheongsan Gate and outside-three gates was named as Wharyong Gate. A memorial service had been held on December 25th of lunar calendar every year. However since 2004, the service has been held on October 25th, when Baekya festival is held celebrating General Kim’s victory.