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Yun Dong-ju
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    (December 30, 1917-February 16, 1945)
    Born in Longjing, Jilin, China
    Korean resistance poet
    Best known for his poem 'One Night I Count the Stars'
    Graduated from Yeonhui Technical School (later Yonsei University), in Dec. 1941
    Arrested as a 'thought criminal' by the Japanese Imperial police (Jul. 14, 1943)
    Sentenced to two years of prison on the charge of collaborating with the Korean independence movement; was sent to a labor camp in Fukouka, where he eventually died
    Work was published posthumously as 'The Heavens and the Wind and the Stars and Poetry,' later titled 'Sky, Wind, Star, and Poem' (January, 1948)
    Other poems include 'Snow,' 'Confessions,' 'Spring,' 'Prologue,' 'A Single Candle,' 'Life and Death,' 'On the Street,' 'Blue Sky,' 'The Southern Sky,' 'Chicks,' 'Doves,' 'The Sea,' 'The Sunny Spot,' and 'The Poem That Came Easily'
    Honored with the Yun Dong-ju Literature House, featuring exhibits of his personal items and handwritten manuscripts (constructed in 2009)
    Portrayed by Kang Ha-Neul in Jooni-ik Lee's Korean biopic, 'DongJu: The Portrait of a Poet' (2016)
    He wanted his pen name to be 'Intouchu.'
    He titled one of his poems 'The Bed-Wetter's Map.'
    He was born in - and spent his formative years in - Manchuria, but has become a literary icon among Koreans.
    He frustrated his father by choosing to study English literature in college instead of medicine.
    A set of 19 poems he submitted for consideration to a publisher was rejected.
    The careful lyricism of his poetry is very specific to his own language and thus tends to suffer in translations from the original Korean.
    His life made for a glossy biopic starring a would-be K-Pop teen idol (even though the movie proved to be the surprise hit of the season).
    He was the eldest of four sons.
    He was born to a family of exiles who had fled to Manchuria to escape Japanese Imperialist rule in Korea.
    He was writing poetry as early as the age of twelve.
    He regularly volunteered to teach children in church schools.
    He was erudite, holding an extensive library of some 800 volumes by the time he was a senior at Yon-hee.
    He was heavily influenced by Kierkegaard, Dostoyevsky, Gide, Cocteau Baudelaire, Valery, and Rilke.
    His poetry reflects an eclectic range of emotions associated with life under colonial rule (hope, longing, fear, shame, loneliness, self-introspection).
    His association with other students either involved or sympathetic to the Korean Resistance movement led him to be placed under surveillance by the Japanese government.
    He was arrested by the Japanese police while preparing to leave the university for the summer (his cousin, who attended Kyoto University, was also arrested).
    The nature of his death will never be fully known, but circumstantial evidence suggests that he was subjected to the infamous chemical experiments conducted on detainees in Japanese reeducation camps.
    He died less than six months before Korea's liberation from Japan. Although his confiscated manuscripts were destroyed, his brother and a schoolmate had meticulously preserved copies of his poems, which they eventually succeeded in getting published.
    He is the namesake for an endowment from Yonsei University, the Yun Dong-ju Poetry Prize (Nov. 1968).
    A Korean survey, conducted in 1986, recognized him as ‘the most popular poet among the youth.'

Credit: BoyWiththeGreenHair

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