Stamp folder with 2007 Yi Jun stamp sheet shows up

Stamp Sheets

On a recent visit to the Yi Jun Peace Museum in The Hague (The Netherlands) something unknown showed up: a presentation folder of the 2007 stamps commemorating the centenary of the unfortunate death of Yi Jun in The Hague in 1907, a subject written about before in Korean Philately magazine.

The stamp is known quite well. Also, the booklet with the 2007 Yi Jun stamp was also known already, Stewart Steres wrote about it before. And it was known of course that the stamp had been published in a sheet. The stamp (sheet) folder for this stamp had not been shown before however. Here it is:

Front of stamp folder. Note that the scans are (originally) approx. A4 size each, the total folder is approx. a double-sided A3 in size.
Text on the left inside of the folder.

The (English) text inside the folder reads:

“A truly great country is not one with extensive territory nor population. Even though its territory and population may be small, a country with great people becomes a great country. A great person. for the sake of his mother country, becomes the blood of his country’s life.” — Patriot Lee Chun

The Eulsa Treaty signed in 1905 under Japan’s coercion put Taehan Cheguk (the Empire of Korea) into the crisis of losing its national sovereignty and diplomatic privileges. Faced with this crisis, Korean Emperor Gojong dispatched in secret a cadre of special envoys made up of Lee Sang-Sol, Lee Chun, and Lee Wi-Jong to the Second Hague Peace Conference being held in The Hague. Netherlands in June 1907. Their mission was to engage in diplomatic activities aimed at appealing to the world’s great powers to invalidate the Eulsa Treaty and restore Taehan Cheguk’s national sovereignty.

Carrying Emperor Kojong’s credentials and secret messages, the suite of special convoys arrived at The Hague after two months of journey via Russia. At The Hague, they sent letters to the delegation of each country attending the Conference to elicit support to allow their participation in the Peace Conference. They also strived, through open speeches and media broadcasting, to inform the international community of the wretched situation that Korea was in.

After Japan’s interruptions stifled their plan, Lee Chun died in a fit of anger while Lee Sang-Sol and Lee Yi-Jong toured Europe, continuing to conduct diplomatic activities aimed at recovering Korea’s national sovereignty. In commemoration of the centennial anniversary of the dispatch of the special envoys to The Hague, a new stamp featuring “The Hague envoys and Emperor Kojong’s letter of proxy” is issued. The sublime spirit of these envoys who fought for their mother country’s independence and peace in faraway lands should be forever remembered.

The actual stamp sheet from the series, right hand inside page of folder.
Back of folder.

In the Yi Jun Peace Museum there is this seen, showing a bust of Yi Jun, with the famous photo of the three delegates in the background:

Inside the Yi Jun Peace Museum.

The stamp folder and the booklet both contain parts of this particular document as background:

Letter given to Yi Jun by Emperor Gojong in 1907. It shows that Gojong wanted to be included in the conference, separately from the Japanese empire which wanted to be the official representation of Korea as well.
The stamps in the booklet as shown in the earlier article by Stewart Steres.

The stamp also featured on the magazine of the Philatelic Federation of Korea

June 2007 edition of Woopyo magazine.

Yi Jun Peace Museum in the Hague

For more information on what happened in the Hague in 1907 have a look at the website of the Yi Jun Peace Museum or even better, simply go there yourself! While there you can get a lot of information including books etc. but also flyers in several languages:

Brochures issued by the Yi Jun Peace Museum, Korean language version to the left, Dutch to the right. Other languages are also available of course.

The building itself featured on stamps too, as a matter of fact as recently as 2018:

Stamp from KPC3331-3334 series showing the building in the Hague.

It is not just the Republic of Korea which remembers Yi Jun. He is remembered well in both the northern and the southern part of the peninsula. Here is the stamp release from 2007 as issued in the DPRK:

North Korean stamp KSC4496. The text accompanying this stamp is a bit overdone and historically inaccurate: “Martyr Ri Jun disemboweling himself to offer resistance to the Japanese annexation of Korea at Hague Universal Peace Conference in 1907.”

With gratitude to Lee Kee Hang and Song Chang Joo, chairman and director of the Yi Jun Peace Museum, for donating the stamp sheet folder.

Tagged
KSS Korea Philately Editor
One of the earliest positions of the KSS. The position of editor of KP is, and has always been, the mainstay of the KSS.

1 thought on “Stamp folder with 2007 Yi Jun stamp sheet shows up

  1. Silly, forgot to include the new issue leaflet for this issue, here it is:

    And just to make this complete, here is the “official” image from KoreaPost showing the sheet:

    Notice it is the top left corner of the complete printing sheet in the image, while the stamp folder given to us has the lower right sheet in the printing sheet.

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