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Emperor Kojong died suddenly and unexpectedly on January 21, 1919, at his residence at Tŏksu Palace(formerly Kyŏng-un Palace). The retired Korean emperor had shown no sign of any serious illness before he passed away. His sudden death immediately triggered rumors that he had been poisoned by the Japanese, and wall posters to that effect circulated throughout the city of Seoul. The national funeral for the deceased emperor was scheduled to take place on March 3, 1919. Indignant and grief-stricken at the story that their former emperor had been murdered by the Japanese, people began to congregate in front of Tŏksu Palace to mourn his death. It was this multitude who started peaceful, non-violent demonstrations in the streets of Seoul, touching off what is now known as the March First Movement in Korea, and ushering in a new era in the Korean nationalist movement. Incredibly, in spite of the widely circulated rumor that Emperor Kojong was poisoned by the Japanese, no serious report or investigation of the circumstances surrounding his death has ever been made, either in Korea or in Japan, from his death to the present day. Nor was there ever an autopsy of his dead body. With the poisoning story circulating so widely among the Korean people, it would have made common sense for the Japanese authorities to investigate Kojong’s death, if only to remove the cloud of suspicion hovering over them. But the Japanese Governor-General’s Office of Korea did absolutely nothing to answer any questions about Kojong’s sudden demise, nor has there ever been any other attempt, public or private, to look into his abrupt death. Instead, the death of Emperor Kojong has remained unresolved and shrouded in mystery, and has by now all but faded into oblivion in historical memories. Existing sources and new evidence, however, reveal a shocking story behind the sudden death of Emperor Kojong. An examination of the diary of Yun Ch’i-ho and the recently revealed diary of Kuratomi Yūzaburō(1853-1948), has led us to conclude that Emperor Kojong was indeed poisoned, and that, to our surprise, the highest Japanese government officials were implicated in this heinous crime. Yun Ch’i-ho’s diary provides a graphic depiction of how the Emperor died by poisoning. And then, in the diary of Kuratomi Yūzaburō, an existing ministry of the Japanese Imperial Household Office in 1919 , we find the statements that no lesser personalities than Terauchi Masatake, the prime minister of Japan till just four months prior to Kojong’s death, and Hasegawa Yoshimichi, the incumbent governor-general of Korea, may have been behind in the assassination of Emperor Kojong. To summarize the information culled from his diary, Kuratomi learned in late October and early November 1919 of statements that Emperor Kojong had been killed by poison; that Min Pyŏng-sŏk, Yun Tŏk-yŏng, and Song Pyŏng-jun may have been the culprits; and that Terauchi Masatake and Hasegawa Yoshimichi were alleged to have been implicated initiating this criminal act. Prime Minister Terauchi's suspicious actions against the Korean royal family had shawn up just after President Woodrow Wilson’s Fourteen Points Proposal for peace in Europe, which included a clause calling for “self-determination” of peoples under alien rule on January 8 1918.