TUE, JUNE 25, 2024
The 37th Jiyong Festival (지용제) : commemorate the poet Jeong Ji-yong at his birthplace in Okcheon-gun (옥천군)
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The 37th Jiyong Festival (지용제) : commemorate the poet Jeong Ji-yong at his birthplace in Okcheon-gun (옥천군)
  • weekly, walkintoKorea
  • 승인 2024.05.21 11:49
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The Jiyong Festival is a local festival honoring Jeong Ji-yong, a representative poet of Okcheon-gun, North Chungcheong Province. The festival was held for 3 days and 2 nights starting on the 17th at the poet's birthplace in Okcheon-gun.

Born in 1905,  Jeong Ji-yong (also known by the name Francis) attended Okcheon Public Elementary School and Whimoon High School before studying abroad at the Department of English Literature at Doshisha University in Kyoto, Japan in 1923. From his return to Korea in 1929 until liberation in 1945,  Jeong Ji-yong worked as an English teacher at Whimoon High School. He also participated as a member of 《Poetry and Literature》 founded by Kim Young-rang and Park Yong-cheol, and as an editorial advisor to 《Catholic Youth》.

During the Korean War in 1950,  Jeong Ji-yong could not escape and remained in Seoul. There were a lot of rumors that Jeong Ji-yong voluntarily defected to North Korea, or he was kidnapped by the North Korean army. However, there are no records showing whether he was alive or dead, or where he was during or after the war.

After the ceasefire, Jeong Ji-yong was defined as a “communist” by the government who voluntarily defected to North Korea and imposed restrictions on his literary works. However, the ban on Jeong’s works was lifted in 1988, after the introduction of the direct presidential system.

Up to now, the claim that Jeong Ji-yong went to North Korea has been declined, showing he always put effort into creating pure poetry.

 


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