Korean National Association (Kook Min Hur)

The endowment for the Korean National Association/Kook Min Hur scholarship was established in memory of the sacrifices made by the many patriots of the Korean National Association, or Kook Min Hur (Kungminhoe). The Korean National Association was established in Hawai‘i conjointly with the KNA in San Francisco, California, in 1909 for the purpose of uniting all Koreans in the United States in a common cause. The establishment of the KNA was motivated by the desire to liberate Korea from occupation by Japan, imposed beginning in 1905, and to protest against the deposing of King Kojong in 1907.


KNA leaders 1909

Korean National Association leaders in 1909


The KNA in Hawai‘i was composed primarily of Korean sugar-plantation workers, who sacrificed much of their meager wages to support the Korean liberation movement. At the same time, the KNA broadened its goals to support the needs of the Koreans in Hawai‘i and expanding the educational opportunities of the children.

Crucial to the Korean liberation movement was the establishment and support of the Korean Military Brigade in Hawai‘i and some military training programs in California. The training programs in Hawai‘i were led by General Pak Young Man. The contributions from the sugar-plantation workers and projects carried on under the auspices of the KNA supported the liberation movement.

In 1912 it was agreed by all chapters of the KNA that the headquarters would be in San Francisco, and the organization would be named the Dae Hanin Kook Min Hur. The decision was made because California was seen as a gateway from Asia to America's capital, Washington, D.C. The Dae Hanin Kook Min Hur was led by Ahn Chang Ho, the renowned patriot of all Koreans to this day, The vice-president was General Pak Young Man. Along with these men who were recognized leaders of the Korean National Association were the KNA women members who sustained the movement to liberate Korea.


Center for Korean Studies | University of Hawai'i at Manoa | 1881 East-West Road | Honolulu, Hawai'i 96822