Unification House: The Residence of Moon Ik-hwan
Reverend Moon Ik-hwan was a South Korean minister who was active in the Korean independence and democratization movements. After his best friend, Yun Dong-ju, passed away in prison immediately prior to liberation, and another friend, Jang Jun-ha, died under suspicious circumstances in 1975, Moon was imprisoned six times. He spent a total of 12 years in prison between 1976, beginning with the March 1 Declaration for the Salvation of the Nation, and his death at the age of 77. Throughout his life, he longed for the unification of the two Koreas. Located in a residential area in Suyu-ri, Gangbuk-gu, on the way to Insubong (Peak) of Bukhansan (Mountain), with a mountain range in the background, is the residence of Moon Ik-hwan, better known as “Unification House.” Reverend Moon’s wife and partner, Park Yong-gil, known as “Unification Lady,” also spent her life working for the unification of the two Koreas and the democratization of the country. She opened her home to anyone who wanted to meet and talk about unification. Built in the 1960s, the house was renovated in 1997 after some construction workers, having heard the house needed repairs after 30 years of use, collected donations and carried out the repairs themselves. However, since the Unification Lady passed away, the house has been largely neglected, with only the old household articles that were once used by Reverend Moon and his wife lying around the house. Among them are numerous documents and records, such as sermon notes, declarations, journal entries, letters from prison, and records left by his children after they visited him in prison, many of which have not been made public. Also, the prison uniform he wore during his imprisonment is still enshrined in the house.