Dosan's Way to Leadership: Love Yourself Love Others. The Korean characters in the upper right corner of this webpage are Dosan's calligraphy and is the Korean title of this book. This book is based on Dosan's philosophy and democratic service style of leadership in Korean social and political reform. Dosan's Independence Movement activities to free Korea from Japanese imperialism provide the backdrop to his leadership in action. John Cha (the author of Willow Tree Shade the biography of Dosan's daughter Susan Ahn Cuddy) translated this book into English. This version was edited by Dosan's granddaughter Christine Cuddy and his grandson Philip Cuddy. It is by far the best book about Dosan's leadership philiosophy available in English.
DOSAN AHN CHANG HO 1878-1938
This website is dedicated to a remarkable human being named Ahn Chang Ho. He is one of Korea's most patriotic and respected historical figures. His philosophy and life are good examples of serving people as a true leader. Dosan is his pen name and well known to all Koreans. He chose it seeing Hawaii for the first time from the ship he was traveling on from Korea on his first journey to America in 1902 . "Dosan" means "island mountain". Dosan realized he was going to be on his own like an island and had to rise up strong like a mountain to lead Korea to become a modern democratic independent nation. read more
Helen Ahnis Dosan's wife. Her Korean name is Yi Hye Ryon. She came to America with Dosan in 1902. They were the first married couple to come to America from Korea. Her contribution to the Pioneer Korean community in America and her sacrifices for the Independence Movement and Korean people are more important than many people understand. Without her solid support Dosan could not have been as effective of a leader as he was. She was the center of the early Pioneer Generation community for many years. Her life was extremely difficult, but, she never gave up her love for Dosan and for Korea. Her story deserves more recognition. read more
Helen Ahn Riverside, CA 1911
Dosan’s Understanding of LEADERSHIP
According to Dosan's teachings the development and support of a true leader was undoubtedly one of the most significant factors in an organization. A leader had to possess a sincere and respectable character to be a good influence on others; and, he had to display ideals he believed in by way of his own actions. In order to save Korea from Japan, Dosan believed this type of leader was the one who could lead the nation one step closer to its independence.
Starting from the Shinmin-hoe (New People’s Association) era (1906-1911) Dosan had the consistent commitment to developing capable individuals for leadership. Developing the Korean nation's future leaders can be interpreted as one of his key hopes and strategic approaches to gain independence. The role of sound leadership was the most essential component in unifying the Independence Movement forces to fight the Japanese.
Dosan did not consider a leader as one who only possessed a superior ability or a special talent. A good leader was the product of a society that demanded combining such efforts with sincerity, dedication and integrity. According to him, the leader was there because of a realistic necessity of the organization.
Furthermore, he said that there was no absolute standard to become a leader. A person could become a leader when one displayed dedicated sacrifice and sincere effort for the sake of the organization more than others did. Dosan criticized the jealous attitude of not acknowledging a leader and the arrogant behavior of not accepting a leader. He considered these two circumstances the worst hindrances for leaders in doing their jobs appropriately.
Dosan said: "Thinking there is no one with the right qualification to be a leader means the same as not understanding the principle of cooperation and not wanting to support the leader themselves". Anyone’s self-serving interests, personal relationships, acts of favoritism, or self-serving political reasons should not be of any influence when it came to electing the leader for the organization. Each member of the organization should select their leader based on cautious observation and not an opinion based on incomplete information. "Do not unmindfully put someone in the position of a leader. After carefully inspecting their central concern and real character, after accepting their quality as a leader based on examination of performance, not based on something that is believed to be true without proof, select the most capable leader."
Dosan’s Qualities as a Leader
Practice What You Preach
Ability to Delegate
Sense of humor
Ability to Inspire
The Hung Sa Dan - Young Korean Academy celebrated its 100th Anniversary May 13, 2013
Photo of 1916 Hung Sa Dan taken at the 4th Annual Meeting held at the headquarters in Los Angeles at 106 North Figueroa which is in Bunker Hill area.
One of Dosan's biggest dreams was the Hung Sa Dan also known as the Young Korean Academy. He created this organization with a group of Korean patriots and intellectuals who represented each of the eight provinces of Korea. This organization was officially launched on May 13, 1913 in the city of San Francisco. The headquarters moved to Los Angeles and then to Seoul. It still exists today with many branches in Korea and in major cities in the United States.
The Hung Sa Dan - Young Korean Academy was created to build young people of good mind, good spirit and good health. It was a plan to develop young people with good character. These people were to build a network of trust and sincerity in all they would do. The result of this program was to have quality people capable of becoming leaders of the Korean nation once it was freed from the Japanese occupation. This group was going to be the foundation for the new independent democratic nation of Korea.
Hung Sa Dan Flag designed by Dosan.
Dosan Inducted to International Civil Rights Walk of Fame January 6, 2012
The Trumpet Awards Foundation selected Dosan Ahn Chang Ho as a 2012 Inductee to the International Civil Rights Walk of Fame in Atlanta, Georgia. The ceremony took place at Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historic Site on January 6th, 2102. Dosan is the first Asian from the Far East to be inducted. He is being recognized for his contributions to improve society throughout his life by fighting for human and civil rights during the end of Choson Dynasty Korean feudalism and the Japanese Occupation of Korea in the early 20th century. His efforts reflect the same spirit as Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Gandhi. There are many great humanitarians recognized at the Walk of Fame for their fight for justice and equality for all.
At a young age, Dosan realized weak and corrupt Korean feudalism desperately needed to reform to modernize and evolve with the Western world. Japan stole the opportunity to modernize Koreans out of Dosan's democratic hands. Dosan whole heartedly fought the Japanese to keep these imperialists from obliterating Korea from the face of the earth. He sacrificed the family he left in America for his homeland. He gave up his freedom to save his people. He was arrested and held in Japanese prisons at least six different times. Aster his 1932 arrest, he spent four years in Taejon Prison for violating Japan's Preservation of Peace Law. He stayed true to the causes of democracy, human rights, women's rights, quality education, and fair labor forging Korea's destiny to become a powerful independent nation of patriotic citizens. The countless painful experiences he endured as a prisoner and the stressful life of a freedom fighter in exile cut his life short. He ultimately gave his life for Korea never wavering in his commitment to serve his people.Without a doubt, Dosan's story is worth knowing.
Dosan.org is published by Dosan's grandson Philip Cuddy and Dosan's eldest daughter Susan Ahn Cuddy. This website presents the opinion of its creators and selected contributors.There is no connection to or contribution from or cooperation with the Dosan Memorial Foundation, the Hung Sa Dan or any organization using Dosan's legacy. There is no representation of the other Ahn family member's opinions or contribution from them. The information represents what we believe is the truth.
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