Manhae Han Yong-un(1879-1944) was a 20th century korean Buddhist Reformer
and poet. Manhae was his religious name(buddhist name), which he also used as a
nom de plume; his birth name was Han Yong-un(Korean: 한용운 or 韓龍雲 also written
Manhae was born in southern Chungcheong province South Korea. Prior to
being ordained as a buddhist monk, he was involved in resistance to Japanese
influence in the country, which culminated in the Japanese occupation from
1905-1945. The same year the occupation began, 1905, Manhae was ordained as a
Buddhist monk at Baekdamsa temple on Mt. Seorak.
As a social writer, Manhae called for the reformer of Korean Buddhism.
Manhae's poetry dealth with both nationalism and love, one of his more political
collections was Nimui Chimmuk(님의 침묵), published in 1926. These works revolve
around the ideas of equality and freedom, and helped inspire the tendencies
toward passive resistance and non-vilence in korean independence movement.
Han Yong-un was one of the 33 members who in 1919 signed the historical
document as a representative of the people to declare Korea's independence from
the Japanese colonial control of Korea. His poems mainly concern his
philosophical meditation on nature and the mystery of human experience.