The Daejonggyo movement, which honors Dangun as the founder and ancestor of Korea, sprang up in the late 19th century and was devoted to Dangun and to the Hongik Ingan ideal. Intensely patriotic, the followers provided many members of the Independence movement and signatories of the March 1st 1919 Declaration.
Hongik Ingan was an especially powerful motivating idea for the independence movement under Japanese colonialism, from 1910 to 1945, and for the founders of the Republic of Korea in 1948. Kim Gu, the independence movement leader in Shanghai, expressed it this way when he said: “I wish my nation would be a nation that doesn’t just imitate others, but rather it be a nation that is the source of a new and higher culture … And thus true world peace could come from our nation. I wish peace would be achieved in our nation and from there to the world. I believe that that is the Hongik Ingan ideal of our national ancestor Dangun.”
After the Republic of Korea was established, the Basic Education Law of 1949, in its preamble, made Hongik Ingan the foundational principle for the whole educational curriculum. Raising the young to live for the greater benefit of humanity became the motivating vision for the whole educational system