Name: Hak Ja Han (pronounced with long a), sometimes written Hak Ja Han Moon. In Korean 한학자 (Han Hak-ja – the family name always comes first in Korean). Written in Chinese characters, the name is 韓鶴子. Many call her Mother Moon.
Born: 10th February 1943 (6th day of the first month according to the Oriental lunar calendar) in the village of Shineui in the district of Anju of South Pyeongan Province in Korea, now North Korea).
Married: 11th April 1960 to Sun Myung Moon. Together they realize the ideal of True Parents. They had 14 children together.
Memoirs: “Mother of Peace”
Dr. Hak Ja Han was born on 10th February 1943 (6th day of the first month according to the Oriental lunar calendar) in the village of Shineui in the district of Anju in present day North Korea. Her parents were committed Christians. She became an only child because her parents were separated due to political unrest.
When the communists took power in North Korea, the then five-year-old Hak Ja Han was imprisoned together with her mother for eleven days. To escape the bloody persecution of Christians, she fled in 1948 with her mother and grandmother, who both belonged to charismatic movements, to South Korea, where the three eventually settled in the city of Daegu. Her mother, Soon-ae Hong (1914-1989), met in March 1956 the then newly founded Unification Church, which she joined together with her daughter.
Hak Ja Han was trained as a nurse at a Catholic vocational school. On 11th April 1960 (16th day of the 3rd month according to the Oriental lunar calendar) she married Unification Church founder Sun Myung Moon (1920-2012).
Over the next 21 years, the couple had 14 children – seven girls and seven boys. Mother Moon, as she is fondly called by members, is now a grandmother with over 40 grandchildren and has also become a great-grandmother. In addition to taking care of all the children, she has always been involved in activities with her husband. This led to an extensive travel itinerary. In Sun Myung Moon‘s autobiography “As a Peace Loving Global Citizen”, he writes that she was always concerned about the children: “So great was her love for the children that she did not let a single day pass without writing and sending letters and postcards to the children when she was away from home and traveling with me to various places in the world on speaking tours” (translated from Korean version, pages 226-7).
After the family moved to the United States in 1972, she and her husband completed countless public appearances at conferences and festivals, seminars and Unification Movement events. She also spent considerable time with her husband and other family members in nature – salmon fishing in Alaska and trips to the South American Pantanal wetlands. Both she and her husband were very concerned with green issues and the environmental crisis, which is described in detail in “As a Peace Loving Global Citizen” (pages 307-311).
Hak Ja Han became the first president of the Women’s Federation for World Peace, a women’s movement she and her husband founded in April 1992 in Seoul.
From that year, she embarked on several speaking tours. She gave public speeches in more than 100 countries all over the world. In 1993, she spoke at the UN building in New York and at the Capitol, seat of the US Congress, in Washington DC. During a visit to Bejing, a meeting was arranged with the son of Chinese President Deng Xiaoping to promote a charity project. Hak Ja Han received much media attention when she spoke with former US President George W. Bush and his wife Barbara at peace events in September 1995 in Tokyo and other cities in Japan.
Hak Ja Han holds several positions. She is co-founder of the Family Federation for World Peace and Unification and the Universal Peace Federation – just to name a few.
She has been awarded many honorary doctorates.
After her husband’s death in 2012, she has only continued her lifelong efforts to build a kingdom of heaven here on earth, a peaceful world based on harmonious families and individuals. She has also launched notable new initiatives such as the founding of the Sunhak Peace Prize.
She is particularly interested in the reunification of the Korean peninsula, and in recent years took the initiative to large rallies for peace in the largest South Korean cities as well as speaking at large peace meetings with over 10,000 participants in major cities around the world, including Vienna, New York, Sao Paulo, Tokyo, Bangkok, Busan, Osaka and Nagoya.
Hak Ja Han is perhaps best known for the large mass weddings which she and her husband officiated for many years. After he passed away in 2012, she has continued with such large weddings every single year.
Together with her husband Sun Myung Moon, Hak Ja Han holds the title “True Parents“.
Her name is sometimes written Hak Ja Han Moon, especially in the Western world. In South Korea, women do not take the husband’s name when marrying, but in Western countries “Moon” is often added after her name to make it clear that she is Sun Myung Moon‘s wife. In Korean writing, the name is 한학자 – Han Hak-ja. The family name always comes first. The family name Han is pronounced with a long a. Hak Ja are the two first names, sometimes written Hak-ja, pronounced with short a’s.