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Japanese Colonization Of Korea

The Koreans encountered societal and political pressure in colonial and post colonial era. They made many efforts in struggle to hold and maintain their identity against the pressures. Their target was to enhance their assimilation. The Koreans resisted against the assimilation, and tried as much as they could to maintain their identity. Although the Koreans were the target of the Japanese emperor long even before colonization, the Japanese treated the Koreans as if they had already conquered them.

Although the social and political identity of Koreans was almost similar to the Japanese, the Koreans made a stand to maintain their identity and refused the Japanese citizenship. The Japanese and their subjects enjoyed similar status, but the Japanese Government discriminated the Koreans to an extent they were not allowed to organize or unite as intellectual or political organizations. This was continually practiced by the Japanese government until in 1921.

The Koreans had no right to public Korean newspaper rather, they were expected to use the Japanese newspapers. Despite how much the Koreans protested, against the issue of assimilation, their attempts were discouraged. This was to an extent of worshiping which was specifically done on Shinto shrines, was made a mandatory act, and this denied the choice of worship. The Koreans youth were also enlisted as volunteers in the Japanese army, to fight China in the second SinoJapanese war, which reorganized the economy and required total Korean assimilation in Japan.

Although large economic investments such as industries and specifically in the agricultural and manufacturing sector continued to develop making significant changes in the Korean economy, the industries were largely owned by Japanese, and the Koreans have very little benefit from the economic development. The industries were entirely owned by Japanese corporations. The total capital invested in Korean industries mainly constituted the Japanese, and the Koreans had less than 2% of their capital in the Industries.

Any Korean entrepreneur who attempted to involve in business and enterprises, faced problems because the interested rate that was charged in such entrepreneurs were required to pay a rate that was about 25% higher the Japanese, a factor that limited the Korean participation in businesses. The Koreans were used by the Japanese to farm and produce agricultural products such as rice. The production of rice increased greatly causing subsequent exportation. The exportation limited the Koreans rice consumption so as to increase the total export (Weingartner 1992).

The Koreans had a traditional intellectual culture, but under the rule of Japanese, these traditional intellectual influences were greatly displaced by the Western culture and the Koreans were expected to abandon their identity and conform to the changes. The literary forms and western ideas dominated in Korea although some of the writers emphasized national independence and social protest, themes, their literary trends, was based on European, and Japanese models. During 1920s and 1930s, literature development began to be influenced by the socialist ideas.

This resulted to establishment of Korean organization which opposed the contemporary writers, but the organization did not move far before, the Japanese authorities suppressed them. Japanese government made policies which required the Koreans to fully assimilate, requiring all Koreans to use the Japanese language, while speaking, and also to completely abandon the complete Korean identity and pick up the Japanese identity because they are Japanese subjects. This was to be practiced in all social institution including schools where the instructions were supposed to be given Japanese.

The Korean students were restricted from speaking Korean whether inside the school, outside or at home. Effects of Japanese colonial era on Korean schools education The Korean schools were negatively influenced by the colonial era. The Japanese government ordered speaking of the Japanese language in Korean students, and use of the language by the instructors as they give instructions. Learning became rough for the Korean students, as they tried to adopt and learn the new language. The education in Korea took an imperial form, and was used to form imperial citizens.

The education was used as a tool of enhancing assimilation. Theoretically one can think the Japanese were very considerate as they provided the materials necessary in teaching the Korean language and culture, but the main issue was that very little was taught concerning the Korean culture, language or other aspect of the Korean country which needed to be taught in schools. Instead, the teachers and instructors were ordered to provide knowledge regarding to the Japanese Empire, in issues related to its history including the Emperor powers.

The Japanese Emperor is actually the constitution and the students were given thorough information regarding the Emperor. The students were taught about the Japanese heavenly sovereign which the colonial government expected the Korean students to glorify despite the fact that they had nothing to do with the Japanese history. Besides class work, all Korean students had a mandatory worship sessions in the timetable, which ensured that all the Korean students worshiped at Japanese shrines.

The student had no rights to protest, and each Korean student was expected to adhere to the worship regardless of their religious beliefs. This means that, as long as the student could attend school classes, the worship was inevitable and for the Korean student progress in education the Japanese Shinto shrine worship was compulsory. Every Korean student in the school was forced to be loyal to the Japanese Empire. This was a necessity for all students, and a routine swearing of loyalty oath was carried out to ensure that all Korean students adhered to the policy.

The Japanese had a greater Asian co-prosperity sphere policy, which was created by the Japan’s military and government and according to the Japanese literature, the policy demonstrated their desire to have an Asian bloc which would be sufficient by its own without the involvement of Western powers. All the Korean student were ordered to show their support to the policy. The Korean students were usually threatened and intimidated by the Japanese. The Japanese could make prompt supervisory visits to the various Korean Schools to check on the teaching progammes and the progress of the education.

Although this may seem to show the concern the Japanese had towards the education of the Koreans, this is not the case. The visits facilitated determination of assimilation progress, and to ensure that the Korean students used the Japanese language and adhered to either Japanese policies. (Kang 2001 ). The visits made the students to continually observe the rules and regulation because of the fear, that the Japanese may make surprise visit and get them unaware. This had greater force and strength in converting the Koreans to the Japanese culture because its ability to degrade the Korean identity was great.

The schools were classified as high schools, middle schools and elementary schools. The teachers in all the schools were ordered to always dress in military uniforms and to always arm themselves with military swords. This had great impact in the Korean student’s response towards the Japanese rules, regulations and policies, because of their intimidation to had. They made the Korean students fear, and obey without questioning because they associated the teachers with military armies. The military-like swords, had a continued intimidation enforcement and facilitated in reducing the Korean identity while promoting the Japanese dominances.

Initially the Korean schools offered Korean language as elective to the students, and the Japanese language being the common language both in class, and outside the class, as a sole communication language. The policy worked for some time, but later the Japanese colonial government restricted the use of the Korean language in school, and introduced a new policy which involved penalizing the students who disobeyed the policy. The penalty was usually based on academic and it took a short time before the use of Korean language was completely prohibited in the schools and other public and social institutions.

During the colonial period a lot of education and school facts and issues in Korea were transformed to conform and tally to those that were used in Japan. Among these is the term citizen schools which was introduced in Korea to refer to the elementary school. The Korean hated the Japanese culture especially during 1980s. The Koreans detected Japanese products and culture, and the country generally forced the citizens to hold a high degree of hatred to the Japanese culture. This was enabled y the regular teachings which were made in Korea showing the faults which Japanese had committed during their colonization.

Generally, what we can use to cover all this is the term anti-Japanese sentiments because the Koreans had hated for the Japanese, and all the Japanese products and culture. They neither bought the products nor consumed the products processed or manufactured by the Japanese. The Anti-Japanese sentiments were largely based on the anti-human behavior of the Japanese during the colonization period, the Japanese government animosity towards, the Koreans. The government discriminated the Koreans,and degraded their humanity. They treated Koreans are animals who lead no right to own, or who had no freedom to speak, relate to even more around.

The memories from those who experienced the torture, and the teachings about the Japanese animosity which is usually passed from a generation to another had making the hatred to move with the generation especially in Korea. The Korean hated the Japanese culture because the Japanese culture had evolved a lot to incorporate the Western culture. Japan had borrowed a lot of Western culture, which had greatly diluted their original culture, and because the Koreans had nothing to do with the Western culture, they could not accept the Japanese culture. The Japanese adopted the Western culture as they had plans to the west.

This was because Japan was industrialized and they thought the fact that they were industrialized and had imperial power, they could be readily accepted by the west. However, this was not the case, the west did not accept Japanese, and this had greater impact because they increased the assimilation rate and carried out the integration in a more complicated way. This meant that similar impacts were felt by the Koreans because they were the Japanese colonial subject. The Korean could not accept the Japanese culture because they viewed the Japanese culture with disdain.

The Japanese were criticized by the Koreans. This was usually directed to the Junichiro Korzumi who had served Japan as a prime minister, and who used to go to the Yasukuni shrine annually to pay his respects to the war dead. The shrine is known to enshrine very many heroes who lost their lives during their loyal participation in the second world war. Many books have been written showing the Japanese actions against Korean. They blame the Japanese for engaging in pirate raids and invade their land. As if the invasion was not a deal, the Japanese took control over Korean and abolished the Korean identity.

They taught the Korean their culture and made the Korean to abandon their education systems against their will. Japanese denial about their fault in Korea The Japanese deny their fault in Korea. They argue that they did not create their Emperor from Korea, but their Shinto gods have power to give the Empire, and that its these gods who gave the Empire. They also argue hat although the Korean suffered under Japanese, they also suffered from the Manchu and Chinese. In this case, they defend themselves on the basis that they were not the sole causes of the Korean suffering and so they should not be blamed alone.

They think that they equally participated to some Korean achievement and they also provided vital assistances to the Korea. Their involvement on Korea, enhanced civilization of the People and not mere sufferings. The Japanese government has tried to cover up many of their deeds to the Koreans to avoid the criticism which they are likely to get internationally. The Japanese government has gone to an extent of denying the fact that their soldiers did not sexually assault the Korean females. They claim that the soldiers gone to carry out human tests in Korea.

This is just a claim to get a cover, because the Korean and Japanese history books could show evidences but currently it is hard to get such information from Japanese history books because the Japanese ministry of education, science and culture had put guidelines that have enabled revision of these history books. The revision has used a safer language to show a less aggression of Japanese in the second world war, and to show an outraged inspiration of Japanese in Korea and other Asian countries. The Japanese have completely stood to deny their fault in Korea, despite the disturbing testimonies which still exists.

For example the Japanese government has completely denied the fact that they killed and buried innocent Koreans who were used as test subject, despite the fact that very many bodies could easily be evidenced below some Japanese buildings. The denial and alteration of the existing evidences, have caused difficulties in trying to analyze, and assess the involvement and oppression of the Koreans. Recently Korea has undergone globalization and the economic of the country a factor that has made the Korean to change their hatred attitude for Japanese.

Currently they only hate the history which reminds them about their past sufferings under the Japanese colonization. Currently globalization has made the two countries to unite and participate in trade, and the Korea can buy commodities from Japan. (Befu and Sylvie 2001). The western culture influence in Japan has enabled Japanese to continually produce commodities which are unique in Asia, and since these commodities are not manufactured in Korea becomes a chief market for the Japanese commodities.

The Westernization in Japan has improved the living standards of the Japanese, a factor that has enabled the Japanese to create a room for more skills and technologies from west, which has enabled the manufacturing of great machines, cars and the general transformation of their culture. These manufactured machines and cars are mainly used by the Koreans. The exportation and importation of these goods has the hatred that existed to diminish the Koreans to actively involved in manufacturing commodities. (Wagner and Edwar 1999 ).

This has been influenced greatly by the admiration of the strongly growing economy of the Japanese, technology, and the continued Japanese social achievements. The commodities manufactured by Korea, have a chief market in Japan. Despite the past prejudices that existed among the Koreans regarding to the Japanese, currently a strong social and economic relationship exists between the two countries, young individuals from Japan and south Korea can freely interact socially through social visits as well as academic interaction.

Young learners can make learning visits in either of the countries. Relationship between Korean historical identity and Japanese colonial era. Ethnically groups need not to be in conflicts with each other. Instead the groups need each other to enhance a better definition. Japan has been one of such groups that has facilitated defining of the Korean identity. Although Koreans hold hostile attitudes towards the Japanese hostility towards them. This means the two countries had hostility towards each other always Koreans were responding against the Japanese hostility.

The assimilation policies initiated by the Japanese during the colonial era, targeted at making the Koreans their colonial subjects. The Koreans were subjected to very harsh living condition which degraded their humanity and violated their rights. The Japanese during the colonial era, targeted at making the Koreans their colonial subjects. The Koreans were subjected to very harsh living condition which degraded their humanity and violated their rights. The Japanese went to an extent of forcing the Koreans to adopt Chinese names and family.

This targeted at limiting the Korean national identity expression and to gain total control over the Korean people. This experience facilitated the Korean desire to maintain culture. Search for cultural essence between the two countries meant contradiction between the two countries. As the Korean needed cultural distinction, the Japanese tried to show their uniqueness. The Korean identity was quite natural unlike the Japanese needed the western culture to enhance its better definition. The fact here is that both Japanese and Koreans required another group for better definition.

Without the Japanese, colonial era, the Koreans better definition could not have taken the best course, and without the Korean identity and western culture the Japanese could also not have got the better identity. Koreans perception Japan was seen as a transmitter of westernization and it is currently viewed to have great role or rather a window that linked many Asian countries and other as countries to the western world. Koreans accepted the Japanese wholly in cultural practices language and in economy plans. This is evidenced in the reintroduction of the Japanese language in Korean73166981 Japanese Korea Colonization school in 1973.

This was followed by the popularity of Japanese cultural centers in Korea. Although during that time the Koreans were in great torture under the Japanese colonial rule, past has evolved and now they have a lot of benefits from the Japanese. The have developed economically, socially and the Koreans have greatly benefited from the manufacturing skills and technology which they got from the Japanese. The negative effects have moving far beyond the colonial era, and the history of the Korean, is reviewed, the sufferings and oppression keeps lingering in minds of many people.

Many Western countries criticize the relationship that has been established by the two countries after the colonization, arguing that it is not worthy to have such relationship with a country or rather people who have submitted them to great suffering and torture. 73166981 Japanese Korea Colonization


Befu, Harumi and Sylvie, Guichard-Anguis. Globalizing Japan. New York: Routledge, 2001 Kang, Hildi. Under the Black Umbrella: Colonial Korea voices. New York: Cornell University, 2001 Wagner, Edward and Edwar, Shultz . Korean new history. Cambridge: Harvard University, 1999 Weingartner, James. ”War trophies and the Japanese

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