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  • P-ISSN0023-3900
  • E-ISSN2733-9343

“Culture” as an Imported Concept and “Korea” as a Nation-State

Korea Journal, (P)0023-3900; (E)2733-9343
2007, v.47 no.1, pp.152-176
https://doi.org/10.25024/kj.2007.47.1.152

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Abstract

The new term munhwa (文化 )or culture, that swept Korean society inthe 1920s was in fact adopted as the translation of the Japanese term bunka in the 1910s. the path to realizing the value of the concept ofculture in Korea could not help but be a rocky one. This was not only because Korea was a colony, but also because theconcept of culture itself was one re-defined by Japan for the purpose of calling its colonial ethnic groups the people of the Japanese Empire, and was formed in reference to bunka, the Japanese rendition ofculture. The intellectuals of a colonial Korea attempted to form their ownidentity and representation through Japans colonial discourse. If their efforts stemmed basically from implicit aspirations towards nation- state status, then the culture in colonial Korea can be regarded as a space in which munhwaconfronted and vied with bunka,as well as aspace in which munhwacould be absorbed by and integrated into bunka at any time.

keywords
culture reconstruction nationalism colonial subjectivity culture reconstruction nationalism colonial subjectivity

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