Seoul, a 500-year-old historical city, experienced a rapid transformation after the Russo-Japanese War from the traditional capital of the Joseon dynasty to a colonial city of the Japanese Empire, resulting in the establishment of Gyeongseong (Keijo), the capital city of the colonial Korean peninsula, in 1914. Initially, the city of Keijo took on an hourglass shape as a dual colonial city that juxtaposed two opposing pairs: the contrast between the northern town (Bukchon; the old residences of the colonized Koreans) and the southern town (Namchon; the newly-built residences composed mainly of Japanese settlers) in the downtown area as well as the contrast between the old town and the new one built around the Japanese military compound in Yongsan. Entering the 1920s, the discussion between the Japanese Government-General in Korea and Japanese residents in Seoul as to how to develop Gyeongseong became more pronounced. The Former pursued the “northern advance” with the aim of developing Seoul as a colonial administrative center, whereas the latter sought development centered on both the Namchon and Hangang river, in order to develop Seoul as a commercial city. Debates over the Great Keijo Plan arose centered around two controversial issues: whether the northern or southern areas of Seoul should be developed as well as how to secure the financial resources for the deveopment. These debates exemplify the rupture and conflicts in the colonial urban power bloc, which was comprised of plural agents concerning the colonial urban transformation.
The Japanese settlement in Busan began with the designation of Choryang as a Japanese residential area in 1876. With the increase in Japanese entries into Busan, Japan expanded the settlement in various ways both legally and illegally. Japan built a grided network of streets centered around Mt. Yongdu and overhauled the district. It was around 1901 that urban Busan was taking shape as a modern city. In addition, Japanese people started to reclaim the coastal areas to secure more city space from that time on. After the establishment of the Japanese Residency-General in 1906, Japan organized an association of Japanese residents in Busan to take charge of the city administration and attempted to expand its urban space by annexing illegally purchased land to its settlement. As a result, the Japanese settlement that was once just a small fishing village developed into a city with a population of 20,000 people in 1910. The Japanese-led urbanization of Busan was much imbued with Japanese characteristics in terms of both urban space and culture. The Japanese quarters formed the central part of the city, while Koreans were driven to the outskirts. The ethnic division of living quarters in Busan contributed to ethnic discrimination within the urban culture of Busan, after the Japanese annexation of Korea.
Modern urbanization in Daegu originated in the colonial period. In this paper, I chronologically reviewed how the traditional city of Daegu, which was surrounded by fortress walls until the end of the Great Han Empire era, was taken apart and redeveloped by the city during the colonial period, and also examined the resultant changes to the urban landscape, as well as the creation and development of a divided urban space. I summarize the main points of this study as follows. First, I traced the urbanization of Daegu from the end of Joseon to the early Japanese colonial period. Second, I pointed out that the urbanization of Daegu during the 1920s and 1930s was undertaken according to an urban planning project, even while hierarchy among ethnic groups within Daegu became more prominent and even structured. Finally, the Japanese-directed modernization of Daegu relied considerably on Japanese interest, which influenced the changes made to the landscape. This resulted in the thorough dismantling and destruction of traditional spaces and buildings. At the same time, differentiation among ethnic groups became greatly pronounced.
“Colonial modernity” refers to a particular articulation of the universal notion of “modernity” in the colonial context. Colonial modernity is best seen in the cities of a colony, in particular, where nationals of the imperial country migrate and settle down. Mokpo used to be a small fishing village, but upon its opening in 1897 it began to rapidly grow into an important port city through which rice and cotton produced in the Honam region were transported to Japan. After 1910, Mokpo developed into the biggest commercial and indus-trial city in the region. However, Korean and Japanese residential areas in Mokpo were segregated into the South and North Villages with Mt. Yudal serving as the border. The two villages differed significantly in terms of their infrastructure, including roads, houses, water supply and drainage, street lamps, garbage disposal, and hospitals. Korean members of the Mokpo City Council frequently demanded improvements to the poor public facilities for the native residents, only to be rejected by the Japanese city authorities. The city authorities were generally indifferent to the poor conditions in the Korean areas, and were deliberately so to some extent. Japanese colonizers in Korea attempted to underscore the modernity they brought with them by maintaining wide gaps in living conditions between Japanese and Korean residential areas in cities such as Mokpo, where many Japanese lived. Imperial powers built “dual cities” in their colonies to that end; Mokpo was a model of them.
In their dealing with the Tokyo Trial, history textbooks of the five East Asian countries have exhibited their indifference to Asian identity, as can be seen from their description of historical facts specific to the region from nationalist viewpoints, which are a far cry from being a comprehensive and balanced his-toriography. While some Japanese history textbooks avoid dealing with the war responsibility of Japan, other four East Asian countries have failed to exactly frame and fairly present the facts. In a word, the history textbooks of East Asian countries, though they advocate globalization, have not delivered to students the conciliatory and cooperative frameworks that will help them realize the universal value of human beings. The ideas of reconciliation and cooperation presuppose the fact-finding of a historical past, whether or not they be acceptable or unfavorable to oneself. There should be efforts to fairly deliver historical facts to the generations to come, which will be a starting point for a dialogue between the historical text-books of East Asian countries.
This article examines what it means to be a Soviet Korean in Alma-Ata, Kaza-khstan. We argue that much of Korean cultural manifestation explicitly lies outside verbal expression, and hence, focusing on the implicit domain is important. As we understand that “Soviet Koreanness” is found in the way people acquire certain dispositions, sensitivities, and feelings, we have explored such diverse aspects as non-verbal expressions, sensorial experiences, and rules of expressing emotions. In doing so, we found that the perceptive dimension of being Korean is also formed in relation to this symbolic structure. This article finds a variation in the way the Soviet Koreans relate to and communicate with other people. This analysis explores the Korean emphasis on non-verbal and implicit forms of communication and examines their relationship with notions of personhood, morality, and ethnic identity. Finally, this article examines the making of “Koreanness” distinguished from that of “others,” especially Russians, in the context of communicating emotions and using words.
This paper delineates the rise and fall of a Korean IT venture firm in the 1990s and early 2000s. Rapid growth of an IT firm symbolized the dreams of unrecognized engineering talents in Korean society without much individual remunerations within large organizations, but the culturally embedded market with much expectation of rebates, hierarchical business partnership, and egalitarian ethos made it difficult to protect and sustain their aspirations. Employee Stock Owners’ Co-operative, suggested as an alternative to militant labor union and a new way of financial remuneration to employees, is exam-ined in detail to see how cultural values are mobilized to account for different interpretations of the reality in the turbulent lifecourse of one courageous entrepreneurial firm.