Diplomacy and Ideology in Japanese-Korean Relations: From the Fifteenth to the Eighteenth Century


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Economic Stagnation and Crisis in Korea during the Eighteenth and Nineteenth Centuries

Korea became a Japanese protectorate in at the conclusion of the Russo-Japanese War; Japanese influence over key government activities including finance, police, and the courts expanded even further. After formal colonial control was declared in , Korea became subject to more than three decades of Japanese rule. During this period the Japanese pursued various policies. Economic policies tried both to develop the economy and subordinate its priorities to serving the Japanese economy; this meant large rice exports to Japan that contributed to low levels of consumption within Korea.

A very large Japanese military presence backed up the formation of a bureaucratic administration that aimed to keep tight control over the population. The normative component of colonial administration varied. In the s the Japanese allowed the use of Korean and expression of Korean cultural sensibilities in an effort to dull the opposition to their rule. For the Japanese rulers, Korean identity was often subordinated to different projects of assimilation that portrayed colonial rule as a means to achieve participation in a modern society that was distinctly East Asian with the Japanese at the center.

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For Koreans, however, an affirmation of a history distinct from the Japanese was crucial to promoting a national identity upon which resistance could be built Schmid Korean nationalism was forged in the fire of resistance to Japanese. In this earlier era, an appeal to Confucian principles was intended to strengthen and focus elite efforts to resist Japanese demands. The nature of the political, economic and social control that Japan could exert within East Asia in the early twentieth century was so much more developed than had been conceivable a century or two earlier.

These capacities, not surprisingly led people to draw upon new forms of opposition that were also not yet conceived in the era of agrarian empire and its tributary order. In related ways the imposition of colonial administration over Taiwan created some similar opportunities and problems. For nearly two centuries, Taiwan was a Qing frontier with its administration under Fujian provincial authorities who were aided by the presence of additional military forces stationed on the province's coast.

The Qing government's perception of Taiwan's strategic importance changed in the s and s as Western and Japanese pressures in the area alerted the court to the danger of encroachment on the empire's territory. Japanese abilities to move more quickly in Taiwan did not result simply from their building up of new kinds of power but equally from the revised set of regional political relationships created by the placement of the region in a larger network of relations by the expansion of Western political power. The Japanese entry into Taiwan may have been acceptable to Western powers, but this did not mean their arrival went uncontested locally.

For more than four months Japanese troops struggled to defeat Chinese soldiers and quell opposition among the civilian population, resulting in several thousand deaths. Until the colonial government in Taiwan, much like the colonial government in Korea, concentrated on establishing effective civilian administration and military control; on the economic front, they surveyed the land in order to better tax it and established monopolies over key agricultural products including sugar and salt. In the s colonial administration stressed Japanese education with the twin goals of promoting cultural assimilation and equipping people with the skills to work in a changing economy and live in a changing society; this contrasts with Japanese policies in Korea where more vocal resistance to the Japanese prompted a period of cultural plurality.

Taiwanese elites were drawn in two competing directions under Japanese colonialism. At one level new elites, like doctors, could see themselves as leaders of their nation with an opportunity to improve their society. At another level, there was a positive attraction to Japan as the source of modern change since Taiwanese doctors achieved their status and professional achievements based on Japanese educations. Schools, public health, roads and port facilities were all improved to some degree under colonial rule. On balance the economic impact of colonialism was less devastating than in Korea and in some ways at least created some of the infrastructure used to pursue economic growth in the s.

Korea faced far more Japanese migration than Taiwan did, extending well beyond colonial officials to include businessmen and farmers. In neither Korea nor Taiwan, however, did Japanese policies of forced cultural assimilation succeed. Had the Japanese remained for several additional decades the endpoint of the processes may well have been different.

But following the Japanese defeat in , few Korean or Chinese on Taiwan thought of themselves as Japanese in terms of their principal social identity. This doesn't mean, of course, that some, especially those who received educations in Japan and benefited personally from colonial rule, did not think of themselves as willing subjects of the Japanese empire in the early s, but it does suggest that there wouldn't be much effort to restore Japanese rule after the collapse of empire.

For Koreans, an anti-Japanese sentiment would remain strongly in place for decades. In Taiwan, however, a more mixed reaction to the Japanese emerged, in part because Chinese of Taiwan saw the defeat of one conqueror immediately bring the arrival of a new conqueror, the Guomindang, that also established its initial presence through bloody fighting.

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The expansion of Western power through East Asia in the second half of the nineteenth century created distinct outcomes in the Southeast and the Northeast. In Southeast Asia, formal European colonial regimes were established everywhere except Thailand where the ability of the government to remain independent rested upon its buffer position between the British and French and the willingness of the two European powers to maintain a balance between them in which Thailand was juridically independent.

In Northeast Asia, the expansion of Western economic connections and political demands put relations among East Asian states in a revised geopolitical context. While the arrival of Westerners is conventionally cast as a challenge to which East Asian governments responded, the Western threats were also an incentive for them to transform their relations with each other. The political hierarchy of the region became far sharper and significant than the hierarchy of the tributary framework.


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The drive to incorporate subject populations more fully included aggressive efforts at forced assimilation, a cultural project the agrarian empire pursued in less dramatic and draconian ways within its borders but not beyond them. Their self-perceptions along with the kinds of political and economic resources they could mobilize affected their likely futures after the fall of the Japanese empire.

Korean elites were about to compete among themselves but all envisioned their country to be unified and separate from Japan.

Taiwanese elites did not generally seem to have the same degree of anti-Japanese feelings; they also had cultural ties to the Chinese mainland that made their political future seem inclined toward a re-establishment of connections that had existed before Japanese colonization. Only Okinawa, which had been formally incorporated as a Japanese prefecture in the late nineteenth century seemed plausibly to remain under Japanese rule.

But none of these possible outcomes obtained. In each case U. The military capacities and political agenda of the United States after World War II played major roles in creating some new and reinforcing other old political divisions within East Asia. Together with domestic actors, the U. Taiwan became independent, but with its government basing its legitimacy on claims of rule over the mainland.

Korea became divided with leaders in northern and southern parts forging alliances with outside powers on opposite sides of the global division of power. Much of Okinawa was subject to American military authority for decades. Key features of the political terrain in each case were clearly defined by political forces from beyond the region. But the political dynamics in each case also responded to the particular actors present in each and to their local concerns.

These local concerns in turn were framed at times during the next half-century within regional rather than global terms. Economic opportunities and anxieties have both motivated the formation of relations within the larger East Asian region. At the millennial transition, these regional relations both complemented and competed with economic and political relations linking the Koreas, Taiwan and Okinawa to larger global forces.

In the years following the Korean War the two parts of Korea embarked upon different trajectories of political, economic and social change. South Korea's well-known economic transformation has combined big business, heavy industry, and a strong government presence to produce the basis for the production and sale of a wide variety of Korean goods on global markets. These economic changes contrast with the more limited changes in the north which remained largely isolated from outside markets until very recently.

The political systems have also differed dramatically. North Korea has a regime led by a charismatic figure whose authority is expressed, in part, through claims about his moral virtue; cast in Communist categories of expression they resonate strongly with an historical sense of Confucian values Cumings The South, in contrast, has been democratized through popular movements putting pressures on government institutions, the leaders of which made changes to open up political processes to larger numbers of people. Here too, however, earlier cultural values associated with Confucian thought remain strong in the society, even if their expression differs considerably from that in the north.

Three features of the post changes deserve highlighting in the context of a long-run perspective on Korea in East Asia. First, the major economic changes came from global economic connections that made possible technological changes as well as markets on which to sell goods; learning from Westerners has been an important component of the conditions for political changes as well.

Second, neither economic nor political changes necessarily preclude the persistence of culturally specific values and their deployment to support current political and social practices. Third, the division between north and south has become an extremely important local issue over which people organize politically with priorities very different from those driving the division internationally.

In other words, one could view Korea in the year by looking at the interaction of connections and conflicts at both global and local levels. Yet changes have also take place at the regional level politically, economically and culturally. Politically, the relationships between the Koreas, China and Japan are important to each of the states. In cultural terms the South Korean government only began in to allow popular Japanese music into the country legally.

Economically, the Japanese witnessed South Korea emerge as a major competitor on many markets. More recently, South Koreans have turned to China as the land of economic opportunity, increasing the Korean presence greatly and displacing North Koreans in the process.

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Taiwan's economic miracle has been frequently compared to South Korea's. In both cases government played a considerable role and global markets were crucial sources of technology and targets for sales. Politically, the two countries in the s and s had similarly hostile and competitive relationships to the regimes from which they had been separated by U. But by the s conditions for both began to change.

Both South Koreans and Taiwanese were willing to invest in the north and the mainland respectively. The building of closer economic connections made it possible to conceive closer political relations. In the China-Taiwan case, some analysts on the mainland have asserted for many years that the prospects for reunification continues to improve as the economic gap between the two is diminished. This expectation has been qualified and indeed complicated by the emergence in the past decade or two of a political movement asserting the island's independence from China.

As part of asserting a distinct Taiwanese national identity, the island's history of connections to outsiders became written as one of varying forms of colonialism, the Japanese being a conventional variety and Qing rule as a kind of "internal colonialism. Another difference between the Korean and Taiwanese cases concerns the kinds of social identity created in these two places.

Support for reunification in Korea rests in part upon the promotion of a shared cultural and historical identity. In contrast, Taiwanese identity has increasingly been asserted as different from a Chinese identity. For these purposes, China is not so much a cultural unit as a political unit so that people on Taiwan can claim that China ruled the island for a relatively brief period of time.

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Some claim that the movement of Chinese Minnan people to Taiwan in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries was little different from moves that coastal Chinese also made to Southeast Asia, to places which are most clearly not part of China. Together, the Korean and Taiwanese cases tell us that social identities in these places, despite being caught between the larger and more powerful Chinese and Japanese states, can gain support, perhaps even more than they once did.

A similar message comes out of the Okinawa case. A part of Japan's early twentieth-century empire, Okinawa may have been more completely subordinated to Tokyo than either Korea or Taiwan, but it was considered separate enough for the U. The U.

Diplomacy and ideology in Japanese-Korean relations : from the fifteenth to the eighteenth century

Ironically, the "return" has in many ways involved far more Japanese rule over the islands than had ever been the case previously and a level of integration quite beyond what had been in place before U. But this has been seen as preferable to the heavy handed U. At the same time however it was under the U.

While ruled by the Japanese national state, social identity is constructed more locally and its position can be located both regionally and globally Hamashita Today's maritime East Asia frames Korea, Taiwan and Okinawa in ways very different from the conditions of either the Japanese empire or the earlier tributary world of agrarian empire. The Japanese empire was in important ways an empire connected by the seas. Accessed 29 Nov. Ford, Shawn. Ikegami, Eiko. Harvard University Press, Kang, David C.

Columbia University Press, Kang, Etsuko Hae-Jin. Macmillan, Spence, Jonathan D. The Death of Woman Wang. Kang, Gesangyixi. Kang, Gesangyixi, author.

Kang, Gesangyixi, editor. Kang, Gewu. Kang, Gimin. Kang, Gin-Won. Kang, Guangxia, -- See Kang, Youwei, Kang, Hae Sun, instrumentalist. Ivan Fedele. Kang, Hae Sun. Solos Michael Jarrell. Kang, Hai, Zhong shan liang.


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    Diplomacy and Ideology in Japanese-Korean Relations: From the Fifteenth to the Eighteenth Century Diplomacy and Ideology in Japanese-Korean Relations: From the Fifteenth to the Eighteenth Century
    Diplomacy and Ideology in Japanese-Korean Relations: From the Fifteenth to the Eighteenth Century Diplomacy and Ideology in Japanese-Korean Relations: From the Fifteenth to the Eighteenth Century
    Diplomacy and Ideology in Japanese-Korean Relations: From the Fifteenth to the Eighteenth Century Diplomacy and Ideology in Japanese-Korean Relations: From the Fifteenth to the Eighteenth Century
    Diplomacy and Ideology in Japanese-Korean Relations: From the Fifteenth to the Eighteenth Century Diplomacy and Ideology in Japanese-Korean Relations: From the Fifteenth to the Eighteenth Century
    Diplomacy and Ideology in Japanese-Korean Relations: From the Fifteenth to the Eighteenth Century Diplomacy and Ideology in Japanese-Korean Relations: From the Fifteenth to the Eighteenth Century
    Diplomacy and Ideology in Japanese-Korean Relations: From the Fifteenth to the Eighteenth Century Diplomacy and Ideology in Japanese-Korean Relations: From the Fifteenth to the Eighteenth Century

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