AMPONTAN

Japan from the inside out

Ichigen koji (190)

Posted by ampontan on Thursday, October 4, 2012

一言居士
– A person who has something to say about everything

The Koreans who opposed and resisted Japanese rule and the education to turn them into Japanese applied the Japanese lifestyle to their daily lives and did their shopping at the Minakai and Mitsukoshi department stores, which they condemned as the tool of the Japanese empire.

– Hayashi Hiroshige, Shiga University professor

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10 Responses to “Ichigen koji (190)”

  1. American Kim said

    Part of the reasons the Koreans of that time “applied the Japanese lifestyle to their daily lives” was because the Japanese were in charge of Korea and they implemented policies that affected practically every area of the daily lives of Koreans. The good professor, I’m sure, understands that he and his contemporaries apply the “Japanese lifestyle to his daily life” (despite the fact there are more than 120 million people in Japan living unique lives, while I’ll grant many are similar given Japan’s mostly homogenous makeup in ethnicity and culture) because, well, the Japanese government of today dictates policies that affect him and his countrymen.

    William, I would like to recommend a book: Japanese Assimilation Policies in Colonial Korea, 1910-1945. Author: Mark Caprio. It is one of more than 20 books I have in my autumn/winter pipeline, and it will be my second reading of it. It compares Japan’s assimilation policies towards Korea with how the British and French treated their colonial subjects.

    It is not, by the way, a book that outright condemns Japan. It is frank enough to admit that Japanese enlisted men were subordinate to Korean officers (something many Koreans don’t know) whereas British and French armies never permitted white men to take orders from nonwhites – and simultaneously to provide proof showing the school system in colonial Korea (which many people who defend Japan’s rule of Korea on grounds it improved education and raised literacy) was very discriminating – meaning, Japanese children received better resources. Caprio shows this was not an accidental phenomenon.
    ———-
    AK: Thanks for the recommendation. I’ve heard of the book before.

    It is frank enough to admit that Japanese enlisted men were subordinate to Korean officers (something many Koreans don’t know) whereas British and French armies never permitted white men to take orders from nonwhites

    That’s because, in theory, it wasn’t a colony. They were the same country, with de facto colonial aspects. For example, Koreans didn’t have the same voting rights locally that they did if they moved to Japan. (At least one Korean, and maybe more, was elected to the Diet, using his Korean name.) As I’ve mentioned before, 20% of the national budget in the early years was allocated to Korean development.

    -A.

  2. toadold said

    A writer for the American Thinker posted an article on how Obama has lost the “Mandate of Heaven.” He said that what it meant was that now matter what Obama did it wouldn’t work. Anything he does will only make things worse and disasters will come in multiples. He was claiming this was what it meant in ancient China. I don’t know enough or have enough trusted sources to know how accurate that is.
    It seems to me that there is an awful lot of loss of “Mandates of Heaven” going around these days?
    —————
    T: Depends on whether you subscribe to the concept of the East Asian version of the divine right of kings. There is an explanation in one of those links on the Qing dynasty.

    – A.

  3. American Kim said

    “That’s because, in theory, it wasn’t a colony. They were the same country, with de facto colonial aspects. For example, Koreans didn’t have the same voting rights locally that they did if they moved to Japan. (At least one Korean, and maybe more, was elected to the Diet, using his Korean name.) As I’ve mentioned before, 20% of the national budget in the early years was allocated to Korean development.”

    Theory and practice are all too often quite different.

    Korea wasn’t ruled exactly the way a local prefecture of Japan was. The Governors-General, at least at first, reported directly to the emperor – they were not even accountable to the Japanese Diet or the Japanese prime-minister. The powers and responsibilities they held were so sweeping that but for one navy admiral, all were army generals.

    As the Pacific War intensified, Japan’s leadership continued to draw whatever resources it could to feed its people and to fuel its war effort. Korea, as the closest colony to the metropolis, was a conduit between the puppet state of Manchukuo. Railways existed between it and Korea and industrial output, as well as agricultural goods, were shipped from both regions to the home islands.

    As Mark Caprio’s book shows, and I cannot recommend it strongly enough to anybody who has an interest in the Japanese occupation of Korea, there was discrimination – in children’s schooling, for example. A reason that the efforts by Japan’s military to recruit Korean soldiers had mixed results was fundamental: many Korean males did not speak Japanese, and this was directly linked to the “separate and unequal” schools within Korea – some catering to children of Government-General officials and employees of Japanese ethnicity and others to Koreans.

    Finally, on the note of Korean officers in the army giving orders to Japanese subordinates: while it is true that there was, for lack of a better term, a sort of a “racial hierarchy” in east Asia towards the end of World War II (within areas occupied by Japan anyway), and that Koreans were at times seen by other Asians as collaborators of the Japanese (if not partners), from the Japanese perspective, Koreans were still beneath them. This racial distinction held by the Japanese existed within the Government-General as well. One of the points Caprio makes is that the Government-General demanded Koreans attain a certain level of modernization and assimilation before they could be given privileges and rights equal to what Japanese subjects of the emperor were entitled to – and yet however much progress the Koreans made towards that “goal,” the Japanese still kept them at bay for one simple reason: they were Koreans and not Japanese.

    One country with de facto colonial aspects? Only if you’ll liken it to the racial dynamics of the antebellum and post-Civil War South. One country, but with very different standards for different races.
    ———-
    AK: Your choice of the word “race” does not fit where you think it fits, especially if you are trying to use it for a strained analogy with the American South. Of course, you have plenty of company in that misuse of the word.

    But if you apply it to the condition that existed before the Japanese arrived — no schooling for female commoners at all — and one is justified in asking just who the slavemasters were.

    I could also remind you again that both the population on the peninsula and the life span of that population roughly doubled in those 35 years, and by everyone’s best estimates was declining before then, but merry-go-rounds in website comment sections aren’t my idea of entertainment.

    -A.

  4. American Kim said

    Given that I’m welcome (your words) to post here anytime, I will state that you said nothing in your last lap concerning the details on how Koreans were viewed by both the Japanese (in the army and by the folks running the Government-General) and by Asians in Japanese-held territory. You did also allude to facts which weren’t related to Korea and Japan being one country or not let alone to theory vs. practice – strange, as it seems that you simply wanted to throw in my face that Japan did good things in Korea (which simply wasn’t part of our little exchange to start with).

    If anything, the concept of race in Japan could not possibly have included Koreans as part of the same country. The Japanese concept of race, especially during the war, alluded to Japan as a family-state with the emperor as the “head” of the family and all Japanese as ethnic brethren. Japan’s view on race, nationality, and citizenship were all conflated then (and ironically, the same happens in both sides of the Korean peninsula today). Koreans were “outsiders” because they were not ethnically Japanese. This was but one of the reasons that fed the discrimination Koreans faced, as per my comments based on Mark Caprio’s book.

    Do yourself a favor and pick up a copy of Michael Weiner’s book “Race and Migration in Imperial Japan” for a better understanding. You and your blog will be better off if you read it (and Caprio’s work as well).
    ————
    AK: The problem is that you’re at a disadvantage by reading only sources in English, who may or may not be serious historians and not polemicists with an axe to grind. For example, were you to read original Japanese sources, you would know that the justification presented by the Japanese most in favor of the merger — which it is still called in Japanese — was that Japanese and Koreans were all the same people anyway. In contrast, the Western author you present says “especially during the war”, which was more than 30 years later. The racialism was exacerbated during a period of 3+ years, and focused on Caucasians.

    I don’t know whether it is the manner in which you present the material, or problems with the material itself, but I am getting less, instead of more, interested in reading the Caprio book in particular.

    For example, you say he says that Japan allocated more “resources” to the education of Japanese (in Korea?) rather than Koreans. We do not know (and I doubt you studied the footnotes carefully) the criteria he selected to draw that conclusion. What “resources” specifically is he talking about? Is he right? Perhaps. But I can also think of several ways off the top of my head how the selection of criteria and the definition of “resources” could lead one to a faulty conclusion.

    You also seem to be directly quoting him when you talk about supplies going from Korea “as the war intensified”. And when would that be? Starting in late 1943, perhaps? Is he saying that supplies weren’t going from Kyushu or other parts of Japan, but were from Korea? Koreans were starving while Japanese were living high off the hog?

    And does he mention anything about Allied bombing of Japanese industrial facilities? The Allies bombed the crap out of those in Japan, but the industrial infrastructure they built in the northern part of the peninsula survived to an extent that it enabled North Korean industrial production to exceed that of South Korean industrial production into the 1960s, IIRC. (The Japanese concentrated heavy industry in the north and agriculture in the south.) If factories and rail lines are being bombed daily in Honshu, of course they’re going to divert supplies from the peninsula. That is one of several reasons for remembering that, in theory, it was “one country”. Which, indeed, English-language maps at the time showed.

    Incidentally, do any of your sources mention that, on balance, Japan suffered an overall financial loss, rather than financial gain, from the merger/colonization? Japanese language sources do.

    I appreciate the fact that you are willing to cite non-fiction sources, but a PhD and a book contract with an academic publisher does not prevent anyone from being a third-rate polemicist. I’m not saying Caprio is, but you’re not doing him any favors here.

    Also:

    …you said nothing in your last lap concerning the details on how Koreans were viewed by both the Japanese…and by Asians in Japanese-held territory

    Why is how Koreans were viewed by Asians in Japanese-held territory germane to the subject at hand?

    I can understand that it would be of interest to Koreans. For example, the Vietnamese government in 2011 passed legislation forbidding Vietnamese women from marrying Korean men over the age of 50, and Korean men 16 years or more older. Korean men already had a bad reputation stemming from the Vietnam war, but it has been exacerbated by what the Vietnamese government considers unacceptable levels of domestic violence and several murders. One occurred in 2009 when a 37-year-old Korean man killed his 20-year-old Vietnamese wife one week after they arrived in South Korea after the wedding.

    Vietnamese newspapers justified it by saying that Korean men treat women “like commodities”. One wonders if this was reported at all in South Korean newspapers.

    So, AFAIK, Korean men are the only ones of any advanced industrial country restricted from marrying women from another country on non-religious grounds.

    When you talk about how people in Japanese-occupied territory viewed Koreans, is that the sort of thing you mean?

    -A.

  5. yankdownunder said

    Michael Weiner is British!

  6. yankdownunder said

    http://www.japanfocus.org/-Mark-Caprio

    Just read some of his Japan Focus articles. This ____ is a professor of history at Rikkyo University in Tokyo. He’s a biased idiot. Why do Japanese universities have so many anti-Japan/racist professors?

  7. Ken said

    Similar paradoxical episodes are described in a book titled ‘The Doomed Empire’ by M.J.Rhee. She grew in Korea and studied at Rutgers university in the US. She hoped to study the education and women’s status in colonial Korea along her brain-washed history but it was denied by the professor in charge of her. She has gone 화병 at that time but investigated from scratch and was persuaded that the ideological education of history in Korea had been wrong. She wrote it with accepting the situation that she would get unable to back home, but in English only. It is not sold in Japan probably but so-so interesting.

  8. American Kim said

    “AK: The problem is that you’re at a disadvantage by reading only sources in English, who may or may not be serious historians and not polemicists with an axe to grind. For example, were you to read original Japanese sources, you would know that the justification presented by the Japanese most in favor of the merger — which it is still called in Japanese — was that Japanese and Koreans were all the same people anyway. In contrast, the Western author you present says “especially during the war”, which was more than 30 years later. The racialism was exacerbated during a period of 3+ years, and focused on Caucasians.”

    You will not get any disagreements from me when it comes to the value of speaking/reading/writing a given language to read older materials, manuscripts, and such. If I were fluent in German and had access to German-language materials from the Third Reich, I would most probably reach a level of understanding of what happened in Europe during those years far greater than anything I can muster right now. As for the annexation itself, I’m not unfamiliar with what you’re saying. And before I go on let me make a pause here: it may be, and I may well be wrong, that because I sign myself as “American Kim,” that you are assuming I’m just another Japan-hating Korean who doesn’t know a lot of what you purportedly or ostensibly know by virtue of your years in Japan (which have made you fluent in Japanese). If therefore this is the case, I ask you to please give me the benefit of the doubt.

    With the pause ended, I’ll say that I AM aware that some of the Japanese proponents of the annexation viewed the strengthening of Korea as a measure to protect Japanese interests (defense against European aggression) and a way to help Korea itself modernize as Japan had during the Meiji years.

    As for the merger, it is interesting that this is the word you used in your post. The word used by Japan at that time was “heigo” (併合). It was a rather obscure term at the time and it was used as the Japanese viewed the joining of Korea to Japan as an “amalgamation” rather than an “annexation.” This wasn’t accidental. The Japanese of that time used this language to make it seem as if two parts of the same whole were simply being rejoined; they deliberately rejected “gappei” (合併) which is stronger and means annexation.(Koreans, incidentally, use this word, in Korean “hap-pang,” in their reading of the Chinese characters of the name of the annexation treaty of 1910.

    “I don’t know whether it is the manner in which you present the material, or problems with the material itself, but I am getting less, instead of more, interested in reading the Caprio book in particular.”

    Your call. I believe one never stops learning. A reason I come to your blog (even if I don’t agree with everything I see here) is precisely that: to learn.

    “For example, you say he says that Japan allocated more “resources” to the education of Japanese (in Korea?) rather than Koreans. We do not know (and I doubt you studied the footnotes carefully) the criteria he selected to draw that conclusion. What “resources” specifically is he talking about? Is he right? Perhaps. But I can also think of several ways off the top of my head how the selection of criteria and the definition of “resources” could lead one to a faulty conclusion.”

    Above, you mentioned the fact I do not read Japanese. Well, I don’t. Caprio however does. He is a professor in the Department of Intercultural Communications at the Rikkyo University of Tokyo. He used several Japanese-language sources from the 1920s, 1930s, and even some from 1910 itself. He made use of sources from Harvard, Rikkyo, as well as from the Japanese National Diet Library, and the Arirang Center for Korean History and Culture. He cites many other works regarding Korea and Japan such as Carter Eckert’s “Offspring of Empire” (Eckert is considered the dean of Korean studies in America); Peter Duus’ “The Abacus and the Sword” (Duus speaks Japanese and used Japanese-languages sources for his work); and, Hilary Conroy’s classic “The Japanese Seizure of Korea” which also utilized original language resources.

    “You also seem to be directly quoting him when you talk about supplies going from Korea “as the war intensified”. And when would that be? Starting in late 1943, perhaps? Is he saying that supplies weren’t going from Kyushu or other parts of Japan, but were from Korea? Koreans were starving while Japanese were living high off the hog?”

    I never said Koreans were starving and “Japanese were living high off the hog,” so I ask you not to make such speculations. You are very well aware that as the tide of the Pacific War turned against Japan, that Japan’s mobilization intensified. It began to draw more Korean recruits (as I wrote earlier, with mixed results), State Shinto in Korea was more strictly enforced, and so forth.

    “And does he mention anything about Allied bombing of Japanese industrial facilities? The Allies bombed the crap out of those in Japan, but the industrial infrastructure they built in the northern part of the peninsula survived to an extent that it enabled North Korean industrial production to exceed that of South Korean industrial production into the 1960s, IIRC. (The Japanese concentrated heavy industry in the north and agriculture in the south.) If factories and rail lines are being bombed daily in Honshu, of course they’re going to divert supplies from the peninsula. That is one of several reasons for remembering that, in theory, it was “one country”. Which, indeed, English-language maps at the time showed.”

    The United States bombed Japan’s industrial facilities for one obvious reason: to cripple Japan’s war-making capabilities. Without new tanks, artillery, machine guns, and airplanes rolling off the factory floor, Japan’s ability to fight off the Allied advance in the Pacific towards the home island would be diminished. The industrial facilities in northern Korea were not bombed by the United States during the Pacific War for one very simple reason: Washington’s target and preoccupation was not Korea; it was Japan. Washington knew which territories Tokyo held, but America’s leaders also knew very well that the epicenter and headquarters of the Japanese Empire was, well, Japan. And as for the theory of “one country,” OBVIOUSLY those English-language maps showed them as such given Japan had annexed (not merged with) Korea and that Korea was a colony. Japan’s leaders were skilled in international law and they managed Korea differently than they did Manchukuo: as I wrote earlier, the former as a colony with its own bureaucratic apparatus (Government-General); the latter was a puppet state with Pu Yi being strung along like the bona-fide marionette that he was.

    “Incidentally, do any of your sources mention that, on balance, Japan suffered an overall financial loss, rather than financial gain, from the merger/colonization? Japanese language sources do.”

    I would speculate that any serious student of history would know as a basic rule that colonization isn’t an inexpensive endeavor. Colonization included pillage and plunder as well as abuse and exploitation, but for a venture to be profitable, investments had to be made. The English didn’t simply come to North America, kill Powhatans, make off with wealth and return to London. The Spaniards didn’t merely land in Latin America, slaughter Arawaks, load gold, and sail back to Madrid. They did all this but they also put men in place to create infrastructure. This of course costs money. It was the same in Korea. Japan’s authorities had to make an investment to turn Korea into a profitable venture; and, in fact, this was one of the very reasons some within the Japanese government of the first decade of the 20th Century weren’t too eager to annex Korea: Japan was still not yet free of the unequal treaties of decades before and although it had come a long way, it was still not yet strong and powerful enough at par with the west (although it had soundly beaten Russia). Taking Korea would have possibly been a risky maneuver as it could have deprived Japan of resources to defend its own territory. Only after Russia was out of the way, and after the west (especially the US) “conceded” Japan to have free rein in that area, that the pro-annexationists had their way.

    “I appreciate the fact that you are willing to cite non-fiction sources, but a PhD and a book contract with an academic publisher does not prevent anyone from being a third-rate polemicist. I’m not saying Caprio is, but you’re not doing him any favors here.”

    I believe you when you said you don’t think Caprio is a “third-rate” polemicist, but with all due respect, if you haven’t read as many books/resources as he has, and given that he’s a career academician/researcher and you are not (and please – I am not insulting you; I enjoy your blog and have learned from it, and am grateful to you for it), then I am not certain that it would be in wisdom for you to dismiss his work without even having read one page of what he has written because of how I present him. Your paragraph about footnotes and resources of his makes a valid point – I reply to you by citing his credentials, his mastery of the Japanese language (and Korean too, if I’m not mistaken), and his usage of materials from that era.

    “Why is how Koreans were viewed by Asians in Japanese-held territory germane to the subject at hand?”

    Because it provides a contrast as to how the Japanese themselves viewed Koreans.

    “I can understand that it would be of interest to Koreans. For example, the Vietnamese government in 2011 passed legislation forbidding Vietnamese women from marrying Korean men over the age of 50, and Korean men 16 years or more older. Korean men already had a bad reputation stemming from the Vietnam war, but it has been exacerbated by what the Vietnamese government considers unacceptable levels of domestic violence and several murders. One occurred in 2009 when a 37-year-old Korean man killed his 20-year-old Vietnamese wife one week after they arrived in South Korea after the wedding.

    Vietnamese newspapers justified it by saying that Korean men treat women “like commodities”. One wonders if this was reported at all in South Korean newspapers.

    So, AFAIK, Korean men are the only ones of any advanced industrial country restricted from marrying women from another country on non-religious grounds.”

    Men have often treated women poorly. US GIs earned themselves a bad reputation in the country you now call home. GIs raped many Japanese women, terrorizing innocent female civilians, to the extent that Japanese authorities had to set up a prostitution system to protect Japanese women. And if you want to speak of unpleasant facts about certain peoples/populations, I imagine you’ll accept me also doing so: as far as I know, the United States is the only advanced industrial country whose adult population has an estimated 1 out of every 4 adults infected with either oral or genital herpes, and one of every seven with an incurable sexually transmitted disease (herpes or AIDS).

    “When you talk about how people in Japanese-occupied territory viewed Koreans, is that the sort of thing you mean?”

    Yes.
    ——–
    AK: Commendable that you spent so much time explaining everyone’s resume, but appeals to authority do little for me. Caprio could have camped out in the National Diet Library cherrypicking what he wanted, or he could be an honest scholar — another commenter doesn’t think so — and I frankly don’t care who considers whom a “dean” of studies.

    The question was, “What “resources” specifically is he talking about?”

    Still don’t know.

    -A.

  9. American Kim said

    Until you present credentials superior to his, I’ll take his published research work more seriously than your blog (which as I’ve said is informative – but you’re not a professional academician.)
    ——–
    AK: Suit yourself, but it didn’t take much actual research to demonstrate conclusively to me that academic honors are just as worthless as journalistic honors, and not indicative in the slightest of the accomplishments of those honored.

    When I first started this site several years ago, I signed up to a mailing list operated out of the University of Tokyo for Japan specialists around the world. It is conducted in English. You have to receive permission to write, but anyone can read it. I thought it might be a good information source.

    It took me three weeks to discover (and I was surprised) that I knew more about what was really happening in Japan than anyone on the list. The amount of wishful thinking going on was educational in itself. I signed off because it was a waste of time. Indeed, most of them would have benefited from being students in a class I taught, assuming they were interested in questioning their premises. As a result, I would no sooner take an academic paper or book on Japan at face value than I would an American mass media report from either end of the political spectrum on any politician.

    I have to get my facts right or I lose credibility. All they have to do is publish something that pleases the guild. They’ll never lose tenure.

    Do not get the idea that I share many of this guy’s ideas, but I share this one. And this one, particularly the paragraph after the blockquote.

    One of the least credible people on Japan affairs today is Karel van Wolferen. Indeed, he matches perfectly the descriptions offered by the guy at the website links.

    Just be glad your life doesn’t depend on the credibility of a professor in the so-called “social sciences”.

    – A.

  10. yankdownunder said

    AK.

    The United States bombed Japan’s industrial facilities for one obvious reason: to cripple Japan’s war-making capabilities.

    Bullsh!t!!

    The bombing was to terrorize and kill. US even conducted research on how to make the fire bombs more effective(kill more men,women and children). They bombed Japan to punish then for Pearl Harbor, not for any military reason.

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