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November 23, 2005

Comments

Andrew

I know very little about Korean history, so here's an honest question - I'm not sure I understand the bit about the locals benefiting financially:

"As the population explosion made labor increasingly abundant vis-a-vis land, rents increased more rapidly than wages, suggesting that income distribution became less equal during the colonial period."

Doesn't rising inequality suggest that in fact the locals were not benefiting financially? (well, the local peasants, I guess - if Korean landowners kept their land, they were probably doing better.) I mean, if you're a tenant farmer and your rent is rising faster than your wages, that's not so good for your financial situation. Though, obviously, it's a good thing that you're living longer and not dying of preventable diseases.

Abiola Lapite

"Doesn't rising inequality suggest that in fact the locals were not benefiting financially?"

Suppose we have a population with incomes between 1 and 100, but thanks to economic growth the spread in incomes grows to 3-1000, with everyone earning more than he or she did before. Does this rise in inequality portend impoverishment or exploitation to you?

To ask for a decrease or stagnation in income inequality during a period of historically rapid takeoff growth is almost to demand a mathematical impossibility. An increase in income inequality has historically initially attended income growth *everywhere*, and it's virtually impossible to have one without the other. China has seen a tremendous increase in inequality over the last 25 years, yet no sane person would suggest this has been a bad thing for the average Chinese person.

"I mean, if you're a tenant farmer and your rent is rising faster than your wages, that's not so good for your financial situation."

Show me a single rapidly industrializing country in all of history in which rents on land haven't risen rapidly, driving people off the land in droves to find work in the cities. How did all those people in England's "dark, satanic mills" get there in the first place?

Nothing you mention here is in the slightest bit indicative of poor economic performance or exploitation under Japanese rule, but rather the contrary: such effects are seen everywhere growth is occurring rapidly, and the statistics bear out that living standards in Korea improved dramatically under Japanese rule, where they'd been stagnant and even *dropping* during the prior 100 years of Korean independence.

Randy McDonald

This pattern of economic growth seems to take place in all manner of colonies. In West Africa, I've been told, French and British colonialisms created profitable new agricultural and mining export industries, engaging not in trade diversion but in trade creation.

Abiola Lapite

Economic growth in British West Africa did undoubtedly accelerate, just never to the degree that it did in Korea during the latter half of Japanese rule, which isn't surprising, seeing as Britain never put anything like as much investment into its African colonies* as Japan did in Korea and Taiwan. It can't seriously denied that after the (far from insignificant) era of slave trading British rule was on the whole positive for West Africa, especially after the 1930s.

You'll find that amongst serious people (i.e. no Afrocentricist "Socrates was black!" types) the main criticism of the British presence towards the close of the colonial period was that so little was done at the time to realistically prepare Britain's colonies for the aftermath of its overlordship, with the realities of prior ethnic loyalties and state affiliations brushed off by imperial administrators as so much ephemeral "tribalism." After Indian independence became a foregone conclusion Britain tired of the rest of its colonial possessions and essentially abandoned them to their fates, unleashing all the ethnic rivalry and outright warfare we're still seeing today (and here I include the British-created messes in Iraq and Palestine).

*Excepting Rhodesia and South Africa, of course.

Randy McDonald

"Economic growth in British West Africa did undoubtedly accelerate, just never to the degree that it did in Korea during the latter half of Japanese rule, which isn't surprising, seeing as Britain never put anything like as much investment into its African colonies* as Japan did in Korea and Taiwan."

Côte d'Ivoire seems to have experienced Ghana's economic history in the two decades after independence. Just a pity that this was thrown away by global commodity prices and the dubious thrills of ethnic nationalism.

That said, I suspect that Korea was simply a much more functional entity by virtue of its history than (say) even the Gold Coast or Nigeria since Korea had been a unified state society for centuries. It was dysfunctional, true, but there were traditions of unity and literacy that could readily be invoked. It doubtless helped than Japan chose to integrate Korea directly into itself, perhaps on the model of Algerian incorporation into France.

This didn't exactly ensure that the bulk of Koreans enjoyed anything like equality with the Japanese, of course, as most directly demonstrated by the pogrom massacres of two thousand Korean migrants unfortunately enough to be in Tokyo after the Great Kanto Earthquake. For that matter, Japan did a singularly poor job of preparing the Koreans for self-rule, abandoning the peninsula only after it was defeated in a catastrophic great-power war marked by (among other things) the murder of a tenth of the Chinese population. Japan's brutality in Korea seems to have been typical of colonial regimes, true, but it was all the more intense for being especially modern. Compare France in Algeria, or Britain's former settler states in southern Africa.

Dan tdaxp

Randy,

"A murder of a tenth of the Chinese population"? Unlike the genocide of ethnic Japanese in Korea and Manchuria /after/ the end of the fighting, I would imagine most Chinese deaths came from the war itself, not revenge-killings.

Abiola Lapite

"It was dysfunctional, true, but there were traditions of unity and literacy that could readily be invoked."

The "unity" part I can go with, but not the "literacy" aspect: outside of the small Yangban class, Choson Korea was an overwhelmingly illiterate society, and even the rapid expansion of literacy under Japanese rule still only managed to raise the literacy rate to something like 25% by 1945 (blame the demographic expansion for this); on the West African side of things the knowledge of writing had reached much of the region shortly after the rapid expansion of Islam some 1300 years back, Timbuktu's library was famous long before any white men reached West African shores, and the Hausa had been writing in "Ajami" (adapted Arabic script) for centuries; prior to Japan's takeover, Koreans who enjoyed modern educations were doing so only through the efforts of Western missionaries, and if anything on a smaller scale than was already underway in West Africa, thanks in large part to Choson xenophobia. The picture of Korea being far ahead of West Africa in the development stakes is a completely misleading one (take a look at the pictures in the following links and see for yourself just how far advanced of West Africa the Choson-era Korea really was.)

https://www.occidentalism.org/?p=35
https://photo.jijisama.org/BeforeAfter.html

The Japanese contribution to Korea's later economic takeoff was a tremendous one, far greater than what Britain ever did for West Africans. Indirect rule may have made for peaceful relations, but it also meant that much of the fruits of Western learning bypassed the people being ruled indirectly.

"Japan's brutality in Korea seems to have been typical of colonial regimes, true, but it was all the more intense for being especially modern. Compare France in Algeria, or Britain's former settler states in southern Africa."

There really is no comparison. French rule in Algeria and white settler rule in Southern Africa were far more brutal and costly in terms of lives lost, nor did Algeria's Arabs or South Africa's blacks enjoy anything like the rights Koreans did under Japanese rule, whatever the breaches in practice. No black person ever rose to high office or advanced into the managerial class under white rule in South Africa, while more than one Korean was made a general in the Imperial Japanese army (two of the generals hung at the Tokyo War Crimes trial were Koreans), Park Chung Hee was a major in the Kwantung army and several Koreans sat in both houses of the Imperial Japanese diet, and Japan-resident Koreans had the full right to vote. Koreans may have been under the harsh eye of the Kempeitai, but then again so were native Japanese back on the home islands, and while rebellions were put down with harshness, Koreans never suffered the mass annihilations white settlers inflicted on many southern African groups which opposed them. To put the Korean experience side by side with that of Algeria's completely disenfranchised muslims or the butchered and ghettoized blacks of southern Africa is to both unjustifiably blacken Japan's rule and trivialize the extent of the sufferings of the latter two groups. Kanto earthquake pogrom notwithstanding, Koreans simply never had it anywhere near that bad.

A better comparison of the state of Koreans under Japanese rule would be to that of America's northern black population before the Civil Rights era (Koreans were never subjected to the sorts of blatantly discriminatory policies common in the Jim Crow South).

By the way, let me add for good measure that what was arguably the harshest part of Japan's rule over Korea actually sets its record apart from that of other colonial powers: its efforts in the later 1930s to completely suppress the native Korean culture and turn all of its subjects into "good Japanese." It is fair to say that this would not have eliminated discrimination against Koreans even if it had succeeded, but it is also a far cry from the permanent subjugation and segregation that was the preference of European colonialists almost everywhere; furthermore, neither the effort nor the means effected to carry it out were unprecedented in Japan's history, as it was the self-same process by which the peoples of the Ryukyuan kingdoms were (successfully) transformed into "Japanese", despite having been under Chinese vassalage for hundreds of years and speaking a language too divergent from Japanese for the two to be intelligible.

https://www.jpri.org/publications/occasionalpapers/op8.html
https://ic.ucsc.edu/~naso/hist159b/presentations/imperialism%20pres/japanese_imperialism.htm

There is absolutely no reason to believe that the Japanese end-goal in Korea was not the same as what was already being realized in Okinawa - certainly not quite as nice as being fully independent, but nothing like what it meant to be a Muslim in Algeria or worse yet a black person in British southern Africa.

PS: Couldn't resist giving one more link. This post, ostensibly a discussion of Karate's history, gives a lot of insight into the particulars of the transformation of Okinawans into "Japanese", and hopefully sheds some light on just what the Japanese were up to in their cultural campaigns in Korea.

https://www.froginawell.net/japan/2005/05/karate-and-modernity-a-call-for-comments/

The very fact that the Japanese were bothering with playing up the historical connections between the two countries even through the outright falsification of history supports the contention that the aim was to transform the Koreans from "gaichi" Imperial subjects of dubious loyalty into fully Japanese "naichi" citizens. The history of white rule in Southern Africa wouldn't stink half so bad if anything like the same goal had ever been envisioned there - blacks were simply seen as so much unassimilable human garbage, of use only as pack labor and otherwise to be stuffed out of sight in overcrowded reservations.

Randy McDonald

"Unlike the genocide of ethnic Japanese in Korea and Manchuria /after/ the end of the fighting, I would imagine most Chinese deaths came from the war itself, not revenge-killings."

Genocide? Of Japanese colonists in mainland Asia?

If you want to call that genocide, sure, call it genocide. It would be impossible to describe a Japanese occupation policy in China that resulted in things like the sack of Nanjing, Unit 731, and the "three alls" as anything but genocidal.

Randy McDonald

"The "unity" part I can go with, but not the "literacy" aspect: outside of the small Yangban class, Choson Korea was an overwhelmingly illiterate society, and even the rapid expansion of literacy under Japanese rule still only managed to raise the literacy rate to something like 25% by 1945 (blame the demographic expansion for this); on the West African side of things the knowledge of writing had reached much of the region shortly after the rapid expansion of Islam some 1300 years back, Timbuktu's library was famous long before any white men reached West African shores, and the Hausa had been writing in "Ajami" (adapted Arabic script) for centuries; prior to Japan's takeover, Koreans who enjoyed modern educations were doing so only through the efforts of Western missionaries, and if anything on a smaller scale than was already underway in West Africa, thanks in large part to Choson xenophobia."

Outside of the Sahel, how many West African cultures were literate at all?

"To put the Korean experience side by side with that of Algeria's completely disenfranchised muslims or the butchered and ghettoized blacks of southern Africa is to both unjustifiably blacken Japan's rule and trivialize the extent of the sufferings of the latter two groups."

Unjustifiably blacken? Um. Again, I point to the apocalyptic death toll in China. Any picture of Japanese colonialism has to take China into account. Any picture that does so can't rate it favourably.

"There is absolutely no reason to believe that the Japanese end-goal in Korea was not the same as what was already being realized in Okinawa - certainly not quite as nice as being fully independent, but nothing like what it meant to be a Muslim in Algeria or worse yet a black person in British southern Africa."

I'm skeptical of this. "Any moment now ..." Moreover, even with the Okinawans the seeming completion of this assimilation provided no guarantee that they would be treated as equals. The willing sacrifice of Okinawans in almost genocidal proportions is proof of this. The French might have treated the Algerians badly, but at least Vichy France didn't encourage Algerian Muslims to sacrifice themselves by the millions against the United States in Operation Torch.

"The very fact that the Japanese were bothering with playing up the historical connections between the two countries even through the outright falsification of history supports the contention that the aim was to transform the Koreans from "gaichi" Imperial subjects of dubious loyalty into fully Japanese "naichi" citizens."

Not really. Did Imperial Germany's manufacture of claims to areas populated, at one time or another, by people of Germanic stock in both western and central Europe indicate that Imperial Germany, under the influence of the Kaiser's militarism, in fact saw Poles and Czechs and Belgians as the equals of Germans? Self-justifying claims to empire based on historical patterns and geography are just that.

I don't disagree with you on your central contention, that Japanese colonial rule in Korea wasn't destructive. This is true. Your ancillary points--that Japanese colonization was a good thing for Korea, that Japanese colonial policy as a rule was better than Western colonial policies--don't seem supportable to me.

Andrew

"Did Imperial Germany's manufacture of claims to areas populated, at one time or another, by people of Germanic stock in both western and central Europe indicate that Imperial Germany, under the influence of the Kaiser's militarism, in fact saw Poles and Czechs and Belgians as the equals of Germans?"

I don't think the analogy fits. The German claims were to territory, not people. They still saw Poles as inferior foreigners. Whereas if I understand Abiola correctly, Japan was trying to literally turn Koreans into Japanese. Perhaps a more apt analogy is Turkey's policy toward the Kurds? (I don't know if the particular policies are similar, but they seem analogous in the ultimate goal of forcible assimilation.)

"The willing sacrifice of Okinawans in almost genocidal proportions is proof of this."

Wouldn't Japanese on the main islands have done the same if a US invasion had gone forward?

Re literacy, did West African countries have high literacy rates among the population? (again, honest question) Because it seems to me that the relevant aspect in comparing them to Korea is literacy rate, not literacy per se, since Korea also had writing early on, Japan was increasing literacy rates in Korea rather than introducing writing itself.

Abiola Lapite

"Outside of the Sahel, how many West African cultures were literate at all?"

Quite a few more than you seem to be aware of. Hey, we're only talking about knowledge of writing in an area covering 2/3 of Nigeria's landmass after all, so just hold onto the "ignorant darkies vs. ancient Eastern wisdom" mentality ...

"Um. Again, I point to the apocalyptic death toll in China."

Have you forgotten that this whole post is about KOREA? This red herring is as ridiculous a distraction as bringing up the plight of the Kikuyu in discussing British Australia. Korean soldiers were *in the thick* of the atrocities committed in China, as any attempt to educate yourself on the facts would have informed you: I certainly shan't be bothering after this response.

"The willing sacrifice of Okinawans in almost genocidal proportions is proof of this. The French might have treated the Algerians badly, but at least Vichy France didn't encourage Algerian Muslims to sacrifice themselves by the millions against the United States in Operation Torch."

Yeah, because only Okinawans were ever expected to fight to the last man, and there was no expectation of mainland Japanese citizens all dying for the glory of the emperor or anything ... In any case, what does this have to do with the actual sufferings of KOREANS?

"Did Imperial Germany's manufacture of claims to areas populated, at one time or another, by people of Germanic stock in both western and central Europe indicate that Imperial Germany, under the influence of the Kaiser's militarism, in fact saw Poles and Czechs and Belgians as the equals of Germans?"

This is frankly an insult to my intelligence. I pointed out to you that the Japanese had an ideological and colonial programme based on a past template which had worked, and then provided supporting material to illustrate how they were applying it in Korea, but instead you pull in a completely irrelevant argumentum ad hitlerum to answer everything I have to say? What an incredibly frivolous and irritating way to answer one's attempt at serious engagement with your questions: next time I'll know enough to spare myself the effort.

"Your ancillary points--that Japanese colonization was a good thing for Korea, that Japanese colonial policy as a rule was better than Western colonial policies--don't seem supportable to me."

Whatever. I've provided evidence, too bad if you don't let it get in the way of your ideological beliefs. Having gone to some trouble to provide you with material to enlighten yourself with under the apparently misleading conclusion that you were interested in serious scholarship on the issue, I'm this close to blowing my gasket at the inanity of your response to it all. Yeah, the evil Japs were as bad as Hendrik Verwoerd! They killed 1 million Koreans! What a load of tripe.

Abiola Lapite

"Perhaps a more apt analogy is Turkey's policy toward the Kurds?"

Yes, exactly! Thank goodness someone gets what I'm driving at.

"Because it seems to me that the relevant aspect in comparing them to Korea is literacy rate, not literacy per se, since Korea also had writing early on, Japan was increasing literacy rates in Korea rather than introducing writing itself."

Indeed, that's part of the point I was trying to make: literacy rates in Korea were *abysmally low* before the Japanese annexation, by no means high enough to set Koreans above Nigerians in the "readiness for modernization" stakes. The enrollment in Korean primary schools was a mere 1% of the population at the time, most of them members of the same old Yangban elite which already knew how to read, and the massive expansion of literacy under the Japanese still only brought the literacy rate to no more than 1 in 4 of all Koreans. To attribute the difference in Korean and Nigerian post-colonial success to some sort of "civilization gap" is to ignore the evidence in favor of cherished stereotypes of African backwardness: the fact is that the number of schools built in Nigeria by the British government numbered in the *single digits* (I actually attended one of the few), and the rest were the work of the same missionaries who were responsible for that 1% of Korean primary-school attending children before the arrival of the Japanese.

Abiola Lapite

What the heck, I'm feeling generous all of a sudden: those who are interested in serious scholarly examinations of Korea's economic development under the Japanese can examine the following sources.

"Facts and Myths about Korea's Economic Past", by Yeungnam University's Myung Soo Cha.

https://www.blackwell-synergy.com/doi/abs/10.1111/j.1467-8446.2004.00122.x
(see
https://yu.ac.kr/~mscha/papers/AREH.pdf
for a free copy).

"The Colonial Origins of Korean Enterprise", by Dennis L. McNamara.

https://www.cambridge.org/us/catalogue/catalogue.asp?isbn=0521385652

As for those more interested in parroting propaganda about how Japan in Korea was no better than the British in West Africa, the sources above can be ignored easily enough ...

takeshima

You can expect korean worshipers like Kushibo to disute all reason and truth regarding korean history.

Chuckles

[...Outside of the Sahel, how many West African cultures were literate at all?...]

Hmmm - there is evidence for some literacy among the Yoruba, in Arabic again. There is also the Edidi manuscript. In "Two Princes of Calabar", Randy Sparks while discussing the odyssey of Little Ephraim Robin John and Ancona Robin Robin John points out that a decent among of written communication was going on between traders in the Bight of Biafra and their English clients.

Again, in Benin - there was a Portuguese embassy of sorts, and a fair amount of written communication between the Palace of the Oba and the Portuguese.

This held among the Ijebu, the Signare classes of the Guinea Coast etc etc. But even outside of West Africa, we know that several of the Kongo kingdoms engaged in extensive written communications with European partners.

If Abiola's contention is that there wasnt an appreciably greater amount of literacy among the Koreans to affect social outcomes in the modern world all by itself, I would say it is fairly on the money.

Though, I would rate the British in West Africa is being more horrendous in their treatment - even economically. The growth of the 1930s was due to agricultural substitution policies of the British, policies which laid the way in no small measure for the food crop bankruptcy in much of West African today - Definitely, I would apply pretty much the same arguments as the Koreans against the British - except that in the case of the British, there is no shortage of evidence.

The key fact here is that peculiar form of European racism. It cannot be overemphasized.

For even when West Africans gained education, they were deliberately kept out of the civil service - on the grounds that they were becoming uppity - and yes, it was policy that only a narrow cadre of West Africans were to be trained for the purpose of administering the colonies. Education was held to "ruin" the very nature of the natives and make them ungovernable.

As for recruitments and forced labor - one only needs to look at European policies during both wars - of forced recruitment, village burning, etc.

I think the doctrinal foundations of the European adventure in West Africa ultimately made the situation for Blacks far worse than what Koreans experienced.

radek

So far as I know no Korean Economic Historian would dispute the basics here. The main controversy seems to be about the extent to which the growth in Korea during the colonial period was due to the large Japanese investment in manufacturing or due to the changing of institutions - the replacement of corrupt and feudal Choson government with a modernizing and open colonial one. Or in other words, like a lot of questions about what causes growth, is it the K or the A in the F(AL,K) production function that's doing the growing?

From what I understand Japanese didn't start really pumping a lot money into manufacturing and infrastructure until the 1930's, but growth occured in the 10's and 20's. So a good chunk of it was driven by native Korean enterpreneurship - basically those poor and semi-illiterate peasants who under Choson rule where shut out of any profit making opportunities got quite busy taking advantage that presented themselves under colonial rule.

Abiola Lapite

Well sure, just the fact that Japanese rule provided a more secure and open framework for entrepreneurship was a big help, but in terms of understanding Korea's economic takeoff under Park Chung-Hee, one simply can't ignore the importance of the major investments in heavy industry which occurred in the 1930s: the Korean managerial skills which helped build the chaebols later on were acquired then, and indeed the very genesis of the most notable groups occurred during the time in question, which is why it's no accident that their structure bore such a strong resemblance to the state-"guided" zaibatsu system they'd had the opportunity to learn about at first hand in Manchukuo and Korea itself (and with which Park Chung Hee, aka Takaki Masao, and his associates were themselves most familiar with from their days as loyal citizens of Imperial Japan).

This kind of first-hand experience of industrial management at the lower and middle ranks (Korean advancement in management levels increased throughout the course of the war) is something no black Africans ever knew under either the British or the French - outside of mining, industrial investment in Africa was negligible, and the small cadre of Africans who were able to acquire educations were mostly directed into low-level clerical/government work (the latter *still* being seen as the ideal to shoot for today) and its importance to South Korea's later takeoff can't be overstated. In fact, I'll say that this human capital acquired through "learning by doing" was a lot more important for Korea's later boom than Japanese investment in physical infrastructure as such.

gene berman

The Japanese, during their occupation of Korea, had a favorite joke about the backwardness of the country.

The most important technology the Koreans had learned in thousands of years, they said, was "how to use one stick on their shoulder to carry two buckets of shit and to use two sticks in their hand to eat one bucket of shit." Of course, they referred to the carrying of nightsoil and the eating of kimchee (the latter is good stuff "once you've got past the smell," as they say and has gained a degree of popularity beyond Koreans themselves. Korean lore teaches that there are two things that must never be trusted: Japanese goods and Japanese smiles.

Japanese

sunghoon

Everybody here fails to look at important point ,the economic growth that was created during the Japanese colonial period mostly returned to the Japanese people residing in Korean peninsula. (we can reach to the conclusion that average one Japanse farmers earned 96 times much than average Korean farmers. No it was not because of their innovative better tech and efforts but they were advantaged by the land surveying project and government preffered economic policy )

The Koreans who benefitted from it were only very small part of the land owners who showed better loyalty to the Japanese.

The surface Economic data cannot tell the important things here.

Randy McDonald

"Yeah, because only Okinawans were ever expected to fight to the last man, and there was no expectation of mainland Japanese citizens all dying for the glory of the emperor or anything ... In any case, what does this have to do with the actual sufferings of KOREANS?"

It's difficult to say that a country run by a dictatorship willing to let foreign invaders kill millions of its own citizens is superior to a country run by dictatorships most unwilling to do the same. You've made good arguments to the effect that West African colonialisms, both British and French, were more threatening to the long-term futures of West Africa than Japanese colonialism was in Korea. That said, British and French colonialisms were at least secure enough to not see the mass death of millions of their citizens/subjects as a plausible alternative. When Japan was good it was good; when it was bad it was very very bad.

"This is frankly an insult to my intelligence. I pointed out to you that the Japanese had an ideological and colonial programme based on a past template which had worked, and then provided supporting material to illustrate how they were applying it in Korea, but instead you pull in a completely irrelevant argumentum ad hitlerum to answer everything I have to say?"

Ad Hitlerum? Ad Kaiserum, more like it. Come to think of it, First World War Germany and Second World War Japan have quite a lot of common: rampant militarism, cults of ethnic superiority, second-class citizenship for members of ethnic minorities, a willingness to suspend normal moral standards in the colonies (Manchuria and Namibia, say).

aland

Absolutely not true that Chosun-era Korean literacy is only 1%.
Do you think USA's 32million elementary student in 290million people means USA's literacy rate is only 11%?

Abiola Lapite

"Absolutely not true that Chosun-era Korean literacy is only 1%."

You mean you'd *LIKE TO BELIEVE* that it isn't true in order to spare your nationalistic pride - the hard statistical evidence acknowledged even by the Korean government is that 40 years of Japanese-provided primary education still only managed to lift the Korean literacy rate to 25% by the end of WW2.

"Do you think USA's 32million elementary student in 290million people means USA's literacy rate is only 11%?"

The brazen illogic of this statement makes me laugh, it's so unintentionally comedic. How many Americans have never even been to school, as was typical for Chosun-era Koreans? How many Americans consider "literacy" to mean being able to read and write thousands of characters in Classical Chinese? Heck, how many Koreans *today* could read the typical Chosun-era hanja-filled document without translation? I bet I could do a better job of it than 99% of Koreans under 40, including yourself - the idea that peasant of the 1890s who'd never smelled the insides of a classroom could do any such thing is farcical.

Uri Nara

I like all the statistics and facts you gathered to write your personal article that depicts your take on the Japanese domination of Korea during the early part of the 20th century. The bottom line is, after all the research, you still failed to understand the wrong the Japanese committed. You like the Japanese deny the errors that were made and all the research in the world cannot cover up this fact. You say these claims are blatantly untrue. All the supposed "good" you say Japan brought to Korea was only engineered for the advancement of Japan, even if that meant to increase the quality of life of a Korean only to make them a better "subject" of Imperial Japan. Japan has tried so hard to deny its wrong doing but its ironic how they have borrowed so much from Korea over the past millenia and half, only to in turn try to assimilate her people.

Abiola

"The bottom line is, after all the research, you still failed to understand the wrong the Japanese committed. You like the Japanese deny the errors that were made and all the research in the world cannot cover up this fact."

Thank you for providing such a wonderful example of precisely the sort of illogical, emotion-driven, self-pitying rhetoric my post was designed to act as a corrective to; the icing on the cake was that you should have chosen to do so using a pseudonym which amounts to a Korean equivalent of "Unser Volk"; ultra-nationalism can do awful things to people's minds ...

"Japan has tried so hard to deny its wrong doing but its ironic how they have borrowed so much from Korea over the past millenia and half, only to in turn try to assimilate her people."

Ah, yes, it's right and proper for Japan to learn from Koreans, but an awful, awful crime for the learning to go the other way, isn't it? I understand you *perfectly.*

Thomas Pak

An excellent job!!!! As a 1.5 generation Korean-American, I myself had been struggling with Koreans about this matter of the past. I could not have said better than this.

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