Korea under Japanese rule 1910 – 1945 - 일제시대 -
Pre-event • Since 1897, The Korean Peninsula was ruled by emperor Gojong and his empress Queen Min. The peninsula was called the Greater Korean Empire.
Pre-event • Modernization took place in the empire. The emperor started wearing Prussian-style royal attire and western suits. Then later onwards, all Korean soldiers and policemen wore western uniform. • Modern infrastructures were built as well and introduced public electrical lightning network and an electric streetcar system was introduced. • In 1902, the first long-distance public phone was installed.
Pre-event • After Japan won the Russo-Japanese war in 1905, Russia acknowledged through the Treaty of Portsmouth, Japan’s interest in Korea. • The Taft-Katsura agreement between U.S. and Japan recognized Japan’s interest in Korea in return of recognizing U.S.’s interest in the Philippines.
Pre-event • Then two months later, Korea was forced to become a Japanese protectorate by signing the Japan-Korea Treaty of 1905 • So in the summer of 1907, the Second peace Conference was held in The Hague, Netherlands and the emperor sent a few representatives to tell the problem of the country to the world. However, they were denied to access the public stage.
The Annexation • On 19 July 1907, the emperor was forced to give up his throne to the Crown Prince. This emperor known has King Sunjong became the last king of Korea. • On 22 August 1910, Japan annexed Korea with the Japan-Korea Annexation Treaty. • The treaty became effective the same day and was published one week later. The treaty demanded:Article 1: His Majesty the Emperor of Korea concedes completely and definitely his entire sovereignty over the whole Korean territory to His Majesty the Emperor of Japan.Article 2: His Majesty the Emperor of Japan accepts the concession stated in the previous article and consents to the annexation of Korea to the Empire of Japan.
During the rule • After emperor Gojong’s death, a few anti-Japanese movements were triggered such as the March 1st Movement in 1919. This was to declare the independence of Korea from Japanese rule and somewhat 2 million people participated in it. However, the Japanese responded violently and killed about 7509. • This rise caused to create the Provisional Government of the Republic of Korea on April 1919.
The Indepedence • After the Pearl Harbor attack, on December 1941, the Provisional Government declared war on Japan and Nazi Germany. • After U.S bombed Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Japan surrendered to the Allied forces on 15 August 1945, which ended the 36 years of Japanese occupation.
Post-event • American forces arrive and occupy the southern part of Korea on September 8, 1945 and the Soviet Union occupies the Northern part of Korea. They later decide to split the peninsula at the 38th parallel line to help redevelop the country post colonization by establishing provisional government. • However, the Soviet Union refused to cooperate with the United Nations plans to use free democratic elections although the elections were scheduled. Therefore, the Northern Korea permanently remained a communist state while the Southern Korea remained a capitalist.
The economic and educational impact • The economy of the country developed and modernized under the Japanese rule because they wanted to extract raw materials like timber so built transportations and infrastructures. • Most Koreans at the time could only get a primary school education as restricted by the Japanese, which stopped from developing the noble class. And most firms and factories , like 94% were owned by the Japanese.
The labor impact • During the colonization, the landowners were mostly Japanese and the Koreans were workers. Also, the Japanese taxed the Koreans harshly that the country suffered from famine. • Due to World War II, many Japanese males were sent to war and were short of labor. So by 1942, the Japanese decided to extend the labor provisions to Korea as well and about 670,000 Koreans were taken to Japan. However, due to inhumane and harsh conditions, about 60,000 were found to be killed.
The ‘Cultural Genocide’ • During the annexation period, Korean culture and the use of Korean language, Hangul was strictly forbidden and suppressed by the Japanese. • The Japanese took control of several newspapers in Korean to counteract the anti-Japanese newspapers. They altered public monuments such as well-known temples and statues. The imperial palace of the Korean monarchy called Gyeongbokgung was destroyed and the Japanese General Government Building was built instead.
The brutalities • During the colonial rule, many Koreans became victims of physical brutalities by the Japanese and this includes forced labor and summary executions. • Many Koreans were inhumanely sacrificed in Japan’s experiments on the human body in Unit 731. The Japanese wanted to test out different weapons and study the effects. They even performed vivisection of the human body without anesthesia and amputated legs and arms to study blood loss.
Bibliography • "Korea (historical Nation, Asia) :: Korea under Japanese Rule -- Britannica Online Encyclopedia." Encyclopedia - Britannica Online Encyclopedia. Web. 30 May 2011. <http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/693609/Korea/35021/Korea-under-Japanese-rule>. • "Korea under Japanese Rule." Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia. Web. 30 May 2011. <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Korea_under_Japanese_rule>. • "Unit 731." Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia. Web. 30 May 2011. <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Unit_731>.