Japanese Colonialism

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Evolution of Korean Language and Culture in Japan's Colonial Period

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Late nineteenth century witnessed the rival visions of the major imperial powers to sought states to carve out spheres of trade for industrial and agricultural expansion. These colonial ambitions victimized Korea to make it a colony by China, Russia, and Japan while other powers; Britain, France, and the United States were also involved in it. Korea at that time was developing from its self-imposed isolation when they realized the contending determination of these countries (Korea's Colonial Period, 2006, Pp. 3-5).

Korea was often faced with dangers and threats from difference countries and it has chosen China for its assistance as its 'younger power'. But, nineteenth century brought far more crucial threats, even china was banged by western powers; Britain and Russia and sought Japan as a major threat because of rapid industrialization. Japan planned them astutely; they created a powerful, modern army and navy to attack Korea in the veil for industrial and agriculture expansion. Korea at that time was under Choson Dynasty (Miller, 2008, Pp. 2-9). It moved slowly towards the reforms while seeking help and protection from China, but China's situation at that time was not promising because its defeat in Sino-Japanese War.


Japan made extreme efforts to maintain exclusive domination over Korea, and declared war on Russia in 1904. The driving force behind the war was the invasion of Korean Empire, the battlefield chosen for war was Korean peninsula. Koreans declared neutrality as the war broke out (Tan, 2009, Pp. 1-2). However, Japan frolicked smartly, and occupied Seoul and other important locations by two army division as to base their operations in those fragments of Korea. Following the situation, Koreans were forced to sign Korea-Japan protocol in 1904 and involved Koreans in large scale in war. Using war as a key cause, Japan took advantage of the situation and constructed Seoul-Pusan and Seoul-Sinuiju railroads and forcefully occupied tens of millions pyongs of land for military use. Afterwards, Japan grasped real powers of diplomacy, finance, military, palace, and more importantly education.

In 1905, Japan won the Russo-Japanese war, and threats for Korea further increased while Japan established firm position and influence of Korea. Since Japan's position was essentially strong because of its army and navy, western powers did not interfere with Japan's efforts to carve influence over Korea, and thus, they did not have to face much resistance except that Korea battled attempts by Japan to limit their independence. Through a series of movements and assassination of members of Korean royal family, Japanese were able to gain influence in Korea. Japan took official control of Korea in 1910 and renamed it Chosen which lasted till 1945 when they were defeated in World War II (Miller, 2008, Pp. 2-9).

Under the 35 year Japanese rule from 1910-1945, Koreans struggled hard to maintain their culture and language. Japanese were cruel enough to burn their historical documents to diminish the sources of Korean language and history. Also, they were coerced to ...
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