Thursday, February 01, 2007

Japanese colonial rules in Korea and Taiwan

I am pondering this question, and look forward to your insights.

Taiwan was under Japanese rule from 1895 to 1945, and Korea became Japan's colony only 15 years after Taiwan. Thinking about all those anti-Japanese movements in Korea, it is clear to me that Korean sentiment toward Japan's colonial rule was (and is) in stark contrast from that in Taiwan.



Sayaka said...

Wow. Diana, you posed a huuuuge question in such a casual way. I think it deserves a couple of dissertations.

There are many speculations you can make, probably. A few things that just come to my mind are: 1. The historical backgrounds are different. Taiwan has a long history of foreign occupations. Korea used to play a bigger brother role for Japan. 2. The two regions were ruled differently. Some people might say the Japanese colonial rulers in Korea were more militaristic. (But chaotic and nasty things also happened in Taiwan...) 3. The experiences of the immediate post colonial period were different. The early KMT's rule was more brutal and more chaotic compared to the Japanese one in Taiwan: they said "dogs are gone and pigs have arrived". In Korea, as we know, Syngman Rhee was strongly anti-Japanese. (we will probably study more on this in class) 4. The current political environments are different. For DPP, the target enemy is Mainland China, and for this purpose it is easier to align with Japanese rightwingers. For Korea (politicians in general), the target of identity politics seems to be Japan and the US.

I'm sure there are more reasons you can think of, but I haven't read a major (systematic) research on this yet...

diana said...

Thank you, Sayaka. Very thoughtful. Your comment helps me a lot.

Sayaka said...

By the way Diana, I thought you might be interested in reading this:
What Makes the Korean Church Grow? from Christianity Today.