S-Space Kyujanggak Institute for Korean Studies (규장각한국학연구원) Korean Culture (한국문화) Korean Culture (한국문화) vol.44 (2008)
1910년대 일제의 조선 동화론과 동화정책
- Issue Date
- 서울대학교 규장각한국학연구원
- 한국문화, Vol.44, pp. 99-125
- It was around 1904, after they have won Russo-Japanese War that the Japanese began to talk about assimilating and civilizing Korea. Even though they admitted they had learned the high civilization of China through Korea in the ancient age, they said Korea has degenerated ever since into barbarism. So they proclaimed it their duty to vibrate Korea. Referring to the mission of civilization, almost all of the leaders of Japan urged their people and their government to tale bold steps to go to Korea and save poor Koreans from barbarism.
On proclaiming the eternal merge of Korea to Imperial Japan, they justified it as a reunification of two families and said by it Koreans become the same infants and subjects of the Japanese Emperor as the Japanese. But contradicting their benevolent proclamation, they permitted Korea only the status of an "external territory"(外地), out casting Koreans out of the wall of protect of the Japanese constitution.
The Chosun Sotokufu ascribed this outright discrimination to the low level of development of the people and the difficult situations in Korea(時勢民度), they urged Koreans to obey to civilizing policies of the "government" and follow the guidance of Japanese brother. They asserted that only when Koreans arrived at the same level of civilization and fully assimilated to Japan, could they be treated as the same, urging Koreans to learn Japanese language as the first step.
But partly being aware of the strong antipathy of the Koreans toward the policy of assimilation and partly because their shortage of fiscal ability to put it forward, the Chosun Sotokufu could not drive the policy of assimilation strong in 1910s. So we could conclude that the Japanese claiming of assimilating Koreans in 1910s not so much a real policy as it is a propaganda offensive and a excuse to discrminate against Koreans.