S-Space Kyujanggak Institute for Korean Studies (규장각한국학연구원) Seoul Journal of Korean Studies Seoul Journal of Korean Studies vol.23 (2010)
Dual Broadcasting and Diglossia in the Japanese Colonial Period
- Seo, Jaekil
- Issue Date
- Seoul Journal of Korean Studies, Vol.23 No.2, pp. 173-194
- In April of 1933, the Kyo˘ngso˘ ng [Seoul] Broadcasting Station, first established in
1927, started dual language broadcasting. Most of the programs on Radio 1, broadcast in Japanese, were relayed from Japan and targeted an audience consisting of Korean elites and Japanese settlers in the colony. Radio 2, on the other hand, was broadcast in Korean, and listened to mostly by Koreans who could not understand Japanese at all. Although the main purpose of the Korean channel was to disseminate propaganda for the Japanese empire, radio broadcasting also played a major role as a medium through which ordinary Koreans produced, distributed, and consumed modern mass culture. After the outbreak of the Sino-Japanese War in 1937, some officials of the colonial government sought to curtail or eliminate Korean language broadcasting. However, it was the colonial government’s recognition of the utility of Korean language broadcasting as a tool of propaganda and mobilization that guaranteed the channel’s survival and even enabled its expansion during the Pacific Campaign. As a result, an auditory medium of national scale, which aspired to establishing “the highest standard for the Korean language,” contributed to the creation of linguistic identity and norms. Korean broadcasts opened up new possibilities for the Korean language, considered only a dialect in the imperial linguistic hierarchy, and contributed to its development into the modern language of a nation.
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