S-Space College of Social Sciences (사회과학대학) Center for Social Sciences (사회과학연구원) Korean Social Sciences Review (KSSR) Korean Social Sciences Review (KSSR) Vol.03, No.01/02 (2013)
The Formation of Colonial Landscape and Its Sociocultural Meanings in Korean Rural Society: A Case Study of Hwaho Village, North Chŏlla
- Hahm, Han Hee; Cho, Sung Sil; Park, Jin Yong; Moon, Ye Un
- Issue Date
- Korean Social Sciences Review(KSSR), Vol.3 No.1, pp. 33-70
- colonial landscape; landscape of farming village; colonial modernity; Japanese immigrants’ village; Kumamoto farm; dual structure of colonial space; Korea
- Translated from the article published in Korean Cultural Anthropology vol. 43, no. 1, 2010, with permission from the Korean Society for Cultural Anthropology.
- This paper will delineate the historical and cultural meanings of the colonial landscape formed during Japanese colonization in the village of Hwaho in North Chŏlla province. The Japanese began arriving in Korea starting in the early 1900’s. Once Japan colonized Korea officially in 1910, the Japanese moved in on a larger scale. They established Japanese communities in the midst of Korean communities regardless of what type of Korean community was already established, be it village, town, or city. The newly-formed Japanese communities in Korea looked exotic and authoritative to the colonized people. They began to be viewed as symbols of colonial domination. In addition to residential houses there were also administrative buildings and commercial shops. In rural areas, particularly those in the North Chŏlla plains which were known to be one of Korea’s granary regions, rich Japanese landlords purchased vast tracts of agricultural land and established large farms along with offices, residences, storage facilities, commercial shops, schools and religious institutions.
These new Japanese communities were seen as quite different from the Korean communities in both structure and form. I selected the village of Hwaho in North Chŏlla as the location for my fieldwork because the Japanese community still remains intact, including the old buildings, houses, school, as well as other sites and fields. More importantly, some old villagers in their 80’s experienced the colonialism. Many studies on the colonial landscape in Korea have focused on cities such as the capital, Kyŏngsŏng (Seoul), and four other cities, Inch’ŏn, Pusan, Mokp’o, and Kunsan, which were frontier cities in terms of both modernization and colonialism since they were treaty (open) ports to foreign vessels in the late 19th century. In comparison to scholarly attention to cities, the colonial modernization of farming areas attracts far less attention even though the farming villages actually experienced colonial modernization to a greater extent than cities. Aware of the importance of farming village’s colonial modernization seen through the colonial landscape, I decided to study the village of Hwaho. I will examine study four aspects of colonial modernism in a Korean farming village: 1) the formation of the Japanese community and its socio-economic background, 2) the specific characteristics of colonial landscape of Hwaho, 3) the newly established socio-economic hierarchy in the village upon the arrival of Japanese immigrants including big and small capitalists and petty farmers, and 4) cultural meanings of the colonial landscape and its effect on the Korean villagers. Lastly, I discuss the characteristics of colonial modernity based on what the villagers experienced.