S-Space Kyujanggak Institute for Korean Studies (규장각한국학연구원) Korean Culture (한국문화) Korean Culture (한국문화) vol.28 (2001)
자강운동기 문명개화론의 일본 인식
- Issue Date
- 서울대학교 규장각한국학연구원
- 한국문화, Vol.28, pp. 149-179
- The Chosun dynasty in the Nation-opening period did not have any channels to secure Western cultural aspects and introduce them to the general public, so requesting the assistance from the Japanese and Ching authorities (or personnels) was almost an inevitable choice. In the early stages the Ching dynasty served as a preferable guide, but after the Ching-Japanese War the Japanese started to take over Ching's position of providing the Chosun dynasty with necessary material. This study. examined the process of those changes, and checked how the Japanese personnels became to be recognized by the Chosun people as more reliable sources for consulting the reception. interpretation and implementation of foreign materials. What was also checked in order to shed a light on the matter. was the students' perspectives viewing the Japanese cultural aspects. These students were studying in Japan. and they were the ones who are now generally considered to have vastly contributed to the introduction of modem cultural aspects to this peninsula. After Chosun became a protectorate of Japan in 1905, the number of students visiting Japan at their own expenses for abroad-studies increased. These students organized a committee while their staying in Japan. and even published journals of their own. The publication of these journals were not only intended to cultivate mutual friendships among the Korean students, but were also intended to be a devise which would be required for 'enlightening' the intellectuals remaining in the peninsula. They passionately praised the fruitful results of the Meiji Renovation in their editorials, and eagerly supported the Renovation efforts as a reformation model which would also be adequate to be exercised upon the domestic administrations of Korea. They indeed wanted the general public to recognize their voices. They were strongly influenced by the triumph of the Japanese forces in the recent Russian-Japanese War(just as the general public of Korea were), and it was only natural and logical for them to properly notice a phenomenatthe Meiji Renovation} which was believed to have made the numerous triumphs the Japanese were gaining at the time possible in the first place, They were also immenselv impressed by the consolidation of patriotism and unified mentalities cultivated by the Constitutional practices of the government and the exercises of public education. In other words, they were closely observing the growing-up process of the Japanese people. and their development of a modernized government of the people. But their efforts were fundamentally misguided as they only ended up making the Korean public mentally disabled before the invasive intentions of the Japanese authorities which were trying to establish their influences in this country by cleverly utilizing the Koreans' thirst for modernization and development. The students in Japan and the 'Munmveong(civilazation) & Gaehwa(modernization)' theorizers' more-than-eager idealization of the Me~i Renovation marked another archetypal beginning of the introduction of Western cultural elements filtered through Japanese routes. It was indeed an irony that these students wound up making the general efforts of the Korean population only more vulnerable to the Japanese aggression by trying to merely imitate the renovation models designed and devised by the Japanese people, when the only thing they have ever hoped for was the liberation of their own people from the colonial administration practiced by the imperial Japanese authorities.