Friday, February 24, 2006

Economy under Japanese ruleーーーーKorea


Let me point out some facts about the economic situation in the late Chosun period, before we talk about the economy under Japan's rule. Here is what a Korean professor at Soeul National Univ., Ahn Byong-Jick says.
Taiwan was an island which traded with mainland China and Europe from the 17th century on, resulting in a highly developed commerce. In the case of Korea, in the late Choson dynasty, there was some commercialization, but it basically remained a "Hermit Kingdom" ( as Westerners referred to it ), controlled by the natural

Taiwan's commercial economy was quite developed prior to colonization. In Korea's case, even if there was some development in commerce, the overall level of commercialization was very

late Choson period Korea's most advanced agricultural operations were grain cultivation and commercial cash crop cultivation, in other words diversified

Joseon dynasty had no important money. Back then, commerce was very weak in Korea. People self-supplied most things and commerce was discouraged by the government. Money was not in much use in KoreaUrbanara

And western people who witnessed Chosun said,
“In Korea there were no educational associations; and, outside of a very small circle in a few cities, there was little or no interest in education.” (Ladd 37) For him, the Yangban have no appreciation for the greater issues for mankind, “The problems of life and destiny, the Being of God, the constitution of the universe, the fundamental principles of ethics, politics, and law are of little concern to him.” (Ladd 157)frog

“Narrowness, grooviness, conceit, superciliousness, a false pride which despises manual labor, a selfish individualism, destructive of generous public spirit and social trustfulness, a slavery in act and thought to customs and traditions 2,000 years old, a narrow intellectual view, a shallow moral sense, and an estimate of women essentially degrading, appear to be the products of the Korean educational system.” (Bishop 387)

Keijo university.which is Seoul University now, was founded at this period.

see also the late chosun period on this blog.

General descripiton

Now Let's look at the encyclopedia

Drawing on the Meiji government's experience, the colonial state introduced a set of expensive policy measures to modernize Korea. One important project was to improve infrastructure: railway lines were extended, and roads and harbors and communication networks were improved, which rapidly integrated goods and factor markets both nationally and internationally. Another project was a vigorous health campaign: the colonial government improved public hygiene, introduced modern medicine, and built hospitals, significantly accelerating the mortality decline set in motion around 1890, apparently by the introduction of the smallpox vaccination. The mortality transition resulted in a population expanding 1.4% per year during the colonial period. The third project was to revamp education. As modern teaching institutions quickly replaced traditional schools teaching Chinese classics, primary school enrollment ration rose from 1 percent in 1910 to 47 percent in 1943. Finally, the cadastral survey (1910-18) modernized and legalized property rights to land, which boosted not only the efficiency in land use, but also tax revenue from landowners. These modernization efforts generated sizable public deficits, which the colonial government could finance partly by floating bonds in Japan and partly by unilateral transfers from the Japanese government.

(BTW,School admitted Japanese and Koreans without descriminatio, but the fee for Japanese was 40 yen on average, for Korean about 8 yen.toron)

On Herman Lautensach, who toured Korea in the late 1930s,a historian wrote,
Lautensach, no apologist for colonialism, was still much impressed by the rapid development of Korea in the late 1930s. Here was an obvious, indeed astonishing, success, even if the development was oriented toward the needs of the empire. Combined with a succession of excellent harvests in 1936, 1937, and 1938, Lautensach wrote about a Korean boom "with the rapid development of all of Korea's economic capacity, and a certain amount of prosperity beginning to enter even the farmer's huts." The northeast corner of Korea, long backward, was according to Lautensach experiencing an upswing unlike any other part of Korea, mainly because of its incorporation into Manchurian trading networks. So there is scattered evidence of even a Korean mini-boom in the 1930s as Japan pushed a heavy industrialization program throughout its northeast Asian imperial sphereBruce cumings

But you might think Japapn exploited Korea so hard,But the fact is,

"The colonial returns (of investment, M.S.) did not amount to much. Previous research (...) has shown that Japanese investment in Korea (by residents and non-residents) produced corporate profits, interests and agricultural rent totalling 133 million yen in 1930 and 373 million yen in 1940. This was only 3 percent of non-agricultural property income generated in Japan (the latter coming to 4,210 million yen in 1930 and 11,724 million yen in 1940; ...)" (p. 563)
Rather than being able to use colonial administration for profit to the Japanese government, the cost of colonial administration was paid by the Japanese taxpayer, in the form of a general subsidy to help run the colony and military outlays.
Mitsuhiko Kimura, 'The Economics of Japanese Imperialism in Korea, 1910-1939'

Do you think this is exploitation? It is true that large scale companies were owned by Japanese, but,
But with the economic boom during World War I, Korean enterprises grew in number.
By 1938, however, Japanese companies were down to 39.9% of the total, meaning that around 60% were Korean firms link

Factories in Korea and Taiwan by Ethnicity
( Unit: No. of factories, %)

Year………a. Korean ………b. Japanese……… c. Total b/c=% Japanese

1914 ……… 175……… 471……… 646……… 72.9
1920……… 943……… 1,125……… 2,068……… 54.4
1925……… 2,005……… 2,068……… 4,090……… 51.0
1930……… 2,233……… 2,013 ……… 4,246 ……… 47.4
1932……… 2,492 ……… 2,113 ……… 4,605 ……… 45.6
1935……… 3,285 ……… 2,345……… 5,630……… 41.7
1938……… 3,963……… 2,627 ……… 6,590……… 39.9
(This.I think. is a surprising development considering that commercial economiy was not developed before the colonization,)

A korean professor asks,
In the colonial economy, whose welfare was the primary objective?

Another Korean professor answers,
My frank answer to the question -for whose welfare economic development occurred in the colonial period - is that I don't know
It is not possible to say in one simple phrase for whose benefit economic development took place. Those participating in the market were most likely all working for their own benefit. Second, what exactly were colonial policies. Of course, I agree that they were linked to the goals of the colonial metropole, but I have grave doubts about making a simple direct link between policies and systematic exploitation of the

I think he is fair.

How about farmers? A serf was liberated from Ynagban, but is it not that farmers suffered because Japan's oppressive rule? - --That's what I hear often from some of korean people, but
Production and consumption of Rice

The Rice Production Development Program (1920-1933), a policy response to the Rice Riots in Japan in 1918, was aimed at increasing rice supply within the Japanese empire. In colonial Korea, the program placed particular emphasis upon reversing the decay in water control. The colonial government provided subsidies for irrigation projects, and set up institutions to lower information, negotiation, and enforcement costs in building new waterways and reservoirs. Improved irrigation made it possible for peasants to grow high yielding rice seed varieties. Completion of a chemical fertilizer factory in 1927 increased the use of fertilizer, further boosting the yields from the new type of rice seeds. Rice prices fell rapidly in the late 1920s and early 1930s in the wake of the world agricultural depression, leading to the suspension of the program in 1933
Despite the Rice Program, the structure of the colonial economy has been shifting away from agriculture towards manufacturing ever since the beginning of the colonial rule at a consistent pace. From 1911-40 the share of manufacturing in GDP increased from 6 percent to 28 percent, and the share of agriculture fell from 76 percent to 41 percent.

Per capita grain consumption declined during the colonial period, providing grounds for traditional criticism of the Japanese colonialism exploiting Korea. However, per capita real consumption increased, due to rising non-grain and non-good consumption, and Koreans were also getting better education and living longer. In the late 1920s, life expectancy at birth was 37 years, an estimate several years longer than in China and almost ten years shorter than in Japan. Life expectancy increased to 43 years at the end of the colonial period. Male mean stature was slightly higher than 160 centimeters at the end of the 1920s, a number not significantly different from the Chinese or Japanese height, and appeared to become shorter during the latter half of the colonial

Still the lands were deprved of farmers, weren't they?
Here is a review of the article on it.

Landownership Under Colonial Rule
He asks whether the economic deprivation and suffering of the countryside in colonial Korea was produced from the outset by an officially sanctioned confiscation or plunder of Korean agricultural land by Japanese individuals and corporations under a fig leaf of legal forms, as is often alleged, or developed later as a gradual consequence of the introduction of modern legal instruments of credit, purchase and sale into Korean's rural economy and its planned integration into the overall economy of Japan. He shows compelling evidence for the latter as an answer
One result of the new market forces operating in Korea was to make conditions in the countryside of both countries subject to the boom and bust cycles of modern, "rational" capitalism. Bankruptcies, mortgage foreclosures, forfeitures and sales of property for meeting debt obligations are a regular feature of the "bust" periods everywhere. Thus it was the Great Depression that brought misery to the Korean countryside, just as it did in Japan. Through a very careful scrutiny of both statistical data and anecdotal evidence, Gragert has discovered instances of only market mechanisms playing a role in rural Korea's sad plight. The cadastral survey of 1910-1918 and the use of clear ownership concepts through modern legal deeds were designed to facilitate all contract-based transactions and to produce more precise and predictable sources of state revenue. And similar modern mechanisms for similar purposes were to some extent already a part of the Korean experience under the less-than-fully-carried-out changes brought about by Korean reformers of the 1894-1908 period. Japan thus built new structures upon pre-existing foundations.

Gragert fully recognizes that plans - dark conspiracies, if you will were indeed hatched in Tokyo to resettle massive numbers of Japanese farmers in Korea through, for instance, the notorious Oriental Development Company in the first years of colonial rule, but parts of the plans had to be watered down and other parts were abandoned under pressure from stiff Korean opposition as well as market conditions. This demonstrates that there were limits to Japan's ruthless railroading. Accommodations had to be made even by the single-minded Japanese rulers. In the end, patterns of land ownership in colonial Korea show a remarkable continuity with the past. Owners sometimes changed but no overwhelming shift took place from Korean to Japanese hands or in land tenure patterns. If new Japanese landowners emerged, so did new Korean ones - and in greater numbers. This remained so even after the severely dislocating effects of the Great Depression. Tenancy rates in rural Korea, for example, rose sharply in the early 1930s and Japanese ownership of Korean land did increase dramatically, but due to market forces at work. Still, in 1935 Japanese individuals and corporations accounted for less than 10 percent of the combined ownership of paddy, upland, and residential land in the villages examined by Gragert.

It is clear from Gragert's account, however, that in the early 1930s while at the micro-level Korean farmers and landowners were subject to sudden fluctuations caused by the depression, at the macro-level the Japanese rulers carefully fine tuned their policies toward Korea to ensure that the adverse effects of the Korean market on Japan's own producers and consumers would be minimized. "The advantage of Korea as an agricultural colony was significant," says the author. `"The spigots of imports could be manipulated, turned on or off as the imperial Japanese economy needed, without regard for the market's actual supply and demand, and the consequences in Korea" (p.138)
And the consequences to many rural Koreans were indeed drastic. Destitute Koreans seeking new sources of livelihood in Manchuria, in Japan itself or elsewhere became a common sight. Although many Japanese followed a similar course, more of them enjoyed the protective umbrella of a paternal government. In the wake of the depression, the Japanese government also shifted its financial resources in Korea from agriculture to industry based on the home country's own new priorities. Thus, the metropole always came before the periphery, showing how precarious Korean agriculture's place in official plans was. link

Korea was extremely poor in natural resources. Especially in agricultural products, the only exportable crop was rice. The best way to counter economic instability arising from problems in the rice economy was through industrializationlink

Well but・・・・・workers must have been oppressed severely.

Park examines colonial labor policy in the 1920s and 1930s with a focus on the factory law debates that involved many sectors of society as well as the colonial government. Criticizing the conventional view that Korean workers during the colonial period had no legal protection or channels for grievances, she shows how the colonial regime attempted to accommodate labor discontent into legal

based on the section's research and survey results on the labor situation in the factories and mines, the government stipulated the Factory Control Regulation (Kongjang ch'uich'e kyuchóng) for factories hiring more than 10 full-time employees, applying to Kyónggi province. Such enactment triggered a series of debates on further expansion of this regulation into a full-scale nationwide factory law. The debates continued throughout the 1920s with a peak in the early 1930s until the war mobilization years of the late 1930s, when labor-management cooperation in the name of industrial patriotism (Sanpo movement) was stressed.

Examination of the debates can reveal the way and the extent to which business groups (both in Korea and Japan), Korean journalism, Korean moderate nationalists, some progressive social organizations like Sin'ganhoe, and workers' labor unions played roles in shaping labor policymaking process in colonial society. This examination can also reveal the complexity of Japanese colonial rule in Korealink
the colonial regime had a keen concern with labor problems and attempted to accommodate labor discontent into a legal

I do not claim Japanese government holded ideal policy, but she did not have a free hand, she had to listen to the voice of Koreans people, and corporatism rather than oppression is the right word for her
I think it is too simple to look at the colonial period in an oppressor-oppressed scheme.

I am not interested in the impact on the subsequent korean economy but I'll cite a few professors anyway.

Dennis L. McNamara
"...McNamara makes the case that Korea's post-1965 economic success and its politial economy is inexplicable without understanding the colonial legacy. This argument is a corrective to the existing literature on colonialism in Korea, and his case studies have much to contribute to the study of colonial history." Meredith Woo-Cumings, Journal of Asian and African Studies

Carter J. Eckert
The author (of Offspring of Empire argues, that Japanese "(c)olonialism...for better or worse...was the catalyst and cradle of industrial development in Korea...". Using the example of two brothers, Kim Songsu and Kim Yonsu, Eckart reveals a rough portrait of middle-class life in pre-and-Occupation-era Korea. Wading through economic statistics, newspaper clippings, boardroom minutes, and interviews, the author also contends against nationalistic, whether South Korean ("sprouts theory") or North Korean, theories of Korean offspring of the empire

David S. Landes
[T]he best colonial master of all time has been Japan, for no ex-colonieshave done so well as (South) Korea and Taiwan, where annual growth rates per head from 1950 to 1973 exceeded those of the advanced industrial nations・・・This achievement reflects in my opinion the culture of these societies:the structure, work values, sense of purpose.・・・・These values were already there under Japanse rule, partly in reaction to it, and showed in the response to profit opportunities whenever the alien master gave the native some working room.But the postcolonial sucess also testifies the colonial legacy: the ecnomic rationality of the japanese Administration, which undertook in the colonies "the superbly sucessful modernization effort which Japan itself had undertaken.
To be sure,, the inhabitants of Korea and Taiwan would not agree with this.They remember tyranny, torture, and abuse---memories embittered by an "in your face" Japanese refusal of regret or remorse. Remorse for what? The system worked.Besides,
Japaen was as responsible in its policies toward its colonial populations was Belgium in the Congo,France in Indo-China, Holland in the East Indies, or Germany,Italy, Spain, or Portugal in Africa.And in all fairness, it can be argued, it is against these other colonial situations, rather than against some theoretical utopia, that Japan's colonial efforts should be judged.

The world belongs to those with a clear consience, something Japan has ha in near-unanimous abundance.p437 wealth and poverty of nations

Bruce Cuming
Q Isn't it true that 80 to 90 percent of what the Japanese built was destroyed during the Korean War?
A ・・・the bombing in South Korea and the destruction of facilities was much, much less than North Korea. Your argument works perfectly for North Korea, which was cleaned like a slate by American bombing. But nonetheless, any engineer will tell you that if you have a rail bed that has been bombed, it's much easier to repair it than to build it from scratch, and all through the bombing that went on for three years in the North, the North Koreans kept the railways running.

If the Japanese left nothing, why is the colonial central government building only being torn down now, in the 1990s? Why is the Blue House, which the Japanese governor-general and successive South Korean presidents used for their presidential mansion, only being torn down now? Why is the Seoul railway station still standing? Why are all these colonial buildings there?

Q whatever might have been built by the Japanese, there were lots of Koreans who were running them, who knew all the nuts and bolts. And I think that the Japanese did that for them, they trained a number of Koreans to run the railroads.
A ・・・it isn't just the railways, it's lots of other places. Koreans are a talented people, and in the context of a fifty-year imperial experience, lots of them saw the virtue of going to Japan to get an education. Much of the postwar South Korean elite got an education like thatBruce Comings

Useful links
Facts and myths about Korea's economic past
Peasant Protest & Social Change in Colonial Korealink
Japanese Colonialism in Korea Bruce cumings

The photos
Korea in Pictures of a Hundred Years Ago
the photo:education



식민지조선의 다양성·역동성 인정해야
한국의 식민지 근대성
신기욱·마이클 로빈슨 엮음

일제시대를 이해하는 관점은 오랫동안 ‘수탈론’이었다. 일제(日帝)는 조선을 강점한 후 정치적으로 억압하고 경제적으로 착취했으며, 정상적인 근대화를 가로막았다. 식민지 시기는 물론 해방 후에도 ‘체험’에 바탕을 둔 이런 인식에 의문을 던지는 사람은 별로 없었다.

하지만 1980년대 들어 학계 일각에서 ‘식민지 근대화론’이 제기됐다. 일제시대에 조선은 괄목할만한 경제성장을 이루었고, 법적·제도적으로 근대화됐다는 것이었다. 통계로 뒷받침되는 이런 주장은 한국인들의 감정에 맞지 않지만 ‘학문’적으로 반박하기가 쉽지 않다.

양자의 대립은 거리가 좁혀지지 않은 채 지금까지 계속되고 있다. 이런 가운데 1990년대 후반 미국의 한국학 연구자들을 중심으로 양자를 모두 비판하고 이를 넘어서려는’제3의 시각’이 대두했다. 미국·한국·호주의 한국학 연구자들이 쓴 13편의 글을 담은 이 책은 그 대표적 성과로, 1999년 미국 하바드대 출판부에서 처음 간행된 이래 많은 주목을 받아왔다.

이 책의 기본 입장은 편저자들이 쓴 ‘서론’에 잘 나타나 있다. 이 글은 먼저 그 동안 역사 서술을 지배해 온 민족주의적 관점이 식민지 시기의 다양성과 역동성을 놓치고 말았다고 지적한다. 그러면서 민족주의와 식민주의의 ‘대결’못지 않게 양자가 근대성으로 가는 헤게모니를 놓고 ‘경쟁’하는 모습에도 주목할 것을 요구한다. 그 결과로 나타나는 독특한 근대성을 ‘식민지 근대성(Colonial Modernity)’라고 부른다.

이런 문제의식은 개별 논문들을 통해 뒷받침된다. 일제가 동화(同化)의 도구로 1927년 시작한 라디오 방송은 상업적 이유에서 조선어 방송을 강화할 수 밖에 없었고, 그 결과 식민지 조선의 근대 대중문화를 창조하는 ‘양날의 칼’이 됐다는 것이다. 또 보통 일제가 농업 생산력을 높여서 수탈을 극대화하려는 목적에서 추진한 것으로 이해되는 1930년대의 농촌진흥운동에 대해서도 ‘식민지 조합주의(Colonial Corporatism)’라는 새 관점을 제시한다. 즉 농촌에 침투하고 농민을 동원하려는 일제의 의도와 별도로 농민의 상호부조와 집단농업을 통해 농촌 갱생을 도모하려는 천도교·기독교 농본주의자들도 이 운동에 적극 참여했으며, 농촌의 복지를 증진시키는데 일정하게 기여했다는 것이다. 한편’민족’에 가려져 있던 하위 범주들에 대해서도 통념을 깬다. 1927년 신간회의 자매 조직으로 만들어진 ‘근우회’는 민족 전체의 이익을 앞세우는 바람에 여성해방 이론은 은폐되고 기껏해야 시녀 역할을 했을 뿐이라는 것이다.

분명 이런 주장들은 식민지 조선의 모습이 그 동안 그려왔던 것보다 훨씬 복잡하다는 사실을 일깨워준다. 이런 점에서 다원주의적·귀납적·객관적 역사 서술을 강조하는 카터 에커트 하바드대 교수(‘후기’)의 주장은 설득력이 있다. 하지만 역자(대전대 교수·한국사)도 지적하듯 이들은 ‘민족주의’에 대한 비판의 강도에 비해 ‘식민주의’의 제약에 대한 인식은 현저히 약하다. 또 일제 강점 이전 한국의 ‘근대성’을 향한 노력에 대한 이해도 부족해 보인다. 결국 식민지 이전과 이후를 포함하는 한국근현대사 전체의 ‘근대성’전개 과정에서 ‘식민지 근대성’의 올바른 위상을 자리매김하는 것은 앞으로의 과제이다.


日帝時代を理解する観点は長い間 ‘収奪では’だった.日帝(日帝)は朝鮮を強点した後政治的に抑圧して経済的に搾取したし,正常な近代化を塞いだ.植民地時期はもちろん解放後にも ‘体験’に土台を置いたこんな認識に疑問を投げる人はあまりいなかった.

しかし 1980年代に入って学界一刻で ‘植民地近代化論’が申し立てられた.日帝時代に朝鮮は刮目に値する経済成長を成したし,法的·制度的に近代化されたというのだった.統計に裏付されるこんな主張は韓国人たちの感情に当たらないが ‘学問’敵に駁しやすくない.

養子の対立は距離(通り)が狭められないまま今まで続いている.こんな中 1990年代後半アメリカの韓国学研究者たちを中心に養子を皆批判してこれを越そうとする’第3の視覚’がもたげた.アメリカ·韓国·オーストラリアの韓国学研究者たちが書いた 13編の文を盛ったこの本はその代表的成果で,1999年アメリカハーバード台出版部で初めて刊行された以来多い注目を引いて来た.

この本の基本立場(入場)は編著者たちが書いた ‘前書き’によく現われている.この文は先にその間歴史敍述を支配して来た民族主義的観点が植民地時期の多様性と躍動性を逃してしまったと指摘する.それとともに民族主義と植民主義の ‘対決’劣らず養子が近代性に行くヘゲモニーをおいて ‘競争’する姿にも注目することを要求する.その結果で現われる独特の近代性を ‘植民地近代性(Colonial Modernity)’と呼ぶ.

こんな問題意識は個別論文たちを通じて裏付される.日製が童話(同化)の道具で 1927年始めたラジオ放送は商業的理由で朝鮮語放送を強化するしかなかったし,その結果植民地朝鮮の近代大衆文化を創造する ‘もろ刃の刀’になったと言うのだ.また普通日製が農業生産力を高めて収奪を極大化しようとする目的で推進したことに理解される 1930年代の農村振興運動に対しても ‘植民地組合株の(Colonial Corporatism)’という新しい観点を提示する.すなわち農村に侵透して農民を動員しようとする日製の意図と別に農民の相互扶助と集団農業を通じて農村更生をはかろうとする天道教·キリスト教農本主義者たちもこの運動に積極参加したし,農村の福祉を増進させるのに一定するように寄与したというのだ.一方’民族’に選り分けられていた下位範疇たちに対しても通念を破る.1927年新幹会の姉妹組職で作られた ‘槿友会’は民族全体の利益を先に立たせるせいで女性解放理論は隠蔽されてたかが侍女役目をしただけだというのだ.

確かにこんな主張などは植民地朝鮮の姿がその間描いて来たよりずっと複雑だという事実を悟らせてくれる.こんな点で多元主義的·帰納的·客観的歴史敍述を強調するカーターエカートハーバード台教授(‘後期’)の主張は説得力がある.しかし訳者(大田台教授·韓国史)も指摘するようにこれらは ‘民族主義’に対する批判の強盗に比べて ‘植民主義’の制約に対する認識はめっきり弱い.また日帝強点以前韓国の ‘近代性’を向けた努力に対する理解度不足に見える.結局植民地移転と以後を含む韓国近県せりふ全体の ‘近代性’展開過程で ‘植民地近代性’の正しい位相を位置づけることはこれからの課題だ

The 'Three Generations' Keijo walking tour/Gusts Of Popular Feeling

[ 近現代史 ] / 2007-06-15 05:16:12


Lichenes said...


zero said...


Lichenes said...

情報源に関してですが、日・朝混淆放送時期の京城放送局の編成比率については、『ラヂオ年鑑 昭和6年版』(1931年)など、1933年4月の二重放送開始以前の文献に比較的よく記されております。


zero said...

Lichenes 様