Tuesday, April 18, 2006

The name-changing under Japanese rule

see also the name changing under the black umbrella

I have found interesting discussion about name-changing under Japanese rule going on on the blogs.

there is a book on the name changing under japan.
it’s a korean link but the image has chinese characters.

the author seems to be very well aware of the matter. i’ve read the excerpt. according to the author, it was the intention of the imperial army (not the police). the army was preparing the conscription of both japanese and koreans. the army wanted to avoid confusion and division by having two different people in the same unit. (language was not a serious matter. many young koreans at that time spoke good japanese.) his assertion is based on a document of Japanese Interior Ministry (Inquiry on the treatment of Koreans and Taiwanese 1945/3/6).Nou-Occidentalism

However it is pointed out that before the name-changing, there had been a lot of korean soldiers already. No trouble had been reported, rather what made the army worried was there might be anti-Japanese spies by the Japanese name.[1]

On another blog,a man called Hakasaeng argues:
If you had any reason to deal with the Japanese government (taxes, education, etc.), you had to have a Japanese name.

The only exceptions I've found to date were those that lived in the countryside, far away from government entities. That would seem to be supported by the 80-20% figure cited in the Japanese wikipedia entry. Many of those in the countryside were tenant farmers and didn't have to pay taxes (they didn't own land) and were largely uneducated or undereducated; therefore, they seldom had a reason to interact with the central government.

Posted by: Haksaeng | April 17, 2006 at 07:26 PM Hakaeseng-Asia pages

I should also add that changing one's name was only required for those Koreans living on the Korean Peninsula. Koreans that moved to occupied China or Manchuria were not required to change their names. There was a significant demographic move from Korea to China because, generally speaking, life was better for a Korean living in occupied China than it was for a Korean living in occupied Korea.

The following is the leaflet a commmentator, Mika, has presented.










My poor translation:
The leaflet explaining the setting up the family name.

1 You need to report your family name until Angust 10.You can not report it after that.You can report the first name anytime.
2 If you don't report untile the time, your family name will be the name of household's head.For instance, the head's name of the household is Kim(金), your familiy name will be Kim. His wife, 尹-貞姫's(surname-first name) name will be Kim 貞姫.The child of the wife,朴-南祚's name willbe Kim(金)南祚.Don't confuse.
3 Some people cunfuse 氏uji with 姓sei.Uji is the name of the house's head,姓sei is the name of male's blood line.The two are different.
4 Some people think if you set up the family name,you will lose your old surname.But that is mistaken.After setting up the family name, your old surname and the name originated from male's blood will remain in the registration.
5 Some people think that you have to have the same name if you belong to the same tribe of father line,or the same surname.That is mistaken.The family name is the name of the household unit, and it is natural that different household units have different names.
6 Some peole take this name setteing up too seriously, but it is the best you choose the simple name.
7 You have little time,If you have any questions, ask the public office.

Daegu Legal Affairs Bureau.

And the following is a copy of a registration.

The photo is a copy of the family register.
This man, Mr.Yi(李) did not report the family name, hence, his family is registered as Yi(李)in 1940。He lives in Gyeonggi-do.京畿道경기도

He lives in the Peninsula.

And the following is the list of the Governer in pennisula who did't change their name.

They were in the Peninsula and they were governers.

So it is not true that name-changing was forced in the Peninsula.

A commenter called Umetaro give other sources.
"Of our fifty informants, only four families refused to change their names. All others complied, for without a Japanese name citizens could not enter schools, get jobs, or obtain ration cards. The government stopped issuing permits and postmen stopped delivering packages to those with Korean names."
-Hildi Kang, Under the Black Umbrella

If this is true, it is reasonable that the name-changing was pressured.
A source by Umetaro reinforces this.

"Official estimates indicate that more then 3.17 million households had new family names in the Japanese style. This number comprised 79.3 percent of the total households in Korea (Asahi Shinbun August 9, 2000. Refer to Chou 1996:60; Shida 1989:175). Those who refused to change their names or failed to register on time encountered overt discrimination such as denied entrance of their children to school and advancement in higher education, and deprivation of job opportunities (Chou 1996: 60)7."
- Kazuko Suzuki, The State and Racialization: The Case of Koreans in Japanlink

A commenter called Chiamaru raised a doubt.
I wonder how people got descrimanation by the local govenment when the governer himself didn't chang his name.

The point is if the public service was restriceted as described, who pressured Korean people to change names?.
The govement-general promised that there would be no force involved.
The police was against the name-changing.
There were Korean governers who didn't change their names.So it is unreasonable to suppose that the goveners mandate their subordinates, low official to resrict.

Another source by Umetaro might be an hint to the solution.

"In 2000, tape recordings were discovered of high-ranking officials of the Japanese Government-General of Korea. According to the tapes, the name-changing campaign was promoted by Koreans who favored the Japanese government. There was a request from Koreans that they wanted to be treated the same as Japanese, and therefore they said, ‘we want to change our names into the Japanese style.’ If they think so, we think it is all right. However, there might be cases that the very end of the system, the name-changing was forced. So we were troubled.

There were more than 200 heads in local provinces, in which about 90 percent were Koreans. These Koreans were most active in the name-changing campaign. It was honorable to let their villagers change their names into the Japanese style. They considered that it was a test of loyalty for the Japanese government.
The Japanese police was opposed to Koreans’ namechanging, because it made Koreans invisible and made it difficult for them to identity Koreans (Asahi Shinbun August 8 and 9, 2000)"
- Kazuko Suzuki, The State and Racialization: The Case of Koreans in Japan

In 1911 the government general order 124(総督府令第124号) reads; there should be no name in peninsula which was coufusing with Japanese and if the Japanese name is registered, it should be changed to Korean name.
Besides,slave class (and monks) had no Korean name(姓)dreamtale
Th ese facts also suggest that there were many Korean people who wanted to change/have their names in Japanese style.

The desire to become "Japanese" is evidenced in the following.
The record of the “vigorous peninsular youth” reads as follows:

The purpose of our travel to the mainland is entirely different from school trips. One purpose is to worship at the Ise shrine and to worship the imperial palace from a distance. Another purpose is to present ourselves to the people of the in-land and achieve an ever stronger unity between the in-land and Korea. …. We prayed for the hallowed divine nation Japan and for its continuing prosperity, and ever more firmly confirmed our desire to repay even a ten-thousandth of the sacred debt of the Emperor’s benevolent gaze that is equally bestowed upon us [isshi dojin]. We worship the east every morning at our training center and each time recite our oath as members of the Imperial nation [kokoku kokumin] as though we stood before the Emperor; in doing so, we strengthened our conviction as subjects [shinmin]. When we respectfully worshiped before the Nijūbashi Bridge, we could only weep tears of gratitude.Toa newspaper/“vigorous peninsular youth”/in the article of Kang Sang Jung

Another ethinic korean author seems to simply deny that there was such an pressure.But I'll have to read the book in quesion.I 'll update when I find the book.
I've found the book創氏改名の法制度と歴史 by a Korean resident in Japan.He claims that Japanese system of the family name was forced 100%;however,he objects to the idea that the ration, admittance to school etc were rejected if Koreans refused to change the name.
He argues that the idea that there was such a descrimination was based on the book,"g軍国日本朝占36年史(souel, 柏文社、1967)by 文定昌 and the author based his writing on the novel 浪漫時代。[4]
He wrote,
Since 20% did not change, it was impossible that those people, could not get their ration or could not be addmitted to school.

In my interpretaion, what he is saying is tha since it was impossble to survive without rations, and there were students in Korea who did not change their names,it is unlikely that there was this kind of descrimination.

(by the way, My blog is mentioned, and a mistake was pointed out.I stand conrrected.)

京城日報 1942.11.13-1942.11.23(昭和17)(Souel Daily 1942)
京城日報 1942.11.13-1942.11.23(昭和17)(Souel Daily 1942)

With the help of the blogger dreammantle and the commenter, I could find this newspaper.The article is about how korean cotten farmers works for the country.
In the first photograph,the article says;

六) 忠南道の巻 自由出荷に凱歌 農民への理解と協力


In Gyeonggi Province,....張忠源(Korean name), who had 6 fmiliies, used to be a tenant farmer,but by selling cotton, he made a great success as an independent farmer now.(a rough translation)

In the second photo,the article says:
(九) 全北の巻 供出愈よ活気づく 収穫はまず申分ない
........高敞郡 戦時生産力の飛躍的拡充を狙って高敞郡は道内でも棉作の模範部といわれているが、本年は旱害や水害によって棉の成育はあまりよくなかった、それにも拘らず、光山技手を初め鄭石均氏ら係員は各部連盟理事長と協力、共販出荷への督励に全力を尽して割当てられた共販目標百三十五万斤を突破して棉花高敞の栄誉をかち得ようと、意気込んでいる......鄭特派員記

In Chonbuk,......Due to the drought, the growth of cotton was not good.Despite of this,the persons in charge such as 光山(japananese name) and 鄭石均(Korean name),corporating with a chief directer of the union ,did thier best to achieve a quota........A correspondent 鄭(Korean name)(a rough translation)

There were farmers who did change their names in Japanese style,and who kept their
Korean names.And a corrospondent of Soeul daily kept his Korean name.

And here is a Korean public officer in the peninsula kept his Korean name.

鮮総督府道理事官(a researcher of foreign affairs at Korea governor-general's office )
安炳軾(Korean name)

He was granted a bonus by Tojou Hideki.

Japan center for Asian Historical record
Reference Code: A04018697000

One reason Koreans wanted to take on Japanese-style names was because that way, the Chinese could not look down upon and take advanatge of them. The Chinese (who were the majority in Manchuria) had no respect for Koreans who they had regarded as people of the vassal state throughout history. One of the most common tactics by the Chinese at the time was to contract a piece of waste land to the Koreans to cultivate, and once the Koreans had turned it into arable land, scrap the contract and rob the land. The maltreatment of Koreans (then Japanese) in Manchuria and Northeast China by the Chinese was somewhat of an embarassment for the Japanese government whose duty it was to protect the rights and properties of its citizens.two cents at occidentalism

This was an image posted at NAVER by a KOREAN as proof that his/her grandparents did not choose to have a Japanese name.

Seems his/her grandparents chose to use their clan name “Lee” as the family name, like Lt. General Hong Sa-ik.

The amendment to the civil law allowing Koreans to take on Japanese names is commonly referred to as 創氏改名. 創氏 means creating a family name (not necessarily Japanese-style), and this was compulsory. 改名 means changing the first name, and this was voluntary. To register a Japanese-style family name, all you had to do was submit the papers to the village ward (面事務所), unlike in Taiwan where you had to prove to the officials that you were fluent in Japanese and had adopted a Japanese lifestyle to be allowed a Japanese name. If you felt odd about having a combination of a Japanese-style family name and a Korean-style first name, you could also change the first name by obtaining permission from the regional legal affairs bureau, and submitting the written proof of permission to the village ward. However, changing the first name was charged 1/2 yen per head, and so only 10% of the Koreans chose (or could afford) to do so. If the Japanese government intended to completely Japanize the Korean names, it would not have charged anything for the first-name change. In the example above, you see that the head of the family did not submit anything, and so the stamp with the name and date written in, “氏ノ届出ヲ為サザルニ因リ昭和拾五年八月拾壱日李 ヲ氏トシタルニ付更生ス (Since no applications have been submitted, Lee has been registered as the family name on August 11, 1940.),” appear on the register. The fact that a stamp was prepared probably means that this was no exceptional case, but that there were plenty of cases like this.

This advertisement calling out to Koreans “Deadline approaching! Do not to miss this opportunity!” was posted in Daegu in 1940, taken from a book published in 2004 by a Korean organization, Institute for Research in Collaborationist Activities. [The Japanese title is 植民地朝鮮と戦争美術 (Colonial Korea and War-time Art).]

What this ad basically says is that:
(1) No application will be accepted after Aug. 10.
(2) If you fail to apply for a family name, then your [Korean-style] clan name will automatically become your new family name.
(3) Do not confuse 氏(family name) with 姓(clan name). A family name is the title of the family, whereas the traditional clan name is the title of the paternal blood clan.
(4) Do not worry, both your clan name and 本貫 (region of clan) will remain on your register.
(5) It seems that some believe that the entire clan must share a common family name. That is not so.
(6) Don’t think too deeply. Simple names usually work quite well.
(7) Deadline approaching. If you have any questions, contact your local ward or legal affairs bureau immediately.

How this ad can be proof of forced name changing is beyond me. But why should you believe me? I’m Japanese.Two cents at Marmot

Two Cents from Japan
Posted December 1, 2006 at 10:53 pm | Permalink

If the name changes were forced, how do you explain the existence of people like韓相龍 and 李埼鎔 (members of the House of Peers of Imperial Japan), 朴春琴 (members House of Representatives of Imperial Japan representing Tokyo), 洪思翊 (Lt. General of the Imperial Army), 白洪錫 (Major General of the Imperial Army), 金錫源 (Colonel of the Imperial Army), and Korean governors in the provinces of Korea such as 孫永穆 (Jeollabuk-do), 兪萬兼 (Chungcheongbuk-do, later Kangwon-to), 金大羽(Gyeongsangbuk-do), and 鄭僑源 (Chungcheongbuk-do). I mean, when you have governors retaining their Korean names, how do you convince the common people to take Japanese names? If somebody did the forcing as the Koreans claim, who were they?

Many Japanese were opposed to allowing Koreans taking on Japanese names. The reason was that they were prejudiced against the Koreans. They wanted to keep the Koreans distinguishable from the Japanese. You can’t tell a Korean with a Japanese name educated to speak Japanese apart from a “proper” Japanese. Some Japanese even claimed that the Koreans you can trust are those who chose to have Korean names.two cents at Marmot

Apparently, it’s Koreans like you and Korean scholars who can’t read the original Japanese documents like the ones below. They are the original laws and amendments concerning the Korean Civil Law (朝鮮民事令). No where does it say to make Koreans adopt Japanese names.
Reference codes: A02030160700 [Amending Korea Civil Ordinance (Creating son-in-law and adopted son systems and regulation related to lineage concerning system)], etc.
Try the English search, and type in the key words “Civil Law Korea.” Too bad you can’t read the search results, though. A majority of Korean scholars can’t either. They simply lack the Japanese language skills necessary to study the period and make up stories that suit the present emotional and political situation, taking advantage of the fact that the majority of the Koreans now can’t read Chinese characters and are incapable of reading past records. Since you brought it up, Decree 19 states that the amendments to the Civil Law (defining family unit, divorces, divorces in case where the man has married into his wife’s family, and adoption of males from different clans) will be implemented, and that Korean must create a family name, which will be the title of the basic unit of the family under the Civil Law, within 6 months. Decree 20 says that Koreans cannot use the names of emperors, past or present, and that they will basically have to use their clan name as family name (自己ノ姓以外ノ姓ハ氏トシテ之ヲ用フルコトヲ得ズ ), unless they are creating a completely new family unit. In other words, a Mr. Kim could not register his family name as Pak. Thus, you will see that in the actual implementation, Koreans who failed to register a new family name automatically ended up with their Korean clan name appearing as the family name on their family register. Decree 20 also states that the family name and given names on the register cannot be changed, unless permission is obtained following procedures designated by the Consulate General (氏名ハ之ヲ変更スルコトヲ得ズ但シ正当ノ事由アル 場合ニ於テ朝鮮総督ノ定ムル所ニ依リ許可ヲ受ケタ� ��トキハ此ノ限ニ在ラズ).

If the Japanese wanted to wipe out Korean names, all Koreans who failed to register a family name by the deadline August 10, 1940 would have forcibly been given Japanese names. Instead, the Japanese government simply used the Korean clan name as the new family name. Even the Korean royal family and aristocrats (who had been given the same status under Imperial Japan) continued to use their Korean names. Nearly 80% of the Koreans in Japan kept their Korean names. So, who did the forcing in Korea, where only 1% of the population was Japanese? The Governor-General, Jiro Minami, seems to have thought that giving Koreans a chance to take on Japanese-style names was a morally good act, after all it was the 2600th anniversary of the foundation of Japan and such occasions called for generosity, but even he passed orders strictly forbidding any forcing. two cents at marmot

「創氏」の目的 宮田氏はこの創氏改名の目的について、内務省機密文書中に次のような文書が見つかったとして、徴兵制の導入が目的だったと主張している。その文書には「もし軍隊中に金某、李某等混じりたりとせばに思いを致さば、その利弊又自ら明らかなるものあり」と創氏改名の成果を謳っているという。




尹泰(木偏に杉)江原道14.5-15.9 伊藤泰(木偏に杉)に創氏改名、忠清北道15.9-17.10

[3]Kan explains,
Precisely because of this discrimination, the unattainable “ecstatic” desire for an active decision to become “Japanese” grew ever stronger

I wonder what motivated these Koreans to have "the fervent desire to become “Japanese”in the first place.


On the name chaging, Dreamtale has an interesting story to tell.
There are some points we should notice.
The family name which is different from Korean name system was introduced because there was a need to be consistent with Japanese civil law in addition to the fact that there were many Koreans who wanted to change their name to Japanese style and the demand matched the idea of Korea-and -Japan- One- body policy.


dream tale
Besides there was no last name for the slaves,the system of whom was abolished by Japanese government.dreamtale

update aug 11 2006

The name changing to Japanese style was not forced.

If you are a man and your name is Kim, and if you have a son and a daugter, your children's last name is Kim.If your daughter marries, your daugher's name will be Kim whatever her husband name is.
Japanese system of familily name was introduced into Korean society.If your family name is Kim, and if you have a son and a daugter, your children's name is Kim.If yor son or daugher marry, it does not mean that their name will be Kim.It might be spouse's famlily name,for, instance, Park.
This system make it possible to adopt a child with a different name.

There are cases in the peninsula in which Koreans did not change their names.(see below)

The procedure to change names.
1. (a)You file your family name to the purblic office or (b)your famlily name will be Korean last name (based on male blood lineage)
2. If you want to change your first name,it takes 50 sen to file your first name.

(2) 『韓国巨文島にっぽん村』(中公新書 1994)の142ページに、著者は在郷軍人会の「巨文島分会史」という文献から、この島出身の朝鮮人で1942年以降戦死した次の6名の名前を記している。



(3) 『近代庶民生活誌 (4)流言』(三一書房 1985)には憲兵司令部資料(昭和一八年一二月~同二〇年五月)、東京憲兵部資料(昭和一九年一二月~同二〇年五月)など、流言飛語に関して取り調べた資料が集録されている。そのなかで流言飛語を行なったとして検挙されたりした朝鮮人の具体名が出ている。数えてみると全部で49名(他に日本人か朝鮮人か不明が5名ある)であるが、そのうち次の9名は本名(法律上の名前)を日本式の名前に変えていない。



(4) 『慶州ナザレ園』(上坂冬子著 中公文庫 1984)のまえがきのなか(7~8ページ)に、著者は昭和一五年(皇紀2600年 1940)の小学四年生時代の思い出として、クラスメートのなかに朝鮮人2名がいて、そのうちの1名は中山静子と日本式の名前であったが、もう一人は崔順礼という名前を変えなかったと書いている。辻本武


京城日報 1942.11.13-1942.11.23

鮮の衣食住改善策 / 朴常淳 (京城日報 1935.9.28-1935.10.25 (昭和10))朝鮮日報



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