Sunday, April 01, 2007

The name changing "under the black umbrella"

Pak Songpilfarmer/fishermam,South Kyongsang Province
I got beaten up many times by the Japanese because I resisted changing my name to Japanese....

Chu Pongyehousewife, South Kyongsang Province
We never changed our family name: we kept my married name of Pak. Our son did change his name to Parku Tshiro, but my husband was very stubborn My own family did not change their nae either.My brother, working in the city office, I don't know if he changed his name or not , but I'm sure he did to keep his job....

Yi Caheim housewife, kyonggi Province
My grandfather, the scholar, after we were forced to change names, was so upset he would not eat or even drink for many days.
Kim P [Anonmous] twonship office worker:

I changed my name to Tomikawa....My grandfather objected, but since I was working I had to change it. I am the only one in my family that did change, because all the others were still farmers. They didn't have to worry about losing jobs.

m electrical engineer, South Ch'ungchong Province
Every family had a big discussion whether to go along or resist.My elder brother , who took over the rice dealership, didn't change his name at all because he was dealing with other Koreans. But for those of us who had to go to school or get jobs, we had to come up with ne names.

Kim WongukTobacco authority officer, North Hagyong Province.
My clan had several meetings with lots of debates about whether to go long with the name change,....Those in favor said that without a Japanese name you could not do business with the Japanese , could not get jobs, could not send you children to school ----in fact could not do much at all. ......At least in our region , those who did not change name to Japanese were the first target of the draft to the factories.

(Under the Black Umbrella: Voices from Colonial Korea, 1910-1945 (Hardcover)
by Hildi Kang
page 117-page 119)

This interview is consistent with the interview by O Seonhwa、 an ethnic Korean professor in Japan. In her interviews with Koreans who lived under Japanese rule,

Nobody I interviewed changed their names, " I didn't changed my name, but there were many people who did change, because there was unspoken pressure."---this is roughly their opinion. But asked what damage they received, there was nobody who reported the concrete examples. 
 There are many Japanese, so among them there might have been people who did nasty things individually, there might have been people who made them change their name using his status, but in the interview with Japanese and Koreans, there was nobody who heard the story in which such case caused a big trouble, and they have heard no cases where people started the movement against it."
 It is a fact that there was demands from Koreans to permit them to change their name.*1 The demands are mainly from Koreans who emigrated to Manchukuo. Korea had historically been a vassal state of China and Koreans had been treated unfairly by Chinese. The demand to the effect that" since we have Japanese nationality, we would like to have Japanese names" was often reported to the government-general.
(page 56 昭和史20の争点*2

(*Changing the name to Japanese style had been forbiden by the law.--zero)

It seems clear that there was a rumor that they would have received some damage if they hadn't changed their name; losing job.
But it is also clear there were governors, journalist, military officers, public officer, students, farmers who didn't change their name.See the name changing.
Note also there was no case where they received ration-cut as claimed by some people..

BTW O Seonhwa(呉善花) has been receiving ad hominem attack from some Korean people.

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