Korea Vs Japan
What do you all think about Japanese influence on Korean Culture? Was it good or bad? thank you
"Calling Japanese Rule a 'Blessing' Insults History
Academic Raises Hackles by Praising Japanese Occupation
Korea University Professor Emeritus Han Seung-jo has made waves with an article in a right-wing Japanese magazine asserting that Japan's colonization of Korea was a blessing in disguise. This is neither historically accurate nor responsible on the part of a senior intellectual.
Han says the only other alternative would have been for Korea to be annexed by Russia, which would have been worse. Korea would have become Bolshevist and suffered similar massacres to those that killed some 10 million people in the Soviet Union proper under Stalin, and Koreans would have been forcibly resettled in Central Asia. Being occupied by Japan spared Korea this fate and allowed it to preserve its identity and develop economically, Han reasons.
The assertion that Korea would have been annexed one way or the other is a sophism that Japanese right wingers have been peddling for a long time. From a senior scholar of political science with a career spanning nearly 40 years it is incomprehensible. Japan's 35-year colonization of Korea not only exploited the blood and sweat of the Korean people and stood in the way of any autogenous modernization, but it also sowed the seeds of national division.
Han ignores this, saying Japanese colonial rule was "fortune amid misfortune." This is an insult to our patriotic forefathers who sacrificed their lives for the nation's independence, and to the tens and millions of ordinary people who silently put up with the occupation while clinging to the dream of independence.
As co-chairman of the civic group Free Citizens Alliance of Korea, Han was among the proponents of a "Declaration for the Protection of Liberty and Democracy" last year. He also led a campaign opposing the "four evil laws" - including a bill launching an inquiry into Korean collaboration with the Japanese occupation.
Han said he wrote the article "to criticize the people's court-style history discourse, attempting based on leftist ideology to denounce pro-Japanese acts as unequivocally unpatriotic." But righting the mistaken historical perception of the left wing is one thing, and calling Japan's colonial rule of Korea a blessing is quite another. If Han was serious about the intent behind his article, he should have instead endeavored to expose the logic of the opponent and broaden public sympathy based on a deeper historical understanding. "
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