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Final Reflection

Option 1:

I learned a lot throughout this course, but the main thing that stuck out was the colonial time period in Korea. The reason I learned the most about this topic probably related to the fact that I did my final project on colonial Korea and spent the most time on the particular time period. I think it was important to understand this time period to understand how Korea is operating today. In the colonial time period, the Japanese took over and instituted policy after policy and enforcement of the policies to dominate Koreans. The system in which the Japanese ran was built a lot on the fear that Koreans had for stepping out of their boundaries and fighting back against Japan to regain their country. I can see this same fear in North Korea today. After reading about North Korea and watching a documentary, I realized that the citizens are scared of their government which is so powerful. The people are scared to break laws that confine them such as limited internet access and the inability to speak their minds. This current trend can be seen in the colonial time period when the Japanese government demolished Korean history books and hand-picked what people were allowed to know in hopes that the Korean people would become one with Japan. Korea was able to take back their country eventually, but it required plenty of protests and support from other nations. Maybe North Koreans today will be able to break out from the fear that is held over them and take back their lives just as the Koreans of the colonial time period did. I will share this trend with others because not a lot of people know about Korean history. Many people think that they do not need to know about it, but here in the United States we seem to have our hands on many major conflicts around the world so it would not hurt for people to understand the history of the countries that we are either assisting or have tensions with. 

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Week 13 Reflection

Last week we researched either North or South Korea and how they operate today. I picked North Korea and watched a documentary that did a great job explaining the harsh conditions that people live in. North Korea is strictly regulated by the government in regards to internet access, what people can say or do, and even going outside for a walk! There is an extreme sense of loyalty to the government, but it seems as if the majority of the country runs on fear. People are scared of being thrown in prison or even killed if they are not loyal to the government or do not follow the rules. I think it would be very difficult to live in North Korea coming from a free country, but if you live there your whole life you probably don’t know any better.

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Outline of Final Project

Cheat Sheet on Japanese Colonization in Korea:

  1. Using Source 1: outline what colonization is and how it affected Korea, more specifically Korean education and family values
  2. Using Source 2: outline Japanese colonial rule more specifically than the ideology behind it (as source 1 does)
  3. Using Source 3: outline society and culture in Korea during the colonial time period

Example from source 1:

Source 1:

“Colonial Rule and Social Change in Korea: The Paradox of Colonial Control”

  • Japanese colonial rule (1910-1945) is usually looked at economically
  • It is important to understand social changes that occurred 
  • Necessary to see the contradictions between conflicting needs of colonial rule and the imbalance opposed by control
  • Generalizations based on one economic analysis does not paint the full picture
  • Social ties and family issues are two topics focused on to understand social consequences and contradictions in colonial rule
  • Orthodox interpretation of Japanese colonial rule in Korea is known for nationalism, focus on political dependency, social control and repression, economic exploitation, and loss of cultural identity
    • Emphasizes suffering because of discrimination and physical and psychological controls (doesn’t go farther than that) 
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Week 12 Reflection

Last week we learned about the Korean War, what caused it and the results of it. I watched a documentary that had the phrase “The Forgotten War” in the title. I thought this was interesting because the Korean War took place, but it is not often talked about, especially in the United States. The United States got involved in the war between North and South Korea with the idea that they would shield the country from communistic approaches. However, in the end, there was little change from before and after the war. The North and South would always be at odds. I think it was called the Forgotten War because the United States did not gain much, if anything, from it. So, from the perspective of Americans, it was a war that should be forgotten and many people believe that we should have never gotten involved in the first place.

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Week 11 Reflection

Last week we looked at the fall of the Chosŏn Dynasty and how it led to Japanese colonial rule. I thought this was interesting because it is the topic that I hope to cover in my final project. I read part of Hamel’s journal in which he was hoping to find Taiwan but ended up being captured and sent to Korea. He was not expecting to meet friendly people but he found that the people he met were not as bad as they seemed. He tried to escape but was not able to do so. Hamel was told he would have to stay in Korea until he died and was taught some Korean ways. I think Hamel was surprised that he was not simply killed off and that he was offered a life in Korea even though it was not the life he was originally hoping for. This one personal account led me to believe that the Japanese were not as bad as people may have expected them to be. I can see how the Korean people would be upset to be taken over by another country, but I think that they realized that the Japanese were not as much of an enemy that they originally thought.

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Final Project Description

My topic for my final project is Japanese Colonialism in Korea. The main ideas that I plan on highlighting are colonial rule in Korea by the Japanese, how Japan gained control of Korea (fall of Choson Dynasty), and what the colonial state and society looked like on a practical level. I think it will be important for readers to understand what people in the colonial state looked like and how they acted in order to understand how Japan gained control of Korea and how the Japanese ruled in the colonial time. I hope the readers will be able to get a simplistic and realistic view of the time period. I also hope that the readers will take this information to help them understand Korea’s state today. Like I had mentioned in a previous post, I plan on creating a “cheat sheet” to display the important parts of these sources. I think it will be beneficial for students to have an easy source that they do not have to sift through to find important parts.

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Week 10 Reflection

This week I read a section about a Korean War Captive in Japan. I read the section about the captive sending a memorial from captivity. I thought this really expanded my view as a historian. So often we are told to read and analyze textbooks and we are given little opportunity to view personal sources from people. I think personal sources are important because it helps historians understand the thoughts of actual people living through difficult times. I hope to find more of these sources through the rest of the semester to increase my knowledge of subjects, especially my final project regarding the colonial time period in Korea.

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Colonial Korea Sources

I found some sources for my final project!

This first one is about Colonial Rule in Korea, mostly by the Japanese. Here is the citation (bolded is the url) Check it out!: HA, YONG CHOOL. “Colonial Rule and Social Change in Korea: The Paradox of Colonial Control.” In Colonial Rule and Social Change in Korea, 1910-1945, edited by HA YONG CHOOL, LEE HONG YUNG, and SORENSEN CLARK W., 39-75. SEATTLE; LONDON: University of Washington Press, 2013. Accessed March 26, 2020. www.jstor.org/stable/j.ctvcwnq1n.6.

My next source evaluates how Japan gained control of Korea during the colonial time. It looks at the fall of the Choson Dynasty and moves from there. Here is the citation (bolded is the url) again haha: KIM, JINWUNG. “THE PERIOD OF JAPANESE COLONIAL RULE: (1910–1945).” In A History of Korea: From “Land of the Morning Calm” to States in Conflict, 321-66. Indiana University Press, 2012. Accessed March 26, 2020. www.jstor.org/stable/j.ctt16gh5vd.12.

My last source is a more general one. It shows what the colonial state and society looked like. This source will hopefully help readers understand what life was like for ordinary citizens during these times. Here is the citation (bolded is the url) Enjoy!: Robinson, Michael E. “COLONIAL STATE AND SOCIETY.” In Korea’s Twentieth-Century Odyssey: A Short History, 36-55. University of Hawai’i Press, 2007. Accessed March 26, 2020. www.jstor.org/stable/j.ctt6wr28q.6.

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Remote Learning Reflection

Starting last week, I moved to remote learning for all of my classes. Today, I learned that we will be finishing the semester through remote learning. During the first short week of remote learning, I learned that I do my best work in the morning when I can get it done and not have to stress about what I have to do for the rest of the day. Positives from remote learning include being able to have flexibility with my schedule and being at home with my family because I love spending time with my family. Negatives from the experience include not being able to have face-to-face classes or face-to-face interactions with friends. This experience has taught me that I do not necessarily need face-to-face class time, but it certainly increases the pace of which subjects can be taught. I am proud of myself for being able to keep a routine and get the work done that I had to. I am also proud of myself for staying organized and writing out the assignments that I need to complete by the end of the week along with when Zoom sessions are and when I need to go to physical therapy for my knee. It is definitely overwhelming to see the amount of work that I need to complete in a given week, but I plan on just taking things one day at a time and going from there.

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Project Pitch

Due to the circumstances of working on this course online with less access to discussions, I think it is beneficial to make my final project a simple one that also provides others with a basic understanding of colonial Korea. This is not a topic that was covered yet in class but one that I find intriguing. There are a lot of articles and other sources on the people of colonial Korea and what they dressed like and enjoyed doing. I am planning on hopefully creating a thorough cheat sheet to display these facts. I had constructed a cheat sheet on the three kingdoms in a group during class and it was nice to see the important topics laid out in a simple form. I think this will be a nice source for middle schoolers or high schoolers looking to expand their Korean knowledge. I plan to research colonial Korea in depth and pick out the most important ideas to place in my cheat sheet. I want to focus on the people of colonial Korea to show students the similarities between people all over the world. I also want to show how people have changed over time and how they have evolved in the things that they do. I hope this provides students with a simple knowledge that gets them interested in colonial Korea and encourages them to expand their knowledge down the road.