Organizer: Hong-Yung Lee, University of California, Berkeley
Chair: Bonnie B. C. Oh, Georgetown University
Discussants: Young-jak Kim, Kukmin University, Korea; Myoung-Kyu Park, Seoul National University, Korea; Vipan Chandra, Wheaton College; Mark Peterson, Brigham Young University
A great deal of discussion is taking place among Koreanists regarding the objectivity of scholarly research on the Japanese colonial period in Korea (1910-1945). According to some scholars in Korea, studies of the period by their American counterparts has tended to credit contemporary South Korea's economic success to the colonial legacy, while American Koreanists sometimes consider the analyses of the period by Koreans predisposed to the influence of nationalism. The truth, obviously, lies somewhere in the middle. And yet, the arguments and counter-arguments of both sides have clouded a clear picture and sound judgments, impeded balanced research, and often delayed the disclosure of the results of scholarly investigations.
So far, discussions regarding these two extreme positions have been taking place in private for fear, perhaps, of retaliation by both sides. A few meetings have been held, but many more candid, open, public debates are needed to enable younger scholars interested in the period to pursue studies, and engage in research, writing and publication.
This panel has been set up in roundtable format in order to initiate and provide an open forum, and to launch open scholarly debate, with the hope that it will stimulate further discussion on this period in the near future. The presentations include: Young Jack Kim, "A Japanese Intellectual's Critique on Japan's Colonial Policy Towards Korea-The Case of Yoshino Sakuzo's Chosenron"; Myoung-kyu Park, "Socio-Economic Changes in Rural Korea Under Japanese Colonialism"; Vipan Chandra, "Korean Collaborators During the Japanese Colonial Period"; and Mark Peterson, "Korea's Colonial Legacy in Broader Perspective."