International Journal of Applied Research
Vol. 7, Issue 2, Part D (2021)
Discourse on nationalism in colonial period of Korea
Nationalism may be described as a frame of mind in which a person perceives that his fellow members owe his or her supreme loyalty to the nation-state. Resilient attachment to own country, indigenous culture, and the conventional local authority can be present in the long history of a nation, but nationalism in modern sense presumes the existence of a nation and a sheer will to modernize itself to protect the sovereignty of a particular nation. The colonial period of Korea lasted from August 1910 to August 1945. During the colonial period, the Korean nationalism became strongly anti-colonialism and anti-imperialism. Its ultimate objective was to oust the Japanese imperialist forces from the Korean peninsula, and its immediate task was to preserve the racial and cultural heritage of the Korean people. The development of nationalist narratives in the subsequent colonial period also resulted in an ideological and political clash among the Korean nationalists. After the March First Movement, the governor-general of Korea allowed some relaxations for cultural activities. The nationalists utilized this opportunity to further develop the nationalist discourses. With the integration of international narratives such as socialism and liberalism, diverse forms of anti-colonial discourses developed in Korea which resulted in “ideological schisms” among the nationalists of Korea during the 1920s. Although, there was a commonality in the objective of ousting the Japanese imperial power from the Korean peninsula. There also developed the contentious relationship between competing groups such as reformists and leftists and rose to its peak in the early 1930s. In this research paper, I shall argue that that Korean nationalism discourse during the colonial period evolved more as anti-colonial in nature despite political and ideological indifference. Also, I shall look into the different phases of the Japanese rule and the Korean response to analyse the Korean nationalism discourse during the colonial period.