The purpose of this study is to collect data from articles on reclamation projects from the Official Gazette of the Japanese Government-General of Korea to estimate long-term statistics and to analyze the development of reclamation projects and business entities during Korea’s colonial period. With regard to the natural environment of the Korean peninsula, tidal flats favorable for reclamation projects are spread on both the west and south coasts. Unlike other land improvement projects, reclamation projects require substantial technology and long-term fixed capital investment. Issuance of reclamation licenses increased rapidly in the late 1910s and early 1920s due to the increase in rice and farmland prices. On the other hand, reclamation completion, which signifies the success of a reclamation project, increased greatly from the latter half of the 1920s to the early 1930s. Not only did the annual completion area increase, but so did the average scale of a project, reaching an average of more than 100 ha per project. The agricultural area developed by reclamation projects in colonial Korea reached a total of about 56,000 ha, supporting a stable food supply within the Japanese Empire and the formation of a colonial landlord system. In other words, quality agricultural land was developed through relatively low-cost projects, and the additional rice produced by this expansion of agricultural land was exported to Japan. Even though the goal of the reclamation projects was to distribute food within the Japanese Empire and stabilize Japanese immigration, it was more about increasing business profit given the opportunity cost of the reclamation projects in the Japanese Empire.
This paper explores the Christian landscape on Jongno street in the early 20th century from the perspective of cultural and religious geography. The examination centers on the Christian Literature Society of Korea, a missionary publishing institution, specifically on how it nestled on the principal street of Seoul and what impact it had on the rapidly transforming landscape and culture during the Japanese colonial period. I attempt to depict the historical and cultural context of the space and the network of this institution in relation with other western Christian buildings. In addition, I try to uncover the implicit tensions generated by multiple nationalities who had different interests on its publishing enterprise. My suggestion is that the spatial identity of the Christian Literature Society of Korea (CLSK) was a hybrid of Christianity, western civilization, and modern progressivism along with other western buildings. Also the network of the CLSK and the relation dynamics among the three groups involved, namely, western missionaries, Koreans, and Japanese reveal the cultural/power struggle within the contested space. In this way, I attempt to investigate the CLSK’s tangible property and landscape on one hand, and on the other hand, its intangible domain through which Protestant Christianity was transferred to Korea.
The Filipino marriage migration to Korea has changed the conventional diaspora of Filipino migration. As many academic researchers point out that the emergence of this migration pattern is driven by the economic reasons especially of the brides from developing countries like the Philippines to more developed ones like South Korea, this research explores on the influence of what Arjun Appadurai called “global imagination” on Filipino women’s agency in choosing Korea as a “site of desire” for marriage migration. This study argues that first, Filipino marriage migration cannot only be explained with regard to the economic paradigm as it only reflects one aspect of the global imagination. Second, marriage migration as a manifestation of a woman’s self-determination or agency is widely affected by global imagination. Lastly, women should be seen as agents who are capable of exercising their own agency producing favorable outcomes along with some unfavorable ones.
International media regularly portray North Korea as abnormal, run by a leadership depicted in turns as evil, incompetent, all-powerful, and farcical. Such representations provide reason for publics not to question American-led preferences, dominant until 2018, for sanctions and threats over dialogue when responding to weapons development. How does a region beyond the Asia-Pacific, home to potential mediators in inter-Korean relations, view North Korea? The Nordic countries maintain functioning relationships with Pyeongyang and have explored involvement in bringing North Korea and other parties into dialogue. We examine the sources used in Nordic news reports on the country in order to identify whether these relationships push media representations away from the “demonization” paradigm so common elsewhere. We find that while demonizing viewpoints are regularly expressed, linkages do contribute to more empathetic, humanizing portrayals. The Nordic example is demonstrative for thinking about ways to build support for peaceful solutions on the Korean peninsula.
This article is a clinical trial of the humanities with topological thinking, a derivative of topology, aiming for a paradigm shift. The main idea is that topological thinking in philosophy precedes any topology theory in mathematics. Originating from geometry, topology has been applied to many academic fields where it is considered to have played a pivotal role. This experimental case study of topological thinking for Korean Studies creatively deals with potential factors and taxonomy which come from objective and subjective accounts and keep trying the untorn homological movement. This article primarily approaches narrative topology as a methodology by which numerous barriers or restrictions can be removed to establish a new paradigm. It presupposes that Korean ancestors used this concept ever since their existence, though they did not use the exact same term. Although this is only applied to Korean Studies in this article, it shows that generalized topological thinking can be applied to all humanities beyond Western deconstructionism or topological psychology that occupies only a subfield. In this way I journey from topology in mathematics via topological thinking in philosophy to my final destination of topological Korean Studies, gaining a competitive advantage among the heavily competitive field of East Asian Studies. Where this topological Korean Studies aims to reach in the end would meet the Korean identity in its making which has gone through all the subjective and objective accounts by another narrative topology of this writing. That would be a unique specialty which is neither Chinese nor Western but has been incessantly coming down independently. So the topological thinking proves itself to have been a kind of Korean identity.