Korean Turmoil

  In 1945 the unconditional surrender of Japan led to the division of Korea into two occupation zones.   The 1945 division of Korea was meant to be temporary. The stated Allied intention was to reunify the country once a single government could be established for the...

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20th Century Korean Literature

Early 20th Century Korean literature The two most prominent Korean authors during the Japanese colonial rule of 1910-1945 were Choe Nam-seon and Yi Kwang-su.     "The modern age is the age of power in which the powerful survive while the weak perish. This competition...

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North & South Korea

This rapid-fire video is an excellent summary of Korean history since the 19th century. The division of Korea between North and South occurred after WWII, ending the Empire of Japan's 35-year rule over Korea in 1945. The United States and the Soviet Union occupied two...

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Kim Il-sung

From the Korean Movie: 백두산 전편 (Mount Paektu - First part) The words in the film are from the North Korean poet Cho Ki-chon's epic poem Mt. Paektu written in 1947. The poem relates the (possibly exaggerated?) story of the guerilla fighter Kim Il sung in the 1937 Battle...

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Understanding Korea

Ancient Korea Gojoseon, Korea's legendary first kingdom, was founded in 2333 B.C.E. After its collapse, several small kingdoms coalesced into the Three Kingdoms Period (Goguryeo, Baekje and Silla) around the year zero C.E. Gradually assuming power, Silla consolidated...

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Japanese Premier Visits Yasukuni Shrine

Today's headline elicits emotions reminiscent of an earlier time. 12/25/13  TOKYO — Prime Minister Shinzo Abe of Japan visited a contentious Tokyo war shrine early on Thursday, provoking swift condemnation from China and South Korea, both victims of Japan’s wartime...

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Ethnic Conflict in Imperial Japan

                                Ainu                                                                     Korean                                                            Chinese In an attempt to develop the wilds of Hokkaidō, the Meiji government outlawed the...

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Korea Under Japanese Rule

Unlike Taiwan's relatively passive acceptance of colonial rule, Korean resistance to Japan's takeover in 1910 was obstinate and strong. Imperial Japanese reforms, designed to eradicate Korean national identity, were often ruthlessly enforced. A more...

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Great Kanto Earthquake

Following the Great Kantō earthquake with over 100,000 deaths, vigilante mobs hunted down and killed ethnic minority Koreans rumored to have committed arson, looting and poisoning of drinking water. The Home Ministry stated that 231 Koreans were killed, but much...

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