Korea, Japan And Korea-America During The Japanese Colonial Period

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People commonly simplify the relationship between Korea-Japan and Korea-America during the Japanese colonial period as the former being pessimistic and the latter being optimistic. This notion is legitimate to the extent that Koreans did feel betrayed toward Japan and America did represent ‘hope’ for Korean people in its early years. However, after the United States’ failure in aiding Korea during several significant historical events, the role of Japan and America was overturned. If people continue to neglect this shift in influence, they would fail to recognize the status of Korea within the relationship and will not be able to understand the historical reality portrayed in literary novels of the time. Therefore, this paper aims to illustrate the triangular relationship between Korea, Japan and the United States, and discuss how such relation has evolved throughout the colonial period, by analyzing the influence of foreign powers reflected in two pieces of Korean literature, Tears of Blood and Three Generations, and the historical backgrounds involved. To begin with, Yi Injik’s Tears of Blood, which was serialized in Mansebo from 1906, not only portrays Japan as a temporary pathway toward Modernization, but also as failed promise of protection. This description seems to reflect Korea’s view toward Japan during the late nineteenth century to early twentieth century, after the disappointment from Japan-Korea Eulsa Protectorate Treaty in 1905. The story begins in the middle

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