Relationship Between Korea-Japan And America

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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…show more content…
The Fourteen Points undoubtedly includes the return of sovereignty to colonies in its fifth point, stating “A free, open-minded, and absolutely impartial adjustment of all colonial claims, based upon a strict observance of the principle that in determining all such questions of sovereignty the interests of the populations concerned must have equal weight with the equitable government whose title is to be determined”. This speech made by Wilson enhanced hope among Koreans and therefore encouraged them to move for independence. The movement outset from the February 8th Declaration of Independence wrote by Korean students studying in Tokyo. It then led to the March 1st Movement in 1919, as the final version of the declaration was announced. Many Koreans were violently suppressed by the Japanese government during the process. Nevertheless, United States did not attempt to afford any form of aid to this independence movement. As the Japanese rule solidified in the Korean peninsula, Koreans seem to have lost faith in their independence and this led to increase in resentment toward America, while accepting Japan as their status quo. This shift in foreign influence is portrayed in the literary works of the…show more content…
Not only Japanese language, but also Japanese culture can be noticed easily from the daily lives of Deok-gi’s generation, including Byeong-hwa and Kyeong-ah. In the beginning of the novel, Deok-gi and Byeong-hwa goes to Japanese bar called Bakeoseu for drink. Both men speak fluent Japanese without any sense of awkwardness and Kyeong-ah also seems to be comfortable with Japanese as she enters the bar saying “다다이마”, which is a Japanese greeting used when returning home (Three, p 16). Most of the conversations inside the bar are held in Japanese and Kyeong-ah is referred to as Aikosang, wearing Japanese clothes and speaking with Japanese customers without any restraint. Readers could grasp the difficulty in distinguishing Kyeong-ah from Japanese woman through Byeong-hwa and Deok-gi’s words, stating “아아니, 지금 그 애가 일녀(日女)인 줄 아나?” and “그럼 조선 여자란 말인가?” (p 17). These influences of Japanese culture are even viewed as a normal and internal routine of Korean life for the young generation of Three Generations. The youth in 1920s, who did not undergo the direct oppression of Japan during the annexation nor directly encounter the March First Movement, seems to acknowledge Japan as part of their life rather than their enemy. Later, in the novel, Byeong-hwa and Kyeong-ah open a Japanese grocery store. Although the readers may not
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