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Friday, September 16, 2005

knowledge on Korea

Andre Schmid: Korea Between Empires, 1895-1919 (Columbia University Press, 2002), p. 169-170:
When Taehan Maeil Sinbo [March 10, 1910] asked about foreigners' impression of Korea -- "Is the image of Korea in the eyes of Europeans and Americans a true view of Korea? Or is the image of Korea in the eyes of Japanese a true view of Korea?" -- it assumed that the former wass indpendent of the latter. But just as with Korean self-knowledge, Western understanding of Korea was alsos engaged with Japanese colonial discourse. Although these theories were variously, even critically, treated in some Western accounts, the fact that the principal subjects such as Jingû and Mimana came to be reproduced shows how Japanese colonial discourse had insinuated itself into Western knowledge on Korea. Able to shape Korean nationalist self-perceptions, Japanese colonial writing also was the source of information for much Western writing. Knowledge about Korea -- whether inside peninsula, in Japan, or in the West and whether about the peninsula's present or its past -- came to be deeply informed by the politics of colonialism.

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