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JAPANS NATIONAL MOBILISATION LAW

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With the second World War looming every country was busy preparing for it. This fueled political, economic and social changes at various levels. The buildup to the war involved competition and governments were starting to come up with mechanisms of gaining an advantage over other. In some instances, the governments through the legislature had to come up with laws that would promote strengthening the army. The Empire of Japan also resorted to these reforms to restructure their system to favor military advancement.

 

The beginning of the Second Sino-Japanese saw the Japanese legislature, the Diet of Japan, make reforms to the law. The laws were set up to gain some control over civilians and to benefit the Japanese army. There was resistance opposing the formulation of the law at the start of 1938. This pressure, however, was subdued by the military. By May the same year, the bill was put into effect. The fifty clauses created by the legislature were collectively termed as the National Mobilization Law.

The National Mobilization Law had placed the government in a position where its activities favored military operations. The government was given the authority to impose unlimited subsidies on the production of military-related goods. The actions of the labor unions were curtailed thereby reducing private opinion over government matters. Industries that were deemed crucial by the government were nationalized. This increased government control in the economy. Price controls were set up by the government on various products, rationing of the goods was also used. Majority of what was in the media was government controlled. The press was nationalized.

 

Articles one up to three interpreted the Mobilization Law and its relation to the industries. Article thirteen gave the government powers to control what was happening in the private sector. The government had aims of providing an environment that would favor armament and increase of military strength. The government would then have the ability to confiscate, hire and manage private business entities. The law explained in article twenty-one that the government might appoint civilians if the government sees it fit. It was a requirement for some industries to keep in hand a certain number of goods if a directive was made. There were policies under which firms and organizations would create plans to conduct research and do experiments that may advance the military. In return, the government would provide subsidies to these organizations.

The creation of the supervisory commission also fulfilled the government need for control. The commission was responsible for overlooking sectors of the economy that were deemed “crucial.” The law, at first was only to be applied during emergency situations. It was, however, invoked and was made to include cases like the conflict with China. The National Service Draft Ordinance was also created to supplement National Mobilization Law. The Ministry of Welfare was in charge of recruiting workers to serve industries that promoted supplies to the war. At its peak, the ministry had hired 1.6 million people, another 4.5 million people had been reassigned from their previous jobs.

 

The National Mobilization Law had a social impact on the Japanese people. The women in the Japanese society were more like caretakers of their homes. According to custom, they were required to stay at home doing household duties. The advent of the Second Sino-Japanese war pushed the government to recruit women thereby changing their roles. As the war continued, the labor force required was insatiable. This situation prompted the recruitment of children to work in factories. The standards of living had also deteriorated. More hours were spent to increase military oriented production leaving other sectors deprived.

Comfort women stories. What actually happened

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The Comfort women stories from World War 2 have echoed throughout the world. The hardship and suffering that they faced during their days in the Comfort Women brothels has made a mark in world history.

Comfort Women served in military brothels before and during World War II. Comfort Women is a translation of the Japanese “ianfu,” which is a common euphemism for a prostitute. Though estimates on the number of women who took part in the brothels vary, they begin at 20,000 women. Stories of Comfort Women were revealed in different military and humanitarian reports after the war concluded.

 

There is a general lack of documentation, which keeps an exact number of Comfort Women from being determined. The Asahi Shibum, a Japanese newspaper, once published that the number of Comfort Women was over 100 000, which was redacted when it was discovered to be erroneous. The number likely refers to the number of women who started to work in the civil labor corp. as nurses and cleaners during the war.

 

Comfort Stations were found in many of the places occupied by Japan. Burma, Thailand, Vietnam, Malaya, Taiwan, The Dutch East Indies, and Timor all had Comfort Stations. According to many testimonies, women from agricultural villages and with no educational opportunities were recruited by local brokers. The brokers, also called middlemen, then trafficked the women to locally owned brothels, so that they could provide “comfort” to soldiers during the war. When the war started, the brokers used conventional methods like newspaper advertisements to recruit women.

 

Kimiko Kaneda

Kimiko Kaneda was a South Korean Comfort Woman. She was half Japanese and half Korean, but she ended up living with her uncle in Korea. Kaneda’s father was a priest who was arrested for defaming Japanese shrines. At age 16, Kaneda worked as a housemaid in Seoul. She became addicted to opium after being sent to work as a Comfort Woman in Zaoqiang, which got her sent back to Seoul in 1945. The following is a part of her story transcribed from a video:

 

Forced to become a comfort woman


How did I feel? I felt as if we were taken here to be killed. I could not but weep. No one talked. All were weeping. That night we slept there and in the morning we were put in those rooms. Soldiers came to my room, but I resisted with all my might. The first soldier wasn’t drunk and when he tried to rip my clothes off, I shouted “No!” and he left. The second soldier was drunk. He waved a knife at me and threatened to kill me if I didn’t do what he said. But I didn’t care if I died, and in the end he stabbed me. Here (She pointed her chest).”

“He was taken away by the military police and I was taken to the infirmary. My clothes were soaked with blood. I was treated in the infirmary for twenty days. I was sent back to my room. A soldier who had just returned from the fighting came in. Thanks to the treatment my wound was much improved, but I had a plaster on my chest.”

“Despite that the soldier attacked me, and when I wouldn’t do what he said, he seized my wrists and threw me out of the room. My wrists were broken, and they are still very weak. Here was broken…. There’s no bone here. I was kicked by a soldier here. It took the skin right off… you could see the bone.”

 

At the time, prostitution was legal in Japan. Since it was legal, the system of Comfort Women was invented to prevent battlefield conflicts. This would reduce hostility from native populations in occupied areas. After the war ended, Japan issued formal apologies that aimed to compensate Comfort Women monetarily (2015 Comfort Women Agreement).

Christianity in Korea during Japanese colonization

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Today about 30% of the population in South Korea identify as Christian. This is substantially higher than many other Asian countries. Why did the Korean people take such a likening to the religion? The reasons can be found when looking at the influences of the country over the course of the last 100 years. Japans colonization, the Korean War, and western presence would culminate into the perfect environment for the religion to grow and expand.

American missionaries first arrived in Korea in the 1880s. Compared to other Asian countries, it was very well received. Korea would become a colony of Japan in 1910 and in 1914 it was estimated that there were approximately 150,000 Christians in Korea. During this time Japan did not have strict rules concerning Christianity which would change around World War 2. Christian missionaries were allowed to continue their work in Korea freely.

Prior to the arrival of Christianity Korea had its own practices. Korean Shamanism and Buddhism were common practice in the country until the arrival of Japan. When Japan colonized Korea, they outlawed Korean Shamanism and took over the Buddhist practices to enforce a pro-Japan agenda. This caused many people to gravitate towards Christianity upon its arrival as they were allowed to worship without the influence of propaganda. Christianity quickly became a rallying point to defy Japanese rule over their country. Many felt as though it was a way to rebel. In addition, it became part of a nationalist movement since it was un-influenced by the Japanese.

Another factor the emboldened the presence of Christianity was the Korean War in the early 1950’s. North and South Korean were clashing and South Korea was not as strong as it is today. The United States stepped in to provide support to the government and people of South Korea in an effort to preserve democracy. Because this was the first real western presence felt by the Korean people it garnered a lot of respect for the United States. They were there to assist people in need not to push an agenda they thought the country should adopt. Because of this respect, Christianity gained even more traction and was viewed in a more positive light than just a way to rebel.

Korean culture started to associate Christianity with the middle-class, intellectual superiority, and modernizers. After the release of Japan’s hold on the country and the end of the Korean war South Korea was formed. The country had a desire to modernize and the best example of this would be their allies in the recent war, the United States. These cultural association as well as an attempt to emulate the success the U.S. had was just another reason Christianity gained such popularity in Korea.

There was no one factor that gave Christianity such a strong presence in Korea but rather a perfect storm of multiple factors. Had the country never been colonized or if Japan had outlawed Christianity sooner it is possible one would see similar results as China or Japan.

The Division of Korea

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The division between North and South Korea happened after the conclusion of World War II, and it ended the Japanese rule, which had been in effect for 35 years. The United States and the USSR each took control of one half of the former country of Korea, with the USA taking the south and the USSR taking the north. The two countries attempted to negotiate towards the goal of a unified Korea, but failed. As a result, elections were held in the south portion in 1948, supervised by the United Nations. The winner was Syngman Rhee, who was a noted anti-communist. Meanwhile, in the north, Kim Il-sung was named leader by Joseph Stalin.

The Republic of Korea and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea

South Korea became the Republic of Korea and North Korea became the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, and both governments claimed that they were the official government of the entire Korean peninsula. This eventually lead to the Korean War, which began in 1950. Korea had previously been unified for centuries, and the sudden division was viewed as extremely contentious right away by both governments. It was also seen as temporary. After the governments were established, and before the official start of the war, both sides engaged in various conflicts along the dividing border. The forces of North Korea eventually took it a step further by invading the south. The UN immediately intervened with a force led by the USA.

While North Korea’s forces were in the South, they attempted to unite Korea under their regime. Initially, the intervention from the UN was supposed to restore the border, however, both Syngman Rhee and General Douglas MacArthur agreed that North Korea’s forces had ruined the border concept entirely. MacArthur further said that he wanted to pursue uniting Korea, not just driving the North back to their territory.

The Korean War

North Korea’s forces were able to take over 90 percent of the South’s territory before being attacked by US forces. The North’s forces were driven from the South, and then South Korean and UN forces crossed the previous border. Before this happened, China warned that it would get involved if the South tried to take over the North. As the North had attempted to do, the South also tried to unite Korea with its occupation. However, China finally intervened, as it said it would, and drove the South’s forces back into their own territory.

By 1951, the 38th parallel had become a fairly stable front line for the ongoing war, but both sides began to consider peace. Syngman Rhee wanted the war continue until the South won, but the North’s side wanted an armistice. After three years, both sides eventually signed the Korean Armistice Agreement, which created the Korean Demilitarized Zone. Rhee did not accept the agreement and continued to lobby for uniting Korea by force.

Present Day Korean Relations

North and South Korea have remained in technical conflict since the Korean War, which never really ended in a final sense. Both governments have continued to claim ownership of the Korean peninsula, and negotiations between both countries have generally failed to produce any results towards unification, or even full peace. Military confrontations have continued as well. North Korea is largely supported by China in the present day as the USSR no longer exists. South Korea is still strongly supported by the United States and its allies.

In 2018, some progress was made as the North’s leader Kim Jong-un met with the South’s leader Moon Jae-in. The leaders met in the DMZ and signed the Panmunjom Declaration to end military activities at the border.

1948- Women Gain Their Rights

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Source : jia.sipa.columbia.edu

After decades of occupation and dictatorship Korea attempted to become a democracy in 1948. A traditionally male-dominant society due to their adherence to the male-dominated religion of Confucianism, the 1948 Constitution guaranteed all citizens equal treatment under the law and that religion, gender and social status no longer could legally provide a barrier to personal and political rights.

As is often the case it took some time for these legal decrees to actually become practiced in the law and indeed there is still a gender equality gap in South Korean society.

The religious influence of Confucianism led to a strictly patriarchal society. Women were expected to maintain and stay in the home and defer to the man of the house on all things. Their rights to own property, even as an inheritance from their husband, were severely limited. The Constitution, through its various forms since 1948, has always guaranteed women the legal right to leave the home, vote and hold positions in business and cultural institutions. Though women have had these rights for decades they have not been put into practice and often the courts reflected the patriarchal attitude as opposed to the constitutional attitude. Women were not generally allowed “out of the house” until later, and this is reflected in their participation in government.

Between the adoption of this Constitution in 1948 and 2004 the percent of women in the South Korean National Assembly was less than three (2.9%), with only three years in that period (1973, 2000, 2004) seeing women elected to over five percent of parliamentary positions. 2004 was the highest percent of any year in that range at 13%, more than doubling the second highest year of 2000 at 5.9%

These low numbers persisted even though several administrations in South Korea pledged to do better. It was not until the election of Kim Jae-jung in 1998 that things truly began to turn around for women in South Korea.

Kim Jae-jung ran on an inclusive platform aimed specifically at women. His campaign was a success on some levels. 50% of voters in his election were women, the highest percentage at the time. He promised to appoint four women to Cabinet positions and to help get elected officials achieve being at least 30% women in parliament.

He also changed several policies and laws to become fairer to women and to reflect their equal standing with men under the nations Constitution. He also passed the Gender Discrimination Prevention and Relief Act in 1999 which resulted in the formation of the Ministry of Gender Equality and Family, a government organization dedicated to increasing participation by women in all aspects of South Korean culture including politics.

In reality his policies fell short of his promises. Though many legal steps forward were taken in favor of women’s rights government participation fell short. The year Kim Jae-jung promised to have 30% of parliament was 2000, where the percent was only 5.9%.

There has been an increase in women’s participation in government since Kim Jae-jung’s tenure. In local and national elections more and more women enter the political arena by seeking office. They still make up a small percentage of elected of officials but they are exercising their freedoms and their rights by running for office and gaining ground against the patriarchal tendencies of their culture. Women overwhelmingly register for liberal parties, making up 70% of the Democratic Liberal Party in 1995 although general participation in organized parties is minimal.

It is notable that women in South Korea attained suffrage and equal rights under the law without violence. This method is atypical in history.

The History Of The Joseon Dynasty

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The Joseon Dynasty

The Joseon dynasty, also known as the Yi Dynasty, was the last of its kind in Korean history. It is also the longest-serving dynasty in Korea, having lived on for over five centuries. The dynasty was formed by Yi Song-gye. Its capital was located at Hanyang, presently known as Seoul. The Kingdom drew its name from the state that had established authority over the Korean peninsula in the past.

The Joseon Dynasty

Yi was close to the bordering Ming dynasty in China. As a result, Ming considered Joseon as a client to his kingdom. Due to the high indolence of Chinese culture at the time, Joseon borrowed its governance model form Neo-Confucianism.

The first change implemented by the Yi dynasty was the redistribution of land parcels which was previously controlled by a chosen few in the leadership. The kingdom was also supportive of scholarship, with the most remarkable achievement on this front being the introduction of the Korean alphabet, known as Hangul.  Later on, Yi introduced a bureaucratic system of administration.

Jan attacked Korea in 1592. Despite assistance from Chinese forces, the Japanese prevailed over the Koreans. This caused the loss of several valuable assets as well as the weakening of the kingship. The country, however, had fully recovered from the effects of the invasion by the beginning of the 20th century.

Korea isolated from international relations until very late into the 19th century. In 1876, the country signed the Treaty of Ganghwa after insistent pressure from Japan. The Joseon dynasty ended in 1910 after Japan seized Korea.

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Three Notable Korea-Japan Peace Treaties

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1) The Japan–Korea Treaty of 1876

Relationships existed between the nations now called Japan and Korea since the 3rd century BC, yet the first peace treaty between the countries was not struck until 1876. Most often referred to as the Japan-Korea Treaty of 1876, each nation gave it a different name: the Japanese call it the Japan-Korea Treaty of Amity, while Koreans know it as The Treaty of Ganghwa Island, the site of many battles against invaders.

Why the need for treaties when both nations had co-existed since the 3rd Century? Because the growing influence of neighboring China loomed large over the Korean peninsula, and while Korea helped fill China’s treasury in return for protection from outsiders, citizens were forced to give up their independence in the bargain.

As time passed, Koreans grew restless. They needed protection but wanted to escape China’s iron grip. To do so, government officials aligned themselves with Japan against the interlopers. The Japan-Korea Treaty of 1876 was negotiated and signed to boost trade and form a partnership for both safety and economic gain.

2) The Japan–Korea Treaty of 1905

Like the Japan-Korea Treaty of 1876, this 1905 accord, signed on November 17th, is known by several different names, though the one that stands out most is the Eulsa Unwilling Treaty. Also known as the Japan-Korea Protectorate Treaty or simply the Eulsa Treaty, it was named for the month in which it was signed.

This pact “deprived Korea of its diplomatic sovereignty,” eliminating gains the two nations had made over the 29 years since the 1876 accord was negotiated, according to “The Japan Times.” Once the 1905 treaty was signed, says Russian writer Andrei Lankov, Koreans were stripped of home rule privileges under terms negotiated by peacekeepers after Japan won the Russo-Japanese War.

Since Korea had become a Japan protectorate, the nation was forced to live under military rule. Even the royal palace was surrounded by manned armaments day and night. Korea’s King Gojong refused to sign the Treaty of 1905, standing his ground despite pressure (hence the word “Unwilling” in the Korean version of the document). He turned that decision over to his top officials.

Japan identified five dignitaries willing to sign. They were richly rewarded by the Japanese, but having compromised their integrity for favors, from that day forward, they became known as “the five Eulsa criminals.” November 17th is still commemorated as The Day of National Disgrace in Korea.

3) The Treaty on Basic Relations Between Japan and the Republic of Korea

By the time negotiators from Japan and Korea sat down to sign The Treaty on Basic Relations, Korea was no longer a single kingdom. Following World War II, the nation was divided into the countries of North Korea and South Korea in 1945, and between 1950 and 1953, the Korean War was waged between the two territories.

To begin the process of shaping the Treaty on Basic Relations, Japan and South Korea declared every accord previously signed between the nations to be “null and void.” Drafted in three languages—-Japanese, Korean and English—-negotiations leading to this treaty were so arduous, it took 14 years to bring the document to the signing table on June 22, 1965.

Students of Korean history continue to debate the merits of this accord to this day. Yoo Euy-sang, Northeast Asian History Foundation Ambassador-at-large, became so fascinated with the treaty, he authored a book about it in 2016, calling it a puzzle and insisting that the Treaty on Basic Relations “should be re-estimated,” despite the passage of 53 years.

Emperor Showa

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The 124th Emperor of Japan, Emperor Hirohito reigned from December 25, 1926 until his death in 1989. Born Michinomiya Hirohito on April 29, 1901, Emperor Hirohito was only 15 years old when he was crowned a prince. He was the first crown prince to travel abroad to study in Europe. When he returned to Japan in 1921, Crown Prince Hirohito was named regent when his father, Emperor Taisho, became chronically ill in 1921. He then became the acting ruler of Japan because his father’s health was failing.

 

As regent, Crown Prince Hirohito automatically became the new emperor upon his father’s death. Emperor Hirohito was his official name while serving as emperor of Japan. As with tradition, Emperor Hirohito was renamed after his death. The name Emperor Showa was given because it was the name of the era of Emperor Hirohito’s reign. Showa was a name Emperor Hirohito had chosen for the time he reigned which can be roughly translated to mean “enlightened harmony”.

 

Emperor Showa married Princess Nagako in January 26, 1924. Princess Nagako was a distant cousin of Emperor Showa which was the tradition. They had seven children together, two boys and five girls. Their oldest son, Akihito, was eventually crowned a prince. Later, Crown Prince Akihiot broke a 1,500 year tradition of marrying within the family by marrying a commoner.

 

Emperor Hirohito, or Emperor Showa, ruled Japan during the Second Sino-Japanese War which led into World War 2 (WW2). He was considered a controversial leader during this time period. Japan was already considered one of the great powers when Emperor Showa, started his reign. It was one of only four permanent members of the League of Nations and was recognized as the ninth largest economy in the world. Following WWII, many leaders were prosecuted for war crimes. Emperor Showa was not prosecuted and his involvement remains controversial still today.

 

Under his reign, Emperor Showa became the commander-in-chief of the Japanese armed forces. He was also considered the highest spiritual authority as emperor. Instead of being charged with war crimes, MacArthur made a deal with Emperor Showa to implement a new Japanese constitution. This agreement also required the denouncement of the practice of imperial divinity.

 

Following the end of WWII, the United States continued to occupy Japan until 1952. During this occupation, the United States worked to transform Japan so that the sovereignty would lay with the people through a constitutional monarchy instead of the emperor. When the American occupation withdrew, Japan experienced a rapid economic growth period which Emperor Showa reigned over. The 64 year reign of Emperor Showa was the longest imperial reign in the history of Japan.

 

On January 7, 1989, Emperor Showa died of cancer of the small intestine at the Aoyama Palace in Tokyo. His funeral was an international event attended by such leaders as the President of the United States George H. W. Bush and the French President Francois Mitterrand. He was buried in the Imperial Mausoleum in Hachioji. He was succeeded by his son Akihito. Emperor Showa had remained an active figure in Japan up until his death.

The Goryeo Dynasty

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The Goryeo Dynasty was the last in Korea shaped by Buddhist’s after the political influence of 1000 years. It was established during 918, the Later Three Kingdoms united it in 935 and the Joseon Dynasty replaced the Goryeo Dynasty in 1392. During the end of the ninth century the Three Kingdoms of Korea lost control over the local lords. Gyeon Hwon, Yang Gil, Gi Hwon and Gung Ye led the country through the rebellion and civil war. Hubaekje was established by Gyeon Hwon and Hugoguryeo by Gung Ye. They were the Later Three Kingdoms along with Silla. As a lord of Songak, Wang Geon joined Taebong, established Goryeo and overthrew Gung Ye in 918. In 935 Goryea annexed Silla and in 936 defeated Hubaekje. The first king of Goryeo was Wang Geon.

 

Gwangjong was the fourth king and made numerous laws to strengthen the central government including the 958 freeing of the slaves. Gyeongjong was the fifth king and Seongjong the sixth. The northern border was ravaged during the Goryeo-Khitan Wars between 933 and 1019. Goryeo’s central government was in complete authority when Munjong became the eleventh king. The importance of civilian leaderships was emphasized by the later kings over the military. In 933, 800,000 Khitan troops invaded the northwest border of Goryeo. The withdrawal of the Khitan ceded the territory east of the Yalu River and the alliance with Song China ended. Goryeo then built a fortress in the northern territories.

 

A coup was led by General Gang Jo in 1009 against King Mokjong. Military rule was established when the king was killed. The Khitan attacked again in 1010. Gang Jo died while blocking the Liao invasions. The Khitan attacked for the third time in 1018. General Gang Gamchan destroyed the dam when the Khitans were crossing and most of the army drowned. The entire Khitan army was annihilated by a massive attack led by General Gang.

 

The House of Yi married into the family of the seventeenth king and gained more power than the king. This led to a failed coup in 1126 by Yi Ja-gyeom. This weakened the monarchy and a civil war ensued among the nobility. The Goryeo nobility was divided in half when a move to Seogyeong was proposed by Myo Cheong in 1135. Myo Cheong could not persuade the king to move, rebelled, failed and was executed.

 

Yi Ui-bang and Jeong Jung-bu overthrew the crown in 1170. King Myeongjong took power and king Injong was exiled. General Kyong Taesung came to power in 1177 He attempted to purge corruption and restore the monarch’s power but died in 1184. He was succeeded by a cruel and corrupt Yi Ui-min. In 1197 he was assassinated by Choi Chungheon. The Choe house ruled for 61 years as military dictators. Goryeo was invaded in 1231 as part of the campaign to conquer China. Choe Chung-heon began fighting back in 1232 and in 1259 sued for peace. Gojong ordered the Tripitaka Koreana be recreated after the destruction of the invasion of 1232. This took fifteen years and the scriptures were housed in Haeinsa.

 

The dictator Choi was assassinated by Kim Jun in 1258 and the military dictatorship was over. A peace treaty was then established. King Gongmin lost interest in the state affairs after his wife died in 1365. The rule went to Sin Don for six years until a court official killed him. General Choe Yeong established an invasion campaign in 1388 and Goryeo fell in 1392. The Joseon Dynasty was then established. Buddhism declined due to corruption during the second half of Goryeo. This eventually led to the three teachings by the Korean Buddhist monks.

Korean generals during Japanese colonization

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The story of how Koreans survived while Japanese ruled over them is very inspiring. They were able to continue to keep their culture, economy and military alive in spite of the Japanese colonization. Passing down historical moments from generation to generation was very important then as it is even now. A total of 7 generals and officers were appointed during this 35 year time frame, which is very significant story on how one can continue to persevere in spite of being pull down by another.

Korean Empire was short-lived from 1897 until Japan took over in 1910 until 1945. Emperor Gojong oversaw the initial Empire being modernized and then Sunjong took over until it was colonized by Japan in 1910. During this time frame, plenty of reforms, treaties, and other events took place. August 22, 1904, the Japan – Korea treaty was signed which required Korea to engage financial and diplomatic advisors to Japan. In September 1905, Russia and Japan signed a treaty to further establish Japan’s influence over Korea. Throughout Japan’s 35-year takeover, Korea managed to stand strong through its military efforts with rising generals and other officials who made their country great.

Crown Prince Yi Un was the first and possible the best Lieutenant General to serve Korea. After graduating from the Imperial Japanese Army Academy May 25, 1917, he became a Second Lieutenant December 25th and continue to rise through the ranks to later become the Lieutenant General in 1940. He was refused to come home in 1945 but in 1963 the Korean president at that time allowed him to return. He was too ill but sought treatment in Seoul, Korea. Seven years later he died at Nakseon Hall, a former residence of an Imperial family in Korea. He is buried at Hongreung at Namyangju near Seoul.

 

Another Korean Prince was brought to Japan in 1918 and later entered the Imperial Japanese Army Academy. Yi Geon was commissioned as Second Lieutenant in 1930, promoted to Lieutenant in 1932 and later became a captain in 1936. He ended his military career with a rank of Colonel in 1945 at the end of the World War II. Like Yi Un, Yi Geon was not allowed back into Korea. After losing his status by the SCAP in 1947, he became a naturalized citizen of Japan in 1950.

Although Japan did not draft Koreans into their Army until 1944, they were still able to enlist and serve under Japanese governance. A huge increase of participants wanting to serve Korean rose greatly. In 1938 there were 2,946 applications but only 406 were accepted. But in 1943, 303,294 applied but 6,300 were accepted to serve in the army. The first 10 Chiefs of Army of Staff of Korea graduated from Imperial Japanese Army Academy and none from the Korean Liberation Army. Korean draftees either served in the military or as a laborer to prepare for war at various sites.

After Korea became independent again, they were able to recover via economic growth and agriculture, along with new generations being born to bring hope to the country. In spite of enduring assassinations, persecutions, racism and all around discrimination, this amazing country stood strong in what they believed in. The stories they will tell through historical archives will last forever. The world would know what happened in the 35-year colonization from Japan but they would also know the strength and courage it took to be redeemed. What we see now is a long way from what occurred during the Empire of Korea. They must remain strong because they should be acknowledged.

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