Korean National Identity under Japanese Colonial Rule: Yi Gwangsu and the March First Movement of 1919, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Korean National Identity under Japanese Colonial Rule

Yi Gwangsu and the March First Movement of 1919, 1st Edition

By Michael Shin


238 pages

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Hardback: 9781138683082
pub: 2018-04-10
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Modern Korean nationalism has been shaped by the turbulent historical forces that shook and transformed the peninsula during the twentieth century, including foreign occupation, civil war, and division. This book examines the emergence of the nation as the hegemonic form of collective identity after the March First Movement of 1919, widely seen as one of the major turning points of modern Korean history. The analysis focuses on Yi Gwangsu (1892–1950), a pioneering novelist, newspaper editor, and leader of the nationalist movement, who was directly involved in many aspects of its emergence during the Japanese occupation period. Yi Gwangsu was one of the few intellectuals who not only wrote for almost the entirety of the colonial period but who also was centrally involved in many institutions related to the production of identity. By focusing on Yi Gwangsu the book provides a different kind of historical narrative linking the various fragments of the nation, puts forward a new understanding of the March First Movement and its role in the emergence of the nation, and demonstrates how central to the emergence of the nation were the development of the print industry, the rise of a modern readership, and the emergence of a capitalist market for print. This book shows how the March First Movement catalyzed the confluence of these factors, enabling the nation to emerge as the dominant form of collective identity.

Table of Contents



Part I:

Chapter 1. Pyeongan Province

Chapter 2. Print Capitalism

Chapter 3. Modern Literature

Chapter 4. The Cultural Policy

Chapter 5. Reconstruction and Culturalism

Chapter 6. National Literature and Melodrama




About the Author

Michael D. Shin is a Lecturer in Korean Studies and a Fellow of Robinson College at the University of Cambridge, UK.

About the Series

Routledge Studies in the Modern History of Asia

During the nineteenth and twentieth centuries Asia has undergone immense and far reaching changes: war, revolution, occupation, industrialization. This series includes in-depth research on aspects of economic, political and social history of individual countries as well as more broad-reaching analyses of regional issues.

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Regional Studies