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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Christian Culture and Military Rule: Assimilation and its Limits during the First Decade of Japan's Colonial Rule in Korea, 1910-19

  • Author(s): Shapiro, Michael Isaac
  • Advisor(s): Barshay, Andrew E
  • et al.

This is a study of the encounter between Japanese imperialism and Korean Protestantism during the the first decade of colonial rule in Korea (1910-19), typically referred to in historiography as the "military rule" period. By examining how Japanese and Korean Protestants adapted themselves to the demands of Japan's colonial rule, it attempts to reveal how the efforts made to subordinate Korean Christianity to Japanese imperial rule became a means of symbolically colonizing Korean history. The dissertation explores how this colonial project played out across Japanese metropole and Korean colony by focusing on the Japanese empire's attempts to subordinate a global evangelical institution, the Young Men's Christian Association (YMCA) to an education policy premised upon the selfless devotion of Koreans to Japan's imperial house. Ultimately, it is argued that the result of this encounter was to fashion a base of Japanese hegemony in colonial Korea that had not existed in 1910 by allowing Koreans to articulate an autonomous cultural identity within the confines of their political domination by the Japanese empire.

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