Assimilating Seoul: Japanese Rule and the Politics of Public Space in Colonial Korea, 1910-1945

Assimilating Seoul: Japanese Rule and the Politics of Public Space in Colonial Korea, 1910-1945

by Todd A. Henry
     
 

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Assimilating Seoul, the first book-length study written in English about Seoul during the colonial period, challenges conventional nationalist paradigms by revealing the intersection of Korean and Japanese history in this important capital. Through microhistories of Shinto festivals, industrial expositions, and sanitation campaigns, Todd A. Henry offers a

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Overview

Assimilating Seoul, the first book-length study written in English about Seoul during the colonial period, challenges conventional nationalist paradigms by revealing the intersection of Korean and Japanese history in this important capital. Through microhistories of Shinto festivals, industrial expositions, and sanitation campaigns, Todd A. Henry offers a transnational account that treats the city’s public spaces as "contact zones," showing how residents negotiated pressures to become loyal, industrious, and hygienic subjects of the Japanese empire. Unlike previous, top-down analyses, this ethnographic history investigates modalities of Japanese rule as experienced from below. Although the colonial state set ambitious goals for the integration of Koreans, Japanese settler elites and lower-class expatriates shaped the speed and direction of assimilation by bending government initiatives to their own interests and identities. Meanwhile, Korean men and women of different classes and generations rearticulated the terms and degree of their incorporation into a multiethnic polity. Assimilating Seoul captures these fascinating responses to an empire that used the lure of empowerment to disguise the reality of alienation.

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Editorial Reviews

Korea Journal - John Whittier Treat

"A major contribution to the study of the history of twentieth-century Korea."
American Historical Review - Alexis Dudden

"A most welcome addition to the field of Korean studies."
Reviews in History - Mark Caprio

"An important contribution . . . impressive depth."
H-Net - Janet Poole

"The first in-depth study in the English language of the history of Seoul in the first half of the twentieth century . . . entertaining and highly readable . . . a welcome addition to the growing literature on Korea’s colonial history and on urban history more generally."

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780520958418
Publisher:
University of California Press
Publication date:
02/15/2014
Series:
Asia Pacific Modern , #12
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
316
File size:
16 MB
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