Korea was “discovered” by the West after World War II when it became a flashpoint in the Cold War. Before the war, however, it was home to many hundreds of Westerners who experienced life there under Japanese colonial rule. These included missionaries who opened Korea as a field for evangelism, education, and medicine; speculators who risked much and reaped riches from mining concessions; and diplomats who tried to keep them neutral, even as the Japanese forced them out of business on the eve of the Pacific War.
In the first part of the book, the author reconstructs the foreign community and highlights the role of Americans in particular as participants in Korean history, bringing vividly to life the lives and suffering and triumphs of the expatriate community in Korea, especially the missionaries. In the second part of the book, the author presents the altered circumstances of American military occupation after 1945 and the consequences of the Americans’ assuming a role not unlike the one that had been played earlier by the colonial Japanese.
By telling the lives and experiences of Westerners, the author highlights the major historical events of modern Korean history. Accounts of foreigners in the Independence Movement and during the period of militarization in the 1930s shed new light on what Japanese colonial rule meant to the Korean people. Similarly, Western experiences in Korea in the 1940s amount to a commentary on the way Korea was divided and the events that led inexorably to the ordeal of the Korean War.
The stories recounted in this extraordinary book, highlighted by more than sixty photographs, are a valuable commentary on Korea’s early modernization and the consequences of the Korean War as it set the stage for Korea’s relations with the world in the late twentieth–early twenty-first centuries.
|Publisher:||Camphor Press Ltd|
|Product dimensions:||6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.95(d)|
Table of Contents
In Japanese Occupied Korea
Half a World Away;
Vigil for a Dying Kingdom;
The Great Independence Uprising;
Living in Admiral Saito’s Korea;
The Jerusalem of the East;
The White Russians of Korea;
Life and Death on the Manchurian Frontier;
Western Women in the Land of the Morning Calm;
General Minami and the Iron Fist;
Render Unto Caesar the Things That Are Caesar’s;
The Rise and Fall of the Oriental Consolidated Mining Company;
The Winds of War;
Living Dangerously in Chosen
In Post-Colonial Korea, 1945-1950
Liberation and Re-occupation;
Making Korea Safe for Democracy;
Soldiers of Freedom;
Living in the R.O.K.;
A Country Ripped by War
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
This is an excellent history of Korea, from the viewpoint of the interestingly diverse Westerners, especially missionaries, living there from 1900 to 1950. The accounts of the Korean War were eye-opening, fascinating.