[KS] Violent acts against Japanese colonial rule

George Dorian georgedorian at comcast.net
Mon Sep 6 11:16:50 EDT 2010

Hello all,


Sorry, but I haven't been following this thread very well.  But I have a
question, are you all, by any chance, talking about the Japanese invasion of
Korea of 1895?  


Thanks George 


-----Original Message-----
From: koreanstudies-bounces at koreaweb.ws
[mailto:koreanstudies-bounces at koreaweb.ws] On Behalf Of BakerDon
Sent: Sunday, September 05, 2010 9:02 PM
To: Electronic Bulletin Board
Subject: Re: [KS] Violent acts against Japanese colonial rule


Allow me to suggest that there is often confusion in evaluating the actions
of particular anti-Japanese activists. First of all, there is often
confusion between the intention and the means used to achieve what is
intended. The implicit logic goes like that:  It is good for Koreans to
resist Japanese colonial rule. Therefore it is acceptable to use violence in
such resistance.  Conversely, to suggest that perhaps the means used to
resist Japanese colonial rule in a particular situation might not have been
the most appropriate means is often taken as a rejection of anti-Japanese
activism in general.  To say that perhaps Yoon Pong-Gil should have found a
different way to express his desire for freedom from Japanese rule  is
misinterpreted as saying that Koreans should not have resisted Japanese rule
at all.


Secondly, there is often confusion between intention and consequences.  For
example, it is often claimed that An Chung-gun's assassination of Ito
Hirobumi undermined Japanese rule over Korea and hastened Japan's departure
from the peninsula.  We are also sometimes told that Yoon Pong-gil's act was
a major blow to the Japanese colonial project.  That was the intention of
both An and Yoon but there is no historical evidence to support an argument
that either man caused the Japanese to rethink their plans to incorporate
Korea into their empire.  


To say the "desperate times  require desperate heroism" is a mistake of the
first type, and to say that Japan was in any way seriously weakened by
Yoon's act is a mistake of the second type. 

Don Baker 


Department of Asian Studies 

University of British Columbia 

Vancouver, Canada V6T 1Z2 

don.baker at ubc.ca


Date: Sun, 5 Sep 2010 11:30:45 -0500
From: lovehankook at gmail.com
To: ruediger.frank at univie.ac.at; koreanstudies at koreaweb.ws
Subject: Re: [KS] Official end of WWII in Asia

Dear Mr. Frank,

I understand your distaste but desperate time bears desperate heroism.

Kwang-On Yoo

On Sun, Sep 5, 2010 at 7:32 AM, Ruediger Frank <ruediger.frank at univie.ac.at>

Dear all,
am I the only one who has second thoughts regarding this thread? 
Let me put it this way: In today's world, would Mr. Yoon's deeds be regarded
as an act of heroism? Or as an example of another -ism? Not that such a
discussion would lead us very far on this list, but I find it interesting to
observe how blowing up a person (or ripping off one of his legs) with a bomb
can be interpreted in very different ways depending on... on what? On
context? On culture? On vantage point? 
Best wishes,
Rudiger Frank


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