Spatial Perception of Administrative District Reorganization in 1914 based on GIS
In 1914, Japanese Empire wholsale adjusted the administrative districts of Joseon. The main point was to merge the existing 329 counties into 12 Bu(府, city) and 220 counties, and 4,300 myeons into 2,500 myeons. As a result, the administrative districts of Joseon were reduced to 67% in the 2nd level(Gun, 郡) and 58% in the 3rd level(Myeon, 面). Although this alteration of administrative district was an wholsale event unprecedented since the Joseon Dynasty, studies on it mostly remain in the perspective of institutional history. However, since administrative districts are basically spatial information based on polygons, so this paper basically pays attention to the spatial approach and spatial change of this event. GIS software was used as an important tool for basic analysis in this study, and for spatial analysis, restoration maps of administrative districts up to the unit of Myeon were first produced through the establishment of a property/spatial DB of Myeon from the 18th century to 1914.
The standard for merge and abolition applied by the Japanese Empire was 40 bangri(里²) in area and 10,000 households in Gun, and 4 bangri in area and 800 households in Myeon. Chungcheongnam-do has the lowest survival rates in both counties and myeons, at 37.8% and 44.5%, respectively, but there were generally more fluctuations in the southern Korea than in the northern Korea. The consolidation principle was not absolute. Immediately after the reorganization, 85 Bu/Guns still had an area of less than 40 bangri, and 68 Bu/Guns had less than 10,000 households.
The reorganization in 1914 was not just a simple adjustment of administrative districts, but also an important event in terms of a major disruption to regional traditions or traditions of regional awareness. The one of the reasons why Joseon was able to maintain a rural community for more than 500 years was that the fact that blood relatives armed with Neo-Confucianism based on regional relationship(Jiyeon, 地緣). Under these circumstances, the disappearance of the county, which was the basis for the spatial and regional existence of blood relatives including themselves and their ancestors, was a considerable shock to them. This severance continues to this day, and in order to fully understand the beginning of the severance, the positioning process of the new county office, cases of consolidation after division of sub-regions within the county rather than full-scale merge and abolition at the county level, and exceptions to the application of standards are examined and researched more closely at the national level.