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Dual Cities, Dual Modernities

  • The Journal of Chinese Cultural Studies
  • 2018, (39), pp.201-220
  • DOI : 10.18212/cccs.2018..39.009
  • Publisher : The Society For Chinese Cultural Studies
  • Research Area : Humanities > Chinese Language and Literature > Chinese Literature > Chinese Culture
  • Received : January 15, 2018
  • Accepted : February 15, 2018
  • Published : February 28, 2018

Kim,NamHee 1

1인천대학교

Accredited

ABSTRACT

This study intends to discover and appreciate multiple modernities by comparing Incheon (仁川) in Korea and Dalian (大連) in China. Both cities were open ports under the rule of Japanese imperialism and, according to the ruler’s urban planning, were built dually to separate the residences of the colonizer and the colonized. The borderlines that were drawn to divide different ethnicities, soon became socio-economic borderlines. As the cities kept developing, the social gaps between the separated residences became obvious. Since 1990s, both in Incheon and Dalian, efforts have been made to reflect their own histories as open ports and it turns out that the socio-economic borderlines from the past still remain unchanged. While present literature frequently deals with the dual structure of Incheon or Dalian or focuses on how to preserve specific modern historical places in the cities, this study explores the possibilities of restoring modernity from within as well as from outside by properly preserving and utilizing the remaining duel places. Both located near to the open ports, Baedari in Incheon and Xiaogangzi (小崗子) in Dalian were residences of low-income people who were providing manpower for each colonized society. These two areas are meaningful in that they not only accepted the influence from outside also developed autonomous modernity by maintaining national identity and internal motivation. However, the reality is that at present, they are just old and rundown areas which are almost forgotten, waiting to be redeveloped. With the rise of consciousness about the significance of modern history, more people tend to prefer restoration to removal of historical places. Still it requires more judicious approaches to restoring local history. Approaching the unvarnished history in specific and elaborated ways will make the meaning of modernity in the colonized cities richer and deeper. We should be careful that the recent new interest in the histories of the two cities doesn’t end in degenerating those historical sites, such as Baedari and Xiaogangzi, into commercialized nostalgic areas or in creating extra burden by failing to incorporate the renewed historical sites into the original local communities.

Citation status

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