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The “Dal-ri Survey” of Ulsan in 1936 and archiving of colonial agricultural village

  • The Review of Korean History
  • 2015, (120), pp.121-165
  • Publisher : The Historical Society Of Korea
  • Research Area : Humanities > History

Hur, Young-Ran 1

1울산대학교

Accredited

ABSTRACT

In the summer of 1936, a group of medical students from Tokyo, Japan and the folklorists of the Attic Museum conducted an investigation into the economic and hygienic state of Dal-ri Village of Ulsan and the folklore of its community (Dal-ri Survey). The investigation, which was purely in the private dimension under the auspice of Keizo Shibusawa, was a unique encounter and experience between the Korean public and the elites of Korea and Japan via everyday life. The villagers’ attitude toward the investigation group was so cold that the investigators were able to feel it themselves, and there were complaints about the colonial rule of Japan as well as their national animosity. Even though the investigation group included Korean students, the farmers did not have the leisure to feel friendly towards them, suffering from “poverty” and “overwork.” Although having progressive interest in rural renovations, the student investigation group regarded Dal-ri Village as nothing but a community of others that was poor and unhygienic and evoked its sympathy. As far as the folklorists were concerned, it was merely a subject of scientific investigation to compare one of the representative colonial rural villages with the folklore of Japan. The investigation process of Dal-ri and also the records about its economy, hygiene, and folklore produced in the process and the folk artifacts collected in the process represented an “archiving” work for a colonial rural village for outside professionals in the fields of modern medicine and science. Dal-ri Village in the year of 1936 was set as one of the commonest and most representative agricultural villages in Joseon by the investigation group, which was why they did not actively reflect the changes, breakup, and internal cracks of the village community that were fully happening in the Dal-ri Survey. This study examined the mutual perceptions between the subjects of the Dal-ri Survey and the villagers and the pluralistic meanings of its archiving as well as those characteristics.

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