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Critique of the Modernization Theory and Discovery of “People” in Japan

  • The Review of Korean History
  • 2017, (125), pp.95-128
  • Publisher : The Historical Society Of Korea
  • Research Area : Humanities > History

Hong Jong-wook 1

1서울대학교 인문학연구원

Accredited

ABSTRACT

In the 1960s when Japan was about to get to the economic growth, the modernization theory from United States took on in the country. The modernization theory, in order to use Japan as the model for modernizing Asia, appreciated Japan’s early modern period and Japan’s unique successful linkage with the world capitalism system. At that time Takeuchi Yoshimi, criticizing the modernization theory, appreciated Japan’s Asianism before 1945 so that he was able to distinguish the Asiatic modernity which resisted the western imperialism from Japanese modernity which participated in it. Takeuchi tried to extract the resource of thought from the Asianism’s tradition which kept putting the Asiatic modernity against Japanese modernity. The Japanese researchers of Korean history including Kajimura Hideki, thought the appreciation of the Asianism was only a kind of the modernization theory or a new logic to make Japan the model of modernization. The chance for making the change came with the discovery of people, who on the one hand was subordinated to the ruling class, and on the other hand kept resisting against it. Kajimura saw Korean people who endeavored to be modernized by sending troops to Vietnam and economic cooperation with Japan, and also saw the resisting shape of Korean people through the movement for democracy. The modernization theory is supported by the people’s desire, but the people has another desire of protecting the life-world and national sphere of life. Kajimura recognized the influence of the modernization theory, but at the same time became convinced that homogeneous modernization should be impossible. Hereby Kajimura could overcome the modernization theory and got a chance to understand the project of Takeuchi.

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