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The Hanseong Shinbo’s Recognition of Joseon Society–In Relation to the Danbalryeong(斷髮令, 1895) -

Koo Sun-hee 1

1국사편찬위원회

Accredited

ABSTRACT

The Hanseong Shinbo played a role as an organ of Japanese Foreign Ministry, hence when it was published in Seoul, they supported Japanese government’s policies and reported on Joseon society with their pro-Japanese government stance. Through implementation of the Danbalryeong, Joseon society began to change. the Hanseong Shinbo’s awareness and response of the change were based on the role of newspaper forming basis of invasion on Joseon society. While the Danbalryeong was in progress, two specific roles of the Hanseong Shinbo were promoting commercial transactions of Japanese traders and providing information to Japanese merchants and residents in Joseon. Japan already had established absolute dominance in Joseon through Chunsaengmoon incident(春生門事件, 1895.11.28.). Thus, proclaiming the Danbalryeong was the result that Japan tried to show off their strong position in Joseon. When the Danbalryeong was enforced initially under Japanese coercion, the Hanseong Shinbo commented it was necessary for Joseon’s civilization, but didn’t mention about the background of the enforcement. The fact that proclamation of the Danbalryeong was forced by Japan spreaded widely, and objection to the Danbalryeong became objection to Japan. Therefore, the anti-Japanese uprising broke out, but the Hanseong Shinbo claimed that the reason of the uprising wasn’t came from Japan, but the Danbalryeong itself. However, on February 11th, 1896, when Korea royal refuge at the Russian legation[Agwanpacheon, 俄館播遷] occurred, the Hanseong Shinbo changed their tone. They claimed the reason of the uprising was caused by the anti-Japanese policy of Joseon government. The Hanseong Shinbo said, groundswell of uprising is the fault of Joseon government, because the government had admitted ‘a mob of rioters[暴徒]’ as ‘righteous army[義兵]’, and couldn’t suppressed the uprising successfully. The Hanseong Shinbo also asserted, the uprising continued because of the Joseon government and the people, who tried to banish Japanese from Joseon. The Hanseong Shinbo identified what interrupts Japanese merchants trading with Joseon. There were two obstacles. The first was an intensified anti-Japanese sentiment in Joseon caused by the Danbalryeong and Korea royal refuge at the Russian legation. And the second was advent of Qing merchants in Joseon. The Hanseong Shinbo kept finding a way to revitalize stagnated commercial transaction. In consequence, they could catch the possibility of new trade market between Joseon and Japan. It was the goods which were used to change hairstyle and costume form. The Hanseong Shinbo suggested increasing demands of new trade goods due to the Danbalryeong and change of costume form, and also predicted market extension of Japanese merchants in Joseon. Joseon officials’ awareness and response of the social change were different from the Hanseong Shinbo’s. When the Danbalryeong was carried out, the officials refused the policy and were busy to quit their offices. They claimed the sudden change of custom could make people’s mind confused and cause uprising. Joseon government was in accelerating social dislocation after the proclamation of the Danbalryeong, therefore they didn’t pay attention to assessing social change and proposing policies against Japan’s economic invasion.

Citation status

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