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A Study on Japan News in the Colonized Joseon in the 1940s

  • Journal of Humanities
  • 2014, (54), pp.223-250
  • Publisher : Institute for Humanities
  • Research Area : Humanities > Other Humanities
  • Received : June 28, 2014
  • Accepted : August 4, 2014

Chungbeom Ham 1

1고려대학교

Candidate

ABSTRACT

The newsreel was produced in a unified manner in Japan in the wake ofits rising popularity after the Sino-Japanese War. As a result, JapaneseNewsreel Corp. was founded on April 15, 1940; it produced Japan News, thenation’s only newsreel, from May 14 and presented it to the public fromJune 11 the same year. On May 1 the following year, the corporationrefurbished itself as a distributor of both cultural films and newsreels. Havingbeen established as the most powerful newsreel company in Japan, JapanNews exerted an enormous influence on the colonized Joseon from thebeginning of its colonial rule. After having obtained its distribution channelthrough the Gyeongseong Ilbo (the Gyeongseong Daily), Japan News wasreleased mostly in the cinemas solely devoted to presenting newsreels. Aspart of the Japanese plans to control the production, the distribution, and thebox-office records of films between 1940 and 1942, an institutional apparatus was made to force Joseon to screen cultural films and newsreels in thecountry. Japan News was distributed and screened in the colonized Joseonwith a time difference of a week after the original presentation in Japan. Theformats of Japan News presented in Joseon somewhat varied in accordancewith the period of presentations, regions, production styles, and thecircumstances. In some cases, the contents of Japan News included news stories on Joseon, through which the Japanese empire carved out the imageof the colonized Joseon and its people as it intended to show to the viewers. Meanwhile, Japan News replaced Joseon Sibo (Joseon News) -the onlynewsreel of Joseon- thus raising its status in the colonized Joseon. Inconclusion, the newsreel in the colonized Josoen was closely related to thespecial circumstances during the war period characterized by war mobilizationand exploitation. And Japan News stood at the center of the situations.

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