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The Topography of the Local Confucians at the End of the Japanese Colonial Period and the Aspect of the Pro - Japanese Sino - Korean Poems - Focusing on Confucians in Gangneung -

  • Journal of Humanities
  • 2016, (60), pp.304-338
  • Publisher : Institute for Humanities
  • Research Area : Humanities > Other Humanities
  • Received : December 31, 2015
  • Accepted : January 28, 2016

Han, GilRo 1

1동국대학교

Accredited

ABSTRACT

In the 1940s, Japan tried to extensively make use of ‘the provincial Confucians’ who had ‘authorities and influences’ that were not disbanded completely in local areas in order to regulate and surveil the populace of each local area more effectively and efficiently. Myeoungdeoksajo (明德詞藻), a collection of poems written in Chinese characters and was published by the Confucians in Gangneung in 1941, unveiled the situations of the Confucians in the period very frankly. In this book of poems, the Confucians in Gangneung showed their will to cooperate with and participate in the Japanese fascist system through Sino-Korean poetry and the poetry club that were their words and culture. In other words, the so-called Confucians then took advantage of sociopolitical ideologies that Japan tried to force and implant as a kind of sociopolitical tool by using a format of Sino-Korean poetry only and applying it to the cause as a means of expressing their will of cooperation. Besides, it showed the fact that this work was ignited by the bureaucrats in a lower class and a group of community leaders in local areas not by renowned Confucians. They only focused on delivering the contents that praised and beatified the wartime situations and local officials and urged participation of the populace using chikje (勅題) and “the holy war” that were bestowed upon by the Japanese Emperor and historical spots as a subject for a poem. In fact, they eliminated the tradition of aesthetics in Sino-Korean poetry. In conclusion, this book of poems shows not only an aspect of how the policy of controlling Confucians by the Japanese Government-General of the Joseon dynasty was carried out through the provincial Confucians at the end of the Japanese colonial era but also brings up the necessity of studying pro-Japanese Sino-Korean poems that differentiated themselves from the existing pro-Japanese literature (written either in Korean or Japanese).

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