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A Comparative Study on the Way of Remembering ‘the War’ in Korean and Japanese Novels just after the Pacific War

  • Korean Language & Literature
  • 2010, (72), pp.347-376
  • Publisher : Korean Language & Literature
  • Research Area : Humanities > Korean Language and Literature

Ahn mi-young 1

1경북대학교

Accredited

ABSTRACT

This study examined how the war was remembered in Korean and Japanese novels written just after the Pacific War by comparing Park Rho‐gap’s Hwan (歡) and Umezaki Haruo’s Sakurajima (櫻桃). The historical background of the two novels is both just before the 15th of August in 1945, and it ends with the news of the termination of the war on the 15th of August. In describing the atmosphere after the end of the war, Park Rho‐gap’s Hwan expresses ‘jubilation’ but Umezaki Haruo’s Sakurajima expresses futile despair like evanescently falling cherry blossoms in the form of ‘abstinence.’In Park Rho‐gap’s Hwan, the code through which the author remembers the Pacific War is ‘unpatriotic person.’ As the war situation grows worse, Japan mobilizes Koreans for the war on the pretext that Koreans are also ‘criticizes’. That is, it assumes to give Koreans suffrage and treat them as ‘criticizes’ in reward for fighting in the war. Kim laments the fate of Korean young people conscripted for Japanese aggressive war, and criticizes the Japanese government’s deceptive schemes. Just before the liberation, Korean intellectuals focused their attention on Japanese exploitation policies but were ignorant of the progress of the 2nd World War and political situations. In Umezaki Haruo’s Sakurajima, the code through which the author remembers the Pacific War is ‘replacement.’ As the aggressive war initiated by Japan has reached its last stages, Japan mobilizes for the war not only the colonists but also its own innocent common people in the form of replacements, national service men, volunteers, etc. The writer spotlights conflicts between replacements and volunteers, and criticizes the human right abuses through replacements who are nothing to do with the war. The author points out problems in the war, but his sense of shame is somewhat mixed because it is his own country’s militarism that provoked the war. The fact that the codes for Korean and Japanese writers’ perception of the Pacific War are ‘unpatriotic person’ and ‘replacement,’ respectively, has a significant implication. From the 15th of August, 1945 on, Korean literature waged struggles to build an independent country based on the concept of ‘citizens’ and Japanese literature started its efforts to establish democracy based on the concept of ‘human rights.’

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