Seoul(Keijoh) boom


their hisitory as it should have been



Key passage:

In Korea, "the hisitory as it should have been" is overemphasized. This historical view decides Japanese rule period should have been "the dark age" or "the age of resistance and oppression."

Today a sort of revisionism has created a boom of manners and culture under Japanese rule. This boom created a movie, which was supposed to describe modernized and free Seoul. But this turned out to be an out of date, anti-Japanese and nationalistic movie.

This is probably because not a few Korean people can accept only "the history as it should have been".

韓国では「あるべき歴史」が偏重されます。 この歴史観では、日本統治時代は「暗黒時代」であり、「抑圧と抵抗」の時代としてのみとらえられます。

現在韓国では、一種のリビジョニズムから、日本統治時代の風俗文化のブームが起こっています。 このブームにより製作された映画は、近代化された自由なソウルを描くはずでしたが、結局、古臭い反日・民族主義映画になって しまいました。


Recently there is "Seoul(Keijoh) boom" in Korea. Seoul(Keijoh) means Seoul during Japanese rule. Because "Seoul" was written with two Chinese Characters, "Kei" and "joh" in this age. "Kei" is the same Chinese character as "Kyo" of "Tokyo". (Before this age, Seoul was written with two Chinese Characters, "Kan" and "joh". "Kan" means China herself. ) Then "Seoul(Keijoh) boom" means is the boom of the culture and manners in Seoul during Japanese rule.

This movement may give Korean people an insight into the real nature of period of Japanese rule.

But I never expect a lot of this movement. Because such expectation have always been betrayed.

In fact, this movie have been changed from original intent.
Because not a few Korean people can accept only their history as it should have been.

I translated a thread of the BBS which is based on the article written by Kuroda Katsuhiro, a newspaper journalist of Sankei newspaper, who has been living in Korea for long years.

Related article
Sports scenes under Japanese rule (2007/02/18)
現在韓国には「京城ブーム」というのが起こっているそうです。「京城」とは日本統治時代のソウルの表記で、京は東京の京と同じ 漢字でした。(それ以前は漢城といい、漢は中国そのものを意味していました。) 京城ブームというのはすなわち日本統治時代のソウルの風俗文化のブームです。 これは日本時代の真の姿を見抜く力を韓国人に与えるかも知れません。しかしながら私は多くを期待しません。 このような期待は常に裏切られてきたからです。



下記は韓国駐在の産経新聞記者、黒田氏の雑誌記事に基づく 掲示板スレッド を翻訳したものです(キャッシュ)。

日本統治時代のスポーツの風景 (2007/02/18)
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The movie, "Modern Boy", which is much talked about, is an out of date anti-Japanese movie | 映画 2881|共感13
107569| JAPANicatchkorea | 2008.11.07 08:26:22
The old-fashioned ending of "Modern Boy", the movie which is much talked about
The movie of the autumn is "Modern Boy" which is set in Korean Peninsula of the 1930s under Japanese rule. Though this year is a bad year for Korean movies, this movie is much talked about as one of the few attractive movies.

"Modern boys" or "Modern girls" are young people who were dressed stylishly and fashionably in Western style in the early Showa period(1926-). They were called "Mobo" or "Moga". Such people also appeared in Korea under Japanese rule. Among Japanese, Korean "Mobo" and "Moga" swaggered about downtown Seoul of those days. Historically, this was one of modernizing influence which the Korean society experienced. Korean people also enjoyed modernization under Japanese rule. "Modern Boy" is set in Seoul of those days.

In Korea, the official historical perspective have regarded the period under Japanese rule as the dark ages, which can have been described only as the age of "resistance and suppression".

Then when Japanese minister says that Japanese government had made some achievements under Japanese rule, a voice in protest, "He is a liar!", is raised from both the public and private sectors in Korea. This sometimes developed into a diplomatic matter, and Japanese minister was dismissed several times.

(bxninjin's note: Education minister Nakayama retired recently(2008/09) for his controversial remarks about Japan Teachers' Union and others.
In 2004, he has once made controversial statements about a history textbook and "comfort women".
Though he just said that emperor had no clothes on. )

But recently, there is a move to break away from old simple "resistance and suppression" view of history or nationalistic view of history also in Korea. This movement is based on the concept that history should be thought from various perspectives, and is coming out from the book field, film world and theater world as "Seoul(Keijoh) boom", which accept as fact(Keijoh is the way of notation during Japanese rule.). We can actually call this Korean version of historical revisionism.

Tokyo modern girls of the 1920s

This movie "Modern Boy" had been selling a new historical view by such advertising copies as "Independence movement? Pro-Japan? Does it matter?" and "Korean new generation of the 1930s, cool romance personified". A mass medium review said "The key players behind the scenes are sights of the 1930s in the movie." and paid attention to surprisingly modern, cheerful and delightful scenes of Seoul.

Chungmuro of 1930s (Seoul)

On the premiere date, I went and saw this movie with a heart filled with excitement, but I was disappointed. This was a usual old-fashioned, anti-Japanese and nationalistic movie. The story goes like this. -(snip)- I could see the scenes of Mitsukoshi Department Store, cafes, Streetcars and modernized Seoul(Keijoh) City which were reproduced with CG. Fashions of Mobo and Moga and Swing dance were produced as "New culture". But its story was based only on the official historical perspective which have been described only as the age of "resistance and suppression". The modern boy had enjoyed the age under Japanese rule, but he empathized with the female terrorist. Then he was made awake as a nationalist at last!
Even Korean historical revisionist required such an ending.

 CLOSE In this movie, heroine was a nationalist, but the fact was ...

The same can be said for other movie, "Blue Swallow" which was much talked about last year as a precedent of 1930s' movies. This movie was based on a real person who is the first female civilian pilot in Korean Peninsula. This is a story of "Modern woman" who succeeded in liberation of women during Japanese rule. But in this movie, her lover was a terrorist who was resisting Japan. At last, she also became a nationalist.

This is real Park Kyung-won. She is called "Empire of Japan's cheerleader".

These movies represent the historical perspective of Korea today. They still give preference to the history as it should be over the history as it really was.

"Wind of Seoul No.74 'Is this the limit of revisionism Japanese period?'" The article from November 12 issue of SAPIO magazine

Korean official view of history = "resistance and suppression" view of history fabricated by nationalism


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