In this paper, I examine the influence of the forcible drafting of Koreans on the formation of the Korean community in Japan dating from the late Japanese colonial period. Until Korea was liberated from Japanese colonial rule on 15 August 1945, approximately 2 million Koreans remained in Japan, or 10% of the total Korean population at that time. Some migrated to Japan in search of work, while others were forcibly mobilized for the Japanese governments policy of increasing and supporting the labor force during the Japanese war of aggression. Ninety thousand people were taken to Japan by force. After Japans surrender, most Koreans were able to return to their homeland in accordance with the repatriation policies of the GHQ that controlled Japan indirectly after the war. 1.5 million Koreans returned to Korea between August 1945 and August 1948. The reason the entire population of Koreans in Japan could not return was because the GHQ had acquiesced to the Japanese governments demand to postpone repatriation in favor of restoring the domestic economy. Accordingly, the GHQ strictly limited the amount of material possessions and property that Koreans could take back with them. Thus, for those Koreans with sizeable holdings, Koreans married to Japanese, or those who had settled down in Japan with their Korean family, the decision to leave Japan was not an easy one. Their descendants, the so-called second, third and fourth generation Korean-Japanese, have continued to shape the Korean community in Japan.
After the Liberation, the Northeast region was divided into the Guomindangs reclaimed area and the CPCs liberated area. At first Guomindang treated Koreans as overseas Koreans and confiscated or seized their assets. They also repatriated Koreans living below 38 degrees north latitude. As a result, some 100,000 Koreans in the Guomindang occupied area either returned to Korea or moved to the liberated area under CPC control. On the other hand, the Communist Party of Chinas double nationality policy and the land policy, which was based on the nationality policy, received major support and collaboration from most Koreans. Subsequently, the Koreans actively participated in building the CPC basis in the Northeast during the Third Revolutionary Civil War, and hundreds of thousands of Koreans decided to stay in China instead of returning to Korea.
Imperial Japan mobilized Korean people as soldiers, workers, and comfort women after the start of the Sino-Japanese War of 1937. Approximately 150,000 Koreans were forcibly conscripted to work as coal miners in Sakhalin from the second half of the 1930s until liberation in 1945, after which 43,000 remained, detained in Sakhalin because of the Japanese government's irresponsible actions, combined with the Soviet interest in securing a cheap labor force. Only a small number who were married to Japanese women were able to return in the 1950s.The civilian-led repatriation movement that began in the late 1950s did not bear fruit, due to the indifference of Japan and the Soviet Union. In the 1970s, the Japanese government began to show interest in the issue of the Sakhalin Koreans on a humanitarian level, but avoided taking any responsibility. The South Korean government could not afford to pay attention to the issue for economic reasons, while the North Korean government approached it from the standpoint of maintaining their regime. The Soviet government assumed a passive, lukewarm attitude toward the matter only after post-war reconstruction had reached a certain level. In this sense, the problem of the Sakhalin Koreans can be best explainedbest-explained best explained vis--vis the dynamic relations among South and North Korea, the Soviet Union, and Japan during the Cold War. The repatriation movement was transformed from a civilian-led to a government-led one during the second half of the 1980s. Japanese politicians and the Soviet perestroika policy provided the necessary momentum required to resolve the problem. After the first group of repatriates finally set foot in their homeland around 1990, the stream of returnees never stopped.
Protestantism is a dominant religion in Korea. It is seen as has an image of being the religion of the middle class, of youth and intellectuals, and of urbanites. And iIt is in inseparablye relationship with related to Koreas pursuit of modernity. Protestantism provides an important clue to understanding the Korean society. Designed to help understand the Korean Protestant church in transition, this paper reviews the historical trajectory of Protestantism from the nation's liberation in 1945 to the present and examines some key issues such as exclusionist faith and pro-U.S. inclination.
Conservatism in the South Korean Protestant Church has been a long-standing phenomenon. After becoming more active in politics after the 1990s, the Protestant conservative forces have come to represent the right wing in South Korea since 2000. The primary focus of this paper is on that of how wolnamin (Protestant groups of North Korean origin) contributed to the political and social conservatism of the Protestant Church in Korea, looking at the case of the Presbyterian Church. Wolnamin were able to garner power and lasting influence because of the following factors: 1) the large size of the wolnamin group; 2) their ability to reorganize successfully in the church and South Korean society; (3) their ability to rise to the center of the religious power structure by utilizing conflicts and divisions schisms within the South Korean Protestant Church; 4) their ability to reconnect with foreign missionaries in South Korea and receive abundant financial support from churches in the U.S.; 5) that the non-regional presbytery system and churches for wolnam Protestants guaranteed a share of religious power beyond their capacity; and 6) that they maintained strong solidarity at the denominational as well as the trans-denominational level. As a result, they rose to power in the 1950s and continued to maintain it for a long time. They showed some signs of crises after the 1960s; however, they were able to maintain their vitality until recently, with partial revitalization after the 1980s. In particular, the continued strength of the wolnam group contributed to Protestantism representing conservative forces in South Korea after 2000.
The modern history of Christianity was witness to an increasing uneasiness with the traditional doctrine of just war. Nonetheless, until quite recently, Korean Protestant churches appeared to know nothing other than just war theory. Korean Protestant churches were, from the time of the Korea War to the present, among the most avid advocates and supporters of war, with two ideological assumptions underlying the their attitude toward waranti-communism and pro-Americanism. The churches approach to the Vietnam War demonstrated how the two ideological concepts brought them to support Korean involvement in it. For them, the Vietnam War was a fundamental part of the global struggle against the encroachment of evil communism, hence necessitating South Korean help to the United States and its allies in defending a free South Vietnam. In supporting Korean participation, churches even canonized it as a holy war or a crusade against evil. Both the pro-American and anti-communist world-views blinded the Korean churches to the post-colonial dimensions of the Vietnam War. However, some churches, from the 1970s, began to move out of this cold war mentality and reevaluate Americas role in Korean history. The divided opinions on the War in Iraq showed that many Korean Christians no longer embrace these traditional views towards Communism or the United States any longer.
A recent online anti-Christianity campaign in Korea has been taking place against the backdrop of the rapid spread of Internet culture, a boost in “anti” culture, and Protestant fundamentalists’ aggressive missionary activity. The anti-Christianity campaign criticizes the Korean Protestant Church for its intolerance of different value systems (religious solipsism), depreciation of human reason and intelligence (God-centrism), and an attitude of blindly following Jewish tradition, to the neglect of Korean traditions and belief systems (religious toadyism). However, Protestants have not yet actively responded to this criticism. More noteworthy is the fact that productive, intellectual dialogue cannot be found between the two camps. A deeply rooted factor that prevents sincere dialogue between netizens engaged in anti-Christian drives and the fundamentalist camp of the Protestant Church is the attitudes of both sides toward religious language. While the Protestant fundamentalists take a literal approach to religion, the anti-Christianity campaign positively approaches to religion
This essay reviews the six essays published in the Korea Journal under the general heading, Debate on the Equalization Policy. It points out that the essays have failed to produce a meaningful policy debate due to confusion about the nature of pyeongjunhwa policy, which they deal with as an equalization policy. It argues that the policy was and is not directly serving the development of a solid system of public education. Born out of improvised, inappropriate efforts to cope with the question of entrance competitions, the policy actually helped aggravate the question, deepened state interventionespecially in the private sphere of educationand drained much needed resources for the development of public education.The essay concludes by suggesting a new perspective that is broad enough to accommodate not only the efficacy of the policy concerned but also the statethe owner of the policy which in itself has been an important part of South Koreas structural educational problems.