Wedding ceremonies of the early modern period became newly invented wedding “traditions” in a nascent form of transculturalism as Christian, Buddhist, and other “modern” wedding ceremonies, collectively called sinsik gyeolhon (new-style weddings), first emerged in the 1890s and became commonplace by the early 1920s. Some of the most noticeable changes in wedding ceremonies were the ways in which they became hybridized invented traditions, selectively choosing aspects of both “old” and “new” weddings. Weddings also became commercialized affairs, an emblem of urban middle- and upperclass culture in colonial Korea. When we examine all these aspects, we can see that weddings reflected not only social trends, but also the anxieties of the times. In addition to more recent works on weddings, I rely on primary sources such as newspaper and magazine articles as well as photographs from the colonial period to see how Koreans negotiated transcultural influences to produce weddings as invented traditions and how wedding practices became commercialized. By looking at hybridity and commercialization as closely related processes, this paper examines ways in which wedding ceremonies transformed in form and symbolism from the late nineteenth century through the colonial period.
Above all, the enlightened intellectuals of Joseon during the end of Joseon and the early colonial period emphasized the necessity of female education for the development of the country. It was urged that being educated women and good wives and wise mothers, women should display their abilities as members of the country and the people. This was common to both colonialists and nationalists. It was because they were conscious of the country and the people based on the theory of Western modern civilization. The education for a good wife and wise mother was a common denominator constituting the political theory of the ‘nation’ of Joseon and the ‘Empire’ of Japan running in an opposite direction. However, the group of new-style women born through female education didn’t always meet their demand. Here, the advocates of the theory of a good wife and wise mother counterattacked the criticism of new women. The new women who opposed patriarchy and expressed sexuality openly were awkward beings unsuitable to the authority of the colonial state and the intellectuals of colonial Joseon. Developing a counter theory against the criticism about a good wife and wise mother and producing a new target called ‘new women,’ they responded one another antagonistically. At the same time, the discourse on a good wife and wise mother went through a new process of transformation. It was because it was reproduced as a traditional image of maternity rather than a new image of womanhood. After all, the discourse on ‘new women’ during the colonial period assumed a complicated dual character while it gave a blow to the theory of a good wife and wise mother on the one hand and eventually carried out the function to reproduce it in the form of tradition on the other hand.
Colonial Korea’s marriage and family system that originated in the West produced diverse and complex practices, suggestions, and visions when it was introduced to Korea via Japan. These suggestions and visions crossed the boundaries of tradition and modernness and revealed dynamic and transitional characteristics of colonial Korean society. The young generation welcomed the import of the West’s marriage system and gender identity with open arms. Liberals recognized its significance in principle but called for caution in its direct application. The older generation tried hard to preserve the traditional sexual morality and marriage system. Tensions, contradictions, and confrontations grew as numerous opinions and claims were put forth, and intellectuals searched for new forms of marriage and family. Consequently, lively debates and discussions were carried out about the issues of temporary separation, single life, trial and companionate marriages, friendship between the sexes, and alternative family. Recommendations and ideas raised by the intellectuals were a conservative reaction to imported modernity, a modern demand against oppressed sexual morality, and a critique of and a challenge to patriarchal society. Moreover, various ideas and thoughts like patriarchy, colonialism, liberalism, modernity, feminism, nationalism, and socialism/communism competed in the discussions on alternative forms of marriage and family.
This essay examines the single mother figures in Yom Sang-seop’s novel Three Generations (Samdae, 1931, 2005) and Bak Gi-chae’s film The Straits of Joseon (1943) against the backdrop of the late colonial period when the Japanese colonial government was beginning to exercise increasingly more repressive policies of assimilation (doka) and imperialization (kominka/hwangminhwa). By exploring the various levels of social antagonisms involving the single mother and her missing partner in these texts, I unveil the system of social hypocrisy which at once deprived and over-assigned the nation to these women who lacked the socio-economic and family structure in the first place.
This paper aims to reveal the meaning and significance of Hwa-Seong Park’s two trip essays, “Geuripdeon yet teoreul chaja” (Visiting Longed-for Ancient Remains) and “Haeseogihaeng” (A Writing of Travel to Haeseo). With development of tourism industry in modern times of Korean history, many people started to go on a trip for sightseeing purposes. However, they were mostly men. During the Japanese colonial period, it was very rare that Korean women made a trip with personal reasons. The author describes the true aspect of Korean women as a traveler in modern age in her two trip essays. In this paper, her perspective on the women she met at tourist destinations as a tourist has been investigated. In particular, her trip was closely related with the cultural site trip which was boomed during the 1930s as one of the most common types of trip in Korea. The colonized people’s trip to historical sites during the colonial period can be very paradoxical because their consciousness may not be matched with the reality unwittingly. From this perspective, this paper has thoroughly examined the paradox of the trip to historical sites during the colonial period through news articles, trip essays and school trip essays. And then this paper has tried to discover the meaning of her trip essays by analyzing the historical space during the Japanese colonial period.
This paper focuses on the miasma epidemic of 1018. Information about this miasma epidemic was recorded in Goryeosa and proves that the Goryeo people understood the nature of this new epidemic. Goryeo developed its medical care system in response to this miasma epidemic. It sent physicians and medicaments to the capital and established provincial pharmacies. Since Goryeo specifically named the disease rather than simply refer to it as an epidemic, we can infer that there had been an improvement in the recognition of epidemics. While there is no definitive way to say where the miasma epidemic began, it likely came by land from Khitan or by sea with the delegates and traders from Song. In 1020, Goryeo requested a new Chinese medical text from Song China and tried to adopt Song medicine. Thus this new epidemic stimulated the development of medicine in the Goryeo dynasty.
The purpose of this study is to search for traces of women who led alternative lives outside the boundaries prescribed by the Confucian patriarchal ideology. This paper pays particular attention to the tensions between the dominant Confucian doctrine, which often subordinated women to men, and the creative engagement by women in religious life, through which they conformed to, rejected, or appropriated the existing gender system. As a way to bring about a picture of the lively experience women had in the realm of religion, I tried to excavate stories about nuns from official Joseon records, and then reinterpreted the records in order to better understand various strategies and actions taken by women who submitted themselves to the dominant gender ideology and yet found ingenious and subversive ways to exercise their power and resist the status quo. Through Buddhism, some women were able to create an alternative space outside Confucian social norms and live a life separated from the main norms of the Joseon dynasty.
This paper explores changes in Korea’s voter alignments. Since Korea has experienced abridged social changes, she appears to have undergone dramatic changes of political cleavages as well which is contrary to the ‘fixation’ theory of Lipset and Rokkan. The main cleavages shown in Korean politics are urbanrural, regional, generation, and ideology cleavages. Urban-rural cleavage dominated the era of authoritarian rule because electoral fraud with threats or bribery was less likely in more modernized urban areas while illegal electioneering was more prevalent in under-modernized rural areas where the level of education was relatively lower. After democratization, regional cleavage became the main cleavage since voters chose candidates based on strong regional ties in the absence of the issue of democratization that had dominated Korean politics for forty years. Though it was still the main one, regional cleavage became weakened by new cleavages of generation and ideology in the 2002 presidential election. In the 2007 presidential election, regional cleavage appears to have been modified significantly. The capital region, used to being a swing region, became a strong electoral basis for Lee Myung-bak. Noticeably voters in the region began to cut their connections to their birthplaces.