On the Eve of Uprising
Period of Colonialism of Korea by Japanese
I would like to provide a study with a historical background on the period of colonialism in Korea described in On the Eve of the Uprising. I consider the events of the1920s, namely Japanese colonial period in Korea, as oppressive and unjust realities. In the paper, I will analyze the author’s opinion related to this period, for instance, how he is trying to explain Koreans’ reasoning and goals.
The period from 1910 until 1945 was marked by the prosperity of Japanese colonialism. In 1910, a very strict government policy about human rights was passed, and by the 1920s, the policy was changed due to cultural issues. On the 1st of March, 1919, the movement was reasonably changed. During the 1st of March movement, some of the leaders proclaimed independence so that the movement would spread out in the nationwide scale. Although the movement failed, it brought the cultural policy and repealed the system to allow media collect information about punishments and terror. Educational and transport systems were reformed. In the work On the Eve of the Uprising, the author described the period realistically, disclosing the situation and exposing the intellectual self-awakening.
Restraint and Oppressive Injustice under the Rule of Japanese Imperialism
During coronial period, it was compulsory to obey the bayonets, which led to injustice and discrimination of the human rights of colonized people. Consequently, they stayed in the darkness and became impoverished by means of Japanese treatment.
Japanese Recognition and Discrimination towards Chosen People
The main character of the work On the Eve of the Uprising goes to Korea by the ferryboat to Busan. He heard Japanese people saying that chosen people are primitive and uncivilized like Taiwanese aborigines in Taiwan. What is more, chosen people are naïve, so it is easy to deceive them and bring Japanese industry and workplaces for slaves. Japanese army approves human trfficking as there are no any restrictions. Therefore, it becomes obvious that the state of chosen people is discriminated.
Japanese Oppression Policy
Japanese teachers brought swards to teach children in elementary schools. There was the same situation in the middle and high schools. It should be mentioned that Japanese government provided the policy to repress those who did not obey or resisted in any way. Such people could be repressed at any time by cutting necks. In fact, those governmental efforts aimed to root out opposition. Under Japanese colonialism, people were not allowed to speak Korean and learn their national history. All young and old people were under the oppressive rule.
Reality of Chosen People
The main character observes the realities that are changing at high speed. Japanese encroached the territory of chosen people as well as their houses and stores in the streets of Busan. The main character wanted to visit his old village inn, but all important areas had become the Japanese property, and chosen people had to move to mountains or other undeveloped areas. People lost their native land where they had lived for many generations. They felt miserable and collapsed. The main character deplored the situation but had no power to change something.
Crimes Committed by Japanese against Chosen People
“Cannot turn on light…” (145). Before going to Seoul, the main character met Japanese station officer. Actually, it was the first time when he saw how Japanese treated chosen people. The Japanese officer did not treat them as equal. For example, he treated the worker like a slave or animal. “Three people in cold place” (163). The main character saw three chosen people in Daesen. He recognized the wrong doings of Japanese in the light of reality.
Wrong Attitude towards Chosen People in the work “On the Eve of the Uprising”
In this work, the author mentioned inability to learn and live with the unfair attitude, family feudalism, and false consciousness of the old generaation. He also mentioned inability to change the state of mind and existing situation.
The author criticizes the obstinate feudal form. The main character’s wife had married early and lived with the husband’s parents. Her married life was hard as her husband, the main character, studied abroad in Japan and did care about her and their baby at all. Actually, he did not love his wife. As a result, she ended up dying by sickness. With the help of this example, the author shows gender discrimination common for that period. The main character’s brother needed a baby, so he got another wife. Both his wives lived all together. They considered it as reasonable to ignore the problem of sterility of the first wife in the light of the patriarchal and feudal forms of life.
Fast Changes in the World and Inability to Learn
The main character met a gat seller who is a traditional Korean top hat seller. Chosen people are shown as such who are not able to learn and comprehend any new things. There were implemented the new ways to cut hair short, but they were rejected. The main character complained about cemetery rules that were adhered to by the community. He did not want to accept the existing cemeteries. Obviously, chosen people were not able to improve the communal cemetery.
False Consciousness of the Old Generation
The main character’s father, Kim Lee Kwan Chagi, looked forward to a false reputation and dignity. They wanted to get any possible political position. However, they all lacked common rights. Although they wanted to get power and money from Japanese, that was impossible to do. Some representatives of the old generation practiced shamanism. “Brother that is wrong… (137). Byungwha, the brother of the main character, did not care and made no efforts to find a solution to save his country. They were looking for their gains and safety. The older brother got the second wife, who was Cho Cham Bong’s daughter, and sent school expenses to Ulla secretly. They had a moral problem.