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Asia Pacific Modern #12: Assimilating Seoul: Japanese Rule and the Politics of Public Space in Colonial Korea, 1910-1945

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Asia Pacific Modern #12: Assimilating Seoul: Japanese Rule and the Politics of Public Space in Colonial Korea, 1910-1945 Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

"Moving beyond top-down accounts of colonialism, Assimilating Seoul offers a richly textured, on-the-ground understanding of how Japanese rule operated and was contested in Seoul. The books careful and vivid reconstruction of the entanglements of the state with city residents makes the powerful argument that the materiality of colonial power should be understood in the configuration and experiences of urban spaces. It is a splendid combination of urban and colonial histories." —Gyan Prakash, author of Mumbai Fables

"In this illuminating examination of spatial politics in Japanese-occupied Seoul, Todd Henry takes us into the labyrinth of colonial governmentality.  His captivating analysis of public ritual, city planning, and industrial expositions reveals the varied uses of urban form as a technology of rule--as well as the limitations of state power. A model study of the colonial city."—Louise Young, author of Beyond the Metropolis: Second Cities and Modern Life in Interwar Japan

"Few issues in the history of world colonialism are as conceptually challenging as the problem of assimilation within the Japanese empire. Henry offers a fascinating approach to the contentious politics of what it meant to be a Korean colonial subject under Japanese rule. The many answers to this problem are sure to stimulate debate."—Andre Schmid, Professor of East Asian Studies, University of Toronto

"This is one of the best books on modern Korean history I've read in recent years. Henry breaks new ground, especially in English, in his focus on the 'spaces' of colonial rule, and his command of such rich and varied primary sources is impressive. Assimilating Seoul is a fascinating read."—Carter J. Eckert, Yoon Se Young Professor of Korean History, Harvard University

 

Synopsis:

Assimilating Seoul, the first book-length study written in English about Seoul during the colonial period, challenges conventional nationalist paradigms by revealing the intersection of Korean and Japanese history in this important capital. Through microhistories of Shinto festivals, industrial expositions, and sanitation campaigns, Todd A. Henry offers a transnational account that treats the citys public spaces as "contact zones," showing how residents negotiated pressures to become loyal, industrious, and hygienic subjects of the Japanese empire. Unlike previous, top-down analyses, this ethnographic history investigates modalities of Japanese rule as experienced from below. Although the colonial state set ambitious goals for the integration of Koreans, Japanese settler elites and lower-class expatriates shaped the speed and direction of assimilation by bending government initiatives to their own interests and identities. Meanwhile, Korean men and women of different classes and generations rearticulated the terms and degree of their incorporation into a multiethnic polity. Assimilating Seoul captures these fascinating responses to an empire that used the lure of empowerment to disguise the reality of alienation.

About the Author

Todd A. Henry is Assistant Professor of History at the University of California, San Diego.

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations

Note on Place Names

Preface and Acknowledgments

Introduction. Assimilation and Space: Toward an Ethnography of Japanese Rule

1. Constructing Keijo: The Uneven Spaces of a Colonial Capital

2. Spiritual Assimilation: Namsans Shinto Shrines and Their Festival Celebrations

3. Material Assimilation: Colonial Expositions on the Kyongbok Palace Grounds

4. Civic Assimilation: Sanitary Life in Neighborhood Keijo

5. Imperial Subjectification: The Collapsing Spaces of a Wartime City

Epilogue. After Empires Demise: The Postcolonial Remaking of Seouls Public Spaces

Notes

Selected Bibliography

Index

Product Details

ISBN:
9780520276550
Author:
Henry, Todd A.
Publisher:
University of California Press
Subject:
Asia
Subject:
World History-Asia
Subject:
World History-Korea
Edition Description:
Trade Cloth
Series:
Asia Pacific Modern
Series Volume:
12
Publication Date:
20140231
Binding:
HARDCOVER
Language:
English
Illustrations:
18 b/w, 6 maps
Pages:
320
Dimensions:
9 x 6 in

Related Subjects

History and Social Science » Politics » General
History and Social Science » World History » Asia » General
History and Social Science » World History » Korea
Travel » General

Asia Pacific Modern #12: Assimilating Seoul: Japanese Rule and the Politics of Public Space in Colonial Korea, 1910-1945 New Hardcover
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Product details 320 pages University of California Press - English 9780520276550 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by ,
Assimilating Seoul, the first book-length study written in English about Seoul during the colonial period, challenges conventional nationalist paradigms by revealing the intersection of Korean and Japanese history in this important capital. Through microhistories of Shinto festivals, industrial expositions, and sanitation campaigns, Todd A. Henry offers a transnational account that treats the citys public spaces as "contact zones," showing how residents negotiated pressures to become loyal, industrious, and hygienic subjects of the Japanese empire. Unlike previous, top-down analyses, this ethnographic history investigates modalities of Japanese rule as experienced from below. Although the colonial state set ambitious goals for the integration of Koreans, Japanese settler elites and lower-class expatriates shaped the speed and direction of assimilation by bending government initiatives to their own interests and identities. Meanwhile, Korean men and women of different classes and generations rearticulated the terms and degree of their incorporation into a multiethnic polity. Assimilating Seoul captures these fascinating responses to an empire that used the lure of empowerment to disguise the reality of alienation.
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