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Imperatives of CultureSelected Essays on Korean History, Literature, and Society from the Japanese Colonial Era$
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Christopher P. Hanscom, Walter K. Lew, and Youngju Ryu

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780824838218

Published to Hawaii Scholarship Online: November 2016

DOI: 10.21313/hawaii/9780824838218.001.0001

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Introduction and Translation by Nayoung Aimee Kwon

Introduction and Translation by Nayoung Aimee Kwon

(p.64) Chapter 4 Introduction and Translation by Nayoung Aimee Kwon
Imperatives of Culture

Ch’oe Namsŏn

University of Hawai'i Press

This chapter focuses on one of the three geniuses of colonial Chosŏn, Chʻoe Namsŏn. As a young man Chʻoe had become involved in the patriotic enlightenment movement (aeguk kyemong undong), founding the monthly journal Youth in 1908 at the age of eighteen for the purpose of instructing young people, whom he considered the leaders of the enlightenment movement. He established the Association for the Glorious Literature of Chosŏn (Chosŏn Kwangmunhoe) to popularize classical writings. Korean historians criticized his writings as resembling Japanese colonial slogans including “Nissen dŏsoron” (common ancestry of Japan and Chosŏn) and “Nissen ittai”. Many scholars located Chʻoe's shift away from an earlier nationalistic stance beginning in the late 1920s or early 1930s.

Keywords:   colonial Chosŏn, Chʻoe Namsŏn, enlightenment movement, Chosŏn Kwangmunhoe, colonial slogans

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