|Title||Resembling the Opponent: Nationalist and Colonialist Historiographies in Modern Korea|
Vol. 21 No. 2
pp. 525~552 (all 28 pages)
modern historiography, nationalism, colonialism, Sin Ch’aeho, Pak Ŭnsik
In the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, modern historians played a vital role in structuring discourses about Korean nationhood. These new narratives were not created in isolation but interwoven with the international environment in which different forces co-created representations of Korea. This article attempts to reconsider the formation of modern Korean historiography by examining how Korean nationalist and Japanese colonialist scholars overlapped with each other in their practice of writing national history. It shows that Korean and Japanese historical accounts, despite their differences, were both premised on three major categorical concepts derived from the West: the essentialist understanding of the nation, the linear perception of time, and history’s subjective control over territorial space. I will conduct a textual analysis of writings by two Korean historians—Sin Ch’aeho and Pak Ŭnsik—and compare them to publications by several Japanese scholars who worked under the sponsorship of the Government General from the 1910s to the 1930s. My goal is to show that these two types of historical interpretation reified themselves for political ends within regimes of Western epistemological paradigms.