GGHS 2019 Winter - Team 5

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Treaty of Ganghwa Island and some human rights violation cases during the colonial times in Korea - focused on press reports


No. Team Topic Teacher Role Name (Korean) No. of Students
5 Human Rights and Media during the Colonial Period
(일제 강점기 인권과 언론)
Evelyn Leader 문지○ 9
Vice-Leader 한가○


Every Wednesday, in front of the Japanese Embassy, there are protests that call for a solution to the problem of Japanese military sexual slavery during colonial times. Wednesday demonstrations have been held approximately 1370 times. We shgould not forget the episode of the Japanese occupation and think it does not affect our lives in the present as well. People from Korea not only suffered ‘Japanese military sexual slavery’, but also ‘forced labor', and ‘punishments by military police’ and they suffered abuse and human rights violations from Japan.

This research was conducted to remember history from a critical perspective and report the sufferings that began from the Treaty of Ganghwa Island in Korea's past. Also, we analized both the public opinion after the treaty of Ganghwa Island and the current press.

Especially, we investigated and tried to understand our region, Ganghwa, and Korean history to understand our history as well and enhance our capabilities as future global citizens living in a wider world.

Treaty of Ganghwa Island

Contents of The Treaty of Ganghwa Island

Treaty of Ganghwa Island [1]

The treaty describes Korea as an independent state, equal in status to Japan. However, the terms of the treaty were far from equal. The Treaty granted Japanese many rights that were not granted to Korea on an equal basis. The Treaty of Ganghwa was Korea's first formal step toward opening foreign relations after centuries of a strong policy of isolation. Ultimately, it later proved to be the first step towards Korea's submission to Japanese rule some three decades later.

  • Commonly referred as:
    • Treaty of Ganghwa Island
    • Treaty of Mutual Defense between Korea and Japan
  • Signature Date:
    • 27 February 1876 (the 13th year of King Gojong's reign)
  • Signature Place
    • "Gwancheong-ri, Ganghwa-gun"

Treaty provisions

Japan-Korea Treaty consists of a total of 10 articles as follow:

  • Article 1 stated that Korea was a free nation, "an independent state enjoying the same sovereign rights as does Japan". The Japanese statement is in an attempt to detach Korea once and for all from its traditional tributary relationship with China.
  • Article 2 stipulated that Japan and Korea would exchange envoys within fifteen months and permanently maintain diplomatic missions in each country. The Japanese would confer with the Ministry of Rites; the Korean envoy would be received by the Foreign Office.
  • Under Article 3, Japan would use the Japanese and Chinese languages in diplomatic communiques, while Korea would use only Chinese.
  • Article 4 terminated Tsushima's centuries-old role as a diplomatic intermediary by abolishing all agreements then existing between Korea and Tsushima. In addition to the open port of Pusan,
  • Article 5 authorized the search in Kyongsang, Kyonggi, Chungcheong, Cholla, and Hamgyong provinces for two more suitable seaports for Japanese trade to be opened in October 1877.
  • Article 6 secured aid and support for ships stranded or wrecked along the Korea or Japanese coasts.
  • Article 7 permitted any Japanese mariner to conduct surveys and mapping operations at will in the seas off the Korean Peninsula's coastline.
  • Article 8 permitted Japanese merchants residence, unhindered trade, and the right to lease land and buildings for those purposes in the open ports.
  • Article 9 guaranteed the freedom to conduct business without interference from either government and to trade without restrictions or prohibitions.
  • Article 10 granted Japan the right of extraterritoriality, the one feature of previous Western treaties that was most widely resented in Asia. It not only gave foreigners a free rein to commit crimes with relative impunity, but its inclusion implied the grantor nation's system of law was either primitive, unjust, or both.

In particular, the articles 7 and 10 violated Joseon's sovereignty.

  • Article 7 is intended to invade Joseon's territory and Article 10 is a bill that infringes Joseon's judicial power through extraterritoriality.

Some cases of human rights violations in relation to the Treaty of Ganghwa Island

  1. In November 1908, a Japanese man hit a Korean named Kim Won-baek with a stone and put him in an emergency situation. The police made Kim Won-baek receive treatment for seven days and made the criminal pay for the treatment charge.
    A magazine report dated November 20, 1908. 「日打衛표」.
  2. The Japanese set up an illegal circus on the street and stole the money of a foolish Korean. This should be banned by the law enforcement authorities. Despite that, the Japanese police often overlooked these cases.
    A magazine report dated Nov. 14, 1906, 「日技不禁」
  3. Japanese citizens Yang Sang-Taero(陽上太郞) and Masuichi Kimura (木村政一) went to the province to collect gamble debt money and got drunk at Kang Myong-son’s home, behaving rudely and causing troubles. When Jiang Yun, who lived next door, could not control his anger and tried to restrain them, the Japanese beat him with a stake. Then his younger brothers Kang Yun-chil and Kang Geum-Seon tied Yang Sang-Taero up in anger and beat him, breaking his teeth. Kang Yun-chil and Kang Geum-seon were sentenced to five and four months in prison respectively by the local Korean court. On the other hand, the Japanese were not punished. Japanese who started this first, and only Koreans who tried to stop them were punished.The reporter at the time lamented, ' Where is the law of disrespect in the family. The resentment of both parties reached its highest point.
    A magazine report dated August 30, 1906, 「飄 可 宪」 .

Yeonmudang Site [2]

Yeonmudang Site in Ganghwa Island

Yeonmudang was the place where the Treaty of Ganghwa Island was signed. Yeonmudang, built in 7th year of King Gojon's reign, was originally located on the west side of the current Military Agricultural Cooperative Federation. It was cramped so it was moved outside Dongsomun Gate, and built a party to the south of the Imseongmun Gate. Also, a training ground was built in front of it. As a place to sign the Sick Protection Treaty, this shaman warns that a monument must be erected here to keep the nation's self-interest in order to keep the nation's grim past.

Comparative research of the press during colonial times and the current press

Reason why a division arose after the Treaty of Ganghwa Island

Late 19th century, the trade demand of Western powers and signature of the Treaty of Ganghwa Island took place. There was a division between those who opposed it and those who supported it. After suffering from both Shin Mi-yangyo and Byeong-in Yangyo, the opposition of Ganghwa-treaty appeared. They argued against Western trade demands, but eventually they resisted strongly when the ports were opened in 1876 and later became a force against Japan's invasion by participating in the Eulmi incident. On the other hand, enlightment appeared with the opening of Korean ports. In 1876, Susinsa was sent to Japan on the basis of a Ganghwa treaty. In 1880, the signing of the Treaty between Korea and the United States of America led to the emergence of various delegations. Having seen diverse cultures and development abroad, they felt the need for enlightenment. In particular, they pointed to Japan's Meiji Restoration and argued that the Western technology as well as the system of thought should be adopted. Among them, Kim Ok-gyun, Seo Kwang-bum and Hong Young-sik led the Gapsin Coup in 1884.

Position of the press during colonial times and representative figures

Opinion of the Opposition of Ganghwa-treaty
The thinkers, who called for a withdrawal from the country against foreign invasions, placed the first emphasis on the question of ethics and order based on the perspective of the geopolitical world. Their argument against the opening of the country and banning trade has been justified on the basis of the negative effect that the influx of Western food will have on people's consciousness. And the opposition of Ganghwa-treaty thinkers argued that Western trade demand for Joseon was a strategy to colonize it, predicting that the opening of the country would soon lead to the colonization of Joseon. Below we want to reconstruct their common sense around the opposition of Ganghwa-treaty arguments for the effects of ordinary practice.
  • First, it is about the economic effects that trade brings. The opposition of Ganghwa-treaty talking about the theory of dependency. The key elements of inequality exchange and privatization are highly accurate. In other words, they argue that the opening of Joseon Dynasty will lead to the relocation of Joseon's national wealth to foreign countries and the destruction of Joseon Dynasty.
Let's read about the opposition of Ganghwa-treaty representative characters, Lee Hang-ro and Choi Ik-hyun.
Lee Hang-ro argues that while Western goods are handmade everyday, our products are agricultural products from the ground, exchanging them will only result in us being poor and they being wealthy. The same is true of Choi Ik-hyun. If we reinforce it with Japanese threats without defense, he will not be able to satisfy their boundless greed and end up causing chaos and destruction. They also argue that the trade between the two countries will result in the purchase of land-based luxury goods, which are disadvantageous to us and will not be able to sustain the nation anytime soon. They claim that the opening of the country is a way to go to ruin.
  • Next, the influx of foreign culture has seduced people into unnecessary spending and fostered a luxury trend. The influx of Western goods encouraged luxury through the war effect, and the consequent increase in imports led to the need for an outflow of gold and more primary products. The influx of foreign culture through trade led to luxury of the wealthy and food shortages of the poor. Seeing Western goods as in Confucian asceticism as being unable to use them, they were forced to deplore the overflowing reality of the good, and to think that banning the import and use of the good was the only solution.
  • Third, it is about the cultural and political effects of everyday life. They were most concerned that the influx of foreign culture would contaminate and disrupt Joseon's culture, which is based on etiquette. They define Westerners as rude and insist that the inflow of foreign culture will make Joseon, an ancient kingdom of Oriental medicine, a country of taboo. Furthermore, Yi Hang-ro saw that the purpose of the West to spread the literature to Joseon was to invade Joseon by confusing it socially and culturally. In other words, they understood that the invasions of Western and Western literature were a strategy to eventually colonize Joseon.
  • Fourth, the influence of trade on international relations. Their trade views are similar to that of imperialism, dependency theory, that international exploitation is achieved through trade. And I believe that the demand for trade is not just ordinary, but ultimately colonizing Joseon. International relations from their point of view are by no means reciprocal based on sovereign equality. I thought that the international order was an unequal order of the weak, and that the opening of a small country like Joseon was a way to eventually become a colony of powerful countries.

Looking at the above arguments, they found that their common ideas were very similar to subordinate theories. The opposition of Ganghwa-treaty argued that the opening of the country and commerce would destitute the Joseon economy, wreak havoc on the people, and destroy national culture and national sovereignty. Therefore, he said, "We should prepare for foreign invasion by banning trade and restoring the Confucian order that culminates in the monarchy."

Opinion of the enlightenment group

The enlightenment group is a force that seeks to inherit the characteristics of Shilhak and develop into a modern independent state by reforming Joseon. They suggested that opening up the economy can help overcome poverty and import foreign culture. What is the basis for their ideology?

  • First, it is the economic effect of trade. Joseon, which cannot expect the development of agricultural productivity in a society where commercial and industrial industries are controlled, has become an economic system based on self-sufficiency. The enlightenment group tried to solve Joseon's poverty through trade. They thought that unifying the domestic market was for economic development and emphasized the need for external trade. Yoo Gil-jun emphasized the need to refine materials to win in ordinary times. They claim that openness improves the quality of products through competition.
  • Second, it is the social distribution effect of trade. At that time, the interests of the enlightenment group were the establishment of social conditions for commercial development and commerce. Kim Ok-gyun believed that exploitation had impoverished the common people and that the identity order had hindered commercial development. The group judged that the identity system not only institutionalized social inequality, but also prevented commercial development, and urged the abolition of the system.
  • Third, it is cultural and political influence through ordinary trade. Park Je-ga claimed commercial exchange can open the way of thinking through the inflow of foreign culture. They thought complete enlightened can be achieved when we develop our culture creatively based on others culture. In addition, he blamed the political system for Joseon's poverty and dreamed of reforming the political system for commercial and trade development.

Thus, the enlightenment group positively assessed the integration of the domestic market and the establishment of foreign trade relations through the development of commerce and advocated market opening. To sum up their arguments, their trade views have been accurately recognized for their trade profits, with key elements of free trade theory.

Progressive and conservative forces of the current press

Currently, the Korean media is divided into progressive and conservative groups. The features of these media can be found in differences of views in reporting the same news. For example, on June 1st, 2009, Dong-A Ilbo, Hankyoreh newspaper, Chosun Ilbo, Kyunghyang Shinmun reported pictures of the former president Roh Moo-hyun's funeral ceremony. The Chosun Ilbo, the Dong-A Ilbo and the Kyunghyang Shinmun, which represent the conservative media, and the liberal press, posted different photos after seeing the same issues. The Chosun Ilbo and the Dong-A Ilbo carried pictures of demonstrators destroying riot police cars, pictures of Bongha Village memorial altar, pictures of citizens holding their portrait after police broke down the memorial altar, pictures of empty Seoul Plaza, and pictures of citizens being taken by police. The liberal press wrote articles focusing on police violence, and the conservative media, on demonstrators' violence. We saw similarities between the current progressive and conservative media, which express one social problem through different ideas, such as the Wijeongchupsa and the enlightenment, who had different ideas on one issue of trade. Further, they believed that the Uijeongbu faction mainly influenced conservative media and liberal media.

Comparative analysis between public opinion during colonial times and press nowadays

Similarities between the cult and liberal press

In order to find similarities between the enlightenment group and the current liberal press, we looked into what kind of reports liberal media are making about the inter-Korean summit, a political issue that heated the nation the most in 2018. The liberal newspaper, Hankyoreh Newspaper, said it welcomed the inter-Korean summit and expressed its willingness to denuclearize the North. In this article, we found similarities between the cultivators and liberal media. At that time, the enlightenment group pushed for enlightenment with the view that it should 'accept' foreign culture, while the liberal press welcomed the current issues of unification and exchange with North Korea and agreed to open them.

The similarity between the opposition of Ganghwa-treaty and conservative media.

To find out the similarities between conservative media and the opposition of Ganghwa-treaty, conservative media outlets surveyed how they were reporting the biggest issue of the 2018 inter-Korean summit. Some conservative media outlets viewed the summit with negative views from many media outlets. They pointed to the nation's economic damage and excessive trust in North Korea. Like the conservative media, which expressed a negative view of the above-mentioned inter-Korean summit, the opposition of Ganghwa-treaty opposed opening up the door unlike the enlightment then.

Some cases of human rights violation

The military police system

  • An immediate penalty and Joseon flogging command
    -The military police system: During the period of rule without permission, Japan imposed coercive rule based on the military police system. The military police system was the security system that Japan enforced in Joseon in the 1910s and was at the core of the rule of law. Military police and police offices across the country were set up to monitor the daily lives of Koreans and violate the basic human principles of freedom and social rights. In other words, the military police had to do with politics, economy, school, sanitation, and even intervened in the planning and deliberation of administrative operations and administrative affairs.
Photographs of Joseon flogging command [3]
  • Joseon flogging command
    -The Japanese government enacted a law that allowed Joseon people to be arrested arbitrarily without physical certificates or an official trial to be sentenced to death under the pretext of maintaining public peace, and is It was applied differently only to Koreans. Based on this, the Japanese government used it as a means to attract and torture independence activists and anti-Japanese historians.
  • A few provisions
    -First. Lay the prisoner down on the template, tie his arms and legs on the template, take off his pants, and strike his thighs with a rod.

Second. A beverage can be prepared and given to the prisoner from sometime (meaning pouring if someone faint). Third. If there is the prisoner crying during execution, cover his mouth with a wet towel.

Oh Myung Chun (an anti-Japanese activist)'s testimony
When a person lies flat on the template, he drilled a hole in the direction of the genitals, opened his arms and tied his legs and waist. When putting a lead at the end of the ukyeonga (hawk made of cow's penis) and hitting your thigh, the lead penetrates into the flesh, and blood flows. The hawk is in its first 80s, and if it fainted midway, they would keep him there and hit him again three days later.
  • An immediate penalty
    -The immediate penalty is to give the right of summary judgment to exercise the suppression of fines, malpractices and detention on Koreans to a police chief or a military police captain. The content was that the chief of police or the head of the military police force in each province would be sentenced to three months in prison and a fine of 100 million won or less without trial by the court.

Forced labor and comfort women

-Forced labor

Victims of forced labor[4]

The next example of human rights violations is compulsory labor. By a conscription system, they select workers who make weapons and military facilities and mine minerals from a mine to support the war. With the start of the Asia-Pacific War, Japanese damage has increased and industrial labor has become scarce. Thus, the Japanese mobilized many Koreans to factories and mines under the name of recruiting or arranging government offices. In 1938, Japan promulgated a national mobilization law and pushed ahead with a voluntary form of labor force. In 1944 at the end of the war, they enforced a conscription system that strengthened their coercion. During the Japanese colonial period, there are milions of victims of forced labor. Between 1939 and 1945, the number of Koreans forcibly mobilized amounted to 1.13 million or 1.46 million. They were overworked at coal mines, metal mines, construction works, and military factories under harsh labor conditions. As a result, many Koreans lost their poor lives. Especially, Gunhamdo is a place where many Koreans were forcibly conscripted in the 1940s. The following is the testimony of Shin Chun-soo, a former victim of forced labor.

My friend said that he heard if I go to a Japanese steel factories as a laborer, I'll get a Korean steel factory technician.
I went there to make money at the age of 17, received a fist rice at the end of 12 hours.
It was only later that I knew it was not a job but forced labor, and there was no monthly monthly paycheck.
I began a miserable forced labor at a steel factory in Osaka on September 10, 1943,
being threatened from Japanese police who were deployed at the factory, "If caught, I will make you lose your physical use."

-Comfort women

Comfort women[5]
The Japanese army took the Comfort women.[6]

Comfort women were women and girls forced into sexual slavery by the Imperial Japanese Army in occupied territories before and during World War ll. The reason for the establishment of the comfort station is First, to keep the peace and security by stopping a rape. Second, to provide women who are safe from illness to prevent STDs from infecting. Human rights should be basically free but there is no freedom in the case of the comfort women. Many women in many ways is forcibly mobilized by ‘comfort women’. For example, Japan kidnapped 'comfort women' mobilization for a poor farming town girl abducted as deceptive by using organized kidnappers, or human trafficking, paying hundreds of won in advance to debt-ridden farmers, taking their daughter, or the trick of taking girls from poor families into women's hands, or mobilization as relief workers, etc. 'Comfort women' was a clear violation of human rights in terms of forced sexual abuse and miscarriage without a free choice. The Comfort women problem was almost buried in silence for more than 50 years , but it has emerged as an international problem in the limelight of the world's media after three people including Kim Hak Soon sue the Tokyo District Court for damages in 1991. A ‘comfort women’ vented my anger with the following testimony. "Many stories have been told about the horrors, brutalities, suffering and starvation of Dutch women in Japanese prison camps. But one story was never told, the most shameful story of the worst human rights abuse committed by the Japanese during World War II: The story of the “Comfort Women,” the jugun ianfu, and how these women were forcibly seized against their will, to provide sexual services for the Japanese Imperial Army. In the so-called “Comfort Station” I was systematically beaten and raped day and night. Even the Japanese doctor raped me each time he visited the brothel to examine us for venereal disease."

Ban on the use of Korean language

This picture shows the Korean language prohibition during Japanese occupation.[7]

In 1920, ‘ordinary education aims to provide ordinary knowledge, foster a national character, and distribute Japanese.’According to the Joseon Education Decree in 1911, textbooks for all subjects except Joseon were published in Japanese, and documents related to administration and law were also written in Japanese. In addition, schools using Japanese and Korean language were categorized and differentiated, In 1930, as the Dong-A Ilbo reported on December 2, 1931, 慈仁公普의怪方針 朝鮮語使用하면罰金 the use of Korean language was fined and thus banned from using Korean language. Like this, The use of the Korean language was banned to make our people a permanent slave of Japan. In addition, it banned the study of the Korean language and imposed violent language suppression, including the 1942 Joseon Language Society incident and the closure of our newspaper in 1940.

Press reports

Studying the case of media reports, we focused on Dong-a-Ilbo which was the leading newspaper during the Japanese occupation. Also our research was conducted under the supposition that Dong-a-Ilbo had reported in support of the Korean Independence Movement, and criticizing Japan until the early 1930s, when it changed into a pro-Japanese newspaper.

1) First, we quoted an article on Joseon Taehyeongnyeong about the military police system. The newspaper Dong-a-Ilbo published on April 1, 1921 announced the abolition of Joseon Taehyeongnyeong. The last part of the article reads.
直接肉體에 苦痛을 與하는 制度는 此를 撤廢함이 至當하다
It means ' The abolishment of the rule which cause pain on body is completely proper.
2) Second, according to the newspaper Dong-a-Ilbo published on October 21, 1921, the police arrested and inflicted punishment of '20 days in a jail' to a man named Park Doo-seop who had made fun of women in a large city. The following is the title of the newspaper published on February 4, 1938, after the Dong-a-Ilbo took a pro-Japanese path.
國家總動員法 急速制定이 必要
It means 'The National Mobilization Law has to be established fast'. It shows support towards Japan. Considering the fact that 'The National Mobilization Law' was the policy, this article instigated support to Japan.
3) Third, we have the following which was reported by Dong-a-Ilbo on March 20, 1925.
朝鮮語에 罰金 , 一句使用에 罰金一錢
It means 'Fine for Korean, 1 coin for using Korean once'. We see that Japan banned the use of Korean and imposed a fine.
Let's see the main part of this article.
In school, when people use Korean, they get fined. Criticism of general public is growing bigger. So the students in school can't speak Korean when they are with friends. Not only there wasere complaints of students, but also the criticism of the general public is that the education at school is so odd.'
It criticized the policy by saying that policy imposing a fine on the use of Korean in school causes criticism from general public, it's an odd policy.

2.2 Oppression of the press[8]

During the Japanese occupation, the press was also used as a means to promote the national movement against the Japanese colonial rule. In the case of the pro-Japanese press, there are many situations when facts were distorted to favor the image of Japan. On the other hand, during Japanese occupation, national press suffered oppression, even being censored.

Law concerning the censorship of the press

After turning Korea into a protectorate, Japan issued laws such as the Newspaper Act in July 1907, the Publishing Law in February 1909, and the Publishing Rule in May 1910. The Newspaper Act and Publishing Law were aimed at Koreans, and the Newspaper Rules and Publishing Rules were for the Japanese. The Newspaper Act, which was promulgated on July 24, 1907, appeared in the name of the Korean Empire government, but was actually created by the Korean Resident-General. Government approval had to be obtained to publish a newspaper. In addition, newspapers that only carry matters on academic, technical, and price reporting did not have to pay a deposit, but only newspapers dealing with political and current affairs had to pay a deposit of 300 won. The newspaper was forced to submit two copies of each issue to its internal and jurisdictional offices prior to each publication and limited various contents.

Some articles of the Newspaper Act include:

Article 11. Unable to report anything that blasphemes the dignity of the royal family and disrupts the national constitution or international relations. Article 12. A discussion of documents or affairs of a government office on confidentiality may not be made without the approval of a government office. Article 13. Can’t cover up a crime, help and protect a criminal, or portrait a criminal in a pitiful way to positively judge a situation. Article 14. Unable to report cases that were not disclosed before they were handed to the public. Article 15. Unable to state the false facts in order to slander others. Article 16. Unable to receive money from persons involved in the registration and correction of newspaper articles.

For newspapers that did not comply with these regulations, strong administrative measures were taken, such as the ban on the publication and prohibition of issuance. In addition, legal action was taken against newspapers, publishers, editors, and printers in violation of the provisions.

The publication law for Koreans also appeared in the name of the Korean Empire on February 23, 1909, but was actually created by the Korean Resident-General. The Act strictly regulates the publication of documents in advance and after death by making it obligatory for the pre-examination of manuscripts and payment of manuscripts to be made in order to publish documents and pictures. If they did not obtain permission or published without compliance with the provisions, they were sentenced to a prison sentence or a fine for working. Various books published by Minji Joseon, or so-called 'Continuous Publications', or magazines published under the Publication Low, had to be subject to the 'Publishing Act' made in 1909.

The press censorship apparatus

The Government-General of Korea, who had prepared legal instruments for media control in colonial Joseon, in particular for censorship, also prepared an organization to implement them. In the 1910s, it was the high police at the Ministry of Government Administration and Security, and in the first half of the 1920s, and later it was continued by the Department of the Bureau of Government Affairs.

  1. In the 1910s, the Office of the Superintendent General of the Ministry of Government Administration and the High Police Department
    Since the 1910 Annexation of the Korean-Japanese Annexation Treaty, censorship of the media has been handled by the higher police department of the Ministry of Government Administration and Security. During the Korean Resident-General's term, media censorship was in charge of the Interior Ministry and the National Police Agency, which was transferred to the Office of the Superintendent General of the Ministry of Government Administration and Security. They were all Japanese police officers. The only reason there was a Korean censor was Maeil Shinbo, an organ of the Korean-language newspaper. They are mainly Japanese occupation period usually used by the school textbook censorship. He was also in charge of censorship of various books published in the 1910s, and some magazines published as "Continuous Publications."
  2. In the first half of the 1920s, the Office of the High Police Department
    After the March 1 Independence Movement in 1919, the police system was abolished, and the Ministry of Government Administration and Security was replaced by the Ministry of Government Administration and Security. The high police and the library were still in charge of censorship. According to the new chief of staff in August 1919, the high-ranking police department deals with matters concerning the police, newspaper, magazine, publications, and works. Among the Japanese police, there were many interpreters who spoke Korean.
  3. In the late 1920s, the Ibu Office Library
    In April 1926, the Office of Government Administration reorganized the organization. Among the departments, the book division was responsible for newspaper, magazine and publications, copyright, and the storage of censored newspaper magazine publications, activity pictures, and film censorship.

The standard of press censorship

Specific standards of censorship are identified in the book "Chosun Situation," published in 1925, by Jeon Joong-moo, the head of the high-ranking police department at the Gyeongmu Bureau.

1 Are there any concerns about promoting the independence of the Korean people or instigating the independence movement of the Korean people?

2 Are there any concerns about promoting the anti-Japanese ideology or inciting the anti-Japanese movement?

3 Is there any fear of promoting socialism or inciting a social revolution?

4 Do you have any concerns about other security breaches?

5 Are there any concerns about an offense agent public statements?

The 1937 edition of the Chosun Publishing Police Overview, which was published by the Government Administration's Office of Government Administration, details the criteria for censorship of newspapers and magazines. These are some of the things that were subject to censorship.

  • Matters concerning the Communist and Anarchist movements

1. Supporting, propagating, or agitating, the practice of communism, anarchism, or strategy.

2. To incite or raise the revolutionary movement.

3. Matters such as instigating, supporting, or raising direct violence, public outbursts or disputes, strike alliances, or closing schools.

4. Disclaimer of national duties such as taxation

  • Matters concerning Joseon's governance

1. Things such as inciting the independence of Joseon, or suggesting, or raising it.

2. Issues that may incite conflict between the inner circle and the Joseon people and hinder harmony between the inner circle and the Korean people.

3. Things like raising awareness of the Korean people.

4. Things such as undermining the dignity of the Governor-General of Korea or betraying the spirit of the Joseon Dynasty.

5. Items that are admitted to have been created by either pleading or defying the situation of the Korean people

6. Other things that hinder order and security in society

Press repression through administrative measures

The Chosun Governor-General's press suppression is divided into administrative and judicial actions. The administrative disposition consists of 'pre-control'-question, caution, warning, prohibition-and 'post-carbon pressure' deletion, prohibition of release (or seizure), suspension of issuance (temporary disposal), and prohibition of issuance (closed disposal). And the judicial process consists of fines, imprisonment, malpractice, and death penalty for immediate or official trials.
In the case of post-carbon pressure, "delete" was to stop the rotary press and order the deletion of a specific article before or during the rotation of the electromagnet. New Life magazine in 1923 and its opening in August 1926 were banned. The 'Open Wall', which was published by the Newspaper Act, was considered a very reliable magazine by the Office of the Ministry of Government Administration and was often confiscated. The Ministry of Government Administration and Home Affairs issued a suspension of issuance in August 1925, which was lifted in October, but the seizure was continued afterwards. Since the deletion due to the pre-censorship was less damaging to the magazine than to confiscate it, it seems that the Gaeumunsa Temple asked the office to replace it with a pre-document inspection like the magazines that were created under the Publication Act.
However, the opening wall tried to avoid censorship by deleting only the manuscripts that were deleted during the pre-examination and not deleting the ones that were released to the public. This was caught by the Ministry of Government Administration, which ended the Gaebyeok by taking issue with a socialist article published in the August 1926.

Press repression through judicial treatment

Judicial treatment of the press refers to arresting and proceeding of journalists involved in the articles in question. The law enforcement authorities generally applied the Newspaper Act, the Security Act, the Violation of the Decree No. 7, and the Security and Maintenance Act. The Security Law, promulgated on July 29, 1907, prescribed that "Anyone who interferes with the conduct of others or with the unfriendly press, movement, instigates, or instigates, or incites, with regard to politics, shall be sentenced to more than 50 decadence, 10 months in prison or two years in prison." The Seventh Ordinance was created in April 1919 to punish the Manse Movement, and its official name is "Crime Punishment on Politics." It was often called the "political prisoner punishment ordinance." The Act provided in Article 1 that "Anyone who, for the purposes of political change, attempts to jointly obstruct or obstruct social order shall be sentenced to a prison term of not more than 10 years or imprisonment." The National Security Law was promulgated in the Japanese mainland in April 1925, and Japan declared on May 8 that it would be implemented in Joseon as well. The Act was designed to crack down on the great anti-government and socialist movements of the time, and the case of a new life is an example. Although 'New Life' magazine is commonly known as a socialist magazine, some writings related to socialist thought were largely deleted from censorship. However, the New Life magazine was abandoned for its 11th edition, which was scheduled to be published in November 1922. Police confiscated all magazines on the issue of the Russian Revolution commemorating the fifth anniversary of the Russian Revolution, and closed them down in January 1923. The articles in question included Kim Myung-sik's "Remembrance of the Russian Revolution," Yoo Jin-hee's "Strategies of the National Movement and the proletariat," and Lee Hang-bal's "The Purpose of the Free Labor Union." The incident, which ordered a ban on publication, or closing, in Sinsaenghwal magazine, became the first socialist trial in Joseon.



  1. Treaty of Ganghwa Island
  2. Yeonmudang Site
  3. Joseon flogging command
  4. Forced labor
  5. Comfort women
  6. Comfort women2
  7. Japanese class in korean school
  8. Oppression of the press

Consulted materials