ABSTRACT

Recent works on colonial industrialization have renewed the debate over the relationship between colonialism and development in Korea (An et al. 1989; Eckert 1991; Hori 1995; McNamara 1990; Park 1999). Their research challenges Korean nationalist scholarship that has depicted Japanese colonial rule as either destroying the “sprouts” of what was supposedly an incipient Korean capitalism or distorting Korea’s path to capitalist development. They argue instead that not only was there colonial industrialization, but also substantial participation in it by Korean landlords and capitalists. Their view, while commended by some as enhancing current understanding of colonial and postcolonial development in Korea (Kohli 1994), has also encountered fierce criticism, especially from Korean scholars who interpret it as regressing to the “colonialist view (singminjuu˘i sagwan)” of Japanese rule in Korea (see Cho˘ng 1997; Haggard et al. 1997; Sin 1997).