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Assimilating SeoulJapanese Rule and the Politics of Public Space in Colonial Korea, 1910–1945$
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Todd A. Henry

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780520276550

Published to California Scholarship Online: September 2014

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520276550.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM CALIFORNIA SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.california.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of California Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CALSO for personal use.date: 15 May 2021

Constructing Keijō

Constructing Keijō

The Uneven Spaces of a Colonial Capital

(p.22) Chapter 1 Constructing Keijō
Assimilating Seoul

Todd A. Henry

University of California Press

This chapter argues that the colonial planners’ attempts to impose grids and rotaries to facilitate the circulation of goods and people only succeeded in reshaping a small portion of the city's preexisting arterial structure. Even these street improvements required heavy-handed policies of land confiscation, which undercut efforts to create a community of civic-minded residents. The chapter also demonstrates how the 1920s city-planning movement functioned as a form of “cultural rule” that widened the scope of urban reforms, introducing updated methods (land readjustment and a betterment levy) and objects of attention (Korean neighborhoods). Meanwhile, financial limitations and ongoing resistance meant that Keijō developed in highly uneven ways, as the modern logics of circulation and sanitation only penetrated the city's thoroughfares.

Keywords:   colonial capital, city planning, property system, Seoul, Korea, Japanese empire, modernization, urbanization

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