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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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Spiritual Assimilation

Spiritual Assimilation

Namsan's Shintō Shrines and Their Festival Celebrations

(p.62) Chapter 2 Spiritual Assimilation
Assimilating Seoul

Todd A. Henry

University of California Press

A revisionist response to nationalist accounts that project wartime resistance onto early periods, this chapter argues that spiritual assimilation began as a makeshift arrangement in which the Japanese custodians of the Seoul Shrine tended to exclude the colonized population rather than follow official mandates of inclusion. Moreover, most Koreans experienced colonial Shintō through the spectacle of festival celebrations. Only from 1925 did they begin to visit the government's Korea Shrine, an uninviting complex that many continued to treat as a tourist site rather than a place of reverence. The year 1925 also coincided with an increasingly competitive phase of assimilation. Increasingly, expatriates sought to protect their autonomy from the state by using the subordinated incorporationof Koreans into its multiethnic festival and pantheon.

Keywords:   Shintō, colonial religion, festivals, shrine worship, cultural accommodation/resistance

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