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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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Imperial Subjectification

Imperial Subjectification

The Collapsing Spaces of a Wartime City

(p.168) Chapter 5 Imperial Subjectification
Assimilating Seoul

Todd A. Henry

University of California Press

Chapter 5 shows how wartime mobilization led to the unprecedented compression and expansion of space. For one, the culture of an increasingly militarized Namsan began to penetrate Korean homes through the installation of household altars and the distribution of Ise talismans. This “Shintō-ization” also occurred on larger scales. For example, the 2,600th anniversary celebrations, in 1940, encouraged the colonized population to expand their vision as imperial subjects, subordinating local and familial affiliations. Although Koreans with close military ties began think of themselves in this way, the late-colonial state never managed to erase differences that had shaped previous projects of assimilation and that continued to determine the complex contours of imperial subjectification.

Keywords:   Asia-Pacific War, wartime mobilization, Japan(ese) and Korea(ns) as one body, imperialization, Shintō-ization, 2600th anniversary celebrations (1940), Great Korea Exposition, sacred flame event

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