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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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. After Empire's Demise

. After Empire's Demise

The Postcolonial Remaking of Seoul's Public Spaces

Chapter:
(p.204) Epilogue. After Empire's Demise
Source:
Assimilating Seoul
Author(s):

Todd A. Henry

Publisher:
University of California Press
DOI:10.1525/california/9780520276550.003.0007

The epilogue traces the lengthy and ongoing process of Seoul's decolonization. This process began shortly after liberation, when Koreans forced Japanese officials to destroy Namsan's Shintō shrines, which were subsequently replaced with anticolonial monuments of the new nation. Exactly fifty years later, the postcolonial state finally succeeded in razing the Government-General building, another powerful reminder of Japanese colonialism. In its place now stands a semirestored version of Kyŏngbok Palace. Much like Namsan's memorial to the martyr, An Chung-gŭn, the palace aims to remind domestic and international visitors of the imagined glory of Korea's precolonial past. It particularly highlights Chosŏn, the period immediately before colonial officials embarked on their own exploitative program to remake the royal capital into a showcase of Japanese modernity.

Keywords:   decolonization, postcolonialism, tourism, Seoul, South Korea

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