Abstract In 1948, Japanese authorities operating under directions from the US Occupation and the Japanese Ministry of Education tried to shut down independent Korean schools in Japan. Tens of thousands of civilians led by the League of Koreans in Japan streamed into the streets of Osaka and Kobe in April to protest. Hundreds raided prefectural headquarters, vandalized the buildings, and held government officials hostage. The Occupation and Japanese police brutally suppressed the uprising and shot and killed a Korean teenager. This paper parses the grammar of ideological utterance during this crisis, known as the Hanshin Education Incident, to reveal how politicians and social leaders feuded over the meaning of postwar Japanese democracy. Koreans buttressed the myth of democracy by being cast as what democracy was not. A policeman shot through the body of a Korean boy with impunity because the myth of democracy shot through Japanese sociopolitics. democracy, ideology, myths, education, schools, League of Koreans in Japan, postwar 1. A ‘Spiritual Revolution’ Kim T’ae-il, 16 years old, was shot and killed by a Japanese policeman in Osaka on 26 April 1948. He was one of about 20,000 people who thronged the city’s streets that day in violent protests organized by the League of Koreans in Japan (Zai-Nihon Chōsenjin renmei), known colloquially in Japanese as Chōren. The protests sought to end the curtailment of Korean education by Japanese and US Occupation authorities. Chōren advocated what it called the democratization of Japanese education. US Occupation authorities, too, sought to democratize Japan’s education system to expunge vestiges of fascism. Visions of democratic education clashed. Violence erupted. Kim was shot. The crisis, known as the Hanshin Education Incident (Hanshin kyōiku jiken), lived on in history and memory; ‘Hanshin’ is Japanese shorthand for the Osaka-Kobe metropolitan area.1 Rhetoric in the immediate postwar depicted Japanese democratization in orotund terms. People rhapsodized about a ‘democratic revolution’, a ‘bloodless revolution’, a ‘gift from heaven’, as John Dower has evocatively illustrated (1999: 67). Douglas MacArthur, Supreme Commander for the Allied Powers, himself bloviated about the ‘spiritual revolution’ he was leading (Dower 1999: 69). There of course was truth to the notion of revolution from above. SCAP carried out, after all, what Dower has called a ‘neocolonial revolution’. Who could stop the Americans from imposing new structures of government or from writing a new constitution on behalf of their vanquished foe? But SCAP itself well understood that democracy is more than a structure of rule or a process of politics. It is an ideology, a force with social meaning, a modern myth to which people refer to make sense of their world—something ‘spiritual’, if we invoke the argot of the Supreme Commander. No revolution from above could alone make the democratic myth, a myth not because it was necessarily fictitious or illusory but because it explained lived reality and endowed social life with significance. The fraught, fitful meaning-making of postwar democracy is our concern in this article. Everyone in the 1948 Hanshin Education Incident contributed to making the democratic myth. But not everyone benefited from it. As politicians and social leaders fought furiously over democratic Korean education, they feuded over the meaning of postwar Japanese democracy itself. Through ideological rancor and through physical violence, Koreans became entrenched as enemies of democracy.2 They buttressed the democratic myth by invoking it and then being cast as what democracy was not. A policeman shot through the body of a Korean boy with impunity because the myth of democracy shot through Japanese sociopolitics. 2. Grammar of an Ideological Crazy Quilt If not by revolution from above, then how was it that democracy gained social meaning? Dower writes of people ‘embracing revolution’, of an ‘impressive nationwide engagement with the meaning of “democratization”’ (1999: 240). Men and women jostled over the significance of democracy. Different people, it turned out, had different ideas (Dower 1999: 225–253). Disagreement, at once the point of and the problem with the democratic myth, posed an ideological conundrum for SCAP. The absolute dictatorship of SCAP determined the limits of practical social organization and activity, of politics and structures. But because ideology is necessarily made by people beyond self-appointed ideologues, SCAP faced the fundamental problem that its ‘orthodoxy was one element in a dispersed ideological field’, even as some ideas ‘were excluded from dominant view as unacceptable, and were suppressed’ (Gluck 1985: 16). The democratic myth enjoyed hegemony but not consensus. How was that possible? Some three decades ago, Carol Gluck asked how myths were made at an earlier stage of Japanese modernity. They gained social meaning as different people with different purposes invoked the same idea to advance their particular agendas. Contingent historical circumstances produce the content of ideology, she argued, but the process by which ideas become meaningful follows a pattern that transcends historical specificity (Gluck 1985: 16), a pattern discernable in the very syntax of speech. Gluck described this pattern as a ‘grammar of ideology’. Ideas migrate through sentences as they migrate through minds (Gluck 1985: 254). Meiji ‘civilization’ at first appeared in the stressed or independent clauses of speech, in the ‘middle of the message’. As the cumulative weight of the stressed independent clauses made civilization increasingly commonsensical, the term moved to the unstressed or dependent clauses. People no longer spoke of civilization directly. Because of civilization, they argued, we must solve the problem of urban turpitude, or of rising suicide rates, or of left-handedness (Gluck 1985: 253). Civilization, when thus situated in the dependent clause, appeared ‘as an indigenous fact of social life’ and served as ‘the common ground from which, once rhetorically surveyed, the speaker could launch his distinctive cannonades’ (Gluck 1985: 253, 254). For the person speaking, the dependent clause mattered less than the independent clause it justified: the urgent problem was left-handedness, not civilization. But ‘for the student, or grammarian, of ideology, it is often the other way around’, Gluck explained, because the dependent clause tells us of myths (1985: 253). As greater numbers of people fired their independent fusillades off the dependent clause of civilization, the idea gained deeper hegemony, allowing no one to discard it altogether, even if he or she wanted to. But the meaning of the dependent clause could change as relentless rhetorical salvos brought heterodoxy to compete with orthodoxy. Hegemony arose without consensus on meaning, indeed through disagreement. SCAP enforced the independent-clause phase of democratic myth-making by fiat through its neocolonial democratic revolution. We must democratize, SCAP averred. No one could respond otherwise. But people could and did partake in the dependent-clause phase as they ‘embraced revolution’ and argued over the purport of their democratic common ground. Because of democratization, they said, or wishing for democratization, or out of respect for freedom of speech, or in consideration of duly elected representatives of the Japanese people—whether it took a few words or a series of clauses (Gluck 1985: 253), they transported their interlocutors across this unstressed dependent terrain en route to an independent point of argument: Korean education was desirable, they stressed, or Korean violence was detestable, or the like. The more people invoked democracy to promote their own purposes, the more real it became in their social worlds, and the more they could try to imbue it with their preferred meaning. And the less they could escape it. Dower suggests the problems of democratic myth-making when, expanding the experience of defeat beyond ‘exhaustion’ (kyodatsu) and peace, he considers widespread agitation for a democratic revolution as Marx, not MacArthur, understood it. Leftists sought to transform ‘the conqueror’s democratic revolution peaceably into a socialist one’, often through strikes and protests (Dower 1999: 255). Dower describes one such attempt at ‘revolution from below’ as forming ‘an ideological crazy quilt’, a ‘conceptual muddle’, because of what he calls a ‘farcical’ case of ‘misplaced monarchism’ in protest appeals to the Emperor, invocations by which leftists ‘contaminate[d]’ democratization (Dower 1999: 264–265). But we might understand the ideological quilt as crazy less because protest ideology had internally clashing components than because it wove new contrasting patches into the national democratic parchment. Protesters in the Hanshin Education Incident muddled ideology by proposing their own de-imperialized versions of it—‘de-Japanesed’ versions, in the words of one SCAP officer in April 1948. They argued that postwar imperial democracy was crazy not because of the Emperor but because it allowed wartime Japanese imperialism to endure past 1945.3 If we move again from the metaphorical weaving to the literal construction of arguments, we witness in the Hanshin Education Incident how Koreans, Communists, and other agitators latched the dependent democratic clauses that the conqueror independently composed onto their own independent clauses, at once cementing and contesting the democratic myth. To delegitimize those new independent clauses, the Occupation tried to smear Koreans in Japan as Communist agents. Some were. But more than politics was at play. The crisis of early 1948 reveals how the processes of democratization and decolonization ran at odds against one another; how understandings of postwar imperial democracy splintered not simply along political but along ethnic lines; how the ideology of democracy itself, to which the warring factions all appealed in their dependent clauses, became the means to crack down on a minority that made a muddle of Japan’s postwar myths and thereby ironically helped to clarify them. To understand this process, let us begin with the ban on independent Korean schools in January 1948 and the reasons for it. Let us then proceed to the rhetorical resistance of Koreans, the collapse of ideological consent in April 1948, and the resulting democratic fallout. 3. The Ban on Independent Korean Schools From the end of the Second World War in 1945 to 1948, Korean schools spread across Japan. Chōren counted 566 Korean schools with 58,930 students operating across the archipelago on 1 April 1948. Of those, 70 schools with 22,844 students were in Osaka prefecture and 58 schools with 7,379 children were in Hyōgo, by far the largest prefectures by both Korean student population and school number (Kim 1997: 382). Osaka was home overall to some 100,000 Koreans and Hyōgo to about two thirds of that number. Many Korean schools operated independently on the premises of municipal academies. Space was scarce after wartime aerial bombardment decimated buildings across Osaka and Kobe. Morito Tatsuo, minister of education, complained to his American interlocutors at the height of the Hanshin crisis that of the four surviving elementary schools in Kobe, Koreans were using the facilities of two [‘Report of Conference’, CIE (C) 04145]. On 24 January 1948, an injunction banning independent Korean schools descended from the Monbushō, the Japanese Ministry of Education [Monbushō kankei shiryō, in ZCMKYTSI 1988: 450–451; CIE (C) 04143]. The decree, prompted by commands from SCAP in late 1947, required that Korean schools be approved by the relevant prefectural government. It cited the eighth article of the Fundamental Education Law of March 1947 for justification. That article proscribed partisan political affiliation of schools and called for education to be directed toward the making of an informed citizenry. Korean schools, the education ministry suggested, violated this law by failing to teach children in Japanese, the requisite language for good citizenry in Japan. The education ministry further referred to the 83rd and 84th articles of the School Education Law, also of March 1947, which permitted so-called miscellaneous schools (kakushu gakkō) to operate outside the standard state-mandated system. Foreign institutions such as the American School in Japan had existed lawfully under this category during the prewar era [‘Status of Foreign Controlled Schools in Japan (e.g., Former American School in Japan)’, CIE (C) 04143]. The January 1948 injunction explicitly barred the possibility of using miscellaneous-school status to educate Korean children of school age, and it referred to the School Education Law of 1947, which granted prefectural headquarters sweeping powers to shut down and regulate these schools, if Koreans used the status for any other purposes. Korean children had to attend either approved private schools or public schools, ‘like Japanese persons’, the injunction stated. They had to become informed Japanese citizens and learn in Japanese. Policy on Koreans, scholars have noted, developed not through any legal procedures but through such ‘notifications’ from bureaucratic agencies (Ozawa 1973: 231–233), through ‘bureaucratic democracy’, in Dower’s phrasing (Dower 1999: 28). The January 1948 ban cited another crucial document that provided enduring justification for the crackdown. Between one- and two-million Koreans left Japan in the immediate postwar under a ‘repatriation’ scheme orchestrated by SCAP, leaving 561,000 Koreans in Japan in February 1947, by SCAP’s count [CIE (C) 04143]. Just as formal repatriation was concluding at the end of 1946, SCAP proclaimed a policy on November 20 stating that all remaining Koreans had to be treated identically to Japanese. ‘Koreans refusing repatriation and electing to remain in this country make their choice with full knowledge that continued residence in Japan subjects them to all appropriate local laws and regulations’, SCAP announced. ‘Discrimination in favor of Koreans’, it claimed, would ‘create a form of extraterritoriality’ [CIE (C) 04143; see also ‘Review of Korean Education Problem’, CIE (C) 04145; General Headquarters US Army Forces, Pacific, in ZCMKYTSII 1989: 232].4 The assertion that all Koreans remaining in Japan had ‘elected’ by their own free will to stay, a notion invoked in the January 1948 interdiction, professed a break between the prewar militarist order of coercion and the postwar democratic order of volition and provided an important ideological basis for the proscription of Korean education. Historians have argued that it was because SCAP ended state-mandated repatriation in 1946 or because it concluded major education reforms in early 1947 that it turned to folding Koreans into the nation through educational schemes (eg, Wagner 1951: 69; Kim 1997: 388, 397). These causal arguments seem cogent in retrospect and appear to be corroborated by the January 1948 injunction. But the archive reveals a military government less strategic than fumbling. There had been preemptive inquiries about Korean school policy from 1946 [see inquiry from Gifu in CIE (C) 04143; Kim 1997: 383–387), but at least in the case of Osaka, SCAP simply did not know until mid-1947 that Koreans had established a network of schools there without approval from the Ministry of Education. Korean institutions ‘were discovered by the Military Government’, evidently by accident, ‘on routine inspections of Japanese schools’, according to a SCAP report by Civil Information and Education Section officer Edmund R. Johnson [CAS (C) 04220].5 Blindsided, SCAP suddenly tried to impose the law on Korean schools after an embarrassing intelligence failure. But more was afoot than simply ‘mechanically’ slapping the law onto a resident minority, as some historians have described it (Ozawa 1973: 231–233; Kim 1997: 380).6 There was at first no mention of Communism in SCAP’s discovery of Korean schools. Then, in September 1947, officials in Osaka wrote about the detection of Communist activity and of suspicious funding sources at one Korean institution. It was in response to this specific letter, according to the Johnson report, that SCAP called for Japanese authorities to enforce application for prefectural authorization on Korean schools, and it is this notice that is highlighted in the historiography (Kim 1997: 395). Historians generally assume that the Hanshin crisis instantiated the reverse course. Reports from Osaka indeed complained of ties between heads of Korean schools and Chōren, the left-leaning Korean league that sponsored the institutions. Founded soon after the end of the war in 1945, by October 1947 Chōren had become a sophisticated organization claiming 610,000 formal members and an annual revenue of over 21 million yen (Oh 2009: 41–42, 360). Offering material and organizational aid for Korean schools became one its major activities (for others, see Ryang 1997: 80; Takemae 2002: 452; Oh 2009: 26–27). Military and civil officials, American and Japanese alike, groused about a recurring pattern in which Koreans schools at first demonstrated willingness to cooperate with authorities before suddenly turning away, suggesting to them the obstructive designs of Chōren [‘Report’, CAS (C) 04220]. And there were indications that Chōren as an organization had links to Communist elements. In late 1947, two of the 25 members of the central committee of the Communist Party were Koreans with prominent but separate roles in Chōren (Oh 2009: 18–19; 83–84). According to a 1951 study of Koreans in Japan, SCAP explicitly categorized Chōren as a Communist organization as early as 1945 and had extensive concerns about its use of black-market and illegal fundraising schemes (Wagner 1951: 50–56). More generally, apparent ties between Communists and Korean society at large in late 1947 and 1948 litter the SCAP archives [eg, CIE (C) 04147]. Up to 50% of the general members of the Communist Party in the immediate postwar might have been Korean (Oh 2009: 83 – 84). But most sources on Chōren’s ties with Communists appear after the Hanshin Education Incident and the formal separation of the Korean peninsula later in 1948. The extent of its formal organizational links before 1948, either with elements in northern Korea or with the Communist Party in Japan, remains open to question, both because those ties do not appear often in sources and because secondary scholarship remains at an incipient stage (Oh 2009: 73, 83–88). Indeed, throughout SCAP records, it appears that the sweeping ideational construction of Koreans in Japan as Communist pawns, a crude essentialization with basis in limited empirical fact, resulted from more than it caused the ban on Korean schools and the resulting violence. Plaints about Communism were originally raised alongside other concerns about Korean schools: the question of school space, of universal application of the law, and of the end of the so-called repatriation program, as we have seen, but also the lack of proper training and the poor skills of Korean teachers; the squalor of Korean school facilities; the susceptibility of Korean children to disease because of the absence of a school vaccination program; and, to encompass all of these, the overriding problem of living in the democratic postwar order [CAS (C) 04220]. Only after April 1948 did Communism emerge as the sole dominant problem, drowning out other concerns. The analytically significant question in the Hanshin Education Incident, then, is not only whether Koreans factually did or did not have ties to Communists but also how the entire Korean minority became essentialized as susceptible to political sway, inherently incapable of living autonomously, with their own schools, in a democratic society. SCAP held vast files of media reports on leftist education across the country, not just in Korean schools. It uncovered directives from the Communist Party in late 1948 to ‘make superior Bolsheviks’ of students by turning the ‘methods of operation’ of elementary schools ‘into true Bolshevik methods’ [CIE (C) 04147]. Leftism was everywhere. But in early 1948, it became Korean language and schooling in particular that marked it and had to be snuffed out. 4. The Meaning of Democratic Education Chōren laid out its opposition to the ban on independent Korean education in its 13th Central Committee meeting on 27 January 1948 [Chōren daijūsankai chūō iinkai kaigiroku (1948), in ZCMKYTSI 1988: 23–29; see also Kim 1997: 400–402]. SCAP was willing to tolerate Korean schools as long as they received official prefectural recognition and taught Korean studies only as an extracurricular course. To Chōren, these conditions represented a violation of ethnic autonomy. After initial negotiations with the education ministry failed, Chōren vowed to turn to the general Korean people and encourage a mass struggle. The organization framed the rationale for its educational demands in terms of the new democratization of Japan. Korean schools were necessary as a corrective to history, it said. ‘The invasion of Korea by imperial Japan’, Chōren insisted, ‘resulted in a coerced policy of cultural homogenization and seized from us not only our distinctive Korean culture but also our ethnicity and even our own language’ [Chōren daijūsankai chūō iinkai kaigiroku (1948) in ZCMKYTSI 1988: 24]. Korean schools teaching the Korean language would allow a subjugated people in a newly democratic country to ‘regain’ its lost past, Chōren argued. But at the same time that Korean education was necessary because of history, it was also not because of history: ‘We do not live in the past, but rather do we live oriented toward the present and the future’, Chōren claimed. ‘Therefore, in order not to repeat history, we, wishing for the democratization of Japan, hope for ethnic amity’. And it went on, claiming that Korean schools would prevent unnecessary ethnic friction at a time when democratization was a common goal across different peoples [Chōren daijūsankai chūō iinkai kaigiroku (1948), in ZCMKYTSI 1988: 24]. Chōren and SCAP both invoked the colonial past and the new democratic present to argue exactly contrary positions: to SCAP, Korean schools represented a violation of the democratic purpose of education at a time when Koreans had chosen to live in Japan by their own volition, and to Chōren, they made amends to the evils of colonial rule by providing a means of preventing ethnic strife in an era of democratization. Anger and frustration over the schools issue among Koreans, simmering since January, boiled over at the end of March. Protests erupted in Yamaguchi prefecture on March 30, a day after the prefectural government there ordered the closure of Korean schools by the 31st, and in Okayama prefecture in early April, when that prefecture too made a similar demand (Inokuchi 2000: 150–151; Ozawa 1973: 234–235).7 Amid this turbulent climate, the Committee on Korean Education Strategy, newly formed under Chōren on the school issue, again deployed the language of democracy as common ground in a direct appeal on 28 March to the Japanese masses ‘to fight the obdurate Ministry of Education with firm resolve’: ‘We believe that this is for the sake of the democratization of education and by extension the democratization of Japan. Recognize the right to autonomous education for Koreans and stop interfering in [our schools]! Make democratization total! Realize, to its completion, the six-three system [of mandatory primary and secondary education]!’ [Chōsenjin kyōiku taisaku iinkai (1948), in ZCMKYTSI 1988: 84].8 As the situation amplified and Koreans began streaming into the streets in protest, the rhetorical deployment of democracy as common ground on which both Japanese and Koreans could rally for ethnic education intensified. With uprisings spreading through western Japan in April, Chōren laid out systematic measures for what it called the ‘realization of democratic education in Japan’ in its next Central Committee gathering, on April 10 [Chōren daijūyonkai chūō iinkai kaigiroku (1948) in ZCMKYTSI, 1988: 35]: the formation of a committee for Korean education, which had already begun to take form in late March (Ozawa 1973: 234); publicity through the promotion of global discourse on the Japanese government’s unlawful suppression of education; a push toward mass struggle, which would include letter-writing campaigns; and collaborative struggle with left-leaning democratic organizations in Japan. Postcards and letters addressed personally to MacArthur calling for the independence of Korean education inundated SCAP throughout April 1948 [National Diet Library, GHQ/SCAP Records CIE (C) 04138–04142]. The committee meeting resulted in a livid official statement dated 12 April outlining the views of Chōren: Japanese bureaucrats, ‘with imperialistic education policies hid beneath a false façade of democracy, have blatantly revealed their intent to turn our people once again into colonial slaves. In response to this, our brethren, defending democracy, and for the sake of democratic education, are protecting a democratic ethnic culture, and for the purpose of the preservation of educational autonomy, are carrying out a proactive struggle’ [Chōren daijūyonkai chūō iinkai kaigiroku (1948), in ZCMKYTSI 1988: 35]. In a long and rather moving letter to the Civil Information and Education Section of GHQ dated 15 April, the ‘educational counter-plan committee’ of Chōren, as SCAP translated it, decried the ‘anti-democratic pressure’ of the education ministry in its attempt ‘to throw our democratic education out of existence’. It cited the staggering illiteracy rates of Koreans under Japanese rule and the ‘contempt and cruelty in Japanese schools’ with which Korean children were treated to claim that education in the Korean language remained necessary [CIE (C) 04141]. And in a blunt letter to the governor of Tokyo dated 19 April, the head of the cultural section of Chōren wrote explicitly that if the governor did not accept the ‘demands’ of Chōren for independent Korean schooling, then he personally would ‘be considered as trying to make slaves of the Koreans’ and would ‘bear all responsibility’ if ‘there is any tumult’ [‘Answer to Handling on Korean Schools’, CIE (C) 04141]. As Chōren pushed one way and the American and Japanese regimes the other along the common ground of democracy, pressure built up along the ethnic fault lines of a fragile postwar polity. 5. The Collapse of Ideological Consent The fault lines slipped on 23 April, three days before the shooting of Kim T’ae-il. The Hanshin Education Incident convulsed the Osaka-Kobe metropolis. After eight or nine Korean schools operating on the premises of Osaka prefectural academies resisted weeks of standing orders to shut down, and after repeated attempts at negotiation failed, Korean organizations began to stage mass rallies [Ōsakashi keisatsushi (1956), in ZCMKYTSI 1988: 542–548; CAS (C) 04220]. April 23 marked one such protest in Osaka, and it coincided with negotiations between the governor of the prefecture and representatives of Chōren. Several thousand protesters breached the police line; many stormed the prefectural headquarters and occupied the first three floors. They then moved into the governor’s office as alarmed prefectural authorities fled, and according to the often vitriolic memoirs of the Osaka police chief, they proceeded to vandalize the room and sever telephone lines [Suzuki (1952), in ZCMKYTSI 1988, 604]. (See Figures 1–6, though the exact date of the photos is unclear). Police reinforcements arrived to drive the demonstrators out forcibly.9 Figure 1. View largeDownload slide Protesters, both women and men, assail Osaka Prefectural Headquarters. Photos Held in Kobe Case [GS (B) 04295], Modern Japanese Political History Materials Room, National Diet Library. Original photos held in GHQ/SCAP Records (RG 331), Box no. 2275 HH, Kobe Case (56), in National Archives of the United States. Captions are based on those included with the photos in the archive. The exact date of the photo is not specified. Figure 1. View largeDownload slide Protesters, both women and men, assail Osaka Prefectural Headquarters. Photos Held in Kobe Case [GS (B) 04295], Modern Japanese Political History Materials Room, National Diet Library. Original photos held in GHQ/SCAP Records (RG 331), Box no. 2275 HH, Kobe Case (56), in National Archives of the United States. Captions are based on those included with the photos in the archive. The exact date of the photo is not specified. Figure 2. View largeDownload slide Protesters Storm the Second Floor. Figure 2. View largeDownload slide Protesters Storm the Second Floor. Figure 3. View largeDownload slide Protesters Storm the Second Floor. Figure 3. View largeDownload slide Protesters Storm the Second Floor. Figure 4. View largeDownload slide Protesters Close in on the Governor’s Office on the Third Floor. Figure 4. View largeDownload slide Protesters Close in on the Governor’s Office on the Third Floor. Figure 5. View largeDownload slide Protesters Climb Through Windows to Break into the Secretarial Room of the Governor’s Office. Figure 5. View largeDownload slide Protesters Climb Through Windows to Break into the Secretarial Room of the Governor’s Office. Figure 6. View largeDownload slide Protesters Surround an Official Identified in the Archival Caption as Deputy Governor of Osaka. Popular elections of prefectural governments occurred in 1947; Yamamura Shōnosuke, deputy governor of Osaka, served Akama Bunzō, governor of Osaka, the first-ever popularly elected man to fill his post. Figure 6. View largeDownload slide Protesters Surround an Official Identified in the Archival Caption as Deputy Governor of Osaka. Popular elections of prefectural governments occurred in 1947; Yamamura Shōnosuke, deputy governor of Osaka, served Akama Bunzō, governor of Osaka, the first-ever popularly elected man to fill his post. The same day, municipal officials in the neighboring city of Kobe tried to evict Korean students and teachers from three schools, failing at one, where some 800 to 1200 children and parents, anticipating police action, occupied the school and stood their ground in defiance of repeated orders to close [Ochiai (1963), in ZCMKYTSI 1988: 686; Shūgiin shihō iinkai (1948), in ZCMKYTSI 1988: 472; ZCGJSC, in ZCMKYTSI 1988: 556–557]. The Kobe crisis, like the Osaka crisis, was months in the making and followed a similar trajectory of failed negotiations and recalcitrance (Shinshū Kōbeshi-shi henshū iinkai 1994: 962–964). The following day, 24 April, Hyōgo governor Kishida Sachio met with the mayor of Kobe as well as the head of city police, the deputy governor, and other officials at 9:00 am to discuss strategy on a Korean demonstration with some 30,000 anticipated participants scheduled for 26 April [‘Chōsenjin gakkō heisa mondai no keika hōkoku’ and ‘Interim Report on the Close of Korean Schools’ in Box 5698, CIE (C) 04144; ‘Report of Kobe Korean Incident by Procurator Matsuoka Saichi’, GS(B) 04295; Ochiai (1960) , in ZCMKYTSI 1988: 634]. Hundreds of protesters invaded the meeting, vandalized the government building, severed telephone lines, and held officials hostage. They demanded a reversal of the order to shut schools down and a postponement of physical evictions. When police and US military forces arrived to rescue municipal and prefectural officials, protesters blocked them, proclaiming that they would rather die than relent [Shūgiin shihō iinkai (1948), in ZCMKYTSI 1988: 472]. By 5:00 in the afternoon, Kishida capitulated to the demands of the protesters and reversed the ban on independent Korean education. Then SCAP stepped in. At 11 o’clock on the night of 24 April, Lieutenant General Robert L. Eichelberger, commanding general of the Eighth Army, declared a state of emergency. He himself flew to Kobe two days later. It was the first and only time in Occupation history that a declaration of emergency was made (Kim 1997: 410; Takemae 2002: 463). There was no written statement, only an oral notification, which created a sense of confusion and ambiguity in the city (ZCGJSC, in ZCMKYTSI 1988: 558–559). The Kobe police force came under SCAP orders and worked with the 24th Infantry Division to carry out indiscriminate arrests of people suspected of being Koreans or Communists. ‘The Japanese police are not physically able to arrest them, so we are doing it. We are using our Kobe troops—Negro troops’, Colonel George Jones, intelligence chief of the Eighth Army, told the New York Times (see also Choi 2013: 182–185). And the article went on, in its own words, ‘General Eichelberger said that the use of Negro troops was not resented, as no color line exists in Japan’, as if marshaling one minority to suppress another was an innocent choice. By the evening of 28 April, Kōbe shinbun counted 1,705 arrests, including 133 Communist Party members. Eighteen people from the Osaka incident and at least seven from the Kobe incident were imprisoned; six Koreans accused in the Kobe crisis were deported to Korea in 1949 (Wagner 1951: 72; Kim 1979: 422; Caprio 2008). Eichelberger annulled the Kishida decision to reverse school evictions: Korean schools were unlawful again. Protests persisted in Osaka despite the state of emergency next door in Kobe. On 26 April, from around two o’clock in the afternoon, some 20,000 protesters again descended on the plaza in front of Osaka prefectural headquarters. Inside, Korean representatives lobbied Akama Bunzō, governor of Osaka prefecture, to overturn the closure decision. At 3:40, a US military representative entered the negotiations, shut the meeting down, and ordered Suzuki Eiji, chief of Osaka police, to disperse the Korean crowd gathered in front of the building, according to Osaka police accounts. The command to disperse went out on megaphones in Korean and Japanese. Some protesters refused to leave. They began throwing stones, and by some accounts, rods and pieces of metal, at fellow Koreans who fled the scene. Soon they turned on the Japanese police. The police fired water cannons to disperse the rioters. But when objects came flying in their direction, the police claim, they took up their pistols and began firing warning shots. It took past 5:20 to restore order and dispel the crowd [Ōsakashi keisatsushi (1956), in ZCMKYTSI 1988: 546–547]. Twenty-eight policemen were injured, one seriously [Suzuki (1952), in ZCMKYTSI 1988: 103]. What the Osaka police department called ‘warning shots’ was more insidious. Ten Koreans suffered grave injuries in the police crackdown on the protests. One was a 14-year-old girl, Kim Hwa-sun, who was beaten by police and suffered bruises and other injuries. Another, the 16-year-old Kim T’ae-il, died that night from a bullet wound in his head [Shūgiin kaigiroku daiyonjūyon gō (1948), in ZCMKYTSI 1988: 469]. Those who suffered gun-related injuries were shot from behind (ZCGJSC, in ZCMKYTSI 1988: 563–564). Memory activists and professional historians alike often remark on the relative nonviolence of Japan’s democratization under the US Occupation. ‘There were no resistance movements of any significance’, 1994 Nobel laureate Ōe Kenzaburō wrote in his 1965 recollection of the immediate postwar era. ‘And looking back today, we can be thankful that the futile spilling of blood was thus avoided. Nevertheless, it is significant that resistance movements just naturally did not occur, and that the defeated Japanese were willing and able to grin and shout hallo’ [Ōe 2006: 376]. Just a few paragraphs later in the same text, Ōe chides his compatriots for ‘feel[ing] superior in some way to the other people of Asia’; he scolds Japanese politicians for exhibiting a ‘patronizing and arrogant’ toward Asians that was ‘precisely the same as the Occupation Army’s attitude toward us’. Ōe writes the spilled blood of Kim T’ae-il out of Japanese history and then wields the same pen at his fellow Japanese. There were of course countless forms of resistance, by Japanese and minorities alike. But the silencing of Koreans in particular in narratives of the postwar, as if their ‘resistance movements just naturally did not occur’ or as if they ‘had no serious role, no influential presence at all in the defeated land’ (Dower 1999: 27), moves from memory to history. After years of fighting, the war left people in Japan enervated with exhaustion, the standard narrative goes. They embraced defeat and the revolution that came with it. But this thesis relies on the exclusion of those most likely to undermine it, those who suffered among the most in the past and benefited among the least from the present. The embrace of defeat loosened in April 1948. In the context of the Hanshin Education Incident, peace became ethnicized, a peace many understood as Japanese. None could embrace a Japanese defeat in which Korean children, their parents argued, remained colonized; in which those children, government officials argued, could not grow up to participate fully in a new Japanese democracy. None could embrace a Japanese defeat in which violence continued to mediate between colonizer and colonized, a Japanese defeat that was not defeat. 6. ‘Resurrecting Fascism’ and ‘Continuing Straight on Course’ The violent protests of late April tipped the scales of the discursive struggle over Korean education. The Hanshin Education Incident collapsed Koreans, mobsters, and Communists into a single category, thereby marking Koreans and their society as enemies of democracy. The incident ironically fulfilled Chōren’s objective of turning the ethnic education issue into a global referendum on democracy, and it vastly expanded the narrow problem of democratic education for Koreans into an all-encompassing one discussed in a range of new democratic institutions in Japan. That discussion allowed for the suppression of Koreans. And that suppression prompted further debate on the content of democracy, spurring the consolidation of the democratic myth. In response to the rebellion, Lieutenant General Robert Eichelberger flew down to Kobe from Tokyo on April 26. He issued an irate statement on the ‘Kobe disturbance’: ‘In the case in question, certain foreign nationals, who by their own choice are residing in Japan, where they are gaining their livelihood, have struck at the very fundamental element of civilization with respect to the duly elected representatives of the Japanese people’, he proclaimed, echoing the 1946 statement on Korean volition. ‘There can be no civilization without law and order. There can be no law and order without law enforcement and obedience of the law’ (General Headquarters Far East Command Public Information, in ZCMKYTSII 1989: 238). The remarks may seem to throw back to 19th-century rhetoric, but Eichelberger was situated firmly in the 1948 moment. Uncivil Koreans had failed to internalize the peaceful practices of a free democratic society in which they ‘chose’ to remain and in which prefectural governorships had become popularly elected positions just the previous year: ‘by their example they set the pattern for uncivilized behavior’, he said, because they, as foreigners, attacked ‘duly elected representatives’ of the native people. In other remarks, Eichelberger turned to leftism, emphasizing in the press that the incident was clearly fanned by elements of the Japan Communist Party. And in a nefarious broadside frequently quoted in histories of the incident, he expressed his wish for a huge ship such as the Queen Elizabeth in which he could dump Japan’s Koreans and consign them back to Korea. The visit of Eichelberger to Kobe turned the local struggle over ethnic education into a national and international one. On 27 April, the front pages of Asahi, Mainichi, and Yomiuri newspapers, after weeks of absent or only sporadic reports on the education problem, all blared headlines announcing the visit of Eichelberger to Kobe, the declaration of the state of emergency, the ‘absolute unacceptability’ of ‘mob action’, and the involvement of Communists in the uprising. The story of the ethnic education incident, which was no longer about education (see also Ozawa 1973: 244–246), was clear: Koreans were rioters and lawbreakers manipulated by leftists. In an age of global news wires, papers across the world published similar accounts of violent protests and hostage-taking by Communist Koreans in Japan. Some readers struck back. In an important discovery by Deokhyo Choi (2013: 183–185), on 8 May, the major African-American newspaper New York Amsterdam News printed a letter to the editor, apparently by a leader of the NAACP in New York, execrating the US Occupation for deploying Black soldiers to ‘smash’ and ‘brutalize’ the ‘recently enslaved’ Koreans and calling the suppression of Korean schools a ‘fascist tactic’ by an American regime ‘follow[ing] the course of the Nazis’, a ‘threat to our own liberties’, and ‘an extension of the un-American policy in our own country toward Negroes, Indians, Puerto Ricans, Mexicans, and the Chinese people’. The letter proclaimed that the suppression ‘deserves to be denounced by true democrats everywhere’. The Occupation doubled down on the insistence that Koreans were Communists. George Jones, intelligence chief of the 8th Army, who was later dispatched to Kobe to manage the situation, did not equivocate: ‘I am convinced that Communists are behind these disorders, just as they are in southern Korea. The school dispute is a pretext’, he said (New York Times, 26 April 1948; Choi 2013: 178–180), articulating the perspective that Eichelberger expressed on the same day (Kim 1997: 411). Japanese leaders agreed. SCAP records depict an April 26 conference with Occupation officials in which education minister Morito Tatsuo insisted that ‘the whole matter is under the direction of some central group, which group he is convinced is under communist domination’. And Morito proceeded with a convenient way to separate good Koreans from bad: Koreans in Japan ‘whose former residence is north of the 38 parallel’ were particularly refractory because they were under the control of ‘North Korea’, which of course formally did not exist yet [CIE (C) 04145]. Conjecture by government officials about the Communist ties of Koreans was often articulated as precisely that: conjecture. References to politics in Korea hinted at the alarming reality that the local Kobe-Osaka upheaval had burgeoned into a regional, even global Cold War crisis. US authorities panicked as their ideological war seemed to slip away. About two months before the Hanshin crisis, as Tessa Morris-Suzuki has vividly shown, police opened fire on a leftist-led but mostly spontaneous demonstration by 30,000 people on Cheju. Six died (2010: 70–76). Communists then incited further violence, and a retaliatory massacre of possibly up to 30,000 people ensued. The US military regime alleged without evidence that a global network of leftists, including the Communist Party in Japan, sparked the tumult. The Hanshin crisis came just weeks after the end of the Cheju upheaval, known as the 4.3 Incident, and just weeks before elections in Korea, planned for 10 May. The resemblances between the crises on Cheju and in Hanshin were not lost on SCAP (Morris-Suzuki 2010: 101–103; Choi 2013: 179), nor could the regime ignore the potential ramifications for Korean elections (Kim 1997: 412–413; 417–420). SCAP found itself pitted not only against Communists but also against its own Korea-based counterparts (see also Augustine 2017: 62–70). In a memo on ‘Korean Schools in Japan’ dated 12 January 1948, Robert E. Gibson, an education advisor to the South Korean Interim Government, wrote in direct contradiction to SCAP policy articulated later that month that the government in Korea ‘regards the majority of the Korean population in Japan as future members of the Korean body politic’ and that ‘care must be exercised therefore to insure that the educational opportunities afforded Koreans in Japan are not such as to handicap the student in his future role as a Korean citizen’ [CAS (C) 04220]. The foreign affairs branch of the Korea military government wrote explicitly in late 1947 of Korean education in Japan that ‘there should be no compulsion to teach the Japanese language in Korean schools’ [CAS (C) 04220]. And on 27 April, at the height of the education crisis, directors of the South Korean Interim Government sent a harsh letter to W. F. Dean, military governor of Korea, unequivocally calling for the Japanese government to grant ‘special permission’ to ‘conduct the Korean schools in conformity with the Korean school system for the matter of curriculum and the qualification of teachers [sic]’ since Koreans ‘must maintain this fundamental right of preserving and learning our Korean language’. The interim government warned that ‘this is a grave matter and may cause serious complexities between the two countries’ and exhorted US military authorities in Korea to ‘use your good office to effectuate [a resolution] and to settle the matter in a peaceful way.’ [Box 5698, CIE (C) 04143]. Both the making and the stakes of democratic meaning extended well beyond the jurisdiction of SCAP. Back in Japan, the House of Representatives, the lower house of the Diet, deliberated on the Hanshin Crisis on 27 April, the day after Kim T’ae-il was shot. The content of the conversation largely fell in line with rhetoric from SCAP. Prime Minister Ashida Hitoshi took the stage and emphasized twice in his brief remarks that SCAP law demanded that Koreans be treated identically to ‘our Japanese countrymen’ (waga Nihon kokumin) and that it was incumbent on Koreans to respect Japanese law and order. He then yielded the floor to Morito, who emphasized democracy itself as that by which Koreans had to abide. He declared it ‘truly regrettable’ that a riot could emerge from ‘issues as extremely peaceful as education and schooling’. He explained that the government had given thorough consideration to the issue of Korean education and decided early on that it was appropriate for Koreans and Japanese to learn side by side in ‘schools entirely revamped toward democratization’. And he went on, ‘As you all know, the School Education Law and Fundamental Education Law were formed according to the new constitution and with pacifism and democracy as their themes; they were not based on the ultranationalism [kokusuishugi] and militarism of the past. Because of this, if we set aside the point of national language, there exist few negatives about the people of a neighboring country studying under that system’ [Shūgiin kaigiroku daiyonjūsan gō (1948), in ZCMKYTSI 1988: 462; Ozawa 1973: 232]. But the insistence that Koreans attend Japanese schools represented continuity from policies at the height of Japanese imperial fascism. As T. Fujitani (2011) has explained, in response to the exigencies of total war, the Japanese wartime government pivoted from earlier ‘vulgar’ or explicit forms of racism to ‘inclusive’ or ‘polite’ forms. In polite racism, the state forced Koreans into the fold of the Japanese nation by putting them into schools, enrolling them into the army, changing their names, and insisting that Koreans were altogether equal to Japanese. Mark Caprio (2009) has stressed the significance of education and the use of national language in this shift to the ‘internal colonization’ of Koreans.10 To Koreans in Japan, the policies of polite racism or internal colonization did not end when the war did in 1945. The dependent clauses had changed: in 1948, it was because of democracy, not because of pan-Asian brotherhood and the Emperor’s family-state, that Koreans had to attend Japanese schools. But the independent clauses in the rhetoric of Eichelberger, Ashida, and Morito were the same as those of colonialists half a decade earlier. On 30 April, Suzuki Yoshio, minister of justice, arrived in the House of Representatives to give a report on the Hanshin uprising. He had been dispatched to Kobe immediately after the incident to carry out an on-site study. ‘As a result of my investigation on the ground, I came to find that this disturbance was more organized and planned than I had previously thought’, he told the House [Shūgiin kaigiroku daiyonjūyon gō (1948), in ZCMKYTSI 1988: 466]. His report of the incident incriminated both Communist Party members and Chōren. He explained, for example, that members of crowds went door to door to tell other Koreans that if they did not participate in the protests, they would be treated as turncoats, thrown out of Chōren, and even subjected to ‘something like lynching’ (rinchi no yō na mono) [Shūgiin kaigiroku daiyonjūyon gō (1948), in ZCMKYTSI 1988: 468]. He named representatives of the Communist Party active in the protests and placed them at the scene of the uprising. He quoted a message that Communist representatives reportedly gave at the site of the Osaka protests, which encouraged Koreans to fight for their goal even until death and expressed solidarity in a joint struggle against the school closures. He acknowledged several times in the report that Koreans framed the issue as one of the persistence of Japanese imperialism, and he mentioned that gunfire hit and killed a 16-year-old protester. When the floor opened to questions, Representative Nosaka Sanzō, of the Communist Party, ripped into Suzuki. ‘You have talked about everything in vivid detail. You have even discussed, for example, how the Communist Party said this and that. But how is it that you only reported extremely briefly and vaguely on the problem of the sixteen-year-old Korean child who was killed?’ [Shūgiin kaigiroku daiyonjūyon gō (1948), in ZCMKYTSI 1988: 469). Such a killing, he claimed, was a blatant violation of rights (jinken jūrin). He held up a photograph of the shot Kim T’ae-il. It is clear from the photo, he said, that the boy was shot from behind. He continued: It was not as if the bullets were fired into the air to scare or warn people. They were pointed downward, aimed at the Koreans. And he produced another photo of a 14-year-old girl, which showed that she had been attacked from behind. His diatribe led to hubbub in the hall. Suzuki responded by vaguely suggesting that he would provide more evidence about the killing when he received it. The philippic continued the following day in the House of Councilors, or the upper house. Representative Hosokawa Karoku upbraided Suzuki, Morito, and Ashida, whom he named personally, accusing the Japanese government of taking advantage of the declaration of a state of emergency to advance its own imperialist agenda. He asked, ‘Is it not that we are ramping up the suppression of lawful democratic movements among the masses of our countrymen [waga kokumin no taishū]?’ Members of the house jeered ‘no’. He went on, asking: ‘Are we, today, once again resurrecting fascism and letting it run rampant? Are we making the Potsdam Declaration, which demanded total democratization, a dead letter?’ [Sangiin kaigiroku daisanjūroku gō (1948), in ZCMKYTSI 1988: 477]. On the same day that the Diet took up the issue and newspapers across the world reported the story, 27 April, the prefectural assembly of Hyōgo, founded just the year before, gathered for an irregular session. While on break, approaching four in the afternoon, it issued the following statement: ‘For the establishment of democratic politics, the Hyōgo Prefectural Assembly respects to its end the freedom of speech, but it peremptorily denounces coercion by force. The Assembly recognizes that the steps Governor Kishida took with regard to the Korean school closure problem in the governor’s room of the Hyōgo prefectural headquarters this past April 24 were coerced by mob threats and did not represent the governor’s true intent, and it strongly supports the proactive actions of [relevant] authorities in dealing with this problem’ [Daikyūkai (rinji) Hyōgo kenkai sokkiroku (1948), in ZCMKYTSI 1988: 502]. Korean civilians were guilty of violating the freedom of speech of a government official. Meanwhile, the mood in Osaka was celebratory. C. L. Mullins, Jr., of the 25th infantry division, gushed with praise in a bathetic letter to police chief Suzuki Eiji dated 27 April. ‘Permit me to congratulate you and all your men on the successful solution of what we all know was a very serious problem during the past few days. The police action was all that could be desired when given full authority to act’. On the heels of ‘this drastic period in Osaka’s history’, he expressed hope about a peaceful future free, presumably, of that pesky Korean problem. He was effusive. ‘May you all prosper and see the day soon when the life of a policeman in Osaka will be serene and his duty easy to perform’ [Ōsakashi keisatsushi (1956), in ZCMKYTSI 1988: 547]. Osaka politicians congratulated themselves, too, for instance in their 2 June deliberations. Assemblyman Taneda Kenta explained that newspapers and even Suzuki, the justice minister, recognized the ‘magnificent’ (rippa) work of Osaka authorities during the crisis, especially in contrast to that of their counterparts in Hyōgo. But the assemblyman was livid: On 29 April, Ōsaka nichinichi shinbun reported that the Osaka governor had delivered baskets of fruit to injured Koreans in the aftermath of the violence of 26 April, representing a violation of Osaka magnificence. Was this true? Taneda fulminated. Was he using public funds to offer goodwill to people who had caused the injury of and threatened the lives of Japanese officials? Why did he extend so much solicitude to the Korean violators while chucking 30,000 yen at the 100 injured police, which would result in just 300 yen per policeman? And how could all this come even though the police managed to control the crowds without disturbing the government or the Occupation military and ‘made it possible for the country to continue straight on its course’? Akama retorted that Japanese and Koreans had to get along, that he was committed to reciprocal friendship and support, and that the rioting was a separate issue. But another representative continued to taunt Akama the next day as ‘a cheating woman caught red-handed by her husband’. Kindness toward Korean protesters, who obstructed the Japanese postwar course, represented the misuse of power and money by a newly elected representative of the Japanese people. 7. ‘Deluded by Self-Pity’ Even as the tide of indignation turned against it, the rhetoric of Chōren did not regress. On 1 May, the organization once again appealed to the Japanese people. Now blaming the Japanese government for deliberately turning the problem into a national issue, it reiterated its demands for autonomous education with Korean as the main pedagogical language. Such, it said, were the demands not only of the 600,000 Koreans in Japan, but of their 30,000,000 brethren in ‘the mainland’ and even of all Japanese people; after all, the Fundamental Education Law declared the purpose of education to be a peaceful country and the love of truth and justice. And it concluded once again with a familiar refrain: ‘These acts by the government of Japan are undemocratic violations of democracy. They are invasive acts to exterminate the ethnic culture of Korea. We aver that such acts are a challenge not only to us Koreans, but to Japanese people [working] for the democratization of Japan, nay, to the democratic forces of the entire world, and for this reason we appeal to you’ [Zainihon Chōsenjin renmei (1948), in ZCMKYTSI 1988: 94]. Despite its anger, Chōren came to an agreement with the Ministry of Education in early May: Koreans would abide by the Fundamental Education and School Education laws, and they would be allowed education ‘within the acceptable scope of autonomy of private schools’ once they obtained approval for their schools. They could teach Korean only as an extracurricular course [Chōren to Monbushō ga kōkan shita oboegaki (1948), in ZCMKYTSI, 1988: 35]. But the agreement hardly brought the education problem to a resolution. Chōren fought on. Its reports on the education struggle written in July 1948 and the following year to mark the one-year anniversary continued to decry ‘Japanese emperor-system imperialism’ and the ‘undemocratic’ crackdown on their ‘democratic means’ to advance the ideal of education [Chōren daijūgokai chūō iinkai kaigiroku (1948), in ZCMKYTSI 1988: 42; Kinen tōsō chūō jikkō iinkai (1948), in ZCMKYTSI 1988: 64–69]. And the entire problem erupted once up again in late 1949 when SCAP dissolved Chōren and ordered the total closure of its now-recognized schools [on Osaka, see for instance National Diet Library, GHQ/SCAP Records CIE (B) 08243 to 08246; Oh 2009: 91–102]. Chōren again responded with protests and civil disobedience, and Hyōgo again deployed police to suppress the uprising (Ozawa 1973: 252–278; Lee and De Vos 1981: 65–66). The fallout of April 1948 extended beyond Korean schools. As Eiji Takemae (2002: 464–466) explains, the April crisis became the direct impetus for the July 1948 Osaka Public Safety Ordinance, a decree that recalled the peace preservation laws of the prewar era and permitted substantial curtailment of civil liberties, especially with respect to labor activism (see also Kim 1979: 13, who cites Ozaki 1978). After tanks rolled in to crush the August 1948 Tōhō Motion Pictures Studios strikes in Tokyo, which Takemae situates in a broader summer-long public security crisis beginning with the April protests, one protester snarked, ‘The only thing they didn’t send was a battleship’ (Takemae 2002: 466). SCAP, of course, was not insensitive to the indignation of Koreans, nor was it naïve about the ideological challenges to its democratic project that the Korean problem presented.11 An undated ‘staff study of the Korean school problem’ by officers stationed in Kyoto and addressed to Eichelberger in the wake of the incident revealed acute awareness of the conundrum. ‘A basic democratic principle concerning the protection of minority rights in the areas of the freedom of religion, speech, and assembly is involved. It is not our desire to tear down one authoritarian system and build up another’, the memo explained [CAS (C) 04219–04220; reproduced in Kim 1989: 13–14]. That is, of course, exactly what SCAP was doing in the eyes of Chōren. The memo went on, looking to the regional crisis: ‘Too many Koreans already look upon the Americans in Korea as replacements for the Japanese imperialists, and their agitators can use any incident in Japan for propaganda against American trusteeship’. Such was the fear gripping SCAP that authors of the memo obliquely acknowledged but had to find a way to justify an undemocratic democracy. To do so, they identified Koreans themselves as the problem: ‘The Koreans do not understand democratic patterns. As a result of years of suppression, they have developed techniques of civil disobedience … The steps in the democratic processes to achieve the ends desired are unknown to them so they resort to parades, demonstrations, wrecking buildings, strikes, and committing nuisances’. The violence of the 1948 crisis only buttressed the construction of Koreans as incapable of living in democratic society, as lacking adequate autonomy, and as susceptible to influence from outside forces. The memo to Eichelberger discouraged a ‘shoot and kill’ policy for police not because gunning down Koreans was itself a bad idea but because the tactic ‘would play right into their hands and give them excellent excuse for further widespread violence’. But it still foresaw an eventual ‘final solution’ in which Koreans could have their own schools. These arguments presented to Eichelberger appear to emerge from parts of a memo dated 30 April from Ronald D. Anderson, a Civil Education officer posted in Kansai and tasked with Chōren negotiations in the aftermath of the crisis [CAS (C) 04219]. Other parts of the memo were whittled down or elided before they were submitted to Eichelberger. It seems clear why. Anderson dismantled the foundations of Occupation policy on Koreans. It was not necessarily true that Koreans planned to remain in Japan permanently, nor were all of them in Japan purely of their own volition, he claimed. Many Koreans had invested ‘years of effort’ to acquire ‘property or positions in Japan[,] which they would lose’ if they returned to Korea. Many originated from northern Korea but ‘were unwilling’ to return there lest they be forced to live under a Communist regime—Koreans were not Communists after all. And if they were ‘repatriated’ not to the Communist north but to southern Korea, they would be forced into ‘crowded refugee camps’, hardly a desirable destination. Anderson emphasized that use of the Korean language was an ‘emotional symbol of liberation’ for Koreans and potentially part of their ‘right to ‘de-Japanese’ their children’ after the Japanese language was ‘forced’ on them. Such arguments, he claimed, were ‘reasonable aspects of the case for the Koreans’ that had been ‘completely obscured’ amid the ‘excitement and violence of the last few days’. Only some appeared, attenuated, in the formal proposal from Kyoto. Still, even a sympathetic observer such as Anderson concluded from these observations that ‘Koreans are politically untrained’ and ‘are deluded by a self-pity that makes them subject to agitators’. It was Koreans themselves who needed to be fixed and acculturated for a postwar democratic order, not the democratic order that had to be fixed for a liberated minority. 8. Convoluted Democracy In his extraordinary study The Civil Sphere, Jeffrey Alexander examines how democracy relies on a ‘sphere of fellow feeling, the we-ness that makes society into society’ (2006: 53). Arguing against what he calls the tradition of Thrasymachus, a dominant analytical mode that treats democracy only as a formal set of systems to keep private interests in balance, Alexander seeks a perspective that is ‘more responsive to the ideas that people have in their heads and to what Tocqueville called the habits of the heart’. Such an understanding, he writes, elucidates ‘the mysterious process by which citizens so often agree, willingly and without coercion, to uphold rules … whose effect may be detrimental to their self-interest narrowly understood’ (2006: 43). This approach leads Alexander to dwell on the baneful capacity within the democratic myth for brutal suppression. He argues that precisely because democratic ideology relies on the notion of the individual as autonomous, rational, ‘calm’, and ‘self-controlled’, it includes within it a counter-code that labels some as ‘dependent, irrational and hysterical, excitable, passionate’ and therefore unworthy of ‘the freedom that democracy allows’ and ‘deserv[ing] to be repressed … for their own sakes’ (Alexander 2006: 57). Because affording groups and individuals freedom of action and expression requires ‘trusting in the goodwill of autonomous others’ (Alexander 2006: 403), when minority groups are construed, through the very codes of democratic ideology, as undeserving of this trust, they are excluded from the benefits of democracy. The potential for coercion thus lurks in democratic ‘cultural myths’ (Alexander 2006: 61). The postwar Japanese democratic myth did not need to repair the damage done to trust, goodwill, and conceptions of autonomy over years of fascist militarism and decades of imperialism and colonialism. It could operate right through it. About a decade before Alexander, Krishan Kumar similarly turned to theories of civil society and democracy to consider problems of coercion and consent in them. He identified a general Gramscian approach across these theories that holds that it is ‘through the “consent” (“hegemony”) of civil society rather than the “coercion” of the state’ that governments maintain power (1993: 389). This view is fraught with ‘dangers’, Kumar warned, because it ‘turns attention away’ from the asymmetrical role of state and society in building ideology and from the extent to which those in power use coercion to sustain ascendancy (1993: 389). Gluck’s analysis of Meiji ideology does not use the idiom of civil society, but her 1985 grammar of ideology flows from the same Gramscian stream of thought (Gluck 1985: 7). Gluck, too, stresses consent over coercion in the co-production of Japan’s modern myths between state and society, between kan and min. There is little violence in her version of the late Meiji period (1985: 277–278). And it is this same notion of widespread consent that Dower, in invoking ‘embracing defeat’, ‘embracing revolution’, and ‘exhaustion’, chooses to elevate above the vast evidence of foot-dragging and stone-walling and protest and outright rebellion that he himself so influentially depicts. Dower looks into Japanese ‘habits of the heart’ and finds them in embrace of a new age. There was an ‘ease with which the great majority of Japanese were able to throw off a decade and a half of the most intense militaristic indoctrination’ (1999: 29). People embraced. They consented.12 But there are limits to popular consent in building ideological hegemony, Gluck acknowledges. She writes, expanding her discussion of the Meiji era to general theory across time, ‘Unless ideological formulations possess a certain congruence with the experience of those to whom they are directed, any hegemony that occurs is likely to be fragile. […] [T]he more ideological elements appear to “fit” the political, social, and economic realities as people know them, the more unexceptionable they seem’ (1985: 262). It is in this caveat to Gluck’s theory of the grammar of ideology that we can begin to find an explanation for the violence of the Hanshin Education Incident. Because Koreans found the ideology of democracy set forth by the Occupation and the Japanese state incongruent with their experience of ethnic oppression, consensual hegemony was fragile and exceptionable. The interdiction on Korean education brought that incongruity into painfully sharp relief. Peaceful hegemony teetered precariously. Gramscian consent buckled. Koreans stormed Hyōgo prefectural headquarters and held elected officials hostage to resolve the rupture between the discourse and experience of democracy. Osaka policemen opened fire on a Korean boy. The US military carried out indiscriminate arrests. To make ideology fit its version of reality, each side had latched more and more contrasting independent clauses onto the same democratic dependent clause until the full ideological sentence became convoluted and self-contradictory. It took violence to try to render the sentence coherent and meaningful again, to excise the objectionable patterns in the ideological crazy quilt. Koreans ironically helped in this meaning-making. With Koreans constructed under the counter-code of democratic discourse, democracy became further entrenched as what characterized Japan and the Japanese. Orthodoxy became more sharply defined against Korean heterodoxy, now tainted with Communism and blood. Just as Japan was so obviously a civilization by the 1900s, so too was Japan obviously a democracy by 1948: the proof was in the Koreans who invoked it but could not abide by it—or could not abide it. We might think further in this context about the extent to which notions of ‘embracing defeat’ and ‘embracing revolution’ explain the history of Occupied Japan (see also Garon 2001; Choi 2013: 5–12; Choi 2017). The unstressed clauses of the crisis of 1948 reveal a clear embrace of the inescapable hegemony of the democratic myth. Those clauses in themselves deepened the myth. But to what extent did people have a choice other than to embrace if they wanted their heterodoxy heard? Once an idea reaches the dependent clause of ideological grammar, Gluck argues, people ‘are not free to dismiss the notion’, even if they are ‘displeased’ with it (1985: 254). How much more must that be the case under an absolute military dictatorship. When people did exercise their own agency in the Hanshin crisis, they stressed independent clauses of dissent, not consent; of aversion, not embrace; of accusations that the ideological foe, whether Korean, Japanese, or American, actively sought to retain elements of an undemocratic imperialist order through the embraced hegemony of the imperial-democratic present. They asserted that these stressed clauses ‘fit reality as they knew it’, in Gluck’s terms, better than the unstressed clauses did. Which clauses do we choose to stress when we recombine their sentences in our historical narratives? And do ‘dangers’ lurk in the choice? The problems underlying the crisis of 1948 Osaka-Kobe might not have been particular to postwar Japan. The processes of building a democracy and building a nation-state are often themselves logically contradictory at the level of ideology, Alfred Stepan and Juan Linz have argued. They define building a nation-state as a process of ‘increasing cultural homogeneity’, often by imposing the national language on everyone (1996: 25), precisely what SCAP and the Ministry of Education sought to do when confronted with living evidence of the polyglot Japanese empire they tried to dismantle. But democratization moves in a different ideological direction and calls for freedom to choose. Forming a democracy and a nation simultaneously thus generates a contradiction: the democratic state seeks to fold everyone into its demos, but often minority groups resist being forced into a nation-state where the ethnic majority holds disproportionate power. Democratization and nation-building would be ‘probably impossible’ for many countries if carried out together, Linz and Stepan argue (1996: 30). To ensure the possibility of its project, the US Occupation suppressed ideological dissent to its orthodoxy in the democratic myth and forced the equation of nation and state where no perfect equation had existed in an imperial system. Minorities were a variable that had to be erased for the equation to balance out. The cost to them was staggering. In 1948, they resisted. The Hanshin crisis calls for further contemplation, then, on how the ideology of Japanese democracy, foremost among Japan’s postwar myths, developed in an inextricable relationship with what Oguma Eiji (1995) has called another of its postwar myths, that of the monoethnic nation.13 The meaning of postwar Japanese democracy was fitfully and violently pieced together by Americans, Japanese, and minorities, by MacArthur and Morito and Marxists, by state and society, in the rubble of the collapsed, or the collapsing, Japanese empire. Hegemony arose and orthodoxy was defined not out of a single democratic ideology but out of a ‘congeries’ of democratic ideologies that warred along ethnic lines in April 1948 (Gluck 1985: 16). Today, as we continue to live under Japan’s postwar myths, we hear the shooting of Kim T’ae-il reverberate through time. Footnotes 1. Historians have done extraordinary work collecting and preserving the archive of the Hanshin Education Incident. A range of primary and secondary sources in Japanese, English, and Korean, including a number of primary sources translated from Korean into Japanese, have been collated by Kim Kyǒng-hae (1988) and Uchiyama Kazuo and Jo Bak (1989) in the two volumes, together almost 2,000 pages long, abbreviated here as ZCMKYTSI and ZCMKYTSII. Kim Yǒng-dal (1989) has offered an indispensable research guide on Korean-education documents scattered across SCAP/GHQ records in the National Diet Library. This study is indebted to the work these scholars have done. 2. This study follows in the vein of Siniawer (2008), pioneer of examining violence and democracy in Japan. On the postwar relationships among violence, Communism, and democracy, see chapter five of her book. 3. See Dower (1999: 277–345) on ‘imperial democracy’ during the Occupation. The term of course belongs originally to Gordon (1991). 4. This policy of course did not remain for long. The Japanese citizenship of ethnic Koreans was fully revoked in 1952; they were forced to carry foreigner cards in 1947, in seeming ideological contradiction to SCAP’s assertions above. See Chung (2010: 74–81), Augustine (2009), and Caprio (2007). The 1948 ban made it seem as if the November 1947 ordinance was unequivocally clear, but Augustine (2017: 62–70) reveals a much more complex story. 5. SCAP was taken by surprise again in May 1948 when it accidentally chanced on Chinese schools operating in Kobe during the ‘investigation of the Korean school affair’. Ronald S. Anderson, civil education officer, wrote that the unauthorized Chinese school, its teachers unscreened, was carrying out a ‘military drill in a very conspicuous fashion’ but was ‘not known until the military government discovered it’. The Civil Information and Education division of SCAP ‘recognized the potential trouble in this situation’ and called for a report since it had no policy on the matter. See National Diet Library, GHQ/SCAP Records CAS (C) 04219. Chinese schools in Kobe of course had a history extending back to the Meiji era. 6. It is in this sense that Ozawa argues that ‘democracy’ became the means for oppressing Koreans. Kim T’ae-gi argues a similar point, claiming that SCAP did not intend to rob Koreans of their ‘ethnic rights’ when it first sought to force Korean schools to apply for recognition. 7. See also CIE (C) 04141–04142 and CIE (C) 04235–04236 for sources on Yamaguchi and Okayama. 8. The English-language translation of this text in SCAP’s files can be found in National Diet Library, GHQ/SCAP Records CAS (C) 04301; ‘Korean Education Counter-Action Committee’; my translation from the Japanese differs from that in the SCAP archives. A trove of documents on the crisis in Kobe can be found in the same file. 9. In English, Wagner (1951: 69–72) and Choi (2013: 175–178) offer a narrative of the Hanshin crisis; Caprio (2008) offers one on Kobe. Wagner does not cover the 26 April Osaka crisis. 10. Inokuchi (2000) uses this term to refer specifically to the Hanshin Education Incident. Caprio provides a precise explanation that demonstrates how what Inokuchi calls ‘internal colonization’ in fact began well before 1948 and carried across the end-of-war divide. 11. Nor was it naive about the challenges the Korean crisis posed for American schools in Japan. The school education bureau of the Ministry of Education assured SCAP on 23 April, just as police were evicting Koreans from schools in Kobe, that there would be ‘no problem concerning foreign-controlled schools such as the former American School type’ while the Occupation endured, but the SCAP memo noted with seeming apprehension that ‘no consideration’ had yet been given to ‘future problems’ after the Occupation ended [‘Status of Foreign Controlled Schools in Japan (e.g. Former American School in Japan)’, CIE (C) 04143]. 12. These arguments in favor of consent are of course precisely the historiographical point of both books. Gluck repudiated a once-common belief that Meiji subjects marched unwittingly and unwillingly into the ‘hideous miasma’ or ‘black box’ of a state-imposed emperor-system ideology; Dower rejected the common conception that democracy was something that American shepherds simply guided their Japanese sheep toward. Laura Hein (2011), in her survey of scholarship on the Occupation, reflects on and rallies behind the argument for Japanese ‘agency’ that Dower advances. She argues through the case of one notable postwar intellectual that Japanese used this agency ‘to ensure that all Japanese could enjoy the political freedoms made possible by defeat’ (2011: 591). The historiographical point about agency seems rightly to have won the day. The outstanding question remains the ways in which people used this agency, to embrace or resist, to welcome the postwar or to seek to retain vestiges of the past. And the question that then arises is the extent to which the ruling authorities used force to suppress the agency people exercised, making the will exerted in favor of the hegemonic orthodoxy disproportionately visible in retrospect. 13. Of course, he is not the only one to use this phrase. He surveys on pp. 6–9 others that do. See also Ōnuma (1993) for the relationship between the myth and Koreans in particular. Oguma traces this history from the prewar and argues that the idea of monoethnicity ‘stuck’ in the postwar; thinking about transwar continuities of democracy, and the relationship between democratic and ethnoracial myths over the transwar both on the Japanese mainland and in its colonies, is one area for further research. References Alexander , Jeffrey C . 2006 . The Civil Sphere . Oxford University Press . Augustine , Matthew R . 2009 . ‘ From Empire to Nation: Repatriation, Immigration, and Citizenship in Occupied Japan, 1945–1952 ’. Ph.D. Dissertation, Columbia University . ———. 2017 . ‘ The Limits of Decolonization: American Occupiers and the “Korean Problem” in Japan, 1945–1948 ’. International Journal of Korean Hisotry 22 ( 1 ): 43 – 75 . CrossRef Search ADS Caprio , Mark E . 2007 . ‘ Resident Aliens: Forging the Political Status of Koreans in Occupied Japan ’. In Democracy in Occupied Japan: The U.S. Occupation and Japanese Politics and Society , eds. Mark E. Caprio and Yoneyuki Sugita . Routledge : pp. 178 – 199 . ———. 2008 . ‘The Cold War Explodes in Kobe—the 1948 Korean Ethnic School “Riots” and US Occupation Authorities’ . Available at https://apjjf.org/-Mark-Caprio/2962/article.html (accessed 31 December 2013 ). ———. 2009 . Japanese Assimilation Policies in Colonial Korea, 1910–1945 . University of Washington Press . Choi , Deokhyo . 2013 . ‘Crucible of the Post-Empire: Decolonization, Race, and Cold War Politics in U.S.–Japan–Korea Relations, 1945–1952’ . Ph.D. Dissertation, Cornell University . ———. 2017 . ‘ Guest Editor’s Introduction: Writing the “Empire” Back into the History of Postwar Japan ’. International Journal of Korean History 22 ( 1 ): 1 – 10 . CrossRef Search ADS Chung , Erin Aeran . 2010 . Immigration and Citizenship in Japan . Cambridge University Press . Dower , John W . 1999 . 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Published by Oxford University Press in conjunction with the University of Tokyo. All rights reserved. This article is published and distributed under the terms of the Oxford University Press, Standard Journals Publication Model (https://academic.oup.com/journals/pages/open_access/funder_policies/chorus/standard_publication_model)
Social Science Japan Journal – Oxford University Press
Published: Jul 1, 2018
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