Yonsei University Takashi Fujitani. Race for Empire: Koreans as Japanese and Japanese as Americans during World War II (University of California Press, 2011). 520 pp. $65 (cloth). Jun Uchida. Brokers of Empire: Japanese Settler Colonialism in Korea, 18761945 (Harvard University Asia Center, 2011). 500 pp. $50 (cloth). In South Korea, more so than in most other postcolonial countries, the issue of sovereignty and the colonial past remains a central feature of politics. Most recently, during a televised presidential debate on December 4, 2012, Lee Jung-hee of the Unified Progressive Party said something that likely had never been said on South Korean television: "Takaki Masao signed an oath of loyalty [to the Emperor of Japan], in his own blood, to become an officer in the Japanese [Imperial] Army. You know who he is. His Korean name is Park Chung Hee." Lee Jung-hee then made the connection between that colonial past and the willingness to sell out the nation's sovereignty in the present. The conservative candidate Park Geun-hye, the daughter of the late President Park Chung Hee who ruled South Korea from 1961 through 1979, and members of Park's Saenuri Party, remain true to their "roots": these "descendants of pro-Japanese
Cross-Currents: East Asian History and Culture Review – University of Hawai'I Press
Published: May 22, 2013
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