Wednesday, October 2, 2019

Japanese colonialism :: essays research papers

It is interesting to find that only some political economists emphasize the fact that Japanese colonialism in Korea played a large part in the development of a high-growth economy. In both readings we get to see that Japanese colonialism greatly differed from European colonialism. In one way, this is because European colonialism rarely introduced heavy industry into the economy, or even pushed the economy with such a heavy hand. As well, Japan left Korea with a relatively high level of industrialization, not something we commonly see with European colonialism. In Kohli's article we see that Japan came into Korea at the very beginning of its colonial rule and transformed the state, not just when creating speedy economic growth. I liked this article in that Kohli took a very systematic approach to writing it, noting the many steps it took for Korea to industrialize, as well as noting extensively the extent to which Japan played a role. Bruce Cumings' article was different in that it looked more towards Japan, Taiwan, and Korea. In his article, he not only looks at Japan as a colonizer, but also an industrializer. I think that in both of the readings, it is amazing that each of the countries examined were able to industrialize so quickly. Northeast Asia industrialized in only decades, whereas it's taken the rest of the world centuries to do the same. In response to this, it is important to note the argument around the state's role in economic development, what Atul Kohli says is "the extent to which state intervention was 'market conforming' versus 'market distorting' or, to use a related set of concepts, the extent to which the state 'led' rather than 'followed' the market." In each article we see what factors went into each country's economic development. It is interesting to note that Japanese colonial governments were fairly harsh in ruling its colonies, but despite this, its subjects continued to work hard and obey. The stronghold Japan have over Korea was immense. Even wealthy landowners, the Yangban elite, were controlled by the state, and any political organizations and national movements that threatened the authoritarian state were squashed. Possible the fact that both Korea and Taiwan, as well as Japan, were fairly small countries amounted for something when struggling to industrialize late. Kohli suggests that land area might well be a factor in successful colonization. This is, he says, is one of the reasons for the lack of problems the Japanese had in establishing authority between the center in Seoul and the periphery. In Bruce Cumings' article he illustrates that Korea and Taiwan became "receptacles for declining Japanese industries." It is still interesting to see that Korea and Taiwan managed to industrialize so fast

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