Korea Under Japanese Control from 1911 to 1945

December 5, 2016 Dennis Ottley

For thirty-five years of being under the Japanese rule, Korea suffered greatly. Although there is a notable improvement in the economic and industrial aspects, such as increase in job opportunities, advancements on technology, and the growth in entertainment industry, it is commonly attributed to abusive and unjust treatment of the Japanese toward the Korean laborers. Supposedly, both Japanese and their Korean counterparts should share whatever riches and glory the two countries are earning. But in most cases, like any other colonized countries, Korea did not escape the social divide that had put them at a disadvantage and in effect caused horrible and inhumane events that are often worse than their worst nightmares.


Japan governed Korea under the command of a governor general who takes direct command from Japanese prime minister. Since then, Korea experienced desperate and harsh changes. This left a deep scar to every Korean who was not able to flee from the claws of their invaders. For the first ten years, Korea was heavily ruled under military laws and not a single Korean experienced being secured by encountering any of the Japanese soldiers.


In so many ways, Japan had force fully injected the Japanese culture to the Koreans. As such, Japanese language was strictly being imposed to every school, and the Koreans had no choice but to accept it. This went as far as adapting of Japanese names to replace their Korean names.

This inhumane treatment got worse when World War II began. Thousands of Koreans were forcefully taken out of their homes and sent to Japan to work for their factories. Tens of thousands of Korean women, especially the poor ones who cannot speak Japanese well, were made comfort women to both the Japanese and Korean men who fought the war. Some hundreds of people were even used as experiments in war camps.

This pitiful extreme exploitation to Koreans is a big slap to Japan when at last, in Japan’s surrender at the end of World War II has freed the thirty-five years of grief and desire for revenge. Japanese men who were spotted were tortured to death, and the known supporters of the Japanese empire faced their worst fate.

No matter how dreadful and catastrophic it is for millions of people in Korea during the Japanese occupation, the country, finally left on its own, was uncertain on the course that they were going. Korea continued to struggle to build a self-sufficient nation, bearing with them the permanent scar the Japanese empire has left to their hearts and minds.


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