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Feminists navigating the shoals of nationalism and collaboration: the post-colonial Korean debate over how to remember Kim Hwallan.

Collective memory refers to the many versions of recollecting a particular critical time in a nation's past. (1) Carol Gluck describes such collective memories as the products of recollecting gathered by "historians, officials, schools, mass media, filmmakers, writers, museums and monuments, public ceremonies, personal recollection, and the like." (2) Each narrative provides a different interpretation of the past that reflects the teller's own interests and viewpoint. Collective memory, therefore, is never monolithic. It is always the product of continuous negotiation, conversation, and struggle over which interpretation will achieve cultural and political hegemony. Whichever interpretation of the nation's past holds sway at any given moment is potent in the present, because it reflects previous struggles and negotiations over meaning. It simultaneously shapes the society's current value system and its political relationships. This present-day effect is indeed what makes the ongoing struggle seem so worthwhile, and what can keep collective memory basically unstable.

Thus memory itself is political. John R. Gills states that "memories help us make sense of the world we live in; and 'memory work' is, like any other kind of physical or mental labor, embedded in complex class, gender, and power relations that determine what is remembered (forgotten), by whom, and for what end." (3) Korean historian Im Chihyon claims that "histories monopolized by specific memories imply more than memories in the past. It is the politics of memories that lead lives and desires, practices and thinkings of people to a certain direction." (4) In the power dynamics of collective memory, national war involvement or a colonial experience can become topics of collective memory that nationalist intellectuals, activists, and state officials become convinced they have the greatest need to mold. Therefore, it is in the struggle to craft citizens' collective memories of wars and colonial experience where any subaltern group's members are most likely to be silenced, their interpretations deemed awkward or even dangerous. The playing field on which collective memory is crafted is far from level. (5)

In this context, remembering Kim Hwallan, considered a pioneer in Korean women's high education while at the same time labeled a notorious pro-Japanese intellectual, is informative. Several Koreans of the recent past have lately been resurrected for harsh nationalistic critique, but the debate swirling around Kim Hwallan is particularly important. Remembering Kim Hwallan illustrates how collective memory of a colonial era uses gender for a nationalistic construction in a way that silences feminists and interrupts their participation in it. Also, it demonstrates that in colonial politics or, later, in the tense, drawn-out, multigenerational politics of shaping and reshaping the collective memory of colonial rule, the complexity of the dynamic between "women" and "the nation" is too easily erased in people's memory by a brand of nationalist discourse that sweeps colonized women's realities under the rug. In so doing, those who would control the discourse suppress feminists' distinct voices and interpretations.

Also, the current controversy about Kim Hwallan suggests analytical limitations of the two streams of international feminist research that concern the relationship between nationalism and women in the third world. One stream has focused on how nationalism is gendered, interrogating when and how nationalism conserves or reinforces indigenous patriarchy, especially by positioning "women as the guardian of ... continuity and immutability." (6) This valuable stream of feminist exploration into nationalism has revealed that most nationalist formulations have built on an implicit gendered ideology, one that has privileged and idealized masculinity and legitimated the subordination of women and existing gendered role models as natural or traditional. Feminist researchers charting this stream have shown how the bodies and moral values of colonized women have been symbolized by imperialists, making violations of colonized women the spark to ignite collective anger--and collective resistance--among the colonized. (7) Merging women with the nation, these feminists have contended, does not empower colonized women, but rather it results in the denial of women's multiple subjectivities and roles while it stymies colonized women when they seek to articulate gendered public issues and to mobilize politically to force men and women to address those issues during and after a colonial period. (8)

The second stream of feminist research has explored an alternative role for nationalism, one that has the potential to be far more energizing for colonized (and neocolonized) women. These feminist researchers have found evidence that even male-led nationalist anticolonialist movements for independence have in practice legitimized women's breaking out of their conventional domestic confinements and opened up spaces for them to play active roles in the public sphere. Simultaneously, the popularity of nationalism and broad nationalist mobilizations permitted at least some issues articulated by activist women, especially those spelled out in a way that underscores their compatibility with the dominant nationalist thinking, to gain new public attention and support. (9)

As valuable as both of these streams of feminist research into nationalism have been, however, neither has yet clearly articulated the complicated dynamics of nationalist post-colonial politics that serve to obscure those women's issues that might in fact challenge the dominant nationalist discourse and that thereby place local feminists in the uneasy position of criticizing the established brand of nationalism. There are two analytical problems: the former stream of feminist exploration does not pay sufficient attention to contemporary local feminist-inspired women's activism during the colonial era, while the latter stream of research underestimates the complexity of the long-term relationship between women and nationalism, especially the hostility that can be generated out of that complexity. Remembering Kim Hwallan locates the complexity between women and nationalism.

Kim Hwallan (Anglicized name, Helen Kim) was born in Incheon near Seoul in 1899 into a relatively modernized family. She had four older sisters, two older brothers, and one younger brother. Her mother, Pak Ttora, became a Christian and played an important role in Kim's later attaining an unusual educational achievement, becoming in 1931 the first female holder of a PhD in Korea. As an early advocate of Westernization and modernization through the adopted practice and institutions of Korean Christianity, (10) Pak Ttora was an enthusiastic promoter of her daughter's education. She invested special effort in her children's education regardless of their gender and despite her own financial troubles. She enrolled Kim's two sisters in the Ewha Girls School (Ewha Hak-dang) (11) in Seoul; Kim later also attended Ewha Girls School, which was very unusual for girls at the time. After graduating from Ewha School, Kim went to the U.S. to study at Wesleyan College in Ohio (1922-1924), where she earned her bachelor's degree. She then went on to Boston University for her master's degree in philosophy (1924-1925). Kim received a PhD in education at Columbia University (1930-1931). (12) For her Columbia dissertation, Kim chose to analyze the situation of rural Koreans in the 1920s; on the basis of this analysis, she drafted a plan for revitalizing rural Korean society by launching a new education system. (13)

In 1910, Ewha College was installed in Ewha Hak-dang. Even before leaving for the U.S., Kim had started teaching at Ewha Hak-dang. In 1926, after finishing her master's degree and before enrolling at Columbia for a doctoral degree, Kim became dean of Ewha College. Kim continued to work at Ewha from 1936 to 1939, first as acting president, and then, from 1939 to 1961, as its president. Under Kim's leadership, the college was transformed into Ewha Women's Professional School during World War II. Kim cooperated with the local Japanese military administration in keeping Ewha and its women students safe. Then in 1945, shortly after the defeat of Japan and the end of Japanese rule in Korea, Ewha, under Kim Hwallan, was transformed into a full-fledged university. Altogether, Kim had worked at Ewha for fifty years and had played perhaps the decisive role in making Ewha such an institutional force both in Korea and internationally. Currently, Ewha ranks as the world's largest all-female university.

When she was first teaching at Ewha Hak-dang in the late 1910s, Kim had a connection with an anti-Japanese underground organization, which itself was allied to what in 1919 Koreans called the 3.1 Movement. It was the most popular mass movement of Koreans working for national independence from Japanese colonial rule. (14) Later, in 1927, Kim was one of the leading founders of Kunwuhwoe, a women's national mass organization whose goal was to abolish the remaining Korean feudal practices and beliefs as well as colonial constraints. Kunwuhwoe was founded by socialist and nationalist women. Kim became actively involved in the movement's initial stage, serving as a representative of Protestant women's groups. She was the founding member of the Korean YWCA in 1922. (15) Soon after, she gave up her membership in Kunwuhwoe to protest what she saw as the socialist analyses and goals of the group leaders. (16)

After Korea's independence from Japan in 1945, Kim supported the country's pro-American regimes, which have been criticized as dictatorial, anti-Communistic, and militaristic. Kim was selected by the regime of President Rhee Sungman in 1948 to serve as a Korean delegate to the United Nations General Assembly meeting. Four years later, during the devastating Korean War (1950-1953), Kim, now in her fifties, was chosen by the Cold War--waging Seoul regime to serve as the government's director of the Office of Public Information. Outside of government, Kim became president of the daily newspaper, The Korea Times (1952), as well as vice-president of the Korean Red Cross (1955) and president of the Korean National Council of Women (1959). In those years, she was president at Ewha Womans University as well, until she retired in 1961. She won several prestigious awards, such as the Philippines' Ramon Magasaysay Award (1963) and the Korea Award (1963). Kim Hwallan was never married, and died in 1971 at the age of 72. (17)

The year 1999 marked the one hundredth anniversary of the birth of Kim Hwallan. In 1998, to celebrate the occasion, Ewha Womans University President Chang Sang announced several plans to commemorate Kim's centennial. One anniversary event would be the bestowing of a new "Kim Hwallan Award," including a cash prize of U.S. $50,000, to be given to a woman or a woman's organization anywhere in the world that represented outstanding achievement. (18) The celebration plan also included a commemorative concert, as well as a scholarly conference, an exhibition of Kim's own art collections, and a new series of scholarships for Ewha students.

These ambitious commemorative plans, particularly the Kim Hwallan Award, provoked harsh criticism and organized opposition. Those reactions, in turn, sparked heated controversy among Koreans not just about Kim Hwallan, but about all those Koreans who had made compromises with the Japanese colonial authorities to achieve their public objectives.

Korean critics of these centennial celebrations based their opposition on charges that Kim Hwallan had collaborated with Japanese militarists during the Japanese occupation of Korea (1910-1945), especially during its final phase, the years of World War II (1939-1945). South Korea's progressive media and many active nationalists claimed that during World War II, when Kim was president of Ewha Woman's College (later Ewha Womans University), she had encouraged, in her writings and lectures, Korean men and women to make sacrifices for Japan and for the Japanese war effort. In addition to voicing harsh criticism, some nationalists created a new organization designed specifically to prevent the creation of the Kim Hwallan Award. (19) At the extreme end of the critics' actions was a ceremony held in 1998, at the peak of the public outcry against Kim Hwallan, at which her effigy was set ablaze at the front gate of Ewha Womans University. (20) As a result of all this mobilized opposition, Ewha administrators first postponed the bestowing of the Kim Hwallan Award until 2001 and then, when 2001 arrived, took no steps to select an awardee. (21)

The controversy over remembering Kim Hwallan became a turning point of the anti-Japanism and anticolonialism movement in South Korea. Until the Kim Hwallan Award incident emerged, there had been no popular South Korean anticollaborator campaign. This reflects the unique history of decolonization in South Korea. Korea had been a unified monarchy called Chosun until 1910, when it was colonized by Japan. Japan's colonial rule lasted until the end of World War II. In 1945, Korea gained independence but was divided for the first time into South and North Korea. Out of these experiences and stories, members of South Korea's political elite and most ordinary citizens have derived a strong desire for survival as a nation, which remains a potent force in contemporary South Korean political culture. This widely shared desire has persuaded most South Koreans of the necessity of cultivating various forms of collective power: cultural, political, militaristic, and economic.

Today, six decades after the end of Japanese imperial rule, there persists a strong anti-Japanism that helps to sustain powerful Korean nationalism. In the aftermath of the devastating Korean peninsular war of the 1950s and throughout the turbulent 1960s, '70s, and '80s, anti-Japanism stayed alive in Korean popular and political culture, amidst frustrations, rapid industrialization, military rule, and a successful prodemocracy movement. However, there was no actual liquidation of pro-Japanese Koreans--for example, indictment, prosecution, or firing from public posts--in the years immediately following the end of Japanese rule. From 1945 to 1948, the U.S. military ruled South Korea directly. American policymakers made the calculated decision in the aftermath of the war to keep in power those pro-Japanese Koreans who had held posts under the Japanese in the late 1930s and early 1940s. They were more concerned with quelling what they deemed the Communist threat in Asia than with restoring Korean national integrity. (22) That is, many Koreans, mostly men, who had collaborated with the colonial authorities kept their state positions and the economic and political privileges that accompanied those posts. Even after U.S. military rule ended, there was no popular South Korean anticollaborator campaign, no publication of lists of pro-Japanese Koreans' names until the early 1990s. The lone exception was the work of nationalist historian Im Chongguk. (23) Regarding the absence of anticollaborator campaigns, I assume three reasons: first, the powerful public presence of collaborators; second, the urgency of ending thirty-two years of military rule and recovering democracy (an effort that continued until the 1980s); and third, the large amount of attention paid to anti-Japanism.

Two major issues regarding Japanese colonial history arose during the 1980s and '90s: the Korean comfort women and the Japanese national history textbook incidents. In the early 1990s, ignited by the confession of former comfort woman Kim Haksun, Korean feminists created a new social movement aimed at making known the stories of those Korean women who in the late 1930s and early 1940s had been forced into prostitution by the Japanese imperial army. It became known as the comfort women's movement, though many activists preferred to eschew the colonialists' euphemistic term and instead referred to these women as "sex slaves." Comfort women attracted widespread public attention and subsequent studies in South Korea. Within South Korea, in public, the Korean comfort women's movement mainly developed using the comfort women's revelations to reenergize nationalist anger by accusing the Japanese of barbarous crimes and demanding that the present Japanese civilian government make a formal acknowledgement of and apology for its atrocities in Korea, accompanied by proper monetary reparations. (24) Also, the idealization of Japanese colonialization in texts about Japanese national history has been a major issue among many South Koreans, who since the 1980s have been cautious of newly burgeoning Japanese imperialism.

The focus on the Japanese text writing and comfort women issues implies that until the late 1990s, collective memories of the colonial period mainly were directed to and filled up with blaming the Japanese and cautioning against their new imperial tendency, rather than seeking to reveal what pro-Japanese Koreans had done. Therefore, it is notable that debates about how to understand Kim Hwallan served to switch the popular focus from the Japanese to the pro-Japanese Koreans. Also, recent debates about Kim Hwallan's role in the 1930s and '40s were sparked by, and then became enmeshed with, the intense dynamics of the nationalist politics surrounding the issue of comfort women during the 1990s.

Sparked by the Kim Hwallan controversy and the amendment of Korean history (and the process's very visible expression), the "liquidation" movement, aimed at any Korean men and women, living or dead, who could be charged with pro-Japanese activities, grew during 1998 and 1999 into one of the country's most popular national projects. In 1999, ten thousand college professors signed a petition to support the plan to publish a name dictionary of Koreans charged with having been pro-Japanese. In December 2001, 1,850 people and 185 organizations founded T'ongilsidae Minjok Munhwa Chaedan (National Culture Foundation for a Unified Nation). On the same day, the foundation held its first national hearing to create the list of pro-Japanese Koreans, which ultimately would be published as the intended dictionary. (25) In 2001, the government itself allocated public funding in its annual budget to pay for the project.

Publishing the dictionary became a hotly contested issue in the wake of a substantial budget cut announced by the cabinet in the National Assembly (26) in January 2004. (27) With government funding in doubt, the nongovernmental Minjok Munjeonguso (Institute for National Matters) and Ohmynews, the increasingly popular Internet newspaper, stepped in and launched their own campaign to raise money for the naming project. This campaign immediately attracted broad Korean media attention, as well as wide support among South Korean citizens, most of whom had never personally experienced Japanese colonial rule. In less than eleven days, the campaign attracted U.S $500,000, more than the fundraisers themselves had hoped for. (28)

Any attempts to interrupt the fundraising were heavily criticized. Responding to public opinion, President Roh Muhyun and his cabinet members accepted the privately devised fundraising proposal written by the Institute for National Matters. Leaders of Minjudang, then the opposition party, also officially joined the campaign.

Answering the public outcry, on March 2, 2004, the National Assembly passed "The Law to Investigate Pro-Japanese Activity," proposed by the National Assembly Meeting for National Righteous Spirit. With 163 out of 271 legislators attending, 151 voted in favor of the bill. (29) Accompanied by a strongly worded promise from President Roh that he would support the creation of a parliamentary truth-finding commission to delve into unsolved historical matters, including pro-Japanese activities, (30) the liquidation movement's power was enhanced. In late 2004, a newly revised and stronger version of "The Law to Investigate Pro-Japanese Activity" was pending in the National Assembly. At the same time, the media continues to unearth what are being treated as scandalous revelations about the allegedly pro-Japanese activities of parents of some of the country's most powerful current politicians. (31)

In the process, remembering Kim Hwallan has allowed no alternative views. In its editorials, the progressive newspaper Hankyoreh (32) offered its opinion on the controversy over Kim Hwallan:
  There is nothing more shameful for an intellectual than collaborating
  with colonial rule in a lifetime. It is absolutely nonsense to think
  that achievement in certain aspects by taking advantage of being
  president at a university would compensate for the fatal mistake like
  betraying a nation. (33)

This kind of thinking, at least in public, has never been challenged; it seemingly never even needed to be negotiated. However, three things remain unclear as one is asked to agree with the dominant discourse in remembering Kim Hwallan. First, it is hard for us today to understand how she saw herself--that is, what personal identity she was fashioning-from the 1920s until 1945, when she simultaneously advocated on behalf of Korean women, whom she saw as oppressed, and seemingly benefited from a colonized process of modernization. That is, did she see herself in those years as an oppressed woman or as one of the "lucky ones"? Second, was insuring the safety of Ewha the only reason to cooperate with the Japanese regime? Third, and closely related, was the recognition of the dichotomy between being an anti-Japanese Korean and being a pro-Japanese Korean as crystal clear in, say, 1940, as it is today?

Kim has been charged with encouraging, in her writings and lectures, Korean men and women to make sacrifices for Japan and for the Japanese war effort. She wrote,
  There is [a] drumming up for student soldiers to take up arms for
  [the] country. You will leave for [the] frontlines marching in high
  spirits. Leave with no worries. We women will take care of everything
  on the home front. It would be the first time for you to feel the real
  meaning of life after being born as a man. The world lies all before
  student soldiers. You have a divine mission to devote your bodies to
  the state. (34)

The choice Kim Hwallan made during Korea's Japanese-ruled wartime has been popularly understood as flowing from her prioritizing women's education over national liberation. After the end of Japanese colonial rule, the formal explanations Kim herself and Ewha's leaders provided for her cooperation with wartime Japanese officials were, first, that she had sacrificed her own integrity to keep Ewha alive and, second, that given the thorough domination exercised by Japanese imperialists, cooperation was unavoidable. (35) In her autobiography written in 1965, Kim wrote,
  Once in a while, I as president of Ewha College was coerced into
  making a quite serious speech. I read the prepared notes in Japanese,
  which had been checked out by Japanese officials. My movements were
  carefully watched and reported to the upper level authorities in
  detail. The Japanese government dispatched a person to prepare my
  speech notes. The speech was about getting students to understand the
  goal of [the] Pacific War being waged on behalf of Japan and to
  cooperate with the Japanese government. Whenever I had to say words at
  odds with my own intention, it was pure torture for me. (36)

Kang Chongsuk, a feminist historian, has been left unpersuaded. Kang argues that Ewha was not worth the betrayal of the nation. (37) Furthermore, Kang and others contend that the degree of the enforcement did not extend to a death threat. (38) According to Kang, in this conflict between "national interests" and "gender interests," feminists have recognized the necessity of choosing "national interests" over mere "gender interests." (39)

Also, Kim Hwallan emphasized her gendered ways of thinking about contemporary Korean national concerns. For example, Kim describes an episode when even her close friends advised her to give up Ewha because she and the women's college might be perceived as pro-Japanese, as playing into Japanese hands. Looking back, Kim writes: "I know my friends' concern and advice could be right. However, I could not give up Ewha, because I had been in charge of Ewha; it is I who had known the history of Ewha and inner lives of Ewha.... I had a strong conviction in myself." (40) At first glance, Kim's justification for staying on as head of Ewha is a reasonable explanation. Kim and other Korean advocates of women's empowering looked back at several centuries of Korean society's domination by a very orthodox Confucian system. These intellectual women, most of them influenced by their own Westernized education, believed that institutionalizing women's education was the surest way to overcome the daunting discriminations against women. Historian Yi Paeyong contends that these reformers' ability to progress toward establishing women's education during the years of Japanese colonial rule should be seen as a major achievement. (41) The continued rarity of higher educational institutions for women also explains Kim Hwallan's insistence in keeping Ewha College in operation, even in wartime. Very few Korean women enjoyed opportunities for higher education under Japanese colonial rule. In 1937 only 14.3% of Korean girls (compared to 46.7% of boys) had a chance to enroll even in elementary school. (42) For decades after its founding in 1910, the same year Japan asserted its power over Korea, Ewha stood almost alone as a college admitting a hundred women students each academic year, until Sookmyung Women's College opened in 1939. (43)

It is not clear, however, whether Kim Hwallan really thought that her gendered concern for women's advancement actually was at odds with the Korean nationalist goals of the day. New studies of Kim Hwallan indicate that she cooperated with Japanese militarists not only forcefully but also voluntarily. (44) There is evidence that she willingly cooperated with Japanese militarists during the World War II era. An American-trained male educator, Yun Chiho, who served as a mentor to Kim, wrote in his diary that by the late 1930s Kim had become dissatisfied with the arrogant U.S.-centered management practices of American missionaries working in Korea and had outspokenly challenged them. (45) As soon as Japan formally went to war with the United States, Japanese imperial officials imposed restrictions on these American missionaries' powerful Korean presence. These Japanese colonial restrictions, while meeting objectives not pursued by Kim, would not have been unwelcomed by her. Furthermore, as Japanese authorities during the late 1930s began constricting the American missionaries' activities, more leadership roles opened for Koreans, including the running of the institutions that the missionaries had established. In 1939, Kim became the first Korean president in an American missionary school.

It is unclear whether Kim's own conflicts with American missionaries and her growing disillusionment with their Western-centered arrogance inclined her to support Japanese imperialists' greater Asia plan. However, Kim Hwallan certainly was not alone in her intensifying critique of the American missionaries' condescending attitudes. Yun Chiho, who had become an educated leader in 1930s Korea, joined Kim in expressing great revulsion toward Western arrogance. He became a believer in the greater Asia plan, whose Japanese architects described as having one state (Japan) with multiple nations, each enjoying equality. (46) In a global context of competing hegemonies, local thinkers and activists can find themselves choosing the lesser of evils.

Lee Hae Joung and Ye Chisuk portray Kim Hwallan as a nationalist feminist who strongly believed in promoting public contributions by women toward the patriotic efforts of the day, even if those efforts served to strengthen the ruling regime. In her articles written in the 1920s and '30s, before the war began, Kim's nationalistic idea was not that clear. She was more concerned with revaluing women's mothering roles as social roles and claiming the social responsibility of educated women. Also, she tried to prove how much women could contribute to society, rather than engaging with issues such as free marriage (marriage without the intervention of parents), early marriage, or women's property ownership, which were popular issues challenging residual feudalistic cultural and legal matters in the 1920s. She presented the necessity of women's education by arguing that educated women would be conducive to good families and would work for preserving and developing Korean culture, which were good for the state and the nation. She wrote, "It is not possible to achieve [a] happy and peaceful world without women leaders, as we cannot imagine a happy family without mother.... Raising children is not about keeping house or taking care of children. It is [a] more serious responsibility.... Keeping house should be elevated to the level of keeping society or social affairs." (47) "Enlightened women should work for ignorant rural women in [the] home and society." (48) Always, Kim Hwallan's underlying points were that women were not unevenly isolated individuals; they were, like men, subjects of the state and members of nations.

Kim Hwallan's ideological tendencies became clearer in 1942, when she publicly welcomed the new Japanese regime's decision to conscript Korean men into the imperial army. This was at a time when the American, British, and French governments were enlisting their colonized men into their military forces. While in her autobiography she did not acknowledge an enthusiastic willingness to ask Korean men and women to join the war, circumstantial evidence and her writings suggest that she may have thought joining the war or being a subject to the military was the assured way of getting full citizenship, which in many countries past and present has been a typical strategy employed by many members of marginalized groups, whether ethnic, racial, gendered, or sexual. (49) Regarding Japanese conscription of Koreans, Kim insisted, "Now we get a chance to fulfill the greatest responsibility as a member of the state. By fulfilling the responsibility, we will be honored as a member of Great Japan." (50)

Yi Sonok contends that at the time--the late 1930s--several Korean women leaders dreamed of gaining equal citizenship both through cultivating women's potential status as militarized mothers of soldiers and by contributing as home-front wartime workers. Every article Kim wrote during these years flowed out of her belief in the effectiveness and reasonableness of this empowerment strategy for women living in a patriarchal state. Welcoming conscription, Kim Hwallan wrote, "Until recently, married women of Chosun kept hiding from [the] public stage and being silent.... From now [on], I want men and women, as two pillars of the society, to unite and cooperate for the integration between Japanese and Chosun people with a nationalistic perspective." (51) Kim Hwallan saw the outbreak of the Pacific war as the chance to take women out of their restrictive private sphere and bring them to the more potentially liberating public sphere. (52)

Kim Hwallan's presumptions at the time did not seem so different from those of most Korean nationalists. In the 1920s, she became involved in Kunwuhoe, the unified women's front between Korean nationalists and socialist activist women. In 1928, however, Kim became disenchanted with what she saw as the leftist leadership of Kunwuhoe and so resigned from the organization. (53) During the next decade, she participated in the movement for the development of a national community more rooted in Korea's agricultural identity. (54) This was a political journey many Korean nationalists took. During the colonial 1920s, they sought to craft Korea's own form of independence. However, in the early 1930s, they began to join the movement initiated by the Japanese government, in the name of the development of the agricultural community. From the middle of the 1930s, those Korean nationalists openly cooperated with Japanese officials and their policies in Korea. Furthermore, Kim's religious sect, the Korean Methodist Church, was the group that cooperated most eagerly with Japanese authorities. For instance, the Methodist Church sought to cope with Japanese colonial authorities' efforts to compel Koreans to pay deference to the divine imperial emperor, while many other Christians refused them. (55) Kim Hwallan was an active member, and Yun Chiho, Kim Hwallan's mentor, in fact, was the godfather of the church. (56)

New studies by Korean scholars reveal that the division between Korean pro-Japanism and Korean anti-Japanism was far from dichotomous during the '30s and '40s. The length of occupation itself should serve as a warning flag for any observer tempted to see a Korean colonial and wartime political and cultural landscape characterized merely by exploitation vs. resistance. That is, the realities of living and making daily choices (of interpretation and of action) under foreign militarized occupation are far more discursive than such a simple dichotomy suggests. It was (and some places, still is) a reality marked by countless and diverse interactions between imperialistic colonial ruling and colonized people. In a fresh attempt, historian Yun Haedong suggests that we should recognize the existence of a "gray area"--neither black nor white--when we look back and try to understand colonial time. (57) According to him, the effectiveness of the disciplining power wielded by the colonizers depended on at least minimal cooperation by the colonized. Yun also suggests that these processes of cooperation could proceed along several paths of ideological and practical persuasion, of acceptance and assimilation. (58) In the 1930s, Korean capitalists outnumbered Japanese capitalists in the Korean economy. Some of those Koreans were even involved in owning and managing the munitions industry, whose products helped to equip the modernized Japanese imperial army. Simultaneously, Japanese were gaining influence over lower-level Korean landowners and bourgeois and convincing many of these Korean men that their agricultural and commercial enterprise would profit from the creation of a Japan-led greater Asia. Nor were Korea's nationalist intellectuals immune from the seductiveness of this militarized imperial project. (59) In fact, by the middle of the 1930s many leading nationalists had become convinced that the greater Asia plan would serve Korea's own interests. (60) Im Chongguk, another male historian, agrees: "The absolute majority of pro-Japanese Koreans were not passive but active. After [the] Manchu war and [the] Japan-China war, the absolute majority of them believed in the greater Asia plan and dreamed of Korea's honorary future as a member of [the] Japan nation." (61) Kim Chaeyong has also joined in, insisting that pro-Japanese Koreans cooperated with the Japanese militarists not because they were coerced to do so but because they became convinced of the benefits to Korea of the greater Asia plan. (62)

In this context, it certainly is possible to conclude that in the late 1930s Kim sympathized with the greater plan as only a realistic formula to insure the Korean nation's future and the good of women. If, indeed, this was Kim's assessment, it would have jibed with her strategy as a women's school president for keeping Ewha alive. In this, Kim was, like many male Korean nationalists of her generation, convinced that achieving real citizenship in Japan would be better for sustaining a Korean nation. That is, Kim and many of her male contemporaries made national prosperity their chief measure of relative nationalist success, not imagining, given the world power system of the 1930s, that full Korean sovereignty was a meaningful nationalist measure of success. Looking at Kim Hwallan through this more nuanced frame, one can still critique her willingness to nurture militarism for the sake of girls' access to education. But employing this more realistic frame, the dichotomy between resistance and betrayal begins to look rather simplistic.

Also, the sudden strong emergence of the current popular movement to investigate and classify allegedly pro-Japanese Koreans and their activities during Japanese colonization served to sharpen individual and collective memories of the past colonial era, unclarified until then. In rearranging memories, the newly created, concretely framed, and fixed dichotomy between anti-Japanese Koreans and pro-Japanese Koreans provided a perspective from which people could make their memory selections. At the same time, this 1990s movement infused Koreans' nationalistic sentiments with greater salience and heightened their sense of caution in dealing with possible present-day aggression by neighboring countries. Changed memories change people's sense of the present.

Above all, memory struggles are very gendered. Women collaborators receive disproportionate public attention because of assumptions about femininity. When in 2002 members of the Korean National Assembly revealed their list of names of those Koreans whom they alleged had collaborated with the Japanese colonial authorities, the Korean national weekly magazine, News Maker, reported as follows:
  One day before March 1, 2002, National Assembly men and women in the
  ins and the outs, participating in [the] "Congressional Meeting for
  National Righteous Spirit," revealed lists of 708 pro-Japanese
  Koreans. (63) On the list, there were a large number of leaders from
  the Korean fields of literature, society, religion and media, such as
  the first female PhD, Kim Hwallan, and the famous woman poet, Mo
  Yunsuk. (64)

In fact, including Kim Hwallan on the list was a point of controversy among congressional representatives right up until the end of the legislature's heated debate. (65) Yet in the media's own presentation, she became the leading figure on the list. Furthermore, the overwhelming majority of the 708 names put on the list were names of Korean men; six were women. The public discourse today focusing on the few women on this list is strikingly out of proportion with their small percentage (less than 1%) in the total. Even though the earlier attempt by Ewha Womans University officials to establish a "Kim Hwallan Award" provided the media with a reason for picking her name out among the list of 708, Kim's fame and her symbolic value also may have proved to the magazine's editors a very useful tool for popularizing the current nationalist movement's goal of exposing and thus destroying the reputations of those Koreans allegedly guilty of being pro-Japanese. The media inserted Kim Hwallan and other women collaborators into almost every article they published about pro-Japanese Koreans. For instance, introducing an exhibition devoted to pro-Japanese Koreans' activities organized by the Institute of National Matters, the journalist for the Hankyoreh Daily writes:
  In the exhibition, at one glance, you can notice what happened at the
  time. There [was] a new-year card written by Pang Ungmo, former
  president of Chosun Daily, to communicate with Japanese imperial press
  members; an article written for Maeil Daily on December 25, 1943, by
  Kim Hwallan, the former president of Ewha Womans University, to "Let
  women participate in the Pacific War"; and an autographic letter of
  Song Pyongjun, organizer of Ilchinhoe, (66) [calling for] praise [of
  the] Japanese Emperor. There was a noticeable poem of No Ch'onmyong, a
  poet, famous for her poem "Deer." It was written [to ask] Korean women
  mobilized for repairing soldiers' uniforms to have war preparedness
  and enthusiastic patriotism. (67)

Similarly, the Internet newspaper, Ohmynews, carries an article with the title "All Christians! Let's erase hymns written by Chu Yohan and Kim Hwallan." Kim Hwallan wrote lyrics to a couple of hymns included in a formal book of Christian hymns. (68) It would appear that this decision to give disproportionate media space to pro-Japanese women served to heighten the sensational nature of the revelations of collaboration. For instance, We Are Subjects of the Japanese Emperor (2003) profiles forty pro-Japanese, three of which are women: Kim Hwallan, Choi Sunghi and Pae Chongja. The publishers designed the book cover portraying two of those three women. The cover displays a total of just eight portraits of pro-Japanese Koreans. The largest picture (more than three times larger than those of the other seven) is of Choi Sunghi, a famous Korean dancer who was forced to dance for Japanese war-support events. A photograph of Kim Hwallan occupies the very center of the cover. The remaining six male portraits are hard to identify. The majority of the pro-Japanese males inside the book were in the ruling class and were decision-makers of Japanese colonial regime, which implies more responsibility and deeper involvement. However, the book's cover art, with its disproportionate representation of gender, depends not on what degree the subjects were involved in pro-Japanism but on how much popular attention the book cover could receive.

There is another example for this gendered sensationalism. By contrast to Kim Hwallan, Paek Nakchun, the male former president of Korea's prominent Yonsei University, (69) managed to keep a low public profile in the liquidation process, despite his being equivalent to Kim Hwallan in many aspects. Paek was the first PhD (from Yale) in Korea, first president of Yonsei University (1957), and a leader of Korean Christians during the Japanese occupation era. Paek's intellectual collaboration with the occupation authorities took the form of several articles and lectures he published on behalf of Japanese militarists during the war. Paek's collaboration took almost exactly the same form as Kim's. Paek then worked as Minister of Education under the Rhee regime (1951) and became active in Korea's anti-Communism campaign. (70) Officers of Yonsei University, like their Ewha counterparts, have taken steps to publicly commemorate their former president. For instance, in 1995 they proposed building a statue of Paek, founding an Institute for Commemorating Yongjae (Paek's popular pen name), and establishing a "Yongjae Award." (71) However, Yonsei University faced no serious public nationalist criticism for its commemoration of Paek. Regarding this discrepancy, Kim Minchol, head of the research division of the Institute for National Matters, explains that he and allies did not notice the creation of the Yongjae Award at the time. The reason they noticed the Kim Hwallan Award, according to Kim Minchol, is that Ewha made it a big occasion. This explanation is reasonable, not because it is persuasive that Yonsei's plan was less ambitious than Ewha's, but because the public name value of Kim Hwallan was far greater than that of Paek Nakchun in contemporary Korean national culture. This, I think, is revealing of the gendered patriarchal character of current Korean nationalist discourse. Those few female intellectuals publicly active in the 1920s and '30s enjoyed fame because of their rarity. The rarity of women intellectuals and the media and congressional representatives' use of women collaborators as representative of pro-Japanese Koreans create the simplified impression that renowned women intellectuals in the decades ranging from the 1920s through the 1940s were collaborators. On the other hand, those Korean men who cooperated with the Japanese occupation authorities were just individuals, and did not represent most Korean male intellectuals of the period.

Also, women's overrepresentation leaves a clear impression that colonial women intellectuals bear equal responsibility with male collaborators for the colonial traumas Koreans suffered. Kim Hwallan and other pro-Japanese women have been blamed for encouraging Korean men and women in their writings and lectures to make sacrifices for Japan and for the Japanese war effort--especially Kim Hwallan's newspaper writings urging Korean men to answer the draft, which were the most often quoted in relation to revelations of pro-Japanese activities. The focus on Kim Hwallan as a representative of pro-Japanese Koreans obscures the fact that at the time women were the most voiceless and oppressed minority and could belong to no kind of decision-making process. The Japanese imperial regime allowed only the participation of some Korean men. Also, the sensationalistic nature of women's involvement did not fairly reflect who made and implemented the decisions, and who benefited from them.

Furthermore, with South Korea's attention drawn to the comfort women issue during the 1990s, the emphasis on two women's encouragement of the participation of women in the Japanese war effort put a spotlight on colonial women intellectuals' responsibility in the matter. Professor Hwang Sangik of Seoul National University writes,
  National leaders, national press members, national educators and
  national poets such as Ch'oe Namson, Lee Kwangsu, Pang Ungmo, Kim
  Songsu, Kim Hwallan, So Chongju and Mo Yunsuk insisted [on
  eradicating] the U.S. and Britain. Also, most of them asked men of
  Chosun to join the war as volunteer soldiers or student soldiers and
  women of Chosun to be comfort women for world peace. (72)

Cho Hyonjae, researcher from the Institute of National Matters, makes this critical remark: "Ambitiously, Ewha University is planning to make the Award of Kim Hwallan a women's Nobel prize, while she forced draftees to join the army and labor forces, [and] women to be comfort women." (73) In fact, Kim Hwallan did not incite women to be comfort women. She encouraged only men to answer the draft. For women, as wives, mothers, and sisters of drafted soldiers and as subjects of the Japanese emperor, she asked them to take full responsibility for the home front. There was not a single mention of comfort women or even women labor forces working at factories, who have been called Kunlo Chongsindae, similar to Chongsindae, the popular name for comfort women. (74) However, writers Hwang Sangik and Cho Hyonjae believe in Kim Hwallan's involvement in the comfort women issue. The Ewha University student newspaper made a statement representing students: "At the time, Kim Hwallan was a leader who had such a huge influence on people that she inspired them to join conscription and Chongsindae (comfort women troops)." (75) On the Internet, the myth of Kim Hwallan's active involvement with comfort women has morphed into a commonly accepted "fact." A Google search easily brings up an article that connects Kim Hwallan to comfort women. Opinions like these surface:
  However, how many people would know Kim Hwallan sent many women to be
  comfort women? How many people would know she suppressed women in the
  national independence movement?

  If the woman were a comfort woman, we could not hit her with a stone.
  However, if the woman were a pro-Japanese Korean? If the woman were
  Kim Hwallan, who forced her students to join to be comfort women? If
  so, Jesus would not forgive her. (76)

Interestingly, not a single comment corrects the false allegation about the comfort women link, suggesting that readers of those opinions take them as fact. I assume frequently cited titles of her newspaper articles, such as "Conscription and Women's Resolution in Peninsula?" (77) and "To Be Enough to Win Men," (78) create the impression that Kim had some responsibility in the comfort women issue. Comfort women were the only women in Korea to have engaged in war activities. During wartime, there was a campaign to recruit Kunlo Chongsindae, the women labor forces working at factories. Therefore, Kim Hwallan's request to women to answer conscription leads to the confused assumption that Kim incited women to join Chongsindae to be comfort women. Even I had thought so, until I read the content of Kim's articles carefully. The false belief in a tight connection between women intellectuals and the most heartbreaking traumas in colonial history can create a popular assumption of the women's huge responsibility and suppress legitimate alternative views about these women collaborators.

Furthermore, it is not just about the reputation of Kim Hwallan. After 1998, Ewha as an institution became the focal point of several public controversies. These, in turn, challenged Ewha's prestigious status in South Korea's political life. (79) One master's degree student in women's studies at Ewha remembers, "It was awful. When the Kim Hwallan controversy broke out, our school home page on the Internet broke down because of the overwhelming number of mails. All of them were criticizing and blaming Ewha and Kim Hwallan for being a pro-Japanese Korean, using all those unspeakable bad words." (80) Chong Hijin noticed in 1998 that "the Internet sites related to Ewha had become filled up with brutal attacks against Kim Hwallan and cynical comments about the present-day Ewha community. On the Internet you were only allowed to say bad things about Kim Hwallan as pro-Japan collaborator." (81) Donga Weekly confirmed that there was a double-targeted barrage underway, aimed not only at Kim but now at Ewha and even its present-day students and alumnae: "Ewha University has been unlimitedly attacked on [the] Internet. So many angry male netizens (82) have been pouncing upon and carpet-bombing one women's university. There has been no sign of let-up in this bombardment on Ewha University, which began last month." (83)

This anti-Ewha campaign also apparently grew out of Ewha women graduates' recent public challenge to Korea's military merit system. Until 1999, South Korean young men who had completed their compulsory male-only military service were automatically awarded extra points if they took the public civil service exam. On December 29, 1999, in responding to the Constitutional petition of Ewha women graduates and disabled men, the Constitutional Court handed down a judgment that declared that the merit system for male veterans taking the civil service exam was unconstitutional because it systematically discriminated against women and men who do not qualify for the military service. The Constitutional Court's judgment provoked anger among many South Korean men. According to Donga Weekly, the Kim Hwallan Award provided a convenient opportunity to legitimize these men's anger against Ewha students, especially those Ewha women, whom at least some of these male conscripts and veterans saw as the cause of the court's decision. (84) By linking Kim Hwallan's alleged collaboration with the Japanese colonial rule with Ewha's celebration of Kim Hwallan, these men confidently had stoked their anger by portraying Ewha students as not only selfish but also anti-nationalistic.

Chang Sang, then-president of Ewha, was nominated for prime minister in 2002. This was the first time in the five-decade-long postwar period that a South Korean woman had been nominated to be either president or prime minister. Yet during a heated National Assembly hearing on her nomination, her plan to create the Kim Hwallan Award was attacked by assembly members. It was held up as evidence to prove Chang Sang was unqualified to serve as the country's prime minister. Based on the evidence, Yu Simin, (85) one of South Korea's most influential progressive politicians, joined in the criticism of the nomination, claiming that Chang Sang (86) had a distorted historical perspective on Korea's twentieth-century historical experience.

The responses from Korean feminists and women's movement organizations to the multithreaded Kim Hwallan incident were fragmented. Nationalistic women's movement organizations and nationalist feminists were critical of Ewha's president for creating the award. Ewha's Democratic Alumni Association and its Ewha student body representative declared in 1998 that they did not agree with the creation of the award. On the other hand, they also said that they understood Kim's choice as unavoidable, given the constraints existing during the colonial era. (87) At the same time, the Korean Council for the Women Drafted for Military Sexual Slavery by Japan (a group created in the 1990s to support former "comfort women"), headed by two former Ewha professors, Yun Chongok and Yi Hyojae, decided to go so far as to call for repealing the award. (88) In addition, a well-known feminist, Koun Kwangsun, also an Ewha alumna, joined in the public criticism of the award, saying,
  People are trying to excuse [pro]-Japan activities of Kim Hwallan,
  ascribing it to her "helpless circumstantial situation." However, it
  is like supporting a weak and opportunistic intellectual who has been
  accustomed to [the] hegemonic discourse of rulers and [the] discarded
  roles of intellectuals, who were not supposed to be silent even [in a
  hopeless] situation. (89)

These critics were not alone among feminists in joining the national controversy set off in 1998. These splits among Korean feminists reveal, I believe, how tricky it is for feminists in any country to navigate the shoals of nationalist discourse and the continuing contest to control collective memories of colonial rule and foreign occupation. Thus, at the same time that nationalist-oriented Korean feminists were adding fuel to the anticollaborator campaign, other Korean feminists were voicing caution and concern about the campaign's target of Kim Hwallan. Diverse opinions at Ewha were introduced in the school's student press. Even though the student representative body was critical of the award, feminist professors tried to explain the purpose of the award. (90) Lee Sangwha, professor in philosophy at Ewha, argued,
  The award was not made in the name of nationalism. The theme of the
  commemoration was for women's education and the progress of Ewha in
  the twenty-first century. Therefore, we need to develop a different
  perspective from [that of] men, whose evaluation [depends] on
  nationalism. We need to see her as a women's leader or teacher. (91)

Chang Pilwha, professor in Women's Studies at Ewha, insisted that the comfort women movement originated in the 1990s at Ewha, (92) and that it was Kim Hwallan who had made Ewha a center for awareness of women's empowerment. (93)

A year later, in 1999, with the controversy still heated, an academic conference to memorize Kim Hwallan was held at Ewha to recognize the one hundredth anniversary of Kim's birth. Most of the conference panelists were Ewha faculty members, though a couple of renowned feminist scholars not related to Ewha also participated. Their participation appeared to be a political gesture to underscore their commitment to Kim Hwallan as worthy of commemoration, not just because Ewha's faculty thought so but because there was a wider agreement that this was a legitimate stance to take. However, most of these non-Ewha panelists seemed deliberately to avoid the controversy by staying silent on their opinion of Kim Hwallan. In a conference session devoted to Kim Hwallan's relationship to women's modern education, Kang Chongsuk did speak critically of both Kim Hwallan and Ewha's current attempt to commemorate her. However, in a subsequent interview with the author, Kang recollected that no other feminist scholar in this session--even those on the Ewha faculty--spoke out in defense of Kim Hwallan. (94) Thus feminist silence was as notable in the Kim Hwallan controversy as any actual speaking out.

Even though some opinions defending Kim Hwallan or Ewha's creation of a Kim Hwallan Award were openly expressed in the Ewha student press and at other sessions during the 1999 conference, the majority of Korean feminists and women's movement organizations adopted a political strategy of silence. Not a single article related to Kim Hwallan in Korea's several national newspapers was contributed by a feminist writer. A feminist scholar, Chong Hijin, (95) explained this remarkable feminist silence:
  Right now, feminists will not speak out on the controversy over Kim
  Hwallan. There is a taboo stronger than even South Korean's
  red-complex. (96) Therefore, even though some people call the
  controversy over Kim Hwallan a discourse war, there are no feminists
  talking and there seems no weapon (in what could be a defending
  discourse) for it. (97)

This silence has sprouted over more than the Kim controversy. The South Korean state's recently launched truth-finding project for reinterpreting national history evoked not a single article in a Korean national newspaper written by a woman identifiable as a feminist or by a staff member of any of South Korea's many women's movement organizations.

Why have Korean feminists been so silent? Is it mainly because most Korean feminists are stymied by the prospect of assigning equal weight to Kim's educational achievement and to her apparent collaboration with Japanese authorities? The silence could imply they are joining the nationalist chorus heaping scorn on Kim Hwallan by not openly defending her. However, my own sense is that in a society where anti-Japanism is a moral value and criticizing pro-Japanese Koreans appears to be common sense, these feminists' silence can rather be seen as a political act, a passive gesture against nationalist accusations of Kim Hwallan. As a minority where gender discrimination prevails in every sector of society, it is easy to understand why feminists seem uncomfortable protesting the denunciation of Kim Hwallan, because she now occupies such a salient space in colonial and postcolonial women's history. Another reason for keeping silent--and for us to see their silence as a political act--is that no matter how they evaluate Ewha as an institution, Korean feminists cannot dismiss Kim Hwallan, since the connection between her and Ewha Womans University is so clear.

However, this seemingly indecisive public position on Kim Hwallan has deepened as the current controversy over the truth-finding project to name collaborators has progressed. As Chong Hijin points out, feminists have helped to paint themselves into this silent corner by their own failure to create and offer the Korean public an alternative interpretation. This failure could imply that feminists have nothing distinctive to offer in the construction of the collective memory.

In this article I try to show that the complicated line between "women" and "the nation" is too easily erased by supporters if a brand of nationalist discourse sweeps away colonized women's realities. Remembering Kim Hwallan in all of her complexity reveals how collective memory of a colonial era utilizes gender for a nationalistic construction in a way that silences feminists and interrupts their participation in it. Also, it shows that the complicated relationship between women and nationalism shapes not only current politics but also memories that lead and direct the lives, desires, and practices of people now and in the future. In constructing collective memory, it is never easy to present alternative gender views in relation to a colonial age, given the domineering power of nationalism and the lack of feminists' languages and discourses.


1. The concept of collective memory as it has been developed in the West encompasses the growing interest in history from below and reflects on how a nation confronts controversial events in the past, such as World War II, Nazism and the Holocaust, and the Pacific War. George Mosse, Fallen Soldiers: Reshaping the Memory of the World Wars (New York: Oxford University Press, 1990). Saul Friedlander, Memory, History and the Extermination of the Jews of Europe (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1993). James Young, Writing and Rewriting the Holocaust: Narrative and the Consequence of Interpretation (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1988). Carol Gluck, "The Past in the Present," in Postwar Japan as History, ed. Andrew Gordon (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1993), 64-98.

2. Carol Gluck, "The Past in the Present," 65.

3. John R. Gillis, "Introduction," in Commemorations: The Politics of National Identity, ed. John R. Gillis (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1994), 3.

4. Chihyon Im, "Introduction," in Struggles for Memory and History (Seoul: Samin Press, 2002), 3.

5. Chihyon Im, "Introduction," 3.

6. George L. Mosse, Nationalism and Sexuality: Respectability and Abnormal Sexuality in Modern Europe (New York: Howard Fertig, 1985), 18.

7. Ann McClintock, Imperial Leather: Race, Gender and Sexuality in the Colonial Contest (New York: Routledge, 1995); Cynthia Enloe, The Morning After: The Sexual Politics at the End of the Cold War (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1993), 228-251. Eusil Kim, "National Discourse and Women, for Critical Reading of Culture, Power and Subjectivity," Korean Women's Studies 10 (1994): 18-52.

8. Partha Chatterjee, "Colonialism, Nationalism, and Colonialized Women: The Context in India," American Ethnologists 16 (1989): 622-33. Chungmoo Choi, "Nationalism and Construction of Gender in Korea," in Dangerous Women: Gender and Korean Nationalism, ed. Elaine H. Kim and Chungmoo Choi (New York: Routledge, 1997), 9-32.

9. Kyongil Kim, "Women's Education and New Women of Colonized Chosun," in New Women, ed. Okp'yo Mun (Seoul: Ch'ongnyonsa, 2004). Kyung-Ai Kim, "Nationalism, an Advocate of, or a Barrier to, Feminisms in South Korea," Women's Studies International Forum 19 (1996), 65-74.

10. Even though Christianity was a patriarchal religion in a Western context, some Korean women found a liberating discourse within it: men and women were equal under God. Korean women reformers found they could use this discourse to attack Confucianism's naturalization of an unequal relationship between men and women. Also, Christian organizations played important roles in promoting women's education.

11. Ewha Hak-dang was built for women's higher education, but there was no clear demarcation between high school and college until Ewha College was formally installed in Ewha Hak-dang.

12. Helen Kim, The Small Life in the Light: Autobiography of Uwol Kim Hwallan (Seoul: Ewha Womans University Press, 1999), 56-74.

13. Myong-Suk Lee, "A Study on Educator Helen Kim: Centering around the 1930s" (ME thesis, Seoul National University, 1985).

14. Helen Kim, The Small Life, 56-74. Chongsuk Kang, "Pro-Japanese Activities among Female Celebrities," in Pro-Japanese Korean History Focusing on Individuals (Seoul: Yoksa Pip'yongsa, 1993).

15. Chongok Kim, My Aunt Kim Hwallan (Seoul: Chongusa, 1998), 66-68.

16. History Section of Korean Women's Institute, Korean Women's History, Modern Era (Seoul: Pulbit Press, 1992), 154-177.

17. Chongok Kim, My Aunt, 208-14.

18. Hankyoreh Daily, October 15,1998.

19. It is called "The Cooperate Head Quarter for the Movement to Oppose the Creation of the Kim Hwallan Award."

20. From the talk with Chong Hijin, September 30, 2003.

21. Joongang Daily, May 25, 1999; Ohmynews, February 7, 2004.

22. Bruce Cummings, The Origins of the Korean War, 2 vols. (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1981). Hunggu Han, The History of Korea (Seoul: Hankyoreh Sinmun Press, 2003), 201-247. Chonggu Kang, Rethinking South Korean Land Reform: Focusing on U.S. Occupation as a Struggle against History (Seoul: Yeolumsa, 1989), 197-239.

23. In the "Amending History" project, Im Chongguk is an important name. He compiled those collaborators during his lifetime, aiming to publish a "List of Collaborators under the Japanese Occupation." In 1991, when Im died before finishing his life work, his colleagues and supporters decided to keep his work going. They founded "Banminjok Munje Yeonguso," which changed its name to "Minjok Munje Yeonguso (Institute for National Matters)." This institute has initiated the campaign "Amending History," or "Publishing Name Dictionary of Collaborators under Japanese Occupation." Interview with Kim Minchol, September 5, 2003.

24. Internationally, new cross-Asia feminist conversations and alliances have been built, based on shared understandings of militarized sexual exploitation of women. Those feminists put a lot of effort into establishing war crimes as a human rights violation.

25. From the collection of materials for the hearing held on December 2, 2001.

26. In an interview with MBC, Munhwa Broadcasting Company, a researcher for the Institute for National Matters shows that it happened due to the indifference of National Assembly members. On air by MBC, Diary of PD, January 27, 2004.

27. Ohmynews, January 8, 2004.

28. The original expectation was $80,000 by May 1 and $ 400,000 by August 15. Hankyoreh, January 29, 2004.

29. Chosun Daily, March 2, 2004.

30. Chosun Daily, August 15, 2004.

31. Shin Kinam, ruling party leader, gave up his position after the revelation of his father's pro-Japanese activities as a military policeman during the Japanese occupation (Chosun Daily, August 18, 2004). Also, Lee Mikyong, prominent woman politician, has gone through some troubled days after the revelation of her father's occupation as a military policeman.

32. Among South Korean daily national newspapers, Hankyoreh represents the most progressive voice. Hankyoreh Newspaper Company was founded by civilians in 1988 to fight what they saw as distorted representations by the existing national newspapers.

33. Hankyoreh, October 22, 1998.

34. Chokwang, December 1943.

35. Chongok Kim, My Aunt, 158-79. Ewha Womens University, Korea Women's Institute, Changing World and Women's High Education (Seoul: Korea Women's Institute, 1999).

36. Helen Kim, The Small Life, 163-64.

37. Chongsuk Kang, "Pro-Japanese," 190.

38. Chongsuk Kang, "Pro-Japanese," 187. Unhyon Chong, I Am a Subject, 145.

39. Regarding this subject, Chatterjee explains that the new patriarchy advocated by nationalism defended the spiritual domain of Indian relations. To preserve the spiritual domain, nationalism needs a more specific role, the subordination and sacrifice of indigenous women, which means the denial of women's multiple subjectivities and roles, even though nationalism sometimes vindicates some women's equal legal rights (Chatterjee, "Colonialism," 629). It imposed on Indian women a similar dilemma--how to balance the goals and strategies of nationalism and feminism. Also, Haideh Moghissi explains Iranian women's conflicting concerns during and after the 1979 revolution in Iran. She claims that "women's political mobilization in many national liberation movements has served to obscure and cloud the patriarchal and undemocratic character of those movements." Haideh Moghissi, Populism and Feminism in Iran: Women's Struggle in a Male-Defined Revolutionary Movement (New York: St. Martin's Press, 1994), 1.

40. Helen Kim, The Small Life, 165.

41. Paeyong Yi, "Historical Characteristics of New Women during Japanese Occupation," in New Women, ed. Okp'yo Mun (Seoul: Ch'ongnyonsa, 2003), 49.

42. Kawaru Kawa, "Chosun Women under a Total War," translated by Kim Miran into Korean, Silch'on Munhak 67 (Autumn 2002): 291.

43. Kyongil Kim, "Women's Education," 113.

44. Hae Joung Lee, "Helen Kim's Life and Activity in the Japanese Colonial Period" (ME thesis, Seoul National University, 2004). Ye Chisuk, "Kim Hwallan's Perspective toward Women and Cooperation with the Japanese during Colonial Time" (MA thesis, Seoul National University, 2004).

45. Chiho Yun, Diary of Yun Chiho, 1916-1943, Colonial Time through the Inner Perspectives of an Intellectual (Seoul: Yoksa Pip'yongsa, 2003).

46. Chiho Yun, Diary, 364-365. Ye Chisuk, "Kim Hwallan's," 46.

47. Kim Hwallan, "Careers and Women of Chosun," Singdonga (September 1932).

48. Kim Hwallan, "Modern Women Have Double Responsibilities," Donga Daily, December 18, 1928.

49. Regarding this matter, Alon Peled writes, "It is argued that ethnic youth traditionally have complied with their draft call for three reasons: fear, ideological conviction, and expectation of civil benefits.... Conscription-by-contract is highlighted as an effective model to appease militant minority groups and to accommodate their special needs in new polyethnic states." Alon Peled, "Force, Ideology and Contract: The History of Ethnic Conscription," Ethnic and Racial Studies 17, no. 1 (1994): 61.

50. Kim Hwallan, "Conscription and Resolution of Women in the Peninsular," Sin-sidae, December 1942.

51. Kim Hwallan, "Affinity and Empathy among Married Women," Dongyangjih-wang, June 1939.

52. Sonok Yi, "Temptation for Equality: Women Intellectuals and Inner Discourses of Pro-Japanese Activities," Silch'on Munhak 67 (Autumn 2001): 261-62.

53. Kang Chongsuk, "Pro-Japanese," 179.

54. Ibid., 181.

55. In the 1930s, the major issue for Christians during Japanese colonial occupation was whether or not to give in to authorities' pressures on Koreans to visit a shrine devoted to the allegedly divine Japanese emperors. Min Kyongpae explains that Korean Catholic and Methodist church leaders tried to side-step this delicate question by simply defining a visit to a Japanese emperor's shrine as not the same as taking part in a religious ceremony. Min Kyongpae, History of Korean Christianity (Seoul: Yonsei University Press, 1993), 173.

56. Chiho Yun, Diary, 29.

57. Haedong Yun, Gray Area in Colonized Land: Criticism on Modernism and Colonialism in Korea (Seoul: Yoksa Pip'yongsa, 2003), 23-26.

58. Ibid., 23-26.

59. Ibid., 231-259.

60. Ibid., 249-259.

61. Chongguk Im, "Nationalistic Matter of Pro-Japanism," Monthly Observer, March 1991.

62. Chaeyong Kim, "Pro-Japanese Fascist Literature for Self-Annihilation for the Sake of Japan: Centering on Pro-Japanese Activities and Inner Discourses of Ch'ae Mansik," Silch'on Munhak 69 (Spring 2003): 394-395.

63. March 1 is the national holiday commemorating the first nationwide independence movement, which broke out in 1919, ten years after Japanese occupation.

64. Newsmaker, March 4, 2002.

65. Hankyoreh 21, May 6, 2003.

66. A pro-Japanese organization active at the end of the Chosun dynasty.

67. Hankyoreh Daily, February 27, 2004.

68. Ohmynews, August 12, 2004.

69. Yonsei University and Ewha Womans University are the two most representative universities founded by American missionaries at the end of the nineteenth century.

70. Misuk Chon, "Paek Nakjun: Respected Teacher after Driving Students into Frontline," in Unliquidated History 3, ed. Panminjok Institute (Seoul: Chongnyon Press, 1994).

71. Unhyon Chong, We Are Subjects of the Japanese Emperor (Seoul: Kaema-gowon, 2003),

72. Sangik Hwang, Hankyoreh, December 11, 2003.

73. Hyonjae's remark can be found at

74. Military comfort women are called Chongsindae in South Korea. In the colonial age, the term "Chonggunwianpu," which directly implies military comfort women, was hardly used. Rather, "Chongsindae" was broadly used. The term means body-dedicating corps for working in military factories, including men and women drafted by the Draft Order of Body-Dedicating Corps. See Sun-Ju Yer, "The Research of Korean Women: Gulo-Chongsindae in the Last Years of Japanese Imperialism" (MA thesis, Ewha Womans University, 1994). Commonly, "Chongsindae" indicates military comfort women, since it has been known that Japanese militarists used Korean girls as military comfort women after drafting them as members of Kunlo Chongsindae. However, there is no reliable document or testimony that the women who were drafted as Kunro Chongsindae directly transferred to be comfort women. Comfort women were mostly drafted by more forceful measures such as kidnapping, fraud, and debt-selling.

75. Ewha Student News, November 9, 1998.

76. See Seq=7&DocId=6369506, one of the major sites for discussion in South Korea.

77. Sinsidae, December 1942.

78. Maeil Daily, December 25,1943.

79. In 2004, Ewha, the world's largest women's university, boasted 140,000 alumnae, 21,000 students, 14 colleges, and 13 graduate schools. Moreover, in 1977, Ewha became the first Korean institution to offer women's studies courses. In the 1980s, Ewha established a full-fledged Women's Studies department within its graduate school. It is not easy to measure exactly how much Women's Studies at Ewha (and Ewha's graduates themselves) have contributed to developing Korean feminism and the Korean women's movement, but it is widely believed among Korean feminists that Ewha as an institution, along with the work of its influential alumna, has had a major influence on both. Ewha is credited as a birthplace of feminist theorists, activists, and renowned powerful women.

80. Author's interview, March 1, 2004.

81. Hijin Chong, "Kim Hwallan, We Cannot Say Anything about Her," in Daehwa (Communication), Catalogue for Special Exhibition to Commemorate 100th Anniversary of Kim Hwallan by Ewha University Museum (unpublished, 1999), 1.

82. Netizen is a synthesized word of Internet and citizen. It refers to citizens who are actively engaged in opinion-making in the Internet space.

83. Donga Weekly, January 20, 2000.

84. Ibid.

85. Yu Simin was the famous leader in the student movement in the late '70s and early '80s. He has become a leading politician who has had a huge influence on the Korean generation now in their thirties and forties. These are the generations whose votes have provided the main force in creating the current reformist Roh Muhyun regime.

86. Chang Sang's nomination was defeated mainly because of the disclosure of her son's double citizenship and illicit fortune making.

87. Womennews, November 20, 1998.

88. Ibid.

89. Kwangsun Koun is the former vice president of the Ewha Democratic Alumni Association and has been a key activist for the movement to abolish the male-headed household registry system. The article was written for Inmul kwa Sasang (Person and Thought) in 1998. Her article was carried also at the formal website of Person and Thought,

90. Sinsidae, December 1942.

91. Ewha Student News, November 9,1998.

92. It refers to those two professors who started and led the Korean comfort women movement. Also, many Ewha graduates have been major leaders of the movement, such as Heisoo Sin and Mikyung Lee.

93. Ewha Student News, November 9, 1998.

94. From a phone interview with Kang Chongsuk, October 4, 2004

95. Chong Hijin is the only woman who wrote an article to describe the feminists' silence regarding the backlash against Kim Hwallan; she claimed the need for regaining women's perspective on the issue. When I talked with her, she explained how harsh the responses were--even from fellow feminists.

96. The dominant, popular, and official ideology of South Korea has been anti-Communism. Particularly since the Korean War, North Korea, a Communist country, has been defined popularly and efficiently as an enemy. Following this widely held view, the state's National Security Law, still in effect, is justified as protecting South Korea from any kind of Communistic influence.

97. Hijin Chong, "Kim Hwallan," 1.
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Author:Kwon, Insook
Publication:Frontiers: A Journal of Women's Studies
Geographic Code:9SOUT
Date:Jan 1, 2006
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