Skip to main content
    • Aa
    • Aa

The Location of “Korean” Culture: Ch'oe Chaesŏ and Korean Literature in a Time of Transition


This essay focuses on Ch'oe Chaesŏ, a leading Korean intellectual, active translator of English literary criticism, and editor in chief of Kokumin Bungaku (National Literature), a prominent Japanese-language journal published in colonial Korea. Ch'oe asserted that the unfolding of history in the twentieth century demanded a paradigmatic transition from liberalism to state-centered nationalism in culture. He also privileged everyday life as allowing people to live as members of communities that ultimately are integrated into the state. By positioning Koreans firmly as subjects of the Japanese state, his argument implied that the colonized should be treated on a par with the colonizers. Further, Ch'oe advocated Koreans' cultural autonomy as an ethnic group within the Japanese empire. Tracing Ch'oe's early life and examining his critical essays on nation, culture, and state, the author discusses how his endeavors to establish an autonomous space for Korean culture simultaneously legitimized Japanese colonial control.

Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

The Journal of Asian Studies
  • ISSN: 0021-9118
  • EISSN: 1752-0401
  • URL: /core/journals/journal-of-asian-studies
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *


Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 3
Total number of PDF views: 23 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 96 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between September 2016 - 29th March 2017. This data will be updated every 24 hours.