The Impact of Colonialism and Imperialism on Japan South Korea & China

Introduction

Colonialism and its impact on the politics, economy and socio-cultural aspects of East Asia form an essential part of this paper. Japan, its colonial days in South Korea and the effects of its colonial principle is essential to the understanding of the existing structures in South Korea. Other than South Korea, there were other East Asian countries such as China, which were colonized. This historiography will analyses Historical beliefs and the perception of the threat in Northeast Asia: colonialism, the tributary system and China- Japan- Korea relations in the twenty- first Century  by Gries et al. the paper will also analyses Ziltener and Kiinzler’s article Impact of colonialism- A Research Survey will also be subjected to critical analysis.

Analysis of articles

Approach

Gries et al gives an empirical approach to the undemanding of the impact of Japanese dominance in East Asia during the colonial period. This is based on the argument that Japan through Mejia empire engaged other East Asian countries in the formulation of Asian political and economic ideologies. This led to the realization that the involvement of the Japanese in Korean and China’s affairs had an influence in the development of the political economic and socio-cultural affairs of the two countries.[1] The foreign policy of South Korea, for instance is based on the historical beliefs of the Mejia Empire. Despite this dominance, China and Korea are currently developing national identities away from the authoritarian policies of Japan. China was largely a British colony but Pan Asianism, an ideology propagated by Japan to ensure the dominance of Confucianism at the expense of westernization during the colonial period.[2]

The empirical approach chosen by Gries et al is founded on the notion that China, Japan and Korea have interconnected histories which play and informative role especially in providing an understanding of the role of culture and religion in the definition of the political, economic and socio-cultural pillars of these countries. The interdependence of China and Japan especially on matters related to their histories forms an essential part towards understanding their prost-colonial relationships.[3] The histories of these two countries are intertwined and this makes it a complex process to differentiate the processes involved in the development of the economies. However, the most outstanding difference between these countries is on the capitalistic system of economy that Japan adopted with the coming of modernization and industrial revolution in Asia. It is important to note that in the late 19th century and the 20th century, epically before the Second World War, Japan was considered as a dominant force in the region.[4] The intention of gaining more dominance in Asia facilitated an expansionist approach in its ideologies and this compelled the country to acquire more colonies, exploit the available resources in the process of implementing its own structures within these colonies. The fundamental aspect in the undemanding the politics in Asia especially on matters related to colonialism revolves around the institutionalization of British policies in China and the ability of the country to implement communalism in the place of capitalism despite the perceived dominance by the British.[5]

Ziltener and Kiinzler give a comparative approach to the understanding of colonialism and its impact on East Asian countries. This approach does not only involve an understanding of colonialism across East Asia but also with other regions such as Africa. This study is based on the colonizers, the duration of colonization, the process of the countries gaining independence from their colonial masters, effects of colonialism and the imperialistic effects of colonial masters on their former colonies.[6] Ziltener and Kiinzler attempt to reveal the relevance of tradition among East Asian countries in fighting the dominance of the European colonial masters. In addition, this article also analyses the role of Japan as a colonial master in Taiwan and South Korea in comparison to the European colonizers. A comparative study of the introduction of modernization and its effects on Asian and African economies also form an essential part of this comparative study.

The comparative approach provided by Ziltener and Kiinzler institute the role of empirical and quantitative research in understanding the world system. This study was based on the measurement of indirect historical factors to facilitate and understanding of the theoretical importance of long terms historical factors.[7] Through this sturdy Ziltener and Kiinzler, tend to ignore the pre-capitalist understanding of the role of the history of the East Asian society. This is based on the fact that the pre-capitalist understanding of any society does not influence or provide any form of conditioning in the way any society is incorporated into the capitalist system of economy and the effects of such incorporation. The comparative approach to the understanding of colonialism in East Asia and Africa provides a new approach aimed at comprehending the socio-cultural, economic and political aspect of colonialism. Through such an understanding, Ziltener and Kiinzler argue that colonialism was just some form of temporary and permanent dominance by a group of people over other groups of people. This makes the history of the development of a capitalist economy to be the history of colonialism. This is based on the understanding that all the colonial masters irrespective of their origin aimed at ensuring economic, political and socio-cultural dominance over their colonies.[8] This includes Japan in East Asia.

Points of agreement and disagreement

The article by Gries et al and that of Ziltener and Kiinzler agree that colonialism was essential in facilitating the development of different countries in East Asia. For instance, the ability of Mejia Empire through the Mejia reforms in the late 19th century was a significant step towards the development of Japan as a dominant colonial master in Asia. It is also important to note that the failure of Empress Dowager Cixi in China provided ground for the establishment of a British colony in China. These articles also agree that the desire by Japan to introduce an Asian ideology towards modernization encouraged the colonization of South Korea.[9]

The articles by Gries et al and Ziltener and Kiinzler agree that caution is justified in regard to the transformational effects of colonialism. This is due to the profound changes that are witnessed in the economy and social structures of the colonies from the post-colonial perspective. It is however important to note t that the two articles agree that there are some of these colonies, such as China that remained relatively unchanged due to the strong foundation of their religious and cultural backgrounds. By employing the multidimensional understanding of the impact of colonialism, is an avenue essential in understanding the role of different colonial masters in facilitating development and erosion of culture and politic of different economies around the world.

Despite these points of agreement, these two articles are divergent on the role of different colonial masters in facilitating development in East Asia. Gries et al views Japan as a major contributor to the development of Asian region especially with the initiation of post-colonial regimes in China and South Korea. Furthermore, Gries el al argues that Japan ensured that these countries developed on the basis of traditional cultures and religion, which were shared across the Asian continent.[10] Ziltener and Kiinzler disagree with Gries et al by arguing that Japan just like any other colonial master was geared towards ensuring dominance in the Asian region. Mejia Empire was based on the expansion of the Japanese territory considering that such an expansion will not only provide the country with a source of raw materials for its developmental ideas but also human capital.[11]

Unlike the article by Gries et al which focuses on Asia, and most especially East Asian countries, Japan, China and Korea, the article by Ziltener and Kiinzler gives colonialism a world view approach. This understanding provides more conclusive evidence on matters related to the impact of colonialism.[12] Ziltener and Kiinzler’s article provides a large array of sources which can be used in understanding the trends in colonialism and from these sources one is able to understand the role different colonial master in different colonies, outlining the similarities and differences and using these findings in generating conclusions concerning the impact of colonialism and the effects of imperialism on selected colonies especially those East Asia.[13]

Explanation of the differences observed

The differences between Ziltener and Kiinzler, and Gries et al are largely founded on the type of approach that the two articles give to the understanding of colonialism and its impacts on the colonies. Ziltener and Kiinzler’s article for instance is a comparative approach is based on the acceptance that there are numerous unresolved issues concerning colonialism. This is founded on selective comparative approaches towards the understanding of this phenomenon. A worldview approach not only provides a wide range of variables but also ensures that these variables and be used as effective platforms for coding the factual impact of colonial legacy. The empirical approach by Gries et al is largely based on the shared histories between Korea, Japan and China. This study is based on the belief that the past history between these countries was substantive in their response to colonialism. This study, unlike that of Ziltener and Kiinzler’s, lays its focus in the East Asian countries instead of providing a word view towards the understanding of the impact of colonialism.

Conclusion

Colonialism was an important instrument in the development of different societies in terms of their political, economic and socio-cultural aspects of different societies. In East Asia, Japan was considered as a dominant figure considering the establishment of Mejia Empire, the colonization of Korea and Taiwan. In addition, Japan also played a role in the development of China based on their decision to develop the Chinese economy based on Asian ideologies. A world view on the role of colonialism is important considering that such a view provides numerous platforms of understanding and comparing numerous aspects of colonialism.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bibliography

 Gries, P., Zhang, G., Masui, Y & Lee, Y. Historical beliefs and the perception of the threat in

Northeast Asia: colonialism, the tributary system and China- Japan- Korea relations in the twenty- first Century. International Relations of Asian Pacific, Vol. 9. University of Oklahoma, USA, 2009.

Ziltener, P & Kiinzler, D. Impact of Colonialism- A Research Survey. American Sociological

Association, Vol.29, No. 2, 2013

[1]Peter Gries, Zhang, G., Masui, Y & Lee, Y. Historical beliefs and the perception of the threat in Northeast Asia: colonialism, the tributary system and China- Japan- Korea relations in the twenty- first Century. International Relations of Asian Pacific, Vol. 9. University of Oklahoma, USA, 2009.

[2] Gries et al, p. 246

[3] Ibid, p. 247

[4] Ibid, p. 248

[5] Ibid, p. 249

[6] Patrick Ziltener & Kiinzler, D. Impact of Colonialism- A Research Survey. American Sociological Association, Vol.29, No. 2, 2013

[7] Ziltener & Kiinzler, p. 291

[8] Ibid, p. 293

[9] Ibid, pp. 294-295

[10] Gries et al, p. 246

[11] Ziltener & Kiinzler, p. 294

[12] Gries et al, 255

[13] Ziltener & Kiinzler, p. 295