Anarchism in Korea : Independence, Transnationalism, and the Question of National Development, 1919–1984

By Dongyoun Hwang

Entry 5761


From: holdoffhunger [id: 1]


Revolt Library Anarchism Anarchism in Korea

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Research Interests: Radicalism and Nationalism in Twentieth-Century Eastern Asia, The Guomindang Leftists in the 1920s, Wartime Collaboration in China during the Pacific War. (From:


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Acknowledgments By scholarly training I am a specialist in modern Chinese history. So, my journey to complete this study has been a pleasant deviation from my academic expertize and plan. I wrote a paper on Korean anarchism for Professor Arif Dirlik in my first semester as a doctoral student at Duke University. It was a very rough one, and I buried it in my document folder for more than a decade. In September 2003, I was developing it to present at a conference he was organizing at the University of Oregon. Since then, I have greatly enjoyed thinking and writing about anarchism in Korea, because I realized, somewhat belatedly, the significance of the subject after the conference. Needless to say, I am deeply indebted to Arif Dirlik, my f... (From:
Introduction Anarchism has been recently assessed by South Korean scholars as one of the ten thoughts (sasang) that moved Korea in the twentieth century.[1] This positive evaluation coincided with the overwhelming scholarly attention given to it unprecedentedly as the subject of study since the 1990s,[2] corresponding to the collapse of socialism in Soviet Russia and Eastern Europe in the early 1990s, when anarchism began to be labeled as a third ideology or way that could replace both capitalism and communism.[3] To the extent that anarchism has received scholarly attention and the positive assessment, it has been still treated somewhat unwisely within the framework of nationalism. In other words, it is understood mainly in the context ... (From:
1: Beyond Independence: The Dawn of Korean Anarchism in China Anarchism had already been introduced to Koreans exiled in China before 1919.[47] But it was only after 1919 that anarchism was viewed as a suitable principle for the construction of a new Korean society, as well as for their country’s independence. Needless to say, the Russian Revolution of 1917 first greatly impacted Koreans in China and elsewhere, as it generated their strong interest and desire in socialism, including anarchism. At the same time, anarchism was also considered by many Korean exiles in China in the wake of factional strife within the independence camp, especially those in the Korean Provisional Government in Shanghai, established as a direct outcome of... (From:
2: The Wind of Anarchism in Japan Becoming Anarchist in Tokyo As early as the 1890s, in the eyes of the Westerners Japan was “a shining beacon of enlightenment,” and “for other Asians” “a mecca of progress”[190] toward modernity. Since then Tokyo had served Asian students and radicals as “a mecca of progress” not only as “an exciting place” as the seat of Japanese government, “but also [as] the center of the economic, cultural, and intellectual life of Japan,” which was “seeth[ing] with liberal and radical ideas.”[191] There, Japanese readers of various radical publications and presses were usually able to “obtain the news and documents of world ... (From:
3: Pushing the Limits in Colonial Korea It is not an exaggeration to say that the anarchist movement in colonial Korea was launched largely by the returned Korean students from study-abroad in Japan. In the mid-1920s, they made many attempts within colonial Korea to form anarchist organizations and disseminate anarchist ideas. Their anarchist movements and activities within the Korean peninsula before 1945 were quite closely tied to those of Korean anarchists based in Japan. Their attempts, however, always met prompt and brutal suppression at their inception from the Japanese colonial police. As a result, while many anarchist or anarchism-oriented organizations, small and large, were established throughout colonial Korea in the 1920s and... (From:
4: Korean Anarchists in Wartime China and Japan The 1930s witnessed the overall decline of Korean anarchist movement in both China and Japan, not to mention in colonial Korea, due mainly to Japan’s invasion of China beginning in 1931, and, as a result, increased tight control and suppression of “dangerous thoughts” in Japan, its colonies, and occupied areas in China such as Shanghai. Both Chinese and Japanese anarchist movements too were on the wane during the same period.[378] In fact, since the introduction of the notorious Peace Preservation Law in 1925, the anarchist movement in Japan had been further suppressed in the 1930s and so had been in colonial Korea. In China, too, since the April 12th Coup of 1927 in Shang... (From:
5: Deradicalized Anarchism and the Question of National Development, 1945–1984 Against the hope that Korean anarchists had held before the end of the Pacific War, Korea was not able to gain outright independence when Japan surrendered to the Allied Powers on August 15, 1945. The Korean peninsula was divided into north and south along the 38th parallel line and occupied respectively by the United States and the U.S.S.R. The establishment of two separate regimes in north and south in 1948 followed with their respective occupier’s sponsorship. In the south the United States called in pro-American and anticommunist Syngman Rhee (1875–1965), who led the establishment of the government of the Republic of Korea (South Korea) i... (From:
Bibliography “Aeguk undong ui jeongche” [The True Identity of Patriotic Movement]. Heuksaek sinmun [Black Newspaper] 34 (December 28, 1934). “Aikoku undō o sute mattaki gaihō undō e” [Discarding Patriotic Movement and Moving toward the Completion of Liberation Movement]. Jiyū rengō [Spontaneous Alliance] 39 (September 1, 1929). An, Byeongjik, ed. Shin Chaeho. Seoul: Han-gilsa, 1979. Bak, Giseong. Nawa joguk: hoego rok [I and My Country: A Memoir]. Seoul: Sion, 1984. Bak, Hwan. “Jung-il jeonjaeng ihu jungguk jiyeok hanin mujeongbu juui gyeyeol ui hyangbae—Han-guk cheongnyeon jeonji gongjakdae reul jungsim euro” [The Trends of Korean Anarchists in China after the Out... (From:
[1] See Lee Key-baik ed., Han-guksa simin gangjwa [The Citizens’ Forum on Korean History], special issue on “20 segi han-guk eul umjigin 10 dae sasang” [The Ten Thoughts that Moved Korea in the Twentieth Century] 25 (August 1999): iii–v for Lee Key-Baik’s assessment. In addition to anarchism the issue includes to the “ten thoughts” nationalism, social Darwinism, liberal democracy, communism, social democracy, modernization theory, “self-strengthening” idea, the minjung (the masses) cultural movement idea, and Kim Il-Sung’s juche (self-reliance) idea. [2] Since the 1990s, the number of scholarly works on Korean anarchism in the form of both book and article have increased unprecede... (From:


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