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INTRODUCTION From 1910 to 1945, Korea was imperialized by Japan for their agricultural and geographical advantages. During that time Japan owned Korea and  therefore resulted in Japan’s heavy influence. The Japanese had complete control over the nation?their people and government?changing the economy and landscape of Korea by rapid urban growth, expansion of commerce, and forms of mass culture as well as industrializing the small colony. The March 1 and June 10 movements spoke out against the Japanese and eventually, led to their gain of independence and the split of Korea into two nations across the 38th Parallel due to the Cold War’s influence of two differing powers. Later on, the United States’ powerful connection to Korea led to the capitalistic government, economy, and western style in South Korea today.BACKGROUND In the late 1800s, Japan had rapidly modernized and forced Korea to open its ports, successfully challenging the Chinese empire in the Sino-Japanese War from 1894 to 1895. With Korea under the control of the Japanese, Japan forcibly annexed Korea into their empire with the Treaty of Korean Annexation in 1910, stating that “the Emperor of Korea makes complete and permanent cession to his Majesty the Emperor of Japan of all rights of sovereignty over the whole or Korea…the Emperor of Japan accepts the cession…and consents to the complete annexation of Korea to the Empire of Japan”, allowing Japan to directly control Korea through the government dramatically changing Korea to enhance their colonial control (Treaty of Korean Annexation, Article I and II). They removed the Joseon hierarchy along with the complete change of taxation system and took the rice crops, in which led to famines and those who refused to pay taxes were murdered. The Korean people were forced into slavery and it was further promoted by transporting them to Japan’s other occupied territories. Upon World War II, Japan attempted to abolish and ban Korean culture by modifying the school curriculum, eliminating any teachings of Korean language or history. Japan forced the colony to support their war effort, drafting tens of thousands of Korean men into Japan’s military. They also conscripted about 200,000 girls and women from both Korea and China as sex slaves, also known as ‘comfort women’. With the end of World War II, Russia, Britain, and the US agreed that “in due course Korea shall become free and independent” (Cairo Conference, 1943). However, after the surrender of Japan and the collapse of Nazi Germany (and therefore shifts in global ideology and politics), caused Korea to go under two spheres of influence. When the United Nations wanted democratic nation elections, it caused the split of Korea on the 38th Parallel with the democratic Republic of Korea in the south (US) and a dictatorship in the north (USSR). RESISTANCEAfter a decade of Japan’s oppressive colonial control, in 1919, a group of Koreans wrote and prepared a Declaration of Independence which rejected the Japanese rule. On March 1, the group read the document aloud in Seoul’s Pagoda Park, leading to months of peaceful and nationwide protest of about 1 million Koreans. Japan responded with brute force: ending thousands of lives and a larger number of arrests to put down the movement or any that followed. The Korean people “proclaimed to the nations of the world…the principle of the equality of all nations, they proclaimed it to their posterity…That they made this declaration on the strength of five thousand years of history as an expression of the devotion and loyalty of twenty million people…and did not intend to accuse Japan of…digreating the accomplishments of their ancestors and treated Korean civilized people like barbarians” (Declaration of Independence, March 1st, 1919). After being oppressed for a decade, a small group finally formed spoke out against the unfairness and repression brought upon them, feeling that after building and prospering as a nation for thousands of years, they were entitled to their own independence and freedom. The people’s intentions were completely peaceful and were acted upon for the good of the Koreans and beliefs. In this forgiving and humble statement, Korea felt that Japan’s rule and actions were completely uncalled for and unjust. Again, on June 10th, 1926, the movement was also one of the earliest public displays of the Korean resistance under Japan’s rule. It was one of the first street protests for nation’s independence and was carried out solely by students; it caused a plan to be continued for anti-Japanese movements. The movement caused the military to again suppress the protesters of a total of 1,000 students and the prosecution of seven pupils. Koreans in Manchuria formed resistance groups that were known as the Independence army who would travel in and out of the Korean-Chinese boundary and fought with guerrilla warfare tactics against the Japanese ( The guerrilla armies came together around the 1940s as Korea’s Liberation Army, with thousands of Koreans joining the People’s Liberation Army/National Revolutionary Army. LASTING EFFECTSAfter enduring the oppressive Japanese, their tyrannical rule, as well as many wars, the Korean people finally gained complete independence. Their long history can be seen through Korea’s economy, government, and culture today. Early on when Japan owned Korea, they quickly industrialized and modernized Korea and completely revamped their government system and economy. It changed the agrarian based trade and rural lands into a place for Japan’s industrialization. In addition, the written language was mixed with Japanese Kana, Korean Hangul, and even shared Kanji/Hanja. Since the Japanese forced Koreans to abandon the language, many words spoken in Korean are from Japanese origin or mixed together. Korea itself changed with the 38th Parallel marking the division of the Korean peninsula between the North and the South. It is an artificial border and one of the biggest changes and impacts of the wars (Watts 1). The war increased the racial integration of American forces, raising expectations at home and to the Civil Rights Movement. In both Koreas, the war militarized daily life. Both regimes focused their efforts on security and defense (Pierpaoli 1). Lastly, the continuing U.S. presence in South Korea and Japan helped to ‘open’ the societies and introduced them both to Western cultural values shown today in South Korea’s capitalistic government (Pierpaoli 1). Korea still has held a grudge against Japan’s past violence on their people, however, they are both strongly tied together in industry and only recently attempted to make amends. CONCLUSION Under Japan’s oppressive rule, Korea’s culture, economy, and government changed drastically. Through the many wars Korea has endured along, Koreans finally formed small groups of peaceful protesting as well as later forming resistance groups and armies. The Japanese culture mixed with the Koreans and the US and Soviet Union influence caused a split the nation with very different governments. The oppressive role of the Japanese has left bitterness from Korea. Due to the Korean War, along with the split with Korea, the government was heavily impacted and determined the economics and the living conditions of the people. North Korea’s dictatorship does not have as prosperous economy while South Korea’s capitalistic government was influenced by the US.

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