Get 20M+ Full-Text Papers For Less Than $1.50/day. Start a 14-Day Trial for You or Your Team.

Learn More →

Simple Conversation or Secret Treaty? The Taft-Katsura Memorandum in Korean Historical Memory

Simple Conversation or Secret Treaty? The Taft-Katsura Memorandum in Korean Historical Memory For generations of North and South Koreans, the 1905 Taft-Katsura Memorandum or “secret treaty” has been emblematic of the US decision to support the Japanese annexation of Korea around the turn of the twentieth century. While scholars have periodically raised objections to the popular tropes of a backroom treaty that dictated the fate of Korea, these have had little impact on how the Taft-Katsura Memorandum has been imagined by many Koreans. In the case of North Korea, the Memorandum is yet another evidence of American perfidy which justifies the need for constant vigilance and avoidance of undue dependence on any outside power. In South Korea, the dominant narrative of the Taft-Katsura Memorandum is not one of America living up to its evil reputation, but of America falling short of its good ideals. In the case of both North and South Korea, depictions of the Taft-Katsura Memorandum in textbooks, popular comic book histories, and political editorials probably exert far more influence on how this document is remembered and understood than do a dozen scholarly articles on the subject. The persistence of the idea of a Taft-Katsura “secret treaty” in narratives of modern Korean history illustrates the tension between actuality, scholarly history, and popular memory. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of Korean Studies Duke University Press

Simple Conversation or Secret Treaty? The Taft-Katsura Memorandum in Korean Historical Memory

Journal of Korean Studies , Volume 19 (1) – Mar 14, 2014

Loading next page...
 
/lp/duke-university-press/simple-conversation-or-secret-treaty-the-taft-katsura-memorandum-in-63uf2hEkf6
Copyright
Copyright © 2014 by the Trustees of Columbia University in the City of New York
ISSN
0731-1613
eISSN
2158-1665
DOI
10.1353/jks.2014.0003
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

For generations of North and South Koreans, the 1905 Taft-Katsura Memorandum or “secret treaty” has been emblematic of the US decision to support the Japanese annexation of Korea around the turn of the twentieth century. While scholars have periodically raised objections to the popular tropes of a backroom treaty that dictated the fate of Korea, these have had little impact on how the Taft-Katsura Memorandum has been imagined by many Koreans. In the case of North Korea, the Memorandum is yet another evidence of American perfidy which justifies the need for constant vigilance and avoidance of undue dependence on any outside power. In South Korea, the dominant narrative of the Taft-Katsura Memorandum is not one of America living up to its evil reputation, but of America falling short of its good ideals. In the case of both North and South Korea, depictions of the Taft-Katsura Memorandum in textbooks, popular comic book histories, and political editorials probably exert far more influence on how this document is remembered and understood than do a dozen scholarly articles on the subject. The persistence of the idea of a Taft-Katsura “secret treaty” in narratives of modern Korean history illustrates the tension between actuality, scholarly history, and popular memory.

Journal

Journal of Korean StudiesDuke University Press

Published: Mar 14, 2014

There are no references for this article.