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The Effects of the Cultural Revolution on the Korean Minority in Yenpien Setsure Tsurushima KANSAI UNIVERSITY 1. Aims in Visiting Yenpien Just before departing for China in 1976, nine professors and one assistant , the fourth delegation of the Japan-China Friendship Association , met to discuss what to see and where to go during their proposed trip to the People's Republic of China. At the meeting I suggested a visit to Yenpien, in the southeastern part of China's Northeast (formerly known as Manchuria), to see how the Cultural Revolution had affected an area where Koreans had traditionally been in the majority. Yenpien is not very far from Ch'angch'un, which is enroute to Tach'ing, a place we were likely to visit. No objection was raised by the other members, but we were told by the Chinese Embassy in Tokyo that it might be difficult to visit Yenpien, and that we should check at the Institute of National Minorities during our stay in Peking. Upon our arrival in Peking, an interpreter of the China-Japan Friendship Association asked us what and where we were particularly interested in visiting. The visit to Yenpien was mentioned as well as trips to Tach'ing and Shanghai. Later he returned to the hotel where we were staying to inform us that all our requests had been granted, and that we would visit Yenpien on our way back from Tach'ing. He added that we should refrain from calling the area "Chientao" or "Kantö" (Japanese), but refer to it instead as "Yenpien." "Kantö" was the Japanese imperialist term for the area, he explained. I was delighted to hear that we would be allowed to see Yenpien, since, as far as I knew, we would be the first visitors from a noncommunist country to the area since the start of the Cultural Revolution, and the 1 <. S- Harbin k~~Aw<~l YENPIEN KOREAN AUTONOMOUS REGION 1979 mm¦wm Tanhua Wangch'ing T umenç AnCu Hohmg ,i?v' !ESIgäÄiS WeMiK P'ijres«!!»* ?ß«?£$? KOREAN MINORITY IN YENPIEN95 second Japanese visitors since the 1949 Revolution. The last Japanese visit was made by Professor Hikotarö Ando in 1963 . ' The Koreans in Yenpien are in a position similar in many respects to that occupied by any other minority in China. In assessing the situation of the minorities in China, it is important to note that while the Chinese government is anxious to emphasize that China is peopled by about fifty different nationalities, the Han Chinese comprise 94 percent of the population while other nationalities comprise only 6 percent. Although the right to independence is not granted, national minorities are given the right to autonomous government. Equality of all nationalities, as well as the protection of rights and identities of national minorities are policies that the government insists are important. But it is not easy to implement such policies when Han Chinese are in such a numerically dominant position . To provide for self-determination by national minorities, autonomous areas have been established ranging from province, to region, to county, to people's commune. The following rank as autonomous provinces : Inner Mongolia (Mongols), Sinkiang (Uighurs), Ningsia (Chinese Moslems, referred to as Hui by the Chinese), Kwangsi (Chiiang), and Tibet. In addition, there are twenty-nine autonomous regions, like Yenpien Korean Autonomous Region, and sixty-nine autonomous counties, like Changpai Korean Autonomous County. The extent to which any of these autonomous areas is allowed freedom of self-government depends on its geographical location. Most national minorities live on the frontiers of China, and in many cases national borders divide them so that a group may actually live in two or more countries. Therefore, China's external relations with neighboring countries greatly influence the degree of self-government in such autonomous areas. The greater the tensions that exist between China and her neighbors, the more anxious the government is to maintain control over the border areas. All people living in border areas are, of course, expected to show loyalty and patriotism toward their country, but the need for unswerving loyalty particularly applies to national minorities living along the border. The government is aware of a potential for fraternization among minority members living on opposite sides of the border. It is also aware that if hostility to the government exists among national minorities , the affected border areas become more vulnerable, and the threat of invasion by a foreign power becomes greater. The need for de1 . For the accounts of the area by Professor Andò, see his two articles: Ando Hikotarö, "Yenpien kikô" [Travels to Yenpien] Töyö Bunka, no. 36 (June 1964):21-70; and "Kirinsh ô Yenpien chösenzoku Jichishu" [The Yenpien Korean Autonomous Region in Kirin Province], Chügoku kenkyü geppö, no. 193 (March 1964):l-29. 96TSURUSHIMA fensive deployment of many outsiders, especially army personnel, in minority areas makes mutual understanding between nationalities vital to national defense and makes the Han language an important communication link between people speaking different native tongues. Most Koreans living in China live along borders and are a case in point. Both Yenpien Korean Autonomous Region and Changpai Korean Autonomous County are located along China's border with Korea, and Yenpien shares a border with Russia as well. From one standpoint then, unity of all nationalities throughout the country should be stressed, and conformity rather than diversity among nationalities should be the keynote, but these practical considerations tend to conflict with the ideal of autonomy for national minorities. My particular interest in Yenpien Korean Autonomous Region was twofold. First, it was based on a broader interest in the effects of the Cultural Revolution on Chinese policies toward national minorities. Second, it was based on a desire to compare the status and attitudes of the Koreans in Yenpien with the Koreans in Japan. During the Cultural Revolution, a great deal of propaganda was issued emphasizing possible aggression by "hegemonistic powers," particularly Russia, and defense along the border with Russia became a priority issue. During this period, the government may have felt the need to strengthen its grip on the area. It was of interest to me to try to gauge what effect the fear of possible Russian aggression has had on the degree of autonomy existing in Yenpien Korean Autonomous Region. This information is of special interest in relation to the policies of other governments toward their Korean minorities. For instance, the Koreans who once had lived on the Siberian side of the border were forced to move to Central Asia in 1938 as a security measure.2 As a consequence , very little direct contact exists anymore between Koreans living in China and Russia. The only chance they have to meet nowadays is if they happen to go to North Korea at the same time. Even on these occasions , however, meetings between different delegations of overseas Koreans are discouraged by their respective governments, and by that of North Korea as well. Once, when I was flying back from Pyongyang to Khabarovsk, for example, I saw two groups of Koreans, one from Japan, the other from Russia; they were sitting separately. The only Koreans from other countries with whom the Yenpien Koreans can have contact are those living in North Korea, but even relations between Koreans in China and North Korea are far from good. The rea2 . For the move from the Russian Maritime Province to Central Asia, see among others, Chong-sik Lee and Ki-wan Oh, "The Russian Faction in North Korea," Asian Survey, 8, 4 (April 1968):270-288. KOREAN MINORITY IN YENPIEN97 son for this is that one of the features of the Cultural Revolution was the personality cult of Mao Tse-tung. When adulation of Chairman Mao was running high in China, adulation of the Great Leader Kim Il Sung was also gaining momentum in North Korea. Koreans in Yenpien naturally had to pledge their allegiance to one or the other and eventually settled on Mao, although there were reports of conflict over this issue. The choice of Mao however, did not by any means settle the problem . Many Koreans in Yenpien have relatives and family members in North Korea who chose Kim Il Sung, creating conflicting familial and national loyalties that became strained as the fervor for the respective national symbols increased. The present delicate, triangular relations between China, the Soviet Union, and North Korea also serve to aggravate the situation. The more friendly North Korea becomes toward the Soviet Union, and the closer the relations between Yenpien Koreans and their families in North Korea tend to be, the more apprehensive the government becomes about maintaining control over Yenpien. Another feature of the Cultural Revolution bearing directly on the minority problem was the "remember bitterness" campaign. It was designed to make the harsh conditions prior to the liberation stand out against the better life in new China. In Yenpien, however, such a campaign was a double-edged sword with potential for both integrating and alienating Koreans, because the struggle in this region involved the development of Korean nationalism as well as the overthrow of Japanese imperialism and landlord collaborators. It was in Yenpien that the Korean patriotic movement against the Japanese established its base even before the annexation of Korea by Japan. It was also in Yenpien that the most severe struggles for the independence of Korea occurred. In fact, Yenpien represents for North Korea a kind of sacred birthplace of the Korean Revolution. Yet all the significance of this aspect of Yenpien's history, which could serve as a stimulus for Korean nationalism, has not always been appreciated or welcomed in China. The choice of which historical lessons to learn is still a sensitive issue. For instance, the Museum of the Revolution in Pyongyang exhibits many things related to Yenpien. However, the exhibits are exclusively connected in some way or other with Kim Il Sung, and items not related to him, but which had an important bearing on the struggle against Japanese rule, are deliberately omitted. Nevertheless, the danger exists that Korean nationalism among Yenpien Koreans, aroused by their forefathers ' struggle in Yenpien, could lead to identification with North Korea and a feeling of kinship with those who idolize Kim Il Sung. It is unclear what the probability of such a trend is, but there is little doubt that the Peking government would oppose any such tendency, particularly at 98TSURUSHIMA times when China's relations with North Korea are not good. The stories of Korean struggles in Yenpien prior to the liberation that are flattering to the Pyongyang govenment will not be well received in China as long as personality cults prevail in either country. Given these difficulties, how was the campaign to learn from the history of the preliberation struggle conducted in Yenpien, and what aspects of the struggle were Korean youth in the area instructed to study during the Cultural Revolution? Yet a third feature of the Cultural Revolution was the Hsiafang movement, one aspect of which was the dispatch of youth to the frontiers . Numerous Han youth cadres went voluntarily or were ordered to the frontier areas where they often joined struggles against the local leadership . Although the Cultural Revolution fell short of its radical ideals, its successes included the removal from office of many entrenched powerholders, and the upgrading of the level of collectivization. In Yenpien, one of those removed was Chu Te-hai, the first party secretary of the region, and the most prominent figure among Koreans in China.3 Chu was the son of a poor Korean peasant in Siberia whose family was forced to move to Heilungkiang Province when the Japanese intervened in Siberia in 1918. After participating in an antiimperialist campaign, he was sent to Moscow University for education, and subsequently went to Yenchi, the main city in Yenpien, to rejoin the partisan fight in the Northeast. He spent some of the war period in Yenan, but returned to Yenchi at the time of its liberation after having participated in the civil war elsewhere in the Northeast. When the Cultural Revolution broke out, he was the only Korean alternate member of the Central Committee of the Communist party, and vice-governor of Kirin Province. The denunciation of a man with Chu's credentials could only have happened in the extraordinary atmosphere brought on by the Cultural Revolution." Chu was denounced in August 1968 as "China's Kruschchev representative , a nationalist factionalist, local nationalist, and would-be monarch of an independent kingdom." He was also charged with "obviously employing the theory of national social characteristics to cloak his activities ." How he came to be denounced, and how many Koreans joined in his denunciation, is unknown. However, it is easy to see the lines of conflict between the local Korean leaders, talented in production and capable in many other respects, and the radical newcomers enthusiastically involved in politics. 3.For biographical information on Chu Te-hai, see Donald Klein and Ann B. Clark, Biographical Dictionary of Chinese Communism (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1971):1, 254-256. 4.Andö Hikotarö, "Yenpien kikö," op. cit. KOREAN MINORITY IN YENPIEN99 In assessing the situation in Yenpien we must not overlook those aspects which differentiate it from other minority areas. Yenpien's Korean leaders have had a long association with the Communist movement , and Yenpien's high level of productivity and relatively high standard of living have led to a wide diffusion of education. By contrast, in other national minority areas, where people were backward in terms of productivity and living conditions, working teams sent as specialists on national minority problems could use the advantages of their advanced education and medical knowledge as leverage to coerce local minority people to move in the desired direction. In Yenpien, on the other hand, despite their knowledge of Communist party and government documents , young Han cadres found it impossible to force their views on local leaders. They found that established Korean leaders with long careers as Communists were well versed, and perhaps even better versed than they, in the theoretical literature. Because of the ideological and generation gaps existing between the established Korean Communist leaders and the idealistic young newcomers , the two groups interpreted the situation in Yenpien in different ways. The different interpretations became exaggerated and grew out of all proportion due to the extreme conditions existing at the time of the Cultural Revolution. From the point of view of the leaders in Yenpien, it was essential that a high level of productivity and a relatively high standard of living be maintained or even raised. This they regarded as both necessary and important because North Korea, with a relatively high level of productivity for a third world nation, was always present as a comparison . Stagnation of productivity and a lower standard of living could easily cause demoralization of Koreans in their area. Such a situation could not be excused in their view, since it would invariably leave the populace open to the influence of the personality cult of Kim Il Sung. But from the point of view of the young Han cadres, endeavors to promote and maintain high levels of productivity and a relatively high standard of living meant that the leaders were "economists."5 The terminology of the denunciation of Chu as a "nationalist factionalist, local nationalist, and would-be monarch of an independent kingdom" should be understood in this context. Thus the migration of large numbers of Han youth to the frontiers, and the influence they had on those areas, is in itself an interesting subject, but the impact they had on Yenpien deserves special study. Since I am a Japanese involved in minority problems, my interest in 5. During the Cultural Revolution, the term "economism" meant the practice of using wage and other materiaf incentives to undermine the revolutionary fervor of the people by luring them away from the Maoist line. 100TSURUSHIMA Yenpien extends beyond the events surrounding the Cultural Revolution. This is especially the case since the largest minority group in Japan is Korean. Moreover, although there were already 200,000 Koreans in Yenpien in 1910, most of the 1.5 million Koreans in China's Northeast at the end of the Second World War came after that date, just as almost all of the 2 million Koreans in Japan in 1945 came after 1920. Thus we can say that the Koreans in Yenpien and Japan left Korea at approximately the same time. The two populations are also roughly the same, with about 670,000 Koreans residing in Japan and about 730,000 in Yenpien. However, the Koreans in Yenpien and the Koreans in Japan differ in one major characteristic. The Koreans in Yenpien consider themselves to be Chinese nationals, while, even after two or three generations, most of those in Japan are proud of being nationals of either the Republic of Korea or the Democratic People's Republic of Korea. Koreans in Japan face various kinds of discrimination. Because of this discrimination, second- or third-generation Koreans in Japan are very nationalistic regarding Korea, even though they speak Japanese as their native tongue, attend Japanese schools, and are almost entirely Japanized in lifestyle. On the other hand, it is in Yenpien in particular that Koreans should be filled with nationalistic pride, for it was there that Koreans united against the Japanese in their struggle for freedom and independence. Therefore, it was of interest to me to discover how the principle of equality among a multinational people materialized in China and how the present-day Koreans living in Yenpien view Korean nationalism. These were questions that could not be completely answered during such a short trip, but partial answers were suggested by some of the things we saw. 2. Outline of Yenpien I woke up early, while it was still dawn; the change in scenery from the previous night was immediately noticeable. In other parts of the Northeast we had seen scarcely any mountains, only a vast plain. Broad, extensively cultivated fields had stretched in all directions. It was the season when water from the river, which lacked solid banks or dykes, seeped slowly into the fields, eventually flooding them. The first signs of Yenpien visible from the railway carriage were low hills surrounded by mountains. In contrast to the broad fields seen previously, every inch of the land in Yenpien was so intensively used for rice paddy farming that the large-framed, brown-coated cows, which clearly resembled the Korean species, were grazing in small groups along the river's banks, the only pasture available for them. Rice seedbeds, covered with vinyl frames to hasten growth and facilitate early planting, could also be seen. The low-lying mountains around the valley were a mass of white KOREAN MINORITY IN YENPIEN101 pear blossoms; the scene reminded me of my visit to North Korea the previous year, where the land was also very intensively cultivated and where the hills also were skirted with orchards. Japanese descriptions of the area at the turn of the century say that Korean villages rarely had orchards , so I wondered where they originated. Leaders of the Yenpien Korean Autonomous Region were waiting at the station to greet us, and after a hundred handshakes we were taken to the hotel designed for special guests. Yenchi seemed to be the only city in China where multistory apartments were being built at a great rate. In other places, people had seemed more concerned with the preservation of old houses. Again North Korea came to my mind; there too apartment construction is booming in the cities. There was similarity as well in the reddish color of the bricks used in the buildings. How had this similarity come about? After a typical Korean-style breakfast, a youthful vice-president of the Revolutionary Committee, obviously from the People's Liberation Army, gave us an outline of the Yenpien Korean Autonomous Region. He explained that the Region lies on the frontier to the Northeast of Kirin Province, sharing borders with Russia to the east and with Korea to the south. The total area of the region is 73,700 square kilometers, of which 80 percent is covered with forest and 8.2 percent is cultivated land. The population is 1.7 million, of which 53 percent is Han Chinese, 43 percent is Korean. The remainder is made up of Mongolians, Hui, Manchu , and other peoples. I was very surprised to find Han Chinese outnumbering Koreans, since in 1963 when Professor Andö visited Yenpien, Koreans still made up a little more than half of the population of the region. For the first time in the history of the area, Koreans were in the minority. I suspect this must be a direct result of the Cultural Revolution. Since the number of Koreans in the region in 1963 was reported as slightly more than 556,000, and since 43 percent of 1 .7 million is 731 ,000, the Korean population had in fact increased. Therefore the change must have been due not to Korean out-migration, but to Han in-migration. I had known that a feature of the Cultural Revolution was the migration of Han youth to the frontiers, but I was surprised to find Han in greater numbers than Koreans. The purpose of the Han migration became clear when we examined the industrial development of the area. Yenpien contains two cities, Yenchi and Tumen, and six counties.6 Recently Tumen has developed from a small border town into a sizeable 6. The six counties within the Autonomous Region are Yenchi, Holung, Wanch'ing, An'tu, Hunch'un, andTunhua. 102TSURUSHIMA city, with pulp and paper mills. The region, also has 111 people's communes containing 1,073 production brigades, and 5,225 production teams, and some towns. Yenpien was officially liberated by the Chinese communists on August 15, 1948 (the third anniversary of the Japanese surrender ending World War II), and at that time a communist order was established. The liberation had come amidst struggles for land reform, which took place between 1945 and 1949. The land reform in the area was effective because of the previous history of the peasants' struggle against the landlords in the area, and because of the favorable political climate of the time. In understanding the dynamics involving communist, nationalist, and class struggles, it is important to note that because Yenpien functioned as a base for anti-Japanese struggles in the twenties and thirties, a large number of Korean villages were beyond the reach of Japanese control . One must also note North Korean reports that land reforms and democratic legislation were first enacted in base areas near the Tumen River on the Chinese side of the border, a kind of rehearsal for the measures that were later used in the whole of North Korea. In Yenpien, therefore, the Korean peasants' challenge to Korean landlords not only aimed at improving relations between them, but also at distributing more land to the tillers. The persistent nature of the Korean struggle, supported by the bulk of the peasant masses, can best be understood if seen in relation to its inclination toward a class struggle, rather than purely as a nationalist movement. The first stage of land reform, which began in earnest around the end of the war, was quickly supplanted by another form of land reform, one which abolished the landlord system completely . The occupation by the Soviet army after the war created a favorable political climate for the growth of land reform. Wherever the Soviet occupation took place, whether in Europe or Asia (including North Korea), the old order changed as people rose up against their former rulers and those who collaborated with them. But the special hatred of the Koreans for the landlord system and the latent desire for their own land was so strong that early struggles in both Yenpien and North Korea against Japanese and Korean landlords were quickly followed by total land reform. In Soviet-occupied North Korea, the first stage of land reform officially started in October 1945. It was driven forward by the pressure of Korean peasants anxious to oust their landlords, particularly the Japanese and Korean collaborators who owned large amounts of land. It was followed in March the following year by a second-stage land reform, KOREAN MINORITY IN YENPIEN103 which took the form of a law designed to abolish the landlord-tenant system completely. Unfortunately, the processes leading to the establishment of land reform in Yenpien were not completely explained, nor was the relation between the land reform in Yenpien and that in North Korea, but the parallels are clearly visible. While there are marked similarities in Yenpien and North Korea, the intensity which marked the struggle in Yenpien sets it apart from other minority areas in China. Early Chinese policies in other minority areas were based on compromise with local upper-class conservatives, and these policies survived even up to the Great Leap Forward and the Cultural Revolution. Regarding Yenpien, it is significant that the period of land reform, as cited by the vice-chairman of the Revolutionary Committee , was from 1945 to 1949, that is, between the year when Japan surrendered and the year when the Chinese Communist party took power. Thus land reform in Yenpien had already been successfully carried out when the new government came to power. According to the local explanation, the establishment of the Autonomous Region brought significant changes to the area, and these have been further stimulated by the Cultural Revolution. Politically, people of different backgrounds have become the owners of the state, and equality among different nationals has become of special importance. The region, the people's communes, and the production brigades hold people's conferences to discuss and pass resolutions. Koreans have better representation at the people's conferences and are in more positions of leadership than their proportion of the population warrants. Despite the fact that the Koreans have become a minority group, 53 percent of the party leaders are Korean and 50 percent of the posts in the local government of the region and its counties are allocated to Koreans. The Korean language is recognized as an official language alongside Mandarin Chinese. The official organ of the region, Yenpien jih-pao [Yenpien Daily], is published in both Korean and Chinese, and radio and television broadcasts are bilingual as well. Ninety percent of the villages under region administration have their own wire broadcast systems in Korean. All public notices are issued in both Korean and Chinese, while most private ones are in either one or the other. In schools that are bilingual, both languages are used; but there are also Korean schools attended by Korean children who are taught Korean, and Han schools for Han children who are taught Mandarin. Generally speaking, most children pass through primary and middle school stages. However, there has been a movement to encourage more children from both Korean and Han families to attend ten-year binational schools, combining primary and middle school courses. At present the region has 104TSURUSHIMA 1,379 primary schools and 210 middle schools. This is about double the number in 1959, when there were 505 and 141 respectively. Koreans have traditionally placed great emphasis on education, and Koreans living in Yenpien are no exception. Even at the beginning of the century when Koreans were much poorer than the Han people in the area, Koreans had more schools. More schools were founded in Yenpien as a result of the "patriotic cultural enlightenment movement," a movement that reached its peak after 1905 and tried to stimulate Korean nationalism by concentrating on culture and enlightenment. One of them was Yi Sang-söl's Swiss school. Yi Sang-söl was himself the leader of the secret mission sent by the Korean emperor to the 1907 Peace Conference held at the Hague. He set out on that mission from Yenpien. It was because of this traditional background that the Korean population was generally better educated than the Han. At the time of liberation , an estimated 84 percent of Koreans were literate. The establishment of a People's Government in Yenpien in August 1948 was quickly followed by the founding of Yenpien University. The early founding of the university was a natural development following the wide diffusion of education in the area; 1951 figures show that more than 90 percent of Korean children attended school, which gave rise to an interest in and a need for higher education. By 1959, Yenpien was known as China's leader in terms of literacy. Education was not only widely diffused but Yenpien students ranked highest academically of all the national minority areas. The university consisted of three colleges—educational, medical, and agricultural. However, during the Great Leap Forward in 1958, the medical and agricultural colleges became independent. Today, besides the university and colleges, there are three technical schools in trade and finance, art, and education. The total number of students is 450,000, a quarter of the population, and 50 percent more than before the Cultural Revolution. Local leaders like to emphasize the interest shown by the Communist party and the central government in the Koreans in the area by pointing out that the establishment of the university took place even before the liberation of China as a whole, and that such important visitors as Chou En-lai have made a special point of coming to see the area for themselves . Yenpien is also especially fortunate to receive a budget for education which is three times higher than that allocated to Han areas. The higher budget is needed because many materials, such as textbooks, have to be published in two languages and bilingual facilities are expensive. But comparing the present situation with that which Professor Andö KOREAN MINORITY IN YENPIEN105 reported, Mandarin, as a result of the Cultural Revolution, has become an essential aid for communication. University and college courses now use only Mandarin and all the wall posters we saw were written in the same language. In 1963, however, professors were allowed to lecture in either language, and the preference tended toward Korean. At Yenpien University, Korean students are encouraged to select the Mandarin course so that they can become teachers of Mandarin, while Han students are encouraged to study Korean for the same reason. A few years ago a conference was held under the auspices of the Central Committee of the Communist party to discuss matters related to publications for national minorities. As a result, the three northeastern provinces, Kirin, Heilungkiang and Liaoning, have an interprovince organization to promote publications for national minorities. The publisher for national minorities now publishes 350 kinds of books and booklets in Korean every year, twice as many as before the Cultural Revolution, so that ordinary Korean people can have access to important documents in their own language. Accommodation of ethnic differences can be seen in the area of entertainment as well. There are three professional groups involved in entertainment in the region: a song and dance troupe, a traditional play troupe, and a Peking Opera troupe. There are also cultural song and dance troupes (seven Korean and one Han), and each production brigade has its own cultural and educational propaganda group. Each production team also has its own evening course for political discussion. One of the notable achievements of the Cultural Revolution has been the extension of public health services throughout the countryside, made possible by the thousands of so-called barefoot doctors. The network of medical facilties is extensive, spreading from the main Yenpien Hospital through sanatoriums scattered throughout the region. There are more than 1,100 branch medical stations, and every people's commune has its own clinic. Likewise, production brigades have cooperative medical stations. The cooperative medical stations were begun around 1969, and in principle, are run by the members of the brigade. An adult pays a basic two yuan annually, a child one yuan, while patients receiving treatment pay a twentieth of a yuan for each treatment. There are midwives and nurses attached to the production teams, while doctors, assisted by nurses, man the clinics and cooperative medical stations. Both Oriental and Western forms of medicine are practiced, but many of the drugs are derived from natural sources, such as local herbs collected by people at the medical centers; and these tend to be preferred. The backbone of the economy in Yenpien consists of agriculture and forestry. The most important crop is rice, which makes up a third of total 106TSURUSHIMA crop production, (other crops being soybeans, millet, and corn). Rice production in Yenpien, carried out by Koreans, has an interesting history. At the turn of the century, millet and corn, not rice, were the staple foods of both Koreans and Chinese, while soybeans were the main cash crop. Paddy cultivation was introduced about that time by Korean peasants , whose skill and toil enabled them to surmount many difficulties and make production feasible. The damp land, which Chinese farmers and peasants were loath to cultivate, had been allocated to Korean peasants , who applied their skill to convert it into paddy fields. By the 1920s, through gradual improvement of their techniques and the irrigation system and through the use of better seeds, paddy fields came to be more productive and to have a higher value than the dry fields. The expansion of paddy cultivation was not limited to Yenpien but also occurred in other parts of the Northeast as well, with Koreans being the chief cultivators . Paddy cultivation is still largely in the hands of the Koreans, although a few Han engineers work on the machines associated with such agriculture. Agricultural yields have been increased by other means as well. Since the Cultural Revolution, great emphasis has been laid on increased mechanization in agriculture. There are now more than 1,000 large- or medium-sized tractors and 4,000 hand cultivators, compared with 150 and 50 machines respectively, before the Cultural Revolution. The tendency has been away from the larger Russian-style tractors and toward smaller machines, which are more versatile in small fields and are easier to handle. The move was not only for convenience's sake, but was also part of a conscious effort to give young Han engineers the opportunity to fit into the agricultural scene. Of course, Koreans are themselves every bit as capable of handling the mechanical side. The same tendency to introduce more but smaller machines can also be seen in North Korea. In addition to soybeans and rice, tobacco and hemp should not be overlooked as major cash crops. Yenpien tobacco, which was originally cultivated mainly by Koreans, accounts for more than 80 percent of the tobacco production in the province. The area under tobacco cultivation in Yenpien covered about 115,000 hectares in 1959. The cigarettes we received enroute in Ch'angch'un were produced in Yenpien. Hemp, another important cash crop, has also been traditionally cultivated by Koreans, and the fibers are considered an important textile material. The other mainstay of the economy is forestry. Much attention is paid to forestry because forests occupy 80 percent of the total area, and Yenpien contains a third of the whole forest area in Kirin Province. Kirin is second only to Heilungkiang in supplying China's timber. People are KOREAN MINORITY IN YENPIEN107 active in both forestation and logging; mountains are well forested, and evidence of the activity of the timber industry could be seen in the timber yards near the railway station, where piles of logs, usually aged twenty to thirty years, awaited distribution. The pulp and paper mills in Tumen are regarded as the most important in the whole of China. Because the timber supply is abundant there are many sawmills in Tumen, Tunhua, and other neighboring towns. The lumber industry has not only contributed to nearly every branch of manufacturing in Yenpien, it has also provided an important link between industries. Apart from the forests, orchards, mainly of pear trees, extend onto even the fairly steep slopes of mountains. In addition, ginseng and other herbs that have been traditionally produced in the area, are now processed and packed in factories. Although agriculture and forestry form the backbone of the economy in Yenpien, the development of industry, particularly in Yenchi and Tumen, has been remarkable. It is this development, apart from the troop fluctuations in the area, which has been the main cause of the population ratio shifting in favor of the Han. According to the official report, industrial and mining output has increased tenfold in Yenpien since the liberation, and since the Cultural Revolution, it has tripled. In Yenchi city itself, these figures are forty-five times more and four times more, respectively. The development of industry has been more rapid than that of agriculture, which has yielded a fivefold increase since 1949. The main industries are iron and steel, textiles, shoemaking, machinery , and coal-mining. But in addition to these, construction of apartments , transportation of lumber, and printing, all of which we witnessed , should also have been included in the official description of the local industry. In retrospect, it seems that the post-Cultural Revolution expansion of some industries, especially those closely linked traditionally with Yenpien and the Koreans of the area, may have been deliberately omitted from official explanations, but I am not sure why. Yenpien is particularly well known for the production of ginseng, antlers, and other kinds of Chinese medicine. These products, including ginseng, antlers, and bees' jelly, were readily available at the department store in Yenchi city, and we were told that production of these items had increased. Many people could be seen engaged in the production of veterinary medicines at a factory attached to Yenpien Agricultural College, and production there had also increased. Silk production is also a feature of Yenpien, and the local people are justly proud of the improvements they have made in sericulture, for they have succeeded in breeding and rearing the silkworms for two cycles a 108TSURUSHIMA year instead of the normal one. Wild silk is as widely used in Yenpien as it is in North Korea, and we were told that the quantity met the demand. But in the department store, where a lot of wild silk was on sale, some silk products were obviously made from a mixture of silk and synthetic fibers like those in North Korea, and it occurred to me that they might, in fact, have been North Korean imports. In general it can be said that there is a wide range of industrial products available for the national minorities, and most of their daily necessities , such as rice bowls, pots, chopsticks, silk products, and knitted goods, are readily supplied. In this regard it was reported that commodity sales have increased sevenfold since the revolution. 3. Site Visits in Yenpien A.THE PRINTING FACTORY Our visits in Yenpien included a printing factory, a people's commune , a theater, Yenpien University, two colleges, and a department store. Our tour started at the Yenpien Printing Factory, where both Han and Korean workers were employed in printing materials in both languages . Banners of welcome and miscellaneous wall posters were written in both Korean and Mandarin. The factory was founded in June 1948, with an original work force of seventy using fifteen machines. During the Great Leap Forward in 1958, the factory expanded its workforce to three hundred workers, and began to print magazines. During the Cultural Revolution, it again expanded, branching into seven sections: typepicking , typesetting, binding, offset printing, machinery and graphics, and maintenance. The number of workers in thirty subsections had risen to six hundred and the capacity had doubled. They explained that mechanization and automation would be the next step. Most of the workers in the factory were women, and the Korean workers wore Korean dress, probably because our visit was a special occasion for them. The apparently newer clothes worn by the younger women were thin, plain colored and devoid of pattern, in contrast to the older women who wore older, thicker, patterned material. Another point which drew my attention was that the older women, at least those over thirty, had permanently-waved hair and the style seemed to be uniquely Korean. Korean workers were engaged in printing Korean materials, for example textbooks for Korean study, while Han workers were printing science textbooks in Mandarin. B.THE PEOPLE'S COMMUNE We next visited Changpai People's Commune in the suburbs of Yenchi city, the same one that Professor Andö had reported as being the KOREAN MINORITY IN YENPIEN109 most successful. The explanation about the commune was given by Mr. Pak, chief of the production brigade. He spoke in Korean; it was the first explanation we had heard given in Korean in China. The atmosphere of the audience completely changed as he spoke. Korean leaders who had listened rather passively to the explanations and addresses given in Mandarin at various other places, became increasingly relaxed and started commenting noisily about his speech. There was only one Han leader who could not understand Korean, and a Korean girl student staying at the commune acted as interpreter for him. It was obvious she failed to interpret everything, in spite of the leader's obvious interest in understanding what was said. The people's commune, which became a binational commune in 1958, originated from mutual-aid teams founded at the time of the liberation . The latter expanded into primary agricultural cooperatives in 1952, and were reorganized into high-production cooperatives in 1956. The people's commune grew from these. The leadership of the production brigade is provided by a revolutionary committee composed of thirteen members (nine Koreans and four Han Chinese), with Mr. Pak as its chief. The production brigade consists of nine production teams containing 421 families and 2,145 persons (327 families and 1,620 persons are Koreans; 94 families and 525 persons are Han). Intermarriage is so rare between these two nationalities that so far there have been only three known cases. Land under cultivation by the commune consists of 215 hectares of paddy fields, which Koreans cultivate; 102 hectares of dry land, which the Han cultivate; and 45 hectares of vegetable fields, which both nationalities cultivate separately. The brigade also owns some forest area and breeds pigs. A division of labor thus exists, with the Koreans raising rice in the paddy fields and the Han raising other grains on the dry land, although, as mentioned earlier, some Han youth work with machines used in paddy cultivation. The brigade owns eighteen tractors of various sizes, sixteen paddy planters, and a truck. Threshing and rice polishing is carried out using electrically powered machines. Eighty percent of the paddy planting is done by machine and the rest by hand. Before 1949, 70 percent of the land that the brigade now owns was in the hands of landlords and was cultivated by tenants, while 30 percent was cultivated by owner-peasants themselves. Because of the high rate of rent, which was about 65 percent of the yield, incentive was low and the land produced only about 1 ton per hectare. At present the land reportedly produces 3 tons per hectare of rice, and 35 tons per hectare of vegetables . These estimates seemed to me extraordinarily high as the most favorable estimates in the West now put China's rice production at an er- 110TSURUSHIMA ratic average of 2.5-3.5 tons per hectare, and it is doubtful that production in Yenpien could exceed that of South China, even though it is known to be the highest in the Northeast. Given the unfavorable climate and growing conditions, it must be considered a prodigious achievement, if the figures are anywhere near accurate, especially when compared to the roughly 1.7 tons per hectare produced in the Philippines and 6 tons per hectare in Japan—the former having near ideal climatic conditions and the latter a highly developed cultivation technique. It is no wonder that the leaders in Yenpien put special emphasis on this point. The production unit is, in fact, neither the commune nor the brigade , but the production team. The harvest of each team is divided into three parts: one for the government, commune, and brigade; the second for members of the production team is divided according to the amount of labor; and the third part is divided equally among member families. In terms of percentages, 2-3 percent is paid to the government as a kind of tax, 20 percent is set aside to cover the cost of further production, 13 percent is put into the team's reserves, 60 percent is paid to members of the team, and less than 5 percent is divided equally among member families. Of the 20 percent reserved to cover costs of further production, 2 percent is put aside for various uses such as subsidizing medical facilities and so on, while another 2 percent goes into the production fund. The 60 percent distributed among members of the team is allotted on the basis of a point system. Each process in the cultivation of the paddy is taken separately, and points are allotted according to the skill of a worker in that particular process. The processes may be roughly divided into ploughing, seeding, transplanting, weeding, harvesting and so on. On the basis of his skills, a worker in any one process is classified into one of several different skill levels. Thus a first-class transplanter gains points because of the skill and hard work involved. A top-rate worker in this category can gain a maximum of 20 points, while fewer points are given on a sliding-scale to lower-rated workers, with 1.5 being the maximum number of points between skill levels. A worker in seeding, for example , is given a flat rate of 12 points and one who works on dry land 10 points. At the end of the season each member reports the total number of points he has accumulated, and the team's share of the harvest is then divided among the members according to percentages based on the total number of points earned by all members. Each member thus has a rough idea of how much he will be paid. Once it is established how much each will receive, a meeting is called to discuss any necessary amendments. After the adjustments, payments are made by the production team. The average wage for a member is about 160 yuan per year. Most of the plots of land for private production, which each family KOREAN MINORITY IN YENPIEN111 is theoretically free to cultivate, are in practice collectively cultivated paddy fields. The only really free private area for family cultivation is a small piece of land for vegetables. The brigade is self-sufficient in food. After paying taxes, it usually has accumulations of 750,000 yuan and 325 tons of rice reserves. At present the total savings of brigade members is about 20,000 yuan. In terms of standard of living, the brigade has a wire-broadcast station , a library, and a cultural propaganda team with a film projector. Member families of the brigade own 832 clocks, 190 bicycles, 250 radio sets, and 230 sewing machines. Five barefoot doctors and ten nurses staff the brigade's cooperative medical station, and Mr. Pak proudly pointed out that there had been no cases of infant mortality since the Cultural Revolution. Ninety-seven students from other parts of China were staying in the brigade community, living together in seven houses. Their living costs and labor costs for the first year were paid by the Central Government, but since then they have been paid the same as the members of the brigade. Twelve of them were members of the Communist party, and forty-four had received certificates of rural leadership. After the explanation ended, we visited one of the houses in the brigade community. The owner, Mr. Kim, was about sixty years old and he was born in the same place in which he was living, while his wife came from a village about 15 kilometers away. Both greeted us in traditional Korean costumes. He explained that he receives about 4,600 kilograms of rice per year, of which a third can be saved. He reckoned that about 250 kilograms per capita is saved annually in the brigade. Mr. Kim's son was away from home studying at a cadre school in Kirin city. His daughter, who arrived while we were talking to him, was living at home with her parents and working on the land. She was dressed in working clothes commonly worn by young Han Chinese of her generation, and her hairstyle was also Han style. Their house was a typical Korean peasant structure, built on a wooden frame with a thatched roof and mud walls. The one and only entrance was a door leading directly into the kitchen, which had an earth floor. A large brick and earth range provided not only facilities for cooking , but also heated the entire house in the Korean traditional manner by a network of pipes which conducted the smoke under the floors of the adjoining rooms. The smoke finally escaped through a large chimney on the other side of the house. The room off the kitchen (about 4 by 3 meters) acted as a combined living/guest room with a wooden floor covered by thin, woven straw mats. At one side, large storage jars containing pickles and other foods were lined up, and on the wall a single ca- 112TSURUSHIMA lendar was the only adornment. This calendar was interesting in that it showed a seated leader dressed in military uniform addressing a group of Korean peasants seated in a semicircle at his feet. The setting was a bamboo grove in the Yenpien area, and the leader bore a strong resemblance to Mao Tse-tung who, in fact, had never visited Yenpien. The adjoining sleeping area, separated by a curtain, was divided into two and was the same size as the other room. One part was for the daughter and the other for the couple, although there was no special feature to indicate who slept where. The couple's side had Korean costumes hanging on the wall, as well as traditional leather hats, which gave rise to leg-pulling by the Han Chinese who were with us. Mr. Kim's wife became visibly angry. This kind of traditional Korean dwelling probably remains in any sizeable numbers only in Yenpien. In North and South Korea, they are being replaced rapidly by more modern structures. C. THE UNIVERSITY AND COLLEGES Our third visit was to Yenpien University and the two colleges. As one might expect, they had been strongly influenced by the Cultural Revolution . Under the occupation of Maoist workers' propaganda groups, courses had been shortened, workers together with peasants and soldiers had priority of application, students were supposed to learn from them by living and working together, and the combination of theory and practice was held to be of the utmost importance. Teachers and students were expected to spend a lot of time at factories and at people's communes and on campus to apply their concentration to political discussions. Chiefs of revolutionary committees (at the time of our visit this was a title denoting those who were formerly called university or college presidents ), were clearly, though not vocally, unhappy at the sacrifice of qualified study for the study of layman's level subjects. It was revealing to witness the effort and endeavors made by students to increase production immediately by assisting in all the menial tasks performed by the peasants themselves, as well as their sympathetic approach to the peasants' revolutionary activities. Although such joint efforts undoubtedly have short-term benefits, the loss in terms of higher technical know-how may be felt in the long run. (i) Yenpien University. Since the university's founding in 1949, the staff has increased from less than 50 to the present 464 and the student body from 460 to 1,400. As already mentioned, the medical and agricultural colleges became independent in 1958. Out of the 464 staff members, 60 percent were Korean, 40 percent Han, while the 1,400 students were a mixture of Korean, Han, Manchu, Mongolian, and Hui. The students were divided into seven faculties: politics, Chinese culture, Korean Ian- KOREAN MINORITY IN YENPIEN113 guage, mathematics, chemistry, physics, and athletics. Only the faculty of Chinese culture has three subsections, Chinese culture, Chinese language, and Korean language. The Korean language section is for the study of Korean literature, while the Korean language faculty is to teach the Korean language to Han students from all parts of China. Similarly the primary purpose of the Chinese language section of the Chinese culture facultyis to teach Chinese to Korean students. The university has a branch in Wangch'ing with three courses: politics , physics, and athletics. Since 1970, only workers, peasants, and soldiers have been allowed to apply to the university. The courses were shortened from four years in the case of the athletics faculty, and five years at the others to three years. Subjects for students to study have been reduced from more than thirty to thirteen or fourteen. At the faculty of politics, students are expected to study the history of Western philosophy , the history of Chinese philosophy, economics (Marx's Das Kapital), the foundation of socialism (Stalin's works), and Mao's works on rural problems. Korean students of the Chinese language section were editing a Chinese-Korean dictionary by themselves, while Han students were preparing a textbook on Korean. By maintaining solidarity with workers, peasants, and soldiers, students are expected to combine theory and practice by struggling for the three great revolutionary movements. These are the class struggle, the struggle for production, and the struggle for scientific experimentation. Students in the courses of social science or literature are encouraged to acknowledge real society as their classroom, while those in natural sciences are directed to try to solve practical problems in the struggle for production. By having contact with agricultural bases and factories, they are not only to retain a high level of political consciousness, but also to find and solve practical problems more efficiently. Students are expected to go to people's communes or factories as much as possible, even if this conflicts with classes on the campus. Teachers only spend a third of the four hours allotted to class time actually teaching; the students must use the rest of the time for discussion among themselves. A chance arose for us to have a discussion with some students. Those attending included the chief of the revolutionary committee (Korean ), the vice-chief of the Maoist workers propaganda team (Korean), two teachers—one of science (Korean) and one of Mandarin (Han), a Han student of the Korean language faculty, five Korean students (three males and two females) of the Chinese-language section, and a Han female graduate working at a people's commune. The students were shy and hesitated to speak. In answer to the question of what they had actually learned in the 114TSURUSHIMA people's communes, they explained that at the commune they had learned from Mr. Kim (the chief of the commune and a guest lecturer at the university) about education along the "general line" and how he had organized the brigade. The "general line" was a phrase originally coined by Mao Tse-tung to urge people to catch up with and surpass the United Kingdom in industrial production, to "build socialism by exerting the utmost efforts and pressing forward consistently to achieve greater, faster, better and more economic results." The Mr. Kim mentioned also happened to be one of the men whom Professor Andö reported as having been rewarded for the success of his commune. It was of special interest to me to find that the students insisted that when they studied local history, they had to view it as a history related to other nationalities. But there was total silence when they were asked what they had learned about the heroic struggle by Koreans of the area against Japanese rule for the liberation of Korea and the Korean people. This came as a shock to me. After an embarrassing interval in which no one spoke, a Korean teacher, his face bright red, summoned up enough courage to offer an answer: "We are members of the Chinese people. The history which we should learn is Chinese history and local struggles should be studied in relation to the history of the Chinese Communist party. We teach Korean independence as part of the history of that country ." (U) Yenpien Medical College. The college gained independence from Yenpien University during the Great Leap Forward. Scattered over an area of 12,000 square meters, it has 19 laboratories, a hospital with 500 beds, and a branch school in the countryside. There are about 300 staff members of whom 90 are teachers. They teach 600 students courses in medical science, pharmacy, and nursing. Out of about 3,000 graduates over the past twenty-four years, 1,390 have graduated since the Cultural Revolution. Since 1970, and at the time of our visit, only workers, peasants, and soldiers have been permitted to apply for entrance. Also around 1970 the aims of the college were reformulated so that students were encouraged to work together actively with workers and peasants in the countryside. The course was shortened from five years to two, and a new one-year course was opened in connection with a program for the people's commune. Emphasis was placed on: (1) the improvement of thought, (2) the combination of fundamental theory and practice, and (3) the combination of thought and practice. Students were required to train not only at the hospital attached to the college but also at the county sanatorium and similar facilities. They were also expected to join together in groups and extend medical services in the countryside by living and working with peasants. Oriental as well as Western medical science was taught, and at- KOREAN MINORITY IN YENPIEN115 tention has focused on more common diseases. The Chief of the revolutionary committee sounded far from happy when he described the emphasis on common diseases like stomachache, diarrhea, colds, and appendicitis . As an attempt to maintain standards, he insisted that the students learn to manage a stomach operation by the end of the course. His feelings were understandable. When Yenpien University, complete with colleges of education, medical science, and agronomy, was founded in April 1949, it fostered a revolutionary tradition, a wide diffusion and high level of education, and the advanced productivity of Koreans in the area. The only comparable institute founded around the same time by either the Communist party or the new Peking government was a cadre school opened on the frontier in Inner Mongolia in 1950. Yenpien was not the only minority area led by local national leaders in the age of communist movements, but the general educational level of the populace and high level of productivity have put it well ahead of other minority areas and even ahead of neighboring Han areas. Koreans in Yenpien were rightfully proud of the levels reached in medical science and agronomy at Yenpien University, but purely academic studies of a high level had been reduced to the common norm by the Cultural Revolution. The chief of the revolutionary committee at Yenpien Medical College must have found it hard to hide his frustration at not being able to show us something of their real academic intentions. (Ui) Yenpien Agricultural College. At the time of our visit, the college had 460 regular students in three faculties: agronomy, animal husbandry and veterinary science, and agricultural machinery. The faculty of agricultural machinery was subdivided into two sections, agricultural machinery and orchard management. In addition to this, there were over 10,000 students taking correspondence courses. The staff members and their assistants numbered about 70 leaders and 100 workers, who worked on mixed farms, on stock farms, in a factory producing agricultural and veterinary medicines, and in an implement repair factory. The course for regular students had been shortened to two years, and its aim was to produce leaders for production brigades or production teams. Four hundred twenty students had graduated from regular courses since 1970, while those who attended shortened courses since the Cultural Revolution numbered about 5,000, of whom 60 percent were Korean and 40 percent Han. Thirty to 40 percent were women. Education was very much integrated into the work of the people's commune, and it was an impressive sight to see a large number of people busily working at the factory that was attached to the college and that produced agricultural and veterinary medicines. Wedged between our hectic schedule of visits there were some lighter 116TSURUSHIMA moments when we could relax and simply enjoy the warmth of our hosts' hospitality. Included in such moments were a trip to a theater, a department store visit, and some parties given in our honor. At a performance given by students of the special school of arts at a theater in Yenchi, we heard and saw traditional and revolutionary folk songs and dances, and other songs and dances that were a mixture of both. These were designed to stimulate revolutionary consciousness and a spirit of brotherhood among the different nationalities. I was quite surprised to hear a familiar song, which I had heard sung in praise of Marshal Kim Il Sung both in Pyongyang and in Japan, being sung for Mao Tse-tung instead. The department store was crammed full of commodities and shoppers , more so in proportion to floor space than stores in Peking or Shanghai. This was probably due to both the rapid increase in the population and the failure of the facilities to keep pace with it. I attended a party in Yenpien with students staying at the people's commune. We joined in the traditional Korean folk dances after a typical Korean meal, which was accompanied by large quantities of locally produced spirits. Old Kim, whose house we had visited, was also there and while dancing he said to us in Korean, "Long live Korean-Japanese friendship," which a Korean hastily interpreted as, "for the friendship of both peoples." The Han interpreters commented that he had obviously been a landlord before the liberation. At another party organized by the revolutionary committee of Yenpien and other organizations, I asked one of the local leaders if Koreans in Yenpien were able to visit their relatives in North Korea. He replied that, thanks to an agreement concluded by Chou En-Iai with North Korea, a Korean could now go to North Korea once a year if he wanted, but he neither volunteered any further information nor voiced any enthusiasm about the closer relations with North Korea. When I ventured to say that the journey to North Korea was simply a matter of boarding a train in Yenchi, which was based on information I recalled from the war years, he corrected me by saying that no trains could travel directly to North Korea because it was impossible to cross the Tumen River, and that passengers wishing to go there had to disembark, cross by boat, and reboard another train on the other side of the border. 4. Some Comparisons and Observations On our return to Peking from Yenpien, we had the opportunity to meet Vice-premier Chi Ting-kuei and leaders of the Japan-China Friendship Association in the Great Hall of the People. In reply to his questions about why we had been particularly interested in visiting Yenpien and what our impressions had been, I pointed out the significance of Chinese KOREAN MINORITY IN YENPIEN117 policy toward their Korean minority as compared to that of the Russians or Japanese toward their own Korean minorities. Since in all three cases the Koreans had migrated at approximately the same time, each country 's treatment of its Korean minority serves as a barometer of its inclination toward democracy and an unbiased minority policy. The very existence of Yenpien Korean Autonomous Region along the border with Russia is proof that the Chinese have a more lenient attitude toward the Koreans than the Russians. This was not the case when Koreans first started migrating to Yenpien and Siberia. Russian authorities welcomed early Korean immigrants, and even tried to lure them to Siberia by the promise of grants of land upon naturalization, because the Koreans were needed to produce the fresh food necessary to support Russia's policy of eastern expansion. Similarly, early immigrants to Yenpien did not have to pay taxes because the area was officially designated as "closed," or prohibited to new immigrants. Later, after the official prohibition on immigration was lifted, immigrants to Yenpien had to cope with deteriorating political conditions. However, these conditions were overcome by the Koreans' skill in cultivating paddy and by their sheer hard work. Thus, although official Chinese and Russian policies differed, both areas received large numbers of immigrants during this period. These early immigrants also had quite a bit of social contact with each other. Many seasonal workers, having worked in Siberia during the summer, wintered in Yenpien rather than returning to Korea. The migrants preferred to pass the winter in Yenpien because living costs were lower in Yenpien than in Siberia or Korea. The Yenpien Koreans welcomed them because they were good customers. For this reason, the Koreans in Yenpien were all the more aware of the fate of their brothers when the Koreans on the Russian side of the border were forced to abandon their land and move to central Asia in 1938. The Yenpien Koreans have not lost sight of the fact that they still cultivate land tilled by their forefathers, and that they now have a certain measure of autonomy. Western critics have been all too ready to show up the limitations of autonomy which national minorities in China enjoy, pointing out that neither independence nor secession are permitted. Nevertheless, in comparing the conditions of Koreans in China and Japan, we cannot say that those in Japan are necessarily better off. Their situations differ on a number of points. Koreans in Yenpien work mostly on the land, while those in Japan are mainly engaged in industry. Since the productivity of rice is higher than other grains grown in the Northeast, and since Koreans are dominant in this type of agriculture, they are in an advantageous position. By contrast, Korean workers in Japan suffer from 118TSURUSHIMA various types of job discrimination when seeking employment at major companies, banks, and most governmental agencies. The contrast of situations extends to language policy as well. Korean is recognized as an official language in Yenpien and Korean children attend Korean schools to learn their own language. The government supports bilingual education by extending extra funds for this purpose. In Japan, on the other hand, government policy aims at integration by "Japanization ," forcing Korean children to go to Japanese schools, although only Japanese children at these schools receive subsidized textbooks and lunches. The Korean lifestyle and national costume are protected in the same way as education in Yenpien, and the government ensures, through factory subsidies, that commodities necessary for maintenance of such a lifestyle are produced. Koreans in Japan are advised to change their Korean names to common Japanese names so that the procedure for naturalization can be smoothed. One can argue that Koreans in Japan are free to criticize Japanese policies and to express their support for Kim Il Sung, Park Chung Hee, Kim Dae Jung, or whomever they like, while it is difficult for Koreans in China "to criticize the Peking government openly," to express their admiration of Park Chung Hee or even Kim Il Sung. However, closer inspection reveals that the politically free stance which Koreans in Japan appear to have in fact has severe limitations, since the immigration law prohibits any activity which Japanese authorities deem "political." The penalty for violators of this law may be loss of the right to live in Japan and deportation to Korea, a country they have never seen and whose language they cannot understand. This includes second- or third-generation Koreans, unless they have secured Japanese nationality. If forced to choose between a place where human rights are ignored or a place where autonomy lacks a clause providing for independence or secession, it is not hard to decide in which place the Korean minority is treated better. We also saw in Yenpien how, in various respects, the lives of the people had been affected by the Cultural Revolution, but we did not mention the subject in the Great Hall of the People because time was too short and because of the sensitivity of the subject (it was just prior to the fall of the Gang of Four). In some institutions, like the university and colleges in Yenpien, we were told that they were promoting the integration of education with productive labor, and that they regarded Chaoyang Agricultural College as their ideal. Since the fall of the Gang of Four, the Chaoyang model has been dismissed as an "abortion," but during our visit we observed that students were spending more time at people's communes or in factories than on campus, and more time in discussions among themselves rather than attending classes or engaging in KOREAN MINORITY IN YENPIEN119 research. At other academic institutions like Peking University, however, the importance of theoretical study in science was admitted, and a prominent professor there even hinted at the necessity of enrollment procedures that included entrance examinations. During the Cultural Revolution , the policy was to send middle school graduates to rural areas, the armed forces, or industry for several years so that their political character could be assessed before they were nominated for a university. It was virtually impossible to enter a university directly from school by taking an entrance examination. We observed a wide difference of opinion between administrators at Peking University and those at Yenpien University concerning what students should learn from their factory or commune experience. When students of Yenpien University were asked what they had learned at the people's commune, they vaguely referred to the class struggle. On the other hand, students of Peking University explained that their study at the factory had something valuable to offer in the way of experience. If, for example, they found some bottleneck in the production process, they would attempt to solve the problem theoretically, so the practical aspects could then be dealt with by the factory managers. It was not a surprise to find that Yenpien University and the colleges there were still firmly entrenched in the beliefs of the Cultural Revolution , as indeed was Chinghua University in Peking, although Peking University itself was trying to escape from such dogmatism. It was difficult to determine during our short stay whether the pride in academic achievement that the Körens had held at the foundation of Yenpien University still remained, or whether it had been swallowed up in the antiacademic turmoil accompanying the Cultural Revolution. Due to the difficulty of recruiting qualified scholars in Yenpien as compared to Peking or Shanghai, and because of the underlying ethnic situation which aggravates the problem, it appears that lasting damage to academic studies may have resulted. It is easy to sympathize with the anger expressed by the chief of the revolutionary committee of Yenpien Medical College. Not only had the Maoist propaganda teams disrupted college life, though only temporarily, but the abnormal situation they had created was certain to damage the quality of medical science in the long term. One of the most noticeable effects of the Cultural Revolution in Yenpien was the replacement of the older established leaders, who had experience in administration and party leadership in the region and who had played such a major role in the liberation struggle, by youthful, inexperienced newcomers. It was also noticeable that, in spite of their elevated position in the region, the newcomers did not seem to command much respect from the rank-and-file leaders. This was evident when we 120TSURUSHIMA visited the Yenpien printing factory and the people's commune. Although in general during our stay in China it was rare for us to witness a case where lower-ranking leaders failed to pay respect to those above them, and common for leaders, including those elevated during the Cultural Revolution, to maintain a sense of their position, the representatives at the printing factory and people's commune in Yenpien almost completely ignored the high-ranking regional leaders who were accompanying us, only greeting those who appeared to be friends of theirs. Certainly democratization has been one of the most tangible results of the Cultural Revoltion, even if it has come at the sacrifice of experienced leadership and a certain dignity of office. At the same time, I wonder to what extent this hampers the leaders in their efforts to protect the interests of the people and to promote the special interests of the region . Not only did the leaders at the printing factory and commune fail to acknowledge the regional leaders, but there was also an absence of any eulogy for Chairman Mao. At most, they showed loyalty to the Communist party, although not with any marked enthusiasm, and other political subjects, such as unity or equality of nationalities, were bypassed in favor of their all-absorbing interest in production. Another outstanding omission was their neglect of the topic of selfreliance , a subject that workers in Tach'ing, a major oil-producing area northwest of Yenpien, had been proud to talk about. Tach'ing has been regarded as a model for industry, not only because of the efforts and spirit of its workers in overcoming many natural obstacles, but also because of the emphasis the workers and their families place on selfreliance . We saw examples of this at a sewing factory where clothes were made from old remnants, and at the communal field, where families cultivated their own crops. Their pride was tangible, for varieties of homeproduced soybean curd and kaoliang spirits were pressed on us at lunch. At an automobile factory in Ch'angch'un, we were told that workers and their families cultivated their own plots, either in a field owned by the factory or at a local people's commune. But workers at the Yenpien printing factory did not seem to cultivate any land, or at least they showed no pride in trying to be self-reliant. At the people's commune too, the information lectures did not mention anything about people working outside their primary jobs. In contrast, workers at the people's commune in Shanghai were encouraged to visit factories producing motor coils or light bulbs, and these visits were regarded as highlights in their experience. The women at the commune in Shanghai expressed a feeling of solidarity with the women working in the factories, which promoted a feeling of their own emancipation. At the Changpai People's Commune in Yenpien, no mention was made of emancipation, nor did KOREAN MINORITY IN YENPIEN121 we visit any factory of this kind; instead we were taken to a peasant's house, and attended a party at the residence of students from other parts of China. In most of the places around Yenpien where we had the opportunity to talk to local people, it was clear that they sensed the impending shift in the political line, and they were reluctant to voice an opinion about politics . Instead, they seemed eager to express their interest in increasing production or to tell how life had improved since the 1949 Revolution. It was curious how leaders of the printing factory avoided or chose to ignore political issues and other matters that had been deliberately raised during the Cultural Revolution, and which students from the same area were still debating. Naturally, we were not told why the two groups had such differing ideas, but one can guess at some of the reasons. One natural conclusion might be the desire to keep the commune workers' minds on their work, that is, on increasing production, and off the unpleasant aspects of the sudden population increase caused by the influx of Han youth. Apart from their role in the power struggle, their very presence and the fact that they had to be sustained by the local economy would naturally lead to resentment by the local peasants. The campaign emphasizing self-reliance had the unwanted effect of encouraging peasants to look out for their own interests, including wanting the food they produced for themselves. But the presence of Han youth meant more mouths to feed at a time when other areas were not willing or not able to supply the increased demand in the Northeast. The people's concern over the increased demand for food was clear. When we visited Mr. Kim's house, he mentioned that when there were surplus vegetables, they were sold to the cooperative shop in the people's commune. This was interesting , since we had earlier been told that people were only allowed to grow vegetables for their own consumption and so should not have had any surplus. The purpose of this was to integrate the private plots of land, which amounted to 5 percent of the cultivated area, and which each family was theoretically free to cultivate, with other land belonging to the production team. The only way to meet the increasing demand for food was to expand the area of paddy agriculture. But the expansion of paddy fields was, as always, limited by the irrigation network, a serious hindrance to any plan for rapid increase in productivity. Another problem was social. Since there was a de facto division of labor between the Koreans who cultivate the paddy fields and the Han peasants who work the dry land, any change of dry land into paddy would widen the difference in productivity between the Koreans and the Han. Even assuming that Han peasants could reclaim more land than they lost to paddy agriculture, the greater 122TSURUSHIMA efficiency of paddy agriculture would cause the gap to widen. At the time of our visit, the Korean peasants were being requested to step up rice production , and Mr. Pak had no time for any of the slack season jobs that other commune members took up when the fields were fallow. Perhaps another reason members of the commune were cool toward the more recent migrants was that many of the Han in-migrants in Yenpien were not connected to the commune, but were instead logging in the forests, working in the mines, and contributing toward the rapid population increase in the towns. Factory workers in the towns seldom tried to find work in the countryside, and were not needed there except in busy seasons such as harvest time. Even then, students and soldiers were more easily mobilized. The students were anxious to learn from the peasants, while People's Liberation Army soldiers could assist in many ways that the factory workers could not. The influence of North Korea may be another reason the leaders of the printing factory and the people's commune seemed more anxious to emphasize the importance of production rather than other goals. This leads one to speculate about the extent of contact between Koreans in both countries. Many of the things we were told while in Yenpien seemed expressly designed to show up the difference between the Koreans in Yenpien and the Koreans in North Korea, and to emphasize their differing nationality. A typical example was the case of students at Yenpien University, who seemed to regard the history of Korea and Korean literature as that relating to a foreign country, while the Korean struggles against the Japanese in Yenpien were viewed in the context of the history of the Chinese Communist party. The only Korean literature they seemed to regard as their own was that written in Yenpien. Where was their national pride, which during the Korean War had raised their enthusiasm to such a pitch that many Yenpien Koreans had actively supported the North Koreans and fought alongside them? If the facts we were told are true, we must conclude that the establishment of two socialist countries on either side of the Tumen and YaIu rivers has served to sever former contacts and to hasten the integration of Koreans into the respective communities of each country. The implication of the remark that the train from Yenchi no longer passes into Korea is very clear. Many questions related to ethnic ties were left unanswered by our hosts. Not one of the leaders volunteered to tell us if he had been to North Korea, and, in answer to the question of whether they had family or relatives there, one of them replied quite forcefully that he had none. Also, the number of Yenpien Koreans visiting North Korea each year was never revealed. Yet, there were indications that fairly close contact remained. Apart from the early influences, such as the species of cattle KOREAN MINORITY IN YENPIEN123 and other things brought in with the first immigrants, there were other post-Korean War influences, such as multistory apartments and the location of the orchards. The latter were clearly postwar influences because they did not exist in North Korea before 1950. To the extent that this contact remains alive, economic and technological developments as well as improvements in living standards, all of which are quite visible in North Korea, quite likely act as a stimulus to improvement by providing goals for which to aim. If trade does exist between the two countries, dried cod from North Korea in exchange for soybeans from Yenpien, for example, then the introduction of technology would be the next logical step. Leaders of various ranks in Yenpien are undoubtedly concerned with higher productivity to enable Koreans in Yenpien to enjoy a standard of living similar to that enjoyed in North Korea. Similarly, the impact of South Korean development on North Korea affects Yenpien indirectly as well. As a result of this situation, Yenpien holds a unique position among the frontier areas of China in that it is more susceptible to international economic influences than most other places. Another change resulting from the Cultural Revolution which drew our attention was the increasing use of Mandarin. At the university and colleges, all the lectures, with the exception of the Korean-language class, were given in Mandarin, and all the wall posters were written in the same language. Most of the speeches, including those given by Korean leaders, were in Mandarin. Certainly the use of Mandarin is necessary since so many in-migrants have moved to Yenpien. Mandarin has been adopted as the main language not only for the purpose of communication, but also to provide a common unifying base to ensure the peaceful coexistence of different nationalities. If, after the Cultural Revolution, emphasis is again put on minority identities, as was done in the aftermath of the Great Leap Forward, then the Korean language is likely to see a revival. But it is inevitable that in the long run such swings in policies will eventually lead to Mandarin gaining ground. The same thing can be said for the traditional Korean costume and hairstyle. Although we saw Mr. Kim attired in traditional costume at home, and women at the printing factory similarly dressed, it was obvious that they had dressed specially for our benefit. Usually they would have worn ordinary work clothes like other Han workers. Miss Kim was a more typical example of her age group, both in hairstyle and dress. Although the Cultural Revolution certainly played a role in helping to narrow the differences between Koreans and the Han majority, it was impossible for us to gauge accurately how strong an effect it had. Many conflicting reports have been written. I have attempted through my own 124TSURUSHIMA observations to analyze what the changes have been, and to show how Yenpien, with its unique geographical, historical, and cultural background , has been affected. At the time of my visit it appeared that perhaps social forces were moving in the direction of assimilation, despite government policies to influence it in either direction, and despite contradictory evidence indicating both assimilation and the maintenance of a separate ethnic identity. However, since my visit occurred just before the fall of the Gang of Four, the situation may have changed. Many observations since that time have indicated that this is indeed the case. It has been my aim to report as accurately as possible the effects of political upheavals on Koreans living in Yenpien, and I hope that in some way what I have been able to observe will be of benefit to others. ...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1529-1529
Print ISSN
0145-840X
Pages
pp. 93-124
Launched on MUSE
2011-03-30
Open Access
No
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