The Paradox of Postcolonial Korean Nationalism: State-Sponsored Cultural Policy in South Korea, 1965-Present
- Journal of Korean Studies
- Center for Korea Studies, University of Washington
- Volume 15, Number 1, Fall 2010
- pp. 67-93
- Additional Information
This paper examines the process by which the South Korean government revived Japanese forms of cultural policy to mobilize the populace in support of state goals, thus reproducing colonial cultural experiences in postcolonial times. Facing threats to their authority from the North Korean communist alternative, the inequalities of rapid economic development, and the questionable legitimacy of their unelected military governments, successive South Korean regimes expanded cultural policies to create a shared sense of national identity. While placing particular emphasis on Park Chung Hee's adaptation of Japanese cultural projects to uphold the legitimacy of his regime after the normalization of diplomatic relations in 1965, I also underscore how later regimes managed many colonial cultural experiences to create their own national cultural policies. My discussion of continuities and discontinuities in cultural practice between these two East Asian nations contributes to a better understanding of the transnational exchange of the ideals and structures used to facilitate state goals.