The Modern City from Imperial and Colonial Eyes: Focusing on Yokomitsu Riichi’s Shanghai (1932) and Kim Kirim’s The Weather Map (1936)
- Seoul Journal of Korean Studies
- The Kyujanggak Institute for Korean Studies
- Volume 30, Number 2, December 2017
- pp. 165-184
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Yokomitsu Riichi’s Shanghai (Shanhai; 1932) and Kim Kirim’s The Weather Map (Kisangdo; 1936) share commensurable points of comparison within East Asian literary modernism despite the geopolitical incommensurability between imperial Japan and colonial Korea and the genre differences between fiction and poetry. Both texts provide historical background to the turmoil of 1920s and 1930s Shanghai, where the conflict between disparate cultural hegemonies led to the May Thirtieth Movement of 1925 and the Shanghai Incident of 1932, respectively. In addition to their two authors’ experimental writing styles, both texts address the hegemonic struggles between East and West and between Japan and China. These two works will be compared and contrasted to demonstrate how hegemonies competed within the transition period when the initiative in East Asia was shifting from the legacy of premodern China to the emerging power of Japan and the West. This article seeks to explore how both Yokomitsu and Kim, through their own senses of history, positioned the Japanese expatriates in Shanghai and Seoul citizens portrayed in their literary creations at the nexus of the legacy of Chinese civilization, expanding Japan, and the Western powers.