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relatively steep. For this reason the farms are most numerous and valuable on the western slopes and coast. As some one has said, "Her geography predetermined her history: her face lies toward China, her back toward Japan."
Agriculture is the occupation of eighty per cent. of her people, and even now yields seventy per cent. of the value of her exports.
Millet, older than the oldest legend; rice, introduced by the Chinese over three thousand years ago; beans; peas; barley; cotton; tobacco; castor-oil beans; and a variety of garden truck were successfully grown long before the coming of the Japanese: but fieldgrown ginseng was their only important export. Although its export value is more than ten times greater than in 1910, ginseng now ranks only fifth in importance. In 1917 it was surpassed by rice, soya beans, cotton, fish, and hides. In the previous year both graphite and leather manufactures outranked it as an export.
Almost all of the temperate fruits and nuts except apples are indigenous. The native persimmon, as large as an apple, is the most delicious of its kind in the world. Apples are now grown for export, and quantities of excellent pears, grapes, and peaches of foreign ancestry are raised on modern and well-kept fruit-farms.
From time immemorial bullocks, pigs, and small native horses have made easier the lot of the farmer; but donkeys were a luxury, and sheep were unknown. Intelligent travelers used to ask why sheep were not imported in order to use the sparse grass of the otherwise bare hills. The answer was that the tigers, wolves, and bears would get them; the grass was needed for fuel; and, anyway, only the grass round the graves was fit food. However, in 1911, fifty sheep were imported, and in 1916 the flock had increased to 289. In the country regions, game birds, especially Mongolian pheasants, ducks, and other aquatic birds, are very abundant.
For three thousand years Korea lived a literate and civilized life, sufficient unto herself, with only occasional interruptions from China and Japan of the "Faultless Morning Calm," her
boast and the literal meaning of her ancient name, Cho-sen. To China she owed her arts, her letters, her religion. Whatever Korea learned from China she passed on to Japan. Intellectually, as well as physically, Korea stood between China and Japan until the opening of Japan to the Western world.
We know the romantic story of Japan's marvelously rapid assimilation. of Occidental practices and ideals of administration and society. While this revolution was taking place in Japan, Korea was in the hands of a regent, bigoted, conservative, unscrupulous, and proud. He believed himself and his country invincible, and he had nothing but contempt for a neighbor who had opened her doors to foreigners. When his young son came to the throne, however, Japan had no difficulty, in 1876, in negotiating a treaty of peace and friendship, which ended forever the isolation of the Hermit Kingdom.
Later, under the able leadership of Yuan-Shikai, subsequently the President of China, with the help of the Britisher, Sir John McLeavy Brown, her customs and finances were formed. The streets of her capital were cleaned. A model farm was organized. A powder-mill was erected. Still later American capital and initiative built a railroad and the telegraph. Mines were developed. An electric tramway, electric lights, water-works, and telephone service were given to the capital.
Nevertheless, the important things were left untouched. Judicial and executive functions continued to be vested in the same officials. The court was unspeakably corrupt. Taxation, police service, and the administration of justice were ruled by intrigue, bribery, and class interest. Prisons were infernos in which guilty, innocent, and untried prisoners often died from cold and hunger. Torture, flogging, slow strangulation, and poison were not uncommon punishments. Except for a few mission schools, education was denied the
In 1895, at the conclusion of the Chino-Japanese War, Japan won the right to give Korea advice. Theoretically, at any rate, with her royal house secure, her independence and her ter
ritorial integrity guaranteed. might do just as she saw fit about following that "advice." But the victorious conclusion of the Russo-Japanese War ten years later ended this possibility. By the terms of the Treaty of Portsmouth and by subsequent agreements Japan received actual control of Korea's finances and diplomacy, her postal service and telegraph, and of all her internal affairs. Marquis Ito, Japan's great constructive statesman, became resident-general and virtually an absolute monarch. In the four years preceding his assassination he effectively reorganized the Government, separating court and state revenues, giving as far as possible local powers of taxation and administration, reforming the courts and prisons, reorganizing and teaching the police, codifying the laws, creating hospitals and schools, introducing sanitation and water into all cities, and opening new communications by water, by rail, and by roads.
It is perhaps worth while to stop a moment to note that one of the great obstacles to road and railway development in Korea in ante-Japanese days was the fact that many graves blocked the way. To disturb a grave, whether of father or remote ancestor, was the greatest of outrages. It was believed that no matter how innocent were the descendants, yet disasters and punishments were sure to come to them in consequence of such violation.
Nevertheless, the Japanese built the roads quite regardless of graves and in accordance only with principles of engineering. Moreover, they robbed the graves of treasures buried with the dead, exhibiting them later with archæological enthusiasm not understood by the Koreans.
tage-ground of Japan to play fair and to send over only products that were up to standard. He abolished the objectionable Japanese tea-houses from the Chinko-kin, and the geisha girls were banished at the same time. But Terauchi was needed in Japan. He succeeded Okuma as premier, and General Hasegawa became Governor-General of Korea. Reports of the "ill-health" of the latter were coincident with reports of the uprisings, and no one was astonished when the office of military governor was abolished. Hasegawa's successor, the civilian governor, Baron Saito, was formerly minister of state in Tokio. He is a retired admiral, and in his youth he served as naval attaché in Washington.
The foreign trade of Korea has more than tripled since 1906, though her imports have not quite doubled. Of course the World War caused a decrease in the imports and a sudden jump in exports.
In connection with agriculture, Japan has increased greatly the area of arable land, the quality of agricultural methods used, and therefore both the quality and the quantity of the products. 1910, for example, about two and a half million acres were added to the area of cultivated land, in 1916 about three and a half million more.
Native Korean cotton is superior to other Oriental cottons, but it does not compare with either American or Egyptian cottons. Experiments were carried on at a station of the model farm with various imported seeds. It was found that an American upland cotton, King's Improved, gave the best results. Wherever the soil is not suited to this cotton, the planting of the native variety is encouraged. It is much in demand for wadding. In six years the area devoted to cotton has not quite doubled, but the quantity has more than quadrupled, and the quality has vastly improved.
The development in mining has been great. Between 1910 and 1916 the total production has tripled. Fourteen times as much copper has been mined and sold. The net profit on coal steadily increased each year until in 1915 it was eleven times greater than in 1910. These profits began to decrease in 1916, and the reduction has continued.
In 1916 there were 1061 factories in Korea, 416 of them owned by Koreans; in 1914 Koreans operated only 175 out of 640 factories. In other words, in three years the Koreans gained control of nearly forty instead of the former twenty-seven per cent. of the factories.
Of course, this great increase in commerce and industry has compelled a corresponding development in internal transportation, as well as better equipped and more numerous ports. The mileage of railroads has increased over seventy per cent. from 1910 to 1917. In the same length of time common roads have increased over eighty per cent.
In 1909 the Japanese established a government printing-office in Seul. It is characteristic of the cosmopolitanism of Japan that she imported the machinery from Germany, the electrical appliances from the United States, skilled workmen from Japan, then adding a hundred Korean women to the force.
Except near the northern border of Korea, in some of the islands, and around the royal tombs, no trees were left. Even the mountains were completely deforested. "Land of Treeless Mountains" became a synonym for Korea. Japan, however, has established forest schools and nurseries, and in 1911 an arbor day, April 3, the anniversary of the death of the legendary first Emperor of Japan. In 1911 over four and one-half million trees were planted, and in six years a total of seventy-seven million trees. In addition to these, in the same period private persons have planted 260 million trees.
At the time of the annexation Korea had only a hundred common schools for fifteen thousand pupils. Now she has over four hundred such schools, well equipped and modern, accommodating seventy thousand pupils. In addition, there are over sixty industrial and technical schools, and at least fifteen agricultural stations.
It is frankly acknowledged by Japan that the quality of the higher schools in Korea does not yet compare with those of the same kind in Japan. The eagerness of the Koreans for more education is shown by the fact that the demand is always in excess of the accommodation provided. Moreover, great
numbers of Koreans are going to Japan for higher education.
The so-called Yang-bang schools, intended to teach the upper classes more or less aristocratic occupations, such as sericiculture, have been very successful. They have been established in over a hundred different places. Every year there are several thousand students pursuing short courses, and in 1916 there were over two thousand enrolled for longer courses.
The old-fashioned native schools have not yet been disturbed, partly because there are not yet anything like enough modern schools to take their place, and partly because Japan in this instance seems to recognize the importance of allowing them to develop from within. Many of these schools have added, apparently voluntarily, the Japanese language and arithmetic to their course of study.
In the industrial school in Seul, under the efficient direction of Doctor Toyonaga, there has developed an intelligent and successful effort to revive ancient Korean arts, notably the manufacture of the beautiful celadon pottery, gray, with an underglaze design in white or self color. Exquisite pieces of this ancient ware exist in museums, many of them dug up from graves, but its creation was one of the lost Korean arts until its recent revival by the Japanese. In the same school are also taught carpentry, cabinet-making, weaving, papermaking,—in which the Koreans have always excelled,-iron-working, and soap manufacture.
But in all of the schools Japanese is the language taught and spoken. In none of them do they teach the history of Korea. Yet written records extend their civilization backward three thousand years, and it was Korea who gave Japan the culture, art, and religion that she herself had acquired from China.
It must be acknowledged, however, that in the National Museum at Seul, created by the Japanese, Mr. Suyumatsu, director, one may read the story of the glory of the ancient art of Korea in painting and sculpture, in bronze, in gold, in brass, and in pottery, arts that she lost when the Japanese vandal, Hideyoshi, by proxy carried away her