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skilled workmen to labor in his own country.
There are relatively few schools for higher learning, but Japan is profiting by the British mistake in Bengal.
Many hospitals have been added to Korea since the annexation, in 1910. There is some attempt at food inspection. Public slaughter-houses have been established, something not yet accomplished either in Great Britain or in the United States.
In old Korea there was no incentive to thrift. Any exhibition of wealth was an invitation to the tax-gatherer. The only possible way to enjoy it, therefore, was to spend it as secretly as possible. The old order has changed in this, too. In 1910 the deposits in savings-banks advanced from nothing to over two million yen. One and a quarter million depositors had over twelve million yen to their credit in the postal savings-banks alone in the year 1917-18. It must be acknowledged, however, that the Japanese in Korea have on deposit, per person, four times as much as the individual Korean.
The Agricultural and Industrial Bank, established in 1906, loans money for long terms at a low rate of interest, with easy conditions for repayment, in order to promote agricultural and industrial enterprises. The first Peoples Bank was organized in 1907. It was intended to benefit the small farmer by advancing money to purchase agricultural implements and manure, then helping him to sell his produce. For these purposes the Government advanced 10,000 yen. In 1914 shares were on sale at ten yen each, and in 1917 the number of the banks had increased to 260, with over a hundred thousand members. They now accept deposits.
During the earlier years of Japanese occupancy about twelve million yen annually was required from the home treasury to pay for these and other improvements; but as the wealth of Korea has increased, it has been possible to depend more and more upon her own income. She is now financially independent. Since the annexation, she has probably never cost Japan, on the average, more than the cost of the army and navy.
As in all civilized communities except the United States, Korean expenditures have been guided by a carefully prepared budget.
Over half of the present revenue of the peninsula is now derived from land taxes. In the beginning of Japanese Occupancy these taxes were so light that rice farmers, for example, easily met them with the proceeds from the sale of rice-straw. In 1914 the tax on land was increased forty per cent., and a new tax on city land was levied, as well as taxes on tobacco and liquor. In 1916 an income tax was added. Less than a quarter of the total income from taxes is made up from the miscellaneous taxes; more than a quarter from customs. In addition to land and other taxes and customs duties, Korea has an excellent source of revenue in the profits from the manufacture of ginseng and other government monopolies and enterprises, such as the government printing-office, postal, telegraph, telephone, and railway receipts. In other words, Japan has solved some of the problems of government ownership with which we are still struggling.
I came to Korea in 1910, just after the annexation, after a three months' sojourn in Japan, where I had the opportunity to study their schools in considerable detail. When I found that they had already given some similar advantages to the Korean children and were planning to open many more schools, I bubbled over with enthusiasm. Although I was staying in the home of one of the medical missionaries, Doctor Avison, director of the Severance Hospital, very little, if anything, was said of the other side of the story until, enlightened somewhat by Millard's "Far Eastern Question," Mackenzie's "Tragedy of Korea," and Hulburt's "Passing of Korea," I began to ask direct questions. Looking backward, I marvel at the restraint, the fairness, with which burning questions were discussed. My host had the advantage of a scientific turn of mind as well as deep understanding of the real situation. Finally, despite my pro-Japanese and his proKorean sympathies, I came gradually to understand the reasons why Japan, with her ability, her power, her genuine
desire to do right, yet seemed to be in the wrong. She had tried to crush Korean nationalism. Instead, she had lighted in their hearts an eternal fire of patriotism. Like Prussia, she had absolute faith in her own Kultur. Like Prussia, too, she failed to understand the psychology of the "other fellow."
Japan had the opportunity to make the Koreans forget their historic hatred. She might have justified absolutely her claim to leadership in the East. Instead, she began by furnishing her enemies with a strong argument against it. In the early administration of Korea she made five vital mistakes:
First, her highest official in Korea, successor to Inouye, Count Miura, was either a fellow-conspirator or else the willing tool of a disloyal, dangerous native renegade, the former regent, in the brutal murder of the queen.
The story of the queen, culminating in her murder, with the help of the Japanese, is worth re-telling. She was an aristocrat of ancient lineage, beautiful, gracious, generous. According to Korean ideals, she was extremely well educated. Education, to the Koreans, meant knowledge of the Chinese classics, obtained at first hand. Parts of these books had been translated into the vernacular, so that they might be read by all women. Needless to say, the parts thus made available inculcated chastity, reverence, obedience. They taught uncomplaining and unquestioning subjugation to father and husband. There they stopped. Women of the nobility, however, were taught some ideographs. Occasionally, driven by ability or ambition or by intellectual curiosity, a woman, from this small beginning, became as widely read in Chinese wisdom as the literati.
The queen's learning, however, was not confined to the classics. She had an intimate knowledge of the history of her own country. And as she learned easily from people, too, she grew into a wide knowledge of foreign affairs and acquired unusual skill in diplomacy. She was much admired by the first resident, Inouye. He was always inclined to follow her lead in Korean affairs, and when he returned to Japan, he assured her of his protection.
The king's father, the intolerant, narrow-minded regent before referred to, was her bitter enemy, chiefly because her power over the king was greater than his. He was intensely conservative, hating all foreigners, especially the Japanese. But these dislikes were, after all, pale candle-light to the flame of hatred which burned in his heart for the queen. For a score of years she had successfully thwarted all his efforts to rule; therefore, despite his hatred for the Japanese, he conspired with the resident, Count Miura, that each might be rid of his biggest obstacle to a successful career-the queen.
Early in October, 1895, all ammunition was secretly removed from the palace. At the same time Japanesetrained guards were substituted as generally as possible for those trained by the Americans. Then one day in the early morning, with the king's father carried in his chair at their head, Japanese troops entered the palace. A party of some thirty professional cutthroats, Japanese, of course, demanded the queen. One of them pulled the king round by the shoulder, another, the crown prince by his hair, the others dragged palace women round by the hair. All demanded "The queen, the queen." When at last they found her, they killed her with their swords. They dragged her body in a sack to a grove of trees, covered it with kerosene, and set fire to it. It is said that only a few bones remained. Two years later these bones were given a magnificent burial. To-day the site of the queen's tomb is one of the most beautiful places near the capital. Two years later the king was crowned emperor, and the dead queen was made empress, a triumphant answer to the edict, sent through all Korea, in which the queen was degraded to the lowest rank and declared to be a wicked woman. Weak though he was, the king refused to sign the paper. Nevertheless, it was widely circulated with a forged signature.
Count Miura and all of his satellites were recalled, and tried for the murder. His titles and dignities were taken from him. Later, they were restored. His deed was a blunder as well as a crime. It threw Korea into the hands of Rus
sia, from which she was not recovered until the close of the costly Russo-Japanese War.
Second, Japan attempted at the point of the sword to enforce sumptuary laws, regulating the length of the pipe, the length and width of sleeves, and the method of dressing the hair.
Japan's efforts to introduce the European style of hair-dressing into Korea make gay reading, but they tell the same story of a curious inability to put herself in her neighbor's place. It is true that in Japan a simple decree had been quite sufficient to bring about easily a change in their method of dressing the hair. This was partly because the order came from their own ruler and partly because there was nothing vital to a Japanese in his hair arrangement. To the Korean, however, the long plait hanging down his back meant that he was a boy, not a despised girl, and the topknot that he had attained the dignity of manhood and marriage.
The decree was resisted furiously. Cabinet ministers resigned rather than obey the order. True, the king, the crown prince, and the palace attendants had their hair cut in the new style, but then they did not wish to resign. Police in the streets and at the gates enforced the new order. Seul nearly starved. Farmers were not allowed to enter with their topknots, and as they knew that they would be mobbed and beaten if they returned to their villages without them, they wisely compromised by returning with their produce unsold, but with their topknots intact.
An interesting commentary on this incident is the fact that, entirely without solicitation from the missionaries, many of the Christian converts cut off the topknot. They consider that this ceremony marks an important break from their old life and an auspicious entrance into the new.
Third, Japan allowed the scum of her population to flock into Korea to plunder, maltreat, and oppress the timid and helpless natives. Inouye himself said of them:
All the Japanese are overbearing and rude in their dealings with the Koreans.
. . They are not only overbearing, but
violent. . . . When there is the slightest misunderstanding, they do not hesitate to employ their fists. Indeed, it is not uncommon for them to pitch Koreans into the river or to cut them down with swords. In such circumstances it would be a wonder if the Koreans developed much friendship with the Japanese. For this state of things the Japanese are themselves to blame.
Fourth, under the pretense of "military necessity" she allowed Japanese soldiers and officials to confiscate houses and lands for their own private gain.
Fifth, she introduced her own unfortunate system of legalized prostitution and segregated districts.
Unfortunately, instead of living down her earlier mistakes, she has roused new antagonisms. Since the annexation most of her blunders may be grouped into three divisions:
First, the continuance of militaristic rule.
Second, the continuance of efforts to denationalize the Koreans, especially by refusing to teach them, in their own language, their own literature and history. They have not only insisted upon their learning to speak Japanese, to use "made-in-Japan" text-books, but they have also compelled Korean children to worship the tablet of the Japanese Emperor, outwardly at least.
Third, official sanction to Buddhist and Shinto propaganda, together with more or less obvious opposition, not only to the religion of the Christians, but also to their social and religious work.
In 1912, in an uprising similar to the one of this year, over a hundred native Christians were arrested. It is not true that they were tortured, though doubtless Japan has learned something from the West of "third-degree" methods of dealing with suspects. It was true that the Japanese were then, as always, suspicious of the missionaries. But it was not true that the missionaries had done anything to deserve the suspicion. They love and understand the Koreans as the Japanese never will, but since the annexation it has been a point of honor with them never to voice criticism or encourage discontent, much less rebellion. The Japanese specifically found