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In: Journal of American-East Asian Relations

This article examines the changes that the Korean War and influx of evacuees brought about in the temporary wartime capital at Pusan. It describes the two waves of in-migration into the city—the first following the outbreak of war on 25 June 1950 and the second after the Chinese People’s Volunteer Force occupied Seoul on 4 January 1951. While the first round of conflict brought some 200,000 evacuees to Pusan, mostly relatives of political and military families and the Seoul elite, the second ushered in an overwhelming half million displaced people, including over 100,000 refugees from North Korea. The rapid influx of a transient population exhausted public services and resources that the war already had diminished. The simultaneous development of a u.s. military complex in southeast Korea gave rise to rampant illegal trade and prostitution. Although schemes to continue wartime education testifies to the agency of evacuees to enact continuity in liminal spaces, only the elite could go to school without interruption in a devastated, aid-dependent, hyperinflationary economy. This article evaluates some characteristics of wartime Pusan—with privatized continuation of educational and religious institutions on one hand, and dependence on u.s. aid and military along with widespread prostitution and illegal trade on the other—to help explain why they remained salient features of the South Korean developmental state long after the armistice.

In: Journal of American-East Asian Relations

This article situates South Korea’s economic success in the latter part of the 20th Century within the framework of the emergence of universal primary education. In particular, it examines the history of primary school enrollment in Korea from the onset of Japanese colonial rule in 1910 until the emergence of universal primary school education in the early 1960s. A high enrollment rate was unusual for countries that had an annual income similar to South Korea, which was about one hundred u.s. dollars per person in 1960. Although income was a factor in shaping the access of Koreans to primary education, especially in the colonial era, the authors conclude that it was only one and not the most important factor that determined this process. Other important issues that the article assesses are the Japanese colonial legacy, children’s access to schools, Korea’s Confucian legacy, industrialization, and land reform. Of these factors, the authors argue, the colonial legacy had a mixed impact on access to primary schools, while land reform played a significant role in influencing the movement toward universal primary education in the Republic of Korea.

In: Journal of American-East Asian Relations

This article complicates the traditional narrative of anti-Communist Christians in Korea, examining the history of anti-communism among them in light of their claims to support democracy and development. Changes in Christian thinking in Korea followed the end of formal fighting in the Korean War. The conflict transformed Korea’s post-colonial history into a developmental struggle, pitting communism versus capitalism in a deadly battle. From the mid-1950s, South Korean Protestants saw the struggle as a competition between two systems, not simply one to eradicate the North Korean regime. From this new perspective, they began condemning political injustice and corruption under President Syngman Rhee. The contradictions in the ideas of Christians were partly embodied in their support for the civil uprising that would topple the Rhee regime, but also in their endorsement of Park Chung-hee’s military takeover in 1961. South Korean Protestants assisted the coup’s central leadership and helped a totalitarian regime come to power. This paradoxical aspect within Korean Protestant history is closely tied to the unique characteristics of its anti-communism and how it evolved after the Korean War.

In: Journal of American-East Asian Relations
Culture, Diplomacy and Interactions
The era of globalization has witnessed increasing activities across border and interactions between nations, especially between the East and the West. East and West: Culture, Diplomacy and Interactions aims to trace and investigate multiple-dimensional interactions between the East and the West from the Age of Sail to the Modern Era, culturally, socially, economically and diplomatically, with a focus on maritime history via and centered on port cities such as Macao, Goa, Melaka, Nagasaki in the East and their counterparts such as Lisbon, Seville, Amsterdam, London in the West. The series examines matters about empires, oceans, and human connections through changes in material lives and cultural politics, and analyzes the impact of the flow of cultural materials across oceans, such as artifacts, arts, goods, foods, books, knowledge, beliefs, etc., on port cities and urbanization. Particularly, it will provide readers with a new maritime vision of the East and Southeast Asian history of connections at the eastern end of the Maritime Silk Road, including the ports of East Indian Ocean and South China Sea: places from Nagasaki to Xiamen/Macao, from Singapore to Shanghai, from Hong Kong to Melbourne, etc. In doing so, it will unfold the process of formation and transformation of networks and fluxing space, generated or altered by trade, migrations, diplomacies, regional conglomerations, etc., illustrate the glocolization of religions, examine the relationship of culture/tradition and diplomatic strategy, and demonstrate the causes to miscommunication, misunderstanding, conflicts and confrontations between nations as well as appropriate reading, understanding and interpreting of each other.
East and West will include studies in such disciplines and area studies as maritime history, missionary history, intellectual history, international relations, arts, architecture, music, religious studies, and cultural studies. This series will feature monographs and edited volumes as well as translated works. It will be of interest to academics as well as general readers, including historians, artists, architects, diplomats, politicians, journalists, travelers, religious groups, businessmen, lawyers, among other groups.

Mortimer Graves, as the executive secretary of the American Council of Learned Societies, championed a National Center for Far Eastern Studies in the mid-1930s to address the shortfall of American East Asia experts. Graves reached for a national solution because of a progressive worldview that valued centralization and looked to European institutions as models. A National Center would incorporate Far Eastern Studies into the New Deal state and provide a u.s. response to French, German, and English orientalism centers. World War ii changed Graves’ view, however. Valued as u.s. national security assets, Asia specialists found employment in the upper echelons of military and civilian intelligence agencies as educators and analysts. No longer an insecure field, Graves saw the value in institutional diversity, becoming a champion of a university-based model of Far Eastern area studies after 1943. Centralization and respect for government lay dormant within the field, blooming atavistically as East Asia specialists became crucial knowledge producers for the u.s. government during the Cold War.

In: Journal of American-East Asian Relations
In: Journal of American-East Asian Relations