▼Intellectuals in Colonial Korea―KimKijin and His Circle
：Henri Barbusse,小牧近江そして金基鎮(Kim Ki-jin)
This dissertation explores the role of Kim Kijin in colonial Korean society during a time of unparalleled oppression. After receiving a modern education, Kim became aware of the intellectual`s social responsibility and believed his most important mission was to enlighten the ignorant.
Kim was one of the central figures involved in founding KAPF(Korea Artists Proletarian Federation)in 1925. After taking part, though in a minor way, in the March 1st (1919)Movement, he became depressed at the dark and hopeless state of the country under military oppression and at the age of 17 decided to go to Japan to study developed industries with a view to finding some way to restore the vigour of his country and people. While studying English literature in Tokyo at Rikkyo University, he got to know AsoHisashi, the socialist and novelist, who advised him to study Russian literature and the Russian worker`s literary movement. Kim came across the magazine Tanemakuhito(The Sower)edited by Komaki Ohmi and was impressed by what he learned there of the Clarte Movement started in Paris in 1919 by Henri Barbusse. After returning to Korea, he insisted that intellectuals should leave their ivory tower and partcipate in the movement to enlighten the common people. To that end he organized KAPF which aimed to produce literature for ordinary people, instead of privileged, highbrow literature. In this, he gained the support of other young intellectuals.
This thesis explores the role played by Kim, the influence of his ideas about the need for intellectuals to become engaged in social activity on Korean society, and the factors which made his activities possible in the midst of oppression.
This thesis consists of four main chapters.
Chapter One deals with Kim`s personal history, the formative years of his thinking and his social evolution as an intellectual;
Chapter Two discusses the thoughts and activities of Henri Barbusse, the French novelist and political activist who aroused Kim`s social consciousness with his argument- the central theme of the Clarte Movement- that ideas are by their nature international;
Chapter Three analyses the magazine “Tanemakuhito”(The Sower), its social context and the role and thought of Komaki who studied in France and came back to Japan determined to start a movement similar to Clarte.
He first published “ Tanemakuhito”atTsuchisaki in Akita, a remote town in northern Japan, and then resumed it in Tokyo between October 1921 and January 1924. The so-called Tsuchisaki edition of Tanemakuhito is characterized by its appeal for human equality, while the Tokyo edition inclines towards ultra-leftism, which inevitably exposed the magazine to police attention.
This chapter analyses the background to the process by which Komaki`s original purpose was overshadowed by communist commitment.
Chapter Four is a study of the literary and social activities of Kim Kijin between 1925 and 1935.
This period is distinctive in Japanese colonialism because the uprising of Korean people in the “Samil”Movement of 1919 forced the colonial authorities to allow the Korean people some freedom for social activities. This chapter investigates the social and historical factors that made possible the establishment of KAPF and evaluates the activities of Kim as intellectual, novelist and journalist, with particular attention to his achievement as a journalist.
And the additional article(Furon) examines the situation of literary people during Korea`s“Dark Ages”. Mobilization for total war meant that Korean culture was absolutely negated.
Even progressive intellectuals were forced to adopt pro-Japan sentiments.
I make clear how they were compelled to 'convert' , thereby abandoning the thoughts they had developed since the 1920s. Analysis of this transition is a necessary but neglected task in the reevaluation of Korea's colonial past.
My conclusion addresses the problem of the universality of culture and the importance of the role of intellectuals. Intellectuals need to be rooted in the stratum of ordinary people in order to be able to remain independent of state power. In today's world, characterized by specialization and the borderless flow of information, the influence of intellectuals seems to decline. Despite the advancement of industrialization and the spread of higher education, intellectuals able to bridge the gap between ruler and ruled, and to analyze and evaluate social problems and exercise social leadership, gradually diminish in numbers. The historical context differs, but the contemporary paradox of modernization has much in common with that faced by Kim Kijin and his generation.