Imperialism in East Asia a Essay

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960). Just as American Imperialists exerted violent pressure to keep control of the islands they wished to inhabit, exploit and control for their own self-interest, the Japanese Imperialists exercised an equal and "undeniable harshness" in its reign over Korea (Schmid, p. 960).

But the killing of persons was not the only way to exert power. There was also the killing of a sense of nationalistic pride. Nationalism, it should be remembered, is one of the ideas at the heart of imperialism; therefore, it is necessary for the imperialistic power to embrace its own nationalism and to destroy the nationalism of the colony it governs. This may be seen in the way the Japanese Imperialists set out to convey to the Koreans the idea that their nation was culturally backward and behind on the progressive stage. Japan set about distributing photographic evidence of Korea's poverty and illustrating the need for Japanese authorities to guide the nation to a better standard of living (Cumings 1998, p. 203). This attitude of superiority on the part of the imperialists was also seen in the Philippines as America attempted to subjugate Filipino pride and assert an aura of superiority over a nation that it deemed just as backward as Imperialistic Japan deemed Korea.

The fact that neither country had much sympathy for the actual nations they colonized shows the true character of their imperialistic practices and allows one to discern the actual effects of their imperialism. In the rise of empire is the assertion of the need for dominance and the expansion of boundaries. The American Empire showed as much throughout the whole of the 20th century, a century of war and new imperialism. WWII may be seen in a sense as the culmination of imperialistic attitudes across the entire globe.
Japan, no less than America, sought to impose its own imperialistic attitude on Korea through means of conscription, political propaganda, the confiscation of all locally produced newspapers, the re-education of its citizens, the demolishment of its sense of nationalistic pride and the murder of its people.

The U.S. showed similar tactics of imperialism as it exerted its influence in the Philippines in the early half of the 20th century. It resorted to annexation, just as Japan did in Korea; it resorted to war, when the natives resisted; it resorted to spreading its ideology throughout the culture of the land, influencing native beliefs and ideas so much so that many Filipinos left their home country to wander in other parts of the world.

In conclusion, the total effect of imperialism in East Asian and Southeast Asia is similar. The colonized country, whether the Philippines or Korea, experiences a suppression of nationalistic spirit, an indoctrination that criticizes or marginalizes its own history in favor of the history of the ruling power. It sees its resources exploited by the imperialistic country, whether in the land in the citizens. The means of doing so are invariably the same: military force, newspaper propaganda, and industrial ways of dominance. Both the United States and Japanese empires used tactics of subversion and violence to quell any sort of rebellion to their authority. Their goal was to subjugate, not to help.

Reference List

Cumings, B 1998, Korea's Place in the Sun, W.W. Norton & Co., New York, NY.

Eckert, CJ 1996, Offspring of Empire, University of Washington Press, Seattle,


Hutchinson, J Smith, a 1994, 'Introduction; Nationalism', Oxford University Press,

Oxford, pp. 3-13.

San Juan, E 2007, U.S. Imperialism and Revolutino in the Philippines, Palgrave

Macmillan, New York, NY.

Schmid, a.....

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