Mobility Humanities Colloquium #15
2020/07/15 - On the Historical Peculiarity of Japanese Railway Imperialism: Focusing on Colonial Urbanization and Colonial Tourism
Baek Yung Kim (Kwangwoon University)
Date: 2020/07/15 (Wednesday) 15:00
Place: Konkuk University New Millennium Hall #1106
Dr. Baek Yung Kim is a professor at the Ingenium College of Liberal Arts, Kwangwoon University. Professor Kim’s research interests include social history/historical sociology, Korean modern history, and urban history/urban sociology. His books, Work and Life World, Era of ‘Contribution to the Motherland’, Seoul Is the Main Protagonists of Novels, Sociology on Seoul, and The 2000-Year History of Seoul, explore various issues related to the birth and history of modern and contemporary Korean cities, and Japanese area studies.
In this colloquium, Professor Baek Yung Kim examined how the Japanese Empire achieved colonial urbanization and developed railway tourism by means of a representative mobility system, the railroad network. He pointed out that “Railways along with the Japanese Emperor were key symbols and one of the core material devices that drove Japanese modernity.”
Professor Kim emphasized that “Through Japanese colonial railway tourism, one could experience imperial power and expand the sense of geo-cultural territoriality of the Japanese Empire.” This special lecture reaffirmed the socio-cultural role and effect that railroads carried out in the process of geographic expansion of Japanese imperialism, from the Japanese archipelago (the nation-state) to the colonial empire of ‘The Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere’.