Ken Ruoff - Professor of History and Director of the Center for Japanese Studies, Portland State University
At the same time in 1940 that Japanese representatives of the Government Railways of Korea, an integral part of the Government General of Korea, were endeavoring to promote tourism, officials in the same colonial bureaucracy were strengthening assimilation policies designed to Japanize Koreans. But why would a Japanese tourist from the mother country want to visit Korea if it had been rendered into no more than a replica of Japan? Tourism and assimilation are concepts that do not necessarily go together. This lecture examines how individuals endeavoring to promote tourism represented an undercurrent, both inside and outside of officialdom, working against assimilation. Ken Ruoff is professor of History and Director of the Center for Japanese Studies at Portland State University. He is the author of the The People’s Emperor, the Japanese translation of which was awarded the Osaragi Jiro Prize for Commentary (Japan’s Pulitzer Prize) in 2004. In the fall of 2010, his new monograph, Imperial Japan at its Zenith, was published simultaneously in English and in Japanese translation.