Politics and Pageantry in Protectorate Korea: Emperor Sunjong’s Imperial Progresses of 1909

Politics and Pageantry in Protectorate Korea: Emperor Sunjong's Imperial Progresses of 1909

Christine Kim - School of Foreign Service and Department of History, Georgetown University

Wednesday, October 8, 2008 - 12:00pm to 1:30pm
Room 103, Henry R. Luce Hall See map
34 Hillhouse Avenue
New Haven, CT 6511

In the winter of 1909, at the height of Japan’s informal rule in Korea, the protectorate government sent the Korean emperor Sunjong (r. 1907-1910) on an extended tour of the provinces. A reinvention of the traditional royal progresses of the Chosŏn dynasty, what was intended to be an exercise in promoting the residency-general’s policies through the throne sparked a series of acts of resistance that culminated in a major confrontation in the peninsula’s northwest. This paper explores the strange dynamics behind the progresses, the role of the media in Korea and Japan in shaping public opinion, and the contest of two competing strands of nationalism in Korea, defined by the throne and national flag, respectively.