Use of Hangul and Korean Language under the rule of Japan over Korea


Japan has never prohibited Korean language in the history. Japan introduced a modern education system to Korea in 1911, and Korean language, as well as Hangul (the Korean alphabet), became a required subject in schools constructed by Japan.


Hangul was developed by Sejong, the 4th king of the Yi Dynasty Korea, in 15th century. However, the dynasty continued to use Chinese characters for official documents and sometimes prohibited the use of Hangul. Although Hangul was used by women and common people, it was not used as official writing for long time.

Some Japanese people contributed to Hangul before the Annexation of Korea. Fukuzawa Yukichi (1835-1901), the founder of Keio-Gijuku University in Japan, insisted that publish of Hangul newspaper would be essential for the independence of Korea and education of Korean people. Inoue Kakugoro, a disciple of Fukuzawa, stayed in Korea and supported the Korean government in publishing Hanseong Jubo, the first newspaper that used Hangul. Hanseong Jubo began publication in 1886, using Hangul metal sorts that were produced in Japan.

Korea was annexed by Japan in 1910. The government of Japan promulgated the First Education Ordinance of Korea in 1911 and began to establish a modern education system in which Hangul was a required subject. However, there remained many children who could not go to school because the education was not compulsory.

Korean language was necessary for Japanese government staff in Korea because people used Korean language in Korea.

Korea Broadcasting Corporation, a Japanese public company established in 1926, started the radio broadcasting in 1927. Both Japanese and Korean were used for the radio program. In 1933, Korea Broadcasting Corporation started the second radio service in Korean language. The Office of Governor-General of Korea published a newspaper in Hangul during the annexation.

Why this fact affects the rightward trend?

During the Pacific War, usage of Japanese in public places was prohibited in Brazil. Korean people and the Japanese left wing criticize that Japan deprive Korean people of their mother language, which gives impression that Japan prohibited Korean people from speaking, reading, and writing after the annexation. Some people directly insist that Japan really prohibited Korean language.

The fact that Japan has never prohibited Korean language raises an offensive feeling against the left wing.