Liubov Ovchinnikova
Moscow State University. Institute of Asian and African Studies. Associate Professor

Documents of Japanese Colonial Administration as a source of Study of Japanese Colonial Governance in Korea (1910-1945)

Dr. L. Ovchinnikova has been conducting research of Japanese and Korean colonial history, particularly Japanese governance and situation in Korea. Her presentation is devoted to documents of Japanese colonial administration in Korea.  Being editions for official use, these books were published in Japanese (Bungo) in Seoul by the Japanese Governor-general’s Office in the 20-s, 30-s and early 40-s. Compiled for practical purposes, these documents were used by senior Japanese colonial officials. Dr. Ovchinnikova was lucky enough to have a chance to work with these documents in a private library of a family of former Russian diplomats working at the Russian Consulate in Seoul in the late 30-s and the 40-s. Conducting research, she has analyzed important data found in these Japanese books and proved the necessity of using them as a source of scientific research of Japanese governance in Korea. Starting from 1910 among different means of control suppression prevailed, but at the same time an ideological system of governance was formed, too. It combined aggressiveness and circumspection, showed ability to change according to different circumstances. Being maneuverable & adjustable, Japanese colonial rule utilized numerous means and methods. In the late 30-s – the beginning of the 40-s it has become more difficult to sustain public tranquility in the colony, so the Japanese colonial administration implemented its policy of ideological influence on the local people. The above-mentioned books also provide us an original source of scientific research and a broad framework of enquiry concerning situation in colonial Korea, various aspects of its history, including the national liberation movement. Dr. Ovchinnikova stresses that research of documents of Japanese colonial administration can provide researchers important information and new historical data concerning Japanese colonial governance and control, situation on the Korean peninsula and help promote Japanese and Korean studies in History.