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Imperial RomanceFictions of Colonial Intimacy in Korea, 1905-1945$
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Su Yun Kim

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9781501751882

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: May 2021

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9781501751882.001.0001

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Romance and Colonial Universalism

Romance and Colonial Universalism

(p.85) 4 Romance and Colonial Universalism
Imperial Romance

Su Yun Kim

Cornell University Press

This chapter reviews the romantic engagements of Korean–Japanese couples by looking at stories that do not emphasize the assimilation of Koreans. It analyzes the work of the major colonial-era writer Yi Hyosŏk, who is known for his modernist style and rustic portraits of country landscapes. It also discusses Yi's later works that often feature the Japanese Empire's expansionism and interracial romances, such as romance and marriage between Koreans and Japanese and between Koreans and Russians. The chapter elaborates how Yi is considered the single most important writer to recognize the colonial intimacy among imperial subjects in the context of the Japanese expansion into Manchuria. It offers close readings of Yi's short story “Azami no shō” and his novel Midori no tō and compares them to his other works.

Keywords:   Korean–Japanese couples, Yi Hyosŏk, Japanese Empire, expansionism, interracial romances, colonial intimacy

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