ã"Sub-nationality in the Japanese Empire: A Social History of the Koeski in Colonial Korea 1910-1945," in David Chapman and Karl Jakob Krogness, eds., Citizenship and Japan's Household Registry System: The State and So

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The Government General of Korea took over a decade after seizing control of Korea to promulgate the Census Ordinance in 1921 along with the first compilation of the colonial census registry or koseki. Koreans during the previous Choson dynasty did
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  7 Sub nationality in th Japanese mpir A social history o the koseki in colonial Korea 1910 45   Michael Kim Yonsei University Jus sanguinis is the guiding legal principle behind the Republic o Korea's citizenship laws, predicated on the notion that all Koreans arc members o a cohesive and single ethnic group that stretches back into the primordial past. Few today question the notion that Korean ancestry should grant citizenship or de facto citizenship, even though deep contradictions inevitably emerge from a system that relics on ambiguous notions o ethnic purity on a peninsula that has experienced centuries o intense migration and cultural exchange. While, in theory, Korean citizenship is granted by ethnicity, in actuality, registration in the hojok or household registry is the determining factor. Today the fl k is a carefully administered database that represents a comprehensive survey o the Korean population. but during the colonial period (1910-45) the systematic compilation o what the Japanese called the Chosen koseki was never achieved and. while the actual numbers can never be determined. hundreds o thousands i not millions o Koreans were missing from the registry or had inaccurate information recorded. The unregistered population in Korea after liberation from Japanese rule in 1945 eventually gained entry into the registry o the Republic o Korea but that opportunity was never given to those who migrated away before 1945 Consequently, there are still ethnic Koreans abroad today, especially in China and the former Soviet Union, who cannot receive a special residency visa for overseas Koreans in the Republic o Korea. because their families left the country without leaving a legal record. Compiling the colonial registry was an immense administrative task that the Japanese colonial authorities never fully committed to completing. Decades o neglecting the issue then led to a major effort in the late colonial period to register the Korean population because o the needs o wartime mobilization. The incomplete registration situation of the hOsen koseki stands in sharp contrast to the systematic registration effort back in Japan. While the Japanese required several decades to achieve a comprehensive registration, the discrepancies between the level o thoroughness o the Korean and Japanese registries ultimately reveal cracks behind the empire's rhetorical claims o practicing isshi dojin which means equality without discrimination under the rule o the Japanese emperor. The rhetorical overtures to assimilating the  112 Sub nationality n the Japanese empire colonial population often elided the fact that Koreans were administrated under a separate legal system that was not equal in terms of legal rights, or access to education and social welfare benefits. In this chapter I examine the historical emergence of the ChOsen kos ki and the social and legal interactions that surrounded the registration process. Understanding the history of the colonial registration system can provide important insights into both the broader dynamics of the Japanese empire as well as its rhetorical claims to incorporate all of its imperial subjects under impartial rule. Sub nationality in the Japanese empire nd the colonial koseki The Choson Dynasty (1392-1910) periodically conducted surveys of households, and these valuable historical records even extend back several centuries before the foundation of Korea s last dynasty. The traditional registry or hojok was based on collecting information about the head of the household or hoju and was not intended as a document to establish legal identities or clarify family relations within the household. s Sonia Ryang (2009: 6) explains, the Korean household registry was essentially a record of homage to one s lineage and clan rather than embodying the Japanese empire s notion that an individual s name identified a person as one unit within an extended family with the emperor at the head. From a more practical standpoint, the registry focused on the head of the household for the purposes of extracting taxation, corvee labour and military duty. Details about the individual members and their family relationships were often absent, while individuals who were not related, such as slaves., were recorded under the same household (ChOng Hyon-su 2006: 9). Therefore, some clear distinctions should be made bctween the household registration system of the Choson Dynasty and the Japanese-style household registration system of the ChOsen koseki. The movement from the former to the latter was a laborious process and involved the introduction of a fundamentally different way of administrating Korean society. The first efforts to reform the household registry system of the Choson Dynasty can be traced in the modem era back to thc Kabo Reforms in September 1896. The head of the household was obliged to update the registry with more household details and additional records for taxation purposes, but the reforms essentially stayed within the framework of the Choson system Yi 2005: 40-41; Pak 1992: 84). Kyung Moon Hwang (2004b: 362-64) points out that the reforms did in fact represent a major change with the requirement that every member of a household be counted, but the fate of the measures depended greatly on the means of enforcing it in the localities, which lacked the ability to collect accurate information due to corruption and lack of local resources. During the Japanese Annexation Period (1905-10), the Japanese introduced major changes though the MinsekihO or Registry Law in 1909. As a result, the previous system of keeping track of households was replaced with a document to certify the familial relationship of each member of the household (ChOng 2006: 9). The registry became the primary method of establishing an  Sub nationality in the Japanese empire 3 individual as a legal subject o the colonial state. However, even though the Registry Law of 1909 essentially implemented the Japanese koseki system, there were only eight basic provisions and many o the Choson Dynasty family and inheritance practices remained intact Yi 2005: 40-41). When Japan formally annexed Korea and began its colonial occupation, new regulations regarding the registration system were missing from the colonial Civil Code or minpo promUlgated in 1912, and the 1909 Registry Law continued for over a decade without major modifications. The Japanese authorities omitted the registration ordinances from the initial colonial Civil Code, because they had not yet decided on a clear policy direction for the colonial legal system Yi 2005: 40). The customary laws from the Choson Dynasty continued to be recognized until the outstanding legal issues could be resolved. Rather than apply the Meiji Japanese constitutional system, the Imperial Rescript on Annexation promulgated on August 29, 1910 declared that the governor-general o Korea would administer the colony on the personal behalf o the Meiji emperor. This gave significant prestige to the governor-general to advance his views within the central government and signified the emergence o a separate colonial legal system outside the jurisdiction o the Meiji Constitution (Chen 1984: 245). The rescript effectively removed the colony from central administrative supervision and allowed the governor-general o Korea to implement local laws that could vary greatly from those back in Japan. The legal areas where the colonial legal system differed from Japan required several years to resolve. Because the household registration system was one o the key areas o divergence, the pro cess of establishing the framework o the colonial koseki was not complete until the colonial Civil Code was amended in 1922 to include the registry provisions. Most o the laws of Japan were, in fact, applied to Korea even though the colony was administered under a separate legal system. The governor-general issued hundreds o colonial ordinances called seirei that had the effect of Diet acts in the key areas where the colonial Korean legal code took a separate direction. Multiple colonial legal systems emerged throughout the Japanese empire as a direct consequence o decisions made during the nascent years o Japan s imperialist conquests. When the Japanese acquired the colony o Taiwan in the late nineteenth century, a debate arose over the proper model for colonial governance between the French practices o administrating Algeria as a department within the central administrative structure and the British model o semi-autonomous Crown colonies like India and Malaysia (Chen 1984: 248-49). The debate was ultimately settled in favor o a system that resembled the British model, although certain elements o the French model were also adopted. The primary concerns during this debate were the issues o political representation and the need to suppress colonial rebellions. A centralized colonial administration signified a system o uniform laws that could potentially reduce the ability o colonial governments to quell colonial resistance movements. Furthermore, administering the colonies within a  . ~ 4 Sub nationality in the Japanese empire constitutional framework might eventually raise the issue of electing colonial representatives to the imperial Diet. Those who advocated the semi-autonomous British Crown colony model ultimately won the debate, and the end result was an imperial system with a complex patchwork of local colonial laws. Therefore it is important to keep in mind that, while numerous observers have highlighted the assimilationist goals of the Japanese empire to argue for its similarity to the French (see Caprio 2009), the overall colonial framework more resembled the British. While numerous factors influenced this debate, at the heart of the dispute were clashing views on the level of civilization or mindo of the colonized peoples (Lee 1999: 28 . Assimilationists, who believed the differences between Koreans, Taiwanese and Japanese were not great or that the colonized were so inferior that their cultural practices had to be eliminated, tended to argue for naichi enchO or extension of the Japanese system to the eolonies. Those who believed that the differences were too great often argued for association or maintaining separate cultures and legal systems. In the end, the Japanese empire that emerged through these early debates was founded more on the logic of association rather than assimilation. The incomplete implementation of the koseki in Korea stands as a testament to the uneven application of assimilationist policies in the Japanese empire, and the movement to assimilate the entire empire on a more consistent basis would not emerge until the outbreak of the Second Sino-Japanese War in 1937. The passage of the Japanese Nationality Law in 1899, which would have major implications for the colonial koseki in Korea, needs to be understood within this imperial system of administering semi-autonomous colonies. When the Japanese first ereated the modem household registration system in 1871, the registry effectively created Japanese nationals out of all individuals who were registered within Japan, but it was not until 1899 that the Nationality Law stipulated the various conditions for an individual to acquire and renounce Japanese nationality. However, despite the passage of the Nationality Law in 1899, there was never a formal definition of who constituted a Japanese national, and it was simply assumed that everyone in the household registry would automatically become members (Wetherall 2006: 17 . The Japanese consulted numerous western models when formulating the Nationality Law, and they adopted the French model of jus sanguinis instead of the British principles of jus soli. This notion of nationality, when combined with the British praetices of the Crown colony, created a somewhat contradictory situation within the Japanese empire (Morris-Suzuki 2009). The existence of multiple registries meant that n individual who was registered in one region might or might not be subject to the same nationality provisions, since each colony could decide whether or not to implement the measures. The colony of Taiwan passed the Nationality Law soon after its implementation in Japan, but a similar measure was never introduced in Korea. Karufuto, on the other hand, passed a nationality law in 1924, and the Chinese residents within the Kwangtung leased territories were never considered to be  Sub nationality in the Japanese empire 5 candidates for incorporation into the registry (Chen 1984: 243). Ultimately, a system o sub-nationality emerged in the Japanese empire through the maintenance o different household registries and local laws in each colony (Morris Suzuki 2009). Depending on one's registration, a different set o laws would apply to that individual. For example, a Korean registered in colonial Korea would be treated as a colonial subject and could not renounce his or her Japanese nationality. However, if a Korean entered the Japanese registry, then the laws o the Meiji Constitution and Japan's Nationality Law would apply to that individual. The loopholes within this registration system are the reasons why a Korean named Pak Ch'un-gum (1891-1973) was elected to the imperial Diet in 1932.   He successfully changed his registration to the Japanese registry and ran for office through the Japanese electoral process. Only a small number o Koreans changed their registration in this way, but the potential for population movement among the sub-nationalities highlights the complex nature o the registration process within the Japanese empire. Japanese nationality emerged as an ambiguous concept in the Japanese empire because o the multiple registries and the uneven application o the Nationality Law. Furthermore, despite the principle o jus sanguinis providing the basis for Japanese nationality, there was no systematic accounting o all eligible individuals before this system was deployed in Korea. Koreans that tried to enter the registries would sometimes encounter perplexing difficulties, since the process required legal documentation, which may have been lost or never existed in the first place. Since the annexation o Korea in 1910 took place without the passage o the Nationality Law, the Japanese essentially absorbed the existing Korean household registry without clarifying the nationality status o Koreans. They were simply assumed to be Japanese nationals without any provisions for them to renounce their Japanese nationality. The governor-general o Korea was reluctant to allow Koreans to give up their nationality because he feared that such an act would allow them to escape the control o Japanese authorities. As more and more Koreans attempted to naturalize as Chinese citizens, primarily in Manchuria but also in locations like Shanghai, the debate over the passage of a Nationality Law became entwined with the security concerns that emerged because o the need to suppress Korean nationalist movements (Takei 2006). The practice o each colony formulating a separate legal system created ambiguity in areas where the laws applied differently depending on an individual's registration status. The continuation o the previous Choson Dynasty family and inheritance practices during the early colonial period was one such area where the legal contradictions were not easy to resolve. The problem o maintaining separate registration systems came to the fore when a Korean and Japanese married or adopted a child Yi 2005: 46). Which family laws to apply, which registry should include the wife, and which registry should include the adopted children all became potential areas o legal conflict. Contributing to the problem was the fact that colonial laws lacked any empire-wide provisions regarding the movement o Koreans and Japanese
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