As Japan began to imperialize foreign nations to build their dominant empire, they made many historical impacts on these nations. Japan had made a great impact of imperialism on many countries including Korea. As a small, isolated country, Japan lacked many essential resources. To obtain these resources, Japan wanted to not only trade, but eventually conquer East Asia. Eventually, Japan decided to take over Korea. In 1910, Japan officially annexed Korea, bringing them under Japanese rule. The imperialistic aims of Japan brought cruelty to Korea. The Japanese shut down Korean newspapers and took control of Korean schools.
Furthermore, Korean farmers were deprived of their own land, and they were forced to hand it over to Japanese settlers. Also, Koreans were forced to replace Korean last names with Japanese last names. According to Richard E. Kim, his Japanese teacher told him to go home and return with his new Japanese last name. So, Richard and his father went to the police station to replace their last name to ‘Iwamoto. ’ It was thought to be a disgrace and humiliation to the ancestors of not only Richard, but all of those Koreans who lost their family name. (Lost Names: Scenes from a Korean Boyhood.
Another example of poor treatment of the Koreans would be the comfort women. During Japanese occupation, many women were forced to be sex-slaves for the Japanese military soldiers. Moreover, the Koreans were also used as forced laborers to build roads and railways for the Japanese military; Koreans were deported to Japan and worked at the level of tenant farmers of both manufacturing and agricultural industries. (Korea: It’s History and Culture, Korea Overseas Information Service ©1996) Overall, there were some great impacts of Japanese imperialism on Korea.
On the race to modernization, Japan looked to gain power in neighboring countries such as China. In 1867, the Japanese shogun abdicated his dictatorship and henceforth, Japan had entered the Meiji era. The new Meiji emperor embarked on a quest to adapt Western Ways and modernize Japan. In 1868, the repercussions of the Meiji Restoration caused an expeditious military, political, and economic growth in Japanese society. (Richard Hooker ©1996) The Japanese also looked to China as they borrowed and adapted Western ways.
China had already granted imperialistic nations, including Britain, France, Russia, Germany, and Japan, spheres of influence within China. This meant that many of these powerful countries would have a strong foothold in China, and they could control trade and investments in specific parts of China. (Spheres of Influence) In 1937, while China was having their own Civil War, Japan decided to completely imperialize and invade China. Bombs were dropped on many cities that killed thousands of innocent Chinese villagers.
Correspondingly, the bombs had caused so much destruction of farms that many people died in starvation as well. According to Ami Chen mills, on that morning of December 13th, 1937, the Japanese soldiers had taken a hold of Nanking, the capital city of China. All the captives who had an unsuccessful attempt to escape before the invasion were ordered to be killed by the Japanese. This catastrophe in China was referred to as the “Rape of Nanking. ” As a result, between 200,000 and 300,000 or more Chinese residents were killed due to the Japanese soldiers and their attempt to invade China.
Clearly, Japanese imperialism had massive impacts on their neighboring foreign countries. For instance, after Japan had gained control of Korea, they made many adjustments to the Korean culture. This impacted the lives of many Koreans who lived in that time period. In addition to Korea, Japanese imperialism had also made its way to China. The lives of the Chinese were impacted through cruel invasion and loss of their own land. Overall, imperialism has shaped the lives of many people through the ambitions to conquer the world.