Dealing with Difficult Heritage in Seoul (South Korea): The Case Study of Japanese General Government Building

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Title: Dealing with Difficult Heritage in Seoul (South Korea): The Case Study of Japanese General Government Building
Authors: Hwang, So Young
Date: 2016
Abstract: The case concerning demolition of the Japanese General Government Building in Seoul, South Korea, from the Japanese colonialism has been discussed since Korea’s liberation in 1945, but the building had been used for many functions during that time frame. This building was finally demolished during the period 1995 to 1997, despite the national and international protestations. This research analysed newspaper articles to study the conflict between pro-demolition and pro-conservation groups in the newspapers to see how, and why the conflict proceeded. Korean newspaper archives were used to search four newspapers from the time period of 1991 to 1998, using the keyword ‘Japanese General Government Building’. The collected data was analysed with qualitative methodology to understand the conflicts in the newspapers. This analysis revealed three reasons put forward by the pro-conservation, Memorial and Educational Value, Art and Use Value, and Economic Value and, two reasons of pro-demolition, the Memorial Obstacle and Socio-cultural obstacle. Most reasons for both groups were classic arguments relating to other difficult heritage buildings, however, two different reasons are pertinent to this particular case: First, the government did not present any practical reasons to destroy the building. Second, Feng-Shui was presented as one of the main reasons for destroying the building. This socio-cultural element has been a fundamental and strong belief system in Korea.
URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10393/35519
http://dx.doi.org/10.20381/ruor-477
CollectionThèses, 2011 - // Theses, 2011 -
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