The Dankook University Academy of Asian Studies

최은지, 권유지, 최민지l승인2021.10.07l수정2021.10.07 01:06l389호 1면






   The Academy of Asian Studies at Dankook University succeeded the Institute of Oriental Studies which was founded on September 28, 1970. Since 2017, the Academy of Asian Studies has participated in the restoration project of collecting and organizing over six thousand pieces of anti-Japanes music that retraces the lives of Korean Independence fighters. They also produced seven to eight pieces of anti-Japan music with digital sound for the MBC documentary of ‘Sing! Resist!’

   In addition, the Academy of Asian Studies has published a collection of research hosted presentations and symposiums, exchanges at international conferences, and gathered research data on the topic of anti-Japanese music and literature. Since 2017, it has organized literature reagarding anti-Japanese music including the joys and sorrows of people losing their country and orally transmitted literature into a database for ease of access. Over the past four years, they also met ethnic Koreans living in northeastern China and the Korean Diaspora in Central Asia to conduct field surveys. As a result of their efforts, they have been able to document 403 kinds of anti-Japanes songbooks (292 kinds discovered domestically and 111 from overseas), including 6,000 songs, and standardized 1,000 songs as music sheets. They also released 60 papers regarding anti-Japanes music and hosted 40 lectures on the topic. The Dankook Herald (DKH) interviewed people from the Academy of Asian Studies about their splendid careers. Professor Ban Hye-seong, Professor Kim Soo-hyun and Kim Moon-sik, Director of Oriental Studies Institute, thankfully granted the interview on behalf of the Academy of Asian Studies.

▲ The Academy of Asian Studies at Dankook University has been conducting research data on the topic of anti-Japanese music and literature with passion. (Photo from Daejeon MBC)


Q1. Why did you start to research and collect anti-Japanes music?

A1. Professor Ban Hye-seong: Despite the fact that many songs existed retelling the story of our cultural struggle to achieve independence from Japanese colonial rule, nobody had focused on it. So, I decided to research the subject highlighting the history of anti-Japanese music from struggle to gain independence. 

Professor Kim Soo-hyun: I got an offer as a researcher in the midst of preparing an anti-Japanese music project at Dankook University. At that time, it was right after professor No Dong-eun, the author of 330 anti-Japanese songs, passed away. Although I didn’t know a lot about anti-Japanese music. I thought it was necessary to continue the work of professor No Dong-eun, so I participated in this project.


Q2. Can you explain the features of anti-Japanese music?

A2. Professor Ban Hye-seong: Historically, Korea’s resistance to against the expansion of Japanese imperialism is included in the anti-Japanese songs. In terms of literature, it expresses the growth of a national consciousness and the development process during the period of Korean patriotic enlightenment. Musically, it also has a meaning that transcends the modern period. To describe the features of anti-Japanese songs, it is the music which contains the emotions of Koreans during this period, such as the desire for independence, patriotism, and the struggle to escape Japanese colonial rule.


Q.3. Which song is the most memorable that you have discovered so far?

A3. Professor Kim Soo-hyun: ‘Boksu Hoepo’. It is a pre-existing song that people never really paid attention to. This song starts with the lyrics ‘Dangunjason urisonyeon gunkminchiyok ne aneunya bumo jangsahal got eopgo jasonkkaji jongdoeeotda. (Do you know the national disgrace of Dangun’s descendant our boy? They carried their parents’ store on their back and their descendants became slaves.)’ The chorus’ lyrics are ‘Ijeonna isseonna uri wonsuga hapbyeonghan suchireul nega ijeonna. (Forget, forget, how can you forget the humiliation that enemies subjected us to under their rule? We will never forget.)’. I also remember ‘Hakdoga’. Dosan Ahn Chang-ho wrote the lyrics and Lee Seong-sik made the music in 1909. The lyrics of this song begin with ‘Daehancheongnyeon haksaengdeura dongpohyeongje saranghago urideurui ilpyeondansim dongnipage maengyakaset. (Young Korean students, love your fellow citizens, and let’s vow sincerely for independence.)’. 


Q4. Did you have any difficulties while documenting the anti-Japanese music contained in literature and word of mouth tales related to the anti-Japanese struggle?

A4. Professor Kim Soo-hyun: Basically, making and singing anti-Japanese music was illegal at the time, so the literature wasn’t well preserved. For this reason, the memories of independence activists who sang and remembered the songs are important. However, it was impossible to conduct a complete enumeration survey and record it quickly as a national project when they were alive. That’s what I feel bad and shameful about.


Q5. What does the melody add in the case of anti-Japanese music where only lyrics remained?

A5. Professor Ban Hye-seong: Most anti-Japanese music is handed down with lyrics only, and only a few songbooks were published overseas. However, it doesn’t mean that songs weren’t sung by people just because we only have the lyrics. In most cases, the melodies were acquired from some hymns of Christian private schools and songs that were mainly used in modern music education by the Japanese.


Q6. Can you recommend some anti-Japanese music that would be memorable for people?

A6. Professor Kim Soo-hyun: I recommend <Aegookga(Korean national anthem)> which was included in ‘Taegeukhakbo’ in 1908. It was posted by Dosan Ahn Chang-ho under his pseudonym ‘Aegooksaeng’. This song is about making a commitment to protect Korea until the end of time in face of the Japanese who took the country by military force.


Q7. Is there anything you want to say that would help popularize and generalize anti-Japanese music?

A7. Professor Kim Soo-hyun: First, I hope people will develop an interest in anti-Japanese music. My desire is that it will be a part of school music education, and programs that use anti-Japanese music as content will be produced and frequently introduced to mass media.

Kim Moon-sik, Director of Oriental Studies Institute: Our research team achieved results by discovering and organizing 6,000 anti-Japanese songs over the past 5 years. I hope that the anti-Japanese songs that were organized by our team are popularized, and listeners can inherit the spirit of patriotism and resistance of this music.

▲ A photo of the MBC documentary, ‘Sing! Resist!’ (Photo from Daejeon MBC)

During this interview, the DKH was able to learn more about the achievements of the Academy of Asian Studies from, their tremendous passion for discovering and organizing a total of six thousand anti-Japanese songs over five years of research. We can make their efforts worthwhile by honoring the independence activists who fought against Japan with a desire for Korea’s independence and by paying more attention to anti-Japanese songs.

최은지, 권유지, 최민지
<저작권자 © The Dankook Herald, 무단 전재 및 재배포 금지>


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