Seen in Jeonju

The Independent: Saturday, April 18th, 1896

18th December 2011


Saturday, April 18th, Vol. 1 No. 6
Local Items
For the last two years the pine forests on the hills of Seoul have been encroached upon by wood gathers and much timber has been cut without permission. If this continues the hills will eventually become denuded. The police department has just awakened to this fact and yesterday a policeman made an arrest of four culprits who were in the act of carrying away stolen timber from the hills of Yong San.

Some months ago a hunter brought a live wild goose to the market for sale. A Buddhist had compassion on it, because it was to be killed, and bought it and let it go. It flew to the pond just outside the South gate where it remained, seeming to enjoy its new abode very much. A Japanese hunter passing by tried to shoot it but the people in the neighborhood prevented him.

Yi Sun Chang, a wealthy citizen of So Heung, was called out from his house at midnight last week by a gang of burglars who bound and tortured him for the sake of making him pay over a large sum of money. He could not endure the pain so paid them 30,000 cash. They tortured him again to make him tell the name of anther wealthy man in the town. He told them the name of Yun Chang Kil. They then ordered him to give them a written guarantee that in case they should not get 300,000 cash from Yun, he would pay them the sum. Under the curel torture he had to give them the written promise.

The day before yesterday the Japanese opened a school in Hyo Dong for the purpose of educating Koreans. Over fifty students were enrolled and began the study of Japanese language.

The Ladies’ Tennis Club opened the season yesterday and all the members of the Seoul Union were present besides members of the Ladies’ Club. It was a beautiful afternoon and everybody enjoyed the event heartily. The tea was served by Mrs. Graham. The tea will be served always on tennis day between 4 and 6 o’clock.

The steamer Genkai Maru will arrive at Chemulpo on the 19th and will leave for Fusan and Nagasaki on the 21st. The Higo Maru will arrive on the 22nd and leave for Chefoo on the 23rd. The Choshu Marue will arrive on the 22nd and leave for Nagasaki, Fusan and Wonsan on the same day. <Chefoo= Jeju Island>

Col. Karneeff and Lieut. B. Michailoff of the Russian army accompanied by two Russian soldiers went to Kiung Sang Province about a month ago in the interests of the Geological Society of Siberia. Arriving at Chun Ju, the Colonel went to Na Ju while the Lieutenant started for Fusan. Between Chun Ju and Fusan he met a crowd of 2000 rebels who took him for a Japanese and stoned him and took his baggage and it was with great difficulty that they were convinced of their mistake. He arrived in Seoul the day before yesterday. <Yeah! Jeonju (Chun Ju) gets mentioned! …Too bad it’s not in a more flattering light…>

Now that Spring has opened, the road committee will doubtless be on the lookout for spots to be repaired. As soon as the community is able to afford the cost, a system of lighting should be adopted. Oil lamps ought to be provided at a comparatively small cost to the community.

Korea has about the same area as Japan but only one third the population. This has much to do with the question as to what the future of Korea is to be. It is true that at the present moment a coldness has sprung up between the two but in the long run business interests will assert themselves and Korea and Japan are so situated and their business interests so dovetail the one into the other that whatever the relations may be politically their business relations cannot but be intimate. That this is true a few facts will demonstrate.

The relation of Korea’s area to her population shows that is capable of producing vastly more than her people can consume. It follows that the exports from Korea as fast as Korea opens up her agricultural and mineral resources. This again means an increased carrying trade and here we find the first commercial bond of union between the two. Korea has so much room in herself and so much to absorb the attention of the people that the carrying trade will for many a decade fall to the lot of others. That it will be Japan is as evident as anything can ne in these days of rapid changes. Japan does almost the whole of the carrying trade of Korea and no competitor is in sight.

joseon1In the second place, Japan is becoming more and more a land of manufacturers. Woolen, cotton, and silk manufactories are springing up all over the land. The energies of the Japanese people are rapidly focusing on this point. Already this tendency has far outrun Japan’s capacity for producing the raw material and she is looking in all directions for it. Korea is nearest to her and easiest of access; she has the most spare area that is cultivable and her soil, climate and temperature are eminently suited to supply the very things that are there wanting. The southern provinces of Korea produce a cotton of superior quality, and her northern provinces abound in the most admirable timber. Both bituminous and anthracite coal are found in large quantities and as Japanese manufactories increase and her merchant marine multiplies Korean coalmines will be called into requisition. Korea’s capacity for silk culture is practically unlimited. As the people learn improved methods of sericulture Korea’s export of raw silk alone, ought to mount up into the millions. The mulberry thrives here.

As Japanese energies become directed more and more toward manufacturing she will demand more and more food stuff from abroad. Here also Korea will supplement Japan in a marked degree. Already Korean rice has obtained a firm foothold in the Japanese market and at times the carrying capacity of all the vessels plying to the Korean ports has been quite inadequate for its transportation. The time is soon coming when improved methods of irrigation will enhance the value of the present cultivated land and when the increased demand will move the “margin of cultivation” farther up the sides of the hills, when marsh land will be reclaimed and the annual output nearly doubled.

A third important consideration relates to the vast tracts of land in Korea that are too hilly for successful cultivation. There is one way by which these could be made to yield a splendid revenue. It is by sheep-raising. If the Korean people could supply the Japanese woolen mills with their raw material they could at one stroke utilize their thousands of square miles of steep hill sides, give occupation to thousands of their people and secure a steady and rich revenue to themselves. At present the sheep is held as a sort of sacred animal in Korea and is used only in Royal sacrifices but we feel sure that a far larger good would come from encouraging the people in the growing of wool than ever would accrue from the sacrifices.

These three things then, the carrying trade, the supply of raw material and the food stuffs, are sufficient to warrant us in believing that the relations between Koreans and Japanese will inevitably become closer.

We are well aware of inborn and inbred antipathy between the two races but that need not interfere seriously with the commercial relations. It is not necessary that thousand of Japanese should come to Korea in order to secure the advantages above indicated. There are plenty of capable Koreans to act as agents and middlemen between the Japanese factory and the Korean field.

First let the government so rule that every countryman will feel secure in the possession of his lawfully earned wealth and he then will have some ambition to branch out in lines of work which heretofore have been practically barred from him by the exactions of officials.

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