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Acta Koreana is published semi-annually on June 15 and December 15 by Academia Koreana, Keimyung University.
 
 
Title WATER MANAGEMENT PROJECTS AND FLOODS/ DROUGHTS IN COLONIAL KOREA: THE CASE OF THE MAN’GYŎNG RIVER IN THE HONAM PLAIN
 
Author
MATSUMOTO TAKENORI and CHUNG SEUNG-JIN
Volume Vol. 20 No. 1
Pages pp. 173~193 (all 21 pages)
Publication Date JUNE, 2017
Keyword Japanese settlers, Korean tenants, river improvement, irrigation associations, droughts, floods
Abstract The Man’gyŏng River is a medium-sized river passing through the southwestern Chŏlla region, one of the most productive rice cultivation areas of Korea. This article analyzes projects related to water management, such as the construction of irrigation facilities, river improvement, and farmland rearrangement, conducted in the river basin during the period of Japanese colonial rule (1910–1945), with an emphasis on the reactions of local Korean peasants. Immediately after the Russo-Japanese War (1904–1905), Japanese immigrants began to acquire land around the middle and lower reaches of the river, and by the time of the colonization of Korea in 1910, large Japanese landowners had established modern-style irrigation associations for supplying water to their farms, which were tilled by Korean tenants. However, construction of developmental infrastructure, such as railways, roads, and irrigation facilities induced the exacerbation of flood damage once the river overflowed because of the obstruction of water drainage. The interests of local Korean peasants and those of large Japanese farm owners clashed over the issue of preventing flood damage. Eventually, the colonial government decided to proceed with the river improvement project proposed by the Japanese-led irrigation associations.
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