Some Bits and Pieces from Japanese High Police Records

Sorry for the long interval. I had to submit a proposal on this topic and my blogging could not catch up with my research.

I was going to blog about some interesting stuff I found in the primary sources. I was reading monthly Japanese High Police reports (特高月報, 特高外事月報) between 1936-1938 on domestic affairs to see how Koreans in Japan were reacting to the issue of military recruitment in Korea. These reports repeatedly show the pleas and movements that demanded the implementation of military conscription program in Korea. No wonder the Japanese government regarded themselves as bestowing ‘the right’ for Koreans to serve in the Japanese Army. This is an example: There is one crime report of identity fraud by a Korean guy in 1937. He wanted to serve in the military so he studied hard while working as a newspaper delivery boy. However, he realized that he needed to be in the Japanese household registry system in order to apply to the Army. He forged a certificate that showed that a Japanese couple that he knew had adopted him as their son. He got into a division of the Army, but the fraud he committed was soon revealed, and the guy was sued by the couple.

Some information was irrelevant to this time of my research but I might want to come back for further research.
– Koreans and Drugs: There’s a section called “在京麻薬中毒者救護会不良幹部の検挙状況” in the May 1936 issue. Apparently, the number of drug users among Koreans in Japan was increasing, and there were some institutions that aimed to help them out. This section reports that the police arrested the officers in these institutions for abusing the patients, using them for theft, and earning profits by smuggling drugs etc. There is always a section on drugs in the annual Korean Government-General reports, too. It might be a good place to look at how the Korean/Japanese underground society was involved in drug smuggling and/or how the Japanese government defined its authority over citizens’ bodies in conjuncture of the history of medicine and public health… Maybe.

– Koreans fighting Seinendan, Fujinkai etc over 廃品回収業: The September 1938 issue reports a growing unease among Koreans who were losing their jobs as recycling/garbage collectors because local organizations like women’s groups, youth groups and reservist groups engaged in the same activity. I didn’t realize this kind of social consequence that these volunteer activities would cause.

– Koreans suing their wives for not living together: The May 1938 issue reports a legal case in which a Korean husband sued his wife in Korea for not living together with him in Japan. It was hard for Korean males to bring their wives with them if they were judged as “financially incapable of supporting families” at their entry into Japan. This particular Korean couple took advantage of the Japanese legal system so that the wife could acquire an official resident permit. Similar cases followed this example (see the October 1938 issue).

– Korean ‘Bad Youth:’ ...最近朝鮮人少年はその生育、環境、風俗、言語ないし特殊心理状態状態に於いて内地人少年と差異あるを以て...朝鮮人少年を主としたる保護施設団体を特設するの要ありと。。。 says the November 1938 issue. Very interesting to see what difference they made between the reformatories for Japanese children and those for Korean ones.

– Fear after 2.26: The February 1936 issue reports that, seeing the sudden incidence of 2.26 and the martial law that followed, many Koreans expressed a great fear, remembering the aftermath of the Kanto Great Earthquake when many Koreans met lynches and violence. Some got ready for evacuation as well.

Category(s): History, Japan, Korea, Military, Research

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