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What did Japan call Korea?


Japan and Korea have a complicated history, with Japan having colonized Korea from 1910 to 1945. During this time, Japan referred to Korea by different names, which reflected their relationship at that time. In this article, we will explore the different names Japan called Korea and their significance.

History of Japanese-Korean Relations

The relationship between Japan and Korea dates back centuries. The two nations have had political, economic, and cultural interactions through the ages. However, the relationship took a turn for the worse in the early 20th century when Japan colonized Korea. During this time, Japan referred to Korea by different names, which reflected their dominance over the Korean people.

Japanese Snack Box

The Colonial Period

From 1910 to 1945, Japan ruled over Korea as a colony. During this time, Japan imposed its language, culture, and customs on the Korean people. As part of this effort to assimilate Koreans into Japanese culture, Japan used different names for Korea.


The first name that Japan used for Korea was “Chosen.” This name was given to Korea in 1910 when Japan annexed Korea as a colony. The name “Chosen” was taken from an ancient Korean dynasty that existed more than a thousand years ago. Japan used this name to legitimize its claim over Korea.

Kaikoku Chosen

In 1943, Japan changed the name of its colony to “Kaikoku Chosen.” This name meant “Korea under Japanese rule.” The name change reflected Japan’s desire to create a greater empire in Asia.

Dai-Nippon Teikoku

During the colonial period, Japan referred to itself as “Dai-Nippon Teikoku,” which means “Empire of Great Japan.” This name showed Japan’s imperial ambitions and its desire to dominate Asia. It also reflected the fact that Japan saw itself as a superior civilization.

Korean Resistance

During the colonial period, Koreans resisted Japanese rule through various means, including protests and uprisings. One of the ways they resisted was by refusing to use the names that Japan gave them.

Post-Colonial Period

Japan’s colonization of Korea ended in 1945 after World War II. Since then, relations between the two nations have been strained at times. However, both countries have made efforts to improve their relationship.

Modern Relations

Despite some historical tensions, modern-day relations between Japan and Korea are generally positive. Both countries recognize the importance of working together for peace and stability in the region.


In conclusion, Japan called Korea by different names during its colonial period from 1910 to 1945. These names reflected Japan’s dominance over the Korean people and its desire to create a greater empire in Asia. Although relations between the two countries have been strained at times, they have made efforts to improve their relationship in recent years.

What does Japan call Korea?

In Japan, North Korea is referred to as Kita-Chōsen (北朝鮮) and South Korea is known as Kankoku (韓国).

What was Korea originally called?

Goryeo, spelled Koryŏ, is where the modern name “Korea” originates from. This era was marked by the creation of laws and the implementation of a civil service system.

Why do Japanese call Korea Kankoku?

In the past, Korea was referred to as “Joseon” which influenced the Japanese term “chosen.” While North Korea still uses “Joseon,” South Korea changed its name to “Daehanminguk” or “Hanguk,” which is the origin of the Japanese term “Kankoku.”

What was Seoul called under Japan?

During the period of Japanese rule, the name Seoul was not used by the Japanese as a place name; instead, it was called Keijo in Japanese or Gyeongseong in Korean.May 17, 2018

Is Dokdo Japan or Korea?

Dokdo refers to a cluster of islands that fall under the jurisdiction of the Republic of Korea, situated at the furthest end of the country’s eastern boundary in the East Sea.

What was Korea before Japan?

Korea was under the rule of Japan, which was preceded by the Korean Empire. Following this rule, there was the Provisional Government of the Republic of Korea in 1919, and later the People’s Republic of Korea in 1945. Soviet Civil Administration in Korea and the United States Army Military Government in Korea also played a role during this time period.

Impact of Japanese Colonization on Korea

Japan’s colonization of Korea had a profound impact on Korean society and culture. The Japanese government implemented policies that aimed to erase Korean identity and replace it with Japanese culture. Koreans were forced to speak Japanese, adopt Japanese names, and practice Japanese customs. This cultural suppression led to a sense of loss of identity and pride among the Korean people.

During the colonial period, Japan also exploited Korea’s resources for its own benefit. The Japanese government encouraged the production of rice and other crops for export to Japan, leaving many Korean farmers without enough food to feed their families. Japan also forced Koreans to work in factories and mines under harsh conditions, with little pay or recognition.

The legacy of Japanese colonization is still felt in Korea today. Many Koreans continue to feel a sense of resentment towards Japan for its past actions, and the issue of compensation for wartime forced labor remains a contentious issue between the two countries.

Efforts towards Reconciliation

In recent years, there have been efforts towards reconciliation between Japan and Korea. In 2015, Japan issued an official apology for its colonial rule and acknowledged the suffering it caused to the Korean people. However, this apology was met with mixed reactions in Korea, with some feeling that it did not go far enough.

In addition to official apologies, there have been cultural exchanges and joint economic ventures between the two countries in recent years. These efforts aim to promote understanding and cooperation between the two nations.

Despite these efforts, tensions still exist between Japan and Korea over historical issues. However, many hope that continued dialogue and cooperation can lead to a more positive relationship between these two important Asian nations.

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