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Date 2021-03-18


"Bōbyōk(法域, Jurisdictional Sphere)" and "Munyōk(文域, Literary Sphere)" : The Distinction of Expressing Possibility and Colonial Texts, Inside the Japanese Empire


Han, Kee-Hyung

Translator: Chen, Yun-Yuan

Professor, Academy of East Asian Studies, Sungkyunkwan University

Translator: Ph.D Student, Graduate Institute of Taiwanese Literature, National Chengchi University


The paper is aiming at paraphrasing a kind of regional deviation in censorship which caused comprehensive influence on texts—reading materials inside the Japanese Empire. "Bōbyōk(法域)" means a possible sphere within which the criteria such as law rules and administrative acts applied to censorship are in force over the relevant region and its residents. During colonial era, Korea was territorially belong to Japanese Empire but was under the differential censorship criteria—unequal to Mainland Japan. This distinction of jurisdiction came to be linked to the strictness differential in censorship process, and it generally influenced the culture of colonial intellectual in Korea. By extension, this linkage became a background which established an asymmetrical structure systematically between texts of colony and those of “mainland” respectively. As a result, the apodictic distinction due to this asymmetry was brought about in "Munyōk(文域)"—a certain literary sphere, namely the limits of possibility in representation each "Bōbyōk" allowed.

Meanwhile, the cause of all these phenomena was fundamentally not confined only to law and its application. That is to say, the Japanese publishing capital having worked throughout the Empire should be also regarded as one of the factors that created distinctiveness of the texts in Korea. These views bespeak that colonial "Munyōk" could be properly identified only with a comprehensive perspective into state power and capital activity.

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Bulletin of Taiwanese Literature