Fighting for the Enemy
Koreans in Japan's War, 1937-1945
- PUBLISHED: July 2013
- SUBJECT LISTING: Asian Studies / Korea, History
- BIBLIOGRAPHIC INFORMATION: 272 Pages, 6 x 9 in, 15 illus.
- SERIES: Korean Studies of the Henry M. Jackson School of International Studies
- ISBN: 9780295992587
Fighting for the Enemy explores the participation of Koreans in the Japanese military and supporting industries before and during World War II, first through voluntary enlistment and eventually through conscription. Contrary to popular belief among Korean nationalists, this involvement was not entirely coerced. Brandon Palmer examines this ambiguous situation in the context of Japan's long-term colonial effort to assimilate Koreans into Japanese sociopolitical life and documents the many ways Koreans-short of openly resisting-avoided full cooperation with Japanese war efforts.
Much media attention has been given to Japan's exploitation of "comfort women" in Korea and elsewhere in East Asia during the colonial period, but, until now, there has been no extended, objective analysis of the exploitation of the thousands of young Korean men who served in Japan's military and auxiliary occupations.
Authors & Contributors
Brandon Palmer is associate professor of history at Carolina Coastal University in Conway, South Carolina.
1. Korea’s Mobilization in context
2. The Korean Volunteer Soldier Systems
3. The Korean Conscription System
4. Mobilization of Colonial Labor
Palmer’s study is long overdue in addressing Japan’s colonial policy and how the exigencies of war forced Tokyo to revise its initial policies for a people they long considered to be inferior. . . . [This book is] Essential.- CHOICE
Palmer's study is long overdue in addressing Japan's colonial policy and how the exigencies of war forced Tokyo to revise its initial policies for a people they long considered to be inferior. A must for any library seeking to upgrade its collection on the Pacific War.- Choice
[B]alanced, exhaustive, and textured….Palmer’s work must be placed with T. Fujitani’s Race for Empire as one of the two most important works on the subject in the English-language literature on the war period in Korea. It will certainly stand as the platform from which further study of the late colonial period will evolve.- Michael E. Robinson, Journal of Japanese Studies
Brandon Palmer’s study manages to achieve the often sought-after combination of brevity, readability, and greater historical awareness. . . . [A] fascinating, objective look at the experience of Korean men during the Second World War. Fighting for the Enemy does not set out to be an end-all history of colonial Korea, but anyone who wishes to study the period would be remiss if it wasn’t part of his or her collection.- Evan T. Daniels, Korean Studies
Skillfully synthesizes a broad body of material in both Japanese and Korean, including official government documents, personal histories, and previous scholarly studies to produce an excellent study of Japan's wartime mobilization of the Korean population that often challenges conventional scholarly perspectives.- Carter J. Eckert, Harvard University