Summary Of Chapter 5: An Empire For Rubber Balls

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David Quiray Dr. Bodemer HIST 316-01 8 December 2014 Title From 1910 to 1945, Korea was just another piece of land that belonged to Japan. August 22, 1910, a treaty between the two countries settled that all power over Korea held by their Emperor was to be transferred to the Emperor of Japan. By 1945, Japan was losing the war, and they were put into a position where they had to let go of Korea. A lot of the details of the events in that time can be studied from the multitude of historical texts, out there, but the emotion of the living conditions and experiences can only be properly conveyed through the storytelling of someone who lived during the Japanese occupation of Korea. Richard Kim was able to capture and display the feeling of not…show more content…
As the class leader, he is forced to play the role of a Japanese Lieutenant, delivering a long 10 minute speech praising the Japanese emperor, in a play celebrating the Crown Prince’s birthday. After the morning assembly on the day of the play, students are told to collect rubber balls previously distributed to celebrate the Japanese capture of the rubber producing areas in Singapore and Malaya for unknown reasons. During collection, his grandmother offers the idea of deflating the balls to more efficiently transport the balls, but when he gave them to the inspecting Teacher, he was taken and brutally beaten because they saw the deflation as an act of “dangerous thinking”. Later in the night, after the narrator was brought back home, the same Japanese teacher comes to his house to try and get him to perform in the play. As he is unable to, the teacher asks his friend to stand in for him. When they leave, the narrator slowly and painfully heads towards the church where the performance is at, and surprises the Teacher by going on stage. He begins to recite his lines first in Korean, switches to Japanese, and stops, pauses for a long time, and walks offstage as his own act of

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