A Legacy Lost 잃어버린 유산--BY DONALD MACINTYRE Seoul
The Japanese looted thousands of cultural artifacts from Korea. But the issue of repatriation is controversial and complex
일본은 한국에서 수천, 수만 점의 문화재를 약탈해 갔다. 그러나 반환문제는 까다롭고 복잡하기 짝이없다.
KI HO PARK/KISTONE FOR TIME
This stone sculpture, one of many treasures that vanished during Japan's occupation, was repatriated to Korea. Many more remain in Japan
Just before daybreak on a rainy summer morning last July, three large trucks pulled up to the gates of an outdoor sculpture museum south of Seoul with some unusual passengers. The trucks were carrying 70 wooden crates: inside, carefully wrapped in felt, lay the statues of 65 Korean scholars, one warrior and four children. Elegant, stylized figures chiseled from blocks of gray granite hundreds of years ago, they once stood guard over the tombs of Korea's royal families. But the statues had not been seen in Korea for half a century. Most of them had disappeared during Japan's occupation of the Korean peninsula from 1910 to 1945. That morning, with dawn breaking and the skies clearing, workers reverentially pried open the first box. Before cranes pulled out the initial statue, curator Brian Jang and the museum's director spread out a straw mat and bowed low to the ground twice. Jang was choked with emotion. "It was like welcoming back ancestors who had been taken away to Japan by force," says Jang. "We had finally brought them back."
지난 7월의 어느 비오는 여름날 동트기 직전 서울 남쪽의 어느 야외 조각 박물관 출입구에 색다른 승객들을 실은 대형 트럭 3대가 멈추어섰다. 트럭들은 나무 상자 70개를 싣고 있었는데, 상자안에는 펠트로 조심스럽게 싼 한국의 문인석 65여기와 무인석 1기, 그리고 어린이 조상(彫像)4기가 눕혀져 있었다. 수백 년 전 회색 화강암 덩어리를 쪼아 만든 이 우아하고 양식화된 인물상들은 전에는 한국 왕실 무덤들을 호위하며 서 있던 것들이다.
그러나 이 석상들은 반세기동안 한국에서 볼 수 없었다. 그 대부분은 일본의 한반도 점령기간인 1910년부터 1945년 사이에 사라진 것들이었다. 그날 아침 날이 밝아 하늘이 걷히자, 일꾼들이 경건한 마음으로 첫 번째 상자를 비집어 열었다. 크레인으로 첫 번째 석상을 꺼내기 전에 관리인 브라이언 장과 박물관장이 멍석을 펴놓고 두 번 엎드려 절했다. 장은 감격하여 가슴이 벅찼다. 그가 말한다. "강제로 일본에 빼앗겼던 조상님들을 맞이하는 느낌입니다.마침내 조상님들을 되 모셔온 것입니다."
The return of the stone sculptures was cause for celebration: Mamoru Kusaka, the Japanese businessman who owned them, had decided they rightfully belonged in Korea. But Koreans are acutely aware of how much of their cultural patrimony remains in exile. From the late 19th century until Japan's defeat in World War II, Japanese colonial officials and private collectors amassed at least 100,000 artifacts and cultural treasures from all corners of the Korean peninsula. Japanese looters and government-sponsored archaeologists violated the tombs of Korea's Kings and Queens, plundering finely worked gold jewelry, jade pendants and delicate celadon bowls. They carted off stone carvings, pagodas and priceless reliquary caskets from Buddhist temples and removed tens of thousands of ancient manuscripts from libraries.
이 들 조각상들의 반환은 축하할 만한 일이었다. 이들을 소유하였던 일본 기업가 쿠사카 마모루는 돌 조각상들을 응당 한국에 돌려주어야 한다고 결정했다.그러나 한국인들은 아직도 수많은 문화재가 타향살이를 하고 있음을 가슴 아프게 생각하고 있다.
19세기 말에서 일본이 2차 대전에서 패망하기 까지, 일본의 식민지 관리들과 민간 수집가들은 한반도의 방방 곡곡에서 적어도 10만 점의 유물과 문화적 보물을 끌어모았다. 일본인 약탈자들과 정부 지원을 받은 고고학자들은 조선의 왕과 왕비들의 무덤을 파헤쳐 도굴하여 정교한 금 장신구, 옥 패물과 우아한 청자그릇들을 약탈했다. 그들은 절에서 돌 조각물과 석탑, 귀중한 사리탑들을 실어갔고, 수만 점의 옛 필사본들을 서고에서 옮겨갔다.
The choicest booty was often bestowed on the Emperor뾩ike the prized blue celadon ceramics found only in the tombs of the Koryo dynasty nobility around Kaesong (now in North Korea near the border with the South). Ancient pots and spears and the like disappeared into storerooms and collections at Japan's biggest universities. Soon after the Japanese left, a young Korean National Museum official named Hwang Su Young went to Kaesong and surveyed the damage. "I saw tombs that were empty and destroyed," Hwang, now 83, says angrily. "People came up to me and said, 'They threatened me with guns and dug up my ancestors' tomb.'"
최고로 치는 약탈품은 천황에게 바쳐진 경우가 많았는데, 개성(지금은 남한과의 경계선 근처인 북한) 주변의 고려 귀족 무덤들에서만 나오는 소중한 청자들의 경우가 그러했다. 옛 항아리와 창같은 것들이 유물 보관 창고에서 사라져 일본의 큰 대학들에 보관, 소장되었다. 일본이 떠난 직후에 국립박물과의 황수영이라는 젊은 한국인 직원이 개성에 가서 피해상황을 조사했다. 지금은 83세인 황수영은 분개하며 이렇게 말한다. "텅 비고 파괴된 무덤들을 보았습니다. 사람들이 내게 와서' 일본인들이 총으로 위협하여 선조들의 무덤을 파게했다.'고 말했습니다."
More than 50 years after the end of World War II, governments and museums in the West are grappling with the legacy of Nazi art looting and are working to restore many treasures to their rightful owners. But the story of Japan's plunder of Asia and in particular of Korea, where the worst abuses occurred, remains relatively unexplored. While conspiracy theories of hidden troves of gold looted by the Japanese abound, there has been little serious research into the issue of stolen art and artifacts. "It's a wide open area," says John Dower, a professor of history at M.I.T. and author of Embracing Defeat: Japan in the Wake of World War II. "This one got truly buried."
2차대전이 끝난 후 50여년이 지나도록, 서방의 정부와 박물관들은 나치의 미술품 약탈이 남긴 피해를 해결하느라 애쓰면서 수많은 보물들을 정당한 소유자에게 돌려주는 일을 하고있다. 그러나, 아시아, 특히 최악의 부정이 일어난 한국에서 자행된 일본의 약탈문제는 아직 상대적으로 조사가 덜 이루어지고 있다. 일본이 약탈해 간 금 매장물들이 숨겨져있다는 음모설이 무성한데도, 도둑맞은 미술품과 문화재 문제에 대한 진지한 조사는 별로 이루어지지 않고있다. MIT대학 역사학 교수이며 <패전의 수용: 2차 세계대전후의 일본>의 저자인 존 다우어는 "활짝열려있는 분야이다. 이 문제는 완전히 파묻혀있다"고 말한다.
One reason for the burial: postwar discussions of Japanese cultural restitution were rapidly superseded by political considerations. A key opponent of Japanese restitution was General Douglas MacArthur, head of the U.S. occupation government in Tokyo after the war. In a transcript of a confidential May 1948 radio message that TIME has uncovered in the U.S. National Archives, MacArthur told the Army: "I am in most serious disagreement even with the minority view on the replacement of cultural property lost or destroyed as a result of military action and occupation." MacArthur's opposition had nothing to do with the legal, ethical or moral rightness of restitution claims but with immediate U.S. policy goals and growing cold war fears. Such a course would, according to MacArthur, "embitter the Japanese people toward us and render Japan vulnerable to ideological pressure and a fertile field for subversive action."
이 문제가 파묻히게 된 한 가지 이유는 전후 일본의 문화재 반환 논의가 급속하게 정치적 고려에 밀려났다는 데 있다. 일본의 반환에 반대한 핵심인물은 전 후 일본의 미국 군정 수반인 더글라스 맥아더 장군이었다. <타임>이 미국 국립문서보관소에서 찾아낸 1948년 5월의 비밀 무선 메시지의 사본에서 맥아더는 육군에 이렇게 밝혔다. "나는 군사행동과 점령의 결과로 행방불명되거나 파괴된 문화재의 복원에 관한 소수 견해에 대해 매우 진지하게 의견을 달리한다."
맥아더의 반대는 문화재 반화 청구권의 법적 윤리적 또는 도덕적 정당성은 전연 개의치 않고 미국의 시급한 정치적 목표와 점증하는 냉전에 대한 불안감만을 고려한 것이었다. 맥아더에 따르면, 이 같은 과정은 "일본인들을 우리에게 격분케 하고 이념적 압력에 취약하게 만들어 전복활동에 유리한 토양을 조성할 것"이라고 보고있다.
Russia, China and Japan all jousted for control of the Korean peninsula at the end of the 19th century. After beating both countries on the battlefield, Japan made Korea a protectorate in 1905 before annexing it in 1910. The military had a dominant role from the start, running the country like a boot camp. Big business zaibatsu, or conglomerates, also became key players as Japan turned the colony into an industrial base, gearing up for war with China in the late 1930s. While some Koreans joined rebel groups, Japan's overwhelming grip on the country subdued most resistance. Some of the Elite openly collaborated with the new rulers. But Koreans of every standing were second-class citizens, powerless to stop the official and unofficial looting of the nation.
러시아와 중국, 일본은 모두 19세기 말에 한반도를 장악하기 위해 다투었다. 일본은 전쟁에서 이 두 나라를 패배시킨 후 1905년에 한국을 보호국으로 만들었다가 1910년에 합병했다. 처음부터 군대가 주도적 역할을 맡아 이 나라를 신병훈련소처럼 운영했다. 1930년대 후반에 일본이 이 식민지를 산업기지로 만들어 중국과의 전쟁(당시 청-일 전쟁)을 준비하면서 재벌이라 불리는 대기업들도 중요한 역할을 맡았다.
일부 한국인들이 반란 집단에 가담하기는 했지만, 일본은 이 나라를 압도적으로 장악하여 대부분의 저항운동을 진압했다. 일부 엘리트들은 공개적으로 새 통치자들에게 협력했다. 그러나 각계각층의 한국인들은 평버한 일반인들이어서 이 나라에 대한 공식, 비공식적인 약탈을 저지할 힘이 없었다.
To understand the depth of Korean anger, take a stroll through the peaceful, leafy grounds of Yasukuni Shrine in Tokyo, where Japanese soldiers who died in bat-tle are honored. With a number of war criminals enshrined there as well, it is the most infamous symbol of Japanese militarism. Koreans were outraged when Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi paid his respects at the shrine last August, but this place is a raw wound for Koreans for another reason, too. Tucked away in a remote corner of the grounds, behind a heavy, locked iron gate, is a simple tombstone-shaped tablet, just over 2 m high. Crafted in October 1709, it commemorates Korea's victory over invading Japanese troops in the late 16th century.
한국인들이 품은 분노의 깊이를 이해하려면 도쿄에 있는 일본 전몰 군인들을 기리는 야스쿠니신사의 평화롭고 숲이 우거진 구내를 산책해보면 된다. 다수의 전범들도 함께 안치되어 있는 이 곳은 일본 군국주의의 가장 수치스러운 상징이다. 한국인들은 작년 8월 고이즈미 준이찌로 일본총리가 이 신사를 참배했을 때 분개했지만, 한국인들에게는 이 장소가 또 다른 이유에서도 아픈 상처이다. 구내 외딴 곳의 잠겨진 육중한 철문 뒤에는 높이가 2미터 남짓한 묘비 모양의 간소한 기념비가 숨겨져 있다. 1709년 10월에 제작된 이 비석은 16세기 말 일본 침략군에 대한 조선의 승전을 기념하는 것이다.
How did the memorial make its way from what is now North Korea to this controversial shrine? After the Russo-Japanese War, an army major general presented it to the Emperor as a token of Japan's victory. "It is a shocking thing that this memorial is at Yasukuni, of all places," says Masahiro Saotome, a professor of Korean history at the University of Tokyo. "Understandably, it is very annoying to Koreans."
이 기념비가 어떻게 해서 지금의 북한 땅에서 이 말썽 많은 신사로 옮겨졌을까? 일본-러시아 전쟁 후 어느 일본인 소장이 그것을 일본의 승전 기념품으로 천황에게 바쳤다. 도쿄대학의 한국사 교수 사오토메마시히로는 " 이 기념비가 하필이면 야스쿠니에 있다는 것은 매우 충격적이다. 한국인들이 몹시 화내는것은 이해할 만하다."고 말한다.
The issue of missing cultural property remains one more unsettled and emotive thorn in the tortured relationship between Japan and both Koreas. The North has put the return of stolen cultural artifacts high on the agenda in its on-again, off-again talks with Japan on normalizing relations. Even after decades of relatively cordial political relations between the South Korean and Japanese governments, the lack of mutual understanding is staggering.
실종 문화재 문제는 뒤틀어진 일본과 두 한국과의 관계에서 또 하나의 미해결의 감정적 가시로 남아있다. 북한은 도둑맞은 문화재 반환문제를 단속적인 일본과의 관계정상화 회담에서 주요 의제로 올려놓고 있다. 한일 양국 정부는 수십년 동안 비교적 정중한 관계를 맺어왔는데도 상호 이해 부족은 놀랄만큼 결여되어있다.
The Japanese point out that other colonial powers such as the French and British filled their museums with booty collected from their sprawling empires. Japanese officials and scholars contend they rediscovered and helped to preserve the glories of ancient Korea, which the Koreans had long forgotten. Says Lee Sungsi, a professor of Korean literature at Tokyo's Waseda University: "The Koreans keep accusing Japan of stealing but the Japanese think they did something good. They think they should be thanked."
일본은 프랑스와 영국 등 다른 식민지 열강들도 자국의 박물관들을 광활한 제국에서 수집한 약탈물로 채웠다는 점을 지적한다. 일본의 관리와 학자들은 한국인들이 오랫동안 잊어왔던 옛 한국의 영광을 일본이 재발견하여 보존하도록 도왔다고 주장한다. 도쿄 와세다 대학의 이승시 한국문학교수는 이렇게 말한다. "한국인들은 일본이 훔쳤다고 줄곧 비난하지만 일본인들은 자기들이 좋은 일을 했다고 생각한다. 그들은 자기들이 감사받아야 한다고 생각한다."
The Koreans, on the other hand, see the Japanese as a ruthless wartime occupation force comparable to that of Nazi Germany, Japan's World War II ally. They point to Japan's draconian policies of the 1930s and '40s: the kidnapping of thousands of girls and women to act as so-called comfort women for Japanese troops, the dragooning of 4 million Koreans to work as slave labor in mines and factories, and the often brutal dismantling of Korean cultural identity뾲he forced use of Japanese names and language is one notorious example. "It is very clear that Japan tried to wipe out Korean culture," says Lee Ku Yeol, an author on the colonial period. "As a Korean, I feel ashamed we were not able to protect it."
한국인들은 반면에 일본인들을 일본의 2차대전 동맹국인 나치 독일에 버금가는 무자비한 전시점령세력으로 보고있다. 한국인들은 수 천명의 여성을 납치하여 일본군을 위한 이른바 위안부로 삼고, 4백만 한국인들을 강제로 끌고 가 광산과 공장들에서 노예노동을 시키고, 수시로 한국 문화의 정체성을 잔인하게 해체하는 등 - 한가지 악명 높은 예는 일본 이름과 일본어를 강제로 사용케 한 것이다.- 1930년대와 40년대에 있었던 일본의 가혹한 정책들을 지적한다.
식민지 시대에 관한 책을 저술한 이규열은 이렇게 말한다. "일본이 한국 문화를 말살하려했다는 것은 아주 명백하다. 나는 한국인으로서 우리가 이를 막아내지 못했음을 부끄럽게 생각한다."
Today on the grounds of the Kyoto National Museum stands a rest pavilion, the roof of which is supported by four 2-m-tall stone pillars. Visitors relax or chat on its benches. To Koreans, the torch-shaped pillars are sacred: they once were placed in front of royal tombs to symbolize the King's power. Ten kilometers away, granite sculptures of Korean scholars line a road that leads to the entrance of a tofu restaurant. Two years ago when curator Jang visited, he found the eatery had planted Japanese flags in front of each sculpture. He was incensed. "The truth is, I wanted to kill them," he says. "Stealing in the first place is bad, but when you take something and misuse it, it's outrageous." (The restaurant no longer displays the flags.)
Early in the 1900s, Japan began sponsoring excavations in Korea for two purposes: to bring back valuable objects and to use these artifacts to justify its eventual annexation. Says Waseda University's Sungsi: "What the Japanese wanted to stress was that Japanese and Korean roots are the same and that Korea became less prosperous only after it parted ways with Japan." The University of Tokyo's Saotome says, "They did this to justify Japanese colonization." By the time Japan declared Korea a protectorate in 1905, hordes of Japanese treasure hunters were making a living excavating tombs and selling the loot. They had dreams of striking it rich, digging out tombs as if they were gold mines, according to a contemporary interview with Akio Koizumi, the Japanese director of the Pyongyang Museum during the 1930s. They were spurred on by tales about golden chickens that would crow from the tombs every New Year's Day.
Kyoichi Arimitsu, born in 1907, is one of the few remaining eyewitnesses to what happened during the Japanese occupation. A respected archaeologist, Arimitsu went to Korea in 1931 to do graduate work. "We wanted to know the history of the Korean peninsula, not from reading but from excavating the actual sites," Arimitsu says in an interview at the small museum in Kyoto where he works. The Japanese sent scholars to itemize Korea's cultural heritage, the first such effort in Korean history. Colonial officials produced a 15-volume series on everything from roof tiles and temple architecture to porcelain and royal jewelry: it is still the most comprehensive catalog of Korean culture. Arimitsu said looting was rampant but insists that individual researchers like himself had nothing to do with the transfer of antiquities. Still, he concedes, "Once we found something it went to the Governor General, and then he would choose what went to the Emperor."
For their part, Japan's top officials eagerly participated in the cultural pillaging, amassing enormous personal collections. When the first Governor General, Ito Hirobumi, was assassinated after a four-year reign, he owned more than 1,000 pieces of celadon. The third Governor General, Masataka Terauchi, assembled 1,855 works of calligraphy, 432 books and 2,000 pieces of celadon, mirrors and other artifacts. Terauchi's collection ended up at Yamaguchi Women's University, according to Nam Yong Chang, a Japanese academic of Korean ancestry, who says only a fraction of the collection was later returned to Korea. Everybody knew what it took to get things done in the colony, says Soji Takasaki, an art history professor at Tsudajuku University near Tokyo: "Japanese plied (Terauchi) with gifts of relics and statues to get jobs or win approval for business projects."
Equally rapacious were businessmen like Takenosuke Ogura, who moved to Korea in 1903 as head of a Japanese electric power company. Much of his collection뾱ome 1,100 pieces뾲oday sits in the Tokyo National Museum, including blue celadon vases, bronze Buddhas and a priceless, unique gold crown taken from the late 5th or early 6th century grave of a King from the Kaya dynasty. Koreans nicknamed Ogura the mole because he was so obsessed with buried treasure. Says Takasaki: "(Ogura) was one of the bad guys." A few dozen pieces are rotated through the display cabinets at a time, many marked "provenance unknown." Toyonobu Tani, head curator at the National Museum, says, "We take very good care of artifacts so they can be used for academic purposes by Japanese people and by Koreans and Chinese." He denies any knowledge of requests from the Korean government or individual Koreans for the return of any items.
If Koreans can only estimate how much is missing or destroyed, they are very aware of how many important pieces of their cultural heritage now reside in Japan. Many ancient Korean books and examples of celadon can be found only in Japanese collections. Laments Park Sang Kuk, director of Korea's National Research Institute of Cultural Properties: "If a Korean wants to study Korean cultural assets, he has to go to Japan. That's what I can't stand."
In Europe after the war, the Allies mounted a massive effort to restitute hundreds of thousands of paintings and other works of art seized by the Nazis. They were only partially successful. But in Asia, even less was attempted. "There were no such initiatives as far as I know taken by the Allies in Asia," says Norman Palmer, a law professor who sits on the British government's Spoliation Advisory Panel. "In a sense, because the Allies did nothing about it originally, it ceased to be an issue almost immediately."
The issue of restitution surfaced again in 1965, when Japan and South Korea negotiated a treaty to normalize relations. But the South, under dictator Park Chung Hee, was racing to build its economy. It wanted monetary reparations to finance highways and steel mills뾯etrieving artifacts wasn't a high priority. Japan returned only 1,326 items, including 852 books and 438 pieces of pottery. Says You Hong June, director of the Yeungnam University Museum in Taegu: "The Koreans should have got up and left. It is an embarrassment that our government allowed this to happen."
Japan argues that the treaty put an end to any Korean claims against Japan, cultural or otherwise. "We agree to disagree over the nature of the returns," says Daisuke Matsunaga, a deputy press secretary for Japan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Matsunaga says the original "transfer" of cultural artifacts from Korea to Japan was lawful. "Our position is that it is out of friendship and goodwill, we are giving things back." But the Tokyo National Museum and Japan's major universities have shown little inclination to return items in their collections.
Given such official intransigence, the best chance of restitution rests with individuals like Kusaka, the businessman who returned the stone sculptures to Korea last summer. Kusaka started to collect Korean artifacts only after the war, in part so his wife and daughter would have beautiful bowls to use in the tea ceremony. He planned to build a museum in central Japan to house his collection of stone figures and blue celadon뾳ntil he met Korean business tycoon Chun Shin Il, who has spent years buying lost Korean sculptures. Over cups of sake, Chun explained to Kusaka his mission to repatriate lost Korean treasures and display them at the Sejoong Traditional Stone Museum in Yongin, an hour south of Seoul, which he founded in 2000. Says Chun: "He needed a little convincing but he was touched by what I was telling him." Kusaka agreed to sell several stone sculptures and donate the rest. Giving them up was not easy, Kusaka says: "It felt like giving away my daughter to be married." Painful, yes, but Korea and Japan need much more of that kind of healing.
With reporting by Judy Fayard/Paris, Chisu Ko/Seoul, Tim Larimer/Kyoto, Judy Oppenheimer/Washington, Joe Perry/London and Sian Rees/Tokyo