A History of Japanese Literature by W. G. Aston

By W. G. Aston

This is often the earliest special survey of the voluminous jap literature released in English, starting from the Archaic interval (before A.D.700) in the course of the 19th century romanic fictions, to the socalled Tokyo interval finishing in 1898.

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The Japanese pushed the railway up to the Manchurian border to prosecute the Russo–Japanese war in 1904, bringing in troops from Japan to build and guard the line. However, what the military started, the civilian sector inherited and railways became a vital artery for economic development. Railways, like the Internet, gain value exponentially with growth and linkages, and the Korean railway network was in the fortunate position (unlike the Beal 01 intro 32 30/6/05 12:16:34 pm The Roots of Modern Korea 33 Japanese) of being able in time to connect to the Eurasian network, and specifically to the Trans-Siberian Railway.

I bought the book when I visited the mausoleum in April 2004. It cost 2 euros. Admission to the mausoleum costs 10 euros and for 100, we were told, we could view the bones. We declined. In 1936 an Association for the Repair of the Tomb of Tangun was set up with funds from supporters, but it seems to have run foul of the Japanese and its memorial was removed from the site. In the early 1990s, as economic difficulties mounted with the collapse of the Soviet Union, the regime turned increasingly to Korean history, and nationalism, for re-legitimisation.

Despite significant regional differences (in South Korea elections have often revolved around region rather than party platforms) a unified Korean peninsula has become the default, the natural state of things to which the country will revert. Perhaps the greatest unifying factor for nation building, and one which tends to differentiate one nation from another is language. The origins of the Korean spoken language are uncertain but we have some significant milestones when it comes to the written language.

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