The interpretation of blood: how blood group anthropology imagined assimilation and rationalized discrimination in the colonial Korea
Joon Young Jung
(Soul National University)
Hyomin Kim (Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology)
Paper short abstract:
This article examines how techno-scientific discourses produced a coalition between the colonizer and the colonized. Particularly, the article explores the studies of human blood types with a focus on the colonial medicine's racist implications in the Japanese Empire.
Paper long abstract:
This article examines how techno-scientific discourses and practices produced a coalition between the colonizer and the colonized while shaping metropolitan and colonial bodies and identities. Particularly, the article explores the studies of human blood types in Japan and its colonies with a focus on the colonial medicine's racist implications in the Japanese Empire. The article explicates the trajectories of research programs in anthropological studies of blood types from the West to Japan and to the Department of Forensic Medicine at the Keijo Imperial University in Korea. It also investigates how medical science located Koreans as the colonial population within the racial hierarchy as particular kinds of "blood interpretation" became possible for colonial agencies in Imperial Japan. The article demonstrates that the science of blood type secured a strong epistemic authority; simultaneously, Keijo Imperial University emerged as a colonial academic basis while constituting its scientific authority to some extent. The expanded collaboration between the colonial state and the colonized contributed to the promotion of the ideology that Korean could be "restored" as true Japanese during the 1940s with historical, cultural, and scientific "evidence". Through tracking the strange cooperation between the colonial state and the colonized elites, this article provides sites for thinking the practices we come to know race in association with what we understand as science, power, time/temporality, and space/territory/topology.
Topologies of race: bringing a touchy object in STS