Conclusion: The Role of Difficult Heritage in Nation Building in South Korea
In this concluding chapter, Lee reflects on the relationship between Japanese colonial occupation architecture and Korean national identity, considering how the stories associated with architectural heritage sites strengthen national myth and collective memory. Lee concludes that Japanese colonial occupation architecture has become ‘difficult heritage’ in Korea, not only because of the painful and traumatic period in which it was built, but because of the way in which collective memories of the Japanese colonial occupation have diversely affected the narratives attached to individual architectural sites. Finally, by identifying the dynamics and nature of the collective memories that have been ceaselessly constructed and reformulated, Lee outlines the future challenges for the formation of collective memories of Japanese colonial occupation architecture, and discusses the future role of difficult heritage in the Korean and East Asian context.
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