In 1916, after coming back from his first visit to Korea, Yanagi Muneyoshi announced his project of shedding new light on literary works in the East. This project centered on Korean literary works begun in 1919, when he contributed an article titled “Speculations on Koreans” to Yomiuri Shimbun. It was soon after the March First Independent Movement took place in Korea. For this reason, Yanagi’s project was carried out in the situation where Japan shifted its imperial policy from her military control of Korea to her cultural one.
Former studies insist that Yanagi’s and his wife’s project concerning Korean culture corresponded with Japan’s shift of her policy. But there has been one problem on which they differ: which side̶Japan or Korea̶proposed to support the musical concert held by Yanagi’s wife Kaneko? And those studies have totally ignored the influence of Yanagi.
This paper addresses the problem of how much Yanagi contributed to the musical concert by analyzing the remarks of Yanagi, and examining how Korean media responded to his remarks.