The Modernization of the Korean Housing Under the Japanese Colonial Rule

  • Sohn, Sei-Kwan (School of Architecture, Chung Ang University) ;
  • Jun, Nam-Il (Major of Consumer and Housing, The Catholic University of Korea) ;
  • Hong, Hyung-Ock (Major of Housing and Interior Design, Kyung Hee University) ;
  • Yang, Se-Hwa (Major of Housing and Interior Design, University of Ulsan)
  • Published : 2006.06.30


The numerous changes made during the Japanese colonial rule became the basis of the current housing in Korea. Therefore, in order to understand the modern Korean housing, it is essential to understand what the Korean traditional life styles admitted or changed, and how the foreign culture of that time influenced the Korean housing under the Japanese colonial rule. Content analysis through literature review was utilized for the study, and specific sources were research papers, books, magazines, newspapers, and novels. The period during the Japanese invasion was the most active era of modernization in the Korean history. For the housing culture, especially, it can be considered as the most significant period that accepted new housing cultures that replaced the old traditional housing. The Japanese and the Western styles of housing were introduced, new materials and collective production methods were used, and the symbol of the current urban housing in Korea, multi-family dwelling, was constructed. In conclusion, the Koreans did not directly use the Japanese and western housing culture, which were constructed during the Japanese colonial period. They were adapted and altered into Korean style, and eventually, produced various eclectic housing styles.


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