Japan appears to have been formerly inhabited by the Ainus, who have traditions of an older but unknown population, but was invaded in prehistoric times by a race akin to the Koreans, which was possibly mingled with Malay elements after occupying the southern part of the islands.
On the left of the Amur there are some 60,000 Chinese and Manchurians about the mouth of the Zeya, and 26,000 Koreans on the Pacific coast.
Usuri district were Koreans and Chinese, and in the Amur province there were nearly 15,000 Manchus and Koreans.
103/4 in., whereas in the case of the Koreans and the northern Chinese the corresponding figures for males are 5 ft.
Yet in other physical characteristics the Japanese, the Koreans and the Chinese resemble each other so closely that, under similar conditions as to costume and coiffure, no appreciable difference is apparent.
They once occupied the whole country, but were gradually driven northward by the Manchu-Koreans and the Malays.
As far back as the beginning of the Christian era the Japanese and the Koreans could not hold intercourse without the aid of interpreters.
The sequence of events appears to have been this:Japans earliest contact with an oversea people was with the Koreans, and she made some tentative efforts to adapt their alphabet to the expression of her own language.
300 some Koreans were sent from Japan to China to engage competent people to teach the arts of weaving and preparing silk goods.
The governor's estimate for 1908 was 170,000 (72,000 Japanese, 18,000 Chinese, 5000 Koreans, 23,000 Portuguese, 2000 Spanish, 2000 Porto Ricans, 35,000 Hawaiians and part Hawaiians and 12,000 Teutons).
The Japanese and Koreans, and in less measure the Chinese, act as domestic servants, work under white contractors on irrigating ditches and reservoirs, do most of the plantation labour and compete successfully with whites and native islanders in all save skilled urban occupations, such as printing and the manufacture of machinery.
From the first of January 1903 to the 30th of June 1905 Japanese immigrants numbered 18,027; Koreans 7388 (four Koreans to every ten Japanese); but in the last twelve months of this same period there were 4733 Koreans to 5941 Japanese (eight Koreans to every ten Japanese).
The corresponding figures for Koreans during the same period are as follows: number leaving between the 14th of June 1900 and the 31st of December 1905, 721, or 6673 less than the Korean immigrants for the same period.
In Korea, the " Hermit Nation," or as the Koreans prefer to say, " The Land of the Morning Calm," Christianity was introduced at the end of the 18th century by some members of the Korean legation at Pekin who had met Roman Catholic missionaries.
Koreans suffer from malaria, but Europeans and their children are fairly free from climatic maladies, and enjoy robust health.
There is little emigration, except into Russian and Chinese territory, but some Koreans have emigrated to Hawaii and Mexico.
The Koreans are distinct from both Chinese and Japanese in physiognomy, though dark straight hair, dark oblique eyes, and a tinge of bronze in the skin are always present.
The Koreans are rigid monogamists, but concubinage has a recognized status.
Oppression by the throne and the official and noble classes prevailed extensively; but the weak protected themselves by the use of the Kyei, or principle of association, which developed among Koreans into powerful trading gilds, trades-unions, mutual benefit associations, money-lending guilds, &c. Nearly all traders, porters and artisans were members of guilds, powerfully bound together and strong by combined action and mutual helpfulness in time of need.
The belief in demons, mostly malignant, keeps the Koreans in constant terror, and much of their substance is spent on propitiations.
The Koreans are expert linguists, and the government made liberal grants to the linguistic schools.
Korea never recovered from the effects of this invasion, which bequeathed to all Koreans an intense hatred of the Japanese.
A large emigration of famine-stricken Koreans and persecuted Christians into Russian territory followed.
The Koreans did not accept the restoration of Japanese influence without demur.
Taylor, Koreans at Home (London, 1904); E.