Abstract

After the colonial invasion of East Asia, numerous Koreans, Vietnamese, and Japanese went to China and began a long anticolonial struggle. During this period, they chose to write and communicate in a fourth language, Baihua 白話, for anticolonial purposes. While writing in Baihua, they brought the grammar and word order of their mother tongues into Baihua, creating “Korean-style vernacular Chinese,” “Japanese-style vernacular Chinese,” and “Vietnamese-style vernacular Chinese.” The emergence of these hybridized Baihuas is related to the anticolonialists’ cooperation with the Kuomintang government, the oppression of the Kuomintang government, and the authority of Literary Sinitic and Baihua. As a form of subversion of and resistance to the authority of Literary Sinitic and Baihua, the hybrid Baihuas thus constructed served as an anticolonial third space.

Introduction

In modern times, China was reduced from a “Celestial Empire” to a semicolony, and Literary Sinitic (henceforth LS), once a symbol of Chinese hegemony, was abandoned by East Asian countries. However, as colonial aggression intensified, a new phenomenon emerged in East Asia: numerous Koreans, Vietnamese, and even Japanese went to China to engage in anticolonial movements and actively wrote and communicated with each other in vernacular Chinese (Baihua 白話), a fourth language. In the process, forms of hybrid Baihua, such as Korean-style vernacular Chinese, Japanese-style vernacular Chinese, and Vietnamese-style vernacular Chinese, were created. These forms of hybrid Baihua constituted a third space in the anticolonial struggle in East Asia.

In 1884, Vietnam became a French colony. In 1895, Japan began to colonize Taiwan. In 1910, Korea became a Japanese colony. Phan Bội Châu 潘佩珠 (1867–1940), leader of the Vietnamese independence movement, went to Guangzhou in 1912, where he founded the Vietnam Restoration League (Việt Nam Quang Phục Hội 越南光復會) and the Vietnamese Nationalist Party (Việt Nam Quốc-dân Đảng 越南國民黨) and organized anti-French activities in China. During his stay in China, Hồ Chí Minh 胡志明 (1890–1969) established the Vietnamese Youth Revolutionary Comradeship Association (Hội Việt Nam Cách mạng Thanh niên 越南青年革命同志會) and the Vietnamese Independence League (Việt Nam Ðộc Lập Ðồng Minh Hội 越南獨立同盟會) while leading the Vietnamese people in their struggles against French and Japanese imperialist forces.

The Korean Provisional Government was founded in Shanghai in 1919 and subsequently led the Korean people in exile to continue their fight for national independence. In 1938, the Korean Volunteer Corps (Chosŏn ŭiyongdae 朝鮮義勇隊) was established in Wuhan and immediately joined the war against Japan in China. At the same time, Japanese antiwar activists such as Kaji Wataru 鹿地亘 (1903–1982) and Hasegawa Teru 長谷川照子 (aka Midorigawa Eiko 緑川英子, 1912–1947) also went to China to participate in antiwar movements.

During this period, activists like these wrote anticolonial works in vernacular Chinese and founded newspapers and magazines.1 During the Japanese occupation of Korea, over one hundred Korea-related magazines were published in LS (K. hanmun 漢文) or Baihua in China.2 Hồ Chí Minh and other Vietnamese founded the magazine Vietnam's Voice (Yue Sheng 越聲)—written in Baihua—in Nanjing, in addition to publishing articles in Baihua in other journals established by Chinese and Koreans. In the process of writing in Baihua, anticolonialists brought the linguistic habits of their native languages into Baihua and created hybridized varieties of it. In Literary Sinitic and East Asia: A Cultural Sphere of Vernacular Reading (漢文と東アジア:訓読の文化圏, 2010; English version, 2021), Kin Bunkyō 金文京 (1952–) has traced the development and evolution of East Asian LS and proposed the concept of “Variant Literary Sinitic” by examining the transformation of LS by Koreans, Japanese, and Vietnamese. However, the hybrid Baihua examined here emerged in the modern era as a product of the anticolonial writings of East Asian people and as part of a third space in the anticolonial struggle in East Asia.

In his The Location of Culture, Homi Bhabha (2010) examined the phenomenon of linguistic hybridity that emerged in the postcolonial writing of colonists and thus introduced the concept of hybridity. As a result, linguistic hybridity has become an important concept in postcolonialism. As part of the anticolonial movement, many anticolonial writings were composed in East Asia, but the emergence of linguistic hybridity in the process of anticolonial writing has not received sufficient attention in studies on postcolonial theory. This essay examines the history of Korean, Vietnamese, and Japanese writing and communication in a third language, Baihua, and the process by which such writers mixed their mother tongues with Baihua to create hybridized Baihuas. The essay will also analyze the relationship between this hybrid language practice and the phenomenon of power that exists within the anticolonial camp, further refining the theory of postcolonialism within the widespread phenomenon of hybrid language usage in East Asia.

Anticolonial Writing in a Fourth Language

During the colonial period, Koreans had at their disposal no less than four languages, namely: Japanese, the language of the colonial sovereign; Korean, their mother tongue; LS, the lingua franca (and scripta franca) of East Asia, still used by certain classically trained intellectuals; and vernacular Chinese (Baihua), a fourth language. And it is worth remembering that “one of the main features of imperial oppression is control over language” (Ashcroft, Griffiths, and Tiffin 2002: 7). After its occupation of Korea began, the Japanese colonial regime gradually promoted language policies favoring the use of Japanese, imposing Japanese as the new “national language” of Korea and effectively banning the use of the Korean language starting in 1938. Therefore, “most of the writers began to write in Japanese, except for a few writers who no longer wrote. They had to use it [Japanese] for their own survival” (Kim Chaeyong 2004: 52). Nevertheless, the Korean anticolonial activists in China rejected this imposed “national language” and instead chose to write in vernacular Chinese, a fourth language. Through vernacular Chinese writing, they communicated with anticolonial forces in East Asia, including China, and endeavored to establish a united front with them to achieve victory in the anticolonial war.

For Korean independence activists in China, Korean was the initial choice for a working language: “Since the declaration of independence [in 1919], several newspapers have appeared and are now distributed all over the country. The newspapers are all published in the Korean language to facilitate our people's access to information” (自宣言獨立以來, 有幾種報紙之行於各處者, 而均用國文為之者, 供我人之覽也) (Paegam 1920: 1). Following the breakout of the March First Movement in 1919, most newspapers launched by Korean independence activists in China were published in Korean, which was also the initial working language of the Korean Provisional Government, which then created the Korean newspaper the Independent (Tongnip sinmun 獨立新聞). Other newspapers created by Korean independence activists included the National Flag (T'aegŭkki 太極旗) and the Korean Herald (Hanjok sinbo 韓族新報), all published in Korean. Based on the creation and distribution of Korean newspapers, one can see that Korean independence activists initially had a strong desire to continue using Korean as their primary working language.

In his book Korea between Empires, Andre Schmid notes that beginning in 1895, Koreans began to restore the purity of their national culture, and the first issue to be addressed was the infiltration of Chinese culture, represented by sinographs (“Chinese characters,” 漢字). The use of the characters represented the past—a time of weakness and ignorance when Korea was less than fully independent (Schmid 2002: 68). Koreans began to emphasize the importance of their own vernacular script while downgrading sinographs and LS after China began to suffer from the invasions of the Great Powers. By naturalizing the link between the written word and the nation, writers simultaneously undermined the claim of sinographs to national transcendence (69). However, after the Japanese annexation of Korea, especially after the March First Movement, many independence activists went to China to join the anticolonial struggle, and Korean intellectuals began to reconstruct their relationship with China, sinographs, and LS.

Pak Ŭnsik 朴殷植 (1859–1925) argued that “due to the close relationship between China and us Korean people, if we are to maximize the influence of our movement, touch people's hearts, and introduce our cause in detail to students and young people, then our newspapers must be published in sinographs (漢字)” (惟中國與吾韓極有密切之關係, 故今圖運動之影響, 觸其腦筋者尤深, 而學界之青年要得其詳細者多, 而非漢字之報則不可) (Paegam 1920: 1). In 1920 independence activist Yŏ Unhyŏng 呂運亨 (1886–1947) and others founded the Young Korea (Sinhan ch’ŏngnyŏn 新韓青年), written in LS, in China because of the close relationship between China and Korea and because only by founding a newspaper written in sinographs could Chinese youth learn about the Korean independence movement. In the same year, the journal Chindan 震壇 edited by Sin Kyusik 申圭植 (1879–1922) was also published in LS, and the preface of the first issue stated that Koreans used the same written language (LS) and were of the same race as people in China and that the relationship between the two countries was similar to that between the states of Lu and Wei (同文同種, 誼屬魯衛) (Chindan 1920: 2). The Independent (Chongqing edition), founded in 1943, also emphasized that China and Korea were “friends”: “It is necessary for the Independent to be published in the languages of various countries, and among them, the most urgent is to publish it in Chinese characters (中國的文字). Because China and Korea are friends who share the same suffering, historically, geographically, and politically, both countries are closely related” (獨立新聞有必要用各國的文字出版, 其中, 最著急的是用中國的文字出版. 因為中國與韓國是同甘共苦的友邦, 無論從歷史上, 地理上還是政治上, 兩個國家都關係緊密) (Tongnip sinmun 1943).

Thus, after the March First Movement, the image of China as a “friendly country” began to be emphasized by Korean intellectuals. Sinographs and LS were no longer symbolic of “the past, a time of weakness and ignorance” in Korea, but became written signs representing a friendly and brotherly country and thus were widely used by Korean intellectuals. The monthly Light (Kwangmyŏng 光明) was the only publication organized jointly by Chinese and Koreans, and it connected the people of China and Korea to promote rule by the people (這個光明月報, 是中韓人民所組織唯一的言論機關, 是中韓兩國聯絡感情促進民治的言論機關報 (Kwangmyŏng 1921: 1). As stated in the founding manifesto of Light, the main purpose of Koreans writing in Baihua was to communicate with Chinese intellectuals and the Chinese government to form a united front against colonization.

Evidence of the wide use of sinographs among Korean independence activists in China can be found by examining the activities conducted by the Korean Provisional Government. In 1922, the government started an LS edition of the Independent in Shanghai. Soon afterward, it also published books such as On the Question of Korean Residents in Northeast China (Tong Samsŏng Han'gyo munje 東三省韓僑問題, 1923) in Baihua-infused LS and Documents on the Korean Independence Movement (Han'guk tongnip undong mullyu 韓國獨立運動文類, 1942) and the Special Issue for the 23rd Anniversary of the Korean March First Declaration of Independence (Han'guk tongnip sŏnŏn ipsam chunyŏn ‘Samil’ kinyŏm t’ŭkkan 韓國獨立宣言廿三週年“三一”節紀念特刊, 1942) in Baihua. Prior to the publication of Documents on the Korean Independence Movement, the Korean Provisional Government (1942: 1) announced that “the Publicity Committee of the Korean Provisional Government will take charge of collecting the important documents on the independence movement produced to date and publish these without delay” (今由臨時政府宣傳委員會, 集最近發佈之有關獨立運動之重要文字, 先行刊發). These important documents included The Korean Provisional Government's Declaration of War against Japan (Han'guk Imsi Chŏngbu tae-Il sŏnjŏn sŏngmyŏngsŏ 韓國臨時政府對日宣戰聲明書) and The Founding Program of the Republic of Korea (Taehan Min'guk kŏn'guk kangnyŏng 大韓民國建國綱領); the documents were all written in Baihua instead of in Korean (or LS). Thus, in parallel with the development of the Chinese vernacular movement in China (1917–1920s), the written language used by the Korean Provisional Government also changed several times, transitioning between LS, Baihua-infused LS, and Baihua.

In addition to the government, organizations such as the Korean Independence Party (Han'guk tongniptang 韓國獨立黨) and the Korean National Front Alliance (Chosŏn minjok chŏnsŏn yŏnmaeng 朝鮮民族戰線聯盟), as well as individuals such as Sin Kyusik and Sin Ch'aeho 申采浩 (1880–1936), also established periodicals using LS or Baihua. As mentioned, Koreans founded more than one hundred journals in China that published in LS, Baihua-infused LS, or Baihua. In addition to early magazines such as the Young Korea and Tienku (K. Ch’ŏn'go, 天鼓), which continued to use LS, magazines created after the 1930s, such as the Newsletter of the Korean Volunteer Corps (Chosŏn ŭiyongdae t'ongsin 朝鮮義勇隊通訊), the Orient Comrade (Tongbang chŏnu 東方戰友), and the Korean National Front (Chosŏn minjok chŏnsŏn 朝鮮民族戰線), were mostly published in Baihua. Similar newspaper articles with a strong focus on current affairs thus played a crucial role in documenting the anticolonial struggles of the Korean people and accurately documenting the crimes committed by Japanese colonizers, while collectively affirming their determination to fight Japanese hegemony.

In addition, writing and printing books in different varieties of Sinitic was an important part of Koreans’ anticolonial efforts. Overall, during the Japanese occupation of Korea, over one hundred books written by Korean independence activists in China were published in LS, Baihua-infused LS, or Baihua.3 In 1914, the second president of the Provisional Government, Pak Ŭnsik, published several books in LS, including An Chunggŭn (安重根, 1914) and Korea: A Painful History (Han'guk t'ongsa, 韓國痛史, 1915). Cho Soang 趙素昂 (1887–1958), a diplomatic correspondent, also published his Selected Writings of Cho Soang (Soang chip 素昂集, 1932) and Korean Independence Activists: A Collection of Biographies (Yubang chip 遺芳集, 1933) in Baihua-infused LS. Young revolutionaries such as Ryu Kisŏk 柳基石 (1905–1980), Kim Kyugwang 金奎光 (1898–1969), and Yi Chŏngho 李貞浩 (1913–?) wrote and published in Baihua. From the perspective of Korean activists, publishing in Sinitic fulfilled two main aims. One was to preserve Korea's national culture, because “from history, we have learnt that nations are bound to decay, and when they perish, only the parts of them that get written will remain” (自古人國未嘗不亡, 而於亡之中有不盡者, 其文獻也)” (Kim T'aegyŏng 1978: 820). The older generation of intellectuals, including Kim T'aegyŏng 金澤榮 (1850–1927), published Korean historical documents in LS to preserve their history and culture and keep the flame of the nation's restoration burning. The other aim was to inform Chinese readers of Korea's movement of resistance against Japan.

As the Korean revolutionary Yi Chŏngho (who once studied at Sun Yat-sen University) observed, “The current progress of the revolutionary movement in Korea is little known to the peoples outside Korea” (海外人士對於朝鮮革命運動無從知其詳情) (Yi 1939: 1). Subsequently, Yi decided to “write a booklet on the Korean revolution so that the Chinese people can have something to refer to if they would like to find out more about it” (決意寫一本關於朝鮮革命的小冊子, 貢獻給中國人士參考) (1). In 1919 the March First Movement began in Korea, and the May Fourth Movement commenced in China. Koreans began to actively inform the Chinese of the situation of Korean resistance against Japan and to promote mutual understanding in order to build a united front with China. Of course, these books were mostly written in Baihua. The books written by Korean authors touched upon a wide range of topics, including history, politics, the economy, and literature, all with the ultimate aim of dismantling Japanese colonial rule and achieving national independence.

The antiwar movement launched by Japanese activists also formed an important part of East Asian anticolonial struggles.4 Nosaka Sanzō 野坂参三 (1892–1993), Kaji Wataru 鹿地亘 (1903–1982), and Aoyama Kazuo 青山和夫 (1907–1997) are just a few of the Japanese activists who went to China to organize antiwar activities. Importantly, written vernacular Chinese (Baihua) was also widely used among Japanese activists during their antiwar movement. To date, we have identified no evidence of vernacular Chinese antiwar journals created by Japanese activists during their stay in China. However, it is undeniable that Japanese activists in China published a large number of articles in Chinese newspapers and magazines to voice their support for China's anticolonial war. Since it was not until the 1930s that Japanese people went to China to oppose the war, their antiwar writings did not use LS but instead basically used Baihua. The left-wing Japanese author Kaji Wataru, for example, published more than seventy works in Baihua, including literary reportages such as “What Happened in Heping Village” (Hepingcun ji 和平村記) and “Literature during the War” (Zhanzheng zhong de wenxue 戰爭中的文學), poems such as “Ode to Hong Kong” (Song xianggang 頌香港) and “Seeing off the Expeditioners on Their Way to the North” (Song beizheng 送北征), and the play Three Brothers (San xiongdi 三兄弟). Through these works, Kaji (1941: 233) managed to make the voice of the Japanese people widely heard: “We strongly disapprove of any acts of aggression driven by imperialist greed and ambition” (我們反對因帝國主義的貪欲而發起的侵略戰爭). Aoyama Kazuo, a member of the Japanese Communist Party, also published over thirty articles in vernacular Chinese. Among these were “To Our Chinese Brothers” (Zhijing zhongguo de xiongdi men 致敬中國的兄弟們) and “Let Us Fight to Stop the War of Invasion” (Women wei fanzhan fanqinlüe er zhan 我們為反戰反侵略而戰). Moreover, Hasegawa Teru, a renowned Japanese Esperantist,5 also published over ten articles in vernacular Chinese, including “Japan on the Wrong Path” (Zai qilu shang de riben 在歧路上的日本) and “Two Apples Lost” (Shiqu le de liangge pingguo, 失去了的兩个苹果), in which the author criticized Japan's invasion of Asian countries and called for world peace.

Equally important is the fact that Korean independence activists and Japanese antiwar activists opted to communicate with each other in Baihua. Members of the Korean Volunteer Corps worked in close collaboration with Japanese antiwar activists, providing each other with mutual support. The collaborations between these two groups are represented in detail in the article by Japanese antiwar author Ikeda Sachiko 池田幸子 (1913–1973) titled “The Families of the Korean Volunteer Corps” (Chaoxian yiyongdui de jiashu 朝鮮義勇隊的家屬): “Korean cuisine, I ate alone. How wonderful it is to spend a day as if in the home of my dear friends. Despite the round trip of over thirty kilometers, I do not feel exhausted at all” (朝鮮菜, 我獨自吃了. 多麼快樂地在親愛中度過, 往返六十里的路程, 簡直不覺得疲憊) (Ikeda 1939: 5). These lines were written following Ikeda's visit to the Korean Volunteer Corps in 1939, serving as solid evidence for the close collaboration between Koreans and Japanese in their joint efforts to fight Japanese colonialism. Notably, Ikeda's article was written in Baihua and published in the vernacular Chinese magazine the Orient Comrade, founded by Korean independence activists. Additionally, in the same year (1939), in commemoration of the Korean March First Movement, Kaji Wataru wrote an article titled “The Celebration Messages Given at the Anniversary of the Independence Movement Day” (Sanyijie jinian zhuci ‘三一’節紀念祝詞), which was later translated into vernacular Chinese by Feng Naichao 馮乃超 (1901–1983) and published in Newsletter of the Korean Volunteer Corps, a vernacular Chinese magazine that was also founded by Korean activists. In addition, in 1940, to celebrate the second anniversary of the foundation of the Korean Volunteer Corps, Aoyama Kazuo published an article titled “The Second Anniversary of the Korean Volunteer Corps” (Chaoxian yiyongdui de liangzhounian 朝鮮義勇隊的兩週年) in vernacular Chinese in Newsletter of the Korean Volunteer Corps. It is thus clear that written vernacular Chinese enabled communication between Japanese and Korean activists in the anticolonial context.

In Vietnam the French colonizers considered Confucianism to be detrimental to colonial rule and thus abolished LS education and introduced the “Latin-script Vietnamese alphabet” (Quốc ngữ 國語字), with French becoming the only language of instruction from the secondary education level onward.6 Although the Vietnamese accepted the Latin-script Vietnamese alphabet, it was still impossible to publish anticolonial periodicals or write anticolonial articles in Vietnam. Therefore, Vietnamese independence activists chose to create Vietnamese periodicals in China and then smuggle them into Vietnam. As a result, most of the periodicals founded by the Vietnamese in China were in Vietnamese. The only Chinese periodical founded by Vietnamese at that point was Vietnam's Voice (Yue Sheng 越聲), which was issued in 1936 but soon discontinued due to financial constraints. However, articles written in vernacular Chinese by Vietnamese individuals were published in Chinese newspapers and magazines. Under the pseudonym Pingshan 平山, Hồ Chí Minh published eight articles in vernacular Chinese, including “The Vietnamese People and the Chinese Newspaper” (Yuenan renmin yu zhongguo baozhi 越南人民與中國報紙) and “Annam Songs and the Chinese Resistance” (Annan geyao yu zhongguo kangzhan 安南歌謠與中國抗戰) in Jiuwang Daily (Jiuwang ribao 救亡日報). In addition, under the name of Yang Huainan 楊懷南, Võ Nguyên Giáp 武元甲 (1911–2013) published articles such as “A Major Event in the Vietnamese Revolutionary Trend” (Yuenan geming fengchao de yige zhongda shijian 越南革命風潮的一個重大事件) in Sao Tang Pao 掃蕩報 (May 26, 1941) and “The Past and Present of the Vietnamese Revolutionary Movement” (Yuenan geming yundong de guoqu he xianzai 越南革命運動的過去和現在) in Resistance Times 抗戰時代 (May 1940), all in Baihua.

It is noteworthy that Vietnamese and Korean anticolonialists also communicated via Baihua. In 1940, the Vietnam People's United Revolutionary Party 越南人民統一革命黨 was established in China, and its founding manifesto, “Declaration of the Vietnam People's United Revolutionary Party” (Yuenan renmin tongyi gemingdang xuanyan 越南人民統一革命黨宣言) (Chosŏn ŭiyongdae t'ongsin 1941), was published in the vernacular Chinese magazine founded by Koreans, Newsletter of the Korean Volunteer Corps. During the same period, the Newsletter of the Korean Volunteer Corps published an article titled “Congratulations on the Establishment of the Vietnam People's United Revolutionary Party” (He yuenan renmin tongyi gemingdang de chengli 賀越南人民統一革命黨的成立), to congratulate the party on its establishment. In addition, the vernacular Chinese magazine the Orient Comrade published an article titled “Rise Up, Warriors of Vietnam!” (Yuenan de zhanyou men qilai ba 越南的戰友們, 起來吧!) and other articles calling on the Vietnamese to resist the Japanese invasion. In response to an appeal by the Koreans, the Vietnam National Liberation League 越南民族解放同盟會 wrote “An Official Letter of the Vietnam National Liberation League” (Yuenan minzu jiefang tongmenghui zhi yifeng gonghan 越南民族解放同盟會之一封公函) in Baihua and published it in the Orient Comrade, expressing its intention to form an alliance with Korea and China to fight against Japan.

While sinographs and LS had previously been a symbol of hegemony as the common script and written language in East Asia (but subsequently abandoned by various countries), in the course of their joint anticolonial struggle, Koreans, Vietnamese, and Japanese turned to using vernacular Chinese in their anticolonial writing and in their communications with each other. As a result, East Asians who were engaged in anticolonial movements in China made hybrid Baihua a common language of anticolonial East Asia.

Robert J. C. Young (2005: 164) points out that “colonial powers such as Britain did not erase or destroy a culture, but rather attempted to graft onto it a colonial superstructure that would allow the convenience of indirect rule, freezing the original indigenous culture by turning it into an object of academic analysis, while imposing the mould of a new imperial culture.” Japanese colonial rule over Korea was more coercive than British colonial rule, as exemplified by the Korean Language Society Incident (Chosŏnŏhakhoe sakŏn 朝鮮語學會事件) in 1942. France's vigorous development of a Latin-script Vietnamese alphabet in Vietnam aimed to eliminate the Vietnamese people's national identity. It can be said that the colonizers were consistent in trying to eliminate the original native culture of the colonies wholesale.

In postcolonial theory, one salient tension is that between the imperial language and the native language. In China, however, there was a fourth language in the equation—Baihua—in addition to LS, Japanese and Korean, or Vietnamese and French. Japanese was the common “national language” of the Koreans and Japanese, but in China, the Koreans and Japanese used this additional language called Baihua to communicate in writing, and Vietnamese anticolonialists used this language to communicate in writing with the Koreans and Chinese. While the colonizers exercised hegemony through their imperial language, the native languages of the Korean and Vietnamese redefined Sinitic language and writing and used it to convey their anticolonial desires.

During the Second Sino-Japanese War (1937–1945), Korean, Vietnamese, and Japanese activists wrote hundreds of articles in vernacular Chinese in their efforts to fight colonialism. For example, shortly after her arrival in China, the Japanese author Hasegawa Teru wrote an open letter to the Korean people calling for the defeat of Japanese imperialism, using a vernacular Chinese language marked by Japanese syntactic structures, as the author was not yet proficient in Baihua. In her letter, the author wrote, “I would like to join you and our Chinese brothers. Together, as loud as we can, let us all chant: ‘Down with Japanese imperialism’” (想和你們與中國的兄弟一起放我們可能大的喉嚨, 高呼打倒日本帝國主義) (1939: 1). Vietnamese anticolonialists also used vernacular Chinese to convey their determination to no longer be slaves to France. “Our nation has made a great determination to exchange its blood for independence, and the Vietnamese people have risen up and are no longer willing to be the slaves of others!” (我們民族已立下很大決心, 準備以熱血換取獨立, 越南人民已經奮起, 不甘再做別人的奴隸!) (Chosŏn ŭiyongdae t'ongsin 1941: 20). When Koreans, Vietnamese, and Japanese people could not engage in anticolonial and anti-invasion writing under colonial rule, the people of East Asia worked together to create a separate public domain in vernacular Chinese to allow for anticolonial expression in writing.

The Emergence of Hybrid Baihua

In the early twentieth century, written Sinitic not only underwent the dramatic change from Literary Sinitic to vernacular Baihua but, as Lydia Liu (1995) points out, was also influenced by European languages and Japanese. During this period, China also experienced the a romanization movement. The massification (dazhonghua 大眾化) discussions, which took place between 1930 and 1934, brought the written language closer and closer to the language of the masses.7 Although the language and script kept changing, by the 1930s, “the modern written language, characterized by Baihua, became widely popular through primary and secondary school textbooks and newspapers and magazines, and became a ‘universal language’ of the modern unified nation” (Wang Hui 2004: 1502). That is, by the 1930s, the period covered in this section, the grammatical structure of vernacular written Chinese had become largely stable, although it was still changing. During this period when Sinitic language and writing were undergoing rapid change, Korea and Japan launched their own movements for the “unification of spoken and written language” (J. Genbun itchi undō, K. Ŏnmun ilch'i undong), while Vietnam developed the Latin-script Vietnamese alphabet. Thus, by the anticolonial period, vernacular Chinese had become different from LS in terms of grammar and vocabulary and, of course, was completely different from other East Asian languages and scripts such as Korean. For non-Chinese East Asians, such as Koreans, vernacular Chinese had become a foreign language altogether.

In the process of writing vernacular Chinese as a foreign language, Koreans, Japanese, and Vietnamese anticolonialists generated the unique linguistic phenomena of Korean-style, Japanese-style, and Vietnamese-style vernacular Chinese. The concept of Korean-style vernacular Chinese (Chosŏnmalsik Chunggungmal 조선말식 중국말) was first proposed by the Korean author Kim Saryang 金史良 (1914–1950). In his novel Ten Thousand Ri of a Dull-Witted Horse (Noma malli 駑馬萬里), based on his own engagement in anti-Japanese struggles in China, Kim ([1947] 2002) notes that members of the Korean Volunteer Army were using this particular vernacular Chinese. Nevertheless, this observation has failed to arouse the interest of Chinese and Korean scholars and has thus remained under-researched to date.8 Meanwhile, Japanese-style vernacular Chinese was similar to the “Language of Harmony” (Kyōwago 協和語), well-known in scholarship on Manchukuo. The Language of Harmony refers to the hybrid language formed when vernacular Chinese came into contact with Japanese during Japan's occupation of Manchuria and its creation of the puppet state of Manchukuo (Sakurai 2012: 1). However, while Japanese scholars have dedicated considerable efforts to investigating the language contact that occurred in Manchukuo, the use of Baihua among antiwar activists in the regions occupied by the Chinese army has thus far escaped their attention. Finally, Vietnamese-style vernacular Chinese also emerged through language contact between Vietnamese and vernacular Chinese. This article uses Korean-style vernacular Chinese, Japanese-style vernacular Chinese, and Vietnamese-style vernacular Chinese to refer to the coexistence and interplay between the Korean, Japanese, and Vietnamese languages and Baihua in the areas controlled by the Chinese army. Specifically, these languages were special forms of Sinitic (written vernacular Sinitic/Baihua) that took shape through such language contact, as Korean, Japanese, and Vietnamese activists used sinographs to represent the pronunciation of Korean, Japanese, and Vietnamese words or introduced vocabulary, grammar, and syntactic rules from their native languages into Baihua. The following song created by members of the Korean Volunteer Army and later recorded by Kim Saryang in 1945 is one example of Korean-style vernacular Chinese: “The Eighth Route Army and the Korean Volunteer Army got along really well / You and we are all brothers / With guns in our hands, together we fight the Japanese aggressors” (八路軍和義勇軍相好大大的/你們那我們那兄弟那一樣的/犬著槍一起共同打日本) (Kim Saryang 2002: 202). In the first line, the phrase “the Eighth Route Army and the Korean Volunteer Army” is in vernacular Chinese. In Baihua, 相好 (xianghao) means “to like,” but it refers to the attraction between a man and a woman (especially in North China). The members of the Korean Volunteer Army wanted to express the comradeship between themselves and Eighth Route Army but used 相好. In addition, 大大的 (dadade, very much) is formed using sinographs that represent (according to Kim Saryang) the pronunciation of the Korean adverb 단단히. Similarly, in the second line, the character 那(na) represents the pronunciation of the Korean quasi-particle (이)나. Thus, the complete sentence 你們那我們那兄弟那一樣的, actually means “Whether you or us (or both you and us), we are all brothers.” Meanwhile, 犬(quan)著槍 (quanzhe qiang) is an incorrect rendering of the Chinese phrase 掮(qian)著槍 (qianzhe qiang, to carry the gun on one's shoulder): both 犬 (quan) and 掮 (qian) are pronounced kyŏn 견 in Sino-Korean. Most members of the Korean Volunteer Army had received relatively low levels of education, and they tended to have limited proficiency in Chinese. Subsequently, to facilitate their communication in Chinese, they oriented to sinographs according to the Sino-Korean pronunciation and injected this modified Korean into Baihua, thus creating a Korean-style vernacular Chinese. In fact, songs written in such a language were “well-known among the Chinese residents, whether young or old, in the area of the Taihang Mountains (太行山脈)” (Kim Saryang 2002: 202). Via the use of this language, members of the Korean Volunteer Army were able to exchange information with the Chinese people, collaborate with Chinese military forces, and eventually play a crucial role in the fight against Japanese colonial power. The song recorded by Kim Saryang is an example of the Korean-style vernacular Chinese used in spoken form,9 but it was more commonly used in written works. The following sentence taken from “The Declaration Made by the Korean National Front Alliance in Commemoration of the Twentieth Anniversary of the Korean March First Movement of Independence” (Chaoxian minzu zhanxian lianmeng wei jinian di ershi zhounian sanyi yundong xuanyan 朝鮮民族戰線聯盟為紀念第二十週年‘三一’運動宣言) is a typical example of this use in writing: “Since we, the Korean people, were deprived of our right to survival. . . . Although, unfortunately, our land is now under Japanese occupation, the strong and profound impact this has generated will trigger a new national awareness and a demand for survival” (自從我們的民族生存權被喪失了之後(. . .)雖然一旦不幸為日寇所滅亡了, 但因為有了這劇烈而且深刻的刺激, 所以使我們民族發生了一種新的民族意識和生存的要求) (Chosŏn Minjok Chŏnsŏn Yŏnmaeng 1939: 11).

First, in the above example, the character 被 in the phrase 自從我們的民族生存權被喪失了之後 is a direct use of Korean in vernacular Chinese. In Korean, 되다 can be used as an intransitivizer/passivizer or to derive adjectives. The former usage corresponds to the Chinese word 被, and 민족생존권이 상실되었다 means “the right to national survival was/got lost.” The author has written 被 to express the Korean pseudo-passive in 되다. But in vernacular Chinese, 被 does not work this way. Therefore, this sentence is a typical Korean-style vernacular Chinese sentence. Then, in the next phrase, 雖然一旦不幸為日寇所滅亡了, 一旦 is the Chinese equivalent of the Korean word 일단. 일단 and 一旦 are used similarly, and both can express either assumptions or a short duration of time. When expressing assumption, both words are used in the same way. When they mean a short duration of time, Korean 일단 is an adverb, but Baihua yidan 一旦 is a noun. Yidan means “a single day” and is often used in the expression huiyu yidan 毀於一旦 (be destroyed on one day [in a moment]). The Korean equivalent of this phrase is 일단 불행히 일본에 의해 멸망되었다, where 일단 is an adverb meaning “temporarily, for the time being,” and not “in a single day.” Since Korea had been colonized for nearly twenty years by 1939, when the article was published, the adverb, not the noun, is needed here. Although 一旦 represents the sinographs for Korean 일단, as Kin Bunkyō (2021) points out, in ancient times Koreans created Variant Literary Sinitic when using sinographs, and the meanings in Variant LS are different from those of the original Sinitic. In this sentence, the author has created Korean-style vernacular Chinese by inserting Variant LS into Baihua.

Along with Korean-style vernacular Chinese, Japanese-style vernacular Chinese also emerged. As mentioned, many Japanese antiwar activists, such as Ikeda Sachiko and Hasegawa Teru, were writing and publishing in vernacular Chinese during their stay in China and were mainly responsible for the creation of Japanese-style vernacular Chinese. The following excerpt from Ikeda's reply to the Chinese left-wing intellectual Cao Bai 曹白 (1914–2007) is a clear example of how Japanese-style vernacular Chinese was employed in the writings of Japanese activists: “When thinking of your frail body due to malnutrition, I can only place my hopes in that strong determination of you as a soldier. . . . What I want to say is, from the work ‘On Justice,’ I can see a certain parallel to the moral principles upheld by the Japanese aggressors” 想起你底因為營養不足而衰瘦的身體, 只好對於作為戰士底靈魂底堅強寄託希望了,(. . .)我底意思是, 在這個“恩義說”裏面, 使我感到了和侵略者日本倭寇道德論有相似的東西 (Ikeda 1938: 27).

In April 1938, Ikeda's letter was published as an open letter titled “My Reply to Cao Bai's Letter” (Fu Caobai 覆曹白) in July (Qiyue 七月), a journal created by Hu Feng 胡風 (1902–1985) and other Chinese intellectuals. In her letter, Ikeda provided details on the anti-Japanese activities conducted in Wuhan and expressed her deep concern about Cao's poor health; Cao was losing weight dangerously quickly, due to a severe food shortage in Japanese-occupied areas. When thinking of Cao's frail body, Ikeda said, “I can only place my hopes in that strong determination of you as a soldier” (只好對於作為戰士底靈魂底堅強寄託希望了) (1938: 27). This would read as an awkward sentence to Chinese people because Ikeda has structured the sentence according to Japanese grammar and word usage. In Japanese, it is common for people to use the attributive particle no の to link nouns, a practice that can be detected in the phrase “that strong determination of you as a soldier” (戰士底靈魂底堅強). Here Japanese uses to shite として for “as, in the capacity of.” The Chinese phrase “that strong determination of you as a soldier” is thus a word-for-word translation of its Japanese equivalent, tōshi no damashii to shite 闘士の魂として. The phrase to shite として does not have an equivalent in Baihua. Moreover, the vernacular Chinese expression “place my hopes in . . .” (對於 . . . 寄託希望) is also a calque of its Japanese counterpart. In vernacular Chinese, people would simply say “to have hopes in” (寄希望於), whereas in Japanese, people would say ni nozomi o kakeru に望みをかける instead. Because the Baihua equivalent of Japanese particle ni に is 对于, Ikeda thus uses the latter in her writing as a direct translation of the former. The sentence “I cannot do anything but have hopes in that strong determination of you as a soldier” (只好寄希望於戰士堅強的靈魂) in Baihua became the sentence “I can only place my hopes in that strong determination of you as a soldier” in Japanese-style vernacular Chinese, informed by Japanese vocabulary, grammar, and syntactic structure. In addition, typical features of Japanese-style vernacular Chinese can be detected in the following sentence: “In the work ‘On Justice,’ I can see a certain parallel to the moral principles upheld by the Japanese aggressors” (在這個‘恩義說’裡面,使我感到了和侵略者日本倭寇道德論有相似的東西). The Japanese expression for this phrase is Watashi wa . . . okanjisaseta. 私は . . . を感じさせた. Its vernacular Chinese equivalent is 使我感到 (make me feel). Therefore, Ikeda wrote 使我感到 (make me feel), but there is no such grammar in Baihua, in which the equivalent phrase is written as 我感到 (I feel) without the causative 使 (make). If 使 is added, the grammar in this sentence becomes confusing. Here Ikeda clearly applied the causative usage in Japanese directly to Baihua and wrote this sentence according to Japanese grammar.

Similar acts of language replacement can be observed in Hasegawa Teru's works, with the following sentence being a clear example: “As a Japanese woman, the moment I saw them, I could not help but feel an onset of anger, which I cannot fully describe here” (是一個日本女人的我,看到她們時,引起的禁不住的憤怒,在這裡我無法十分表現出來)” (1939: 1). The phrase “as a Japanese woman” (是一個日本女人的我) follows Japanese syntax, whereas in vernacular Chinese, it would be more natural to say 作為一個日本女人, the Japanese equivalent of which would be nihon no josei de aru watashi 日本の女性である私, with de aru (である) corresponding to copular 是 (to be) in Baihua. Thus the phrase “as a Japanese woman” in Hasegawa's writing is obviously linked to the author's use of Japanese-style vernacular Chinese. The rest of the sentence, 看到她們時,引起的禁不住的憤怒,在這裡我無法十分表現出來, demonstrates clear Japanese grammatical features. In Chinese, the verb 引起 (to cause) must be used with a subject, which is missing in this sentence. While the absence of a subject sounds slightly awkward in Chinese, the sentence is fully acceptable according to Japanese grammar. Thus, Hasegawa also introduced Japanese language conventions into vernacular Chinese in a manner similar to Ikeda. Both Hasegawa's and Ideda's writing has obvious features of Japanese-style vernacular Chinese.

Now let us examine cases of Vietnamese-style Baihua. In 1940, the Vietnamese National Liberation Committee 越南民族解放委員會 was established in Guangxi, and Vietnamese-style vernacular Chinese appeared in its founding declaration: “The result of these five migrations became ‘tribal Vietnam’ 3500 years ago. We have realized that this is not a question of whether we rise up or not but a question of survival of the race” (這五次移民的結果, 便作成3500年前之‘部落越南’( . . . . . . . )我們已經認識這點,絕不是關係我起來不起來的問題, 而是關係種族生存問題) (Draft Declaration on the Establishment of the Vietnam National Liberation Committee 1940: 20). 作成 is the Chinese equivalent of the Vietnamese word tạo thành, but in Vietnamese tạo thành means “to form” (形成), not “to make” (作成). In addition, the word 起來 (rise) in this sentence is the Chinese equivalent of the Vietnamese word khởi nghĩa, but khởi nghĩa has several meanings, such as “rise” (起來) and “rise up (against)” (起義). It means the latter here, but it is written as 起來. This means that the Vietnam National Liberation Committee inserted the sinographic equivalent of Sino-Vietnamese words directly into Baihua, not caring whether the sinographs conformed to vernacular Chinese writing habits, thus creating Vietnamese-style vernacular Chinese.

In 1940, Võ Nguyên Giáp, under the pseudonym Yang Huainan 楊懷南, published in a Chinese journal an article titled “The Past and Present of the Vietnamese Revolution” (Yuenan geming de guoqu he xianzai 越南革命的過去和現在), thus introducing the Vietnamese independence movement. Võ Nguyên Giáp brought Vietnamese vocabulary and grammar into Baihua, thus writing Vietnamese-style vernacular Chinese: “There is no end to the ambition of French imperialism, which not only occupies our rich material resources but also tries to use Vietnam as a base for attacking South China. . . . Our compatriots in Vietnam are trying to contribute what material and spiritual help we can to our Chinese comrades who are resolutely fighting against the war” (法帝國主義的野心是沒有止境的, 他不特佔領我們豐富的物質, 而且企圖利用越南作為進攻華南的根據地 . . . 越南同胞對於堅決抗戰的中國同志, 是儘量貢獻我們可能的物質和精神幫助) (Yang 1940: 37–38). Here 不特 is the Chinese pronunciation of the Vietnamese colloquialism không riêng—Võ Nguyên Giáp wrote the phrase as 不特 and then directly inserted it into vernacular Chinese. In addition, the word 可能 (possible) in 儘量貢獻我們可能的物質和精神幫助 is the Chinese equivalent of the Vietnamese word tất cả khả năng, though tất cả khả năng means not “possible” but “all” (所有). Therefore, this phrase actually means “try to contribute all our material and spiritual help” instead of “possible material and spiritual help.” Although there were fewer Vietnamese-style writings in vernacular Chinese than in Korean or Japanese style, the Vietnamese style nevertheless emerged. This style, together with the Korean and Japanese styles, rounded out a series of hybridized Baihua styles.

The Formation of a Third Space in East Asia

Three forms of hybrid Baihua—Korean-style, Japanese-style, and Vietnamese-style vernacular Chinese—appeared simultaneously in modern China. Was this an accident of history? Of course not. Hybridized Baihua was an anticolonial third space constructed by the Koreans, Vietnamese, and Japanese who were in China fighting against colonization. This third space was a means of resistance not only against colonization but also against China and the authority of LS and (emerging modern standard) Baihua. In the progress of their joint anticolonial struggle, Koreans, Vietnamese, and even Japanese met with the authority of LS and Baihua. As a denial of that authority, they brought their native tongues into written vernacular Sinitic and created a third space of anticoloniality—hybrid Baihua. In other words, the emergence of this anticolonial third space was rooted in colonization, anticolonization, and in the power relations within the anticolonial camp.

In September 1940, the General Headquarters of the Korean Liberation Army (Han'guk kwangbokkun 韓國光復軍) were established in Chongqing. At the founding ceremony, the chief of staff of the Korean Liberation Army emphasized Korea's friendship with China: “From now on, it will be possible to mobilize the official Korean Liberation Army within China and kill the enemy alongside the anti-Japanese army of friendly China (從此可以在中國境內調動正式的光復軍, 與友邦中國的抗日大軍並肩殺敵了)” (Kim Hakkyu 1941: 15). However, as a “friend” against Japanese colonial aggression, the Kuomintang (KMT) government promulgated the “Nine Action Guidelines of the Korean Liberation Army” (Hanguo guangfujun jiuxiang xingdong zhunsheng 韓國光復軍九項行動準繩) in 1941, declaring that the military command authority of the Korean Liberation Army was vested in the Chinese Military Commission. This was considered “undignified” by the Koreans, and it was noted that “the Korean Liberation Army hopes that the KMT government will treat it as a sovereign body and will not recognize Korea as a province of China” (韓國光復軍希望中國政府以主權體視之, 不能心目中以為韓國系中國之一省) (Institute of Modern History 1988: 299–300). In an official document to the KMT government, “An Outline of the Korean Liberation Army Issue” (Hanguo guangfujun wenti jielüe 韓國光復軍問題節略), the Military Council of the Korean Provisional Government demanded that the KMT government respect its sovereignty because it was currently regarding Korea as a “province” and not as an equal.

This official document was written in Baihua, which was still considered a “friendly” language, but the meaning was not so friendly. For the Koreans, the vernacular Chinese in which the guidelines were written was certainly a yoke to control them. It is noteworthy that the outline document, which demanded recognition of equal status from the KMT government, appeared in Korean-style vernacular Chinese: “Thereafter, the Korean Liberation Army may be recognized by the United States and other countries sympathetic to Korean independence” (此後, 光復軍可以美國及其他同情韓國獨立之國家予以承認) (1988: 299–300). 가능(可能)하다 is the Sino-Korean word for Baihua 可以 (can). In Korean, 가능하다 is an adjective and does not need to be used with a verb. However, in vernacular Chinese, 可以 is an auxiliary verb and must be used with a main verb. However, due to Korean linguistic habits, the author did not add a verb after 可以, thus making the sentence into Korean-style vernacular Chinese. Of course, the important issue here is not the usage of 可以 but the fact that in an official document submitted to the KMT government, Koreans ignored the grammar of vernacular Chinese and wrote in Korean-style vernacular Chinese according to the linguistic habits of their own language.

Homi Bhabha has pointed out that residents from the colonies “will not be contained within the Heim of the national culture and its unisonant discourse”: “by speaking the foreignness of language,” he asserts, they “split the patriotic voice of unisonance” (2010: 236). Bhabha argues that metropolitan European languages disseminate a hybridity of local dialects that return to caricature the presumed integrity of the language of the colonizer. Lydia Liu also points out that “a non-European host language may violate, displace, and usurp the authority of the guest language in the process of translation as well as be transformed by it or be in complicity with it” (1995: 27). In a postcolonial context, there is power and subversion of language between the colonizer and the colonized, but the power and subversion of language does not only exist between the colonizer and the colonized. The appearance of Korean-style vernacular Chinese in “An Outline of the Korean Liberation Army Issue” is a violation, displacement, and usurpation of the authority of vernacular Chinese and also a caricature of the presumed integrity of vernacular Chinese. To be sure, the Korean Provisional Government and the KMT government were not in a colonizer-colonized relationship but were anticolonial allies; yet there was a subtle subordination between them nonetheless. In this delicate relationship, Koreans continued to use Korean-style vernacular Chinese. Therefore, this hybrid language is not just a simple hybrid between Korean and vernacular Chinese that emerged through linguistic contact but also a subversion of the power of vernacular Chinese.

Vietnam was similar to Korea in that the KMT government supported the Vietnamese independence movement in China to some extent, but there was nevertheless a similarly subordinate relationship, as indicated in the following: “To foster the Vietnamese revolution, the Military Council has previously approved the decision to unite the forces of all parties and factions and to guide their activities in a unified manner. . . . For parties that do not join the League, we should restrict their activities and induce them to join; for those who have joined the League but act outside the League without authorization, or even break the League, they should be strictly sanctioned to maintain discipline” 扶植越南革命, 前奉軍委會核准確定, 以聯合各黨各派之力量, 統一指導其活動( . . . . . . )對於不參加同盟會之各黨, 則限制其活動, 並誘導其加盟; 對於已參加同盟而又於會外擅自行動, 甚或破壞同盟者, 自應嚴予制裁, 以維紀律 (“Zhang Fakui” 1944). In terms of relations with the Vietnamese, the commander of the Fourth War Theater, Zhang Fakui 張發奎 (1896–1980), said that the KMT government would “guide their activities,” and for those who did not accept such guidance, the KMT government would restrict their activities in order to maintain discipline. In other words, the Vietnamese had to comply with the discipline of the Chinese Military Committee and accept the guidance of the KMT government before they could carry out their anticolonial struggle freely in China.

Historically, Japan did not have a tributary relationship with China, so the Japanese had no similar historical baggage with regard to the use of LS or Baihua. Nevertheless, Japanese-style vernacular Chinese embodies certain relationships in terms of power and rebellion. Representative Japanese antiwar activists, such as Kaji Wataru, Ikeda Sachiko, and Hasegawa Teru, were wanted by the Japanese government because of their antiwar stances, so their antiwar activities were mainly conducted in China. Hasegawa was part of the Political Department of the Military Affairs Committee of the Nationalist Government, which meant that her antiwar activities were subject to the administration of the nationalist government.

According to Kaji Wataru's memoirs, “The preliminary draft [of the ‘Antiwar Alliance'] was forwarded by Wu Shi 吳石 [1894–1950] and Liao Jihuan 廖濟寰 [dates unknown] to Bai Chongxi 白崇禧 [1893–1966], who later submitted it to Chiang Kai-shek 蔣介石 [1887–1975] in April 1939” (Keikakusho wa Go Seki to Ryō Saikan kara Haku Sūki ni watasare, Haku kara sore ga dōnen shigatsu ni Shō ni teishutsu sareta 計画書は呉石と廖済寰から白崇禧に渡され、白からそれが同年四月に蒋に提出された) (1962: 40). Kaji could not establish the Antiwar Alliance until he received Chiang Kai-shek's approval. After the establishment of the Antiwar Alliance, Kaji was adamant that “our organization should not be turned into a regular group or a puppet organization of the KMT government” (1958: 187). This shows that the KMT government was trying to turn the Japanese Antiwar Alliance into a subordinate organization, a notion that Kaji rejected. In addition, Ikeda, who wrote in representative Japanese-style vernacular Chinese, was Kaji's wife. When Kaji and Ikeda first arrived in China, Chiang Kai-shek welcomed them warmly, but during their anticolonial activities, he treated them as subordinates; therefore, Kaji was adamant that the Antiwar Alliance would be “an autonomous organization of the Japanese, and the Chinese government [would be] only a supporter, not a master” (nihonjin no jishuteki na soshiki de atte, chūgoku seifu wa kōensha de atte mo shusaisha de wa nai 日本人の自主的な組織であって、中国政府は後援者であっても主宰者ではない) (187).

Due to its semicolonial nature, China became a geographical space for the anticolonial movements of East Asian countries. Within this geographical space, Koreans, Vietnamese, and Japanese wrote and communicated in vernacular Chinese, a fourth language, while creating hybridized versions of Baihua. These hybridized Baihua forms emerged from the anticolonial movement, and the content of works using such language was based on resistance against colonial aggression. Such hybridized Baihua varieties can be considered a third space in anticolonial writing in East Asia.

However, this third space not only was created for the purpose of anticolonial writing but was also concerned with power relations within the anticolonial alliance. As anticolonial activists, the Koreans, Vietnamese, and antiwar Japanese were allies of the anticolonial movement alongside the KMT government, and they wrote in vernacular Chinese to collaborate with their Chinese allies in building an anticolonial space in East Asia. Thus, it can be said that hybridized Baihua was also a product of anticolonial cooperation with China. However, the Kuomintang and the Communist Party of China collaborated with them while simultaneously exerting repressive power over them. This power relationship was not colonial or colonized but was nonetheless unacceptable to those who were in exile in China. In this sense, for these anticolonial activists, written vernacular Chinese was both an anticolonial language and a symbol of power and repression. Thus, the hybridized Baihua that appears in anticolonial writings was also intended to subvert the authority of mainstream (and emergent nationalized) vernacular Chinese. Just as the Military Council of the Korean Provisional Government used Korean grammar to subvert the integrity of vernacular Chinese, Ikeda Sachiko and Hasegawa Teru in Japan and Võ Nguyên Giáp in Vietnam injected native grammar and word order into vernacular Chinese, thereby undermining the integrity and authority of nationalized Baihua and thus constructing an independent anticolonial third space—hybridized Baihua—that did not belong to China, Korea, Japan, or Vietnam.

Conclusion

In Postcolonialism: An Historical Introduction, Robert J. C. Young notes that while postcolonialism does not specifically favor the colonial period, that period is nonetheless the point of departure for postcolonial studies because “much of the world still lives in the violent disruptions of its wake, and to the extent that the anticolonial liberation movements remain the source and inspiration of its politics” (2001: 4). Although postcolonial studies have not focused much on East Asia, East Asian countries suffered from colonial aggression in the modern era, and East Asian peoples have engaged in anticolonial struggles. During the anticolonial struggle in China, the Koreans, Japanese, and Vietnamese formed an alliance with the KMT and the Communist Party of China, producing anticolonial writings and communications in vernacular Chinese, a fourth language, while negotiating anticolonial issues. Writing in Baihua, they perforce encountered China and the authority of newly nationalizing vernacular Chinese. As a subversion of the authority of this increasingly hegemonic Baihua, they displaced and usurped it with their mother tongues, constructing hybridized Baihua as a third space. As a result, hybridized Baihua presents a variety of characteristics. First, it is a product of the anticolonial movement. Second, writing in vernacular Chinese itself implies cooperation with anticolonial forces in China, so it is a product of mutual cooperation and joint writing among East Asian countries. Third, in the face of the authority embodied in nationalizing vernacular Chinese, hybridized Baihua was also a subversion of the linguistic power of this newly emerging national standard of the Chinese allies. These characteristics make hybridized Baihua a unique phenomenon in East Asian anticolonial movements.

Hybridized Baihua with these multiple origins is more complex than other colonial subversions of suzerain languages. Homi Bhabha (2010) notes that linguistic hybridity is an important concern in postcolonial studies but does not focus on the more complex phenomenon of linguistic hybridity in East Asia. The emergence of hybridized Baihua suggests two corrections: the phenomenon of linguistic hybridity does not exist exclusively between suzerain and colony, nor is it confined to the postcolonial period. Linguistic hybridity in our case here already demonstrated its complex character in the anticolonial period at the beginning of the postcolonial period; or rather, this postcolonial phenomenon had already emerged in the anticolonial period in East Asia. In this sense, the anticolonial movement and anticolonial writings in East Asia deserve further study in postcolonial research.

Chai Lin is the first author of this article, and Li Dongmei is the corresponding author.

Notes

1

See  appendix 1 for a list of periodicals founded by Koreans in China (1910–45).

2

For details on the Chinese newspapers founded by Korean activists in China, see Kim Chuhyŏn (2018).

3

For details on the Chinese books written and published by Korean activists in China, see Li and Niu (2019), as well as  appendix 2.

4

For details on the Japanese antiwar movement, see Lü (1993).

5

In East Asia, during the period 1900–1920, the use of Esperanto was closely associated with anarchism. In the 1930s and 1940s, Esperanto became the language of anticolonialism, as East Asian intellectuals broadcasted and wrote in it to spread their anticolonial messages. See Li Dongmei (2018). During this period, Baihua played a role similar to Esperanto. Nevertheless, Esperanto was more widely adopted, since it was an international lingua franca and could be used to communicate with anticolonialists in the West as well.

6

For details on French colonial education in Vietnam, see Kelly and Kelly (2000).

7

For details on the modern Chinese script revolution, see Zhong (2019).

8

Kin Bunkyō defines Variant LS as “styles that emerged mainly in places like Japan and the Korean Peninsula as orthodox Literary Sinitic, but which, for whatever reason, departed from the usual norms and came to take on irregularities and aberrations” (2021: 179). Given such departures and irregularities, one can describe Korean-style and Japanese-style vernacular Chinese as precisely the modern descendants of Variant LS.

9

During the Japanese occupation, learning spoken Chinese was a popular activity on the Korean Peninsula. In total, forty-six textbooks and manuals were used to teach spoken Chinese. Going to China to continue the independence movement was obviously a major motivation behind the Korean people's enthusiasm for learning spoken Chinese at that time. See Kim Sanggyu (2020).

10

For periodicals that also had an official English (or Romanized) title, this title is given in parentheses. Otherwise, the English translations and romanizations are by the authors.

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Appendix 1: Provisional List of Periodicals Founded by Koreans in China (1910–1945)

Appendix 2: Books Published by Koreans in China (1900–1945)

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