However, all the hopes that Yun placed on Japan turned out to have been tragically misplaced when Japan colonized Korea in 1910, having imposed a “protectorate” five years earlier. For those looking at the history of this period from the postannexation, “nationalist” vantage point, Yun was the archetype of naive and ultimately treasonous intellectuals and politicians who placed the fate and future of Korea in the hands of a foreign power. In their eagerness to identify themselves with Japan, regarding it not only as the model but also the benefactor and patron of Korean aspirations for modernization, they turned a blind eye to what should have been only too obvious: Japan’s machinations to colonize Korea. The lesson that many nationalists derived from the case of Yun and others like him was that to commit oneself to anything larger and broader than a “nation,” narrowly defined

in the ethnic and historical sense, is to open the door to foreign domination. Any effort to identify Korea with universal or more encompassing categories such as civilization or race inevitably leads to the dilution of Korea’s racial and cultural identity and ultimately the loss of political independence.