We had a really nice trip to Seoul this weekend. We visited my sister in law and her family. They were all great and we really enjoyed our time there.
Being a curious fool, I asked her parents about the Japanese occupation. Her father, who is generally a quiet man, spoke up quickly. He talked about Koreans being forced to change their names, about his first 5 years of education and being forced to learn Japanese. He said that Korean was banned from the school. They spoke of the Japanese taking foodstuffs and there was insufficient quality and quantity of food. Both the parents talked about the Japanese taking precious metals for the war efforts. Because many of the things used to pay homage to their ancestors used these metals, families hid them underground to prevent them being seized. There were spies everyone, so everyone lived in fear.
I suppose it is easier to understand the animosity that some feel towards the Japanese when you hear of the hardship of their childhood under their rule.