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Home > Books & Journals > Journal Abstracts Last Updated: 14:24 03/09/2007
Journal Abstracts #271: March 5, 2007

Japanese Studies

Journal Name: Japanese Studies: December 2006, Vol. 26, No. 3
ISSN: 1037-1397 (Paper), 1469-9338 (Online)


Memories of a Zainichi Korean Childhood (pp267-281)
Kang Sangjung; Robin Fletcher
This extract from Kang Sangjung's autobiography Zainichi (Kdansha, 2004) describes the experiences of first-generation zainichi Koreans in the city of Kumamoto, as seen from the perspective of a second-generation child growing up in the Japan of the 1950s. Now a professor at the University of Tokyo, Kang Sangjung looks back at the people and places of his childhood, taking these personal memories as a starting point for reflections on identity, 'homeland', and the place of zainichi Koreans in Japanese society and in the wider society of Northeast Asia.

Empire of Comic Visions: Japanese Cartoon Journalism and its Pictorial Statements on Korea, 1876-1910 (pp283-302)
Jung-Sun N. Han (Hanyang University)
This essay introduces the Japanese political cartoons that satirized Japan-Korea relations during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. By situating the cartoons within the development of print media and by re-presenting the popular gaze on Korea in particular and Asia in general, this essay argues that cartoon journalism made an artistic discovery in which equivalence between imperialist relations and everyday life was created. By the time of the annexation of Korea in 1910, it was widely believed in Japan that 'pre-modern' Korea must be absorbed into the control of 'modern' Japan. Setting the firm ground for the state to carry out imperialist projects, such popular consensus furnished continuous attention and participation on empire-building from Japanese society.

Defining the Boundaries of the Cold War Nation: 1950s Japan and the Other Within (pp303-316)
Tessa Morris-Suzuki (Australian National University)
This article examines policies towards zainichi Koreans in Cold War Japan. In particular, it focuses on the redrawing of the legal and conceptual boundaries around the Japanese nation in the wake of Japan's defeat in the Asia-Pacific War. The creation of postcolonial and Cold War boundaries, it is argued, involved an active process of exclusion which had profound consequences for the lives of Koreans in Japan. The article traces this process from the failed deportation policy of 1950-1951 to the repatriation plan of 1959 and thereafter.

Typhus in Occupied Japan (1945-1946): An Epidemiological Study (pp317-333)
Christopher Aldous (University of Winchester)
This article examines the typhus epidemic that occurred in Occupied Japan during 1945 and 1946, exploring its origins, how it unfolded and the measures taken to suppress it. It challenges the assumption made by Japanese and Occupation personnel at the time that it originated amongst Korean labourers and was spread by them throughout Japan as they left coal mines in Hokkaid to return to Korea via ports in southern Honshu and Kyushu. In order to demonstrate that this was a misrepresentation that disregarded endemic foci of the disease within Japan, attention is paid to a previous epidemic of typhus in Tokyo in 1914, and the relationship between endemic, murine typhus and its louse-borne epidemic counterpart. The combination of factors that produced serious outbreaks of the disease in Osaka and Tokyo in 1946 is explored, and the huge importance attached to 'mass dusting' with DDT subjected to critical scrutiny.

The Straits of Dead Souls: One Man's Investigation into the Disappearance of Mitsubishi Hiroshima's Korean Forced Labourers (pp335-351)
David Palmer (Flinders University)
In the early 1970s, Fukagawa Munetoshi began to investigate the disappearance, a month after the end of World War II, of a group of Korean forced labourers who had worked at Mitsubishi's Hiroshima Shipyard. His account presents a complex picture of the working class in Japan during wartime and the immediate postwar period, as well as the Japanese colonial system for obtaining forced labour in Korea. It also raises serious questions about the responsibilities, past and present, of Japanese authorities in government and big business toward wartime Korean forced labourers. Fukagawa's story draws on his experience as a former Mitsubishi employee and atomic bomb survivor, and also his cultural awareness and criticism of Japanese chauvinism. His account provides an alternative view of the Hiroshima atomic bombing from the perspective of a group of Korean hibakusha (atomic bomb survivors) who did not see themselves at that time as 'victims' of American military might, but instead of Japanese military conquest and occupation, even though the subsequent destructive health effects of radiation sickness changed their view in later decades.

Beyond the Colonised and the Colonisers: Intellectual Discourse and the Inclusion of Korean-Japanese Women's Voices (pp353-363)
David Chapman (University of South Australia)
For several decades the 'Korean' resident communities in Japan have attempted to have their voices heard through a variety of written genres. Yu Miri and Yi Yang-ji have won the Akutagawa award for literary works about their lives as zainichi. Others, through their positions as public commentators or intellectuals, have critiqued Japanese society and the treatment of zainichi and other marginalised communities. In recent years there has been an emergence of Korean-Japanese feminists who are contributing to this genre of writing, bringing new and valuable insights. The aim of this paper is to provide access to this work for a wider non-Japanese literate audience. The paper demonstrates how these emergent voices use gender and feminist theoretical frameworks to contest the dominant discourse of race and ethnicity as central to the process of decolonisation in zainichi resistance. It argues that the participation of women commentators in zainichi forums has resulted in a shift from a race/ethnicity limited approach to a more multi-vocal, multi-positional reality inclusive of women's perspectives.

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