Introduction: Between the Nations: Diaspora and Koreans in Japan

Sonia Ryang

in Diaspora without Homeland

Published by University of California Press

Published in print April 2009 | ISBN: 9780520098633
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520916197 | DOI:
Introduction: Between the Nations: Diaspora and Koreans in Japan

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The demographic map of Koreans residing outside of their homeland reveals the cartographic traces of colonialism, World War II, the Korean War, and the Cold War. Koreans in Japan in particular are marked as reminders of Japan's colonial rule of Korea and the ensuing wars that shaped the global Korean diaspora. Western academic treatment of this subject appears conforming to the Japanese notion of monoethnicity. This text seeks to fill the existing gap between Korean studies and diaspora studies by locating Koreans in Japan in current western discourses of diaspora. Specifically, it deals with the community of Zainichi Koreans. Japanese colonial rule of Korea and Koreans did not simply involve oppression and exclusion. Resident Koreans in Japan lived in more ambiguous situations. Instruments predating Japanese colonization of Korea such as the household registry were appropriated under colonial rule to serve totally distinct ends, specifically lineage and racial profiling.

Keywords: demagraphic map; Korean War; monoethnicity; Korean studies; household registry; western discourses

Chapter.  8156 words. 

Subjects: Anthropology

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