Chapter

Freedom and Homecoming: Narratives of Migration in the Repatriation of Zainichi Koreans to North Korea

Tessa Morris-Suzuki

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: http://dx.doi.org/10.1525/california/9780520098633.003.0003
Freedom and Homecoming: Narratives of Migration in the Repatriation of Zainichi Koreans to North Korea

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This article describes the distinction between “free” and “forced” migration, as observed from the pool of world history. Despite the perceived distinction, there is another view that presumes some degree of force at some level or the other, in all kinds of migrations. To historians, this distinction is often superimposed on the division between free labor and slavery. In contemporary border politics, the issue is not normally the distinction between the movement of free labor and the slave trade, but rather between those who are forced by persecution to flee across frontiers, and those who migrate for economic or other reasons. The incessant repatriation of some 90,000 Koreans from Japan to North Korea between 1959 and 1984 raises two pertinent questions—the distinction between forced and free movement across national boundaries, and the notion of returning home.

Keywords: force; free labor; slave trade; repatriation; North Korea; homecoming

Chapter.  9797 words. 

Subjects: Anthropology

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