Visible and Vulnerable: The Predicament of 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:
Visible and Vulnerable: The Predicament of Koreans in Japan

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This article attempts to throw some light on the condition of Korean expatriates in Japan. It starts with a fairly recent instance when revelations made by the Japanese media claimed the kidnapping of thirteen Japanese by the North Korean intelligence, for subservient goals. The revelation entailed quite manifest heightening of domestic hostilities toward the Koreans. The roots of the problem for expatriate Koreans in Japan started from a rather bizarre premise—the postwar national rebuilding of Japan, among other elements, included an erasure of its erstwhile colonial subjects. In terms of policy measures, it converted into an imposed invisibility upon the subjects—a withdrawal of citizenship, omission from census, pension benefits etc., and most importantly, from the victim charts of the holocaust. This subjective invisibility retracted with the given revelation projecting the Korean diaspora in most unfavorable lights and entailing immense associated hazards.

Keywords: kidnapping; national rebuilding; imposed invisibility; erasure; colonial subjects; citizenship

Chapter.  8003 words. 

Subjects: Anthropology

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