Chapter

“Four Volunteer Soldiers”

T. Fujitani

in Race for Empire

Published by University of California Press

Published in print November 2011 | ISBN: 9780520262232
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520950368 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1525/california/9780520262232.003.0010
“Four Volunteer Soldiers”

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This epilogue discusses the essay, “Four Volunteer Soldiers”, published in April 1947 by the Marxist writer, poet, and critic Nakano Shigeharu. Nakano tells the story of his encounter on a train with four young men in Japanese army uniform in September 1945—four men who had belonged to the first cohort of Koreans who had volunteered for the Japanese army in 1938. Nakano suggested that memories of those such as the “four volunteer soldiers” were already fading and in danger of being lost to history. Indeed, there would be no celebrations of Korean soldiers comparable to the big parades, newspaper headlines, and even Hollywood movies for Japanese American troops. The postwar and Cold War incorporation of Japanese Americans into the U.S. nation stands in stark contrast to the immediate postwar expulsion of Koreans from the Japanese national community, including of Korean residents in Japan.

Keywords: young men; Koreans; soldiers; Japanese army; Japanese Americans

Chapter.  4523 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Asian History

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