The seminar's members, representing the full range of academic disciplines that bear upon the study of Japan and including Japan specialists from government, business, and the nonprofit sectors, meet regularly to discuss scholarly papers on all aspects of modern Japan, from history, literature, art, and the performing arts to politics, economics, social issues, and the US-Japan bilateral relationship.

Seminar: #445

Founded: 1960

Oct 19, 2007

October 19, 2007
Kristine Dennehy (Cal. State Fullerton)
Censorship and the Monitoring of Ethnic Korean Education in Occupied Japan

This talk will examine the activities of ethnic Korean activists and educators in the immediate postwar years in Japan.
It is based on an examination of local ethnic Korean newspapers and journal articles, all of which were censored by the SCAP authorities between 1946 and 1949. While the dynamics of the Cold War are clearly evident in the markings of the American censors, the writings and sentiments of ethnic Koreans add another element of nationalist rhetoric to this struggle that was dominated by the United States and the Soviet Union. These publications devoted particular attention to historically informed critiques of the recently defeated Japanese empire and calls for a unified Korean homeland. Both of these issues were also at the center of the educational agenda of ethnic Korean schools in cities like Kobe and Tokyo, as well as more provincial cities throughout Japan. An examination of these publications reveals how ethnic Koreans in Japan contributed to a transnational dialogue and negotiation over these highly contested issues such as evaluations of Japan's recent imperial past and the prospects for a unified Korea.

Discussant: Marlene Mayo (University of Maryland )