Crossing the Border from "Chōsen" to "Kankoku" in Japan

Friday, January 25, 2013
12:00 PM - 1:15 PM
Philippines Conference Room

In this talk, Professor Han will examine the implications for the Zainichi (people of Korean ethnicity who have lived in Japan since the colonial period) of choosing between identifying themselves as either Chōsen or Kankoku for Japan's alien registration purposes. Chōsen is a historic name for Korea now also used by North Korea in its official name, while Kankoku, which also means Korea, refers to the Republic of Korea (South Korea). 

Young-Hae Han is a visiting professor at the Walter H. Shorenstein Asia-Pacific Research Center (Shorenstein APARC) for the 2012–13 academic year. She is also a professor at the Graduate School of International Studies at Seoul National University (SNU). Her research and education focuses on contemporary Japanese society. She has conducted field research on Japanese grassroots social movements in cities such as Kawasaki, Kunidachi, Kobe, Yamagata, Kanazawa, and Oita. After the Great East Japan Earthquake in 2011, she organized a team and conducted research in the damaged area. Han is also involved in researching another topic that is of great interest to her: ethnic minorities in contemporary Japan. For this topic, her research has been focused on the identity issues of Zainichi Koreans, particularly on the changing relationship of the Zainichi with their "homeland" in the post-cold war period.

Han served as the director of the Institute for Japanese Studies at SNU from 2006 to 2012 before she joined Shorenstein APARC. She also served as the chair of the Exchange Committee of KSA-AJS at the Korean Sociological Association from 2008 to 2011.

Han is the author of numerous publications, such as the books: Understanding Contemporary Japanese Society (in Korean); Japanese Community and Grassroots Social Movements (in Korean); Multi-Cultural Japan and Identity Politics (co-author, in Korean). Her recent publications include Institutionalization of East Asian Studies and New Dilemmas: With a Focus on Japanese Studies (in English); New Relationship between Zainichi Koreans and the Homeland: Through the Journeys of the Former 'Chosen Nationals' Living in Korea (in Japanese); The Meaning of 'Seikatsu' (Life) in the Citizens' Movement in Contemporary Japan (in Korean); and The Inheritance of the Korean Dance and Identity in the Ethnic Korean Community (in Korean).