Characteristics of Unification Consciousness of Korean-Japanese Students Viewed through Their Writing: Focusing on the Works Awarded Prizes in a Writing Contest Received July

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S/N Korean Humanities Vol.7 No.1 pp.17-36 ISSN : 2384-0668(Print)
ISSN : 2384-0692(Online)

Kim Chinmi
Korea University of Japan

Received July 26, 2019; Revised version received July 13, 2020; Accepted February 28, 2021


This article seeks to examine the characteristics of Korean- Japanese students' understanding of unification through their written works that received prizes in a student writing contest, which has been conducted for more than forty years as part of ethnonational education of Korean students in Japan. In this study, middle and high school students’ works (from 1978 to 2016) were selected as its subjects. Of the 1,485 works, 209 (14 percent) are related to unification issues, and these 209 works were in turn classified into seven categories according to the subject. By focusing on the trends and changes in the times that emerge from the students' understanding of unification, this study found that division and unification must be considered when students problematize their existence amid the continuing colonialist policies in Japan and the division structure. In addition, despite the strengthening of the framework for recognizing North and South Korea as separate nations within Japan's consciousness of the Korean Peninsula, the Korean students in Japan appear to have always looked forward to a unified Korea. This may be because the need for unification has been regarded as a matter of self-reliance by the General Association of Korean Residents in Japan and within ethnonational education spaces, in which bodies have always engaged in and forwarded unification movements despite opposition from extremely conservative forces that seek to maintain the status quo.

Key Words : colonialist policy, division, Korean-Japanese students, unification consciousness, writing contest

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