Korean Diaspora

The work is to be 4 pages with three to five sources, with in-text citations and a reference page. The north-eastern China started receiving Koreans from the thirteenth century itself. The Koreans in China are renowned for keeping their unique Korean traditions intact while assimilating the local languages and ideas. Many Korean-origin people in China, according to Piao, “do not know how to write or speak Korean, they have maintained their unique Korean customs. Such customs as not marrying while in formal mourning, women not binding their feet, and placing ceremonial food on a special table for the elderly remained until the 1940s” (48). There has also been a long tradition of Korean dissidents migrating to other countries, especially to China. During the period of Japanese colonialism in Korea, especially between 1910 and 1930, thousands of Koreans opposed to the regime have fled to China. The extensive migration of Korean peasants to Manchuria was even facilitated by the Japanese imperialists. Although oppressed by the ruling elites and by the conditions of misery, the Korean diaspora in China have rigorously upheld many aspects of their original nationality. By the establishment of different kinds of autonomous units after the establishment of the communist rule, the Koreans in China have not only been able to preserve their nationality but also to develop it significantly. The Chinese Communist party (CCP) too had played an important role in protecting the minority culture of the Koreans in China by organizing Korean cultural workers and Korean literary clubs. It was the direct result of CCP’s policy that “in areas that contained a concentration of one nationality, national autonomous regions should be established and the nationality’s language and writing system should be developed, along with the preservation of the nationality’s customs, traditions and religious beliefs”, argues Piao (75). Also, land reform policies initiated by the communist government in China have largely helped the Koreans diaspora to enhance their material development. Koreans in Japan In Japanese language, the immigrants from Korea are popularly called as sangokujin in a derogative fashion. The Koreans in Japan have always had a tensed relation with their old colonial masters and vice versa too. This tension still is expressed as “the continued ambiguity of the Korean community’s position between ‘troublesome’ new immigrants and Japanese nationals” as pointed by Chung (1). It has led to lower rates of naturalization of Koreans in Japan even after many decades of their arrival in Japan. It could also be argued, along the lines of Chung, that although the Koreans in Japan find it easy to be assimilated with the natives by fluently speaking Japanese and marrying with Japanese origins, “the law rate of naturalization suggests that a significant proportion of the Korean community has made a conscious decision to retain its Korean nationality” (1). As former, colonial subjects, the Koreans have found it difficult to be integrated with the Japanese oppressive regime. It does not mean that the Korean diaspora in Japan is devoid of representation in the civil society. Although the Japanese state and society asserts the indigenous homogeneity of the Japanese people vis-a-vis the Korean immigrants, the Koreans have asserted themselves into the national scene through democratic participation and activism.

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