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Diaspora without HomelandBeing Korean in Japan$
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Sonia Ryang and John Lie

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780520098633

Published to California Scholarship Online: May 2012

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520098633.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM CALIFORNIA SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.california.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of California Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CALSO for personal use.date: 31 July 2021

Reinventing Korean Roots and Zainichi Routes: The Invisible Diaspora among Naturalized Japanese of Korean Descent

Reinventing Korean Roots and Zainichi Routes: The Invisible Diaspora among Naturalized Japanese of Korean Descent

Chapter:
(p.81) 4 Reinventing Korean Roots and Zainichi Routes: The Invisible Diaspora among Naturalized Japanese of Korean Descent
Source:
Diaspora without Homeland
Author(s):

Youngmi Lim

Publisher:
University of California Press
DOI:10.1525/california/9780520098633.003.0005

Lineage took over from color as the key racial marker in the twentieth century. Japan is a classic instance of this strain. In relation to the Zainichi—the community of Japanese of Korean descent—this article delves into the ambivalent relationship between diaspora and assimilation. Mutual repugnance between the original and the derived results from phenotypically identical characteristics. Both the communities are condescendingly content with their authentic racial traits, to the point of absolute non-reflection and, hence, it is taken for granted. The focus in this chapter shifts to the co-existence of the other with the self and, hence, the resultant incompatibility. The supralegal definition of Japaneseness based on lineage continues to affect the identities of naturalized Japanese of colonial Korean descent. Despite generations of residence and legal citizenship status, Japan represents a conditional, step-homeland for ex-Korean descendants. Subjective notions of incompatibility actually manifest in objective terms.

Keywords:   lineage, Zainichi, assimilation, phenotypical, supralegal definition, stop-homeland

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