Tuesday, December 16, 2008

An eloquent speech by a zainichi Korean high school student

Such an eloquent speech by a zainichi Korean high school student in Japan addressing her personal feelings about the hate crimes against Korean high school students. Although the translation repeatedly says "North Korean" she is in fact referring to herself as a Chosen-jin, or person of Korean nationality - a term used before the division. Zainichi Koreans with Chosen-nationality actually don't have a nationality in the sense that Americans have US citizenship. They are in total citizenship limbo. While it is true that all Korean schools in Japan are affiliated with the North, some students, including my cousins, hold South Korean nationality. They attend the Korean schools in order to retain their Korean identity and language. Sadly, because the school uniforms for the Korean schools are so easily identifiable, Korean school students are the first victims of hate crimes in Japan whenever some news comes out about North Korea.

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