The Journal of Japanese Studies

 

Abstract

JEFFREY P. BAYLISS
Minority Success, Assimilation, and Identity in Prewar Japan:
Pak Chungŭm and the Korean Middle Class


During the 1930s, an entrepreneurial class began to form within the overwhelmingly working-class Korean minority community in prewar Japan. This article examines how certain Koreans attained socioeconomic success and how they became assimilated into Japanese society in the process. As a case study, it focuses on the career of prewar Japanís most successful Korean entrepreneur-turned-politician, Pak Chungŭm, to reveal how the internalization of Japanese values that came with success disconnected such individuals from the vast majority of Koreans residing in Japan, while offering them only a problematic sense of identification with the Japanese.

Volume 34, Number 1 (Winter 2008)
© 2008 Society for Japanese Studies

 

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