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The Korean Diaspora: A Sourcebook

From the preface:

This book is a collection of articles and other original content on the history and current state of the Korean diaspora. It is designed to provide useful information and references to researchers and readers with interests in the Korean diaspora as a phenomenon of migration and settlement of Koreans abroad. The Korean diaspora and studies of Koreans abroad have been established as a branch of Korean studies. The international academic community in particular has shown growing interest in the Korean diaspora, as it is not only relevant to the Korean nation but is also an integral part of international migration, globalization, and transnationalism. Despite increasing interests in the Korean diaspora, there have been few books written in English that can provide comprehensive and current information on the topic. To address this gap, this book aims to provide international researchers with basic and general information on the Korean diaspora.

The process of migration and settlement of Koreans abroad reflects the turbulent history of modern and contemporary periods in the Korean nation. The modern history of the Korean diaspora began in the mid-19th century when farmers of the Joseon Dynasty, pressed by famine, poverty, and oppression, left for Yunhaju (Maritime Province of Russia) and Manchuria, China, in search of new farmland. Motivations for migration were various, though the most dominant was economic: to seek better living conditions abroad. A large number of people initially had the short-term goal of staying overseas for academic or business purposes, but ended up settling permanently in host countries. Some people also left to join the national liberation movement outside the Korean peninsula or to escape from political persecution; in addition, quite a large number of people were forcefully relocated by the Japanese colonial government.

The number of Koreans abroad is currently estimated at 7 million. Because the population of Koreans in both South and North Korea is around 81 million, overseas Koreans account for more than 8 percent of all Koreans. Those living overseas reside in 180 countries worldwide, with 21 of these countries boasting more than 10,000 in residence. Particular concentrations are found in China (2.57 million), the United States (2.09 million), Japan (890,000), and the Commonwealth of Independent States (490,000). Overseas Koreans have made efforts to maintain their Korean ethnic identity under difficult conditions of adaptation in dissimilar cultural environments; currently, many participate in the global Korean community and empower their ethnic solidarity.

This book comprises articles and other original content that examine the processes of the formation of the Korean community abroad, life experiences of overseas Koreans, and patterns of their transnational networking between the homeland and host countries. The book is organized into four parts. The first consists of two articles that examine the overall history and characteristics of the Korean diaspora. The second introduces the top 40 issues and topics relevant to the study of the Korean diaspora. The third part includes 9 articles that report on the formation of overseas Korean communities and their current situations. The fourth chapter introduces 3 articles that review government policies of both South and North Koreans overseas.

Most articles included in this book were originally written in Korean and later translated into English. About half of the information here on the Korean diaspora has been newly collected and edited for this book; in particular, the content of Part II and several articles in Parts III and IV were written originally for this book. In addition, some articles published earlier were updated and substantially revised to provide up-to-date information.


Part I History of the Korean Diaspora

Chapter 1 Onward Migration of Overseas Koreans and Pluralization of the Overseas Korean Community |  In-Jin Yoon (Korea University)

1. Introduction | 2. The Migration History of Overseas Koreans | 3. Issues and Challenges of the Overseas Korean Community | 4. Onward Migration and the Formation of Multilateral Relationships within the Same Ethnic Group | 5. Examples of Multilateral Relationships within a Single Ethnic Group

Chapter 2 History of the Korean Diaspora and Korean Community Movement | Young-Hun Jeong (Academy of Korean Studies)

1. Introduction | 2. The Identity of the Korean People and Premodern Diaspora | 3. Diaspora Prior to Korea-Japan Annexation (1850-1910) | 4. Diaspora during Japanese Colonial Rule (1910-1945) | 5. Diaspora during the Cold War Era (1945-1991) | 6. Diaspora in the Post-Cold War Era (1991 Onward) | 7. The Flourishing Global Korean Community Movement | 8. Conclusion

Part II Topics and Issues of the Korean Diaspora

1. Anti-Fingerprinting Movement | 2. Dispatched Miners and Nurses in Germany | 3. Forced Migration of Koryo-saram from the Maritime Province | 4. Forced Mobilization of Koreans | 5. General Association of Korean Residents in Japan | 6. Hallyu, Korean Wave | 7. Hanminjok Community (Global Korean Community) | 8. Henequen Plantation | 9. Immigration Law Reform in the United States | 10. International Adoption | 11. International Marriage and Marriage Immigrants | 12. Kolkhoz and Kobonji | 13. Korean American Day | 14. Korean Japanese Repatriation | 15. Korean National Association | 16. Korean Residents Union in Japan | 17. Koreatown | 18. Los Angeles Riots | 19. Lai Daihan and Kopino | 20. National Education | 21. North Korean Defectors | 22. Overseas Koreans Visiting South Korea | 23. Provisional Government of the Republic of Korea (The Provisional Assembly) | 24. Return Immigration | 25. Return of Koreans from Japan | 26. Sakhalin-Koreans | 27. Sinhanch’on New Koreatown Massacre | 28. South American Agricultural Immigration | 29. The East Berlin Affair | 30. The Fall of the USSR and Remigration of Koryo-saram | 31. The Federation of the Korean Association USA | 32. The Great Kanto Earthquake of 1923 and subsequent Korean Massacre | 33. The Ky-ungsin Catastrophe | 34. The National Unification Advisory Council | 35. The Restoration of Koryo-sarams’ Honor | 36. The Wanbaoshan Incident of 1931 | 37. Treaty of Permanent Residency of Zainichi Koreans | 38. Yanbian Korean Autonomous Prefecture | 39. Yanbian University | 40. Zainichi Korean Spy Ring Case

Part III Korean Diaspora Worldwide

Chapter 3 Ethnic Koreans from China: Korean Dream, Adaptation, and New Identity | Woogill Choi (Sun Moon University)

Introduction | 2. The Reality of the “Korean Dream” and the Formation of the Joseonjok | 3. Adaptations: The Example of Joseonjok Workers | 4. The Appearance of a New Identity: Joseonjok Students | 5. Globalization of Joseonjok | 6. Overseas Koreans Network and Joseonjok | 7. Prospects

Chapter 4 Perceptions of the Korean Diaspora in the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) Regarding Korean Traditional Cultural Heritage and the Current State of Cultural Heritage Transmission | Byong-Jo Lee (Al-Farabi Kazakh National University)

1. Introduction | 2. Scope, Content, and Method of Study | 3. Current State of the Transmission of Korean Traditional Cultural Heritage among the Korean Diaspora in the CIS and Their Perception of Cultural Heritage | 4. Conclusion

Chapter 5 Confronting Sa-i-gu: Twenty Years after the Los Angeles Riots | Edward Taehan Chang (UC Riverside)

1. Introduction | 2. From Black-White to Multiethnic Paradigm | 3. Characteristics of the Korean American Community | 4. Sa-i-gu | 5. Reflections on the Years since the L.A. Riots | 6. Conclusion

Chapter 6 Political Rights of Korean Residents in Japan | Young-Ho Choi (Youngsan University)

1. Introduction | 2. The End of Bills Limiting the Voting Rights of Permanent Foreign Residents in Japan | 3. The DP’s Embarrassment due to Political Funds from an Ethnic Korean in Japan | 4. Voting Rights of Foreign Residents in Japan | 5. Conclusion

Chapter 7 Characteristics and Current Status of the Korean Community in Brazil | Keum-Joa Choi (Hankuk University of Foreign Studies)

1. Introduction | 2. Chronological Review | 3. Characteristics by Era | 4. Conclusions: Current Status of the Korean Community in Brazil

Chapter 8 Korean Communities in Europe | In-Jin Yoon (Korea University)

1. France | 2. Germany | 3. England

Chapter 9 A Demographic Profile of Koreans in Canada: Selected Findings of the 2011 Census | Jungwee Park (University of Ottawa)

1. Introduction | 2. Population Growth | 3. Immigration Status | 4. Geographic Distribution | 5. Age/Sex Distribution | 6. Language Proficiency | 7. Family Status | 8. Religion | 9. Education | 10. Employment and Occupation | 11. Income | 12. Concluding Remarks

Chapter 10 Korean Diaspora in Australia and New Zealand | Gil-Soo Han (Monash University)

Koreans in Australia

1. History of Korean Migration to Sydney | 2. Settlement Patterns | 3. Economic Adjustment | 4. Religion, Korean Immigrants, and Their Integration into the Broader Australian Community | 5. Concluding Remarks

Koreans in New Zealand

1. History of Korean migration to New Zealand | 2. Social Clubs and Organizations | 3. Economic Adjustment | 4. Social Adjustment | 5. Concluding Remarks

Chapter 11 Current Status of Koreans Living in Southeast Asia: Focusing on Vietnam, Myamnar and Cambodia | Tae-Ki Kim (Seoul National University)

1. Koreans Rapidly Increasing in Southeast Asia | 2. The Status of Koreans Living in Vietnam | 3. Status of Koreans Living in Myanmar | 4. The Status of Koreans Living in Cambodia

Part IV South and North Korea’s Overseas Koreans Policy

Chapter 12 Re-establishing Goals and Implementation System of Overseas Koreans Policy | In-Jin Yoon (Korea University)

1. Introduction | 2. Evaluation on Policies Related to Overseas Koreans | 3. A Future-oriented Approach for Overseas Korean Policies

Chapter 13 A Comparative Study of North Korean Policy on Chongryon in China and Japan, and Ethnic Koreans in the CIS and US | Hee-Gwan Chin (Inje University)

1. Introduction | 2. North Korea’s Perception of Overseas Koreans and Policy Direction | 3. North Korea’s Laws and Institutions Related to Overseas Koreans | 4. Policies Related to Overseas Koreans | 5. North Korea’s Projects Related to Overseas Koreans | 6. Conclusion

Chapter 14 Laws and Regulations Regarding Overseas Koreans | Young-Ho Song (Korea University)

1. Concept and Range of “Overseas Koreans” | 2. Main Provisions of Relevant Laws and Regulations

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