Skip to main content
Open Access Publications from the University of California

Zainichi (Koreans in Japan): Diasporic Nationalism and Postcolonial Identity


This book traces the origins and transformations of a people—the Zainichi, migrants from the Korean peninsula to Japan and their descendants. Using a wide range of arguments and evidence—historical and comparative, political and social, literary and pop-cultural—John Lie reveals the social and historical conditions that gave rise to Zainichi identity, while simultaneously demonstrating its complex, fractured, even ephemeral nature.

Key to understanding Zainichi ideology are, for Lie, the nationalist yearnings it expressed from a condition of diaspora and discrimination. Lie’s nuanced treatment acknowledges both the tragic and triumphant qualities embedded in this formulation, while resisting the essentialism it implies. Rather, he embraces the vicissitudes of the lived experience of Koreans in Japan, shedding light on the vexing topics of diaspora, migration, identity, and group formation.

Main Content
For improved accessibility of PDF content, download the file to your device.
Current View