Zainichi Korean History textbook: Timeline

A couple of months ago I picked up The History of Zainichi Koreans, a Japanese language middle school text book intended for use either by ethnic Korean Japanese residents at Mindan (South Korean) affiliated schools, or as a supplemental text for history teachers in Japanese schools. It was published by Akashi Shoten in February 2006, and written by the history textbook creation sub-committee of Mindan and can be bought through Amazon Japan.

Looking at how history is presented in textbooks is, as readers may know, something that I find rather fascinating and so I would like to translate some small sections of interest in this text for everyone. Today I will start with the timeline of key events in Zainichi history. It is divided into two parts, Pre Liberation and Post Liberation, with the respective timeline being placed at the beginning of that half of the book. Notice which events, some of which are probably unknown to over 99% of Japanese citizens (i.e. the details of foreigner registration) are selected as key to Zainichi history.

View the entire post to see the timeline.

Pre-liberation History

Date Event
1905.11.17 Eulsa Treaty (The second Korea-Japan Agreement)
1905.12.21 Resident Generalship of Korea is established, Hirobumi Itoh is named first Resident General
1910.08.22 “Annexation of Korea,” Chosen Governor Generalship is established (8.29)
1910.09.30 Beginning of land surveying (~1918.12)
1914.07.28 First World War (~1918.11.11)
1919.02.08 February 8th Declaration of Independence (Zainichi Korean students in Tokyo present a Declaration of Independence document)
1919.03.01 March 1st Independence Movement (~1920)
1920  Beginning of the plan to increase rice production
1921.07.28 Establishment of “Korean domestic high level section” within special high level department of police department
1923.09.01 Great Kanto Earthquake
1923.09.02 Korean violence named as reason for declaring martial law, massacre of Koreans begins
1936.08.09 Son Ki Jun wins gold medal at the 11th Olympics, in Berlin
1937.07.07 The Sino-Japanese war erupts
1939.09.03 Second World War (~1945.8.15)
1940.02.11 “Sōshi-kaimei” [taking Japanese names] implemented 
1941.12.08 Pacific War erupts
1942.02.13 Start of laborers being sent to Japan due to “government intercession”
1942.05.08 Cabinet decides to implement system of military conscription for Koreans (begins in 1944)
1943.10.25 Student soldier system implemented, also applied to Koreans with the label of “volunteers”
1944.09.– Start of laborers being sent to Japan due to “conscription”
1945.08.15 Japan loses the war, and Korea is liberated

Post-liberation History

Date Event
1945.10.15 Federation of Korean Residents in Japan formed
1946.10.03 Korean Residents Union in Japan (Mindan) formed
1947.05.02 Foreigner Registration Order promulgated, implemented the starting the following day
1948.04.24 Hanshin Education Struggle
1948.08.15 Establishment of the Republic of Korea
1948.09.09 Establishment of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea
1949.12.03 Foreigner Registration Order revised. Becomes mandatory to carry Foreigner Registration Card at all times, and system of renewal every three years introduced
1950.06.25 The Korean Conflict (Korean War) breaks out
1951.10.04 Immigration Order and Immigration Bureau Establishment Order are promulgated and enacted
1952.04.28 San Francisco Peace Treaty is signed and based on order (4.19) of the Civil Affairs Bureau Chief of the Ministry of Justice, Zainichi North and South Koreans lose their “Japanese citizenship” and fall under the Foreigner Registration Law
1953.07.27 Armistice is formally signed at Panmunjeom
1955.04.28 Fingerprint collection system based on Foreigner Registration Law begins
1955.05.25 General Association of Korean Residents in Japan (Chongryon) is formed
1965.06.22 Treaty on Basic Relations between Japan and the Republic of Korea is signed
1966.01.17 Taking of applications for Permanent Residence of Zainichi Korean based on treaty arrangements begins
1986.04.01 Nationality clause of National Health Insurance Law eliminated
1988.09.– Seoul Olympics are held, South Korea gets overall 4th place (winning 12 gold, 11 silver, 10 bronze)
1991.11.01 Permanent Residence based on treaty arrangements and Special Case Permanent Residence are merged into a single Special Permanent Residence system
1993.01.08 Foreigner Registration Law is revised so that Special Permanent Residents no longer need to be fingerprinted
2002.05.31 Korea/Japan joint World Cup is held, Korea makes it into the top four

12 thoughts on “Zainichi Korean History textbook: Timeline”

  1. This is what happens when you have a country where compulsory education from ages 5-14 is “optional” for non-citizens. Absolutely nuts.

    Japan loses the war, and Korea is liberated

    Notable lack of how Japan lost that war…

  2. “This is what happens when you have a country where compulsory education from ages 5-14 is “optional” for non-citizens. Absolutely nuts.”

    Yesterday’s Nikkei’s front page was covering that government is thinking about changing law to apply compulsory education to kids of foreign national.

    This compulsory education to foreign kids were very frictional issue right after the war and attacked by Koreans as the continuation of assimilation to Japanese subject from colonial era.The leftwing Choren'(later Chousen souren)did’nt want J-Gov nor ROK government to educate their kids.and they used this issue to bring zainichi population under their flag.beyond ideological difference.Lots of violent demonstration and squatter had to be removed by GHQ order.
    Time line I snatch from history of ethnic educationin Japan(朝鮮総連系列)
    1945年9月  各地に国語講習所が生じ在日朝鮮人の民族教育開始
    1945年10月15日 在日朝鮮人連盟(朝連)結成
    1945年11月16日 朝鮮建国促進青年同盟(建青)結成
    1946年1月20日 新朝鮮建設同盟(建同)結成
    1946年3月 建国工業学校、建国高等女学校(大阪)創立
    1946年4月4日 「国語講習所」等が上・中・下の三年制初等学院として編成。初等教育開始
    1946年4月5日 金剛学園(大阪)の母体である第一、第二ウリ学校開校
    1946年9月20日  京都朝鮮人教育会設立。京都韓国学園の起源
    1946年10月3日 在日本朝鮮居留民団(民団)結成。建同は発展的解散、建青は存続
    1946年10月5日  東京朝鮮中学校創立。中等教育開始。学生41000人
    1946年11月20 日  GHQ、「朝鮮人の地位及び取り扱いに関する総司令部渉外局発表」
    1946年12月15日 GHQ、朝鮮人の帰還計画を終了。帰国140万人、残留53万人
    1947年3月  トルーマン・ドクトリン=東西冷戦の幕開け
    1947年3月31日 日本政府、「教育基本法」及び「学校教育法」公布施行
    1947年4月 建国学校、校名を建国中学校と改称
    1947年4月12日 文部省学校教育局長回答「朝鮮人児童の就学義務について」
    1947年5月2日  外国人登録令・同施行令公布、即日施行
    1947年5月13日 京都韓国学校の前身、京都朝鮮中学校開校。(9月に京都府知事認可)
    1948年1月24日 文部省学校教育局長通達「朝鮮人設立学校の取扱いについて」
    1948年3月31日 山口で学校閉鎖令に対する最初の抗議行動
    1948年4月  建国学校に高等学校設置
    1948年4月5日 大阪、兵庫、岡山の各知事、朝鮮学校閉鎖令発令
    1948年4月24 日 兵庫県の朝鮮人、学校閉鎖令撤回を求める集会。知事、閉鎖令を撤回
    1948年4月25日 米占領軍、阪神地区に非常事態宣言発令。朝鮮人を多数検挙
    1948年4月26日 大阪府庁前で2万人朝鮮人集会。警官隊の発砲で金太一少年死亡
    1948年5月5日 朝鮮人教育対策委員会と文部省の間で覚書交換
    1948年5月6日 文部省学校教育局長通達「朝鮮人学校に関する問題について」
    1948年6月4日  大阪朝鮮人教育問題共同闘争委員会と大阪府知事が覚書交換
    1948年8月15日 大韓民国樹立
    1948年9月9日 朝鮮民主主義人民共和国樹立
    1948年12月10日 国連、世界人権宣言採択
    1949年3月1日 大阪で私立朝鮮学校24校設立認可を獲得
    1949年4月 建国小学校設立
    1949年5月31日 白頭学院、文部省から財団法人認可。この日を創立記念日とする
    1949年9月8日  日本政府、朝連と民青(在日本民主青年同盟)を解散させ、財産を没収
    1949年10月19日 日本政府、朝連系朝鮮学校に対し「学校閉鎖令」発令。白頭学院のみ認可
    1949年10月30日 金剛学園、閉鎖
    1949年11月1日 文部省事務次官通達「公立学校における朝鮮語等の取扱いについて」:日本人学校での朝鮮人に対する民族教育を禁止

    1949年11月4日 日本政府、朝鮮学校に対し「改組令」
    1949年11月5日 大阪府知事、大阪朝連学園の設立認可取り消し。24校に閉鎖命令
    1949年11月15日 文部省通達「朝鮮人私立学校の設置認可について」
    1949年11月25日 文部省通達「朝鮮人児童・生徒の公立学校受け入れについて」
    1949年12月10日 東京都内の朝鮮学校、都立に移管
    1950年3月14日  財団法人金剛学園認可(3月30日、学校名を「金剛学園」と改称)
    1950年6月25日 朝鮮戦争開始(~53年7.27)
    1950年7月1日 大阪市立西今里中学校開校
    1950年12月28日 大村収容所発足
    1951年1月9日 在日朝鮮統一民主民族戦線(民戦)結成=日本共産党内に「民族対策部」
    1951年3月 白頭学院、一条校として学校法人認可
    1951年9月8日 サンフランシスコ講和条約=旧植民地出身者は日本国籍を離脱
    1951年10月4日 出入国管理令・出入国管理庁設置令公布
    1952年1月18日 韓国、「平和ライン宣言」(李ライン)
    1952年3月28日 外国人登録法公布
    1952年4月10日 大阪朝鮮高級学校創立
    1952年4月28日 日本政府、朝鮮人子弟は「恩恵」として日本人学校入学を認める方針表明
    1952年4月 サンフランシスコ講和条約発効
    1952年4月30日 戦傷病者戦没者遺族等援護法公布。国籍条項
    1953年1月 日教組、第二回教研大会で初めて朝鮮人教育問題を討議
    1953年2月11日 文部省、朝鮮人子弟の義務教育学校就学は国内法厳守を条件とする旨通達
    1953年3月25日   内閣法制局「公務員に関する当然の法理として、公権力の行使または国家意思の形成への参画に携わる公務員となるには日本国籍を必要とする」との見解
    1953年5月18日 京都朝鮮学園、初めて学校法人として認可
    1953年7月27日 朝鮮戦争休戦協定調印
    1953年10月15日 第3次韓日会談で久保田妄言
    1954年4月8日 金剛中学校開校
    1954年4月26日 東京韓国学校創立
    1955年3月31日 東京都立朝鮮人学校廃校
    1955年4月1日 東京都知事、東京朝鮮学園を学校法人認可
    1955年5月25日 在日本朝鮮人総聯合会(総聯)結成
    1956年4月10日 朝鮮大学校創立
    1957年4月8日 北朝鮮から第一次教育援助費及び奨学金送付
    1958年4月4日 学校法人京都韓国学園設立、京都韓国中学校
    1959年12月14日 北朝鮮への第1次帰国船、新潟出港
    1960年4月11日 金剛高等学校開校


    Now the government is changing

  3. Wow. Looks like they left off the part about hundreds of zainichi / Koreans convicted as war criminals after 1945. South Korea gets 4th place in the Seoul Olympics! Where is “South Korean troops participate in the Vietnam War, massacre as many as 50,000 civilians, accusations of widespread rape”. Some Japanese textbook timelines may excise difficult parts of history, but I’ve never seen one that does that while bragging about sports. World cup top four!

    I’ve got no problem with activist projects like this being done in Japanese (especially from a smaller liberal press like Akashi). In Japanese discourse, they are a necessary minority view. Just a bit worried about the lack of reflection on the part of SK / Zainichi society.

  4. ” Just a bit worried about the lack of reflection on the part of SK / Zainichi society”

    Should read some work of Tei Taikin鄭大均。「在日の耐えられない軽さ」中公新書is
    my recommendation.

  5. I think you guys should be a little less hasty about guessing what details are in the book based purely on the timeline. For example, at the beginning of part 2 (post liberation) it says “On August 15, 1945 Japan surrendered unconditionally to the allied forces and lost the war. At the same time, the American forces which had already finished the fighting in Okinawa were planning landfall on the Japanese mainland” and then goes on to discuss how Russia had declared war on Japan, which led to the split occupation of Korea. There is also a section later on how GHC policy affected Zainichi.

    On a quick glance-through I don’t see any mention of Vietnam or war criminals, but I’ll let you know for sure after I read the whole thing. I think the book would be cluttered by talking about events going on in Korea that don’t directly impact the Zainichi population, and certainly by that standard the Seoul Olympics is a pretty irrelevant thing to mention. Did S Korea sending troops to Vietnam have any impact on Zainichi? I imagine it let to a lot of arguments between Mindan and Chogryon, but they always argue so I don’t know that it was necessarily significant enough to warrant discussion. This is not a history book about Korea after all-it is very narrowly focused.

  6. I just think that it is a bit strange that 10% of the entries for the postwar period have to do with how great Korea did at sports. I mean, no “rachi” thing? Debates about that were a huge big deal for zainichi society (as were debates about the Vietnam War in the 1960).

    Not discussing Korean WWII war criminals is at the heart of a major problem in Korean and Zainichi views of the past — it is just a story of Japanese domination of Korea, there is little or no acknowledgment of actual willing Korean participation (either in terms of moving to Japan for economic reasons or willing participation in the Japanese forces). It becomes a group vs. group story with no room for nuances.

  7. “either in terms of moving to Japan for economic reasons or willing participation in the Japanese forces.”
    I think Japan should take all the blame for what the individual Korean did in WW2.
    but I always find this Korean”group vs. group story with no room for nuance ” difficult to agree with.even think this is one of main reason on the side of Koreans of bringing unnecessary confrontation along with flawed Korean journalism practice.

    The whole problem with zainichi Koreandebate can be summed up into one question.and it is not “Who are they?”but rather “What exactly are they?””

    Are Zainitchi Koreans a)former forced laborer and its descendants?
    b)free will immigrants?
    c)political exiles?
    d)plain resident foreigners?(i.g student,business person)
    e)foreign workers?
    f)illegal aliens?
    g)ethnic Korean Japanese citizens?

    The answer is supposed to be all of the above.But somehow they stick to a)
    The dogma of victimhood and keeping the Korean(either south or north)nationality seems inseparable to their identity.Or at least better not to be challenged, especially by the Japanese.This is the source of the eteral confusion of the Zainichi debate involving the social status and legal rights in Japan.

  8. Does any know if there has ever been a serious proposal or movement for Japan and South Korea to allow dual citizenship? (Obviously North Korea is off the table.)

  9. This particular history book breaks the Korean immigration to Japan into stages. Here is roughly what they say in the first couple of chapters which I have gotten around to reading so far:

    First there were just a few hundred students, business, tourists. Then when Japan started the colony in Korea they surveyed the land to assign clear legal titles, which ended up with a large percentage being confiscated from peasants who did not understand how to register their property correctly. Then there was a couple of decades of Koreans moving to Japan for economic opportunity, particularly those who had lost their land back home and were either forced off or did not want to live as sharecroppers. The forced labor did not actually come until later, when the war economy increased the labor demand significantly.

  10. 超左翼MF:
    Dual citizens will do more harm than good in East Asia,MF.And as far as I concern
    no government in the region seriously thought about it.All over Asia, there are problem relating ethnic groups who live over the borderlines. Since most of the state in the region are lucking either legitimacy or accountability,there are always tension between the belonging and the loyality and because of that dual citizens will definitely be seen as the potential 5th column in most countries .
    Japan was a rare case,since decolonization had finished by the surrender of the imperial government in WW2 and all of the Japanese were kicked out of former colonies.Perhaps because of that only Japan will allow the freewheeling dual national to speak and act politically as the protected right .(doing that by containing genies in your favorite 2ch .)And what will we get in return?Japanese politics would be the target of manupilation from foreign governments more than ever before.
    More anti Japanese demonstration outside,Ishihara and 2ch prevail inside.
    Don’t sounds like a good idea to me.

    South Korean government had been kept saying zainichi should gain Japanese nationality,and be a good citizen of Japan.And like I said before they are welcome.
    and frankly speaking I want keep one or two things about Japan that are kept only for the card carrying member of the Japanese society.

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