"War Crimes Trials in Japanese Literature: The Question of Korean Representation on the War Criminal Docket," Dr. Younglong Kim, UHM visiting scholar

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2020-03-03
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How has Japanese literature portrayed war crimes trials? Even now, more than 70 years after World War II, there is no systematic study addressing this question. To remedy that gap, this presentation chronicles a genealogy of relevant works in Japanese literature, focusing specifically on those featuring Korean war criminals. These range from the film script “A Wall-Mounted Room” [Kabe Atsuki Heya] published in the 1950s by Abe Kōbō to Zainichi playwright Chong Wishing’s 2018 “Macbeth Below the Equator” [Shekidō no Shita no Makubesu]. These works remind us that figures accused of war crimes included not only the suzerains of imperial Japan, but also (former) colonial subjects. By examining Korean representation in the context of war crimes trials, this presentation seeks to clarify how literary works engaged with issues of colonial and postwar responsibility never fully settled in the course of the historical trials.
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Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 United States
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