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Japan: Korean Zainichi migration

Migration A–Z

J

  1. Masaru Tonomura

Published Online: 4 FEB 2013

DOI: 10.1002/9781444351071.wbeghm322

The Encyclopedia of Global Human Migration

The Encyclopedia of Global Human Migration

How to Cite

Tonomura, M. 2013. Japan: Korean Zainichi migration. The Encyclopedia of Global Human Migration. .

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 4 FEB 2013

Abstract

Zainichi, according to its original denotation in Japan, refers to “being in Japan.” However, in post-World War II Japan, the word “Zainichi” almost always signifies people of Korean descent residing in Japan. Most significantly, “Zainichi” has become a universal term to designate Koreans who reside in Japan as they constitute the vast majority of foreign residents “being in Japan.” As a consequence, most Japanese have taken for granted that the term “Zainichi” indicates that a person is Korean. As use of the word has become more widespread, the designation is used by Koreans themselves, followed by “Kankokujin” if from South Korea or “Chosenjin” if from North Korea.

Keywords:

  • Asia;
  • assimilation and exclusion;
  • demography and population studies;
  • empire;
  • political asylum