The Newsletter 82 Spring 2019

Experiences of ‘the Other’ in Northeast Asia

Ilhong Ko

The presence of strong centralized states in Northeast Asia from ancient times, as well as the geographical and political conditions of the present-day, has meant that the movement of people across boundaries in the region has been less marked, compared to other places in the world. Nevertheless, there are countless accounts documenting how individuals or groups came to find themselves across boundaries in unfamiliar environments, be it through their own agency or as a result of coercion. These experiences of ‘the Other’ in Northeast Asia can provide important insights into the issues that the region faced in the past and continues to face in the present.

In this issue of News from Northeast Asia, we examine four different groups of people and their unique experiences as ‘the Other’ in Northeast Asia. In “Tan Jie-sheng: a success story of one transnational Cantonese merchant in Korea”, Jin-A Kang of Hanyang University examines the experiences of Chinese merchants in colonial Korea through the lens of the Tongshuntai Firm. The migrations of the late 19th and early 20th century that marked the first stage in the formation of a large Korean diaspora in Russia are addressed by Vadim S. Akulenko of Far Eastern Federal University in “Vladivostok and the Migration of Korean people to the Russian Empire”. “Korean Soldier Internees in Siberia and the Issue of (Un)Redressability”, by Naoki Watanabe of Musashi University, presents an interesting study of Korean soldiers and their experiences as ‘the Other’ in numerous settings. Finally, the experiences of Japanese women who accompanied their Zainichi Korean spouses are considered by Tomoomi Mori of Otani University in “‘Japanese Wives’ in North Korea (DPR Korea)”.

Ilhong Ko, Research Fellow, Seoul National University Asia Center; Regional Editor of News from Northeast Asia


Tan Jie-sheng: a success story of one transnational Cantonese merchant in Korea
Jin-A Kang
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Japanese Wives in North Korea
Tomoomi Mori
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Vladivostok and the migration of Korean people to the Russian Empire
Vadim S. Akulenko
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Korean soldier internees in Siberia and the issue of (un)redressability
Naoki Watanabe
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