Japan's invisible minority

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    A high school girl of Korean school wears Chima-Jeogori-style uniform, (Korean traditional female clothes) at home. Due to discrimination against female students of Korean school who wear the uniform in public places, many students are now wearing 2nd uniform that looks like other Japanese high school unform.

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    An English teacher gives lesson in a classroom.

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    High school girl of Korean school play under the cherry blossom tree in Spring.

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    An entrance ceremony at Korean school.

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    Painting of Pyongyang is displayed at the hallway of the Korean school

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    A student walks on the small narrowed street after school. The street directly connects the school and main road near station.

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    A Korean school student with 2nd uniform sitting in a tram and goes back home after school.

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    An old Chima-Jeogori uniform (Korean traditional female clothes) from 1990s which was cut off by strangers is remained in a room at the school president’s room. In the mid-1990s, more than 20 (there is also a report saying that more than 100) female student’s school uniform was cut off in the trains, street, station and other public places. Due to this incident, most of the students decided to wear 2nd uniform instead of traditional Korean style school uniform.

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    Elementary school members of traditional Korean dance club putting make-up for the Arts competition festival.

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    Children of Hiroshima Korean kindergarten school practice singing for art festival.

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    Flags of DPRK which children of Korean Kindergarten drawn are displayed on the wall in the school.

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    A kindergarden child of Korean school sitting in a school bus after school.

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    The view of school ground is seen from the top of the school building.

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    High school students prepare for the school trip to North Korea in a school dormitory the bay before the departure.

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    A Korean school student walks around her neighborhood after school.

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    Elementary school students who are the members of traditional Korean dance club getting ready for performance behind the stage for the Arts competition.

Japan's invisible minority

Around 600,000 people of Korean descent are permanently resident in Japan today. Most are descendants of migrants brought to the country as laborers—initially when Japan annexed Korea in 1910, and again after World War II. Ethnic Koreans form an ‘invisible minority’, indistinguishable by their physical appearance, but nonetheless frequently subject to discrimination. The Korean School, and others like it, are funded by the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK, also known as North Korea), to which they became affiliated following the division of Korea after World War II. Due to political tension between Japan and North Korea, so offers no subsidy to the schools. Lessons are in Korean, students learn Korean songs, and spend their final year studying in the DPRK. Some wear chima-jeogori uniforms, in traditional Korean style (though others wear a more common Japanese high-school uniform, to avoid harassment out in the street). Japanese society at large may see the schools as secretive, yet for many students, school offers a feeling of protection and an opportunity to share common experiences.

© Noriko Hayashi 2016 \\ Powered by liveBooks