The Diary of Yunbogi and Japan-Korea Relations

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review

Abstract

What can the history of Japanese media engagements with the Republic of Korea (ROK) help us understand about representation and reconciliation today? How do audio-visual media establish aesthetic frameworks for intercultural engagement and how do they impact on (troubled) relations between nations? To explore these questions, this chapter investigates the publication, and subsequent film adaptation by Ōshima Nagisa, of The Diary of Yunbogi, a diary written by a young boy struggling to survive on the streets of Daegu, which was the first book from the ROK to be published in Japan after normalisation of relations in 1965. Placing the book and film within the political context of Japan’s long 1960s, the chapter analyses the impact of the diary in Japan, the aesthetic and affective strategies of Ōshima’s documentary, and traces the discourse produced by both in the print media. The chapter shows how the diary and the film acted as sites in Japan for the public to negotiate feelings of guilt towards Japan’s former colony, and discuss the ways in which the book and the film became integrated into Japan’s own narrative of victimhood as Yunbogi’s story came to represent values seemingly lost to Japan in the post-war period.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationPopular Culture and the Transformation of Japan-Korea Relations
EditorsRumi Sakamoto, Stephen Epstein
PublisherRoutledge
Chapter7
Pages111-123
Number of pages13
ISBN (Electronic)9780429399558
ISBN (Print)9780367024444
Publication statusPublished - 2 Jul 2020

Publication series

NameAsia's Transformations
PublisherRoutledge

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