Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Korean Sons Sent from Japan to North Korea

I just read an article on a Japanese autobiographical book written by a Korean-Japanese opera singer. Apparently, she talks about her brothers in the book who were sent to North Korea before she was born.
“Four Brothers Sent to Prison Camp for Praising Michelangelo.”
The description of horrible prison camp is sad but not surprising. What fascinates me is the fact that many Japanese-born North Korean sons were sent to North Korea by their parents.

A recent Japanese documentary film "Dear Pyonyang" also depicts a father who sent his sons to North Korea. (an English review here.) The film was directed by the daughter (or sister of the sons who are now in North Korea).

This is one of my numerous research topics for the future. I don't think anyone has done systematic research on this (please let me know if you know any work on this). What is the institutional setting for this (apparently common) custom to ship boys to North Korea? Is/was there a pragmatic function in this or purely ideological? What is the history of this?

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