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Almost seven decades have passed since the end of the Korean War and these ethnic Koreans continue to strive for protections that no country guarantees them. The documentary, first released in , drew tears from the South Korean audience on Friday, as it showed the struggles of ethnic Korean students in Japan to find their true identity. Zainichi and North Korea In the documentary, the students are asked where their families came from.

Japan's resident Koreans endure a climate of hate

They give names of cities in South Korea, such as Jeju. But because North Korea supported the community from early on, it was natural for the zainichi to feel closer to the communist country than South Korea. During the Japanese colonial period from to , ethnic Koreans in Japan were Japanese nationals.

Joseon referred to the entire Korean Peninsula at the time. Two separate governments came to power in the southern and northern parts of the Korean Peninsula divided by the 38th parallel, following separate elections in the southern part occupied by the US military and the northern part occupied by Soviet forces.

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When the Korean War ended in an armistice, the Korean Peninsula was no longer one country that ethnic Koreans could call a fatherland. An ethnic Korean student cheers in front of the crater on Paektusan.

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All Joseon students visit North Korea for their graduation field trip. The documentary follows 11 senior students from the Ibaraki Joseon School who travel to North Korea, visiting Pyongyang, Paektusan and other historic sites. Keeping their identity as Koreans The zainichi have struggled to earn their rights as residents and citizens in Japan.


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One battle they are fighting is to obtain equal rights for zainichi students. The Japanese government provides tuition support to all high school students, but Joseon schools are excluded.

Tuition at Joseon schools is not cheap. According to Park, it costs an average of about , won per month. Japanese law also does not recognize Joseon school diplomas, and their graduates are ineligible to sit university entrance exams.

These students can be admitted to university under a separate system, implemented by the universities. The majority of zainichi have obtained South Korean nationality, but some have chosen to remain Joseonjeok -- which is not a nationality, but a mere status. The movie concludes with the end of the hero's commitment to North Korean elements. California Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service.

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Video Essay - A History of Representation in Zainichi Cinema

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