Harvard-Yenching Institute Lecture Series
Co-sponsored by the Korea Institute and the Reischauer Institute of Japanese Studies
A talk by Professor Sug-in Kweon (Anthropology, Seoul National University; HYI Visiting Scholar 2011-12)
Discussant: Professor Carter Eckert (Yoon Se Young Professor of Korean History, Harvard University)
Professor Kweon's talk will examine gender politics within the Japanese colonial settler community in Korea in the beginning of the 20th century. More specifically, it looks at urban middle class Japanese women, who were of a significant number in Korea in the 1920s and 1930s and who actively practiced and enjoyed modern ways of life comparable to lives in major metropolitan cities of Japan. These women were, on the other hand, under conservative gender ideology and paternalistic community scrutiny to maintain women's virtues and morals. Existing data seem to show that Japanese women in Korea, as members of the colonizer community, benefited in areas of education, occupation, and family lives, on more favorable terms inaccessible to many women in the metropole, but could not create a separate space and arena where they could raise questions and speak for themselves about issues of their own.