Journal article

Assimilation through Resistance: Language and Ethnicity in Kim Saryang’s “Hikari no naka ni”

J Glade

Southeast Review of Asian Studies | Southeast Conference, Association for Asian Studies | Published : 2007


In the short story “Hikari no naka ni” 光の中に (In the light, 1939), Kim Saryang (1914– 50) critiques the desire of colonized Koreans to participate in the colonial policy of assimilation through such acts as adopting Japanese names. Ironically, this resistance to assimilatory policies ultimately leads to a different path toward assimilation. Similar to Kim’s own success in life as an author of works written in the language of his colonizers (Japanese), the resolution his text offers—resistance to assimilation through acceptance of one’s Korean ethnicity—results in assimilation through this very act of resistance, suggesting that resistance through the use of the colonizer’s tools inevitably pr..

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University of Melbourne Researchers