Ten first-generation Korean women who migrated to Japan during Korea's colonial period tell their compelling stories in Hidden Treasures. Powerful narratives of migration, mirity life, gender discrimination, and the often-difficult social relations between Korean immigrants and the Japanese are included, written in the women's own words. The women in this volume participated in tumultuous times in the modern history of Korea and Japan, involving physical, psychological, geographic, and cultural displacements. These women transformed themselves in multiple ways: one from colonial subject to diasporic subject, ather from a young and naive virgin bride to a self-made matriarch. Each transformation involved risk, determination, and pain as the women grappled with multilayered structures of gendered, colonial, ethnic, and socioecomic relations of power. Many of these transformations, however, also entailed self-enhancement, fulfillment, accomplishment, and, at times, triumph and joy. An introduction by leading researcher Sonia Ryang provides context for the very personal stories of these ten women. This unparalleled social history of Korean women in Japan will engage both students and general readers.
Jackie J. Kim is a freelance writer living in Hawaii and Germany.