chapter  5
Ethnic Koreans in Japanese schools: Shifting boundaries and collaboration with other groups
ByKAORI H. OKANO
Pages 27

The Koreans are one of the largest ethnic minority groups in contemporary Japan. They are diverse in terms of citizenship and residential status, length of stay in Japan, political affiliation, reasons for arrival, generation and social class. Building on the preceding chapters on long-existing minority groups viewed collectively (i.e. indigenous groups, ex-colonial subjects of Korean and Taiwanese descent, and buraku peoples), I now turn specifically to ethnic Koreans. (In ‘ethnic Koreans’, I include Japanese citizens with Korean ethnic background, as well as non-citizens.) The focus is on those Koreans in mainstream Japanese schools, that is, the majority (almost 90 per cent) of school-age ethnic Koreans (Okano and Tsuchiya 1999). Although ethnic schools play a significant role in shaping the futures of ethnic Koreans (in particular, North Koreans), I shall leave that discussion to other studies (e.g. Ryang 1997).