chapter  2
14 Pages

Becoming a member of the Japanese national football team as a Korean

The 1936 Berlin Olympic trials and colonial Korea
BySeok Lee

This chapter discusses the internal conflict in Korea under the iron-fisted Japanese rule from 1910 to 1945. As the Korean independence movement was split into many factions by ideology, gender, class, and other divisions, sports more often than not played a major role in dividing Korean society. The present paper discusses the internal conflict in Korea in terms of a specific episode: the 1936 Berlin Olympic football trials. During the trials, there was a feud not only between Korea and Japan but also between Kyŏngsŏng and P’yŏngyang – the two leading cities in Korean football – over the questions of who should represent Korea in the trials held in Tokyo, and what Koreans should do when facing blatant Japanese discrimination. In sum, the glory (nationalistic resistance against Japanese colonialism) will be juxtaposed with the shadow (internal struggle) of Korean football.