Film & Discussion: The 1923 Great Kanto Earthquake and the Massacre of Koreans 90 Years Later

On October 26 & 27, Dr. Jinhee Lee participated in the 62nd Midwest Conference on Asian Affairs at Michigan State University by organizing two film screenings and chairing a related roundtable discussion. The films and roundtable focused on the Great Kantō Earthquake of 1923 and the subsequent massacres of Koreans and other minority nationalities in Japan. This event was one of seven film screenings and symposia Dr. Lee is organizing across the United States this fall to commemorate the 90th anniversary of the natural and social disaster that shook the Japanese empire to its core.

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Following the screening of two unreleased, seldom-seen documentaries, Professor Lee led a panel of historians and literary scholars in a discussion which shed light on the legacy of the tragedy and the forms of remembrance and commemoration it has occasioned. The two films shown were “Hidden Scars: The Massacre of Koreans from the Arakawa River Bank to Shitamachi in Tokyo, 1923” (1983) and “The Disposed-Of Koreans: The Great Kanto Earthquake and Camp Narashino” (1986) both by Choongkong Oh.

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