Hidden Treasures:
Lives of First-Generation Korean Women in Japan

Rowman & Littlefields, 2005
xxxiv, 197 pp., ISBN 9780742535947

Hidden Treasures records the recessed but resonant voices of Korean women in Japan. At once poignant and painful, passionate and powerful, the narratives are literally recovered treasures. […] it is an invaluable contribution to the study of East Asia’s tumultuous twentieth century.”
John Lie, University of California, Berkeley
“These voices preserve for us the bravery and resilience of these ten women, and through them we can sense the tribulations and triumphs of all those others who cannot speak. For making this amount of oral history available and for deciphering the stories of these women, Jackie Kim deserves our gratitude.”
Donald Richie, The Japan Times
“Kim presents the life stories of ten first-generation Korean immigrant women in Japan, that enrich our understanding of the social conditions and political dynamics of Koreans in Japan, and the legacies of the past that the new generation of Korean women in Japan must face and overcome.”
Reference and Research Book News
“Jackie Kim’s book provides unprecedented insight into the lives of first-generation zainichi women.”
“Well-chosen photographs enhance the graceful, intelligently annotated narratives. Sonia Ryang’s introduction contextualizes the women’s lives, and the fine bibliography directs readers toward further study. Highly recommended.”
Choice Reviews

Zainichi Korean Women in Japan:

Routledge, 2019
ix, 265 pp., ISBN 9780367582647

Zainichi Korean Women in Japan: Voices, a beautiful and necessary book that foregrounds the lived experiences of these women. [...]

Kim-Wachutka has accomplished the impressive task of letting her subjects speak for themselves as much as possible without erasing her own voice and without sacrificing analytical depth and rigueur. [...]

This new book establishes her as a leading authority on the topics of Zainichi Korean women and ethnic relations in Japan.”
“Both books together convey shards of memory and narratives of identity with concrete voices and in so doing delineate a prosopography of Zainichi Korean women. [...]

Jackie J. Kim-Wachutka’s Zainichi Korean Women in Japan: Voices offers intriguing glimpses via transcribed and translated voices. Her duology marks a significant contribution to the Anglophone study of Zainichi Korean women.”

Recent Book Chapters & Journal Articles

Seoul National University, The Kyujanggak Institute for Korean Studies

Seoul Journal of Korean Studies 36:1, June 2023
Special Issue ⇒ “Contemporary Zainichi Experience”
Guest Editors: Jackie J. Kim-Wachutka and Allen Kim

link to ⇒ “Guest Editor’s Introduction” (pp. 19)
link to ⇒ “Zainichi Korean Women and Intersectional Visibility: Private Talk, Public Speech, Political Act — Seeking Justice in Japan“
(pp. 167201)

Seoul National University, The Kyujanggak Institute for Korean Studies

Seoul Journal of Korean Studies 36:2, December 2023
Special Issue ⇒ “Contemporary Zainichi Experience: Past, Present, and Future Trajectories”
Guest Editors: Jackie J. Kim-Wachutka

link to ⇒ Guest Editor’s Introduction Zainichi: Past Memory, Present Action, Future Vision — History, Community, Person” (pp. 365413)

“Hate Speech in Japan: Patriotic Women, Nation and Love of Country”

Hate Speech in Asia and Europe: Beyond Hate and Fear
Routledge, pp. 23–42

“Bones to Pick: Nationalism Beyond the Grave” (PDF)

Religion, Politik und Ideologie: Beiträge zu einer kritischen Kulturwissenschaft (Religion, Politics and Ideology: Contributions to Critical Humanities)
München: Iudicium, pp. 205–220

“Reading IO: Reproduction of Zainichi ton-po/dōhō Cultural Identity”

Omnes: The Journal of Multicultural Society 6:1, pp. 126–160

Documentary Films

Day, Year, Life: Story of Aging in Japan – A Documentary (2022)

An 80 year-old Japanese baker and his wife document passion for work, and the importance of gratefulness and prayer, as they bake and sell natural yeast bread made from scratch. A day, in a year, captures their reflections on stages of life, encountering physical challenges of growing fragility and aging, and uncertainty of the future. Pulling the best out of the ingredients provided by nature, they find comfort in the basics of everyday routine.

⇓ Short Trailer of the Full-length Documentary ⇓

“Pachinko” Apple TV+ Drama Series – Season 1 Finale Interviews (2022)

Life-history testimonial interviews with first-generation Zainichi Korean women in Kansai, Japan.

A Novel In Progress

Songs of Redemption: A Historical Novel

Songs of Redemption illuminates the journeys of mothers, daughters, and sisters who discover the power to change pain, rejection, and failure into meaningful sacrifice, giving their lives significance and worth. It imbues strength, survival, and power of three generations of women in a Korean immigrant family who have overcome a lifetime of obstacles in a traditionally patriarchal culture and as an Asian minority in America.

Public Lectures and Presentations

  • Colonial Vernacular, Post-Colonial Resonance: Diasporic Language and the Power of Contestation. Invited Lecture at International Conference: “Exploring the Interplay of Language, Ethnicity, Culture and History in Education”. Center for Educational Research. Seoul National University, Korea, December 2023. 
  • Thinking about migration across geographic, historic, and disciplinary boundaries. Invited Commentator to presentation by Špela Drnovšek Zorko. Kobe University, Japan, October 2023. 
  • Global Aging and Diversity in Multi-Ethnic, Multi-Cultural Japan: Space and Place of “Ibasho,” Memory, and Community. International Sympsium: “Aging and Multicultural Diversity: The Place of Migrants in Asia’s Aging Societies 高齢化と多様性:アジアの高齢化社会の中の移民.” Toyo University, Japan, January 2023. 
  • “Book Talk introducing Jackie J. Kim-Wachutka’s Zainichi Korean Women in Japan: Voices”. The International Center for Korean Studies/Kyujanggak Institute for Korean Studies. Seoul National University, Korea, December 2022. 
  • “The Crux: 1945-1952”. Apple TV+ Drama Series “Pachinko”: Writer’s Room Historical Background Consultation. Online Lecture, May 2022.
  • On the Threshold of Erasure: Remembering the “Ethnic” in the Symbolic Space of “Diversity” and “Multicultural” Society and the Role of Zainichi Korean Elderly in Japan. Korean Association for Multicultural Education (KAME), International Conference: “Multicultural Education in the Post-Pandemic Era”. Seoul,  Korea, May 2022.
  • Imaginary Spaces of “Nation” and “Transnation”: Communicative Memories and Collaborative Narratives of Aging Migrants in Japan. Keynote Speech at International Conference: “E-MigrAgeing: Sustainable Ageing of Migrant Populations in Sweden and Japan and their Transnational Families in the Framework of Digital Technologies.” Karlstad University, Sweden, 2022.
  • From “Need” to “Opportunity” in the Era of Covid-19 Pandemic: Global-minded Students Taking Ownership of Proactive Learning and Demonstrating Empathetic Leadership. 2022 International Symposium: “Global Japan and Academia During Covid-19.” University of Hyogo, Kobe, Japan.
  • Private Talk–Public Speech, Within Time and Space: Narrating Zainichi Women’s Memories, Reflections, Seeking Justice. 2022 Kyujanggak Special Workshop on Zainichi Studies. Sponsored by International Center for Korean Studies/Kyujanggak Institute for Korean Studies. Seoul National University, Korea.
  • Ethnic Minority Communities and Elderly Care in Japan: An Ethnography of Inter-generational Space. 11th Interdisciplinary Conference on “Aging and Social Change.” University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada. (Link to video)
  • Historical Memory, Shared Language and Nostalgic Emotional Fulfillment: An Ethnography of Ethnic-Cultural Space for Foreign Elderly in Japan. 16th International Conference of the European Association for Japanese Studies. Ghent University, Belgium.
  • Between COVID-19 and Black Lives Matter: Vulnerabilities and Exclusion in Times of Crisis. Sietar — Society for Intercultural Education, Training, and Research. Kansai Presentation, Japan.
  • Discrimination and Hate Speech in Japan. Virtual Class Lecture, Duke University, USA.
  •  Images and Perceptions of the Other: Discourse Construction, Historical Implications, and Memory. International Symposium: “Perceptions of the Cultural Other: Japanese Images of Korea – Korean Images of Japan.” Tübingen University, Germany.
  • When Women Perform Hate Speech: Gender, Patriotism and Social Empowerment. Tri-National Symposium: “Beyond Hate and Fear: How Do Asia and Europe Deal with Hate Speech.” (Seoul National University, Seoul/ Université Paris Diderot, Paris 7/ Ritsumeikan University, Kyoto), Kyoto, Japan.
  • Ethnic and Intergenerational Space: Cultural Needs and Emotional Fulfillment for Multiethnic Elderly within Japan’s Long-Term Care Insurance System. European Association of Japanese Studies Conference. Lisbon, Portugal.
  • Ethnic and Intergenerational Space: Multicultural Needs within Japan’s Long-Term Care Insurance System for the Elderly. 14th Asia Pacific Conference. Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University, Japan
  • Creating “Homeland”: Place for Sacred Rituals and Secular Practice for Diasporic Chōsenjin Koreans in Japan. Tri-National Workshop: “The Sacred and the Secular: Powers and Authorities in Modern East Asia.” (Eberhard Karls University, Tübingen/ Dōshisha University, Kyoto/ Korea University, Seoul), Seoul, Korea.
  • Jidai no Nagare’ Changing Times: Multicultural Transitions within Japan’s Chōsenjin Ethnic Community. SIMS 2015 International Conference: “Rethinking Multiculturalism in Time of Crisis.” Sookmyung Women’s University, Seoul, Korea.
  • Transnational Space of Ethnic Memory: Cultural Identity Found in IO. International Symposium on Global Perspectives on Social Sciences and Humanities in Focus, Warsaw, Poland.
  • Tsubuyaki Murmur: Space for Utterance and Articulation – Hōsenka 鳳仙花 and Chi ni fune wo koge 地に舟をこげ: Intergenerational Gendered Colonial Memories. Tri-National Workshop: “Colonial Memories: Comparative Perspective on German, Japanese, and Korean Cases” (Eberhard Karls University, Tübingen/ Dōshisha University, Kyoto/ Korea University, Seoul). Tübingen University, Germany.
  • Telling Tales from the Field: Ethnography of Koreans in Japan. Qualitative Research Methods Workshop, Japan Association of Language Teachers (JALT), Kyoto, Japan.
  • Memory, Community, Identity: Narrating “Chōsen” by Zainichi Korean Women in Japan. XVIII ISA World Congress of Sociology, Yokohama, Japan.
  • Memory and Cultural Representation: First- and Second-Generation Koreans in Japan. Associated Kyoto Program (AKP), Dōshisha University, Kyoto, Japan.
  • Telling Tales from the Field: Ethnography of Koreans in Japan. Tuebingen Center for Japanese Studies (TCJS), Dōshisha University, Kyoto, Japan.
  • Memory, Community, Identity: Narrating “Chōsen” by Zainichi Korean Women in Japan. Department of Japanese Studies, Tübingen University, Germany.
  • Identities in Transition: Korean Women in Japan. International Association of Japanese Studies, Kyoto, Japan.
  • Korean Women Abroad: Shifting Modes of Transnational Identity. Association of Asian Studies Conference (Panel Organizer & Chair), Honolulu, Hawaii, USA.
  • Tradition and Freedom: Narrating Transnational Identities. Kyoto Consortium for Japanese Studies (KCJS), Dōshisha University, Kyoto, Japan.
  • Stories, Lives, Empowerment: First-Generation Korean Women in Japan. Department of Japanese Studies, Tübingen University, Germany.
  • Recording Voices, Writing Lives: Challenges of Fieldwork. Center for Biographical Research, Lecture Series, University of Hawaii, USA.
  • Life History Narratives of First-Generation Korean Immigrant Women in Japan. History & Humanities Study Group,  German Institute for Japanese Studies (DIJ), Tokyo, Japan.
  • Maintenance of Ethnic Identity through Spiritual Fellowship: A Case Study of a Zainichi Korean Church. Department of Japanese Studies, Tübingen University, Germany.

Media Interviews & Coverage

Writings honor Korean women (PDF)

(Honolulu Advertiser)