The Microhistory of Anti-Japanese Speech Acts
"Readings from Asia" highlights significant recent scholarship published in Chinese, Korean, Japanese, and Vietnamese, in order to bring it to the attention of a wider, international readership. This issue of Cross-Currents features a review by Andre Schmid (University of Toronto) of Jung Byung Wook's new book titled Puron yŏlchŏn: Mich’in saenggaggi paetsok esŏ naonda [The biographies of rebellious people in colonial Korea]. Schmid finds Jung's microhistorical approach very effective in recreating a sense of the political dangers during the wartime colonial period and in revealing the paranoia of the colonial state. The case studies presented in the book, Schmid claims, "are not about nationalist movements or intellectuals’ proindependence essays, but moments involving unorganized, ordinary people who because of their actions drew the scrutiny of the state’s repressive apparatus."