Lost Names Essay

1303 WordsJul 7, 20116 Pages
Rocco Thompson June 10, 2011 History 354 William Kinzley Lost Names Lost Names: Scenes From A Korean Boyhood by Richard E. Kim is an autobiographical fictionalization of the author’s youth in Japanese occupied Manchuria. Though not a traditional autobiography, the author tells his own story through the eyes of a nameless young man. The story takes place between 1932 and 1945. The young man grows and changes from the start of the novel to the end and meditates on the nature of war, family, duty and education among other things. However, the most important aspect of the novel is the way in which it portrays the Japanese occupation and the state of the main character’s family as a result of it. The novel begins with the…show more content…
The students even sing songs celebrating the 1937 rape of Nanking At the morning assembly, the author notices that there are no Japanese children present: “I discover later that they have their own morning assembly in another field in the back of the school. It is obvious that we do not mix classes. They have their own classes and classrooms, and we have ours, although we are all the same school. A few years later, they will build a new school somewhere outside the town, exclusively for themselves.” On the main character’s first day, he sings a European song that he learned from one of his school friends back home in front of his new class. After the class, a Japanese teachers scolds and beats him simply because the song was of a foreign nature. The boy is defended by his own teacher, a Korean. This further stresses the ongoing fight against Japanese ethnocentrism that was so prevalent, even in such places as the schoolroom. The Japanese and their rabid ethnocentrism have their effect on the narrator’s family. The family is generally happy and well structured. The narrator lives with his mother, father, little sister and grandfather. As mentioned before, the narrator’s family pressures him to be better than the Japanese students. Upon returning home after being beaten, the men of the house invite him to eat with them and drink wine. This is a strong scene that is filled with the proudness of a parent for their son. Simply standing up to a

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