To Marry Zainichi in Japan

In Japan, if you want to marry someone, you have to take many necessary steps for it. “Marriage is not the problem of your own but the problem of houses” is Japanese marriage and every Japanese thinks that they have to get their parents’ permission to get married. I think so too. By the way, if your partner was “Zainichi Korean”, do you think your parent allow you to marry with them?

Michihiko Noguchi, professor of sociology at Osaka City University, asked 7500 Kyoto citizens “ If you have a child, what will you do if they are from Douwa, Zainichi Korean, Japanese foreigners and impaired people?” In result, the most case that they tell their child to think again was impaired people and the second was Zainichi Korean. How can this happen?

Japanese are tending to be nervous about neighbors and family. And also Japanese have their special “personal space” and they don’t like to get inside of it, especially elder people. In Noguchi’s writing, the percentage of people doesn’t care about their partners situation getting higher that their age get higher. I think this is the biggest reason why it is difficult to marry with Zainichi people in Japan. Most of these things are their assumption and some people say these prejudices are past things. But now I feel things are getting more extreme. Young people have understanding of other countries culture so that they don’t care where ever their partners come from or even they are Zainichis. Either way, I think it is impossible to get away the discrimination of Zainichi in Japan. Even it get better, I think it is too difficult to forget the conflict between Japan and Korea. So we, the young people, have to think more about the relationship between two countries and try to know more about each other.


野口 道彦

by Kyoko Yamada


5 thoughts on “To Marry Zainichi in Japan

  1. Like Kyoko explained, I believe it is difficult for Japanese people to treat Zainichi Korean exactly the same as Japanese. There are mainly two reasons: 1. because Japanese people concern about the black history between Japan and Korea and 2. because Japanese people are not used to relating to people of different nationality. Plus, it is no wonder that Japanese parents feel resistance about their child marrying a Zainich Korean. I feel this is because they are scared to have different type of blood into their family tree.

  2. I like Minami`s statements about the concern about the dark history, and also the family`s fear of the change in the family tree. When I read these I tried to relate it to America and some of the difficulties of interracial marriage. As you know, America has many cultures mixed into one country. BUT, there is still a lot of racism involved just because of someone`s skin tone. I think the best example is relationships between white and black people in America. Parents are definitely against this kind of relationship in America. Of course this isn`t 100% but this is a known concern of most parents in America if their son or daughter is in a relationship with someone of another skin tone even though they are American. I think this is an equivalent to the situation in Japan because there is also a dark history with white and black people in America due to past discrimination.

  3. I agree that the history beween Japan and Korea is related to it, but I think that most of Japanese people often care about what others think about them(世間体), so this is also making us difficult to marry Zainichi. But I think the young generation doesn’t care about what the other think about them so much these days. I don’t know it is a good thing or not, but the young generation don’t know the history so much. So the situation would change in the future.

  4. I know this is an old article but I don’t think younger generation of Koreans or Japanese really care. There are many Japanese who love Korean pop culture.

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