[KS] historical uses of the Korean term YO^BO

Richardson richardson at dprkstudies.org
Sun Aug 9 22:23:39 EDT 2009


I'm also interested in the use of "yobo" as a derogatory term for 
Koreans as used by Japanese.  Currently reading "The Clan Records: Five 
Stories of Korea" by Kajiyama Toshiyuki, I very recently ran across the 
term in two of three chapters read so far.  Up to now I'd thought 
perhaps the author had misremembered some phrase, but it seems not. From 
page 12 of the book;

    Despite the slogan "Japan and Korea Unified," the Japaneses scorned
    the Koreans.  Even Japanese children showed contempt, using
    expressions like /yobo/, which Koreans deeply resented.  A Koran
    word, /yobo/ originally meant "hello," but in the mouths of Japanese
    ti implied "you slave."


Todd Henry wrote:
> Dear all:
> I am currently completing an article on colonial racialization with a 
> focus on how Japanese settlers and journalists appropriated the native 
> term "yo^bo" to derogatorily refer to colonized Koreans, particularly 
> lower class laborers.  I am also analyzing Korean critiques to this 
> racialized usage of "yo^bo," but am not completely satisfied with the 
> explanations they (the Korean critics) give as to the social etymology 
> of this term.
> I would, therefore, be interested in any scholarship (or other 
> information) that deals with how this term was used during the late 
> Cho^son period and into the colonial period.  It would also interest 
> me to hear more about post-liberation/colonial uses of "yo^bo" and if 
> they had anything to do with the sort of derogatory usages I have been 
> investigating from the colonial period.
> Thanks in advance for your guidance and help.
> Todd A. Henry
> Korea Foundation Postdoctoral Fellow (2008-9)
> Korea Institute, Harvard University
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