This article investigates the Chongryon (a pro-North Korean organisation in Japan) English as a foreign language (EFL) textbooks published for Japanese-speaking ethnic Koreans between 1968 and 1974 by using critical discourse analysis (CDA). The Chongryon established Korean ethnic schools, known as Joseonhakgyo, in Japan using educational grants from North Korea. The study’s findings show that a significant proportion of the textbooks were influenced by North Korean ideology. The textbooks encouraged students to identify themselves as North Koreans, to perceive North Korea as their homeland, to admire Kim Il Sung as their real leader, and to live harmoniously as a unified single community in Japan. The textbooks promoted the belief that South Koreans “suffering” under the US occupation could be liberated by Kim Il Sung, who was described as a saviour for all Koreans. Such findings demonstrate that Joseonhakgyo EFL education was employed as a tool to lead Chongryon students to follow North Korea’s rule and Chongryon ideology. This implies that today’s Chongryon community has had a complex history with North Korea, and demonstrates the scope of change that has occurred within the organisation’s education and social system.
Min Hye Cho, Dong Bae Lee
The Review of Korean Studies