Translation Works
To Japanese
The 4th Selected Works
GERMAN / Bora Bierich published
Originally Published by:
Shinchosha (2002)
  • An innocent coming-of-age novel describing the protagonist's growth and self-discovery through love and identity struggles
A young man of Korean descent, born and brought up in Japan – the story of his ardent love and struggles to overcome discrimination and conflict as he grows up
I was born in Japan to a South Korean mother and a professional boxer father who changed his nationality from North Korean to South Korean. So, I am a South Korean national living in Japan – in other words, I am a foreigner here. Discrimination against foreign residents is rather deep-rooted in Japan, so I received an "ethnic education" in a Korean school during my elementary and middle-school years. But when I declared that I wanted to go to a Japanese school for my high-school education, I was considered a traitor to my ethnicity by the teachers at my Korean school. Then, when I took admission into a private boy's high school in the city, I was advised by my Japanese teachers to hide my ethnic background, and spent most of my time fighting with my Japanese schoolmates, who came picking quarrels with me.
One day, I met a Japanese girl with serious eyes called Sakurai at a friend's birthday party, and fell headlong in love with her. I wondered what her reaction would be if I told her I was a resident Korean...
A large-hearted father, gentle and kind mother, close friends made at ethnic school, and an extremely cute and lovable Japanese girlfriend that he cannot bear to lose – this refreshing coming-of-age novel describes the struggles and spirited romance of the protagonist as he goes on a journey of self-discovery. It also describes the complex circumstances in which Korean residents in Japan are placed.
The author, who calls himself a "Korean Japanese" received the Naoki Prize for this recent full-length debut novel in 2000. A charming masterpiece of "resident Korean" popular fiction.
GENRE: Popular fiction
Awards: 123rd Naoki Prize