First Japanese chief researcher named to Seoul’s history institute
Published : 2013-03-19 19:27
Updated : 2013-03-19 19:27
A Japanese historian has been placed in charge of conducting a research study on Korea’s modern history at one of Seoul’s major private history institutes, officials said Tuesday.
Takeshi Fujii was appointed to the manager of the research team at the Seoul-based Institute for Korean Historical Studies earlier this month, becoming the first Japanese to take a senior position at one of the country’s major institutes.
Known as one of South Korea’s four major history research institutes, the organization was established in 1986 with a goal of presenting the right direction of studying history by pushing for major tasks of the time such as clearing away the remnants of the 1910-45 Japanese colonialism.
“I studied modern Korean history of the 1950s back in college, as my interests in the field were sparked while taking part in students’ movements in Japan,” said the 42-year-old historian.
“During its modern times, South Korea not only pursued economic development but sought diverse changes in its political system and social structures, facts that often go unattended,” said Fujii, explaining his fields of interest.
Fujii, who has lived here since 2001, earned a doctorate at Seoul’s Sungkyunkwan University and had worked as a chief researcher at the school’s Center for East Asian History. Last year, he drew media and public attention for his book in Korean titled “Between Fascism and Third Worldism.”
“I don’t think people see me as being different from other Korean researchers just because I come from Japan,” he said. “My primary task is, just as all historians, shedding light on what lies behind historical facts and continuing to ask questions to the people about unsolved problems.” (Yonhap News)