Japan through Korean Eyes - the Role of the Press: Opinion Polls and Political Caricatures

 

Dr. Guy Podoler, Assistant Professor at the Department
of Asian Studies, University of Haifa, Israel

 

Japan through Korean Eyes - the Role of the Press:
Opinion Polls and Political Caricatures

 

Dieser Vortrag wurde von Prof. Dr. Hijiya-Kirschnereit und Prof. Dr. Blechinger-Talcott von der Japanologie in Kooperation mit Dr. Holmer Brochlos von den Koreastudien durchgeführt.

 

This research draws from Susan J. Pharr’s model of “the media as trickster” (1996). My aim is to explain how this model, which Pharr has employed on the Japanese case, can be helpful in understanding the role that the press plays in both projecting and affecting the way South Koreans view Japan.

Accordingly, a 2005 opinion poll conducted in South Korea to explore attitudes toward Japan showed, that 44.1% chose the press and broadcasting media as the most influential agent shaping their historical perspective. The second most influential agent was school education, which was chosen by (only) 31.8% of the responders. This data is meaningful not only as an indication of the powerful effect of the press, but also, I argue, as having further influence by the simple fact of being published by the press.

Seen in this light, my talk will focus on what I view as two significant means of reflecting and shaping public opinion in the press, i.e. opinion polls and political caricatures. In order to present a fuller picture of the press’s role as trickster in this regard, I will also demonstrate how it corresponds with images of Japan created through other familiar agents in South Korea.

 

Zur Person:

Dr. Podoler is a Lecturer (Assistant Professor) at the Department of Asian Studies at the University of Haifa, Israel, where he teaches courses on Korean and Japanese history and politics. His main area of research involves establishing the connections between history, memory, and identity in South Korea, especially with reference to the colonial past.