What is it about?

Korea and Japan are geographically close but emotionally distant neighbors. ‘The Burden of the Past’ by Kan Kimura provides some insight into this specific question by reexamining the dispute over historical perceptions between Korea and Japan.

Featured Image

Why is it important?

One important point Kimura makes in his book is that the controversies of history reflect the challenges of today, not of the past. He further contends, “for an issue of historical perception to become a dispute it first needs to be discovered and invested with value” (p.55). Therefore, one should examine the present situation in order to understand the motives behind the escalation of disputes over historical perceptions.


Problems of historical perception in Korea-Japan relations are not an easy task to resolve. However, we must faithfully try to deliver historical truth.

Hyup Choi
Chonnam National University

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Kimura, Kan; trans. Marie Speed; foreword by Gi‐Wook Shin. The burden of the past: problems of historical perception in Japan‐Korea relations. xiv, 249 pp., tables, illus., bibliogr. Ann Arbor: Univ. of Michigan Press, 2019. £25.50 (paper), Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute, August 2021, Wiley,
DOI: 10.1111/1467-9655.13570.
You can read the full text:



The following have contributed to this page