• ISSN: 2010-3646
    • Abbreviated Title: Int. J. Social. Scienc. Humanit.
    • Frequency: Bimonthly (2011-2014); Monthly (2015-2018); Quarterly (Since 2019)
    • DOI: 10.18178/IJSSH
    • Editor-in-Chief: Prof. Paul Sudnik
    • Executive Editor: Mr. Ron C. Wu
    • Abstracting/ Indexing: Google Scholar, Index Copernicus, Crossref, Electronic Journals Library
    • E-mail: ijssh@ejournal.net
IJSSH 2020 Vol.10(4): 119-126 ISSN: 2010-3646
doi: 10.18178/ijssh.2020.V10.1026

Other Spaces: Exploring Kyushu as ‘Heterotopia for Humanity’ in Japan’s Korean War

Chungsun Lee
Abstract—In commemoration of the 70th year since the Korean War (1950-1953)’s outbreak, this research explores the values and connotations of Kyushu as heterotopia, meaning “other spaces” in Japan’s Korean War. In analyzing the theoretical principles of heterotopia elaborated by Michel Foucault, this paper presents a case study of the American Registration Graves Service (AGRS) in Kokura. Previously located in Kitakyushu, Central Identification Unit (CIU) in the AGRS served as a hub for identifying the United Nations (UN) fallen soldiers of the War. Examining the identification process taken at the CIU, I investigate the possibility of interpreting Kyushu as a heterotopia based on Foucault’s theory. The study implemented qualitative research methods in three countries: (1) a careful literature review by the physical anthropologists of the University of Tokyo in Japan, (2) the interview with the former staff of the United Nations Memorial Cemetery in Korea (UNMCK), and (3) the archival research at United Nations Archives and Records Management Section (United Nations Archives) in the US. The paper demonstrates that the identification process was a massive humanitarian project which has been undisclosed for almost 70 years. Based on the first and foremost findings, the research highlights that Kyushu can be conceptualized as a unique heterotopia, regulating access with a system of opening and closing through the identification of the War dead. This research thus provides a theoretical and practical contribution to the interdisciplinary forum of social science and humanities, expanding horizons of illuminating multilayered values of Kyushu as “Heterotopia for Humanity.

Index Terms—American registration graves service (AGRS), central identification unit (CIU), national archives and records administration (NARA), united nations memorial cemetery in korea (UNMCK).

Chungsun Lee is with the University of Tokyo, Japan (e-mail: jteen0311@gmail.com).


Cite: Chungsun Lee, "Other Spaces: Exploring Kyushu as ‘Heterotopia for Humanity’ in Japan’s Korean War," International Journal of Social Science and Humanity vol. 10, no. 4, pp. 119-126, 2020.

Copyright © 2020 by the authors. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

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