* Date : 2015-09-02
Korean Independence 70th Anniversary Special : part 1
Korean Diaspora's Dining Table in Japan
Japan, a country that feels so close yet so far from Korea. It is also where Korean ancestors' painful history lives on. Korea's kimchi used to be looked down upon in Japan for its garlic smell. Now, 70 years after Korea's liberation, more and more Japanese people are beginning to fall in love with kimchi.
Various foods created by the Korean diaspora originated from Utoro and Ikuno-ku Koreatown. Utoro is where the 1st generation Korean Japanese settled and Ikuno-ku Koreatown is where forced Korean laborers lived during and after the construction of the Hirano Canal.
Korean Japanese took beef and pork offal Japanese didn't eat and created horumonyaki. It was hunger that led to the creation of this dish, but it eventually became one of the most popular dishes in Japan.
Another dish created by Korean Japanese, yakiniku, is even considered one of the 3 main dine out menus in Japan along with sushi and ramen. Korea's kimchi is also popular in Japan for its rich flavor and healthy nutrients.
Arirang Prime reviews the dining table of the first generation Korean Japanese, Korean dishes that stepped outside into the world, and the miracles they made.
▶4th generation Korean Japanese, food planner Yoo-hyang
She lives by two names, Yuka and Yoo-hyang, but she is Korean. She works as a food planner who fuses the fare of Japan, Italy, and France with Korea's cooking style. She traces back the steps of the Korean diaspora and searches for the vestiges of the miracle it made in Japan.
▶Utoro's dining table
Utoro, Isedacho, Uji-shi, Kyoto-fu 51. This is where 1,300 Koreans were forced into labor in 1941 for the purpose of building a military airfield. The forced labor continued for 4 years until the end of WWII in 1945 aborted the construction as well. The Korean laborers' campsite was in Utoro. Even now, from the 1st generation to the 4th generation, there are many Korean-Japanese residents in Utoro. One of them is Um Yeong-bu, a 2nd generation Korean Japanese.
Even though these Korean Japanese were born and raised in Japan, they lived the life of strangers in a foreign land. Their meals are not different from Korean families', with kimchi, spinach, buchujeon (chive pancake), and samgyeopsal. They are everyday foods, yet in Japan, they were unusual dishes. However, the Korean Japanese continued on their tradition with pride. This was possible because of a Korean grocery truck that visited Utoro once a week. The grocery truck and Utoro residents' meals reflect their joys and sorrows of being strangers in a foreign land.
▶From a waste to a delicacy, horumonyaki
On a shabby backstreet of Osaka, a small food stall opened in 1953. Its menu was horumonyaki. At the time, Japanese people didn't eat beef or pork offals and threw them out. Koreans gathered them, seasoned them with chili powder and soy sauce, and grilled them over braziers. It was a good dish that could fill the hungry stomachs and provide nutrients. Koreans then began opening horumonyaki restaurants. Japanese people mocked them for picking up Japanese people's wasted food and eating them. However, the dish is popular all over Japan now. Arirang Prime searches for the origin of horumonyaki, the dish that sustained Korean Japanese people.
▶Yakiniku, Japan's version of neobiani (grilled sliced beef)
Dotonbori, Osaka's most popular area, is also known as the "kitchen of the world." Here is also one of Japan's 3 main dine out menus along with sushi and ramen. It is yakiniku, a grilled beef dish. Yakiniku originated from Joseon Dynasty's neobiani, grilled sliced beef in seasoning. In Japan, yakiniku is dipped in a sauce called "tare." Yakiniku is so popular in Japan that there's even an association for it. Arirang Prime reviews yakiniku's history.
▶Do you know what gireumtteok is?
Osaka's Koreatown, Ikuno-ku. This Koreatown formed because of Hirano Canal nearby. Countless Koreans crossed the Korean Strait to construct the canal in Japan. After the canal was completed, Koreans stayed behind in Ikuno-ku and began opening their stores. It was the beginning of the 1st generation Korean Japanese people's hardships. From omegitteok to gireumtteok, all they could make was Jejudo Island's food. Gireumtteok is a rice cake molded into a flower shape, fried in sesame oil, then sprinkled with sugar. This sweet gireumtteok was Korean Japanese people's only comfort in Japan. Arirang Prime listens to the story behind their rice cake.
In Japan, the history of kimchi is like a drama. At first, kimchi was frowned upon for its strong smell of garlic. Then one of the 1st generation Korean Japanese grandmother opened a kimchi store for Korean customers. She made a living with the store and her family eventually grew to be about 100 members over 4 generations. She doesn't make sweet kimchi that Japanese people like. Her kimchi is fermented over a long period of time, just like Jejudo kimchi. Kimchi in Koreatown evolved over time, and now, there is even patented kimchi, such as tomato kimch, green plum kimchi, and lotus root kimchi.
Arirang prime retells the story of Korean kimchi's dramatic history in Japan and how Japanese people fell in love with it.
▶A special meal for a memorial service
Second generation Korean American Hong Sun-ja has been holding memorial services for over 30 years. She makes a special meal for her father-in-law's memorial service. In Jejudo, memorial services are also considered a large family gathering. With her Japanese daughter-in-law, Hong Sun-ja prepares the meal with all her heart. In celebration of the 70th anniversary of Korean liberation, Arirang Prime reviews Korean foods' amazing changes and miracles the Korean diaspora made.