This article is an attempt to identify who's who and the whereabouts of Japanese political studies in South Korea. Previous studies suggest that South Korea made a delayed start in Japanese studies because of submerged anti-Japanese feeling among the general public, and that linguistic and humanistic studies were prevalent while social scientific studies lagged behind. The second generation scholars, who actively published their academic works on Japan between the late 1970s and the early 1990s, contributed to the development of objective, social scientific understanding of Japan. Their research interests included scrutinizing modern Japan, studying Korea-Japan relations, and analyzing Japanese foreign policy. The third generation scholars, which this article focuses on, have a few common characteristics: they began Japanese studies when Japan was rising; most of them were trained in Japan or the United States; most of them are fluent in Japanese; and they are publishing actively in major academic journals. The research interests of the third generation are categorized into four: (1) widening the research horizon; (2) inheriting the tradition of the previous generation; (3) synchronizing research agendas with the foreign scholarly community; and (4) opening up a new research horizon. After making a comprehensive content analysis of the works undertaken by third generation scholars, three major challenges are suggested for the upcoming generation of Japanese studies in South Korea: (1) globalizing the scholarly works with more theoretical analysis; (2) developing a uniquely Korean perspective about Japan; and (3) undertaking a systematic collaborative study with foreign scholars
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DOI 10.1017/s1468109910000137
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