The Dual Career of “Arirang”: The Korean Resistance Anthem That Became a Japanese Pop Hit

  title={The Dual Career of “Arirang”: The Korean Resistance Anthem That Became a Japanese Pop Hit},
  author={E. Taylor Atkins},
  journal={The Journal of Asian Studies},
  pages={645 - 687}
  • E. T. Atkins
  • Published 1 August 2007
  • Art
  • The Journal of Asian Studies
“Arirang” is known worldwide as the quintessential Korean folk song. Its iconic status in contemporary Korea derives from its perceived role in strengthening Korean resolve to resist the cultural violence of the Japanese colonial occupation (1905–45). A musical “skeleton” capable of countless improvised variations and interpretations, some “Arirangs” explicitly assailed the Japanese and thus were censored by colonial authorities. However, in the 1930s and 1940s, precisely the time when… 
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