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ISSN : 2384-0668(Print)
ISSN : 2384-0692(Online)
S/N Korean Humanities Vol.3 No.2 pp.13-30

Review of Research on Kim Hak-Ch’ŏl, A Cultural Warrior Embodying the Entire East Asia

Jin Jingying ・ Jin Huxiong
Yanbian University


Kim Hak-Ch’ŏl (1916-2001) was the “last squad commander” of the Korean Volunteer Army as well as being the main intellect within the community of ethnic Koreans in China (Chosŏnchok) and a master in the world of Korean-Chinese literature. He lived one half of his life as a hero and the other half as a ‘traitor”, so research into his work could not help but go through tumultuous times. After liberation, some critics became interested in Kim’s novels that dealt with the life and experience as a member of the Korean Volunteer Army, however, after he moved to North Korea thus rendering his works inaccessible, research on his work could not take place. However, his writing activities when in Beijing and Yanbian garnered attention from critics and he was noted for his uniqueness. But as a result of the Anti-Rightist Movement in 1957, he ended up living a hellish life for the next 24 years. Research on his work was revived only after reforms were introduced and the writer started to gain attention also in South Korea and Japan. In this article, we will review existing research that had been performed on his life and literature in Korea, Japan and China, and propose some areas that need to be researched further in the future.