• Part II: Ikuno Festival in Osaka Shows a Way to Coexist

  • First-generation Korean Japanese in Ikuno, Osaka, thought their lives in Japan would be temporary. On the other hand, their sons and daughters accepted Japan as their permanent home and began to voice themselves in Japanese society. The generational shift in the ethnic Koreans’ community brought a change to Ikuno as well, giving birth to the Ikuno National Culture Festival. It was a place where second-and third-generation Korean-Japanese in Ikuno were encouraged to affirm their ethnic identity.

    As time went by, various people mingled together in Ikuno, including Japanese, recently settled Korean newcomers, and “old comers,” referring to Koreans who have lived in Japan since the colonial period. Changing times demanded a new festival.

    People in Ikuno chose a matsuri, a Japanese-style festival, as a means of becoming one mind. They came up with a festival joined by both Korea and Japan in the hopes of promoting unity and the sense of togetherness. This is Ikuno Korea Town Festival.

    The future of Korea-Japan relations can be found in the lives of people here in Ikuno. And the Ikuno Korea Town Festival best exemplifies how both South Korea and Japan could exist in harmony.