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Youth for NationCulture and Protest in Cold War South Korea$
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Charles R. Kim

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780824855949

Published to Hawaii Scholarship Online: January 2018

DOI: 10.21313/hawaii/9780824855949.001.0001

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The Student Vanguard

The Student Vanguard

(p.75) Chapter Three The Student Vanguard
Youth for Nation

Charles R. Kim

University of Hawai'i Press

The student vanguard was to serve as the core protagonist of postcolonial nation building. Prevalent in the 1950s, this premise was built upon ideologized memories of anticolonial resistance that provided a model for patriotic everyday action among postwar youths. This chapter starts by examining the ways in which middle school and high school textbooks called upon students to lead the process of postcolonial nation building by enacting the “spirit” of the March First Independence Movement (1919) and other extraordinary outbursts of anticolonial resistance. It then turns to Yu Gwan-sun (Ryu Kwansun, 1959)and Nameless Stars (Irŭm ŏmnŭn pyŏl tŭl, 1959), two historical films that put forth evocative representations of youth-driven independence activism. Like schoolbooks, these works and other contemporary historical films were designed to promote patriotic dispositions among postwar youths. The burgeoning of ideology and discourse on the student vanguard constituted a crucial condition of possibility for April 19th.

Keywords:   anticolonial, commemoration, education, historical film, ideology, invented tradition, March First Movement, memory, nationalism, postcolonial

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