Culinary Intimacy in Fukazawa Ushio’s The Matchmaker and “When Yi Tongae Eats”

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Since her debut in 2012, Fukazawa Ushio has become a critical voice in the Japanese literary scene, writing about social issues including hate speech against Zainichi Koreans, abuse of migrant workers, gender inequality, and misogyny. One of the significant aesthetic features of her work is the use of food and foodways to explore these issues. This article examines the short story collection The Matchmaker and the five-part food essay “When Yi Tongae Eats,” focusing on their sensorial elaboration of Zainichi Koreans’ experiences of discrimination and desire to belong, sitting both at the intersection of gender and ethnicity. Fukazawa’s sensorial contemplation of the affective values associated with cooking, eating, and drinking, I argue, generates a sense of intimacy among characters and between text and reader that ultimately enables us to expand our understanding of the complexities of Zainichi Korean identity and their place in contemporary Japan.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)509-531
Number of pages23
JournalSeoul Journal of Korean Studies
Issue number2
StatePublished - Dec 2023

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Cultural Studies
  • Archaeology
  • General Arts and Humanities
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Linguistics and Language

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