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The Making of a Cultural Icon for the Japanese Empire: Choe Seung-hui's U.S. Dance Tours and "New Asian Culture" in the 1930s and 1940s

The Making of a Cultural Icon for the Japanese Empire: Choe Seung-hui's U.S. Dance Tours and "New... The Making of a Cultural Icon for the Japanese Empire: Choe Seung-hui’s U.S. Dance Tours and “New Asian Culture” in the 1930s and 1940s Sang Mi Park The case of Choe Seung-hui (崔承喜; 1911 – 69?) (fig. 1),1 a prominent Korean dancer also known by the Japanese pronunciation of her name, Sai Shki, 2 illuminates an ironic dimension of cultural relations between Korea and Japan within the sphere of the Japanese Empire. Choe choreographed and presented creative works as a colonial female dancer in widespread performances that took place not only in Japan and Korea, but also in the United States (1938 and 1940), Europe (1939), Latin America (1940), and China (1942 – 45). She also served as a judge in the Second International Dance Concourse in Brussels in 1939. Choe’s success presents the question, how did a colonial female become such a prominent figure, and what does this suggest about Korea’s relationship with the Japanese Empire? Answering this helps characterize the ambivalence of modernity as it developed in the relationships between metropolis and colony, culture and politics, positions 14:3 doi 10.1215/10679847-2006-015 Copyright 2006 by Duke University Press positions 14:3 Winter 2006 Figure 1 Choe’s portrait. From Seiki http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png positions asia critique Duke University Press

The Making of a Cultural Icon for the Japanese Empire: Choe Seung-hui's U.S. Dance Tours and "New Asian Culture" in the 1930s and 1940s

positions asia critique , Volume 14 (3) – Dec 1, 2006

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Publisher
Duke University Press
Copyright
© 2006 by Duke University Press
ISSN
1067-9847
eISSN
1067-9847
DOI
10.1215/10679847-2006-015
Publisher site
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Abstract

The Making of a Cultural Icon for the Japanese Empire: Choe Seung-hui’s U.S. Dance Tours and “New Asian Culture” in the 1930s and 1940s Sang Mi Park The case of Choe Seung-hui (崔承喜; 1911 – 69?) (fig. 1),1 a prominent Korean dancer also known by the Japanese pronunciation of her name, Sai Shki, 2 illuminates an ironic dimension of cultural relations between Korea and Japan within the sphere of the Japanese Empire. Choe choreographed and presented creative works as a colonial female dancer in widespread performances that took place not only in Japan and Korea, but also in the United States (1938 and 1940), Europe (1939), Latin America (1940), and China (1942 – 45). She also served as a judge in the Second International Dance Concourse in Brussels in 1939. Choe’s success presents the question, how did a colonial female become such a prominent figure, and what does this suggest about Korea’s relationship with the Japanese Empire? Answering this helps characterize the ambivalence of modernity as it developed in the relationships between metropolis and colony, culture and politics, positions 14:3 doi 10.1215/10679847-2006-015 Copyright 2006 by Duke University Press positions 14:3 Winter 2006 Figure 1 Choe’s portrait. From Seiki

Journal

positions asia critiqueDuke University Press

Published: Dec 1, 2006

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