This database (DB) systematically organizes verbal resources, photographs, and video resources about traditional and newly conducted life culture that is conserved and transmitted or created within Koryoin(Koryo-saram) communities in Central Asia. The year of 2017 was the 80th year from the deportation of Koryoin from far eastern Russia to Central Asia. In the 1930s the USSR government enforced deportation policies to have ethnic groups that might become social threats move to Central Asia and other periphery regions. Koreans who had moved to far eastern Russia from the northern part of the Korean Peninsula in the 19th century were suspected to have relations to Japanese; and thus, they were deported to Central Asia in 1937. Since they were suspected as ‘Japanese spies,’ Koryoin could not strongly present their Korean identity in public during the new process of settlement in Central Asia. Besides, the central government enforced assimilation policy to create the Soviet human type, and as a result, it was extremely difficult to maintain traditional life culture and ethnic identities. Despite such conditions, Koryoin have conserved their ancestors’ culture carried with them from far eastern Russia quite well. Koryoin transmitted, carried on and educated their traditional life culture-including agriculture, attire, food, architecture and living space, the subdivision of the seasons, language, and identity-originated from the Korean Peninsula and conserved in far eastern Russia. As a result, about 300 thousand Koryoin have maintained their authentic identity while harmonizing well with other ethnic groups. This database, which is the outcome of the research on traditional and newly conducted life culture that is conserved and transmitted or created by Koryoin in Central Asia, systematized verbal resources, photographs, and video resources. Thus, this database explains what the traditional life culture was like and what have been discontinued during the USSR period, what changes in traditional life culture were made after the dissolution of the USSR, and what parts of life culture were newly added. Eventually, these research resources are beneficial for researches on not only Koryeoin themselves but also Korean descendants abroad and Koreans who live in the Korean Peninsula to understand themselves.

Expect Effect / Research Utilization

The database on Koryoin(Koryo-saram) in Central Asia would be used as following 1) Academic Use The database (DB) on traditional life culture of Koryoin in Central Asia provides fundamental resources in diverse disciplines. Moreover, our resources would be effectively utilized for comparative studies on Korean diasporas, for example, diasporas in the United States of America, Japan, China, and Russia. Not only comparative studies among Korean diasporas in foreign territories but comparisons between conserved and continued Korean traditional culture in Central Asia and Korean society are possible through the resources in this DB. 2) Social Outreach and Social Use Our resources, showing endeavors that Koryoin have made to maintain their ethnic identity and the process to conserve and transmit their traditional culture, would increase social comprehension on the archetype of traditional culture on the Korean Peninsula. In addition, by discovering popular aspects of Korean traditional culture amongst non-Koryoin Central Asians, we also expect the use of our resources for reconsideration of possibilities and methodological studies on Korean waves. Lastly, we believe our resources will be beneficial in the field of public affairs. By showing life experiences and conservation of traditional culture since the deportation by Koryoin in Central Asia, who went through the economic collapse and cultural differences, we expect to make better understandings and policies on Korean descendants overseas and foreigners who currently live in Korea. 3) Cultivation of Scholarly Human Resources Resources gathered by our team would be useful for young scholars in and outside of Korea to pioneer and develop a new scope of study. 4) Educational Use By allowing the access to it, the systematically organized database will be practically used as educational contents in various fields of the academic society. Our resources are suggested to be developed as educational comic books, animation films, and documentary films to be used as educational contents in lectures on traditional life culture of Koryeoin in Central Asia.

Project Name : Basic Research Support for Foundational Human/Social Science Researches
Research Title : Database Establishment and Book Series Publishing on the Traditional Life and Culture of Koreans in Central Asia(Koryo-saram) by Local Resources [ KRM Task Information ]
Chief of Research :
Research Period : 3 Years (SEPTEMBER 01, 2014 - AUGUST 31, 2017)