Center for Japanese Studies Seminar - talk by Dr. Pat Steinhoff, Sociology Dep

March 9, 12:00pm - 1:30pm
Mānoa Campus, Moore Hall 319 (Tokioka Room), 1890 East-West Rd.

Dr. Patricia Steinhoff is a professor and chair of the UH Mānoa Department of Sociology. The title of her presentation is “Destiny: The Secret Operations of the Yodogō Exiles.”

In 1970, nine members of a Japanese New Left group called the Red Army Faction hijacked a domestic airliner to North Korea with dreams of acquiring the military training to bring about a revolution in Japan. The North Korean government accepted the hijackers—who became known in the media as the Yodogō group—and two years later they announced their conversion to juche, North Korea’s new political ideology.

An example of superb investigative journalism, Destiny: The Secret Operations of the Yodo-gō Exiles offers Kōji Takazawa’s powerful story of how he exposed the Yodogō group’s involvement in the kidnapping and luring of several young Japanese to North Korea, as well as the truth behind their Japanese wives’ presence in the country.

Takazawa's careful research was validated in 2002, when the North Korean government publicly acknowledged it had kidnapped 13 Japanese citizens during the 1970s and 1980s, including three people whom Takazawa had connected to the Yodogō hijackers.

Embedded in his pursuit toward what truly happened to the Yodogō members is Takazawa’s personal reflection of the 1970s, a decade when radical student activism swept Japan, and what it meant to those whose lives were forever changed.

This talk will trace the story of the Yodogō exiles to North Korea, Kōji Takazawa’s involvement in their story and his work of investigative journalism, and how Professor Stienhoff came to edit the English translation of his book.

This presentation is co-sponsored by the Department of Sociology.

Event Sponsor
Center for Japanese Studies and Dept. of Sociology, Mānoa Campus

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