Chi Myong-kwan, Who Rapped S. Korea Dictatorship from Japan, Dies at 97

Society Lifestyle

Seoul, Jan. 2 (Jiji Press)--Chi Myong-kwan, who, in a column in a Japanese magazine, accused the suppression by South Korea's regimes including the one led by former President Park Chung-hee during the country's military dictatorship in the 1970s and 1980s, died of a chronic disease on Saturday. He was 97.

In the column, titled "Kankoku kara no Tsushin" (Communication from South Korea), Chi, former professor at South Korea's Hallym University, also wrote about the democratization movement in South Korea at the time. The column, for which Chi used the pen name of "T.K-sei," was part of "Sekai" (World), a monthly magazine from Japanese publisher Iwanami Shoten.

Born in what is now North-Pyongan Province in North Korea in 1924, he studied philosophy of religion at Seoul National University.

After moving to Japan in 1972, Chi introduced the democratization movement that was taking place in South Korea at the time while teaching at Tokyo Woman's Christian University. He returned to South Korea in 1993 and served as, among other roles, South Korea's representative in a Japan-South Korea joint project for research on the history between the two countries, because he was well versed in Japan affairs. Chi also supported South Korea's push to lift its ban on Japanese culture.

The column appeared in the Sekai magazine between 1973 and 1988, boosting interest in prodemocracy movements in many countries other than South Korea.

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