Kang Deok-sang, former professor of Hitotsubashi University (photo) and a Korean-Japanese nationalist historian who disclosed the truth about the massacre of Koreans by Japanese military police during the 1923 Great Kanto earthquake, died of old age on Saturday inn Tokyo. He was 89.
Professor Kang argued that “the massacre of Koreans right after the Kanto earthquake was a heinous crime committed by the country as well as citizens” based on secret documents, memoirs of high-ranking officials and testimonies of military police and citizens that he had collected since the 1960s.
He has written more than 30 journals, starting from the “Great Kanto Earthquake and Koreans” sourcebook in 1964. It is assessed that this book created the impetus for the massacre to be included in the textbook in the 1990s.
He also studied Korea’s modern history including Yeo Woon-hyeong and the March 1st movement. He picked Lee Dong-hui, Hong Beom-do, An Chang-ho and Yeo Woon-hyeong as the most cited persons in Japan’s independent movement documents and published a critical biography of Yeo Woon-hyeong in 2002.
He was born in Hamyang, South Gyeongsang Province in 1932 and moved to Tokyo two years later. He had gotten his bachelor’s and master’s degree in history at Waseda University and a doctoral degree in oriental history at Meiji University. He garnered attention as the first Korean Japanese professor at a national university when he was appointed as a professor of sociology at Hitotsubashi University in 1989. He took office as the first head of the History Museum of J-Koreans in 2005 and held the “comfort women exhibition” in 2014.