Date: 4 March 2015
Professor Suh Kyungsik is an ethnic Korean born in Japan, a second-generation zainichi Korean. He is an award-winning writer and leading public intellectual in Japan, currently teaching at Tokyo Keizai University. Professor Suh has published numerous essays and political critiques that address a wide variety of subjects, including democracy and human rights in Japan and South Korea, social anxiety in post- Fukushima Japan, Korean diaspora art, language and identity in zainichi Korean literary creations, and memories of the Holocaust. In 1995 Professor Suh won the Japan Essayist Club Prize. In 2000, his My Journey to Primo Levi (1999), a collection of his essays on the Italian Jewish Holocaust survivor, was awarded the Marco Polo Prize by the Istituto Italiano di Cultura in Japan. Many of his works have also been translated and published in South Korea, and his essays frequently appear in the Hankyoreh Newspaper, one of the major liberal newspapers in South Korea.
In 2012 Professor Suh received the Kim Dae Jung Academic Award for Outstanding Achievements and Scholarly Contributions to Democracy, Human Rights and Peace. He is the third recipient of this award outside South Korea, following American scholar Bruce Cumings and Japanese historian Wada Haruki. Professor Suh is currently working on a new project that scrutinizes Japan’s “lost 25 years” and the looming specter of new fascism in contemporary Japan.