Lost Names is an extremely interesting novel written by author Richard Kim. Kim was born in Hamheung, North Korea and after serving in the Korea Marines and Army he left the country in 1955 coming to the US and attending universities until 1963. The book Lost Names is a somewhat of a historical and fictional account of the Japanese occupation of Korea between 1932 and 1945. The book follows the story of an “unknown boy” and his family as he develops into a thirteen-year-old. The boy’s life in the book is thought almost without a doubt to be based on Richard Kim’s life as a child in Korea.
Regardless of what everyone believes about this boy’s life in Korea, even Kim says that he did draw from the time he spent in Korea but it is not really based solely off of himself.One big thing that the book focuses on was the way that the Japanese occupation of Korea forced the people of Korea to change.
As the war started to progress and time went on the Japanese rulers became more and more strict with their oppressive laws. Although this is a standard way of Japanese rule and occupation, it did a lot of damage to the culture of Korea. This is where the name of the book, Lost Names comes from, because the Japanese rulers literally made the Korean people lose their traditional Korean names and adopt new Japanese names. Other examples of the oppressive Japanese rule in the book were small things such as having to fly a Japanese flag or not wearing traditional Korean clothing.
An example of this comes from when the mother in the story was not allowed to wear her traditional Korean attire. The laws also stretched to language. All the citizens had to learn and speak Japanese. One example comes from the schools, that were taken over and run by the Japanese Military. If the children spoke Korean in school, they were swiftly punished. The laws also covered religion. Even though the man was Christian he was not allowed to go to church. They all h…