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Regarding identity, there are two main ways of thinking which is either assimilation or separation. Zainichi Koreans can now easily become naturalized if they wish to do so. Becoming naturalized would mean assimilation while staying as who they are would mean keeping their ethnic pride. Assimilation, in other words “blending in” to the Japanese society for the Zainichi Koreans could be taken in as either adaptation or disloyalty. “Desire for assimilation among Japan-Residing Koreans is based on the perceptions about the embeddedness of their lives within Japanese society” (Matsunaga, Torigoe, 2008, p.356). On the other hand, separation from the Japanese society gives an emphasis on their ethnic identity to maintain their pure and unique Koreanness. This is why even though the government insists that the Zainichi Koreans can become Japanese nationals where every year 7000 people do become naturalized, many still wish to retain their Korean identity (Brasor, 2016, p.2). Those who have an ethnic pride on being Korean, tend to be capable of speaking the Korean language. By having the ability of speaking Korean gives them another choice to go back to Korea and start another life there. However, as in the case of most Zainichi Koreans, especially among the second and third generation, Korean appears to them as a foreign language and Japanese as their mother tongue. This is why living in Japan is their only option for Japanese monolinguals like them (Matsunaga, Torigoe, 2008, p.361).
Using Japanese or Korean names also has a great impact on a Zainichi Korean person’s identity. Just by the looks, it is very hard to distinguish Zainichi Koreans from ordinary Japanese people. One of the only ways to determine whether or not they are Zainichi, is by their names. From after the World War 2, many Koreans that were residents of Japan continued to use Japanese names as they did not want to stand out in the Japanese society and face discrimination as it is said that “Keeping harmony, a Japanese core value, means not standing out and not being different, which have pressured those minority groups including Zainichi Koreans not to be inharmonious” (Aoki, 2012, p.378). By using Japanese names Zainichi Koreans can hide their identity. Even according to a poll in 2001, “only 13.5 percent of the South Korean citizens are said to use their Korean names” (Hays, 2009, p.3). When it comes to names, there are three categories: a Korean name pronounced in a Korean way, a Korean name said in a Japanese way, and a Japanese name (Aoki, 2012, p.383). Depending on the usage of names, they could either hide their identity or reveal their true identity. 
Most Zainichi Koreans now attend Japanese schools, however some parents send their children to go to a Korean school so that they could learn the culture and the language. The students there have different thoughts about Korea. Chong Soni, a zainichi Korean student says that “many people in the Korean community in Japan ‘feel’ more North Korean” (Mealey, 2017, p.2). The Zainichi Koreans are mostly from the southern part of the Korean peninsula but could feel “the sense of connection to North Korea thanks to the North Korean government’s ongoing support of Korean schools in Japan” (Sprague, 2017, p.1). Another Zainichi, Oh, who was a student in a Korean school says “I basically believe there is no North or South. We are one ethnic people” (The Straits Times, 2017, p.2). Even though Korean schools give them an opportunity to encounter the Korean culture, most Korean schools face discrimination as they are not even recognized as regular schools. It is said that “donations to foreign schools are tax-exempt, but not those to Korean schools and children attending these schools will risk also discrimination in employment” (Minority Rights Group, p.2). Whenever there are news about North Korea, Korean schools would get threatened by calls saying that they would kill the students. Korean schools also had to change rules where female students could no longer wear ethnic school uniform outside of the school. Even though the Korean schools undergo a lot of struggles, Ko, 44 quotes that “If the school disappears, the torch of ethnic education that our parents and grandparents have held dearly would be put out. We must protect it, come what may” (Lee, 2015, p.3).
Discrimination against Zainichi Koreans in the mid 1960s were so harsh that it was difficult for Koreans to get employed in a Japanese company. This is why many Koreans had no choice but to get ‘lower-class jobs’. “The lack of normal employment opportunities led many Koreans to criminal or illegal activities such as black-market activities, narcotics manufacturing and distribution, illicit brewing, smuggling, etc” (Kim, 2008, p.879). Even now, Zainichi Koreans face difficulties when looking for jobs in Japan. Chung Hyang Gyun, who was born in Japan by a Japanese woman and a South Korean man “could not take the test to become a supervisor at a public health center because she was a foreigner” (Onishi, 2005, p.1).
Gender also plays a role as according to Jung (2003), the Zainic

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