This article examines the presence of Korean housemaids who worked for Japanese settlers in colonial Korea, 1910–45, and its connection to the urban landscape in the colony. It provides a historical investigation of the Korean housemaids who emerged among female workers in the urban sector and analyzes the diverse representational strategies of Korean housemaids by different gazers in mass media and literary works produced in the colonial and postcolonial period. In particular, it deals with the issue of colonial intimacy, focusing on the colonial encounter that includes the dynamic operation of affective politics between Korean housemaids and Japanese expatriates in the domestic arena. This article argues that the hybridized images of the Korean housemaids in Japanese families not only poses one specific form of the gendered subaltern whose voices were fragmented and refracted but also marks the colonial landscape in Korea as the contested terrain of revealing fractures in the dichotomous colonial narratives and the intertwined frames of race/ethnicity, class, and gender.

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