Friday, February 23, 2007

Korea-Japan Relation Saga, Part III – WWII

See other posts in this series: Part I Part II Part IV Part V

This post is a particularly difficult for the Korean to write because, after all, he received a good amount of education in Korea, especially when he was young and impressionable. It is difficult for the Korean to be objective, but he will try his best.

We are still dealing with the question as to why Koreans hate Japanese so much. If you only read one post out of this series, the Korean recommends this one. Although there is plenty of bad blood that goes back thousands of years (as the Korean illustrated in earlier posts,) the old bad blood only comes back because the modern relation between the two countries was so incredibly bad.

First, some historical background. By early 20th century, Japan was emerging as a world-scale superpower both in terms of its economy and military strength. Its status was simply unrivaled in East and Southeast Asia, which produced no other nation that measured up to Japan. Subsequently, Japan began colonizing Korea and China. Korea was annexed to Japan in 1910, and was not liberated until 1945 after Japan had lost World War II.

It is important to realize that the nature of Japan’s 36 year rule of Korea was brutal and exploitative, in a way that was fundamentally different from most European colonization. European countries colonized areas that were not exactly “nations” in a modern sense, like India and sub-Saharan Africa. In India, for example, there was no shared sense of nationhood between Bengalis in the north and Tamils in the south. (In fact, they don’t even speak the same language, and to this day must use English to communicate.)

On the other hand, Korea had a very strong sense of nationhood that lasted for thousands of years; furthermore, Korea had despised its island neighbor for its lack of cultural achievements. Japan’s rule over Korea was therefore completely unacceptable to Koreans everywhere, and Koreans rebelled in a scale that was incomparable to any other colonized regions in the world. In reaction, in order to maintain its colony, the Japanese colonial government was constantly on surveillance, and its brutality escalated over the period of colonization, peaking at the end of World War II.

When one (especially a Western one) hears the words “Atrocities of World War II”, the first response would always be “Holocaust.” And there is no doubt that it is a good answer. On the other hand, such a focus on Holocaust tends to blind us from other atrocities of World War II. And it is a historical fact that many of those atrocities were committed by Japan, upon Korea and China. This is not to diminish the horror of Holocaust. There certainly has not been any mass murder that was as wide-scale, efficient, and systematic (and therefore horrific) as Holocaust. The atrocities committed by Japan are smaller in scale (because they didn’t quite kill 10 million people) and less systematic (because some of them essentially involved soldiers running amok while the government didn’t do anything, e.g. the Rape of Nanking, whereas the Holocaust was actively organized by the government.) But the Korean believes that the Japanese atrocities are at least as depraved as the Holocaust, if not more. It’s like trying to compare Timothy McVeigh and Charles Manson. McVeigh killed a lot more people after a lot more preparation, but Manson tortured his victims.

Here is the list of atrocities committed by Japan to Korea. They are organized by the Korean’s subjective ordering of least depraved to most depraved. Read on, and see if you agree with what the Korean said so far. For the things for which Wikipedia has an entry, the Korean provided a link. That does not mean that the Korean thinks the Wikipedia entries are entirely correct; they are there just for the sake of reference.

Various Cultural Affronts – the biggest thing under this category would be Japan’s attempt to change Korean names into Japanese style names, known as Chang-ssi-gae-myeong. As the Korean explained before, family name is extremely important to Koreans, and forcing to change them is an intolerable insult. Japan also stole innumerable treasures from Korea, such as porcelain products, paintings, old books, and so on.

Another affront was more subtle. The Japanese colonial government turned the main palace of the Korean Emperor into a zoo. Many palace buildings were torn down – the most notable is Gyeong-bok-gung, half of which was torn down to make way for the colonial government building. Still another is borderline hokey. The colonial government drove in hundreds of steel shafts into major mountain peaks in Korea, under the belief that doing so will cripple the spirit of the land. The shafts were still being dug out in Korea to this day.

Murder of Empress Myeong-Seong – Empress Myeong-seong was a strong-minded wife of Emperor Go-jong. She was a shrewd politician and a diplomat, who often tried to use other superpowers (mostly Russia) in the region to check the rising influence of Japan upon Korea. A Japanese lieutenant general (with or without the backing of the Japanese government is unclear) commissioned what is essentially a band of Japanese thugs to enter the imperial palace in broad daylight and stabbed the Empress to death. Her body was carried away into a corner of the palace and burned by the same band. This historical fact was recently recreated in a musical “Last Empress”, which played in the U.S. in 1998. Read the Wikipedia article here. (Scroll down to “Eul-mi Incident.”)

Kanto Massacre – in 1923, there was a massive earthquake in Kanto, Japan, which killed more than 50,000 people. In the aftermath of the earthquake, the Japanese government declared martial law, and issued a special advisory that Koreans were conspiring to commit murder, rape, arson, and poisoning the wells. This created a mob riot and massacring of Koreans living in Japan. Up to 6,000 Koreans are believed to have been killed. Read the Wikipedia article here. (Scroll down to “post quake violence”.)

Forced Labor – As World War II intensified, Japanese government drafted Korean men for its war efforts. The number ranges anywhere between 300,000 to 1 million. They were mostly put in hard labor, usually in mines or factories. Quite a few of them (estimates range from 20,000 to 200,000) were killed or injured in mines or factories with substandard (to put it nicely) labor conditions.

Torture and Massacre – Japanese colonial government liberally tortured those who were arrested on the suspicion of independence movement for Korea. The most well-documented case is that of Yoo, Guan-soon, who was a 19-year-old student of Ewha School when she played a key role in organizing the March 1st Movement, the largest mass-protest against the Japanese rule in 1919. Yoo was arrested and died in prison; her teachers at Ewha were able to retrieve her body because Ewha was established by Americans and Principal James Fry of Ewha threatened diplomatic actions if the body was not returned. The returned body of Yoo was in six pieces; her scalp was missing; her nose and ears had been cut off, and all of her finger and toenails were plucked off.

Brutal suppression of independence movement was not limited to individuals. In response to the March 1st Movement, in April 5th, 1919, Japanese military police marched into a village of Je-am-li, a village known for its Christian-based independence movement. The police rounded up roughly 30 Christians in the village into the town church, locked the doors and set the building on fire. 22 died trapped in the building, and 8 were shot outside of the church as they tried to escape.

Comfort Women – As World War II raged on, the Japanese military, directly and indirectly, rounded up between 100,000 and 200,000 women to be used sex slaves, euphemistically called “Comfort Women”, for the Japanese soldiers. These women were usually raped 20 times a day, and as many as 40 times a day, according to accounts from survivors. The women were mostly Korean and Chinese, but there were also a few Dutch and Australian (read: white) women kidnapped from Dutch Indies and various Pacific islands. Read the Wikipedia article here.

Unit 731 – this one is so incredibly depraved that the Korean can’t even go into describing it. He will only say that it was a secret medical unit of the Japanese military, conducting various human experiments. The Wikipedia entry is here. Just read it.

So, why do Koreans hate the Japanese?

How can they not?

-EDIT Oct. 21, 2008 7:07 p.m. EST- While the Korean put this part of the Korea-Japan saga as a representative sample, please remember that this is only one part of a four-part series. The Korean has been noticing that many of the comments here could have been addressed simply by reading other parts of the series. Therefore, please read all four parts before expressing any opinion. The Korean believes his readers are intelligent: waiting to grasp the full picture before opening one's mouth is the least that an intelligent person can do.

Got a question or a comment for the Korean? Email away at askakorean@hotmail.com.

122 comments:

  1. The next part of the series will deal with post-WWII issues that mostly arise from these atrocities.

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  2. Your well written and informative posts are appreciated. Keep up the awesome work!

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  3. Man, that's a great post.

    I posted something similar in my blog on Feb. 19.

    http://sjung5150.livejournal.com/

    Remember the World Baseball Classic Tournament last year?

    The Korea vs. Japan games showed alot about the relationship between the two countries.

    When Korea beat Japan to advance to the final four, they celebrated like they'd won the whole fuckin' thing. And it was a huge deal beating Japan on a global stage in front of a mostly Korean crowd on American soil (Anaheim).

    The celebration was topped off by the famous (at least here in Korea) image of Jae Seo planting one of the mini Korean flags on the pitcher's mound.

    Of course, Ichiro didn't help things by stating before the tournament that Japan would humiliate Korea so bad that Korea wouldn't wanna play Japan for 30 years (or something like that).

    And his reaction after losing the game was shown over and over on Korea TV. (The normally quiet Ichiro cleared screamed out "fuck!")

    The shitty thing was that Japan also somehow made it to the final four, beat Korea, and ended up winning the tournament.

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  4. Oh believe me, the Korean knows. He was at Anaheim, watching every pitch. It was beautiful.

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  5. I appreciate your blog. I know many people are ignorant of history, especially foreign history. You have touched on some of the criminal acts of the Japanese. Even today the Japan government denies their role in these acts and continues to honor their war "heros". The surving sex slaves continue to seek redress, but the government continues to deny their responsibility. There is no doubt this was done with at the direction of the highest authority.

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  6. On a somewhat related note, there were a number of Koreans in Hiroshima and Nagasaki when the bombs went off. I saw the film White Light/Black Rain (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0911010/) recently (I think it is going to get wider distribution), and it was good to see that one of the survivors that they interviewed was a Korean woman. It's a subject that needs its own documentary, both about the Koreans who were forced to work in Japan and the fight to get a memorial for the Korean victims of the bomb.

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  7. Thank you, Lester M. Ax2Groin, the Korean knew about what you said but decided against putting it under "atrocities", because Koreans being in Hiroshima/Nagasaki at that time were there voluntarily, as in not conscripted. The two cities were big, industrial centers with a lot of paying jobs, so there was enough people to work in the factories in those cities without relying on conscription. The Korean draftees were generally placed in mines in Pacific islands or factories in Manchuria, i.e. places that were constantly bombed by the Allied forces.

    Of course, one can broadly argue that if Japan did not annex Korea, those Koreans would not have been in Japan, period. Many Koreans subscribe to this argument. But the Korean thinks that that is a little bit of a stretch; the various Japanese atrocities are bad enough that there is no need to make light of them by piling on something with relatively less causal connection.

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  9. Actually, the Korean is somewhat in favor of moving on as a nation, if only because Japan as a whole just doesn't seem to understand that they did something wrong. It would be pointless to demand an apology from a psychopath killer who thought he was hunting aliens.

    Also, remember that America saved (South) Korea. It cannot be on the same level as Japan.

    Just a couple of things. The idea that "unlived memory" means less is unacceptable. Koreans only have to get as far back as their grandparents to feel the scars of the era. Remember, it was only 60 years ago when it all ended. It takes a heroic effort to step away from such a crime so soon.

    Also, the Korean considers the second half of your comment a complete blasphemy. The idea that somehow Japan contributed to Korea's modernization is completely unacceptable. Korea was already well on its way to modernize its country on their own, and Japan aborted the process and grafted a system that was only geared towards exploitation. It's the analogy that comes in part 4 of the series: It's like a rapist saying he did some good because the victim, who gave birth to a child of the rapist, was trying to get pregnant anyway.

    Couple of things that the Korean expects to have happened had there been no Japanese rule:

    1. there would not have been North-South division of Korea.

    2. the political picture would have looked similar to Britain or Thailand, with the royal family intact but removed from politics.

    If you want elaboration, email the Korean.

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  12. For God's sake, I said EMAIL. I fucking hate it when people have an argument on message boards, because it degenerates into a dumb screaming match. I got my email listed on the top of the page. Where is yours?

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  14. Future might be waiting, but it's likely to contain the same old shit as the past- genocide, starvation, slavery- unless we remember what we are capable of. We can, any of us, harbor the seeds of the next great evil in our midst, be we Japanese, or Americans, or religious nutjobs- we can and do tend to repeat horrendous evil, era after century after millenia. So, yeah, let's NOT get over it- let's remember and frequently pause and discuss how awful we can be.

    I was raised and educated on Guam. The Japanese did the same shit there that they did in China, and Korea. My teachers were of an age where most of them, and their families, had been in forced labor. I am not so very fond of nationalistic bullshit that leaves people thinking that they can do anything and it's justified in the name of national imperialism, or security. I'm not all love and peace at any cost, though, either- damn good thing the US showed up when it did, or the world would look like a very different place right now. If the future really could offer that bright and shiney conflict free society, it's not likley to come about because we simply agree to forget about the past- on the contrary, it's more likely to come about when we agree, as a human race, that we are all perfectly capable of being monsters, and come up with a better plan to address our differences.

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  15. I feel sorry for Korea now that I read this. Same things happened to the Philippines but I guess not on this scale, or maybe we just don't know enough.

    Hey, I am planning to buy a Toyota or a Honda, but I'm having second thoughts. Maybe I'll look into buying Korean or Chinese cars instead.

    Maybe this explains the reason why Koreans flock the Philippines. We are natural allies. And they hate the country that was an ally of Japan in bastardizing their country.

    Thank you for sharing all these info. F**k Japan. I can't imagine why I even wasted my time studying their language at some point. What a waste.

    By the way, I sent you an email about Koreans migrating to the Philippine Islands. I hope you post it. Thanks a lot!

    -- Butch (my nickname)

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  16. I feel sorry for Korea now that I read this. Same things happened to the Philippines but I guess not on this scale, or maybe we just don't know enough.

    Hey, I am planning to buy a Toyota or a Honda, but I'm having second thoughts. Maybe I'll look into buying Korean or Chinese cars instead.

    Maybe this explains the reason why Koreans flock the Philippines. We are natural allies. And they hate the country that was an ally of Japan in bastardizing their country.

    Thank you for sharing all these info. F**k Japan. I can't imagine why I even wasted my time studying their language at some point. What a waste.

    By the way, I sent you an email about Koreans migrating to the Philippine Islands. I hope you post it. Thanks a lot!

    -- Butch (my nickname)

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  17. To all who were educated in Japan, I truly hope you are reading this blog. And realize what you learned from Japanese textbooks are mostly fabricated. Japanese government should be ashamed for raising a whole generation of people who are ignorant about their own history.

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  18. There's a lot to comment on so I'll try to keep it organized and brief.

    Re: the original post -- The Japanese occupation of Korea was brutal, exploitative and repressive. I disagree with you that it was fundamentally different from European examples. British rule in India and sub-Saharan Africa is distinctly different, but those are not the only case of European imperialism and Korea was not the only sovereign nation to be occupied. Japan AND America did the same to the Philippines.

    Re: Japanese Textbooks -- American textbooks have been equally revisionist and only included the internment of Japanese-Americans or the annexation of the Philippines (beyond the 1898-1902 War) relatively recently -- 1980s estimate. Textbooks are at times, representations of national pride -- not in depth history. Read with care.

    Thx to ax2 for the film tip. Will have watch it.

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  19. A little note about the metal spike thing. Oddly for me, that was the one thing that got me thinking how terrible the Japanese occupation was. Back then, all three major East Asian nations understood the principles of geomancy or "Feng shui."

    The Japanese planted tens of thousands of metal spikes in key locations all throughout Korea, starting with Mt. Baekdu, the mythical founding point of the Korean nation. They even had Daoist and shinto priests preside over the metal rod inserting ceremonies and offer prayers. It's true, I saw pictures. The goal of this was to "dissipate" Korea's "chi" energy. Yes, sounds hokey to a 21st century person I know, but it just show's you how determined the Japanese were to erraticate Korea as not only a nation, but as an identity.

    It didn't stop there. They built this large administrative building in front of Gyeongbokgung palace (kind of like Versailles for Korea). There was this debate within modern Korea that it should be demolished, that it hid the palace from the main street. Others thought, keep it, it's a perfectly fine building. So they end up tearing it down and what did they find? Underneath the structure was SEVEN THOUSAND metal spikes! These were clearly daoist spikes and served no architectural purpose. The principal here is that the mountain behind the palace alowed the chi energy flow into the palace and throughout the nation. Japanese geomancers wanted to block this energy by puting a huge building in front of the palace. The base of this building had thousands of metal spikes and the top dome of the building was metal, so the energy would collect at the base and shoot towards the sky at the top metal dome. So much fuss and expense by the Japanese to back up superstition, but they went ahead and did it anyways.

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  20. My comment is late, but I enjoyed this post and applaud the fact that you wrote it. Japanese atrocities were quickly covered up after the war unlike the holocaust perpetuated in Germany. Ironically, Japan was all too useful as a cold war ally and the powers-that-be decided on behalf of millions of Chinese, Koreans, Philipinos, etc., that everyone should forgive and forget Japanese war crimes. Not good for Japan, and definitely not good for the countries who had suffered Japanese aggression.

    I am an American (Caucasian) who had the weird experience of traveling for three weeks around Korea with only one of those little Korean-English phrase books. I finally gave up and spoke Japanese, approaching elderly Koreans for directions, etc. Invariably, they knew Japanese and, though they weren't crazy about using it, were kind to me. I got a real earful, too, and people even showed me the scars on their legs from beatings sustained as children.

    Although I know that many of the Koreans who died in Hiroshima/Nagasaki were there voluntarily (as were a lot of the Koreans employed on the Burma/Thailand railway) I am pretty sure that a fair number were forced to work there against their will, as many in Sakhalin were. For years, there was no marker to commemorate their deaths.

    I knew -- still know, in fact -- dozens of Japanese people who greatly regret these crimes against the Koreans and even now fight to get Japanese government recognition of comfort women and other war crimes. I just want you to know that there are many of these people in Japan. As, sadly, there are still a lot of racists who try to deny that these crimes ever took place.

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  21. Have the jews still forgiven Germany?
    Even though Germany has gone through things to show their apology,
    even so, have the jews still forgiven Hitler?
    No they haven't.

    It's the same for Korean.
    Do you know why the korean 'comfort women' from long ago are now considered as "survivors"?
    Because, after they screwed them countlessly everyday, they killed them. That's why.
    My grandma got married in an extremely young age to avoid this scary fate. So when I heard when Japan denied that the comfort-women thing never happened (despite the fact there are hundreds and thousands who have witnessed and admitted). I was actually angry. I love Japanese culture and I love love Japan, its my favourite place to go. But for that moment, I was extremely disappointed and angry.

    So...
    mistahan, I'll have to disagree.
    It's not "all in the past" in fact its only been 60 years or so.

    I love Japanese culture and many of my friends are Japanese, my favourite foods are Sushi and Takoyaki and I love Anime and Manga. But that doesn't mean I can just forgive them and forget the war. It's just not possible.

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  22. Regarding the statement "Korea had a very strong sense of nationhood that lasted for thousands of years", would you include the three nations period of Shilla, Baekche and Koryo? Did Baekche people have that same "strong sense of nationhood" under unified Shilla? This kind of hokey "thousands of years" statement really detracts from your valid points about the modern history of Choseon and Dae Han Min Guk.

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  23. Sorry if my previous comment seems a bit abrupt, but I'm depressed at times by the glossing over of a rich historical past as "thousands of years" of being "Korean". I'm not sure any European country would do that, not even Italy or Greece. I've asked Koreans whether Shilla and Baekche people spoke the same language, and they have mostly answered in the affirmative. I'm not sure that this is true, or can even be verified. Please, unless you're going to provide a timeline, don't talk about "thousands of years" unless it's in the context of paleontology. ;-)

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  24. kodeureum,

    So you want the post to elaborate more on ancient history as it tries to speak about WWII? What would that accomplish? The Korean is willing to scale back "thousands of years" to "many centuries", as the sense of nationhood lasted last least 1,300 years dating back to when Silla unified the peninsula. Does that make you happy?

    And what makes you think Silla and Baekje did not speak the same language? Written records indicate that they were able to communicate with each other freely, albeit with different vocabularies at times. (Surviving as modern dialects.)

    And you must not know too many Italians or Greeks -- the ones the Korean knows won't shut up about Romans and Athenians.

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  25. A note on Baekje and Silla languages. There just isn't enough information to say for a fact that each nations had a different language. The evidence that we have would point to the fact that they didn't. Chinese contemporary historical records said if you wanted to talk to a Sillan, you should get a Baekje transalator. Korean historical records listed transalators as part of envoy parties to China, but never listed transalators are accompanying envoys to Baekje, Silla, Koguryo or vice versa. The Korean records never mentioned any difficulty in communicating when rival Silla and Baekje generals would shout challenges to each other. There is a school of thought that says Baekje had a different language than Silla, but even this school of thought says that this different language was reserved for the nobility and that the commoners spoke the same language of Silla.
    Thus, even across the spectrum of academic opinions on the matter of different languages, the weight of this opinion would point to Sillans and Baekjeians not really having a problem communicating with each other, even if there was a second language in Baekje.

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  26. I don't like what you have written and here is why - you are promoting anti-Japanese myths and false beliefs held by Koreans, and spreading them to people of other countries. Anti-Japanese prejudice is a severe problem for Koreans, and Koreans would be better served having a more balanced view of history.

    A lot of the stuff you wrote are shameful distortions of the truth. I do not blame you for holding these beliefs because you were brought up in an environment where anti-Japanese bigotry is not only acceptable but encouraged by parents, the school system, and the government.

    All of what you wrote is typical of the Korean sense of historical Korea-Japan relations. Unfortunately, it is sadly wrong. For example, you write -

    "The colonial government drove in hundreds of steel shafts into major mountain peaks in Korea, under the belief that doing so will cripple the spirit of the land. The shafts were still being dug out in Korea to this day."

    Yes, that is hokey. It is true that there were rumours during the Japanese administrative period that the Japanese were trying to cut of the spirit of the land from the Korean people, but that is just an indication of the sad and ignorant state Koreans were in. Koreans saw the spikes, which are mere land survey spikes, and thought they were supernatural weapons. The Japanese were bringing modern science to Korea, doing urgently needed land surveying, and Koreans thought it was black magic. A lot of Koreans still think it is black magic. This line of Korean thinking, where the most normal of things are twisted into the most unbelievable of scenarios, is endemic.

    You also bring up 創氏改名 (Chang-ssi-gae-myeong)
    "Various Cultural Affronts – the biggest thing under this category would be Japan’s attempt to change Korean names into Japanese style names, known as Chang-ssi-gae-myeong. As the Korean explained before, family name is extremely important to Koreans, and forcing to change them is an intolerable insult"

    That is not about forcing people to change their names. It was a civil law regulating marriages and families. It established, in addition to the traditional Korean system of clan names (姓) a Japanese style family name (氏). This was so familes could be standardized and the wife would have the same family name as the husband after marriage. The wife would take the newly established 氏 of the husband. It didn't change the Korean traditional system (it was established as an additional system), and Koreans could choose Korean names if they wanted to, or they could choose not to register a name at all, in which case their Korean name became the 氏.

    The Japanese police in Korea were not interested in forcing people to take Japanese names because they did not want Koreans to have Japanese names. They thought that Koreans having Japanese names would make it harder to catch criminals. Koreans had the right to register whatever name they wanted to, and the fact that many choose Japanese names merely shows that Koreans thought it could be advantageous to have a Japanese name.

    You also follow up with this -

    "Japan also stole innumerable treasures from Korea, such as porcelain products, paintings, old books, and so on."

    There is no evidence to suggest that Japan had a systematic policy of plunder in Korea. You are not talking about the war booty from the centuries old war between China/Korea, and Japan, are you?

    You say -

    "Murder of Empress Myeong-Seong – Empress Myeong-seong was a strong-minded wife of Emperor Go-jong. She was a shrewd politician and a diplomat, who often tried to use other superpowers (mostly Russia) in the region to check the rising influence of Japan upon Korea. A Japanese lieutenant general (with or without the backing of the Japanese government is unclear) commissioned what is essentially a band of Japanese thugs to enter the imperial palace in broad daylight and stabbed the Empress to death. Her body was carried away into a corner of the palace and burned by the same band. This historical fact was recently recreated in a musical “Last Empress”, which played in the U.S. in 1998."

    Yes, the Japanese guy probably had something to do with it, but isn't the mastermind the father of Emperor Kojong? Emperor Kojong locked his father up after the killing, and his fathers residence was locked from the outside. Empress Myeong-seong had a lot of enemies, being personally responsible for the deaths of thousands. She is only popular these days thanks to a distorted, bigoted historical narrative that is anti-Japanese. The victim and the main perpetrator in this case are both Korean.

    I could write more but I am getting tired. Please do your best to fight the hatred and bigotry of your upbringing. It is up to us to fight prejudice.

    Thanks for reading.

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  27. Matthew,

    You bring up 4 problems with my post. Here are the responses.

    1. The steel shafts - see the comment by Edward above.

    2. Name change - the justification given by Japan matters little, because the official language masks its true intent as well as the true effect caused by the policy. The noble justification of reducing crime led to killing gay men during Holocaust.

    3. Plunder - never once does the post say there was an official policy. And official policy is unnecessary to cause real damage. See, e.g., post-Civil War North.

    4. Murder of Empress - To be sure, the role of Daewon'gun is unclear in the murder of the Empress. He was present at the scene, but it is not clear if he actively participated, or was kidnapped by the Japanese militarymen to be used as a decoy. However, Gojong handed power over to Daewon'gun after Myeongseong was killed, but Daewon'gun resigned within a year. That does not sound like a mastermind whose thirst for power led to killing his own daughter-in-law. At any rate, the fact that Japanese military (authorized by the Japanese government or not) participated in killing the queen of a foreign country is insulting regardless.

    The Korean's own point to add is this -- even if the Korean conceded all the items you pointed out, he is still left with: forced labor, Comfort Women, Unit 731, Kanto Massacre, and general torture and massacre of independence movement organizers. And as the Korean pointed out in Part IV of the series, Japan has not done a particularly good job apologizing for them.

    Now go fuck yourself with your revisionist bullshit.

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  28. Korean, I am saddened by your rude response.

    1. Koreans believe in this type of superstition, but Japanese do not.

    2. The name change wasn't forced, and they could keep the Korean name.

    3. If the plunder is not systematic they are not going to get the job done very well.

    4. This was the second time Kojong's father had tried to kill Min, and this time he was successful, but Koreans like you always focus on the role of the Japanese guy.

    Anyway, given your rude response, it is obvious that you are unable to discuss this issue rationally. Perhaps you can teach your readers something about Koreans.

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  29. I'm not a Korean. I'm an Indonesian married to a Japanese. We lived in Korea for 2 years for my husband job because Korean needed Japanese's technology to build their facility.

    I didn't care about this Korean-Japanese relationship as I am an Indonesian. But I did care and was very angry when Korean elementary school students pushed and kicked my 1.2 years old son at the local park while saying: DIE JAPANESE, DIE!!!!

    I was wondering at that time, what kind of education did they get at home and at school. Were they told to do so when they met Japanese children? oh - not children!! BABIES!!

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  33. Blogger Rob said...

    You forgot to mention that the last Korean queen/empress was RAPED and then murdered.

    Also, people forget that up until industrialization, nipland was EXTREMELY poor. The poverty of the nips is illustrated by this peculiar social more: if a nip student goes to visit his friend and stays for dinner, social etiquette dictates that he bring his own food. Think about that. That is a total scumbag move in every society except nipland. The evolution of this social more shows how poor they used to be.

    So the question is how did a bunch of in-bred dirt farmers get the funds to industrialize?

    According to Wikipedia:
    During the Russo-Japanese War, in 1904 and 1905, in perhaps his most famous financial action,(Jacob) Schiff, again through Kuhn, Loeb & Co., extended a critical series of loans to Japan, in the amount of $200 million. He was willing to extend this loan due, in part, to his belief that gold is not as important as national effort and desire, in helping win a war, and due to the apparent underdog status of Japan at the time; no European nation had ever been defeated by a non-European nation before then. It is quite likely Schiff also saw this loan as a means of taking revenge, on behalf of the Jewish people, for the anti-Semitic actions of the Tsarist regime, specifically the then-recent pogroms in Kishinev.

    This loan attracted worldwide attention, and had major consequences. Japan won the war, thanks in large part to the purchase of munitions made possible by Schiff's loan, and elements of its government took this as evidence of the power of Jews all around the world, of their loyalty to one another, and as proof of the truth of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion. This thinking later led to the failed Fugu Plan, which would have saved many thousands of Jews from the Holocaust, bringing them to Japan-controlled China to work for the benefit of Japan's economy. In 1905, Schiff was awarded the Japanese Order of the Sacred Treasure;[1] and in 1907, he was honored with the Japanese Order of the Rising Sun.[2] Schiff was the first foreigner to have been personally awarded the Order by Emperor Meiji in the Imperial Palace.[3]

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jacob_Schiff

    Have any of u nips out there wondered why NONE of the israeli ecstasy dealers in tokgu get busted?

    FCK THE banks FCK THE nips

    oh yeah
    this is directed at the indonesian woman: How many Korean children living in nipland received/are receiving/ will receive the same treatment or worse as your kid?

    Karma is a b!tch.

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  34. Matthew,

    1. Um, pictures of Daoist priests attending the shafting? And what kind of land survey requires seven thousand spikes?

    2. You focus a lot on what the official policy was, which is a classic way for revisionists to walk away from responsibility. This is partly the Korean's own fault -- he could have explained more in detail, but he did not because he didn't want the post to get too long. But the "forced" part is not just the official policy; rather, it was various unofficial pressure, e.g. denying jobs or education.

    3. Another official-unofficial absconding of responsibility. The invisible hand of greed, coupled by the broken market where buyer can dictate the price, was more efficient that any government policy imaginable.

    4. Again, it was unclear what Gojong's role was in the queen's death. But circumstances show that it is unlikely that he was involved. Instead of arguing the Korean's points, preferably with links and citations, you only offer bald denial.

    Likewise, you do not address the Korean's last point either. Come back when you are ready to actually debate rather than making naked assertions.

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  35. imoet,

    The Korean is sorry to hear that. Children are often cruel. The Korean wishes Korean people move on from the ugly history (while not forgetting), but clearly they are not ready to, and Japan is not helping them either.

    Rob,

    Calm down a little. The Korean is as indignant about this history as anyone, but a child getting pushed over is not acceptable anywhere in the world for any reason.

    As to the rape part, the records are not clear, and as these things go, there are many myths surrounding it. Only thing that is clear was that the queen was stabbed/cut to death and her body was burned.

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  36. Hi, I just ran across your blog, and I appreciate your efforts to answer questions about Korea/Korean-related issues. It's obvious you're putting effort and time into this. I have a comment about your paragraph about Koreans' long history of their sense of nationalism. I wonder if that's true or if that is a revisionist version that the Korean government came up with in the 70's. I was educated in Korea until I was in the 2d grade, and I always assumed that Koreans were very nationalistic until I started wondering why. After the Japanese colonization and the threat to their identity during the Korean War, doesn't it make sense that they would respond with a strong sense of nationalism, especially for those who feel guilty for having been indoctrinated during the colonization and for not having fought back? Besides, throughout pre-20th century history, Korea has been divided into various kingdoms that were morphing over time and they were often at odds with each other. I'd be curious to hear your take on it. Thanks!

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  37. I understand the history with Japan and Korea. And its of course awful. And it doesnt help that some Japanese politicians (like Abe and Koizumi) have fanned the flames. But I can tell you absolutely -- since I lived in Japan for a few years -- that the Japanese of today are not the same as those who committed the horrors of WWII. They are an overwhelmingly pacifist people. They are so pacifist that its frusterating for me as an American at times, because most Japanese believe flatly that all war is wrong, and dont even concede that there are just wars (like Afghanistan, for example).
    Most Koreans I knew in Korea had never been to Japan. If they went to Japan they would understand that Japan's society is the polar opposite of what it was during WWII. Not to mention that the Korean wave is more popular in Japan than in Vietnam, Cambodia, Tiawan and China combined. And there are quite a few Japanese women looking for Korean boyfriends on dating sites. Not to mention that Korean language classes in Japan have been filling up for a few years now. The government, well, that's a mixed bag. But if Koreans really want to hate someone in Japan, you should hate their department of education, which publishes those textbooks that sugar coat history. And that department is not the entire governemnt, by the way. They have checks and balances there (well, officially, anyway), separate government departments, etc.
    Last thing: I personally know several mixed Korean-Japanese couples. The ones living in Korea are despised by everyone around them. The ones living in Japan are treated rather well.

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  38. No doubt the Occupation was bad, and the older generation---and their children---still carry the scars of it and the subsequent Korean War. It must be remembered that there's a lot of historical accounting to be done on all sides, though, so the commentors and historians who are urging Japan to own up or "rectify" its positions while at the same time distorting Korea's history need to stop. The "big three" East Asian nations of China, Japan, and Korea (well, both of them) are all guilty of distorting their past, and sad to say I don't see a healthy outcome while the flames of hatred are continuing to be fanned.

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  39. "Last thing: I personally know several mixed Korean-Japanese couples. The ones living in Korea are despised by everyone around them. The ones living in Japan are treated rather well."

    Sadly, I understand why. It's human nature really: It's easier to dwell on things others have done to you rather than what you have done to others.

    To the Japanese's credit, they probably go the extra mile to treat Korean-Japanese couples well, if I may venture to say...to almost "make up" for the Pacific War. Even if most the Japanese hold no actual blame for the war (they're too young) - like Korea does, I'm sure the younger Japanese still feel the reverberations of the war through the older generation....and in that sense I'm sure they aware of how bitter much of Asia is over those times. So, Japanese, especially the younger generation, are rather likely to bear a deep sympathy for non-Japanese victims of the war. Combine this with how Japan as a nation hardly wishes to dwell on the atrocities of WWII - unless it involves writing about the effects of the atomic bombs - a tragedy that was forced upon them. So, honestly, with the exception of the few pro-Japan nutcases, it's practically a given most Japanese would be rather inclined to open their arms to any signs of moving on from WWII.

    In Korea it's literally vice versa; where the atrocities were committed, like I said, it's easier to wax poetic over the wrongs committed TO you, rather than BY you. For Koreans, the pain of the Occupation is encouraged rather than pushed away I think...almost as a reminder of how close Korea came to "losing herself forever." To Korea, hostile takeover has historically always been a very real fear, more than I am sure Japan can imagine (not that it's Japan's fault) - the fact Japan brought the nightmare into fruitation I'm sure, lingers sharply in the minds of Koreans. I'd even go far as to say hostile takeover is a 'particularly' painful idea to Koreans b/c Korea has always a hair breadth away from it for hundreds of years. In that light, Korean-Japanese marriages would be a slap in the face...to many Koreans, especially older generations, I imagine it would seem almost "stockholm syndrome"-ish....

    So, I very much understand why Korea may react unpleasently to such couples but sadly...in this modern society, it really is working against Korea.

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  40. "So, why do Koreans hate the Japanese?

    How can they not?"

    You can't blame ppl for the sins of their father, so why persist it with hate today? I think what's sad about this is both Japan and Korea are so wound up in their hatred for each other they're both more focused on making the other person the loser rather than moving on.

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  41. Yeah I've heard the explaination that the so called metal spikes were really just land surveying markers. It sounded believable at first until I saw a picture of a Japanese shinto/daoist priest praying over one of those supposed "land surveying markers..."

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  42. Brian,

    Read Part IV for the reason why Koreans do go on hating Japan.

    ReplyDelete
  43. i really enjoyed your blog really

    i think not only korean hates japan but also chinese , same reason like korean too.

    my sister learning chinese language in china. japanese student should stay at dorm due civil treat. one day my sister's friend which is japanese got robbed , the police since know she is japanese seems not really care i mean like " oh you are japanese, i don't care ". it's will be different if you are foreigner but not japanese

    my sister said chinese in her area hates japanese a lot. especially at that time Japan government decided to denies their role in these acts and continues to honor their war "heros".

    ironicly even korean hates japanese, their entertainment was so "Hip" in Japan. so many Entertainer from Korea Got much money from Japan

    there's even hanryu wave in japan hahhahaa

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  44. hey :) i was surfing through the internet and i came by your post and i was shocked. i seriously didn't know it was THAT BAD.

    im a japanese american and i went to japanese school too, and well, we do know we did some bad things but...wow.

    anyways, what i wanted to tell you was:

    back in the days, yeah. we were horrible. and since i wasn't even alive during the war, i guess it won't make it any better but im really sorry about that. but now japanese people are like... freakin in love with korean things. especially the celebrities and dramas.

    my relatives are sooo obsessed with korean drama and those korean pop stars are like coming into japan, and they are a huuuuge hit!

    so i think we should just stop this nonsense. cuz i like my people and your people. why else would i be learning the korean language right now? plus, this whole "imaginary war" saddens me. deeply.

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  45. since im not Korean or Japanese i can see the problem from another perspective and i can tell you that history may change as the years goes by.

    It´s sad that many of you are being rude with others just to post their opinion, isn´t the blogs are that for??

    It´s difficult or maby imposible to forget, life is far from justice.

    It´s a great work cuz you are giving foreign people an oportunity to know about what happened but my opinion is that even though it´s been only about 60 years since this happened it´s in our hands to stop it now that is a good time and don´t let this kind of problems grow stronger...i mean the young people, the cuples, the friends and whatever that could defeat the differences and can get along with other persons of different race.

    Can´t you fall in love being Korean from a Japanese girl or the other way arround??
    Can´t you have friends or family??
    Of course we can, we are no longer as Romeo & Juliet family(shakespeare)

    All you need is looooove and We are the world!!! LOL

    No, really let´s all of us, young people start the change and write a new history.

    It may sound corny or twee but...it´s true.

    Peace!!

    Don´t forget but learn about the past, about what your families went trought and don´t step the same path they did, learn the good and aply it for the future.

    Someone sayd

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  46. As a Korean living in Korea, sometimes I do have an ill will and even at times have a hatred towards the Japanese, especially when I think about what they did to us in the past. However I do understand that many of the Japanese today are different than those of the past. Especially the younger generation. Since they are different now, it would be unfair and even racist to hate them in their entirety. And I think that many Koreans of the younger generation feel the same way I do. We are not so worked up with the past that we are blind to the fact that we can benefit from interacting with each other. And I think it is important to try to culture friendship between us, after all we are going to be neighbors for rest of millennia, why not try to get along.

    A word about the metal rods or shafts or spikes. I saw several news reports about how we are searching for them and removing them. Makes me wonder who's more stupid, the superstitious idiots that drove the rods into the ground or the superstitious idiots that are going around digging the rods out. Korea has a thriving economy and we are a modern and technologically advanced society. Obviously the rods had no negative effect on us. Why waste time and money removing them, it's all silly superstition.

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  47. Modern day relation between Korea and Japan has significantly improved. However, until Japan FULLY repents for the heinous war crimes commited against Koreans and Chinese, I am afraid to admit that relationship between us will never be great.

    Did you know that Cherry Blossom trees were stolen by the Japanese Royal family from Korea? Along with millions of other things they stold from us. I don't want to start a flame war with other bloggers, so I will stop there.

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  48. Not sure if you're still monitoring the, um, "colorful" comments here. I just wanted to point out that the second "Brian" isn't me. It surprised me, too.

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  49. Of course what is most bothersome is the unwarranted attitude of singularity and superiority that the Japanese exhibited and continue to exhibit toward all of Asia. Two points bear mentioning. First, the Japanese, as much as they wish to believe they are some extraterrestrial race that landed from space onto an isolated island, genetic testing establishes otherwise:
    http://www.jref.com/culture/origins_japanese_people.shtml

    Over 40% of Japanese have Korean/Chinese ancestry. Oh darn!

    Moreover, the National Geographic's Genographic Project is compiling a worldwide mapping of human migratory patterns based on genetic linkage. Nowhere does it say that the Japanese are from the star-system Mitsubishi on the planet Sake: https://www3.nationalgeographic.com/genographic/

    Finally, take a gander at this: "During the Russo-Japanese War, in 1904 and 1905, in perhaps his most famous financial action, Schiff, again through Kuhn, Loeb & Co., extended a critical series of loans to Japan, in the amount of $200 million . . . In 1905, Schiff was awarded the Japanese Order of the Sacred Treasure; in 1907 he was honored with the Japanese Order of the Rising Sun. Schiff was the first foreigner to have been personally awarded the Order by Emperor Meiji in the Imperial Palace."

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jacob_Schiff

    Of course it was natural Japanese genetic superiority, rather than a $200 million infusion of foreign funds in 1905 that catapulted Japan into a war machine! And it's such an inspirational story. A story about how a meager island country with no natural resources (miso and anchovies don't count) and a sparse population can certainly pull themselves from their bootstraps and with some elbow grease and a small donation of $200 million earmarked for military training, munitions plants, and warships, win the hearts and minds of their ass-backward neighbors and bring them into the light.

    Wow, so the Japanese are "better" because it severly injured another group, and only after gaining a quantum leap in military advantage arising from a bitter Jewish investor's desire for revenge against Russia? See everyone, affirmative action's been around for quite some time.

    Bygones be bygones I suppose. Oh well, thank goodness Korean soap operas make it so much easier for me to hook up with multiple t.v.-watching dumb Japanese women. They make wonderful modern-day Comfort Women for this Korean man. Ain't karma interesting?

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  50. I have been a Monbushogaku scholar in Japan during the 1990's and this is what I have noticed about them. What's disturbing about the Japanese Society is that they never assert themselves as "ASIANS". To simply put, they say they are not asians. Don't get me wrong, I have alot of Japanese and Korean friends. I have no biases. When they see something wonderful about the neighboring countries on an exhibition their common expression is "ohh..a-syan!" in full high as if they are not asians. Irony is that their prime minister is member of the "ASEAN" whereas they think they don't deserved to be leveled with the "asians". It is sad.

    the Korean, Kudos! to your web blog! I enjoyed it very much.

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  51. Interesting. mangoes :p
    I lived for two years in Korea, and almost ALL Koreans asked me "where are you from"

    me: Indonesia

    them: aaaa....ASIA

    LOL

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  52. The Koreans I know don't hate the Japanese as a people, but instead despise the government, which has consistently denied it's imperial past and any wrong doing. Its a humiliating thing, especially when historically Korea has always felt superior to Japan, or at the least, equal to it. The thing that makes me sad is that in response the outcry and anger, the younger Japanese just say "so?" They don't get it, and that is the failure of education.

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  53. I'd like to comment on the comfort women issue and the assimilation policies (i.e. surname changes) of the 1930s (known as kōminka policies).

    Typical discourses paint the comfort women issue as another example, in a long list, of gross Japanese exploitation of Koreans. Yes, Japan did exploit these women, but typical discourses project the image that exploitation of women was something only existent in Korea during the Japanese occupation. Gross exploitation, denigration, and debasement of Korean women had existed in Korea long before Japanese rule.

    Of course, I do not intend to
    apologize for these clear atrocities by Japan. However, where I would like to dispense an objective outlook, is that demonizing Japan as a literal "pimp" and blaming Japan is not entirely fair nor conducive to furthering discussion. Why demonize Japan for exploiting Korean women when Korean women had been exploited long before? Kidnapping women from their homes out of the blue is not a new thing in Korea nor is pedaling them off to sexual slavery. Ok, so Japan did it in a larger scale and to a greater degree, so what? Does this dilute the already present denigration of Korean women? If it does, then this seems to diverge from the original plight of Korean women and veered off into a gross politicization. No doubt, the comfort women issue has become deeply politicized and as typical discourses indicate, have become nothing more than another vehicle for anti-Japanese sentiment.

    If the Korean or anyone else would like to learn more about this perspective, I suggest reading C. Sarah Soh's, “Aspiring to Craft Modern Gendered Selves: ‘Comfort Women’ and Chŏngsindae in Late Colonial Korea.” in Critical Asian Studies. 36-2, 2004.

    Kōminka policies were initiated to assimilate and coerce Koreans into the Japanese war machine. However, the oft-imagined image that these policies were forcibly thrust upon Koreans is mere exaggeration. Yes, Japan did enact these policies but Koreans were not "held at gun-point" and forced to change their surnames. To be sure, there were certainly cases in which the aforementioned coercion probably did occur, but the limits of coercion must be acknowledged. Koreans were given a choice to change their surnames, but were often by de facto compelled to change since changing entailed benefits such as more food rations. Other assimilation policies such as imposition of Shinto and Japanese-language were also similarly met with limitations.
    I suggest reading Under the Black Umbrella (title might be slightly off) for a good look at actual primary sources recorded from Koreans who lived through the period.

    I'm sure I come off as an apologist or a revisionist but I find content in knowing that I am not. Having just finished a seminar course that dealt with Japanese imperialism, it was fun to find this blog post. Well, I suggest people study the history more as it is too often split into binary oppositions.

    ***A note about the text book debacle in Japan, it's not as outrageous as people seem to make it out to be. To be fair, the so called "revisions" were a scant few alterations of words and tone. Also, these altered textbooks were not dispensed to all Japanese schools and a majority of schools retained normal texts. Was it right? No, but was it, as people have so often made it out to be, a flat out discrediting of Japanese atrocities? No, it was not.

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  54. Japanese are different now. But there are still a huge number of still dislike Koreans. There was a Japanese comic that is about hating the Korean wave... which was extremely popular and had a sequel. Japan also puts up TV shows with a Koreans (most likely well-paid or retarded... or not Korean at all) doing all these barbaric stuff.

    Long time ago, my dad told me stories of all this as well which was told by his parents and other elders. The Korean did not lie with his post.

    Korea is a constantly growing and changing nation and it is very ridiclous when you hear a hater saying Korea doesn't want to move on from the past. Since Japanese had burned 2 million books with only about 4 that survived(which is not even credited but slowly getting attention due to recent finds that match with them), what they are telling Koreans is to forget the history and be satisfied with what they reported to the world. Unfortunately, both China and Japan are in this together.

    Also, I'll add that Japan also sold Korean(Joseon Dynasty) lands to China. As Manchurians moved to China as their Qing dynasty rule began, Koreans also flocked up to the coasts of Manchuria. This land was given by the Qing dynasty as there was a treaty and even marks of the new borderline. Many maps show Joseon Dynasty(at the correct times of course. Joseon did not have that land since the beginning) with those lands. Before Japan left, they sold this land to China.

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  55. emiri,

    do you think there is a SINGLE German or German American who does not know about the Holocaust? The fact that you did not know about the atrocities clearly implicates a fault. Someone in Japan is responsible for erasing history. That's what Koreans are angry about.

    T.S.,

    What the Korean finds the most disturbing is this:

    Kidnapping women from their homes out of the blue is not a new thing in Korea nor is pedaling [sic] them off to sexual slavery. Ok, so Japan did it in a larger scale and to a greater degree, so what?

    So for example, slavery in America was fine because Africans back in African enslaved each other? Or for a modern example, is the government allowed to kill half the people in a high-murder rate area because people are killing each other in that area anyway?

    The point that late Joseon was not a good place for women is a valid point. But attempting to use that point to validate Comfort Women shows a shocking lack of moral sensitivity.

    Yes, Japan did enact these policies but Koreans were not "held at gun-point" and forced to change their surnames. To be sure, there were certainly cases in which the aforementioned coercion probably did occur, but the limits of coercion must be acknowledged.

    That is a valid point. But it is nonetheless distasteful that instead of fully acknowledging WWII atrocities in all levels of the society, Japanese scholars are quick to point out that things were "not so bad". Currently, the lawyers for the Bush Administration are making the same line of logic for prisoners in Guantanamo Bay. Although the government recognized that these men do not pose any threat to America's security, they can continue holding them because, among other things, the prisoners are kept in a relatively comfortable state. Your argument is along the same lines. Wrong is a wrong, no matter how relatively unpleasant the wrong was.

    Paul,

    The Korean would advise listening to what Korean people say about the Japanese rule and the territorial issues with a grain of salt. Emotions run high on those issues, so a lot of exaggerations and mischaracterizations happen.

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  56. I don't understand why there is so many discussions about Koreans hating Japanese and vice versa. Look, Japanese ancestors are Koreans!!! It's embarrassing that this hatred exists between relatives. Japanese hate Koreans because Japanese are not happy about the fact that they are descendants of Korea. Koreans hate Japanese because their own relatives could start a war against them. Koreans and Japanese are one and even though it's two different sovereign nations we must love one another. Peace!

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  57. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  58. Ok, let me try that again.

    There has been a large amount of discussion on this particular entry, much of it rather recent, and I feel that I ought to weigh in (despite the fact that I am not a history major, I am a history enthusiast, with a particular emphasis on Korean history, and I think I bring a generally unique, or at least better-articulated, point of view to the discussion).

    I think "hate" for Japan, at least in my point of view, is too strong here. "Resent," perhaps. But regarding the affront to Korea and Koreans by imperial Japan - while it cannot be ignored, I think too many Koreans obsess about getting something out of Japan that they simply will not be able to; namely, a general admission of guilt from a people who suffered in similar ways as Koreans did (albeit for the ostensible glory of their people, whereas Koreans during the colonial era suffered for the glory of another nation and a foreign people), a government that seeks only its own advancement and protection (as any unified Japanese government has done since the dawn of time - and this is not too different from other governments, though other governments will at least pretend to be repentant from time to time), and a nation who is still dealing with its own psychosocial issues in the wake of the shattering of their own (fragile) worldview.

    I profess no love for the Japanese, especially not for their establishments and institutions. However, I do feel sorry for the people in general. Why? To answer that question, let me explain a bit more fully.

    I think the Japanese as a society are still coping with their own revelations. The revelation that their Emperor is not a divinity and was defeated in battle. The revelation resulting from having a weapon such as the atomic bomb used on them. The revelation that everything they had been taught, everything they had been told was great about their own people - about the kamikaze, the samurai, bushido, and so on - that all of it had been swept to the side of the road in the space of some 80 years (the modernization of Japan, its burgeoning imperialism, and defeat in World War II), unrecoverable, and would not save them from catastrophic defeat. A people's national psyche, I think, was shattered (which may in part explain the increased proportion of otherwise unusual behavior on the part of individual Japanese), and try as they might to put on a brave face, deep inside I think Japan has been mortally wounded (and as much as I would like to applaud, I'm not *that* cruel). It's not easy to see, but this sense of having been betrayed by one's own institutions (in particular the government and the glorification of the warrior spirit, as well as the strength of traditional deities and the fallacies apparent in their own national myths) and distaste for warfare (which of course does not make itself manifest in the entire population, just most of it) is detectable in modern Japanese literature and pop culture (especially in manga and anime). Few of these will actually make direct references to historical reality, but the same elements are there.

    While I do feel pity for them for having this national sociologic crisis, I do have to say they brought much of it upon themselves. In hoping for national glory by oppressing traditional rival peoples, the Japanese instead reaped the whirlwind. And they are still, rightfully, paying for it. They may not admit it, but they are.

    This isn't all I've got to say on the subject (i.e. what is wrong with Japan's modern-day approach to the colonial era, Japanese atrocities that get little publicity, how bad the Japanese occupation really was, and all the rest), I feel that much of what I would have liked to say has already been said. Except for what I just said.

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  59. chris,

    Your comment was utterly stupid. Please try again.

    Charles,

    The Korean would not venture into what Japan is like. But he has a feeling that you would like a forthcoming post about the current relations between Korea and Japan. Stay tuned.

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  60. To the Korean:

    As a Korean-American I really wonder if you're Korean. Some of your answer to these posts are utterly absurd, misleading, and incorrect. Are you sure you're Korean and most importantly are you sure you're qualified to give answers that are so sensitive and require great intelligence? Obviously not.

    TO ALL THE NON-KOREAN readers reading his posts: Do not take his answers even with a grain of salt. He is very opinionated without any support with relevant facts. His answer doesn't depict majority of the Korean people's view!!!

    If the readers want to see hard facts behind my comment earlier, please google NY Times and BBC Guardian re: Japanese ancestry and the Japanese Emperor's lineage. Japanese Emperor confirmed his ancestors are from Baejae Kingdom in Korea.

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  61. chris,

    Questioning the Korean's Koreanness is the first step towards ban. The Korean was born in 서울 을지병원, attended 청담 국민학교, 구정 중학교, 대원 외국어고 before leaving Korea to live in a city that has the highest density of Korean Americans in the U.S. Let's see your Korean cred. The Korean doubts you would even notice the clue about the Korean's age given in the Korean phrases on top.

    Your point was stupid because while the ancestors of Japanese people, particularly the royal family, may be Korean, there is no evidence that it affects the Japanese's attitudes toward Koreans. No studies, no anecdotal accounts, nothing. If there is such evidence, you sure as hell did not provide it -- although providing a link is as easy as this: Link

    Try clicking that link, by the way. It's the search result in New York Times for the terms "Japan Emperor Korean". As you might find, there is no NYT article on the topic of whether Japanese royal family are in fact Koreans or not. This is not to say what you asserted is incorrect, because the Korean knows it is correct. The Korean only does this to show that you have no idea what you are talking about.

    Your next comment had better be very good. The Korean is always happy to be proven wrong, but he will not tolerate dumb assertions, whether pro- or anti-Korean.

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  62. I'll give you a good comment. Can you spell F O B? Obviously you don't know how to throughly research facts even when I told you TWO articles to back up my assertions. I know your type. You were the little lonely asian guy who constantly told himself he is the best thing on earth because your little mommy told you so. It's obvious you don't have the knowledge nor the qualification to put out this type of a site. You're an embarrassment and a disgrace to Korean-Americans. Do not go parading like you know so much when reading your posts you're just a dumb nerd who can't be accepted in America. Go ahead and ban me, do you actually think I care?? LOL

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  63. Gee chris, the Korean thinks you are definitely not American. What kind of American gets up to post something at 7:40 a.m. EST (or 4:40 a.m. PST)?

    You are a troll. Bye chris. Don't let your ass hit the door when you go out.

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  64. Why do Koreans hate Japan?

    I think your answer is good, but I would have answered it differently. I would have started by addressing whether the question itself is correctly formulated?

    Do Koreans (all Koreans? most Koreans? a lot of Koreans? every Korean I know when they're drunk?) hate Japanese (all Japanese? an image of some non-specific Japanese person? the Japanese government? Koizumi?) ?

    I think a fairer question that isn't too much of a mouthful would be, "Why do so many Koreans hate Japan?" Or better yet, "Why do so many Koreans resent Japan?" Ah, now we're getting somewhere.

    I would have listed all the things you mention, but I would have also added that the media and the politicians, especially since the 1990s, have been riding the same bandwagon. Dissenters are drummed out, or at least fear being drummed out.

    That's why the "Corea" nonsense gets passed off as gospel truth, which opens the door for Japan apologists or revisionists to question the stuff that is completely or mostly true.

    You have to ask yourself why leaders like Roh would declare diplomatic war when their popularity was at an all-time low, when his predecessor(s) wanted to move forward with Japan. There is no reason for Koreans to despise Japan as a whole, and frankly, I think the vocal hate-mongers distort how much animosity there is. Korea needs Japan (and vice versa), and I have confidence that most Koreans know this (which might be why they elected a Japanese-born president ;) ).

    ReplyDelete
  65. Ask a Korean: Please shed some light on this shit. Thanks.

    Koreans hate Japanese.
    That remains a fact, supported by all the web sites that are bent towards telling the world they hate the Japanese. GOT IT.

    Question: Since you mention the holocaust as a reference point, let me make an observation.

    You say Koreans hate the Japanese with good cause, just like how Jews hate the Germans. Got that too.

    Then why do Koreans covet and purchase in quantity Lexus, Sony, etc.
    Here in Los Angeles, go to Korea-Town and all you see are Lexus, Acura, Hondas, Toyotas, etc. and rarely a Kia.

    Since World War II Jews would never be caught dead in a BMW or Mercedes, etc. NEVER.

    Why do Koreans support the nation of Japan by buying their products?


    There are certain things I HATE and I would not lift a finger to support the cause of my hatred.

    Yet Koreans do. I don't get y'all.

    ReplyDelete
  66. Joe's Kimchee, I think you answered your own question. Evidence of the hatred of "Koreans" (all? some? most? millions? hundreds of thousands? tens of millions?) having hatred of Japan is "supported by all the web sites that are bent towards telling the world they hate the Japanese."

    Maybe this is a case of the assuming (wrongly, perhaps) that the vocal represent the silent.

    But even I will be the first to admit that anti-Japanese sentiment is the driving force behind Korean purchases of Lexus vehicles.

    ReplyDelete
  67. Joe,

    See Part V of this series, which answers the question you raised.

    Also, the Korean notes that you are comparing "WWII Jews" (whatever that means) to all Koreans. That has to be incorrect. The Korean would also note that he lives in a Jew-heavy city, and there can attest that the claim that Jews don't drive German cars is patently untrue. Heck, Sarah Silverman even has a song about it. Link

    ReplyDelete
  68. Kush:
    Maybe this is a case of the assuming (wrongly, perhaps) that the vocal represent the silent.

    Great point, in the past the squeaky wheel got the grease.

    Ask:
    When I get time I'll read all parts.
    Gracias

    ReplyDelete
  69. Joe's Kimchee wrote:
    Great point, in the past the squeaky wheel got the grease.

    In the past? The past?!

    What wonderful future world are you posting from, and what are you smoking there?

    Good God! The minority knows they can grab the authorities by the cojones and squeeze out concessions if they make a big enough noise for a long enough time and cause enough inconvenience or embarrassment.

    That's why you have a few thousand Mad Cow protesters trying to take down the 2MB government while the majority of consumers buy up American beef faster than it can be put on the shelves.

    Some day when I have time I'll write a post on how a secretly Nipponophilic Korea perpetually looks like a nation of anti-Japanese zealots.

    ReplyDelete
  70. Ask a Korean:

    I don't have time or really the stomach to read through all your posts. It blows. Why? Because you make sense most of the time and then you weird out, it makes me wonder are there multiple Koreans answering these questions. By the way Jew-Heavy city is racist.

    Answer my first query if you would.

    ReplyDelete
  71. Kushibo,

    "In the past"

    It's just a flip of a phrase.

    Dude, chill for a moment, your switch is hypersensitive.

    However, I agree with you.

    ReplyDelete
  72. Joe, please read the Ask a Korean! Questions Policy on the right.

    ReplyDelete
  73. Ive only read a few comments and people are debating about the difference between hate and resent. I am Korean and I, in-fact, HATE Japanese people. I despise them. Not in a cruel way but for their cruelty and the things they did to my ancestors. The pain is raw and it is real. I have visited Auschwitz, and do agree that people think of the Holocaust at first when WW2 is brought up. I appreciate that you shed light on the atrocities done by the Japanese.

    ReplyDelete
  74. "Her spotless mind.

    I am Korean and I, in-fact, HATE Japanese people. I despise them. Not in a cruel way but for their cruelty and the things they did to my ancestors."

    "...I am Korean-American and my first language to learn was Korean..."

    "...junior in college. I am currently studying Psychology to become an elementary school teacher. Peace and Love."

    __________________

    Wow, where do I start. (I read your bio) Wow!

    You're Korean American and you "in-fact HATE" the Japanese and you want to become a school teacher to teach children and you sign off Peace and Love.

    I hope you only HATE those Japanese from the 20th century (Colony period) or do you hate all Japanese even those born yesterday and those who will be born tomorrow?

    Be specific because you come off sounding like a HATE monger.

    But if you do HATE all Japanese then SEEK therapy NOW!.

    Stop the HATE and please don't perpetuate it here in America.

    If you rationally HATE all Japanese then please DO NOT GO INTO THE TEACHING PROFESSION.


    A SCHOOL TEACHER!
    God help us all.

    ReplyDelete
  75. You may have a Spotless Mind but you have seepage.

    ReplyDelete
  76. Joe,

    Civility please. No personal attacks.

    ReplyDelete
  77. To the Korean:
    I was being civil. Seepage?
    Alright man.

    But I consider uncivil the following:

    Matthew responded with a reasonable argument. (I thought so.)

    I believe he was contributing to your blog with a balanced and sensible response? Whether he is right or wrong is irrelevant.

    Like any story or conflict there are two sides, he (The lone voice) gave his. I like that, I may not agree with it but I think it is healthy and I like it.

    The Korean said:

    "Now go fuck yourself with your revisionist bullshit."

    Civil or Uncivil?

    It's your blog dogg, but you seem way more reasonable 75% of the time. My take.


    Rob said:

    "FCK THE banks FCK THE nips

    oh yeah
    this is directed at the indonesian woman: How many Korean children living in nipland received/are receiving/ will receive the same treatment or worse as your kid?"

    The Korean said:

    "Rob, Calm down a little."

    It's your blog dogg. But fair is fair and you gave Rob a pass.

    Joe'sKimChee said: "Seepage"

    Mea Culpa.

    ReplyDelete
  78. To Shinyung,

    You speak with wisdom, please speak more often, because you add perspective to an argument that usually degrades to childish, illogical viewpoints.

    PLEASE.

    ReplyDelete
  79. Joe,

    The Korean actually thought "seepage" was the least uncivil part of your posts. He was referring to "seek therapy", "don't be a school teacher", and the excessive use of capital letters.

    The Korean will also tell you one more thing. Like he clearly stated on the first sentence of the Questions Policy (which the Korean asked you to read,) the Korean reserves the right to do whatever the hell he damn well pleases.

    For the record, both cases you cite are different from what you did. First is done by the Korean, to whom rules do not apply. In the second case, Rob did not receive any pass -- the Korean would have banned Rob if Rob used such language one more time.

    I'm switching to the first person to show that I am extremely serious. Let me make this one rule for this blog clear: No one gets to tell me how to run my own blog. And I take even the slightest insinuation that I should do anything differently as the most offensive insult. Do that again, and you will be banned.

    ReplyDelete
  80. Dissent is healthy.

    Control is pathological.

    Entiendes ese?

    ReplyDelete
  81. Her Spotless Mind,

    I am sorry. REALLY!
    I know better.
    Que pendejo!

    I at my age -- fiddy something,
    age does matter.

    I'm an old fool and I was wrong and it was selfish and bullshit that I try and step on your dream. YOU WILL BE A GREAT TEACHER. Keep on keepin' on.

    Listen, believe in yourself and I am sure you do.
    Louis Armstrong once said, The key to life is,"Don't let the bullshit get you down."
    Damn I believe in Karma.

    Peace and Love








    Dude,

    Like--Kushibo, CHILL!

    If and I believe you do, want honest and DIFFERENT (Yeah I'm a prick) viewpoints that are not vulgar than then chill. Again, maybe sarcastic, and snarky (whatever that means) but they have another way of looking at the world, that's good in my book..

    What I say today will be different tomorrow. Yeah I am flakey.

    ------------------

    ReplyDelete
  82. Oops,
    Not Louis Armstrong, but the late great Ray Charles.

    ReplyDelete
  83. Nice blog.

    I know it's a late comment, but I had to leave one when you said:

    "Questioning the Korean's Koreanness is the first step towards ban. The Korean was born in 서울 을지병원, attended 청담 국민학교, 구정 중학교, 대원 외국어고 before leaving Korea to live in a city that has the highest density of Korean Americans in the U.S. Let's see your Korean cred. The Korean doubts you would even notice the clue about the Korean's age given in the Korean phrases on top."

    I, too, attended "국민학교" (not 초등학교) in late 70s and early 80s. Does this make me too old to enjoy your blog? I wonder how many KA got what you were trying to say... sigh~

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  84. Most Koreans obviously suffer from inferiority complex, that's the only truth people will see after reading blogs like this. Japan has apologized countless times for their war crimes, even watched Koizumi personally in 2005 on TV apologizing ONCE AGAIN.
    The Korean economy was fueled with Japanese compensation money (close to 1 billion dollars, Korea's GDP back then was 4 billion) and it seems it's never enough. True, money can't buy human lives, but that's war, and the Koreans are not the only people who have suffered during wars. If we in Europe had to hate every single tribe or nation that has conquered our own and committed horrible war crimes against our population, we will end up hating half the world ;) Before the intervention of Japan, Korea didn't even exist, it was part of the Chinese Empire. The so called "great" Korean history falls into the category of Myths and Legends, as you ask anybody in Europe about it, and nobody's ever heart of anything (unless you have a special interest in studying the country's history). Still everybody knows of the samurai, the kimonos, the katanas, the shoguns and everything else Japan has been known for for centuries.
    Even nowadays, every single thing that comes out of Korea from cars, to electronics, to music, to movies and dramas has been heavily influenced by Japan.
    The so-called "Korean Wave" is nothing more than J-pop culture with Korean twist on it.If it wasn't for Japan, South Korea would have been nothing more than a mirror image of North Korea right now. And I'm sure the Koreans are all really "proud" of their northern neighbor, after all they are also Koreans :DDD

    ReplyDelete
  85. Japan has apologized countless times for their war crimes, even watched Koizumi personally in 2005 on TV apologizing ONCE AGAIN.

    Right, the Korean said that in the post. And in 2008, Koreans saw Japanese Air Force Chief justifying Japan's war efforts once again. Link. What's the point of an apology if Japan can't maintain the party line?

    The Korean economy was fueled with Japanese compensation money ... and it seems it's never enough. True, money can't buy human lives, but that's war, and the Koreans are not the only people who have suffered during wars.

    If you already know money can't buy human lives, you also know why Koreans are not content to quell their hate at the sight of money.

    And you make it sound as if Koreans wanted to go into war. That is untrue. Korea's participation in WWII was driven by Japan. It is not a valid argument to say that the aggressor was faultless because the aggressor was injured as well.

    Before the intervention of Japan, Korea didn't even exist, it was part of the Chinese Empire.

    Absolutely untrue. Name another part of the Chinese Empire that had its own king and own government.

    The rest is irrelevant, so the Korean will not address it.

    ReplyDelete
  86. Japan's apology to your people has nothing to do with them trying to justify the war in front of their own people. Otherwise it would seem all those Japanese died for nothing and they didn't, because Japan proved that they were the dominant force in Asia, and for a fact, prior to that even your UNKNOWN country was looking down on them and thinking of the Japanese as some backwards society.

    Japan might of been the aggressor in WWII, but let's not forget how it all started with China attacking Japan first, in the First Sino-Japanese War. Those were the times they took over Korea, and at that time you were China's puppet and even Russia was looking to take you over. If you ask me, it all ended up in the best possible scenario for you. Try to imagine what the "good" uncle Stalin would of done to you if things were different, so for Korea's weakness at that time you have nobody but yourselves to blame, everybody else was just protecting their own interests.

    So because you had your own king and your own government that meant you were a free country? Taiwan has a president and their own government as well, are they free too?

    See, my whole point is not about whether Japan's invasion and their actions during WWII were justified. I simply think you Koreans have gone too far with this. Teaching even in elementary schools little kids to hate Japan, now this is just wrong, it's for backwards countries, for people that are stupid and don't know any better. If it was North Korea I would understand, people there can't even tell right from wrong and it's not even their fault, but for your country, it's a shame. They don't teach kids in Japan to hate the US because they dropped nuclear bombs on them.

    So you don't think there's anything wrong when I follow baseball and read comments in a sports blog saying "dead to japan", "I would smash the face of the first jap I see on the street today" ? You do not think it's wrong to go to an electronics blog for comparison between Sony and Samsung TV and read comments like "fuck Japan, buy Korean"? Your education system is the problem in your country and it's all politics.

    So your blog might be about WWII and why Koreans hate the Japanese, but take a look at 90% of the comments here all left by your fellow countrymen and tell me there's nothing wrong. The only thing your people are going to accomplish that way is bring the hate on themselves.

    ReplyDelete
  87. Japan's apology to your people has nothing to do with them trying to justify the war in front of their own people. Otherwise it would seem all those Japanese died for nothing and they didn't, because Japan proved that they were the dominant force in Asia, and for a fact, prior to that even your UNKNOWN country was looking down on them and thinking of the Japanese as some backwards society.

    In other words, "We're sorry, BUT..."

    That is no apology. Fortunately, there are those in Japanese politics (Hosokawa, Murayama among them) who actually do make meaningful apologies, and South Koreans should focus on those, because they are genuine and heartfelt.

    But they should be angered when a right-wing-toadying politician tries to justify the war and the colonization of Korea.

    Japan might of been the aggressor in WWII, but let's not forget how it all started with China attacking Japan first, in the First Sino-Japanese War.

    The war in 1937 was because China attacked Japan in 1894? What part of Japan did they attack?

    Those were the times they took over Korea, and at that time you were China's puppet and even Russia was looking to take you over.

    Russia was in a position to take over Korea only after an expansionist Imperial Japan went in and hobbled Korea's military protector. So that, too, would have been a direct result of Imperial Japanese expansionism.

    If you ask me, it all ended up in the best possible scenario for you.

    Most Koreans don't really bring this up too much, but without Japanese occupation of Korea, there would have been no division of Korea, and hence no wide scale Korean War in which some 1.5 million died.

    Try to imagine what the "good" uncle Stalin would of done to you if things were different,

    Even if the Soviets had completely taken over Korea, a non-divided Korea would not have provided the conditions needed for someone like Kim Il-Sung to come to power and create a communist monarchy.

    So even if Korea had been taken over by Russia, not Japan, it's more likely it would have turned out like Poland or Mongolia, not North Korea as it is today. Again, no reason for Imperial Japan apologists to pat themselves on the back.

    so for Korea's weakness at that time you have nobody but yourselves to blame,

    In the 1880s and the 1890s there were Japanese who were genuinely interested in helping Korea better itself. I dare say that provided a positive influence. None of the good Japan had done or sought to do required invasion and brutal occupation.

    As for Mainland China, it is only a twisted mind that could call it beneficial or write it off as saying it was "just Japan protecting their own interests."

    everybody else was just protecting their own interests.

    Japan invaded other countries and took over their territory. Okinawa, China, Korea, and then in World War II, the US's and other countries'.

    What was the reason for bombing Darwin? For Pearl Harbor? For invading Alaska?

    So because you had your own king and your own government that meant you were a free country? Taiwan has a president and their own government as well, are they free too?

    Taiwanese are pretty damn free. Not in a perfect situation, but much better off than if they were under the PRC.

    At most, China was a suzerain of Korea. Korea was not an internal part of China any more than it's a part of the US.

    See, my whole point is not about whether Japan's invasion and their actions during WWII were justified.

    If you are saying that Japanese leadership has apologized so get over it, then justification for Imperial Japan's invasions is a part of your point whether you like it or not.

    Let me put it simply: The justifications and rationalizations utterly negate the apology.

    I simply think you Koreans have gone too far with this.

    And I would say right-leaning Japan has gone too far in justifying the atrocities of the past. Without the latter, there would be no former.

    Teaching even in elementary schools little kids to hate Japan, now this is just wrong, it's for backwards countries,

    On this point, I wholeheartedly agree, and I have repeatedly said as much...

    for people that are stupid and don't know any better. If it was North Korea I would understand, people there can't even tell right from wrong and it's not even their fault, but for your country, it's a shame.

    ... and you should also understand that this is not an across-the-board way of teaching these things. A discussion of Gordsellar's self-servingly incendiary translations of the "anti-Japanese" postcards aside, this is something the comes directly from the left-wing teachers union that was outlawed until rather recently. The leftist teachers union is anti-Tokyo, anti-Washington, and anti-Seoul, as well as anti-corporate. In short, they are pro-Pyongyang. Their antics are scorned by a majority of the population and there is considerable concern about how much they propagandize Korean youth. Whether or not to admit such teachers is a big issue at many schools and organizations.


    They don't teach kids in Japan to hate the US because they dropped nuclear bombs on them.

    So you don't think there's anything wrong when I follow baseball and read comments in a sports blog saying "dead to japan", "I would smash the face of the first jap I see on the street today" ?

    I would totally agree that there is something wrong with that.

    I'm not sure if it justifies Imperial Japan's invasions and brutal occupations, though.

    You do not think it's wrong to go to an electronics blog for comparison between Sony and Samsung TV and read comments like "fuck Japan, buy Korean"?

    I would totally agree that there is something wrong with that.

    I'm not sure if it justifies Imperial Japan's invasions and brutal occupations, though.

    Your education system is the problem in your country and it's all politics.

    The South Korean educational system being manipulated by the pro-Pyongyang teachers union is a problem. So is the press being afraid to contradict this point of view.

    But the real problem of anti-Japanese sentiment is the high-level members of the ruling party in Japan undermining peaceful coexistence with their anachronistic, self-serving, delusional rationalizations and justifications of brutal occupation and total war.

    It is not Korea living in the past. It is the Japanese right-wing living in the past, and Koreans (and others) responding to that past-obsessive group when they say things in the present).

    So your blog might be about WWII and why Koreans hate the Japanese, but take a look at 90% of the comments here all left by your fellow countrymen and tell me there's nothing wrong.

    90%? Really? Even if such hate-filled comments were ninety percent, do you think they represent everyone or just the angry people who seek out forums to vent? Twelve thousand people in Korea leave over half the messages in online forums, out of a country FOUR THOUSAND TIMES THAT.

    The only thing your people are going to accomplish that way is bring the hate on themselves.

    Right back at you with your right-wing politicians' anachronistic remarks.

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  88. I do not care about right wing - left wing politics, I just don't see where all of you make the connection between the apologies and the justification of the war, they simply do not contradict one another. As I already mentioned, Japan has all the rights to justify their war, as first of all they were protecting their interests and most importantly it established Japan as the dominant power in Asia, and that is something to be proud of. The only thing the Japanese could be ashamed of is their imperialistic ambitions, they just got too greedy at the end.

    Forget about the Koreans for a moment, nobody in the world knew they even existed before the Korean War in 1950. China was the real problem and the Chinese had no respect for Japan whatsoever, always tried to manipulate and interfere with Japan's politics and did not even allowed the Japanese to trade with Korea.

    China did not attack Japan directly, they attacked Japanese businesses and interests in Korea, Japan just saw the Chinese control over Korea as a security threat to their own country. 1937 was the Marco Polo Bridge Incident, China's fault again, what else is there to talk about, China brought the war on themselves, couldn't just get over the fact that they were simply inferior to the Japanese, and even today that is quite evident. Even though Japan lost WWII, now they are once again at the top of the world - the second largest economy in the world. So you do not see the Japanese being aggressive right now, do you? But now the whole world gives them the respect they deserve. Also they are the foremost exporter of Asian culture in the World. It's even safe to say the World likes Asia because of Japan :))

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  89. "Russia was in a position to take over Korea only after an expansionist Imperial Japan went in and hobbled Korea's military protector."

    You honestly believe that? Even China couldn't of saved Korea from Russia and you obviously know nothing of Russia's ambitions back then. Not to mention the way Russia treated the territories which they conquered. There wouldn't of been a single Korean on the Korean peninsula right now, and would of been all scattered across Siberia left there to die while the Korean peninsula is populated with ethnic Russians.

    I totally agree that Korea would of not been separated now if it wasn't for Japan, instead it would of been most likely The Communist State of Korea :DDD once again China's little puppet, that of course in the case that Korea even exists and it is not annexed by the Russians.

    So NO, they should not be grateful to the Japanese, but then again, things could of been much worse.
    Considering that the Korean government was controlled for so long by the Chinese dynasties, it makes you wonder how come they don't hate China right now. Even today it's because of China that the North Korean government hasn't been taken down yet.

    As for Taiwan, if they were free, how come there's "Taiwan independence movement" in existence, how come China passed the "Anti-Secession Law" in 2005, how come Taiwan cannot even use their own flag in international sports competitions anymore? You call that freedom?

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  90. samurai,

    Cutting all the irrelevance aside, it seems that your main point is that the justification of war does not negate the apologies.

    Apology is an expression of being sorry for having done something that should not have been done. In other words, genuine apology from Japan would recognize that it had done something it should not have done -- i.e. invade Korea, annex it, and commit the various wrongs that the Korean has described in this post.

    Each time Japan (or rather, high-level officials in the Japanese government) justifies the war, it is arguing that Japan did not do something wrong during WWII. This is exactly contrary to the whole point of the apology.

    The fact that you do not recognize such a basic thing, to the Korean, reveals a shocking lack of moral sensitivity. (A phrase that the Korean already used once in this thread.) Apology is not some formal ritual that will, once performed, make the annoying victim go away.

    Again, contrast this with what Germany did post-WWII. When it comes to the wrongs, Germany did the exact same things as Japan did -- invading and annexing countries, countless human rights atrocities, etc. But Germany goes to such vigorous length expressing contrition for their wrongs, it almost makes an observer uncomfortable. (e.g. Textbook in cartoon format so that even young children can learn the horrors of Nazi Germany. If Japan followed the lead of Germany, the relations between Korea and Japan would be significantly better.

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  91. Korean,

    Japanese government has never justified the events during the war, you all believe simply what you want to believe. What the Japanese government justifies IS, that they did what needed to be done in order to protect their own interests at that time. All of you dwell way to much on what Japan did during the war, what's important is what lead to that war. Once the war starts, there are no rules, you do what you have to do in order to survive. You put the kindest person on the battlefield for just a couple of days and you'll be amazed at what he can do to you after that. Japan has NEVER justified its war crimes, and that's all those were - WAR Crimes.

    I suggest you all read very carefully the history of the region before 1895 before making those comments. The cowardly government of Korea is the one to blame, always following orders from China.
    Who assassinated Kim Ok-gyun? - China!
    Who manipulated and exercised control over the conservative Joseon Dynasty? - China!
    Who was against Korea establishing business ties with Japan and modernizing, because they wanted to keep you in their own sphere of influence? - China!
    And what did you do when Japan tried to establish relations with Korea and open businesses there? - You called the Chinese to kick them out of Korea. I wonder how long until you Koreans understand who your real enemy in Asia is.

    As for Germany, that's an entirely different story. And who ever said that the Germans don't honor their dead in the war? Have you ever researched how many memorials exist in Germany today? Once again the Koreans believe whatever suits them best.

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  92. In other words, your argument is that Japanese government is not sorry about the war, but sorry about the war crimes? Anyone with a functioning moral compass would find that position unconvincing.

    But please do elaborate why Germany is an entirely different story. The Korean is very intrigued.

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  93. "In other words, your argument is that Japanese government is not sorry about the war, but sorry about the war crimes?"

    Why would they be sorry for something they did not start and therefore it's not their fault. The war just happened(in my opinion China started it), Japan didn't attack first, so it seems to me that you're blaming them for winning it :) I'm referring to the First Sino-Japanese War of course, but I believe that's the one that concerns you as a Korean, after all Japan did not invade Korea during WWII.

    What I meant by saying "Germany is an entirely different story" was that it is an entirely different topic to discuss.

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  94. I dont know what you're trying to prove Samurai. Whatever it is, you're doing a piss poor job at it. Do you honestly think you can convert and persuade people to believe the filth you write? If anything, you're doing your side a disservice. It's people like you who are responsible for much of the hate Japan receives. Denying war crimes and accusing the victim of "not getting over it" is not the best way to gain their respect.

    Lets sum up the situation right now. Its pretty much your opinions(notice I didn't say facts) as well as the opinion's of Japanese right wing fringe groups against the world. Most and I mean 99.999% of scholars outside of Japan and Korea side with Korea on issues of Japanese war crimes. Too bad you're so blind and stuck up in the right wing propaganda you so worship.

    Dont you dare accuse Koreans of living in the past. Its people like you who constantly dig up the past and attempt to rewrite history. Do Koreans really have an inferiority complex? Or is Japan simply being ashamed of its own past?

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  95. monkey,

    99.99% only in your head my friend. I majored in East Asian History in the United States, that's definitely outside Japan and Korea :)) I'm European, haven't been to Japan even once, so I don't know and don't care about right wing politics in Japan.

    Japan living in the past? As you can see Japanese don't even care about blogs like that, and why should they bother. It's a blog written by a Korean, with a bunch of disgusting comments left by Koreans. And throughout the web, there are plenty more like this one, and you're telling me you're not living in the past?

    NOBODY denies the war crimes, neither have I, but if you read history books the way you read what I've written, no surprise you're writing a bunch of gibberish. War crimes during a WAR - wow, big deal, what were you expecting kisses and candies.:))

    So you want facts, well there's one:

    Japan did NOT start the War - that's a FACT. So all you can blame is your retarded government for their past mistakes. Can't blame Japan for winning the war while protecting themselves.

    Want another fact:

    Japan is the best country in Asia right now, in every possible way, and definitely the most respected here in Europe - that's also a FACT. So if I was Japanese, there's no way I would be ashamed right now of my country. But for all those terrible comments Koreans leave all over the web - they should be ashamed of that.

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  96. So wait a moment. You claim to be a Europeon whos never been to Japan, yet your account name just so happens to be "samurai" and you defend Japanese warcrimes while white washing accepted asian history(outside of Japan)? Is this some kind of joke? You possess a lot of anger and frustration over some of the comments here(none of which are really that hostile) yet you claim to be Europeon, so why do you care so much about Japan?

    I doubt you are Europeon nor have you never been to Japan. In all liklihood, you are a full blooded Japanese person who believes that masquerading as a Europeon will somehow lend credibility to his side of the argument. Wrong buddy. Speaking of which. No "Eurpeon" person would ever claim that he or she is Europeon. Instead they will tell you that they are British, French, Finnish, Swiss, Russian etc. So why do you claim to be Europeon? And in the tiny tiny chance you are actually from Europe, then chances are you must be really young and into things like anime. In that case, people grow up and look at the real picture. Most ADULT historians from countries outside of Korea and Japan always side with Korea on these issues. Why is that? Im not even making this up. Go to any university site(Harvard, Princeton, Berkley etc) or go to any widely known western media outlet(BBC, CNN etc) and type in Japanese war crimes and denial. Guess what you'll find? You will never ever find a view that remotely resembles the garbage you write.

    Mind you that the westerners who write those articles are highly educated professional historians, journalists, professors and think tanks.On the other hand, who the hell are you? Thats right, youre a nobody making stupid biased opinions(not facts) that nobody excluding equally delusional people will agree upon. Who the hell are you to think you're somehow right over say an established Harvard historian and professor? And you are dead wrong about the Japanese not caring about this issue. A blind idiot can tell you that its always Japan who digs up the past and white washes history. Denial of guilt isnt a particuarly noble way to deal with your neighbors. Why dig up a painful moment of past history and bash the victim for reacting to it? Is Japan so immature that they are ashamed of their countries past?

    =================
    Want another fact:

    Japan is the best country in Asia right now, in every possible way, and definitely the most respected here in Europe - that's also a FACT. So if I was Japanese, there's no way I would be ashamed right now of my country. But for all those terrible comments Koreans leave all over the web - they should be ashamed of that.
    =================
    Japan being the best country in asia is an opinion, not a fact. No wonder why your arguments are so stupid. You believe that opinions are the same as facts. Why dont you go open a dictionary and look up the words opinion and facts. Speaking of which you claim that Japan is the best in asia at everything. Is that so?

    Wealth
    Japan's per capita is 33,000 anum. Singapore is 36,000 anum and Hong Kong is 42,000 anum.

    Technology
    South Koreas Samsung is now the leading producer of high tech consumer electronics is asia. Beat out Sony and every other Japanese company in 2005.

    Culture
    China has kung fu films. Korea has dramas and pop music. What exactly is Japan known for outside of its own borders? Anime? Yeah, thats a big accomplishment-NOT.

    Sports
    China and Korea(3 times smaller then Japan population wise) won more medals then Japan at the Olympics.

    Academics(according to the Programme for International Student Assessment)
    Taiwan, Hong Kong and South Korea beat Japan in mathematics.
    Hong Kong and Taiwan beats Japan in science.
    South Korea beats Japan in reading and verbal.
    Japan did not come in first place in a single subject.

    I can find a billion other things Japan is not the best in. Now that you mention is. What exactly is Japan the best at in asia? The only thing I can think of is producing anime and other childish cultural products. And yet you claim that you're Europeon and that Japan is the best country in asia while defending some of the worst atrocities known to man. And to top if off. Your usename happens to be "samurai".

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  97. monkey,

    Personal attacks are not permitted. And the Korean severely dislikes misspellings. Please avoid both.

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  98. monkey,

    If I used "alien" instead of "samurai" would you assume that I'm from Mars? :)) When I say I'm European, I obviously have a reason - I was born in Bulgaria, my family is from Italian descent and I've lived in both countries for enough time not to consider myself being the one over the other. However both countries are in Europe so I believe European suits me best.

    Now, you're correct, I didn't specify what I meant when I said the best in everything, I was speaking in economical terms(this is usually how you compare countries), so my mistake, but you're like a little kid trying to hold on to every phrase literally. Japan is the second largest economy in the world, member of G8, and the Tokyo Stock Exchange easily overshadows any other in Asia.

    Your comparison of GDP per capita between a country of 130 million and city-states like Singapore and HK is irrelevant. Tokyo has more than twice higher GDP per capita than HK. :))

    As far as technology - you only have Samsung and LG, Japan has over 20 large hi-tech electronics corporations, not to mention most of them of higher quality. Name one electronics product Korea makes better than Japan?

    "Korea has dramas and pop music" - that pretty much sums it up :)) The Japanese were making dramas before you had television sets in Korea. J-pop has been popular for a long time now, long before Korean pop. Koreans practically copied both trends from Japan and now you're raving how great the Korean Wave is. J-pop is still more popular world wide than K-pop even today - do a little research and you'll see.

    How about culture? History - everybody knows things like samurai, ninjas, katana, geisha, shogun and so on. Come here in Italy and ask one person on the street to name anything from the Korean history. How about food - Sushi alone is the most popular Asian food nowadays. Why don't you come here and ask if anybody has ever heart of a Korean dish.

    Anime - yes I agree also Japan is the best at that as well, I personally don't care about Manga and Anime.

    And please don't insult my intelligence with that academics stuff. That's statistics on average, large countries always score lower on average, take for example the US, doesn't mean that they still don't have the best universities in the world, very few have the privilege to attend them. Japan does have the best ranked universities in Asia, Todai always ranks first in the region.

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  99. samurai's assertion that Japanese dramas have been around longer than Koreans have had television proves that Japan is the best country in Asia and therefore Japan did not start the war but was a victim of other aggressors.

    There is no point in arguing with this guy. He is either a horribly deluded European (good point about Europeans not calling themselves Europeans, by the way) or a propaganda-spewing rightist/dupe.

    Or possibly he's someone who really can't stand Japan and is pretending to be a Japanese person believing in all this absurd nonsense — which some Japanese really do believe but I don't think it's at all a majority — to make Japanese look bad. If that's the case, STFU right now because that's just stupid and very counterproductive.

    So don't argue with him but just point out where his facts are wrong and his opinions misguided. But don't think you can convince him of anything real.

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  100. Obviously everybody that doesn't agree with you is deluded. It becomes clear to me that the Korean people are the only ones not deluded and they know everything about everything.

    Countless discussions online about how Korea copied the Japanese pop culture.
    Countless discussions of how "Korea invented everything" (and plenty of laughs at your expense from people all over the world.)
    Type any of this in whatever search engine and see for yourselves. :))

    People from Europe obviously never call themselves European.:)) Like you probably never call yourselves Asian. Ridiculous !!

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  101. Obviously everybody that doesn't agree with you is deluded.

    No, my bushido-worshipping friend, lots of people disagree me who are not deluded. When they disagree with me about something so obvious because they are regurgitating right-wing propaganda, then they're deluded.

    It becomes clear to me that the Korean people are the only ones not deluded and they know everything about everything.

    It is pointless to argue with you because you are not defending your assertions or answering other people's refuting of your assertions; you're just doing name-calling and trying to mix in other things (what does Japanese or Korean pop culture have to do with justification of war atrocities?) to deflect criticism of your original points.

    Countless discussions online about how Korea copied the Japanese pop culture.
    Countless discussions of how "Korea invented everything" (and plenty of laughs at your expense from people all over the world.)
    Type any of this in whatever search engine and see for yourselves. :))


    Yes, Chinese like to make up stories about fictitious Koreans claiming this and that, and a few Japanese sites buy into that. Of course, there are a handful of delusional Koreans who believe that Korea is the center of Asia, but most Koreans would laugh at them or think they're delusional.

    What does this have to do with Imperial Japanese war atrocities again?

    People from Europe obviously never call themselves European.:)) Like you probably never call yourselves Asian. Ridiculous !!

    I was intrigued by monkey's assertion so over lunch I asked a few Europeans about that. The French guy, the Croatian guy, the Spanish woman, the English guy, all said they would say they were French, Croatian, Spanish, English, respectively. If someone asked, "Are you European?" they would say yes.

    So, where in Europe are you? Where in the States did you study? What possessed you to go to the US to major in East Asian history but didn't compel you to go visit the Japan with which you clearly have some sort of affinity? That's really quite odd: such a world traveler but not to a place you apparently look at so positively AND studied in school.

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  102. Again with the right wing propaganda :)) I'm not familiar at all with Japanese politics.

    I've never denied Japan's war crimes or atrocities. Check all my previous posts and prove me wrong :)) Yet a few of you keep on blaming me over the same thing over and over again. On the contrary, I despise Japan's war crimes. I despise their actions and greedy ambitions during WWII. But I justify them entering the First Sino-Japanese War. So you want to argue with me about something, that's the topic, not WWII war crimes. I find WWII being quite irrelevant to Korea in general.

    It's evident from all his posts that "the Korean" is a very intelligent person, however 75% of what he's mentioned in his original post in terms of war crimes is 100% irrelevant to WWII. And I love this one: "Korea had despised its island neighbor for its lack of cultural achievements" :)) I was asked of the reason I majored in East Asian history and my answer is because I was fascinated with Japanese culture. Now I wonder if any of you could point to me ONE single thing from Korea's history that supposedly should be known world wide by the general population.

    The reason I went to the US is to live there, and at present I reside in San Diego. East Asian history is not my first major, I majored in Business Administration prior to that. I wouldn't say I had any interest in your cultures prior to my arrival in California. I was exposed to them while there. And the Japanese in particular amazed me the most. At first actually I thought they were a bunch of pathetic morons who act really funny :)), but the discipline and their way of doing things really amazed me. I also fell in love with their cuisine. So yes, Japan is definitely my favorite country in Asia, and I believe most people in Europe(yes all over Europe) will agree with me on this one. I also defend my position in saying European considering we're discussing an Asian topic, if I say Italian I believe it undermines the fact that my statements are not simply from Italian prospective but from European. And I'm not talking about war crimes, but popular culture, and while this has nothing to do with the original topic, I believe it answers your question about me defending Japan. By the way I'm planning to visit Japan and as a matter of fact Korea as well some day.

    But don't get me wrong, I respect my culture and Italian history a lot more than Japan's. After all when we were building coliseums and palaces in Rome, you in Asia were all living in caves :)) (not literally of course, but you get my point).

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  103. samurai:
    "Again with the right wing propaganda :)) I'm not familiar at all with Japanese politics.
    "

    Then maybe you should stfu? You're really picking the wrong place to pick an argument. More out of place than an African-American at a KKK meet.

    I've studied in Japan for 5 years, and while it's a great place, there are many places in which it could improve, and one of them is atonement (反省、 반성) It's mind boggling how any one can have the gall to play devil's advocate to an audience like this...

    You're only proving how little you know about this topic.
    Fact: Japan invaded Korea, and has repeatedly. Even if they may use different terminology, BOTH countries at least address that it happened, even if Japan glosses over the details (Most Japanese are shocked to learn that they partcipated in bombing Australia, where I am from)
    Fact: Many of the policies implimented during the 'annexation' constitute cultural genocide. (Restricting language use, changing names, etc)
    Fact: The exchange of culture has enriched ALL 3 cultures (Chinese, Japanese, Korean). If people from those respective ethnicities refuse to learn from each other, their loss.

    I don't care how great culture 'A' is - if I care, I'll research it on my own, not in this den of misinformation that is a net message board (Not the main topic - it was informative, and objective, if a little biased)

    My opinion is that ignorance is what breeds this hatred and misunderstanding in the first place. Everyone should get out of their net-cafe or PC-bang and read a real book.

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  104. If the assassination of Min Bee--one of the unquestioned villains of Korean history--counts as among the "atrocities" that Japan committed, then Koreans have nothing much to complain of, do they?

    Seriously, her assassination is perhaps the only unambiguously positive thing that Japan did for Korea.

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  105. "She was a shrewd politician and a diplomat, who often tried to use other superpowers (mostly Russia) in the region to check the rising influence of Japan upon Korea."

    Sorry, this is revisionism at its worst. Min Bee had no problems embracing the Japanese when it suited her interest. There is very little in the record that suggests that Min Bee cared for anything but the preservation and maintenance for her (and her clan's) tyrannical rule.

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  106. Samurai, whether you actually are "Europeon" or not(I seriously doubt you are), I honestly don't care. What I do care about is your disgusting and inaccurate view of history.

    That being said, I see in no point in arguing with a Japan apologist with Samurai as his username. In your eyes, anything Japan does is noble. Whether it being gang raping a 13 year old or annihilating the culture of another country, Japan can do no wrong. You've already made up your mind. No amount of evidence will convince you otherwise.

    To make matters worse, your style of debating is to bore the other side into submission. You intentionally write up long drawn out comments that no one wants to read. You do not make convincing arguments nor do you try to prove your arguments. You instead bore the other side into ignoring you.

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  107. I see a good method for both countries.

    Japan: Make an ACTUAL heartfelt apology to Korea. Consult experts from all over the world on these issues and change vague or flat-out wrong parts of its textbooks. KEEP the apology intact and don't let any nonsense get in the way again.

    Korea: Accept apology. Stop over-reacting to every little thing/using Japan as a distraction (esp. for the politicians). The new generation of Japanese people, I believe, wish to get along with Koreans too.

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  108. I am a Korean so my views may be biased, but read on if you are interested. Since this topic is not an easy one to talk about, many seem to have an emotional breakout after a couple sentences or paragraphs. Because of this, there seems to be an unnecessary flaming session going back and forth right here. To those of you commenting about how the whole "Hate Japan" thing is a propaganda launched by the Korean government, it's not entirely true. However, it is true that every country has its own bias about history and they can be seen in textbooks. Even though there may be bias in the Korean textbooks about Japan, there are many facts about it as well. To put it simply, Korea and its people were abused by Japan. There is no need to further complicate the matter. To what degree were the people abused, now that's a topic where an opinion can stand. However, I also think that we as Koreans should try to be open-minded about all this too. So what if there are still racist Japanese people that won't apologize? Let them be. And I'm pretty sure that not 100% of the Japanese people feel the same way about their ancestors having abused Koreans the way they did. It might've seemed like many bloggers here who carry deep hatred for the Japanese made it look like all Japanese are evil and don't repent on their sins, but this might just be due to the fact that Japan's warcrimes are less publicized than... the holocaust. I think this is what made these people frustrated, the fact that no one outside of the countries that were involved really know about Japan's warcrimes.

    Sorry for making that huge mess of text up in the top and about not using paragraphs to make it easier to read for those of you who are reading.

    Now, to sum up my points:

    Those of you who despise the Japanese for what they did in the past and the fact that they're still not repenting on their war crimes to this day...

    As I've said before, not all of the Japanese would feel that way(at least I hope), and if they truly do, there's no way to change that, until they change themselves. So let's change what we CAN change first, ourselves. We can and will grow up first, and learn to be better as individuals. For us Koreans, we should let this pass by and not bother us any longer(this does not mean we should forget about all this). Stop the hating, but do remember what had happened.

    To those of you who deny these Japanese war crimes... They did happen for sure. You might think that these people are bull****ing or overreacting, but you should also understand that they do get emotional while discussing such a topic.

    While Japan has a clean record in the world's views, it did have its dark moments, as all countries do. Because of its exceptional reputation as a country, it may come as a surprise to those of you who came to love its culture and its people, but be informed about all this. It's not something that should be forgotten about as many have stated above, because even to this day, there are those in Japan that do take pride in what others like to call the Japanese war crimes, while there are those that do feel sorry for what their ancestors did.

    Personally, I hope that all these things change, but there's no use trying to change others... before you change yourself. Don't wait for others to grow up.

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  109. I'm Korean-American. I knew about the comfort women, I knew about my grandparents being forced to take Japanese names and speak Japanese in school from their stories, I knew about the rape of Nanking, but when I read about Unit 731, I have to admit that my first thought was thank goodness for Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Couldn't have happened to a more deserving country.

    Please understand, I'm not calling for more war, I'm not calling for more violence. I'm not saying we should drop another atomic bomb on Japan now. But in that historical context, that's what it took for the war to end, and for the occupation to end, and thank goodness it did end.

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  110. bryancti wrote:
    but when I read about Unit 731, I have to admit that my first thought was thank goodness for Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Couldn't have happened to a more deserving country.

    Please understand, I'm not calling for more war, I'm not calling for more violence. I'm not saying we should drop another atomic bomb on Japan now. But in that historical context, that's what it took for the war to end, and for the occupation to end, and thank goodness it did end.


    Yours was an asshat statement. In the end you try to depict the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki as important as war-ending necessities, but in the first paragraph, you reveal you true self: The Japanese deserved it.

    Well, Bryan, are you aware of the vast number of innocent civilians that had nothing to do with Unit 731, the Rape of Nanking, etc, etc, who were killed or maimed in Hiroshima and Nagasaki?

    Are you aware that about one-sixth of all the victims of Hiroshima were Koreans, making them even further removed from culpability for what was going on?

    Even if one could argue that using two atomic bombs was a prudent thing to do (and would not predictably ignite an arms race that could wipe out humanity), why drop them on a civilian population? The way it was done, the bombings of Hiroshima, Nagasaki (which was supposed to be Kokura) was designed to bring massive civilian deaths.

    Did those Japanese and Koreans (and some others) — "deserve" to die for wartime atrocities that they had no control over and probably no knowledge?

    Disgusting.

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  111. The Korean,
    The metal stakes driven into the mountains had nothing to do with suppressing ki or anything like that. They are generally two types of these.

    First, climbing aids. This generally is the kind with a ring on one end. Ropes could easily be tied to them.

    Second, mapping devices. Mapping techniques at the time they were used required rods of uniform size to be driven into the peak of the mountain. Standing on one mountain of known elevation, you can ascertain the distance of the peak of the next mountain, the elevation of that mountain, and this information can be used to make maps.

    This was the purpose of the stakes. There exists a clear example of how they were used in the form of a map of the peninsula connected with a series of triangles. I've spent the longest time searching for it on the net in 3 languages but I can't seem to find it. Anyway, good article.

    ReplyDelete
  112. tSS,

    For both of your examples, there is no reason why the metal rods had to be buried completely into the ground. Also, neither is there a reason why Daoist and shinto priests had to bless them as they were being driven in.

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  113. It seems unlikely Japan, a country notorious for not wasting, would waste so much metal on something as silly as driving stakes into the mountains to suppress the spirit of the land. tSS's explanation seems like a very reasonable explanation whereas the idea that they were put there to diminish ki seems like a weird propaganda ploy that was told to Koreans.

    the Korean - Don't get me wrong, I love your blog but as you admitted at the beginning of this post, it's not possible for you to remain objective on this topic. Even if there any hard evidence of them using priests to bless each stake as they were being driven in, the obvious explanation would be that they remain strong/reliable for the climbers that would be using them.

    ReplyDelete
  114. Feng shui (geomancy) was an integral part of traditional East Asian cultures for many centuries; entire palaces, villages, and cities in China, Korea, and Japan have been built based on it. Therefore, it would have been quite natural for Japan to have also applied it as a means of oppression, be it substantive or symbolic. Spikes driven into mountains are still being discovered today (see for example here, here, and here) in forms and locations that are hard to correlate with mountain climbing or topographic survey. Some of these are 2.3m long, weighing 20kg and driven deep into the ground.

    ReplyDelete
  115. OK, so there are two theories for the metal spikes. Either they were for climbing usage, and generally helped people, or they were there for religious reasons.
    Are you patronizing us Koreans? Or are you just trying to reason with us? Most of us don't even believe that stuff. We laughed at the Japanese for believing the 'chi' whatever, and we would've left those weird spikes be if it wasn't for the superstituous part of our population.

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  116. Wwhat evidence do we have that indicated these metal stakes were put there by the Japanese?

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  117. Even if those stakes were Japanese and they are geomancic in nature, why is that an evil thing?

    Let's pretend this stuff works (as someone clearly believes or so much steel won't be wasted on it - steel does not grow on trees in Japan). We may presume that if the stakes are meant to disperse some kind of Korean spirit, one of the things they will disperse is the Korean nationalistic / independence spirit.

    Let's say you are the Japanese governor. The annexation of Korea is a fait accompli. Right or wrong, necessary or not, barring a miracle (like WWII) realism says Korea won't be independent.

    Given this, the best long-term thing for both Koreans and Japanese is that the Koreans accept their new lot. It is clear to you some of them aren't doing that. As governor, one of your jobs is to convince them or at least keep them quiet. But how?

    Force? We all know that this always generates new dissent, even though if things get out of hand it may be the only way to maintain stability.

    Propaganda? As far those dissenting Koreans are concerned, you are the Jap. If you send them pamphlets they'll probably rip it up w/o even reading it.

    Good works? To some extent, they are doing that already. Doesn't seem to be convincing all the Koreans, though.

    Using magic behind their backs? If we assume magic works ... hey, there's an idea. Peaceful. Subliminal, so they can't raise their defenses. Where's the disadvantage?

    In fact, if I believe feng shui geomancy works, it'll be immoral of me, as Japanese governor, to not try such an ideal means of settling the Korean population.

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  118. You really shouldn't write about history without offering any sources (aside from Wikipedia) or doing even a modicum of real research. Sources should be checked, especially on Wikipedia.

    Just one small but telling example -- you list the "Kanto massacre" as an example of Japanese atrocities. It's bad enough that you list only the highest estimate of Korean death, but lowball the numbers of Japanese deaths, which are at least 100,000, as quoted in the wiki.

    But wiki cites another article (on another matter) by a Berkeley historian which states the following info, interestingly not included in wiki's summary text:

    "At the same time rumors of foreigners planning some form of takeover in the aftermath of the disaster spread among a frightened population. On Sept. 5th the Prime Minister issued a warning to the public that these rumors were without basis and were contradictory to the spirit of assimilation that Japan wished to achieve. Nonetheless, the rumors led to groups of vigilantes who patrolled the streets, and there were accounts of attacks on Korean citizens. This prompted the government to open a shelter
    where as many as 3,075 Koreans were lodged for their own safety. By Sept. 8, the city of Tokyo was placed under martial law, and the army became instrumental in distributing food and beginning the long reconstruction process."

    You also whitewash western colonialism if you think the Japanese even approached the brutality of the British and Dutch (which for obvious reasons gets short shrift in western history).

    These are just two examples. The history is not so one-sided.

    History is indeed complicated. You should not be so one-sided.

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  119. Nuances in factual statements and differences in opinions aside, the undeniable bottom line is this:

    1. Japan committed some terrible, abominable crimes against Korea during its annexation.

    2. Japan as a nation--its political leaders, administration, textbooks, etc. etc.--have not paid reasonable and adequate atonement for its crimes. (To its credit, apologies have been made, some of which have been sincere--but only to be followed by excuses, justifications, or completely false cover-ups, only further enraging the victim countries like Korea.)


    Korea doesn't hate Japan because of #1. We are mad at Japan because of #2, followed by #1.

    Yes, the war crimes were horrible and unforgivable, but we understand that people are not perfect, and that people may make mistakes and make wrong choices. We also know that the young generation of Japanese people born post-WWII can't be forever blamed for the wrongs their parents/grandparents/ancestors did. What Koreans simply cannot tolerate is that Japan doesn't acknowledge its wrongs.

    Imagine that a rapist violated your mom 40 years ago. It was a horrible incident but thankfully, she was able to recover and marry another good man a few years later and give birth to you and generally live in a better state now. The rapist, too, has moved on from his criminal days and is leading a generally better, cleaner life, has his own family, etc etc... But, imagine that, to this date, the rapist and his family members fail to properly apologize to your mom (or worse, keep making B.S. apologies like "I'm sorry, but c'mon, it wasn't that bad...").

    Is it the victim's fault that she can't forgive the rapist? Is it your (the victim's son/daughter) fault that you are still mad at the rapist and his family?

    Seriously, all other comments about nuances and discrepancies and minor perspective differences couldn't be more irrelevant. Stop the bullshit like "C'mon, it wasn't that bad..." "I had no other choice at the time..." "Yeah, I know, it was horrible, but it's not completely my fault because I know you enjoyed it too..." and just accept the situation as what it is. Japan did something wrong, so admit it, apologize, and try to atone for your wrongs. Korea is ready to forgive you and put the past behind.

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  120. (The point in my comment was much more eloquently expressed by TK in the next post of the series. Go ahead, read it.

    And for that, TK, I sincerely thank you, even if I'm 5 years too late in my comments.)

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