Saturday, March 27, 2010

Hilarious history of Asian men dating non-Asian women. Here is a sample:
Philip Jaisohn and Muriel Armstrong

Real or Fake: Real
Couple: Philip Jaisohn (a.k.a. Seo Jae-pil) and Muriel Armstrong
When: 1893
Complex says: Philip was a man of many firsts: the first Korean to become a naturalized U.S. citizen and receive an American medical degree, first person to publish a Korean newspaper using the Korean alphabet (as opposed to Chinese)...and, most importantly, first Korean man to marry a Caucasian. And not just any white bitty: Muriel was the socialite daughter of the U.S. Post Master General and a relative of President Buchanan. The inscription on the statue above reads: "Homie got Game with a capital 'G.'"
Yellow Fever! The Definitive History of Asian Men Dating Outside Their Race (complex.com)

(Via KoreAm magazine)

13 comments:

  1. Oh my lord, this site is amazing. Thank you for spreading the love...

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  2. At age 59, Korea's first president married a 36-year-old Austrian-Swiss woman that he wooed while meeting the League of Nations in Geneva. The two were eventually exiled to Hawaii, where they probably fit in much, much better than in Korea.

    Bull pucky. Francesca was quite beloved by Koreans in general. I hate this knee-jerk assumption that people are generally intolerant.

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  3. love it~~ and as for The Lover... Tony has got some serious mojo!Now if only normal (non-celebrity) Asian guys would realise white girls find them attractive!

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  4. RE: Fake
    Couple: Mark Dacascos as Yo Hinomura and Julie Condra as Emu O'Hara in Crying Freeman.


    Actually, Mark Dacascos and Julie Condra are married in real life. They even have 3 children together. I only know this because I met him at a tokusatsu convention I took my young nephew to. Nephew wanted to meet Dacascos as he played Eubulon, the Advent Master, on Kamen Rider Dragon Knight.

    Yes, quite a thrilling moment for me. ;)

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  5. kush, being loved and fitting in are two different things. Lady Francesca was in fact beloved, but she must have stood out in Korea regardless.

    Lauren, you can blame Kate Gosselin. The succubus ruined it for the rest of white girls with yellow fever.

    kimberly, there is a tonkatsu convention?? Sounds awesome.

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  6. kush, being loved and fitting in are two different things. Lady Francesca was in fact beloved, but she must have stood out in Korea regardless.

    Not buying it. It said they probably would have fit in better in Hawaii.

    You're talking about personal fitting in, with the assumption that she as a White woman would have stood out for that reason. But then why would he not fit in, being, after all Korean.

    No, it's talking about them as a couple, and they fit in just fine. She was beloved by many and any problems not fitting in were insulated by her fame and position. In fact, she returned to Korea five years after her husband died, and lived in their old house Ihwajang with their adoptive son, for the next twenty-two years, an indication of where she felt she fit in more.

    (And lest one think she was returning to Korea to live in the lap of luxury, Ihwajang was a modest place, as was their home in Hawaii, which I visited last year.)

    They clearly were talking about the two of them being accepted as a couple, and I am protesting this knee-jerk assumption that such couples automatically were the butt of disdain and animosity.

    I liked the list for pointing out all these couples (even though I knew about most of the "classic" ones), but at the same time it was a bit sloppy with the language, trying to be more colorful than necessary, and it comes across crude. A lot of "hit that" type statements that are offensive to women regardless of color.

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  7. kimberly, there is a tonkatsu convention?? Sounds awesome.

    Ah, no, there is not a convention for Japanese deep-fried pork. Yet. ;)

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  8. I read that site and have a few points:

    1. This idea that "everybody lusts after Asian women" is only partially true - face it, straight men lust after HOT WOMEN, not just Asian women. The reason why you see so many white male/Asian female pairings is because ASIAN WOMEN LUST AFTER WHITE MEN! (Not all, of course, but a lot do.) In fact, they fetishize whiteness. Sure, there are your usual creepy white dudes who are severely obsessed with Asian cultures, but the reason why so many white guys end up with Asian girls is b/c they can't get a hot girl who is white, black, Latina, Indian, Persian, etc. A lot of those women tend to want to date guys from their own race, whereas a lot of Asian girls think dating a white guy is a matter of status and pride (not to mention the racist ways in which they have been socialized to worship white features, etc.).

    2. South Asian men don't have the same issues in landing non-Asian women that East Asian men do. Make the distinction!

    3. That being said, the whole idea of celebrating the fact that Asian men have dated outside their race reeks of subtle self-hatred. Who cares? You don't see Latinos writing articles about how their men have dated white women. Well, apples and oranges, I guess.

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  9. Jaesohn was a Korean hero, and it's too bad he and his movement are glossed over by Korean nationalist historians and teachers who want to paint the Joseon Dynasty as some kind of paradise before the Japanese invaded. Jaesohn had to flee the tyrannical Joseon dictatorship after his family was murdered by the government, because he upheld Enlightenment ideals of freedom and equality.

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  10. Bryan,

    서재필 is not glossed over at all. Because of his involvement in publishing The Independent, he is one of the most highlighted independence fighters in Korean history curriculum.

    Also...

    Jaesohn had to flee the tyrannical Joseon dictatorship after his family was murdered by the government, because he upheld Enlightenment ideals of freedom and equality.

    ... is a very, very skewed view of history, just short of being completely inaccurate.

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  11. I don't see what is wrong with that comment. The Joseon dictatorship, which kept nearly the entire population of Korea as ignorant, illiterate slaves, who, if they were lucky to live past 22 years old (the average life expectancy of men in Korea around 1900), had no chance of living a human life like many people in other countries around the world at the same time.

    The evil dictatorship was guilty of radical suppression of ideas that it viewed contrary to their slave state, such as the mass slaughter of Christians, and that policy was carried out on Jaisohn and other Enlightenment inspired reformers.

    Luckily, the Japanese disposed of such a terrible regime and introduced such advancements as Western technology and medicine, abolished the government imposed slavery caste system, and allowed people to finally own property. However, it would have been preferable that Jaisohn's ideas had spread instead of having a Japanese occupation, but there is no doubt that the Joseon slave state was a menace and mass murderer of the people, enslaving them on the same scale that North Korea does today.

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  12. 1. Joseon was not a dictatorship. It was a monarchy, with a specific emphasis on people's will as the heaven's mandate upon the king.

    2. Joseon Dynasty did not "keep" Koreans as "ignorant, illiterate slaves." For a contrary example, it was a Joseon king who invented hangeul.

    Because your conclusions are based on a flawed understanding of historical facts, your conclusions are also severely incorrect.

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  13. Bryan wrote:
    The Joseon dictatorship, which kept nearly the entire population of Korea as ignorant, illiterate slaves, who, if they were lucky to live past 22 years old (the average life expectancy of men in Korea around 1900), had no chance of living a human life like many people in other countries around the world at the same time.

    The life expectancy data you mentioned is also rather misleading. Without getting into their accuracy and just, for the sake of argument, accepting "22" as a reasonable number to work with, infant mortality skewed these results in such a way that "they were lucky to live past 22 years" is a gross misstatement.

    Particularly when dealing with areas with high infant or childhood mortality, as Korea had in the 19th century, demographers find life expectancy for those over-five to be a more useful number than overall life expectancy itself.

    Let's say you have a place with 50% child mortality but the rest of the population lives to be an average of 60, the average life expectancy would be slightly over 30. It would be incorrect to say that the average person "is lucky to live past 30" when in fact, for those who survive to the age of five or even just two, the chances of reaching 30, 40, or even 50 and 60 are actually higher than not.

    Incidentally, a major war between China and Japan that devastated much of Korea was also responsible for lowering overall longevity at the time.

    Late Chosŏn, of course, was working with Christian missionaries to set up a countrywide system of modern Western hospitals, which began to cut down infant deaths, childhood deaths, and pregnancy-related deaths. This set the life expectancy rate on a strong upward trajectory, similar to what happened in Japan a couple decades earlier. That Japan took over the country and usurped the Christian missionaries' and Korean government's efforts in health and education is conveniently forgotten by apologists for Imperial Japan, who tend to give Japan credit for the introduction of Western medicine and the expansion of education, even though they did not introduce it and they arguably retarded its progress.

    And while we're at it, do you have a link or citation to your "22" claim? It would be interesting to have a look at this source that I hear every now and then but have yet to be shown.

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