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Hating the Korean Wave hits the NYT

The NYT’s Norimitsu Onishi discusses the infamous "Hating the Korean Wave" comic book and the popularity in Japan of negative images of the country’s Korean and Chinese neighbors:

A young Japanese woman in the comic book "Hating the Korean Wave"
exclaims, "It’s not an exaggeration to say that Japan built the South Korea of today!" In another passage the book states that "there is nothing at all in Korean culture to be proud of."

In another comic book, "Introduction to China,"
which portrays the Chinese as a depraved people obsessed with
cannibalism, a woman of Japanese origin says: "Take the China of today,
its principles, thought, literature, art, science, institutions.
There’s nothing attractive."

The two comic books, portraying Chinese and Koreans as base peoples
and advocating confrontation with them, have become runaway best
sellers in Japan in the last four months.

In their graphic and
unflattering drawings of Japan’s fellow Asians and in the unapologetic,
often offensive contents of their speech bubbles, the books reveal some
of the sentiments underlying Japan’s worsening relations with the rest
of Asia.

Not mentioned, of course, are that popular images of Japan in Korea and China aren’t exactly complementary, full as they are with barely concealed contempt on both historical and cultural grounds.  Nevertheless, read the piece in its entirety — it’s a goodie.

About the author: Just the administrator of this humble blog.

  • dood

    bastards…

  • dave11130

    I have to agree with the Japanese on this one. Lately I’ve been traveling around Asia quite a lot and it’s easy to see the differences. The Japanese have an easy laid back style, not interested for the most part in impressing anyone; just folks. The Koreans on the other hand are rude, look what I have, designer flaunting wantabes. You can tell when you’re at the end of your trip and arrive at the Asiana check in. That’s when the pushing, shoving and loudness begins. It gets far worse when you arrive in Seoul. If this is the direction Asia is going, my heart goes out for Asia.

  • http://kushibo.blogspot.com/ kushibo

    It is important to keep this in perspective: only 0.3% of the population has actually bought this book.

  • Martin

    NYT is being sloppy, bordering on tabloid press-like, in its translation of this book’s title. It is not “Hating the Korean Wave” but simply “Against the Korea Wave” or “Objecting to the Korean Wave”. Anyone who knows kanji, including both Koreans and Japanese, can read and understand that title.

  • http://www.occidentalism.org shakuhachi

    Actually, I read the comic, and the comic makes it clear that Kenkanryu means ‘The hate Korea wave’. Still, the above quote from the comic was taken out of context, and the article itself is sensationalist.

  • Shenzhen Whitey

    I hope the qoutes from the comic indeed were taken out of context, because I don’t see how anyone could find such overt statements compelling entertainment. Stereotyping or country-bashing aside, they just seem boring and I don’t see how a good plot may have been built around them.

    When I first saw the headline on the IHT, I was thinking what many others here seem to be thinking, that the NYTimes should have looked at Chinese and Korean attitudes towards Japan expressed in their popular media, just as much as the the Times looked at the vice-versa.

    But the article does point outs something I have noticed among manga in Japan–that the Japanese do seem to draw their characters with many western features, as maybe an ambivalence about it being a part of Asia. It could be a part of trying to draw in western buyers, but I have my doubts.

  • rowan

    kushibo,
    0.3% might not seem much, but when you think abotu it, it could be a fair amount of the comic book readers. As popular as comics are in japan, i think it would still be a small percent of the people who buy them, and there are a lot of comics there to choose from, so it could actually be a popular comic. (all that could be wrong, but it seems reasonable given my lack of any statistics)

  • Kevin

    Is the comicbook culture in Japan dissimilar to that here in Korea? I ask because here, the number of sales only really represents the number of comicbook rental stores that have made the purchase- here, the number of readers cannot be represented by the number of sales.

  • http://kushibo.blogspot.com kushibo

    kushibo,
    0.3% might not seem much, but when you think abotu it, it could be a fair amount of the comic book readers.

    Yeah, but what of it? While I disagree with at least part of what I’ve seen quoted from the book, this sentiment is nothing new. There is a small segment of the population that wants to believe in that hateful message, and they would with or without the book.

    That this might bring the hateful (and at least partially wrong-headed, I believe) message to more of the young generation is something that concerns me, but the 0.3% is the same as that of the controversial textbooks that were approved in 2001 and again this year. I’m guessing there’s considerable overlap.

    Anyway, just as when 0.0000004% of Korea’s population cuts off a finger to protest Takeshima Day and I say that it is unfair to take the facile route of suggesting that sliver represents the whole pie, I dare say the same thing might be true when we’re talking 1/300 people in Japan.

    Sensationalism may rule the media, but that doesn’t mean it has to rule the people.

    I would rather focus on challenging the wrong-headed beliefs therein (which I’m hoping to do here when I have the time). I wish I had a full English text, though, because I’d like more than the NYT quotes to work on.

    This reminds me of the LA Times tongue-snipping article, which created more buzz about the issue than there ever had been before the story.

    As popular as comics are in japan, i think it would still be a small percent of the people who buy them, and there are a lot of comics there to choose from, so it could actually be a popular comic. (all that could be wrong, but it seems reasonable given my lack of any statistics)

    That may be. But let’s say each book gets rented ten times, that’s still one out of thirty people. Single-digit percentages.

  • http://www.occidentalism.org matt

    People can talk about the NYT article and analyse it all they want (written by a Korean with a Japanese name, by the way), but the quotes have been totally removed from their context. It is clear reading the comic that the character means that Japan had laid the foundation of modern development in Korea, by bringing modernization, economic growth, and and social reform.

  • juan

    shakuahchi OR matt, please stick to a single ID, so we don’t mistake you for two different people.

  • Kimbob

    he he.. I don’t know what’s more amusing, those some Japanese who think they are tall blonde Aryans in comic books, or shakuhachi predictably appearing like clock work to once again defend Japanese superior genes. LOL.

  • Sonagi

    Korean comic-book style history books for children depict the Japanese with slitty eyes and buck teeth and Westerners with huge noses that look like a bird’s beak. All Africans wear a bone, either in their hair or through their noses. Comic books in general illustrate Koreans with large eyes, and the women often have light hair.

    As the Marmot has pointed out, the NYT told only half the story by looking at a Japanese comic book and not examining Korean comic books. These bash-each-other books have been coming out for years. While I was in Korea, a popular read was “There Is No Japan,” written in response to a Japanese book, “There Is No Korea.” I don’t know how popular the Japanese book was, but the Korean tit-for-tat sold enough books to spawn a sequel.

    Hate books like this are not news unless they make the best-seller list.

  • http://profile.typekey.com/g_travan/ G Travan

    “by bringing modernization, economic growth, and and social reform.”

    Isn’t this what Stalin, Hitler, Mao and Pol Pot said they were doing? Is it alright to rape, slaughter and enslave if you bring the above holy items? What a bunch of hogwash…

    The Meiji movement was a total disaster for Japan, leading directly to militarism, fascism and nuclear devastation. The Japanese were processed into “modernity” through the most brutal means, much as Stalin did in Russia. The Meiji and their descendants began by hating their own people and then spread the hate to their neighbors. In the end, they wound up hating their original objects of worship: England and the US.

    If you think this comic book is the voice of some marginal freaks and extremists, think again. The prime minister, the deputy prime minister, the governor of Tokyo, and many other important figures are on the same wavelength.

    Check out this article on Tojo’s granddaughter, and you’ll be surprised how much of the fanatic right-wing program is being enacted as law:
    http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Japan/GK12Dh04.html

  • nerdieboy

    What is Onishi’s background? He tends to be very critical of Japan.

  • virtual wonderer

    Sonagi,

    Of course, after “Ilboneun upda”, someone else published “Ilboneun itda.”

    Shakushaku,
    please show me where it says taht Norimitsu Onishi is a zainichi.

    I don’t think the problem is that Onishi is critical of Japan—as much as that there is no Korean journalist like Onishi.

  • virtual wonderer

    Sorry Shaku,

    it was Nerdie who asked for Onishi’s background. My error. My apologies.

    Hm. Japan-Korea post. My prediction: Comments exceed 60.

  • nerdieboy

    To be honest, sometimes his articles are a little weird, such as some of the ones cited here (via a comment from occidentalism):

    http://blog.livedoor.jp/tonchamon/archives/50009090.html

    I don’t know if that necessarily proves his background is Korean though.

    I can’t read Japanese so I don’t know what is said here:
    http://www.mypress.jp/v2_writers/hirosan/story/?story_id=1003547

  • Kimbob

    I think nerdieboy brought out a good point about Japan. Those hate sites in Japan are a dime a dozen. They can get just as hateful as Korea can ever get. The only difference between the two country is that in Korea, you know who the nutters are by their crass riot induced behaviour. In Japan, they hide behind three piece suits, have big smiles, and are even nice and pleasant to talk to.

  • rowan

    Kushibo,

    when considering statistics, you have to consider the population that the number is drawn from. As you said, if the comic is rented 10 times its 1 in 30 that reads its. but if only 1 in 50 actually reads comics for example, then thats over half of the comic readers reading it. This is different to the text books as that was a measure of all schools, which all have to have texts, but not everyone has to, or does read comics, so you can’t compare the number of comic purchases to the entire population of japan.

  • Michael

    Since I’m not Asian and don’t have an axe to grind like the usual (boring) suspects here, let me say that Mr. Onishi’s reporting is very even-handed. He once described the apartment blocks in Seoul as a “scab,” and he’s not exactly a mindless booster of all things Korean. As for the comic books — they’re for children, as is the childish bigotry behind them. I’m sure the U.S. and EU are secretly glad that the collective immaturity of the Asian region is keeping it from being a real economic or political threat to the West. Asians beat themselves down in self-defeating racism, and keep the region from its potential. Hell, even Bush recognized that when he said Japan, Korea and China should have a “future-oriented dialogue.”

  • Shenzhen Whitey

    To put the sales into context. The The 13 issues of the bestselling ‘Nana’manga series have sold 23 million copies, just a little less than 2 million an issue.

  • iHateKyopos

    Man, expats are so predictable in their arguments against Koreans. I was counting down from 10 waiting to hear the usual Korea bashings, and how Japan is righteous and pure.
    All this from a New York Times article about Japanese national comic book written by a dirty rotten Korean disguised as true pure honest Japanese.

  • nerdieboy

    Somehow, I doubt that Touche is a expat. He sounds like someone from one of those ridiculously volatile Asian-American forums. Note: I can’t see any of those ****s. Madlibs?

  • http://marmot.blogs.com/korea The Marmot

    Could we keep the Korea/Japan/gyopo/expat/Martian bashing to a minimum? Thanks.

  • touchebag

    wow, douche, did you by chance get screwed by a hogwan owner?! hard to believe that a mighty english teacher’s contract wasn’t respected… especially when english teachers are so famous about upholding their end of a contract….
    get over your grudge, it isn’t good for your health.

  • Mark

    Nori’s ethnic background is pretty irrelevant to the discussion at hand. I do believe, that he was raised in Canada (Canadian citiizen?), although I am not sure. Anyhow, he is a quality journalist. The day comes anyone bitching about him around here gets a better job, maybe I’ll listen.

    Anyhow, if we are going to play the “who really started it” game, shouldn’t Prussia get the credit for Korea and Japan both? Really, what a dumb thing to say. Does England get credit for Hong Kong, or blamed for India?

    IMAO, anyone who thinks Japan is either the anti-Christ or the cat’s ass is full of shit. It is a nifty country that has done some cool stuff, but that also has some pretty serious problems. Like most of them.

  • n

    .

  • John

    My friends and roommates in college were Japanese, I admit they were outgoing,sociable, friendly from the outside but the inside is another story. They liked to score white girls in bar and these three guys like to bring one girl home at a time, massage the girl and then, insert different objects into the woman.
    For friends Japanese can be friendly but they seem to lie, backstab you with a smily two-faced a lot.

  • Michael

    I had a friend in college named John, he was outgoing,sociable, friendly from the outside but the inside was another story. For friends guys named John can be friendly but they seem to lie, backstab you with a smily two-faced a lot.

  • nulji

    the us built roads and schools for the filipinos. it doesn’t seem to have done much good. SOME in japan say korea is where it is becuase the japanese built roads and schools. i’d say korea is where it is because it’s confucian values met capatalism. roads and schools don’t mean a thing. it’s the cultural underpinnings of any given society that determines it’s success. that’s not pc but it’s the truth.

    ***

    when i read this article, i first thought of shakuhachi/matt blowing his stack. i wasn’t disappointed. then, the second thought was about the fact that 300,000 copies sold in a land of 150 million people didn’t seem significant. hundreds of thousands more have visited korea than have bought the book.

    ***

    the character on the cover may mean ‘dislike’ but the contents make it very clear that it’s all about hate.

  • nulji

    ps it’s all blowing up in your face, isn’t guys? fitzpatrick is my hero.

    and god bless you, mr murtha!

  • dogbert

    “The day comes anyone bitching about him around here gets a better job, maybe I’ll listen.”

    I guess you haven’t heard about the several scandals involving New York Times reporters in the past few years.

  • http://kushibo.blogspot.com kushibo

    David, you’re obviously making that up. Almost all Korean men are scared to death of talking to White girls, no matter how much they’ve had to drink.

  • http://koreanamerican431.blogspot.com/ baduk

    I think it is wise for Koreans to just cool it. Any anti-Japanese attitude is equal to pro-Chinese attitude. It is!

    Since I do not want to see Korea eaten up by China, from now on, I will stop bashing Japanese. They are stupid, bad and egotistical lot, but right now Koreans need to embrace(uck!) these Fuji mountain monkeys to survive.

    Koreans need to cool it. This is only way to avoid and not to be the major victim of the upcoming China-Japan war.

  • http://koreanamerican431.blogspot.com/ baduk

    Kushibo has a nice blow-by-blow account of Nanking massacre. http://kushibo.blogspot.com/

    Read and think. I expect the same thing is just around the corner. With Japan and China on the warpath, how can Koreans avoid this major conflict and survive? Be wise. “Mum” is the word.

  • http://profile.typekey.com/judgejudy/ judge judy

    stupid they are not, baduk. however, if i were to choose a political side from a strategic standpoint it would be alignment with japan. but, as seems to be the case all too often, korea is late in making this alignment. the US already did it, and korea will be seen as just following on the heels of uncle sam.

  • http://koreanamerican431.blogspot.com/ baduk

    The US is not aligned with nobody. “Fly like a butterfly and sting like a bee”. The US will stay out of this China-Japan war.

    It is not US’s war. It is not Korean war. But, jackasses in Korea want to get in on this action and will get burned big time.

    Japan and China will fight to death. Nuclear bombs and all. The US will stay out. Just like WWII. Only near the end, when a few nuclear bombs have been dropped in Japan to kill these old glory-clenching nuts, the US will be playing the role of peacemaker.

    By then, the US have paid off 1/2 of national debt(Japanese portion of the debt) and will work on paying off the Chinese portion by selling goods and services to China in their rebuilding efforts.

    The US is smarter than these two jokers put together. Besides, talk to some laid-off autoworkers in Detroit about going to war to save Japan. They will kill you.

  • Sonagi

    Calling the Japanese monkeys, Baduk? That’s classy.

  • http://koreanamerican431.blogspot.com/ baduk

    Only stupid monkeys will go to Yasukuni right now. How does it help the situation? Intelligent humans will not. Thoughtless Japanese monkeys do.

    They will pay for this stupidity! Chinese mongrels will stir-fry them for lunch.

  • Noah Body

    Baduk – You really need to get yourself a hobby. Six of the last 10 posts all around the Marmot’s Hole are yours. Less is more.

  • http://kushibo.blogspot.com kushibo

    Go wrote:
    Funny how Koreans call Japanese monkeys,

    A Korean on this list called Japanese monkeys (and he was referring to a specific group, though I don’t think that makes it okay). Typical Korean slurs of Japanese tend toward porcine descriptions, not simian ones.

    Baduk was out of line (for the record: cut it out, Baduk), but so were you, even more so. We all know Baduk is delusional sometimes, with occasional glimpses of laser-like insight, and it’s clear why his interests would bring him to a place like Marmot’s. But why would someone who loathes Koreans as much as you apparently do actually bother to frequent a place like this?

    As for Japan, a place I happen to love, even if I disagree with some of the politics, there are not just a few people like you describe, though they are less likely to make it into fashion magazines. It’s really stupid to go bashing Koreans for looking that way.

  • http://mirrored.flabber.nl/busu/busu.swf Busu
  • http://kushibo.blogspot.com/ kushibo

    Pretty funny, there, Busu (by the way, a “maybe not safe for work” warning might have been good to have). An interesting parade of alleged Japanese with wide faces and “slitty small eyes,” but as this site proves, all of them are stowaways to Japan whose Korean grandparents went to Japan, became prostitutes for the Japanese military, made lots of money, and now their grandkids are trying to defame the Japan that nurtured them by having wide faces and slitty eyes.

    [This comment is satire. If you don't like it, then it's probably making fun of you.]

  • Mizar5

    OK, cool it gang. Is it OK to post something on topic?

    A word about the Halyu (“Korea Wave”). It’s a niche market. That’s all it will ever be. Korea can try to market it as a broad-based phenomenon but it’s not. It’s confined to niches such as oppressed middle-class Japanese women looking for safe, effeminate boy-toys.

  • Mizar5

    One more ref;ection on Halyu. I encountered an article accsuing America of so-called “cultural imperialism” for selling Hollywood films abroad.

    Ahem…nobody holds a gun to people’s heads and forces them to watch. In fact, the opposite is true – there’s a QUOTA on American films here! Quite simply, people all over the world line up to watch US films because they like the product. They are well produced and well marketed and their quality and appeal is universally recognized.

    Despite Halyu, Korea is yet to produce a single film or cultural product with that kind of following. Korean products remain a tiny niche market. But given the national pride taken in Halyu, is Halyu cultural imperialism?

  • Mizar5

    “Japan and China on the warpath?” Get real, Baduk. What on earth are you talking about? Who do you think yuo are, Nostradamus.

    I cannot think of two countries anywhere in the world less likely to wage war on each other than China and Japan.

    But if you can make arbitrary calls like this, so can anybody. Thanks for wasting our time with pointless, baseless conjecture.

  • Mizar5

    Next time I go to Japan, I think I’ll make a point of visiting Yasukuni. What are there – six war criminals there? How many Korean war criminals are interred in the National Cemetary? You know – the Japanese conscripts who tortured Allied POWs, the ruthless Viet Nam vets and the soldiers who committed the attrocities in Kwangju.

    Stop fighting over nonsense.

  • http://www.occidentalism.org shakuhachi

    Hmm, this comic hardly has anything about the Korean wave in it. The korean wave is merely a device for the lead character to start to get interested in Korean issues. The comic doesnt hate the korean wave, the comic is about ‘the hate Korea wave’, a wave of negative sentiment towards (south) Korea resulting from raised awareness of Korean attitudes towards Japan.

    Really, I find it hilarious that people can post at length about something they have never read. Personally, I would be too embarrassed to make definitive comments on something I havent read, but maybe thats just me.

  • Mizar5

    “Really, I find it hilarious that people can post at length about something they have never read. Personally, I would be too embarrassed to make definitive comments on something I havent read, but maybe thats just me.”

    That’s just you. Welcome to Korea.

    I’ll admit, the “hate Korea wave” point was lost on me. Thanks for the clarification. That placed things in proper perspective.

  • http://kushibo.blogspot.com Kushibo

    Mizar5 wrote:
    A word about the Halyu (“Korea Wave”). It’s a niche market. That’s all it will ever be. Korea can try to market it as a broad-based phenomenon but it’s not. It’s confined to niches such as oppressed middle-class Japanese women looking for safe, effeminate boy-toys.

    It is far more than just Yonsama fans and far more than just in Japan, Mizar5. I used to suspect that this was something being magnified by the Korean media, but a trip to Japan or Hong Kong shows that it’s not.

    One more ref;ection on Halyu. I encountered an article accsuing America of so-called “cultural imperialism” for selling Hollywood films abroad.

    Ahem…nobody holds a gun to people’s heads and forces them to watch.

    I wouldn’t use the phrase cultural imperialism, but big-budget studios have the money, the means, and the motive to push out smaller studios, whether they are American or not. Nobody forces them to watch the movie, but big-biz Hollywood does have a lot of sway over what the theaters show. But that’s a whole other issue.

    In fact, the opposite is true – there’s a QUOTA on American films here!

    I think you’re missing the boat on this one. First, it’s not a quota on American films (when the quota was firmly in place, Hong Kong and European films were also significantly affected).

    Second, the dismantling of the quota system is the very reason that Korean movies got better: because the movie studios realized they could no longer depend on a captive audience, they actually tried to innovate and improve their product. And it worked! The result was popular movies for Koreans to watch and for Korean companies to export.

    Here’s what a 2004 Reuters article had to say about government efforts to end the quote:
    South Koreans who support ending the quota ? the last hurdle to a South Korea-U.S. investment treaty seen as vital to Seoul’s economic competitiveness ? say the film sector is one “infant industry” that has grown up and no longer needs protection.

    It is unbecoming, they argue, to demand protection at the same time South Korean films are breaking box-office records, being aggressively marketed overseas and finding favour with movie-goers and festival judges, most recently in Cannes, where the ultra-violent film “Old Boy” took the Grand Prix.

    Quite simply, people all over the world line up to watch US films because they like the product.

    AND because Hollywood product is well-positioned to dominate what is available. Just as Coke and/or Pepsi are going to dominate virtually any beverage market: they may not be the best, but they’re pretty good, and they have the money to insure that they are the dominant players.

    They are well produced and well marketed and their quality and appeal is universally recognized.

    They are well-marketed, which often trumps quality. Even crappy Hollywood movies do reasonably well, because they are well-marketed. Hollywood cstudios an do that, because they have the means to spend $100 million on marketing a movie when other studios cannot.

    Despite Halyu, Korea is yet to produce a single film or cultural product with that kind of following. Korean products remain a tiny niche market.

    In the United States, maybe. But not in Asia. In the United States, virtually any foreign-language film is going to remain in a niche market. When people in Orange County or San Diego have to drive to Westwood in Los Angeles, an hour-and-a-half or two hours away, to the one theater playing what was in Japan a popular film, that’s a bad sign, and it certainly doesn’t reflect what happens in other parts of the world where subtitles are not a deterrent.

    But given the national pride taken in Halyu, is Halyu cultural imperialism?

    If they start trying to impose Korean values, I’d say yeah.

  • http://kushibo.blogspot.com kushibo

    Mizar5 wrote:
    “Japan and China on the warpath?”

    Get real, Baduk. What on earth are you talking about? Who do you think yuo are, Nostradamus.

    I cannot think of two countries anywhere in the world less likely to wage war on each other than China and Japan.

    I’m not saying Baduk’s right, but I wouldn’t go so far as to call it “baseless conjecture.”

    It does remind me of something in the my blog’s TIME archives, below.

    In TIME, a Japanese writer sends this message to American missionaries in Japan:
    Dear America! What a naughty boy you are growing to be! Prosperity has spoiled you; you have grown too fat to retain your tender sensibilities. You are too active, and have got out of control. … You don’t mean to be bad, after all, and you were born a good child. I love you all the same. But nevertheless you are too arrogant. . . . You are giving military drill to your girls. Shame! You are making military preparations day and night. Against whom? Whom are you afraid of? Of Japan? . . .

    We want our American missionaries to return home and there to melt up all the heavy cannon to cast a statue of peace, to be erected, say, at the entrance to the Golden Gate.

    In 1924, this Japanese writer thought that American fear of Japanese might was highly misplaced.

    With things as they are now, I can’t really imagine a military confrontation between China and Japan. Japan’s military is too weak to engage in aggression and it is protected by the United States so China poses no threat to it.

    The status quo saves lives, baby! People who want to shake things up don’t realize how little the Pax Americana insurance policy costs everyone for what they are protecting, including the Americans.

  • http://kushibo.blogspot.com/ kushibo

    Mizar5 wrote:
    Next time I go to Japan, I think I’ll make a point of visiting Yasukuni.

    You should. And be sure to visit the Yushukan Museum there and see all the exhibits.

    What are there – six war criminals there?

    There are fourteen criminals enshrined there. You can get a description here.

    How many Korean war criminals are interred in the National Cemetary?

    That’s a good question, Mizar5. How many are there? Since you’re bringing this up, you do know the answer, right? That is, you do know that there are actually war criminals interred there, right? This isn’t just mere speculation and innuendo on your part, right?

    You know – the Japanese conscripts who tortured Allied POWs,

    Actually, none of those would be Class-A. They would be Class-B war criminals. There definitely were Korean Class-B war criminals. About 1% (someone correct me if I’m wrong) of the accused were Koreans.

    I don’t believe any of them are buried in Tongjak-ku’s National Cemetery, though.

    On the other hand, in theory they are supposed to be enshrined at Yasukuni. There are several thousand (?) Koreans enshrined at Yasukuni, mostly low-level soldiers of the Imperial Army and Navy, just like the other two million+ Japanese soldiers.

    There were a handful of Koreans tried, convicted, and executed for class-B war crimes. Since Yasukuni decided in 1979 that the Class-A war criminals executed for their crimes were also casualties of war, it would stand to reason that the Korean conscripts or volunteers in the imperial military would also be casualties of war when they are executed for brutality against POWs. Anyone know for sure?

    the ruthless Viet Nam vets

    Being ruthless in war is NOT a war crime in and of itself. It would depend on what you did in the process of being ruthless. Shooting fifteen enemy soldiers coming at you is ruthless but not a war crime. Capturing them then executing them, or raping their family members would be a war crime.

    The Korean military had a reputation for being highly aggressive in Vietnam. Were any convicted of abuse or such things? If they were, are any of them buried in the National Cemetery? That definitely would be inappropriate, IF it actually happened.

    and the soldiers who committed the attrocities in Kwangju.

    I have not heard of that happening either. I would imagine that if that were the case, the past or current administration would have done something about it. There would be daily demonstrations over it.

    Stop fighting over nonsense.

    Worries that a once-penitent Japan is now trying to whitewash its history and is downplaying its own massive aggression when it teaches its children, while trying now to expand its military and its military role, is NOT nonsense.

  • Colin

    Well, kushibo, there were atrocities committed by the Korean army in Gwangju in 1980. That much, at least, is true. They’re probably not interred anyway, because they’re probably still alive.

  • http://kushibo.blogspot.com kushibo

    Colin wrote:
    Well, kushibo, there were atrocities committed by the Korean army in Gwangju in 1980.

    I don’t think that was in dispute, not here at least. Although I guess someone could come along and say that the Kwangju people benefited from the siege and that everyone affected was a prostitute.

    That much, at least, is true. They’re probably not interred anyway, because they’re probably still alive.

    They’re still alive? Well, that’s just a technicality. When they do die, they WILL be buried at the National Assembly, there will be NO opposition to them being interred there, and then this will all be EXACTLY the same as Yasukuni, for no other reason than to prove Mizar5′s point. ;)

  • Mizar5

    KUSHIBO:

    “This isn’t just mere speculation and innuendo on your part, right?”

    RESPONSE:

    This is known as a leading question, which actually is speculation and innuendo. By contrast, I ask rhetorical questions to suggest new approaches to old controversies.

    I love the way you attempt to deconstruct all of my posts. Sometimes it adds to the dialogue and sometimes its just a staw man argument to be argumentative.

    KUSHIBO:

    “Worries that a once-penitent Japan is now trying to whitewash its history and is downplaying its own massive aggression when it teaches its children, while trying now to expand its military and its military role, is NOT nonsense.”

    RESPONSE: That’s where we differ. You say it’s not nonsence and I say it is. I say the age of military Imperialism ended after WWII and that Korea’s main concerns should be in the economic sphere. You say it’s constructive to dwell on past regressions. Do you really think so? Do you really see a military threat coming out of Japan? And other than pointing to a bygone era, how would you justify such as more than mere “speculation and innuendo”?

    Colin, thanks for straightening Kushibo out on Kwangju. I was here at the time and had personal friends who were there and witnessed it firsthand.

  • Mizar5

    By the way, for those who either don’t get the point of my line of reasoning, I’ll spell it out. The media circus is fond of framing debate by presenting complicated issues in bipolar terms: pro-Korean view vs. anti-Kporean. This level circular reasoning is intellectually vapid.

    The “Japan bad Korea good” argument is only a single instance of the overarching phenomenon that I call the Korean logical fallacy. The purpose of challenging it is to alert people to ways in which they are manipulated and to encourage a more rigorous thought process.

  • http://koreanamerican431.blogspot.com/ baduk

    Mizar5,

    Your naivet? is hilarious. Obviously, you have not taken any history classes.

    “I say the age of military Imperialism ended after WWII”
    - That does not mean there will be no wars. As a matter of fact, China is becoming an empire. It is big enough to challenge even the US militarily. But, it wants to kill the Japanese first. War never goes out of fashion. It is what men do, like sex, drinking or piss.

    “You say it’s constructive to dwell on past regressions.”
    -The past is our best guide. It is a proven example of human behavior. Japan was stronger than any other Asian country at the beginning of 20th century, so much so that it ate up other countries, including a big country like China. Now, China is bigger and stronger than Korea, Japan or Russia. Soon it will flex its muscles.

    “Do you really see a military threat coming out of Japan?”
    -Yes, Yes and Yes. Japan is buiding their own fighter planes. They probably have ten times more fighter planes than Korean AF. Japanese Navy can destroy entire Korean warships in one day(No LeeSunshin here). Japan has nuke bombs. They will kill a lot of Koreans, if Koreans keep on yaking. China and Japan will go to each other’s throat soon. Korea’d better know this and behave accordingly, ie get out of their warpaths. Let the big boys fight. Koreans need to just keep their mouths shut and survive another day. Just be pro-American to the max.

  • http://kushibo.blogspot.com Kushibo

    Mizar5 wrote:
    Colin, thanks for straightening Kushibo out on Kwangju. I was here at the time and had personal friends who were there and witnessed it firsthand.

    Now I’m starting to take offense. I do not need any “straightening out” on Kwangju. I thought I had made it clear that Colin misunderstood what I was writing about (sloppy pronoun reference on my part).

    I know people who were there who witnessed it first hand, as well. I have no patience for deniers of this tragedy.

    When I said that “I have not heard of that happening either,” I was referring to that as the burial of Kwangju “war criminals” at the National Cemetery, not the actual atrocities committed by the Korean military in Kwangju in 1980.

    After Colin misunderstood what I had written, I thought I’d made that clear when I said of the atrocities, “I don’t think that was in dispute, not here at least.”

  • http://kushibo.blogspot.com Kushibo

    Mizar5 wrote:
    By the way, for those who either don’t get the point of my line of reasoning, I’ll spell it out. The media circus is fond of framing debate by presenting complicated issues in bipolar terms: pro-Korean view vs. anti-Kporean. This level circular reasoning is intellectually vapid.

    The “Japan bad Korea good” argument is only a single instance of the overarching phenomenon that I call the Korean logical fallacy. The purpose of challenging it is to alert people to ways in which they are manipulated and to encourage a more rigorous thought process.

    I do get your line of reasoning, and I agree it is a serious problem. A very serious problem.

    Where I part ways with you, I think, is on two points: how universal this is and how unique it is to Korea. There are plenty of examples of media outlets that take a reasonable look at both sides. To take a recent example from Marmot’s, the MBC investigative program calling Dr. Hwang into question. I know from my experience working in news media that there is a lot more critical analysis taking both sides into account than one would glean from the comments at Marmot’s Hole and some other Korean blogs.

    Second, as I’ve also said recently, if one were take the worst examples from other major countries, one could come to the same conclusion about biploar pro- versus anti- views of said country.

    We have politicians and radio hosts in America suggesting that opponents of Bush are “anti-American” or “un-American” or “trying to destroy America” or “America-hating.”

    The home of “Freedom Fries” is the land of the “America: Love it or leave it!” bumper sticker. A certain close relative of mine recently told me that she thinks that it is “un-American” for me to say anything criticizing the U.S. government (I’m a U.S. citizen) when I’m outside the country, apparently not an uncommon sentiment.

    I’m not saying this makes it okay for Korea to do this (it certainly doesn’t), but I’m just pointing out that it’s not a uniquely Korean problem and it’s not saying much or solving anything to suggest this is endemic to Korea without significant parallels in the U.S. and other countries related to Korea.

  • http://kushibo.blogspot.com Kushibo

    Mizar5 wrote:
    KUSHIBO:
    “This isn’t just mere speculation and innuendo on your part, right?”

    RESPONSE:
    This is known as a leading question, which actually is speculation and innuendo. By contrast, I ask rhetorical questions to suggest new approaches to old controversies.

    And I took you up on the new approach: I wanted to know the validity of your parallel, so I asked if you know of any “war criminals” from the Vietnam War, World War II, or the Kwangju Uprising who are interred at the National Cemetery. Again, do you?

    I love the way you attempt to deconstruct all of my posts.

    It’s called fisking, and I have mentioned things I agree with, too.

    Sometimes it adds to the dialogue and sometimes its just a staw man argument to be argumentative.

    The supposed strawman arguments were not at all. They were questions seeking clarification of your position, not attempts to define what you think. They involved legitimate questions to further the argument. Since you brought it up as a parallel, do you know of any Korean war criminals from the conflicts you mentioned who are buried at the National Cemetery?

    KUSHIBO:
    “Worries that a once-penitent Japan is now trying to whitewash its history and is downplaying its own massive aggression when it teaches its children, while trying now to expand its military and its military role, is NOT nonsense.”

    RESPONSE: That’s where we differ. You say it’s not nonsence and I say it is.

    Past behaviors are an indication of future behaviors. This is why it is wrong for Korea to whitewash its own atrocities (e.g., POW camp guards) because those things can be repeated (e.g., reputed brutality by Korean soldiers in Vietnam). It also applies to Japan: if Japanese do not learn of their own country’s aggression leading up to and during World War II, the possibility of it happening again is considerably greater.

    I say the age of military Imperialism ended after WWII and that Korea’s main concerns should be in the economic sphere.

    Korea’s main concerns should be the economic (and social) spheres. Absolutely. But it would be foolish to ignore potential military threats, and Korea has three: North Korea, to a lesser degree China, and much further down in terms of potential, Japan.

    You say it’s constructive to dwell on past regressions. Do you really think so?

    It is foolish to do otherwise. And it is not just about Japan, but also China. What bothers me so much about some Koreans’ recent flirting with China is how easily China’s culpability for the division of Korea is ignored, and with it, the threat of China. It also bothers me how some people here fail to realize what an overall beneficial role the United States has played for Koreans from the 1940s to the presentday.

    Do you really see a military threat coming out of Japan?

    In the present situation, no. The status quo of the Pax Americana has kept a once-volatile Northeast Asia amazingly peaceful. With the U.S. continuing that role (which is also in U.S. economic, political, and social interests) and Japan retaining its pacifist constitution and Korea staying firmly in the democratic U.S. camp, along with Taiwan, I don’t see a threat from Japan, and little chance for Japan or South Korea to have a flare-up with China or North Korea.

    But once the status quo is changed, all bets are off. Japan is trying to strenghten its military to become “a normal country” while at the same time there are attempts by the right to sanitize Japan’s 20th century atrocities while asserting that Japan had no choice but to invade China, occupy Korea and Taiwan, and attack the United States, for its own security. That, in turn, makes China think it is necessary to have not just a deterrent to a Taiwan-led or U.S.-sponsored invasion, but one that is strong enough to preemptively destroy Japan’s new military.

    Attitudes by both China and Japan are an important part of that, and the other sides should call them on their bullshit. Korea and Taiwan, the least aggressive of the main players here, or the United States with the best democratic record (and maybe Australia) should be calling China on its own intra-national atrocities (not to mention its historical treatment of the Korean War), while condemning Japanese attempts to whitewash its own.

  • Katz

    Why they are afraid to release this book in other languages?

  • xsylx

    For all of you bigots out there that would support a blatantly ethnocentric, and racist document…
    Japan may have been of some influence in bringing about Korean modernization, but only in the sense that coloniztiopn for the first haf of the 20th century can leave some lasting stains.
    For all of you who have forgotten the gross tragedies and injustices of Japanese imperialism (how quickly the white man forgets that Jews were not the only race massacred in WWII) try getting your historical facts straight before you go about spouting meaningless opinions and conjectures. How would Euro-American culture respond to the growing popularity of a neo-Nazi German comic book that denigrated modern Jewish culture? Would that not ring some alarms?
    And as for the first comment by “dood”. If you are such a world traveler, you should have realized by now that when travelling to other cultures, you should be more accepting of their individual traits and characteristics. THE KOREAN CULTURE DOES NOT EXIST TO SIMPLY MAKE YOU FEEL MORE WELCOMED AND COMFORTABLE. If you don’t like it there … get out… stay out… and thank you but don’t come again.

  • enson inoue

    Japan has committed some of the world’s worst atrocities in history (nanking massacre, unit 731, batton death march, comfort women, pearl harbor, ect..) and they still refuse to apologize, compensate, or make an accurate history in there textbooks. Why is Japan so cowardly and instead try to make their amends to their victims of the horrible crimes against humanity. No wonder people call Japan a “devil” race.

  • gbnhj

    Marmot, can you set up a registration requirement?

  • R. Elgin

    Some sort of registration hurdle might help only if it takes some time to review each applicant and might help if there was at least one essay requirement; the thought involved, alone, would kill most useless trolls like the one posting above “gbnhj”.

  • Enson Inoue is Korean

    The moderator of this board should do well to ban enson. Enson Inoue is a Korean troll who poses as a Japanese-American posting offensive and rude comments about Japan all over the internet. He was especially famous over at http://www.japantoday.com until he was banned. You should do an IP check on him and see which school in Korea he is logging on from and inform the authorities. Koreans like him love to engage in masturbatory fantasies on the internet where Korea is something like a world superpower, then the moment they step into their piece of junk lemon Hyundai and go back to job at the laundry or liquor store in Koreatown, their dreams are shattered.

  • Breaktrack

    Koreans teach little kids to HATE Americans and Japanese people in their schools. Now that’s a real crime. Remember in 2001 or so when the US government requested that the Koreans stop teaching anti-Americanism in the schools? Remember the children’s drawings about Japan in the subways two years ago? Look at the way multiracial people (mongrels to Baduk and other Koreans) are treated here. Hate begets hate.