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Translation of anti-Semitic comic

A while ago, the Chosun Ilbo ran a piece on a social studies comic book on the United States by famous cartoonist Lee Won-bok that, judging from the report, I thought was anti-Semitic. Well, a blogger in Bucheon is now translating the comic into English, and it’s not pretty. (Note: I can’t vouch for the accuracy of the translation).  UPDATE: Commentor Sonagi has uploaded some pages from the comic, and all I can say is I’m speechless.

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

  • http://yeomso.blogspot.com/ The Goat

    Man…and to think the only issues my comic books dealt with was what that dastardly Reggie would do next, if Jughead could find enough hamburgers, and if that fool Archie could ever decide which girl to take out.

  • Haisan

    Among all the countries of the world, there is only one race in which a majority of the people don’t live in their country of origin (본국), and that is the Jews.

    Try telling that to the Irish. Or the Spanish (depending on how you choose to count such things).

    Anyhow, anti-Semitism in Korea and Japan has got to be one of the strangest bigotries in the world. It’s as if the Canadians had a hate on the Zoroastrians. Or the Australians for the Inuit.

  • seouldout

    That hatred isn’t so strange. It’s envy.

  • Sonagi

    I own the volume on the US, two volumes on Japan, and the volume on Korea. As Robert mentioned, the racial caricatures alone make these collectors’ items. I appreciate the blogger including page numbers for his translations as I was able to check the originals; the ones I checked, including the bit about Koreans coming in second because their greatest barrier to the top is the Jews, is accurate.

    I caught on to these books because they were popular with my elementary students. The series, sadly, has sold very well, and I say sadly because it is evident from the interview in the Chosun Ilbo that Lee is a sloppy historian, not to mention biased against some of his subjects.

    “a federation made up of 50 states, each of which is bigger than Korea; ““Also, compared to its national wealth, they have a very poor social welfare system,” he said. “

    This is harsh coming from a native of a country with practically no social welfare system. Tell all those naturalized elderly Americans living in government subsidized housing. Tell that to my undocumented students attending public school at the taxpayers’ expense. Tell that to their undocumented mothers, who get coupons for free milk, cheese, infant formula, beans, and other foodstuffs for their US-born children. Tell that to recent immigrants receiving public assistance from many US states, who stepped in after the federal government instituted a residency requirement of 5 years. No, we are not as generous as Canada or Western Europe, but “very poor”? Hardly.

    “In his new series, Lee also wrote about his experience and impression during his stay in the United States for one and a half years from 1999 while preparing the book. Lee talked about one of his experiences, “When I arrived in America, I could not rent a room because I had no credit record there. So, I told a real estate agency that I would pay rent for a year in advance. Then, he hurried to sign a contract and even reduced the rent. Through that experience, I learned that the U.S. is a reasonable society that stresses credit, but the background to that is that they do not trust people.”

    One and half years and he’s expert enough to write a social studies book for kids? And some Koreans and gyopos complain that expats overestimate their understanding of Korea. Did this guy ever try to rent a room in Korea without paying a huge deposit? Seems like he’s just digging up that old “we Koreans trust each other” folklore that appears in one of my Yonsei textbooks.

  • http://www.cafepress.com/fans_kill jd

    i imagine the north koreans find the south’s welfare plan to be very generous. there’s lots of cash and rice and fuel. the south even goes out of its way to help the north koreans set up factories. they’re not just feeding for them for a day, they’re teaching them how to fish and feeding them for a long time to come.

  • http://rjkoehler.com Robert Koehler

    Anyhow, anti-Semitism in Korea and Japan has got to be one of the strangest bigotries in the world. It’s as if the Canadians had a hate on the Zoroastrians. Or the Australians for the Inuit.

    You mean Canadians don’t hate Zoroastrians?

  • http://yeomso.blogspot.com/ The Goat

    I had to look it up, but as a Canadian, they seem as good as any. Thanks for the tip!

  • madne0

    Well, i wouldn’t call it antisemitism…More like admiration/resentment for the good fortune of the dastardly jew.

  • http://www.freekorea.us joshua

    Is this a strictly private publication, or is this used as a school textbook?

    Does the author have any connection with the government — ie., does he also write textbooks?

  • Sonagi

    The books are privately published educational materials. They are not textbooks. They are very popular.

    Lee Wonbok is a College of Art professor at Duksung Women’s University. His inside cover flap bio lists a few history publications but no textbooks. He won a prize in 1993 for his cartoon work.

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  • tomas

    Like I said…Koreans have an intrinsic but childish admiration for Hitler which can be attributed to their dislike for Jews. Anti-Semitism by Koreans, as baffling as it seems at first, is quite understandable once anyone spends a considerable amount of time with Koreans and understands their hatred of any entity or people who excel at what they do to the point of surpassing Koreans themselves. Basically, Koreans see Jews as people who are capable of overcoming the same obstacles that Koreans face but are too weak to handle. They see Jews being lauded as a model people with integrity who are praised by others for being able to achieve what they did by nothing other than their own hard work. Unlike Koreans, the Jews overcame obstacles without having to resort to the cowardly practice of whining and blaming others for their problems, or bribery. This makes Koreans feel extremely hateful and jealous towards the Jews.

  • http://www.koreasojourner.blog-city.com/ usinkorea

    I need to stop starting a comment as I’m reading something…

    Because, I had some questions about how antisemitic this thing is, at least based on the quotes translated at that site, and I made some good observations I’ll leave below, but I eventually read down to this part:

    We Koreans, who are hard-working and diligent and are sad to come in second, can amass great victories in America with our competitive spirit. But in the end each and every time we hit a barrier, and that barrier is the Jews.

    DING DING DING —- We have a winner!!

    Yup. Antisemitic is a definate “yes.”

    Jews make up slightly more than 2% of the American population. They control American finance and naturally the American economy controls the world economy.

    I think he plagerised this from Louis Farrakhan??? Or, was it Saudi TV????

    —-now to the original comments before I hit the really disgusting part—

    I’ve noticed and mentioned before that I had been bewildered a couple of times by thoughts expressed by well-educated Koreans concerning Israel and the Jews, but I think, based solely on the translations provided on that site, an argument can be made that it isn’t particularly antisemitic.

    So naturally Jews became the high interest lenders (고리대금업자), and again the hatred against Jews increased.

    Do Jewish people deny this?

    I thought that was a general understanding of one aspect of how antisemiticism was used as such a force in Western (and Muslim???) society. ——-That the Jews were discriminated against in what professions they could and couldn’t participate in –and that the professions they were allowed to do that could provide a good living — were ones the society deemed bad.

    This quote reads to me as if the writer was not directly saying Jews were greedy, devious bastards and that is why Western society hated them —- but is saying that that is what Western society said about them after it oppressed them by not allowing them to work in all the occupations like any normal citizen.

    Jews earning money with money, lent money to kings and monarchs and gained all sorts of concessions. The nobility and the ruling class’s hatred and wariness of Jews reached new peaks in the end of the 19th century.

    Now, the logic here escapes me as well as tid bits from history. Jews were persecuted for centuries in the West, so I question just how many “concessions” they gained by any means during this period. I guess the author could be saying that one or two Jews who managed to get rich lending money to powerful Westerners gained concessions and then the other Jews had to suffer for it….???….

    Our people (i.e. Koreans) experienced the pain of invasion several thousand times. We developed a strong and indomitable tenacity and mental strength. And yet still our land was stolen from us for more than 35 years

    Now, here, as some others pointed out, this is starting to sound like the odd antisemitic things I heard from some Koreans —– that Korea had suffered just as much as the Jews, but the Jews get all the sympathy and Korea gets zip.

    But, from the next quote, the guy seems to be chastising Korean society for not being as strong as one as he sees Jews being:

    They helped each other and tightened their community with their Jewish mentality (유대의식). They were as strong as it was difficult for other peoples to defeat them, The Jewish religion is a mental rope that binds them together as a people. That is the true nature of the Jews.

  • http://www.koreasojourner.blog-city.com/ usinkorea

    Part of the comment got cut off…

    The summation was that this comic book fits with what I had seen a little of before: that Korean antisemiticsm stems from jealousy of the global sympathy the Jewish people get over The Holocaust, because they believe Koreans deserve just as much global attention for its suffering if not more. And since Korea doesn’t have that kind of sympathy, they have this subconscious driving force to rip down the idea of the Jewish people as if they did not deserve such sympathy.

    I also noted how I couldn’t be confident in how deep this attitude is in SK, but when the Hitler bar made the news and caused a stir in the K-blogshere (of expats), and Koreans couldn’t figure out what the big deal was — it must run pretty deep…

  • agadan

    If the translations are accurate, anti-semitic definitely yes. What’s more, it sounds just like the impressionitic views of someone who isn’t terribly thoughtful about the topic of culture. I can only imagine that these books are popular because he confirms his audience’s impressions about other countries and cultures…and probably their own superiority in relationship.

    In a quote from the Chosun Ilbo, he says:

    “When I arrived in America, I could not rent a room because I had no credit record there. So, I told a real estate agency that I would pay rent for a year in advance. Then, he hurried to sign a contract and even reduced the rent. Through that experience, I learned that the U.S. is a reasonable society that stresses credit, but the background to that is that they do not trust people.”

    I’ve been in Korea for more than five years and I’ve got a reliable income from a university and it’s difficult to get phone, cable, internet, etc. services in my name. I can’t get a credit card, on and on…

    I don’t believe that Koreans are not trusting people because of this. It’s just quirks in the system and perhaps some development lag concerning foreign residents.

    Worst of it all is that these books are big hits not only with children but with adults as well. I’ve taught American culture classes for the past five years and in every class the students buy these US comic-history books (not sure if the same series) It’s my unfortunate lot to end up trying to argue with these books that no, Jews do not control the US…etc.

    Talk about distortion of history!

  • wjk

    i am familiar with Lee Won Bok. I was given his comic book sets which start as, 1/France, 2/Germany, 3/United Kingdom, 4/Netherlands, 5/Swiss, 6/Italy.

    Earlier works were mostly educational and more of a highly educated man’s viewpoint of touring Europe and other areas of the world, and his thesis on how it relates to Koreans. Other than the obligatory potshots on Japan, I found nothing distasteful.

    These were published pre-Kim Young Sam.

    Note that.

    Later works came out with many years of delay. I was about to purchase some at a New York kyopo book store, but each book cost about $20. So I just skimmed and didn’t buy.

    Later works seemd to be post-Kim Dae Jung.

    Note that.

    They cover Japan, Korea, and US, etc.

    Now with more freedom of speech, he criticizes Bush and Jews a lot, and seems more liberal in politics.

    Overall, it’s just one man’s view of the world. No relation to goverment or any school.

  • wjk

    anyone want to throw their 2 cents in on Jimmy Carter’s new book?

  • wjk

    also, the earlier 6 works ran on a children’s daily newspaper, I think the children’s so nyun cho sun ilbo.

    I think the later works ran in lady’s monthly magazines.

  • wjk

    due to financial constraints, and opting to purchase music, I haven’t read any of Lee Won Bok’s new works nor Jimmy Carter’s book. I just skimmed Lee Won Bok’s for maybe 15 minutes.

  • wjk

    the Koreans admire the Nazis? Japan has a manga called Adolf. Japan has more detailed replicas of SS Waffen units of soliders and tanks and vehicles and planes than Germany itself. Japan is more obsessed with fascism and idolizing of Nazis. Get it right.

  • wjk
  • wjk
  • JK

    “anyone want to throw their 2 cents in on Jimmy Carter’s new book?”

    Good one, wjk! I wonder what people like USinKorea have to say about THAT! Does former President Carter’s book that is critical of Israel and supportive of the Palestinian cause (which in and of itself could be viewed as legitimate) mean that white Americans in general are anti-Semitic and pro-terrorist??? (I understand there’s a stretch to my hypothetical argument but it is to show the ridiculous generalization made by usinkorea about Koreans being jealous of Jews; if all Koreans can be generalized based on a few extreme cases the same could be done for white Americans.)

  • wjk

    what my Jewish friend once said, when I showed him the above 2 links,

    ” Do the Nazis like Asians or something?”

    LOL. Of course hell not.

  • wjk

    i don’t have to link back to Taiwan again, do I? Put South Korea way below Japan and Taiwan on the Nazi lover list.

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  • cm

    His work maybe viewed as too much race based generalizations and patronizing therefore, anti semetic. But am I the only person here who is wondering where is the violent, virulent Hitlertarian anti semeticism and Korean supremacy in his work that everybody is talking about? In fact, he keeps claiming Korea was backward ass and comes second to Jews because Jews are stronger. That doesn’t sound like a Korea number one pitch to me. Although he does sound like a dolt with too much time on his hands who thinks he’s got it all figured out when he hasn’t got a clue.

    A report on anti semiticsm in the world.

    http://www.state.gov/g/drl/rls/40258.htm

    I guess what I’m trying to say is

  • http://www.koreasojourner.blog-city.com/ usinkorea

    if all Koreans can be generalized based on a few extreme cases the same could be done for white Americans.

    —-sigh—–

    I don’t think I’m the only one here who said they had caught wind of this phenomenon in their time in Korea.

    And I believe I specifically stated

    I also noted how I couldn’t be confident in how deep this attitude is in SK, but when the Hitler bar made the news and caused a stir in the K-blogshere (of expats), and Koreans couldn’t figure out what the big deal was — it must run pretty deep…

    I can also think of some things I’ve heard about Israel from the Korea Herald editorial desk too.

    And I have no problem with my generalization of Korean society as a whole as I stated and qualified.

    As for Carter’s book, I would think the mass defections of key members from the board connected with his center probably means something, but I haven’t read the book or read quotes from it.

    As for Carter and mass generalizations, try this one on for size…

    …if Carter’s book had come out in the early to mid-20th Century, or if it had come out in the US in the Civil Rights Movement of the 1950s-70s as Carter was the governor of the southern state of Georgia — I would have lumped it together with a significant general trend of antisemiticism in American society.

    Again, I’ve caught enough glimpses of this Korean reason for bemoaning the sympathy the Jews get in the world, and apparently so have other expats commenting on the thread, not to feel one iota sorry for my generalization about what you call “all Koreans.”

  • http://www.koreasojourner.blog-city.com/ usinkorea

    cm,

    too much race based generalizations and patronizing therefore, anti semetic.”

    As an answer to your subsequent question, uh, he isn’t just making generalizations and being patronizing…

    …he specifically argues, whether incoherently or not, that the reason Koreans can’t get to the top in America is because of the Jews and their powerful hold on American society.

    He specifically says Koreans should are “sad” that they can’t reach greater economic and other positive status in Korea, because they are blocked by the Jews.

    Then he goes on about how the Jews control the American economy and thus the world economy – with the strong implication that this is again to the detriment of the Korean nation.

    Those things alone are bad.

    But, when you recognize they are also echoes of lines of argument used in the past (and today) by rabid anti-semitics, it doesn’t take a giant leap of faith to begin to place this guy in the same ballpark as other more violent antisemitic groups.

  • http://www.koreasojourner.blog-city.com/ usinkorea

    That should be “He specifically says Koreans are “sad” that they can’t reach greater economic and other positive status in the US (and beyond), because they are blocked by the Jews.”

  • cm

    “Koreans couldn’t figure out what the big deal was — it must run pretty deep…”

    BUZZZ… wrong.

    Nazi bars have been a fad trend not just in Korea, but also Japan, Taiwan, and Hong Kong. And the last time I looked these three countries aren’t considered to be virulently anti semetic, at least nearly to the same degree as the Europeans and Muslims.

    You said it, “Koreans couldn’t figure out what the big deal is”. That’s because a shrug and a what’s the big deal is all you’re going to get when you talk to an average Korean about “the Jew”.

    What you see in Korea is what you see in typical East Asian cultures – lack of empathy for others towards who are not the same countrymen. This makes them obvilious to the fact that others are victims too. It’s selfish, outdated, frog in the well attitude in the globalized world. Now that’s a criticism and generalization that’s on the mark.

  • Sonagi

    A picture is worth a thousand words. It isn’t just the Jewish Conspiracy content. It’s the caricatured images that have helped Lee Wonbok sell so many books and even win a prize. Judge for yourself by viewing the chapter page by page at Flickr: http://www.flickr.com/photos/62177820@N00/sets/72157594517612348/

    On p.221 at the bottom is a picture of a Star of David manipulating the word “WASP” like a puppet.

    P.226 shows a pitchfork adorned with a Star of David lunging at a gentile.

    P. 230: dollar signs and money in nearly every picture. My favorite is the Jewish man thrusting a shield bearing a Star of David on top and a dollar sign on the bottom.

    p.232: in the sixth picture a huge Star of David is superimposed on Europe.

    p.233: in the middle is a picture of a bag of money adorned with both the Star of David and a dollar sign.

    p.242, top right pic: Jews control the media

    p.246: A chef wearing a tophat adorned with the Star of David holds a huge knife over a slice of meat labeled “American Financial System” The text reads that Jews control finance in the US. Check out the other images on the page.

    p.249, the final page of the chapter: The author reminds kids that ethnic Koreans in the US number more than 2 million

  • Sonagi

    Oops, got cut off.

    p.249: The author reminds kids that among the varied ethnic groups in the US are 2 million ethnic Koreans who’ve never given Americans any reason to hate them.

  • Sonagi

    I just remembered US copyright law fair use guidelines and deleted a few pages to put me just under the 10% limit.

  • sumo294

    Hey, MARMOT, I just saw your plumpness on CBS. Dude, wear some makeup please. Seriously, you are way cool. Who was the Korean chick? Did you meet Couric?

  • stanley

    He is not the only person at Duksung who is anti-Semitic. Another guy there (Duksung) straight out of middle America is a holocaust denier. Never talk about Jews to him as he will go off on a huge diatribe on how the Jews are responsible for every evil in the world and that they are subhuman.

  • Sonagi

    Marmot on CBS? Really? What did you talk about? Yootube link anybody?

  • Zonath

    a federation made up of 50 states, each of which is bigger than Korea

    This quote alone shows about how sloppy this guy’s ‘research’ is. Each of the 50 states is larger than Korea? Even Rhode Island? Actually, if you only take into account South Korea, there are 37 states larger than it. If you compare the entire Korean Peninsula, you’d only have about 12 states that are larger. Sure, Alaska is about 7 times as large as the entire Korean Peninsula, but I don’t think it counts as seven states because of that.

    We Koreans, who don’t know how to lose to any other race, can never surpass the wall of Jews in American society.

    Holy crap! It’s a wall of Jews! This is just such a precious quote… Yes, friends… The wall of Jews is keeping Koreans down. And here, I thought it was the ceiling of Irish or perhaps the chandeliers of Scandinavians. What I find interesting here isn’t so much the fact that the author blames the failures of the Korean minjok in America on Jews, but rather that he implies that somehow, Koreans’ influence on American culture is just a couple degrees less than that of the Jews (which I don’t find to be quite as dominant as the author does, but then again, I’m not wearing a tinfoil hat, so their Jewish mind control rays have undoubtedly warped my fragile mind). Sorry, Mr. Author, but Koreans are at least going to have to get past the (wall of) Mexicans in the arena of cultural influence before we can even consider them as runners-up to the Jews in the great culture wars. Heck, there’s not even any fast food restaurants that serve up unhealthy bastardizations of Korean cuisine to the faceless masses. Ever heard of Kimchi Bell? Pajeon hut? Me neither.

  • http://rjkoehler.com Robert Koehler

    Hey, MARMOT, I just saw your plumpness on CBS. Dude, wear some makeup please. Seriously, you are way cool. Who was the Korean chick? Did you meet Couric?

    Hey, it’s not like I got much warning. CBS calls our office in the morning—and this was like early last year—and say they’re coming in to interview us. So they interview us, and only after do they tell us its for the Superbowl pregame show. The Korean woman, BTW, was our assistant editor. And no, I didn’t meet Couric.

  • Sonagi

    Robert,

    Were you on the CBS Evening News? Free videos are available at their website. Which day were you on?

    @Zonath:

    Perhaps my favorite part of the chapter is the concluding image, a big picture of Hangeul signs in Koreatown, and the author telling kids not to forget that Korean-Americans have never given anyone any reason to hate them.

  • wjk

    put in on youtube

  • http://rjkoehler.com Robert Koehler

    put in on youtube

    I’d prefer not to, but I’m sure someone has already.

  • mateomiguel

    HOLY CRAP! ITS A WALL OF MEXICANS!

  • Sonagi

    What did you talk about, Robert?

  • http://rjkoehler.com Robert Koehler

    Hines Ward and mixed-race individuals in Korea.

  • http://www.koreasojourner.blog-city.com/ usinkorea

    After I went to bed after commenting last on this thread, I thought I should qualify my statement some more and put it more along the lines of something acceptable to my critics – along these lines:

    “Antisemitic” is a strong word. It naturally brings up a stronger thought that what I actually mean by the trend in Korean society I am talking about.

    I would agree with CM that “antisemitic” thought in Korean society is nowhere close to what it is in Muslim states and not as strong as it is in Europe (I guess, because I don’t really have much of a clue what it is like in Europe these days) and it is not as bad as with the groups in the US who are antisemitic.

    I would also say that the Koreans I’m talking about would not be close to strength of antisemiticism this author expresses in the parts quoted so far.

    But, I do still say that there is an odd trend in Korean society, especially with the intellectuals and educated, of being bitter about Korea’s not getting the same level of sympathy as the Jews for The Holocaust.

    And on the subject of Hitler bars in Japan or other Asian nations – that and if comic books like this were mass sellers in those nations as well – they would deserve just as much criticism as Korea. There is something very wrong when stuff like that is shown out in the public and the public does not have a natural negative reaction to it.

  • dogbertt

    Those “먼나라 이웃나라” books are absolute garbage, written by one frog in the well for the tadpoles stuck in the bottom. It’s a true shame that they are so popular with Korean elementary students, who are the series’s target audience.

    Their only value is as amusement, an encyclopaedia of Koreans’s stereotypes of each and sundry races and nations.

  • michael

    Lee Wonbok is an assclown (maybe someone has already made this observation, I didn’t read all the comments). One of his moronic cartoons “explained” the difference between Chinese, Japanese and Korean use of chopsticks, and of course the latter’s chopsticks were superior, just the right length and made of metal–how pathetic is that.

    Lee represents the worst of Korean society.

  • Sonagi

    BTW, I have pulled all but two of the pages on Flickr because Fair Use copyright is very restrictive with children’s materials. Little by little, I will repost the worst pictures with commentary in order to abide by US copyright laws.

  • http://rjkoehler.com Robert Koehler

    Sonagi—I just read the page still up dealing with the Jews. Can’t say I’m surprised, but still…

    Oh, and just a note about the last page. Lee says “Koreans mustn’t hate America” because America is part of “us” (i.e., Koreans) since some 2 million Korean-Americans live there. Remind me to drop a note of thanks to all my Korean-American friends—without them, Koreans would really hate us :)

  • wiesunja

    “Nazi bars have been a fad trend not just in Korea, but also Japan, Taiwan, and Hong Kong. ”

    “the Koreans admire the Nazis? Japan has a manga called Adolf. Japan has more detailed replicas of SS Waffen units of soliders and tanks and vehicles and planes than Germany itself. Japan is more obsessed with fascism and idolizing of Nazis. Get it right.”

    But of course….how can we forget to leave out a comparison with Japan about who is more anti-semetic when the topic at hand is Koreans and their negative attitude towards Jews. Thank you so much, wjk, for bringing up yet again a totally unrelated reference to Japan to somehow sooth the criticism of Korea. We mustn’t forget to do our jobs as good Koreans by leaving out…”Oh, well Japan/Taiwan is worse!” whenever we get criticized. LOL.

    It’s really funny…Koreans are simply notable to evaluate themselves without Japan. On the other hand, Japanese would hardly consider Korea to be even close to a standard for evaluating themselves. Other than evaluating the number of poorly acted dramas, incidences of cyber-terrorism, and production of illegal copied goods, Korea provides hardly any useful comparison models.

  • JK

    “Again, I’ve caught enough glimpses of this Korean reason for bemoaning the sympathy the Jews get in the world, and apparently so have other expats commenting on the thread, not to feel one iota sorry for my generalization about what you call “all Koreans.””

    And I, usinkorea, do not feel one iota sorry for my own generalizations about the stereotypical Western expat living in Korea, married to a Korean woman, and bitching constantly about Koreans while defending their OWN country as some morally superior one (what nonsense!) and holding Korea to a different standard even though their OWN country can be as bad if not worse in many aspects.

    BTW, I KNOW a lot of Koreans from my time living in Korea and here in the US, and none of them are anti-Semitic. So much for your generalizations. Shall we now generalize white expats in Korea? Some of these stereotypes have been confirmed by white expats living in Korea themselves.

    But seems you’re okay with one kind of stereotype but not another.

  • SomeguyinKorea

    I wonder what the Embassy of Israel thinks of this. In any case, the links have been sent to the Simon Wiesenthal Center.

  • wjk

    please teach me how to report the Japanese to the Simon Wiesenthal Center.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adolf_%28manga%29

    same guy who drew Astro Boy !

    I was always wondering where was the Korean equivalent of such a center against the Japanese.

  • Sonagi

    I’ve uploaded the most offending images from the chapter on Jews in America at Flickr:

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/62177820@N00/

    When I have time this week, I will translate. Others are encouraged to put in their own translations using the comment feature.

    I will note that Lee Wonbok is perpetuating negative stereotypes created by others. The cartoons, however, are entirely his own ugly creations.

  • seouldout

    And still they queue at the US embassy, knowing at best they’ll be only be #2 #3–them South Asians are a far talented lot.

    @ Zonath, funniest stuff I’ve read in a while.

  • michael

    WJK, that comic doesn’t seem anti-semitic, it has Hitler as a partly Jewish character and another is a German-Japanese character. It’s just a whacky Japanese manga.

    http://www.rationalmagic.com/Comics/Adolf.html

    Wiseunja in #49 has your number man — I’ve lost count of how many times Koreans have asked me “Which country do you like better, Japan or Korea?” Good god.

  • marka

    please teach me how to report the Japanese to the Simon Wiesenthal Center.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adolf_%28manga%29

    same guy who drew Astro Boy !

    wjk, you really are a piece of comic work. As wiesunja said above..what the hell does anything related to Japan have to do with this anti-semetic comic published in Korea? My god, you Koreans are seriously like stalkers…always having and obsessing about Japan 24/7 like some rejected scorned lover. If you only knew how pathetic this makes you Koreans look in the eyes of others, you would cease such stupid behavior..but then again, to be able to see this requires confidence and logic, which I guess is pretty much impossible for Koreans.

    It really is an enigma, that even Korean Americans such as yourself (I assume you are KA since your English is good) who have lived their entire lives in this country can be susceptible to such stupidity and feelings of insecurity. I totally could understand a native Korean behaving in such a way given their educational system and culture, but for someone who is brought up in a supposedly objective and logical environment in the US…how could the likes of you, bluejives, nulji, etc. turn out like this? And it is not just one or two in the minority…every single kyopo just reeks of insecurity and extreme feelings of jealousy when it comes to anything regarding Japan.

    I am almost convinced now that it is genetic..that there is something in the Korean genetic map that prevents self confidence and maturity synapses from firing correctly all the way into adulthood. Now, it is not even funny but really sad.

  • JK

    Actually, Marka, I understand the point wjk is making. He is saying that this recent cartoon by the Korean is yet ANOTHER excuse to jump on the “slam Korea ’cause it’s the most screwed up country” bandwagon when he sees it as ANOTHER thing that is common with countries like Japan. In other words, if you look hard enough, you can FIND something screwed up with Korea….the same way that if you look hard enough at Japan and the US and Canada, trust me, you can find something screwed up in those countries as well. And often, those screwed up things are common. But I guess you didn’t get this point.

  • wiesunja

    Seriously…I sometimes wonder, if Japan didn’t exist, what would Koreans be like? Who would be their whipping post then? Koreans can only definite themselves in terms of comparisons with other nations. Have you noticed that? I really wonder.

    Also, you are correct. The comic “Adolf” is hardly what you would call “Anti-Semetic”. More of a suspense and action manga taking place during World War II. WJK, must have pulled his hair out scrounging all over the internet hoping to find something which he could use to somehow say that Japan is more anti-semetic than Korea but I guess all he could come up with was this.

    WJK, seriously..there is a world out there which exists outside of trying to prove Korea is a better nation than Japan. That’s fine…we know Korea is so great and better than Japan, yada yada. Now, please go back and relax…OK?

    (chuckle)

  • marka

    JK,

    Last time I checked, this blog, and this post in particular, has nothing to do with Japan. The topic is Korea. Why do Koreans always want to divert and deflect criticism into “Oh, Japan is the same/worse!”

    Hell, why not “Russia is the same. China is the same or worse, etc.”? I think you know the answer. It’s obvious. It’s that obsession/jealousy feeling. Believe me, it looks very stupid and childish and just makes Koreans look like insecure idiots. Is that the image that Korean Americans really wish to project?

    No one is claiming that Korea is the only anti-semetic country in the world or the worst one. However, as many have written, the attitudes towards Jews and admiration for Nazis amongst many Koreans does seem to indicate a propensity for Koreans to view Jews with disdain. That is the topic at hand. How is a comparison to Japan even remotely related to this? If Korea gets criticized for something such as bad sportsmanship (such as in the recent Asian Games incident in China), do Koreans automatically try to dig up dirt on Japan to defend themselves?

    Really. It is pathetic.

  • SomeguyinKorea

    “Actually, Marka, I understand the point wjk is making. He is saying that this recent cartoon by the Korean is yet ANOTHER excuse to jump on the “slam Korea ’cause it’s the most screwed up country” bandwagon when he sees it as ANOTHER thing that is common with countries like Japan. In other words, if you look hard enough, you can FIND something screwed up with Korea….the same way that if you look hard enough at Japan and the US and Canada, trust me, you can find something screwed up in those countries as well. And often, those screwed up things are common. But I guess you didn’t get this point.”

    I just loathe people who profit from hate.

  • http://yeomso.blogspot.com/ The Goat

    JK,

    I do not see how you understand the point wjk made as he failed to make one. This is a blog regarding Korean issues. Surprisingly, Korean issues are discussed ;) .

    For the most part, people who put in their opinions do not see these topics as being mutually exclusive. Those that do should be either a) ignored or b) mocked (but why feed em?)

    Citing other instances in other countries is just a diversion from the issue at hand and makes it look like you have nothing substantial to offer – and in many cases it implies that there is a reasonable amount of truth to the topic that you are trying to avoid.

    By the way, you don’t have to look very hard to find things screwed up in Canada or the US – I, and I am sure many others from the US and Canada, will not hesitate to admit it. Those that don’t, are not worth talking to except for the amusement factor.

  • http://rjkoehler.com Robert Koehler

    However, as many have written, the attitudes towards Jews and admiration for Nazis amongst many Koreans does seem to indicate a propensity for Koreans to view Jews with disdain.

    I’m not sure if that’s true, either. Don’t want to extrapolate too much from a comic book and a bar in Sinchon. And while this will probably sound hollow, to the extend that there is some degree of admiration for the Nazis, it’s because of their reputation for law and order, visual/fashion taste and, probably most importantly, Hitler’s charismatic leadership style, NOT because the Nazis killed six million Jews. Granted, there may be a double standard there given the kind of reaction similar admiration for, say, Imperial Japan might evoke, but I’ve never heard a Korean express admiration for the Holocaust. In fact, the worst thing I ever really hear are attempts by some to liken the plight of Koreans under colonial rule to the Holocaust. If I had to make an uninformed guess, I’d say most Koreans know or care as much about Jews as they do for indigenous tribes in the Amazon; I doubt very strongly there is a general propensity for Koreans to hold Jews in disdain. I will grant, however, that you can read some pretty scary things sometimes…

  • JK

    Aigoo!!! With the exception of Robert Koehler’s, there were some seriously nonsensical responses after my last comment. I’ll address them eventually, rest assured that.

    For now I will address one of the many comments: “Seriously…I sometimes wonder, if Japan didn’t exist, what would Koreans be like? ”

    Seriously…I sometimes wonder, if Nazi Germany didn’t exist, what would Jews be like? Sounds like a silly statement, no? Unfortunately Nazi Germany IS and WILL ALWAYS BE a part of Jewish culture in the same that imperial Japan is and, to some extent, always will be a part of Korean culture. That is sad, but that is a fact. THAT is also part of the tragedy of what Nazi Germany and imperial Japan did to Jews and Koreans, not just what happened up to 1945 but the dark memory that will always linger.

  • SomeguyinKorea

    Anti-semitism isn’t foreign to Koreans. Some christians here blame the Jews for the crussifiction. I wonder, is that cartoonist a Moonie?

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

    In any case, modern Korean nationalism has been influenced by Nazi ideology, thanks to Yi Pom Sok, who had studied in Germany and had strong connections with the Nazi government. He eventually became the prime minister of South Korea.

    http://metropolitician.blogs.com/scribblings_of_the_metrop/2006/04/the_gates_of_th.html

  • JK

    SomeguyinKorea, exactly WHO is profiting from hate? Surely you don’t mean me. I am not propagating hate; I am showing that I get wjk’s comment and I’m not getting paid for it. So clarify.

    The comic book writer is making a profit the same way Rush Limbaugh and Pat Buchanan and John Mayer are. What they say grabs attention. And a lot of Americans get their parents to listen to people like Limbaugh, Buchanan, and Mayer.

  • JK

    Correction from previous post: I meant to say a lot of Americans get their KIDS to listen to people like Limbaugh, Buchanan, and Mayer.

  • JK

    TheGoat wrote: “I do not see how you understand the point wjk made as he failed to make one. ”

    Actually TheGoat, wjk DID make his point well. It’s like if a Korean was rude to a white Westerner, someone on this board would go “Aha! You see??? Koreans are rude to us white people. They’re racist in general – most of the population! Not like where I come from!” If I say, “Well actually, I am an American, and I often got treated badly by certain white people growing up because I am of Asian descent. Strangely, I don’t experience this half as much as I do in certain parts of America.” And people like TheGoat go, “That has nothing to do with the discussion at hand! We’re talking Korea here!” And I go, “Well, just pointing out that Korea is not this uniquely screwed up country since an implied comparison was being made.”

    But you STILL probably don’t get all of this, TheGoat. I’ll let you live in your small little world where we can criticize the speck in Koreans’ eyes and ignore the log in your own. And believe me, I could REALLY make some stereotypes because I often see this attitude in the expat community. Funny thing is that when these Western expats stay in Korea too long, they often remember their home countries as paradise. Of course then they return home….and find they can’t adapt that well in their own home countries….and within a few years are back in Korea.

  • JK

    Marka wrote:
    “Last time I checked, this blog, and this post in particular, has nothing to do with Japan. The topic is Korea. Why do Koreans always want to divert and deflect criticism into ‘Oh, Japan is the same/worse!’

    Well then let me respond like my fellow Americans would respond if either Korean or Japanese immigrants or expats living in America were to constantly complain about America and find faults in the news about some American sensationalists or anti-Semites looking for attention and a quick buck.

    My American friends and colleagues would say (to a hypothetical complaining Korean or Japanese expat living in the US who was determined to find all the latest dirt on America to prove what a messed up country it was): “Look, I won’t lie and say America doesn’t have its faults. But America is still a great country and a great people! Not all of us Americans are anti-Semites even though SOME Americans like David Duke are. And if you’re just gonna live in America and gripe day in and day out that America is screwed up and racist, well, you can just get your little *ss out of here and go back to Korea (or Japan)! America, love it or leave it! And things in many ways are a LOT worse in YOUR country (be it Korea or Japan). ”

    Of course the angry Korean or Japanese expat might say, “Why do Americans always want to divert and deflect criticism into ‘Oh, another country is the same/worse!’

    Hm…sounds kinda familiar, no?

  • http://yeomso.blogspot.com/ The Goat

    JK,

    Don’t get me wrong, I could really care less what you or wjk have to say in pretty much any thread as it rarely has to do with the topic. I put you guys (among) others in the ‘amusement’ category that rarely bring anything relevant to the table.

    Also, you know nothing about me or my views on Canadian society, the people, culture, politics or anything. Actually, you don’t even know my views on this topic as I have not added anything other than 2 glib remarks at the beginning of the thread. But that does not matter. To you, I am and will always be a hater due to the simple fact that I am not Korean and that I have the gall to talk about social issues pertaining to the country in which I live.

  • http://yeomso.blogspot.com/ The Goat

    Should be “(among others)” of course.

  • seouldout

    I wonder what the Embassy of Israel thinks of this. In any case, the links have been sent to the Simon Wiesenthal Center.

    Uh-oh. Piss off expats, no biggie. Piss of the Jews and you’re in for a whole lot of hurt. Betcha the screenplay of that poor Japanese girl fleeing Korean rapists was just green lighted.

    Since we’ve digressed to talking about other countries I’ll pile on. Was at a few social events back in the States a while ago and fell into some conversations where Canadians were mentioned unflatteringly. I’m all for that. It struck me that these Canadians were unlike any I’d ever heard about. “Who are these Canadians?” A women replied, “Not Canadian Canadians. It’s a codeword…for Jews.” Golly! Poor Jews. Being called Canadian I mean.

    All in all, I gotta give the stupid Professor a bit of credit; he wears his prejudice proudly, which is more than can be said about those with whom I conversed. Or those who keep pointing fingers at Japan.

  • cm

    Yeap familiar. I’ve seen the exact same thing in non-Korea related forums. It’s human nature to be defensive. But usually it’s alright if family members criticize each other. That’s human nature too.

    But I digress. All you Jews in Korea, watch your backs lest you get lynched by all those Nazi Korean skin heads and adjumas who hate Jews.

  • JK

    To TheGoat: “Don’t get me wrong, I could really care less what you or wjk have to say in pretty much any thread…”

    Ah, now that IS a laugh.

    “To you, I am and will always be a hater due to the simple fact that I am not Korean and that I have the gall to talk about social issues pertaining to the country in which I live.”

    No, I merely question why a certain amount of relativism cannot be introduced when critiquing a country to give it some sense of perspective.

  • SomeguyinKorea

    JK, the answer is pretty obvious: the cartoonist and his publishers.

  • SomeguyinKorea

    “The comic book writer is making a profit the same way Rush Limbaugh and Pat Buchanan and John Mayer are. What they say grabs attention. And a lot of Americans get their parents to listen to people like Limbaugh, Buchanan, and Mayer.”

    I loathe them too.

  • JK

    “JK, the answer is pretty obvious: the cartoonist and his publishers.”

    Ah, well considering that you wrote this in reply to what I wrote, it could have been construed as having been aimed at me. Fine. My mistake. Then what did your comment then HAVE to do with what I wrote to you?

  • JK

    Okay, okay, I get your point, usinkorea. Yes, I hate people who write scandalous sh*t to make money.

  • marka

    Yeap familiar. I’ve seen the exact same thing in non-Korea related forums.

    I haven’t. Only in Korean forums.

    All you Jews in Korea, watch your backs lest you get lynched by all those Nazi Korean skin heads and adjumas who hate Jews.

    Too bad you couldn’t give the same warning a bit earlier to Major David Berry about barbaric Korean skinhead losers who like to stab foreigners just because they are foreign.

    http://edition.cnn.com/2000/ASIANOW/east/07/18/skorea.us.military.ap/

    Or brave Korean patriots who attack 6 year old Japanese schoolchildren with an axe:

    http://www.findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m0WDQ/is_2004_Feb_9/ai_113064215

    2 Trackbacks/Pingbac

  • JK

    “Too bad you couldn’t give the same warning a bit earlier to Major David Berry about barbaric Korean skinhead losers who like to stab foreigners just because they are foreign.”

    Yeah, Marka, next time bring up the time African-Americans went on a rampage and shot Korean shop owners. Or too bad we Americans didn’t give warnings to each other about how white ex-soldiers behave…then we would have been warned in advance about people like Timothy McVeigh. Because as you know, if ONE white ex-US soldier is bad, this just HAS to mean the entire white American race of ex-soldiers is bad, right Marka?

    I hope everyone sees I wrote the above paragraph sarcastically to make a point to Marka.

  • http://yeomso.blogspot.com/ The Goat

    cm,

    I agree. I am not saying that I am a master of the argument by any means, but I do try and stay on topic and avoid the common pitfalls.

    I like http://fallacyfiles.org/

    I can’t say for sure if it is 100% correct but it is a pretty good guide and straightforward.

    I really don’t think I have much to say about this topic that has not already been said. I don’t think there is malicious intent, but just a rather naive acceptance that what he is saying is indeed true. The troubling part is that there is no domestic controversy about the book as far as I know. This could imply larger ignorance and acceptance of these ‘distortions’ as facts.

  • cm

    “I haven’t. Only in Korean forums.”. Then you’re not being honest. I post in a Canadian forum, about Canadian stuff. Can’t count how many times I’ve read anti-immigrant, anti-Chinese, anti-Asian posts. Not a day goes by without someone posting immigrants are ruining Canada. Visible minorities are leeching off Social welfare, that there is systematic discrimination against whites, that there is an evil Asian conspiracy to spy and take over the country. We’re constantly told to go back home, get out of Canada if you don’t like it here, and I might add much much more so then this forum or any other Korea related forums I’ve read – probably because there aren’t that many Koreans who are proficient enough in English.

    As for those links, unfortunate and unacceptable incidents but is that all you can do – to go back years to dig those up? Racist incidents they are, they still are very isolated cases from the overall view of the situation. You can’t possibly be telling us that Korea is a dangerous place for foreigners? But nevermind, I think that’s what you’re saying.

  • cm

    “The troubling part is that there is no domestic controversy about the book as far as I know. ”

    As I have tried to explain before being shot down by reactionary forces who will probably won’t accept any explaination other then the black and white view of Koreans as nothing but racist nazis. And there is a big difference between trying to ‘explain’ and trying to ‘excuse’.

    There is no domestic controversy because for most Koreans, apathy toward sufferings of people other then Koreans is the norm. Korean culture is simply not mature enough at this point to be able to put themselves in other’s shoes (lack of empathy), that some of the actions maybe hurtful. This only proves my point that average Koreans are apathetic to Jews (a group that Koreans have had any experience before). I brought up Taiwan, Hong Kong and Japan where similiar things happens because I believe that this is maybe something to do with Confuscianism.

    Not saying there is no anti semiticim in Korea. There is, especially in some intellectual circles. But come on, trying to tie this up to another example of Korean hatred of foreigners is frankly hard to swallow.

  • JK

    cm, I agree with much of your last comment. Well put!

  • seouldout

    They’ve had 5000 years 4000 years several millennia to mature. Can’t keep asking for the we-don’t-know-no-better idiot pass.

    …apathy toward sufferings of people other then Koreans is the norm.

    Pretty odd, and perhaps selfish, that they want everyone’s empathy, though.

    I think I figured out the wisdom of give and take by the time I was 5.

    And here I thought me me and the gimme gimmes was just a punk band.

  • http://hunjang.blogspot.com Antti

    Robert:

    In fact, the worst thing I ever really hear are attempts by some to liken the plight of Koreans under colonial rule to the Holocaust.

    For that, the great minjok writer Jo Jung-rae gives a good example in the introduction to his 12-volume novel Arirang:

    The Jews were killed in a period of three years, but Koreans were killed during a period of more than ten times of that, 36 years. Which people suffered more?

    Even though we suffered horrors ten times more than the Jews, how is it possible that we still don’t know many of us Koreans died?
    And how do we feel the tragedy of another people, Jews, as if it was our own and detest the German army while wanting to avoid talking about own tragedy, forgetting and avoiding it? Was it because the times were different? Or was it different?

    (The whole introduction translated in an old blog note of mine.)

    While being actually envious of Jews for being able to “use the Holocaust for their advantage” and being a strong an influential people, Jo ends up sounding (and being) offensively antisemitic and similar to what Rhie draws and writes. And that’s what much of the attitudes of Koreans who have any seem to be about.

  • http://rjkoehler.com Robert Koehler

    Antti—I was thinking of Jo Jung-rae, and your post in particular, when I wrote that. Thanks for the link to your post.

  • JK

    Yeah, Antti, Koreans are so ENVIOUS of Jews. (WTH are you talking about???)

    Seriously, though, this is really REALLY the first time I’ve ever heard of this. If anything the Jewish and Korean communities in America, at least, have strongly paralleled and helped each other. I see no envy whatsoever.

    But since I have a different opinion from many of you who insist that Koreans are racists who hate Jews, I guess there’s no more point in my arguing against the angry “Koreans-hate-Jews” Western expat mob.

  • dogbertt

    I’m with JK on this. After all, we have “bluejives” and his Korean-Jewish outreach program. Although only one man, certainly that is enough to defy this putative stereotype.

  • seouldout

    Scrolling through Antti’s site there’s a link in the comments to hardcore Waffen SS stuff. That comic must just be a primer.

    For those who apt to, commence your rationalizations.

    I don’t believe this site represents a view of but a few nutters in Korea. But with the great number of kiddies exposed to the comic being discussed, I won’t be surprised if more than a few make the leap to the dark side. Especially when some make light of it, cast blame on accuse others, etc.

  • http://rjkoehler.com Robert Koehler

    Yeah, Antti, Koreans are so ENVIOUS of Jews. (WTH are you talking about???)

    I guess the first question is, do you know who Jo Jung-rae is? It might help in knowing WTH he’s talking about.

    Seriously, though, this is really REALLY the first time I’ve ever heard of this. If anything the Jewish and Korean communities in America, at least, have strongly paralleled and helped each other. I see no envy whatsoever.

    That very well might be the case. This isn’t America, however.

    And to volunteer to help clarify what I think Antti was trying to say, he wasn’t saying that all, or even most, Koreans are racists who hate Jews. He was simply saying much the same thing as cm (a comment with which you agreed), namely, that within certain intellectual circles (such as those swam in by Jo Jung-rae and, perhaps, Lee Won-bok), anti-Semitic ideology exists. And that most Koreans who have an opinion about Jews—which might not be very many—hold Jews in the regard Antti described. I see no reason why this should be a surprise.

  • pawikirogi

    ‘Last time I checked, this blog, and this post in particular, has nothing to do with Japan. The topic is Korea. Why do Koreans always want to divert and deflect criticism into “Oh, Japan is the same/worse!” ‘

    well, you mustn’t check arond much cause the expat loves to use japan as a club against korea. you mean you’ve never seen that here? you must be blind. ‘japan more mature!’ ‘japan don’t act that way.’ ‘look at japan!’ you see that all the time on this board. if the expat can do it. so can we.

    wiesunja, i’m glad korea chewed you up and spit you out. makes me feel proud. don’t blame korea you’re a weakling.

    ps would the person contacting the wiesenthal center also send the photos of the chinese stereotyping koreans? you’ll remember most of you were just as upset about that as you are about the subject at hand here today.

    wiesonja*, indeed.

    * for those who don’t know, ‘wiesonja’ means ‘hypocrite’

  • http://hunjang.blogspot.com Antti

    JK:

    If anything the Jewish and Korean communities in America, at least, have strongly paralleled and helped each other. I see no envy whatsoever.

    Please note that I have nothing to say in this matter about America, as I’ve never been to that place and do not no so much about it. I guess you also should ackonwledge that you shouldn’t try to judge certain Korean-Korean’s attitudes only on the basis of race relations in the US. And when I mentioned envy, I referred to Jo Jung-rae, one of the most best-selling authors in ROK since the early 1990s. So let’s put it this way that those who have any opinion on Jews at all, tend to reflect views exposed by Jo. That’s what I tried to say.

    Perhaps I should have added that this also seems to be related to the attachment that some leftist have to Jewish things (and Israel, for that matter); for example Hankyoreh has been writing every know and then about the strength of the “Jewish lobby” in the United States, and introduced in a positive tone the much-disputed article (authors?) that appeared in a US magazine last year. See 미국 유대인 로비 Google search on Hankyoreh.

  • http://rjkoehler.com Robert Koehler

    ps would the person contacting the wiesenthal center also send the photos of the chinese stereotyping koreans? you’ll remember most of you were just as upset about that as you are about the subject at hand here today.

    Pawi…

  • SomeguyinKorea

    pawikirogi,

    The only thing I see that is better about Japan is that everything looks new and clean, maybe a little too much so (it’s almost as if they are trying to hide something). That’s pretty much where the comparaisons end for me. Apples and oranges.

  • SomeguyinKorea

    “ps would the person contacting the wiesenthal center also send the photos of the chinese stereotyping koreans? you’ll remember most of you were just as upset about that as you are about the subject at hand here today.

    Pawi…

    Yeah, he could have posted that under any name and we would have still known it was him.

  • http://x85130c4.spaces.live.com/ Mark

    A rhetorical question for all you Coreans out there….

    Seems to me that Israel and Korea have been around for roughly the same length of time, right? Now why doesn’t Korea stand on it’s own two feet like Israel and kick the living crap out of anyone who fcuks with it?

  • seouldout

    …kick the living crap out of anyone who fcuks with it…

    They’re a peace loving people. The only people who’ve never invaded another country, I’m told. Duuuh. ;)

    Oh man, a rhetorical question! Consider it unanswered. Sorry.

  • SomeguyinKorea
  • railwaycharm

    This has certainly been an interesting post. USinKorea has a new crusade, and Pawi… well what can you say. One question; ever notice that the emblem for the Dong Parri looks hauntingly familiar?

  • cm

    “Now why doesn’t Korea stand on it’s own two feet like Israel and kick the living crap out of anyone who fcuks with it?”

    Israel is/has been (for many decades) the biggest recepient of US economic aid. That’s one of the reasons why the Arabs are pissed off at the Americans. It’s not exactly they are totally standing on their own two feet. As well, you’re comparing apples with oranges.

  • railwaycharm

    cm,

    You got that right. Israel is our bulldog, we throw them bones.

  • Sonagi

    Robert,

    You already know from your blog stats that your blog has exponentially more readers than commenters. My Flickr page has been up less than 24 hours and it’s had almost 400 views. The only other place I posted was at Onefreekorea. I hope some of the viewers are Korean and that they will recognize that Lee’s books and others like it pollute kids’ minds. If any Korean cannot understand what’s offensive about the Lee’s cartoons, just replace the Star of David on that pitchfork, wall, giant leg, bag of money, shield, etc. with a red and blue Taegukki and put the book into the hands of a North American child.

  • http://www.freekorea.us joshua

    My completely unscientific impression of Korea most Koreans are fairly open about their prejudices against other races, especially against those of African descent or mixed race. However, I have not found most Koreans to be anti-Semitic, although they will accept pretty much any anti-American conspiracy theory theory, whether it involves Jews or not.

    My fear is that because this comic will reach a wide and young audience, it will only reinforce and expand Korean society’s tendency toward racial scapegoating. Wacky theories of Jewish/American victimization have great appeal to those with inferiority complexes, who seek excuses for failure. In fact, this comic is as anti-American as anti-Semetic. It attempts to judeify all of America. In the new Korea, Americans will be the new Jews. And while I believe that it should be legal to express even revolting ideas like these, what’s really troubling is the absence of a reaction by that great silent majority of Korean parents, teachers, and thinkers who ought to be marginalizing these ideas, rather than forking over allowance money to mainstream them.

    This time, it won’t be as simple as doing another Kang Jeong-Koo to cover up the embarrassment with censorship. Someone will actually have to debate these ideas and discredit them. I wonder how that will be possible without someone daring to question and reexamine some of Korea’s unchallegeable junk science and junk history about racial purity and victimization.

  • Sonagi

    Joshua wrote:

    “My fear is that because this comic will reach a wide and young audience, it will only reinforce and expand Korean society’s tendency toward racial scapegoating.”

    Will? It already has. My book is at least three years old, and it is only one of two volumes. The volume being translated is on the American people. The other is about American history. As you noted, the book isn’t just anti-Semitic but anti-American, for only one chapter out of eight specifically deals with American Jews. It concludes by telling Korean children not to hate Americans because there are more than 2 million Americans of Korean descent.

  • SomeguyinKorea

    Well, I’m curious. Will the transalation be true to the original version, or will they clean it up?

  • wjk

    you can’t seriously claim that Koreans are anti semitic based on Lee Won Bok, a handful of Koreans.

    Europeans and Middle Eastern people have such a blood tainted history when it comes to it.

    http://sicsa.huji.ac.il/11kowner.htm

    Furthermore, antisemitism in Japan never gained full governmental support nor did it become a national ideology. It did not develop out of any significant conflict between Israel and Japan, as is the case with Arab countries. In fact, antisemitism never penetrated the lower classes in Japan nor had it any popular support. Finally it has appeared almost solely in written form and ………….never deteriorated to the point of material damage or physical attacks on Jews.

    / this is an academic paper, by the way.

  • http://yeomso.blogspot.com/ The Goat

    wjk,

    People (for the most part) are not claiming that Korea is anti-semitic. Furthermore, nobody was claiming that other countries were not.

    What was your point again?

    I suppose you could have tried to say that the situation in Korea somewhat parallels the cut and pasted paragraph from the paper. But!

    With the outbreak of the Pacific War (1941–1945), there was an outburst of anti-Jewish, along with anti-Christian, race hatred in Japan, which historian John Dower points out “has no explanation beyond mindless adherence to Nazi doctrine” (Dower, 1986: 258). During this period, a number of Japanese writers accepted Nazi theories of the Jews as an alien, sinister, and corrupt element in the Western civilization (Shillony, 1981: 156–71)

    Could prove to be a little troubling for your argument.

  • wjk

    “never deteriorated to the point of material damage or physical attacks on Jews.”

  • http://yeomso.blogspot.com/ The Goat

    So you can be hateful in mind and policy (official or unofficial) but as long as it is not physical it is acceptable? Interesting…

    If that is the case then why are you bothering with the people who seem to be hateful towards Korea. It seems to me that their feelings have yet to deteriorate to the point of material damage or physical attacks on Koreans.

  • http://rjkoehler.com Robert Koehler

    “never deteriorated to the point of material damage or physical attacks on Jews.”

    Might I suggest that may have been because Japanese of the 1940s might have had a very difficult time finding any Jews to attack. And at any rate, why take your nativist aggressions out on some people you’ve never met when you could do so much more easily on your own Korean and Chinese minorities?

  • wjk

    Goat says,

    “So you can be hateful in mind and policy (official or unofficial) but as long as it is not physical it is acceptable? Interesting…”

    – putting words in my mouth. I never said that.

    what about the occasional rape or murders by US soldiers against South Korean soju mama’s?

    Zanichi Koreans changing their names so they appear to be all Japanese?

    South Korea is not the country that has people from Idaho driving all the way to California just so they could fire automatic weapons on Jewish children. Nor is it the country that has people painting Nazi symbols on synagogues every single year around major US cities.

  • wjk

    Mr. Koehler, if you read that link and if you’re familiar with the Fugu plan, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fugu_Plan,

    the Japanese had and still has a small Jewish population.

  • wjk

    dudes like Matt Shakuhachi spend 365 days a year talking crap about South Korea, but are always on the look out for another Korean prostitute to sleep with. It’s hateful and wrong.

  • dogbertt

    dudes like Matt Shakuhachi spend 365 days a year talking crap about South Korea, but are always on the look out for another Korean prostitute to sleep with. It’s hateful and wrong.

    That is hardly true in regard to shakuhachi, but it’s no different from “bluejives” or any other Korean who damns non-Koreans on the one hand yet craves non-Korean women. Don’t be such a hypocrite.

    Kind of like you and your tormented relationship to all things Japanese.

  • http://yeomso.blogspot.com/ The Goat

    wjk (paraphrased)

    – Korea is not anti-semitic because of a few books
    – (random non-related euro stuff)
    – quote from paper saying it existed in Japan in literature only

    - it never became violent

    I asked what point you were trying to make

    You repasted quote about it not becoming violent

    To me that seems like you are emphasizing the fact that, although present, it is harmless as it is not violent. No?

    If not, I will ask again, what was the point to that link and quote?

    Your (heh) counterpoints

    1. Would have to prove that it is race related not just violent crime – not relevant
    2. Don’t know the reasons why, nor do I care. I don’t live there.
    3. Of course not. Idaho and California are in the US, silly.

    Seriously though, I will say it again just for you. The claim is NOT that it anti-semitic feelings are not present or in a worse state in any other country. Why is that so hard for you to understand?

  • http://rjkoehler.com Robert Koehler

    wjk—emphasis on SMALL. The Fugu Plan, meanwhile, was based on European anti-Semitic ideology, and just because Tokyo was interested in settling Jews in Manchuria doesn’t mean that had Jews become a visible presence in Japan at the time that they wouldn’t have fallen victim to violence. Japanese colonial policy encouraged Koreans to settle in Manchuria, but that didn’t stop the violence following the Kanto Earthquake, did it?

    And one last note—Whether or not Matt hates Korea or bangs Korean prostitutes has nothing to do with the comic book at hand. And the Mets still suck.

  • http://rjkoehler.com Robert Koehler

    Oh, and would somebody please remind me how we began talking about whether WWII Japan was anti-Semitic or not when I believe the post was about a contemporary Korean comic book?

  • http://yeomso.blogspot.com/ The Goat

    We are talking about random stuff due to the failings of our educational systems worldwide. The fact that people can graduate from institutions of higher educations without being able to construct or respond to an argument on topic is quite sad. Formal debate should be a required course.

    Oh…that and wjk.

  • wjk

    that paper link covers not only World War time, but also contemporary Japanese society (1997) and anti semitism in Japan.

    I’m not talking about random stuff. They all relate to anti semitism.

    I am providing mind expanding material. Things you would normally not think about, besides concluding all Koreans are antisemitic. Perhaps incoherent on my part.

    We’ll see about the New York Mets. Yankees seem to be signing young pitchers and getting rid of them with a lot of $ left on their deals, while opting to go for old guys who might not be there for them in October. Interestingly, these guys who weren’t good enough for the Yanks are showing up consistently in the playoffs with other teams.

  • wjk

    “Japan represents a special case in the research on attitudes toward Jews in modern times, for Japanese-Jewish discourse was set forth only after Japan had been forced to open its ports in 1854. The first outburst of anti-Jewish race hatred in Japan occurred with the outbreak of the Pacific War in 1941. In the latter half of the 1980s there was a resurrection of negative Jewish images as a new wave of antisemitic writings swept Japan.

    The present research attempts to evaluate current Japanese attitudes toward Jews, as reflected in indicators such as stereotypes, social distance, and their general assessment of the Jews. In addition, it sought to investigate the relations between knowledge and exposure to information about Jews, and attitudes toward them. The study included three surveys and the research population consisted of 639 Japanese university students. “

  • http://www.koreasojourner.blog-city.com/ usinkorea

    while defending their OWN country as some morally superior one (what nonsense!) and holding Korea to a different standard even though their OWN country can be as bad if not worse in many aspects.

    When that fits me, I might feel bad…

    So much for your generalizations. Shall we now generalize white expats in Korea?

    Sure. Most are from North America. Most are in the young adult range. Most are in the ESL industry – if not the US military. Most are short-timers (couple years max for most). Many to most spend their time in Korea as an extension of their college days (drinking and hanging out with friends and what not). They are also coming from a culture where drunk teens and early 20 something males tend to escalate confrontations to the use of fists and other things more violent — whereas Koreans tend to continue getting into physical confrontations well into older adulthood than the Westerner, but they tend to limit themselves to pushing and pulling on each other. The college educated expat ESL community people (and others) are more likely by a wide (but shrinking) margin to have smoked pot at least once in their lives than Koreans of the same age………..do you want me to go on?…..

    JK #57

    But you missed the point. The negatives in one do not cancel out the negatives in the other.

    I would bet money if most of the people who feel things enough to take the time to read long comments threads and then type something out were in their home nations blogging, you read them bitching and moaning about things in their home nations.

    If you read my blog, since I’m back in the US, I regularly rip the US media to shreds and bitch about things I see I don’t like here…..

    What gets guys like you dismissed easily, by especially the long term expats (and those who have left) is that we’ve gotten a lot of experience with Korea and can’t be dismissed as just “Korea bashers”…

    And to get this back to the point at hand —- if you can find me a comic book aimed at children (that has sold as well as this one seems to have sold in Korea) in the US that is as antisemitic as this one —– please do share it with all of us, because I’m sure more Americans would like to know about it.

    Comment 59 and 62

    I want to state again that I gave the wrong impression or stated more than I should on how general I believe this phenomenon is in Korean society. I haven’t seen enough to tell.

    I think most Koreans know little about Israel or the history of the Jews. The times I’ve run across it were with not just college educated Koreans but intellectual ones (of the younger variety)…

    …but the fact that it seems that Hitler bars do not register much in Korean thought means something…..and also I’ve caught a hint or two from the English versions of the press over the years.

    I guess I can sum this up by saying I would not lable SK as a nation “antisemitic” —- but I would say there is a real current in at least the educated that has some bitterness about SK not getting the attention the Jews have.

    And something Marmot wrote dinged a little bell in my head of a historical note.

    If you read some of Park Chung Hee’s speeches and books, he mentions Germany primarily in connection to the division of the nation, but he makes references to the Fatherland and pride and how to build up Korean nationalism that —— did not read as if he wanted to follow Hitler by any means from what I read, but because The Holocaust and what could have happened if the Allies had lost WWII that is drummed into our heads in the West — it did make me highly curious to dig inside Park’s head on the issue….

    Anti-semitism isn’t foreign to Koreans. Some christians here blame the Jews for the crussifiction.

    Yes, the Jews killed Jesus – another Jew. Yes, in the history of Western culture, this fact was used for centuries to do nasty things to Jews in Christian lands.

    No, saying that the Jews killed Jesus is not antisemitic today, unless you tack some things onto it…

    Funny thing is that when these Western expats stay in Korea too long, they often remember their home countries as paradise.

    I think I’ve seen the opposite — that the longer the expat stays in Korea, the more he tends to extend a little further in excusing bad Korean behavior…..but that is debateable…

    stopped reading at #71….

  • http://yeomso.blogspot.com/ The Goat

    that paper link covers not only World War time, but also contemporary Japanese society (1997) and anti semitism in Japan.

    Great. The topic is anti-semitic material in mainstream comic books in Korea.

    I’m not talking about random stuff. They all relate to anti semitism.

    Still irrelevant unless you wish to make a strict comparison or contrast using Korea and Japan. Then, it is just somewhat sketchy.

    I am providing mind expanding material. Things you would normally not think about, besides concluding all Koreans are antisemitic. Perhaps incoherent on my part.

    You are providing diversions and distractions from the topic. Interesting…maybe…relevant…no. Who has concluded that all Koreans are anti-semitic?

  • tomas

    Wait…how did Japan get involved into this? Who brought Japan into this discussion?

  • wjk

    #11
    tomas
    Posted February 5, 2007 at 2:18 am | Permalink

    Like I said…Koreans have an intrinsic but childish admiration for Hitler which can be attributed to their dislike for Jews. Anti-Semitism by Koreans, as baffling as it seems at first, is quite understandable once anyone spends a considerable amount of time with Koreans and understands their hatred of any entity or people who excel at what they do to the point of surpassing Koreans themselves. Basically, Koreans see Jews as people who are capable of overcoming the same obstacles that Koreans face but are too weak to handle. They see Jews being lauded as a model people with integrity who are praised by others for being able to achieve what they did by nothing other than their own hard work. Unlike Koreans, the Jews overcame obstacles without having to resort to the cowardly practice of whining and blaming others for their problems, or bribery. This makes Koreans feel extremely hateful and jealous towards the Jews.

    /tomas.

  • wjk

    Goat, be a man and blow some shit towards tomas.

  • wjk

    Adolf, the Japanese manga, is not anti-semitic?

    the central plot has to do with was Adolf Hitler Jewish.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adolf_%28manga%29

    “Was Adolf Hitler really quarter-Jewish?

    A rumor plays a central role in this story. It concerns one of the most frequently asked question about Hitler’s background. During the Nuremberg Trials, ”

    /this is not offensive? Who are you to say?

  • wjk

    although if you know a Jewish person and Jewish law, if your mother is not Jewish and you haven’t converted to Judaism, you are not Jewish, even if your father was. Thus, according to my friend, Jewish men marrying non Jewish girls is frowned upon more.

    Still, this Japanese god of Manga plays with this central theme and gets recognized for one of the best manga awards Japan has to offer.

  • http://yeomso.blogspot.com/ The Goat

    Nah. I am done here.

    I can dismiss asinine things like that as they have zero potential to add anything to the discussion.

    You, on the other hand, could possibly add an alternate point of view if you got your shit together.

  • wjk

    Sasha Cohen, for example, married a non Jewish person, and got her to convert to Judaism to keep his heritage in his future children.

  • http://yeomso.blogspot.com/ The Goat

    re: posts 126-127

    Welcome to the land of dismissal. I give up.

  • wiesunja

    Wait…how did Japan get involved into this? Who brought Japan into this discussion?

    Well, you have to understand, tomas, wjk is our resident stalker of all things Japanese. It’s like an addiction that he just can’t shake, like gambling or heroin. As everyone here has remarked, he has a very bad habit of bringing Japan into any discussion and using twisted logic in an attempt to argue that Japan is much worse in regards to the original criticism of Korea. Stemming from that centuries-old innate “han” (English translation: “inferiority complex”) that is found in every Korean, doing so somehow makes a Korean’s “little man” psyche feel much better about oneself in the face of criticism, even when the topic at hand has absolutely nothing to do with Japan.

    So you see, Tomas, that is why you should just give the baby a rattle and say, “Ok now..there there. We believe you…Korea is so much better than Japan. You guys invented a turtle ship or something. We respect you” instead of getting upset. After all, it really wouldn’t make sense to argue with an infant over logic now, would it? Just let them go ahead and say what they want. It’s actually quite funny since the likes of him on this blog will use the “Japan is just as bad too” argument when Korea is criticized for wife-beating, corruption, Kim Jong Il, cyber terrorism, plastic surgery, Dr. Hwang, etc. You see, to a Korean, it really doesnt matter whether or not Korea has done something wrong or criminal. As long as they can cover their ears and repeatedly yell, “But Japan is worse! Japan is worse!”, then the original criticism directed at Korea is totally nullified.

    You see…it’s really convenient to be a Korean. Just say “Japan is worse” to anything that you do wrong…even if you do commit murder or a crime. As long as you do this, you can still maintain your dignity and you can still feel good about yourself. Why? Because getting caught doing something wrong or inviolation or ethics and moral principles is not what’s important to Koreans. What really is most important thing to Koreans is letting foreigners know that Japan is worse!

  • marka

    Tomas,

    You see, we are Koreans. Our sole number one pleasure and goal in life is to make foreigners dislike Japan worse than urinara since it’s seems like it is already too late to make them like our country. As long as we can make them dislike Japan more than Korea, we really don’t care if our country gets caught for anti-semitism, cheating, racism or any other criticism. As a matter of fact, we will totally admit it. However, we mustn’t at all costs EVER let the foreigners think that Japan is better than us. To allow this to happen would be a sin too far great for any Korean and could not go unpunished. If you are Korean and you die without having convinced at least two foreigners that although Korea is a pretty pathetic nation, Japan is worse many of the same aspects…then you will go to Tangun-hell where everyday is an exercise in rational thinking and logic. This is a torture to great for any of us. Thus, when we are backed up against the wall in an accusation or criticism, and we realize we have no real defense other than to admit we are wrong, the least that we, as Koreans, can do is always make sure to bring in Japan and make sure that Japan does not get off the hook so easily.

    Heaven forbid that foreigners even think that Korea is alone in wrongdoing. That would be the worst fate that we Koreans could ever meet. Even if we are caught, we must do our duty to drag down Japan’s image with us! As long as we can do that, then any criticism of our wrongdoings by foreigners is totally worth it!

  • tomas

    marka, your post was beautiful! Wow, you really captured the essence of the korean spirit to a capital T. That’s probably the best description of the korean psyche i have ever read in my life. I need to copy and save it.

    wjk,

    #11
    tomas
    Posted February 5, 2007 at 2:18 am | Permalink

    Like I said…Koreans have an intrinsic but childish admiration for Hitler which can be attributed to their dislike for Jews. Anti-Semitism by Koreans, as baffling as it seems at first, is quite understandable once anyone spends a considerable amount of time with Koreans and understands their hatred of any entity or people who excel at what they do to the point of surpassing Koreans themselves. Basically, Koreans see Jews as people who are capable of overcoming the same obstacles that Koreans face but are too weak to handle. They see Jews being lauded as a model people with integrity who are praised by others for being able to achieve what they did by nothing other than their own hard work. Unlike Koreans, the Jews overcame obstacles without having to resort to the cowardly practice of whining and blaming others for their problems, or bribery. This makes Koreans feel extremely hateful and jealous towards the Jews.

    /tomas.

    Uh, I see that you copied and pasted my posting#11. Is that supposed to be an answer to why you bring Japan into this argument? Please point out exactly where in my posting I brought up Japan? I am not sure but after reading my own post three times, I don’t even see the word “Japan” mentioned even once. Maybe wiesunja and marka are correct and maybe it is something about the actual pupils in a Korean person’s eyeballs which makes them see images of the word “Japan” in anything they read?

  • wjk

    dumbass, uh, tomas, someone asked who actually said Koreans in general are anti-semitic.

    YOU. For one.

    share some html code on quotes and links.

  • SomeguyinKorea

    wjk,

    I’m sure quite a few Koreans that are christians blame the Jews for the crussifiction.

    And then there’s North Korea…

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Non-Aligned_Movement

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/UN_General_Assembly_Resolution_4686

  • http://rjkoehler.com Robert Koehler

    tomas, marka, wiesunja: Shame on you for using socks. And having your socks talk to one another, like comments 132-133? That’s just being as asshole. You’ve been banned.

  • pawikirogi

    ‘Sure. Most are from North America. Most are in the young adult range. Most are in the ESL industry – if not the US military. Most are short-timers (couple years max for most). Many to most spend their time in Korea as an extension of their college days (drinking and hanging out with friends and what not). They are also coming from a culture where drunk teens and early 20 something males tend to escalate confrontations to the use of fists and other things more violent — whereas Koreans tend to continue getting into physical confrontations well into older adulthood than the Westerner, but they tend to limit themselves to pushing and pulling on each other. The college educated expat ESL community people (and others) are more likely by a wide (but shrinking) margin to have smoked pot at least once in their lives than Koreans of the same age………..do you want me to go on?…..’ usinkorea once again dronning on and on

    well, yes, i do want you to go on but since you haven’t gone on, let me go on for you….

    most are unattractive white dudes who would be classified as foruth class here in the states. most couldn’t get a date in peoria, so they travel thousands of miles away so that can be the man they’ll never be here. most consider more that 2 hours of work a day to be taxing. most are alcoholics and most have no problem joing the korean ajosshi at the room salon and other places of prostitution. most have no qualifications to teach anything other than the art of whinning. most hail from the sewers of american/western society.

    there. how’s that for finnishing up the portrait of your average expat in korea?

    ‘one day, i went on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on until i realized i actually said absolutey nothing.’ us-in-korea

  • http://21cseonbi.blogspot.com sewing

    Okay, I’m just skipping to the bottom, and it looks like the thread went off track somewhere, but in reference to the original post:

    Holy friggin’ s***! I mean, Jiminy jumping crickets! Is this guy for real!? These aren’t historical comic books, these are racist friggin’ tracts! I think we should be glad his stuff is going to get exposure in the US now…maybe Lee Won-bok will be publicly shamed for the out-and-out racist he is!

  • http://21cseonbi.blogspot.com sewing

    I pray to high heaven that my nieces and nephews have not been poisoned by this a******’s garbage.

  • http://hebrewhacker.wordpress.com bluejives

    Speaking of the Jews, where has been Shelton Bumgardner lately? Let’s ask a Jew in Korea. Shelton, do you think Koreans are anti-Semitic? Shelton, do you think the Koreans can tell the difference betwenn an average Ashkenazic Jew who may look like Jerry Seinfeld from any other big-nose wae-gook?

  • slim

    most are unattractive white dudes who would be classified as foruth class here in the states. most couldn’t get a date in peoria, so they travel thousands of miles away so that can be the man they’ll never be here. most consider more that 2 …..
    there. how’s that for finnishing up the portrait of your average expat in korea?

    I’ll defer to pawi on defining standards for “attractive white dudes” (not that there’s anything wrong with finding white dudes attractive) but I can’t ignore the ironic fact that the people he denounces here have a demonstrated 3+year track record of writing better, thinking more clearly and grasping the issues better than mouth-breathing, semi-literate pawi himself. THANKS FOR SCORING AN OWN GOAL, LOSER!!

  • Sonagi

    @bluejives:

    Since there are no native Jewish Koreans and no visible Jewish community, these books aren’t likely to inspire anti-Semitism. Kids learn when they are able to make connections to the world around them.

    There are two big problems with Lee Won-bok’s series. First, his books show a lack of respect for other peoples of the world, as depicted in printed text and cartoon images. Second, they teach Korean children that foreigners are funny looking, and some nationalities are evil. Lee Won-bok’s books are the worst I’ve seen, but they are not unusual. Disparaging racial caricatures exaggerating or mocking the racial features of other ethnic groups are the norm. Japanese are almost always drawn with buck teeth and narrowed eyes. White people have noses as long as bird’s beaks. Africans are almost always wearing a bone either in their hair or in their noses. No wonder Korean kids are “afraid” of learning English from a North American of African descent. In the world of Korean children’s educational materials, foreigner = strange and scary.

    To wit, bluejives, pawi, wjk, and others: How would you feel if you opened up a kiddie book in the US or Canada and saw Korean people drawn with unusually large heads, short legs, and tiny slits for eyes? What if kids saw these short-legged, big-headed Koreans killing US soldiers during the Korean War? Do you think Korean-Americans would tolerate such images in North American educational materials for children? Judging from the recent protests by Korean-Americans and Koreans over So Far from the Bamboo Grove, the answer is NO.

  • SomeguyinKorea

    “most are unattractive white dudes who would be classified as foruth class here in the states.”

    How would you know? You’ve never been to Korea.

    “most couldn’t get a date in peoria, so they travel thousands of miles away so that can be the man they’ll never be here.”

    That’s silly. And Koreans who emmigrate to the US do so because they can’t get a job in Korea? No, I came because I wanted a change of scenery, knew some Koreans back home, enjoyed watching the coverage of the 1988 Olympics, and had never been to Asia.

    “most consider more that 2 hours of work a day to be taxing.”

    Right, and I spent 18 hours a day working and studying while I was in grad school. Besides, most foreigners in Korea work in factories doing jobs Koreans shun because they are too difficult. Most westerners are American soldiers. I’ve been in the armed forces. 2 hours a day was spent on my uniform and room alone when I was doing basic.

    “most are alcoholics and most have no problem joing the korean ajosshi at the room salon and other places of prostitution.”

    You sound like a self-hating Korean. Again, how would you know, you’ve never been here.

    In any case, I rarely drink more than one beer. I don’t want it to slow me down when I’m at the gym.

    “most have no qualifications to teach anything other than the art of whinning.”

    All the teachers I work with are qualified to teach. They either have grad school diplomas in ESL or adult education, or undergraduate diplomas in education and a CELTA certificate.

    “most hail from the sewers of american/western society.”

    Well, that’s just plain racist.

  • http://www.icebergkorea.com Iceberg

    SGIK,

    It’s not worth the time or effort.

  • http://hebrewhacker.wordpress.com bluejives

    @bluejives:

    Since there are no native Jewish Koreans and no visible Jewish community, these books aren’t likely to inspire anti-Semitism. Kids learn when they are able to make connections to the world around them.

    There are two big problems with Lee Won-bok’s series. First, his books show a lack of respect for other peoples of the world, as depicted in printed text and cartoon images. Second, they teach Korean children that foreigners are funny looking, and some nationalities are evil. Lee Won-bok’s books are the worst I’ve seen, but they are not unusual. Disparaging racial caricatures exaggerating or mocking the racial features of other ethnic groups are the norm. Japanese are almost always drawn with buck teeth and narrowed eyes. White people have noses as long as bird’s beaks. Africans are almost always wearing a bone either in their hair or in their noses. No wonder Korean kids are “afraid” of learning English from a North American of African descent. In the world of Korean children’s educational materials, foreigner = strange and scary.

    To wit, bluejives, pawi, wjk, and others: How would you feel if you opened up a kiddie book in the US or Canada and saw Korean people drawn with unusually large heads, short legs, and tiny slits for eyes? What if kids saw these short-legged, big-headed Koreans killing US soldiers during the Korean War? Do you think Korean-Americans would tolerate such images in North American educational materials for children? Judging from the recent protests by Korean-Americans and Koreans over So Far from the Bamboo Grove, the answer is NO.

    It seems caricature is a main fixture of Korean comic books. It is quite unfortunate that foreigners are depicted the way they are. You ask, how would I feel if Korean people were depicted with large heads, short legs, and slitty eyes? Well, Korean comics do that also. One trend I’ve noticed about politically incorrect comedy in the US is that there seems to be some unwritten rule that it is OK to make racially insensitive jokes about other ethnicities other than your own, as long as you spend adequate time bashing your own group as well.

    You know, after spending some considerable time reading expat blogs, I think I’m starting to develop some kind of a Korean’s version of the “White Guilt”. I am starting to understand and appreciate the inner groan and eyeroll that many Whites must experience whenever some minority in the US starts talking about slavery, or play the knee-jerk race card, or some such thing, like a damn incessant broken record. This is exactly how I feel whenever there is some expat outcry over a racially insensitive incident in Korea (whether real or imagined).

  • Sonagi

    bluejives wrote:

    “You ask, how would I feel if Korean people were depicted with large heads, short legs, and slitty eyes? Well, Korean comics do that also.”

    I have eight comic-style social studies books for children from three different series. Some images of a Korean meeting a Westerner show the Westerner as much taller than the Korean, and his nose, of course, is bigger. Otherwise, the Korean images are ‘normal;’ their heads and bodies are proportionally the same as Western characters in the same series. Korean eyes are large and round, not narrowed. If you have some books that show otherwise, why don’t you upload some pictures to Flickr?

  • Pingback: The Marmot’s Hole » Notes from Tongyeong

  • http://hebrewhacker.wordpress.com bluejives

    I have eight comic-style social studies books for children from three different series. Some images of a Korean meeting a Westerner show the Westerner as much taller than the Korean, and his nose, of course, is bigger. Otherwise, the Korean images are ‘normal;’ their heads and bodies are proportionally the same as Western characters in the same series. Korean eyes are large and round, not narrowed. If you have some books that show otherwise, why don’t you upload some pictures to Flickr?

    One needn’t look further than Ole Chosun Ilbo’s online cartoon section.

    http://english.chosun.com/servlet/english.ArtListMan?code=k__

    This is pretty representative of newspaper cartoons in general.

    In Korea’s political cartoon world, caricature is applied across the board and everyone, including Koreans, look ridiculous.

    I think you’re getting too hung up about the pictures as opposed to the actual content of the book.

    Furthermore, I don’t get where you’d get the idea that this was a “social studies text” for children. Because it is a comic book? The material presented in this book seems far too sophisticated and specialized, geared more toward adults who follow international geopolitics and world events. The topic of Zionism and the Jewish lobby is an arcane one even for Americans, nevermind an average grade school Korean child.

    It certainly is a controversial book. But I think the big controversy here is the fact that it was written by a Korean. I find myself reading Joe Mondello’s rather sketchy translations of the book’s text. He expresses surprise and doubt at the book’s mention of Jews and Arabs being related peoples. Well, yes, that is true. Jews and Arabs are interrelated in that they share a common ancient patriarch whose name was Abraham. Ishmael, the offspring of Abraham and an Eygptian maidservant Hagar, is the forefather of the Arabs. It is unfortunate that many Westerners would be ignorant of that because too many have forsaken their own Judeo-Christian heritage and it takes an Eastern heathen to point out this fact which is recorded in any Book of Genesis.

    I care more about the book being held to historical accuracy because it does delve deep into the history of the Jews to set a framework to explain modern circumstances. Unfortunately, I doubt any of the amateurs in blog-world are really qualified to do that.

  • Sonagi

    bluejives wrote:

    “Furthermore, I don’t get where you’d get the idea that this was a “social studies text” for children. Because it is a comic book? The material presented in this book seems far too sophisticated and specialized, geared more toward adults who follow international geopolitics and world events. “

    I never called it a textbook. I call it a children’s book because many of my 9-12-year-old old students owned one or more copies and because I found mine in the children’s section at the bookstore in Seoul. That does not mean that only children buy or read them. I agree that the political content is over the kids’ heads; that is why I’m more offended by the demonizing images – a pitchfork lunging at a man, a man bedecked in Jewish religious garb wielding a fountain pen as a weapon, frequent pairings of the Star of David and the dollar sign. Individual Koreans may be demonized or depicted unflatteringly, but Koreans as a group are not.

  • http://hebrewhacker.wordpress.com bluejives

    I never called it a textbook. I call it a children’s book because many of my 9-12-year-old old students owned one or more copies and because I found mine in the children’s section at the bookstore in Seoul. That does not mean that only children buy or read them. I agree that the political content is over the kids’ heads; that is why I’m more offended by the demonizing images – a pitchfork lunging at a man, a man bedecked in Jewish religious garb wielding a fountain pen as a weapon, frequent pairings of the Star of David and the dollar sign. Individual Koreans may be demonized or depicted unflatteringly, but Koreans as a group are not.

    Perhaps this comic book demonizes Jews to a certain extent. But even without getting into exhaustive Talmudic hairsplitting about pitchforks and men with hook-noses armed with pens and dollar signs, somehow I highly doubt there will be Inquisitions and Pogroms in Korea.

  • Rhesus

    beautiful

  • Zonath

    somehow I highly doubt there will be Inquisitions and Pogroms in Korea.

    True. Especially since there are so few Jews in Korea. But on the other hand, it doesn’t really benefit these kids any to be giving them a “Protocols of the Elders of Zion”-type view of either American (and European) society or Jewish influence on that society. If the goal is to make these kids the future leaders of the ‘hub of Asia’ or whatever, it hardly serves anyone to have them running around with preconceived notions of covetous Jews and their secret control of the world marketplace.

    So sure, I don’t think we’ll be seeing any pogroms in Korea anytime soon (not against Jewish targets, at least), but I don’t think anyone here is really saying that the potential for violence is the problem here (although I haven’t engaged in quite as careful a reading of these comments as I perhaps should have). The problem is that these widely-read comics are creating or reinforcing stereotypes and misconceptions, and that those stereotypes and misconceptions could have a negative effect in the long run, not only in how South Koreans view the outside world, but also in how the outside world views South Korea.

  • SomeguyinKorea

    Zonath, my feelings exactly, which is why I can’t stop being suspicious of the motives behind this book.

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  • http://hunjang.blogspot.com Antti

    Bluejives:
    Furthermore, I don’t get where you’d get the idea that this was a “social studies text” for children.
    Rhie Won-bok’s comics are listed as “study comics” in online bookstores, and what I can judge from some cursory browsing, are thought of as educational material.
    See the classification of 21세기 먼나라 이웃나라 10 [미국1 - 미국인 편] in Elite 2000 bookstore:

    > 어린이 역사/종교/지리 (children’s history/religion)
    > 청소년 인문사회과학 (teenagers’ human and social sciences)
    > 교육만화 (educational comics)

    My quick translation of the book introduction:

    USA, the most precisely!
    USA’s defence budget is 50% of world’s defence expenses.
    USA’s GNP is 30% of world economy.
    The shape of USA as seen through social, cultural, economic, and ideological main keywords.
    American democratic system and elections from which the masses are excluded (? 군중에게 권력을 차단한 미국 민주주의 제도와 선거), union and states that are like one government but 50 countries, the pros and cons of the American society which has jungles within latest modernity, and the power of Jews which moves the USA… The features of USA and the consciousness and the society and culture of the Americans more precisely and clearly than any other book.

    Introductions of the book at Aladding and Kyobo Bookstore are similar. This is not just another comic book.

    And in another vein, the 100th print of Jo Jung-rae’s novel Arirang, the one with the “Koreans suffered more during the Japanese occupation than Jews under the Nazis” introduction, came out last month.

  • dogbertt

    All it takes is a trip to any large Korean bookstore to see that the “먼나라 이웃나라” series is in the children/young persons section. So yeah, one could get the idea that they are social studies books aimed at children.

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