Those VANKers

The VANKers are at it again – this time they are going to send a book to President Obama:

VANK is a non-governmental organization that seeks to correct Japan’s distortions of history. It was established in 1999 to act as a cyber civilian diplomatic resource for Korea by publicizing “correct history” abroad both online and offline. It has more than 70,000 members.

The organization published its own 100-page booklet called “May we speak” in English which introduces the history of Japanese rule in Korea.

It contains facts about historic events such as the 1895 murder of Empress Myeongseong by Japanese soldiers during the Joseon Kingdom (1392-1910), the sending of envoys to The Hague and the dethronement of Emperor Gojong, the colonial rule of Japan in Korea, the story of Korean sex slaves for the Japanese military, as well as Japan’s claims over Korea’s easternmost islets of Dokdo.

Why, you ask?

“We hope the package will help global leaders learn about the proper history of Korea and the atrocities committed by Japan.”

Wonder if I can get a copy?

  • Ryan

    U can borrow mine

  • Cloudfive

    Uh oh- looks like Bevers better get busy publishing his corrections to the booklet and commenting everywhere these “distortions” are mentioned.

  • platethief

    `May We Speak?`

    Sure, go ahead. As long as i may ignore you.

  • que337

    If I were a VANK, I would send this book to President Obama: The Imperial Cruise: A Secret History of Empire and War.

  • Anonymous_Joe

    GB has not made any comments here, let alone offered any amendments to the VANKers’ publication.  Fortunately for you, however, GB isn’t a protected member of this board.

  • brier

    I would like to get my hands on on too.

  • ZenKimchi

    Recently got to see the founder of VANK in person. My gaydar ain’t that strong, but that dude is seriously closeted.

  • Lisa

    Let’s thank VANK for helping to actually worsen Koreans’s image internationally by pushing for really stupid and annoying issues that no one cares about.

  • ig5959292ee


  • cactusmcharris

    ‘May we talk’ – that’s just the line the Jehovah’s Witlesses used to use around here. Do you realize, MHers, that JWs don’t celebrate Christmas? That’s OK, many folks don’t. But they don’t celebrate them to the extent that they can’t even go to Christmas parties! What a joyless bunch. Anyway, the Vankers sound like wankers, and that’s the ‘correct’ conclusion.

  • platethief

    I’m really angry with VANK. They’ve got it wrong AGAIN! Not only have they overlooked the birth of Christ in Suwon (circa 2001) but they’ve also omitted the fact that music only started in 2009, in Korea, after Kim Yun-Na (the best ice-skater in the world) tried to put out a burning ice-skate (a fire which the Japanese started) and in doing so invented the 4/4 beat which is a UNESCO heritage of Korea (but the Chinese try to steal – like the mandoo).

    Now you educated.

  • Anonymous_Joe

    cactusmcharris:  Do you realize, MHers, that JWs don’t celebrate Christmas? That’s OK, many folks don’t. But they don’t celebrate them to the extent that they can’t even go to Christmas parties!”

    Ok, follow me here.  If the tenets of their religion prohibit them from celebrating Christmas and a party is a celebration, ergo and hic et ubique the tenets of their religion prohibit them from going to Christmas parties.  Quod Erat Demonstrandum. 

    (F@CK!  I did it again.  :-)  )

  • cactusmcharris


    I should have given you more context – the party I was specifically referring to was the San Diego Cactus and Succulent Society’s Christmas party, where no form of religion was exhibited and we gathered to eat, drink from an open bar and spend too much money in bidding wars for, to give an example, an exquisitely-grown Ariocarpus furfuraceous,  My point is that no matter that the party had no religiosity. When I asked why, the JHers said it wouldn’t be ‘correct’, even though no sectarian prayin’ took place.

  • Austin

    Does the Vank history mention Hong Sa Ik? A Korean who was a Lieutenant General in the Japanese army who was in charge of Allied prisoners in the Philippines.

  • wangkon936

    The problem with Japan developing first before either China or Korea is that Western Asian studies has gotten the story of Asia from Japan first.  I saw this during an undergraduate Asian history class where the professor called Kaya by its Japanese name, Mimana.

    Vank is probably not the best organization to give the story of Korean (or any other kind of history) history, but East Asian studies does need alternative voices heard.

  • wangkon936

    I’m sure you would be happy to provide the details, however, Koreans committing war crimes is only part of the story.  There are many nameless Koreans who tried to imped the Japanese war effort as well as been horrible victims to it.

    I’m sure you don’t know about that history.  Few do, and that’s the problem. 

  • Arghaeri

    You can’t call it a Christmas party and secular at

  • platethief

    My history teacher used to refer to Myanmar as Burma. This name was chosen by the British. By your reasoning, my understanding of Asia comes from the British colonisers. Ergo, not the Japanese. 

    I agree there needs to be a broader perspective on Asian history and it would be nice to hear different voices, but the problem is, when it comes to North East Asian history studies there is so much nationalism invested in it and questionable source material that it is difficult to take seriously. 

    A shame there aren’t more vocal, academic historians to shed some light on Asian history.

  • Robert Badger

    East Asian history is such a minefield.  Historians in China can’t freely write about sensitive topics, such as the Great Leap Forward and the Cultural Revolution.  One of the most complete accounts of how many people died during the Great Leap Forward is Tombstone: The Untold Story of Mao’s Great Famine.  It was written by Yang Jisheng.  Because no mainland publisher would dare publish it, Yang published his book in Hong Kong.  Needless to say, it’s banned in China.  In China, you can’t even refer to the famine which occurred during those years as a famine, but as “a difficult period lasting three years”.  

    Writing history is a bit like writing a novel.  What facts you choose to leave out or include can change the resulting history.  Last year, Andrei Lankov criticized the biases prevalent in the work of young South Korean historians.  You can read his take on the link below:

    As far as vocal goes, Bruce Cumings is pretty vocal.  Unfortunately, though, his politics tends to color his history.

  • Hitokiri dom

    Not to nitpick but since Hong Sa Ik was a citizen of Japan and a high-ranking officer in its military why should they mention it? He was never a citizen of Korea and he served Japan and its emperor during the war. Also he was executed for crimes he committed serving the Japanese Army. Why should they mention , for all intents and purposes, a Japanese officer in their promotion of Korean history?

  • Hitokiri Dom

    Interesting link you provided. The problem with the “progressives” is that they romanticize Father Kim and his ilk when really in the beginning years of North Korea, he was pretty much a Soviet stooge. After the Korean War its true that he wasn’t, but a lot of North Korea’s development came from Soviet aid and not from Juche or crap like that. Guess the problem of politics and history i guess.  

  • ig5959292ee