Japan not thrilled with how some Koreans, uh “celebrate” Gwangbokjeol

Korean Independence Day [from Japanese rule] was last week, August 15th.  It is also known as Gwangbokjeol (광복절) or “Restoration of Light” day.   Any ways, the way in which it is celebrated by some Koreans has riled up some Japanese Netizens.  Of particular discomfort was the Japanese soldier “execution” water fight.

korean independence 3

korean independence 5

(Images from Kyunghyang Shinmun via RocketNews24.com)

Some translated Japanese Netizen commentary:

“Hey, Members of the UN…are you going to stay silent on this?”

“And yet, if something like this happened in Japan, there would be a huge uproar.”

“I’m starting to think that Korea is a third world country.”

“What century are we in? Until when are they going to keep doing nonsense like that?”

“A country that is not that different from North Korea. Or rather…worse than…”

“Isn’t this on par with hate speech?”

“Members of the UN…isn’t this sort of imprinting a really bad idea on children?”

Okay, so I don’t exactly think that the water fight, mock “execution,” is in the best taste, but asking the U.N. to look into this?  As horrible it is for kids to shoot water at imaginary Japanese imperialist troops, I somehow think the U.N. has bigger fish to fry.

  • bumfromkorea

    I honestly see no problems with this. Those guys are dressed up as IJA soldiers (the perennial “Bad Guys”), not the modern Japanese soldiers. And I don’t think anyone here (except a select, uh, few) is going to argue that IJA wasn’t anything short of “evil incarnate”.

    It speaks volume, however, that the Japanese netizens have assumed offense from an event that mocks and attacks the Empire of Japan. It’s too bad that their feelings were hurt from Korean kids shooting water guns at the mock soldiers of an incredibly evil and vicious military group, but perhaps they should pause and reflect on the reasons they identify themselves and their modern country with the said incredibly evil and vicious military group.

  • http://www.eslwriting.org/ eslwriter
  • chion

    Sure ‘mock execution’ sounds bad, but it really just looks like a bunch of kids playing around with super soakers… Anyway does the average Japanese citizen really care? I mean you can find an angry netizen for everything. Personally I’m getting a bit fed up with all the ‘some angry dude on the internet’ reporting from Asian newsmedia.

  • http://gypsyscholarship.blogspot.kr/ Horace Jeffery Hodges

    Of course the UN should investigate this! This is no different than waterboarding!

    Except for a few minor differences . . . Granted, there’s no board. And no one’s tied up with his head down. And no one has a water-soaked towel on his head. And there’s no bucket of water poured onto the towel.

    But there is water, so except for these minor details, this is exactly like waterboarding and ought to be looked into by the UN!

    Jeffery Hodges

    * * *

  • Bob Bobbs

    Hilarious.

  • MikeinGyeonggi

    “What century are we in? Until when are they going to keep doing nonsense like that?”

    That sums up Japanese feelings on historical issues: It was a long time ago – why are they still thinking about this? Let’s just move on already!

    Though in all fairness, I’ve heard similar excuses from many Koreans about the Jeju Uprising: It was a long time ago. That was a very difficult time. A lot of bad stuff happened, why are they so concerned with this?

  • kaizenmx

    Considering the fact that the vast majority of japan population has nostalgia for the old times of brutality of IJ, of course they would take this as an offense. This is why Korea should never ally with japan. It defies common sense and logic.

  • redwhitedude

    Silly idea to celebrating independence day. Japanese should have just brushed it aside and nothing would have come of this. It’s like US coming with a silly idea on celebrating July 4 by having water gun fight with people dressed as British soldiers and UK gets provoked.

  • TheLionStillHasClaws

    Very funny in a dark sense. But instead of spraying mock Japanese soldiers, why don’t they spend that energy carrying around American and Soviet flags? What I dislike the most about Gwangbokjeol is the fact that nobody seems to remember that it was the United States that dismantled the Japanese war machine and liberated the peninsula. The Soviets entered the war at the 11th hour and did occupy North Korea. But if it were not for the lives of thousands of American soldiers, Korea would have been fully assimilated into the Japanese Empire. I am sorry to be uncouth but when I see images like this, it only shows me that Koreans are trying to project a false image of strength and resistance that, aside from the brevity of the March 1st movement, was largely nonexistent during the occupation. This is in no way a defense of the atrocities the Japanese committed on the Korean peninsula but rather a concern that the Koreans are trying to rewrite a long history of weakness and close collaboration with their Japanese occupiers into one that presents its own liberation as having occurred by its own hand. It’s shameful and prevents an honest depiction of what really took place during the colonization.

  • A Korean

    Take your head out of yo ass, you fool. It’s kids celebrating the country coming out from under the Japanese yoke, with water pistols in muggy August.

  • bumfromkorea

    This is the kind of analysis that comes about by being completely unaware of what Koreans are saying amongst themselves. This is precisely what I’m talking about when I say that a rudimentary skill in the local language is the prerequisite to even having a half-legitimate understanding of the country.

  • TheLionStillHasClaws

    Please legitimize my understanding oh wise one.

  • bumfromkorea

    “oh wise one”? Oh, no. This has nothing to do with that. It’s just that your conclusion is very removed from the reality, and it was a good real-life example that supports what I was talking about several weeks ago.

    I mean, by definition, Koreans calling 광복절 a day when they were “해방”ed from Japanese rule alone disproves your laughable claim. It’s a preposterous conclusion that can only be arrived at if one was completely clueless about South Korea.

  • A Korean

    I like to know how that suit is going, the one waged against the government by the girls in brothels catering to USFK during the 70s. The Korean government has got some reckoning to do on its own books.

  • TheLionStillHasClaws

    Right, because what you were talking about “several weeks ago,” was obviously so important that it is now considered a citation in a defense that has not yet answered my question. Where is my analysis at fault? You are great at not answering my question.

  • bumfromkorea

    I answered your question already. It’s just that the important bits are in Korean – again proving my point about understanding Korean being a prerequisite. You can’t start talking about calculus without having passed algebra.

    Just search 광복절 on 네이버. Let’s see how many *actual* evidences you can collect on this nefarious attempt to rewrite history into saying that the Koreans liberated themselves.

  • TheLionStillHasClaws

    Write it in Korean.

  • bumfromkorea

    Uh huh. You see, the nuances on 광복절 is extremely crystal clear to anyone who understands Korean – that they “got” liberated. The “bridles of Japanese occupation” has been “taken off from” the Koreans. More importantly, that part of Korean history can’t be re-written to exclude the fact that US liberated South Korea from Japanese rule – you see, the historical narrative kinda continues on immediately onto that other big thing that happened to Korea in the 20th century.

    Your argument is hilariously detached from reality, and it’s completely based on your inability to understand Korean. And really, I can’t help you if you still insist that you know what you’re talking about.

    And if you don’t have anything constructive to say – just don’t. It just gets pathetic from this point on.

  • SeoulGoodman

    You’re no better than him.

  • A Korean

    Who?

  • SeoulGoodman

    Korea and Japan have been trade partners for years.

  • A Korean

    BTW, your sorry ass still in Korea?

  • SeoulGoodman

    My sorry ass?

  • SeoulGoodman

    Not the sharpest knife in the drawer, eh?

  • A Korean

    Are you drunk? If not, you have a problem.

  • TheLionStillHasClaws

    Just so you know, I have lived in Korea for nearly 5 years. I am currently studying at 4급 at Yonsei University’s 어학당. Now, you are right, does that make me Korean in any respect? Absolutely not. But I think it its very unfair of you and horribly judgmental to assume, as you did in your previous posts that I am lacking a “rudimentary skill,” in the Korean language just for holding an opinion that I alone do not possess. The power projection characteristics of Korean nationalism, especially with its depiction under Japanese rule as exemplified by the aforementioned Marmot Post, is something that has been fervently discussed in academics circles in the past decade.

    I would say, in all humility that I am definitely above algebra but not yet at the level of calculus. That aside, I am most certainly capable of forming my own opinion and argument to defend. This is why I asked you to write it in Korean. But since you never bothered to inquire about this, I can only assume so much about your intentions. Did I mean rewriting history in the literally sense? Absolutely not. What I should have said, and please forgive me for not being clear, is that during my time here, brief as it may be by your standards, I have noticed that Korea lacks consensus on the way it presents its modern history. This is not limited to the colonization but also events regarding the causes of the Korean War, the era of Park Chung-hee / Chun Do-hwan, Gwangju, etc. This is of great concern to me because if this consensus is not achieved, be it by the left or right persuasions of the political spectrum, then Korea will never be psychologically free of Japanese rule. What this picture tells me, and this is one of many incidents that I have encountered during my time here, is a yearning for a better story for Koreans to tell their children. Nobody wants to hear how the internecine fighting and corruption during the end of the Joseon dynasty made the country more vulnerable to Japanese expansionism. Nobody likes the idea of having foreign powers actually end your suffering. But that is what took place and looking at pictures of children spraying mock Japanese soldiers does nothing to present a clear depiction of the suffering endured by the Korean people. General historical consensus has always been the objective of great nation states. But in order for this to occur, I feel that the promotion of a post-modern interpretation of a very modern Korean history will not bring this to fruition.

  • bumfromkorea

    What this picture tells me, and this is one of many incidents that I have encountered during my time here, is a yearning for a better story for Koreans to tell their children.

    Hilariously untrue. The overwhelming counter-evidence can be found in your local library/bookstore’s 인물전 sections. Or a simple search on 네이버.

    Nobody wants to hear how the internecine fighting and corruption during the end of the Joseon dynasty made the country more vulnerable to Japanese expansionism.

    And yet, it’s a recurring story element of almost every period pieces, movies, novels, etc. that concerns the occupation.

    But that is what took place and looking at pictures of children spraying mock Japanese soldiers does nothing to present a clear depiction of the suffering endured by the Korean people.

    First, it’s a picture of a bunch of kids shooting at the stereotypical “bad guys”. It’s the Nazis in the West; it’s the IJA troops in Korea.

    Second, textbooks. 인물전s. The damned TV shows. There are countless sources that the children are exposed to (and throughout their lives) that will correct whatever the hell the water gun fight misinformed them about.

    the Koreans are trying to rewrite a long history of weakness and close collaboration with their Japanese occupiers into one that presents its own liberation as having occurred by its own hand.

    This is your original argument. Slapping on 박정희, 전두환 (which, incidentally, isn’t a divisive issue outside of 대구), etc. isn’t going to be enough to distract from your original argument. You were here claiming that, by having kids shoot water guns at the Imperial순사/군인, the Koreans were trying to brainwash these kids into thinking that the Koreans liberated themselves from Japan. This is your argument. It is literally two scrolls away from this comment.

    Now, given the overabundance of counter-evidence – empirical, analytic, etc. that are laughably obvious to anyone who speaks Korean – how am I supposed to take you seriously? Where do I begin?

    Your concern for Korea’s conflict with modern history is appreciated by the Koreans, I’m sure. However, if you even had an inkling of what the Koreans are talking about with each other, you wouldn’t be writing that incredibly condescending paragraph.

  • TheLionStillHasClaws

    Thank you! This is what I was asking for. I appreciate your thorough response. But I assure you, to understand these nuances, it will take more than a “rudimentary,” understanding of Korean. Something I am hoping to rectify. Cheers :)

  • WMunny

    When I first arrived in Korea, many years ago, I was shocked by some of the kids’ absolute hate for Japanese. I can see that the adults perpetuate it, though. Even teaching the “Dokto neun woori Ddong” song to the kindergarten kids. It’s all a big brainwashing cycle.

    It’s not just kids playing in the August heat. Everyone knows that.

  • Christian Karl

    No comment…^^

  • Pomponius

    You gave up way too early there.

    Ask him to provide you some mainstream examples of all those
    damned 인물전s and TV shows.

    But as it would be painful (in many ways) to wade through those even with the Korean language skills, how about asking for some interesting newspaper/magazine articles from anything that Koreans are known to
    read regularly?

    Sure, the comment sections do show that many Koreans know bullshit when they see it, but it would be nice to see some of this over-abundance of counter evidence that shows Korean really have such a “public” awareness of their own history.

    It is safe to say that the average busy Korean is not reading a lot of 인물전s during their spare time.

  • Aja Aja

    It would have been alright if the soldiers were dressed in German Nazi uniforms, but not the Japanese occupation troops? It’s a Korean Independence Celebration from Japanese occupation, what do they expect? It wasn’t in a good taste, as I would have liked to see the kid’s energy diverted to something more positive. But this isn’t a material worth asking the UN to step in, especially when Japan has given the thumb noses at the UN’s request to illegalize hate speech in Japan’s streets, citing Japan’s “free speech” rights. Well, if Japanese have the right to make free speech as shown below, Koreans don’t have the right to express their own free speech?

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G-n3XBz-fig

  • http://kuiwon.wordpress.com/ Kuiwon

    There are analogues in America. US History curricula deify the Founding Fathers of the American Revolution and various figures of the Civil War especially Lincoln. Not to mention, many in the US often deride the southerners and certain ethnic and religious minorities.

  • platethief

    I wouldn’t waste my efforts if I were you, dude.

    The poster lives in America, hasn’t lived in the country they claim to be an authority on for many years, and argues you can’t know what’s truly happening in a society unless you speak the language of that society, even if you have lived there for many years.

    Yet, when it comes to matters regarding countries this poster does not speak the language of, has never spent time in, and who lives at least 10,000 miles away, they’ll waste no time telling others how they’re wrong and the above poster knows really what’s going on, despite not speaking the language, never having spent significant time there, and living at 10,000 miles away.

    It’s called double standards, and is the mark of any intellectual fraud or troll.

  • Christian Karl

    No kidding!(^^): “During the anti-Japanese revolutionary war, he[i.e. Kim Il-sung] commanded many battles to defend the Soviet Union with arms. Under his leadership, the Korean People’s Revolutionary Army had harassed the rear of the Japanese imperialists through powerful military and political offensives to check and frustrate their invasion upon the Soviet Union…” (KCNA, 8.16)

  • http://atlantarofters.blogspot.com/ The Sanity Inspector

    Pfft!! May as well call the UN to report the ongoing re-enactments of the War Of 1812.

  • jk641

    Of course Japanese should be upset.
    Japan was dragged into the Pacific War of no fault of its own, and the Imperial Japanese soldiers bravely defended Japan from the evil Allied onslaught.

    (Oh, and the so-called comfort women were all volunteers.
    I bet that’s what the “Abe Statement” will say.
    LDP, Japan’s ruling party, want Shinzo Abe to do away with the Kono Statement and replace it with a new one.)

    Hey Korean kids, keep shooting!

  • jo blaumee
  • SeoulGoodman

    So, you’re saying you’re a prick. In a world filled with uncertainty, it’s reassuring to see that certain things are constant.

  • Graham

    Perhaps if the children shooting the water guns would have dressed as American soldiers, it would have lent a little more authenticity to the ‘re-enactment’.

  • bumfromkorea

    For someone who literally only pops up to make a drive-by comment against a specific commenter, you sure love to label people as frauds and trolls. The invitation to provide a counter-explanation on that topic is still open, by the way. Any time, Tenno Heika Banzai squad.

  • Alex

    I don’t think a shot was fired on Korean soil by an American against a Japanese soldier in liberating Korea from Japanese colonial rule. Let alone while using a water pistol :-) Perhaps an American could have shot a Japanese by mistaking the Japanese as a Korean communist wanting an independent government from the occupying US forces sooner rather than later.

  • bumfromkorea

    1. How does the two most “go-to” figures of Korean independence movement end up in those 인물전s? Do they end up killing the evil Japanese by the droves while waving the Korean flag atop a battle-scarred hill? Do they end up marching triumphantly into Seoul as victors and liberators?

    2. 제중원, 서울 1945, 각시탈, just off the top of my head, all had Korean collaborators as the “evil” characters (the latter one, in a twist, had its main character start off as a collaborating evil 순사. In fact, it’s the stock character types for *any* period pieces – the Korean 순사 characters working for the Japanese are often portrayed as even more brutal than their Japanese counterparts. Read 아리랑, 토지, and 혼불. Oh wait, I guess you can’t.

    And again, that’s just off the top of my head. It’s one thing to claim that the Koreans are conflicted about their modern history regarding the events of the 3rd, 4th, and 5th Republic, it’s a whole another dimension to claim that “the Koreans are trying to rewrite a long history of weakness and close collaboration with their Japanese occupiers into one that presents its own liberation as having occurred by its own hand.” and then demanding counter-evidence against an argument that literally has no ground to stand on. It’s about at the same level of craziness as “미국인들 보면 이라크 전쟁을 아주 자랑스럽게 생각 한다니까. 뭐? 아니라고? 그럼 증거 대보던가. 난 영어 못읽으니까 한국어로 된 증거 대보라고.” I mean, what the fuck do I do at that point?

  • Bob Bobbs

    Had dressed. If they had dressed. Not would.

  • Pomponius

    WTF! What is this? Are you expecting anyone who has lived in
    Korea to buy this bullshit? I can barely find anyone under 40 who
    takes the time to read a newspaper, and you are trying to say that
    these period pieces really mean something. Koreans have
    basically erased the very existence of their royalty, so it is no
    doubt they know they had a lot of scum who collaborated with the
    Japanese.

    Look at any Korean organization now, and you will see a lot of scum
    collaborating with Chaebol management.

    But that is your biggest problem. You have never been in a Korean
    organization of any sort. You have never even attended a
    university class in Korea. You don’t know what is going on
    here, You don’t see the 예, 예 부장님. 알았습니다 bullshit
    that goes on here.

    You know the Korean language, even though you have only lived in the US, because your parents bequeathed that to you. But that is really all there is to you. That, and the anecdotes you hear from your parents and other Koreans in the US.

  • bumfromkorea

    I can barely find anyone under 40 who takes the time to read a newspaper, and you are trying to say that these period pieces really mean something

    Observing consistencies – an overarching one through the generations, especially – in popular culture like TV shows and novel is a pretty good way of measuring the views and opinions of a society. The “no one reads newspaper” is a blatant lie, a hilarious mis-observation caused by one’s inability to accurately observe a society (language being a primary barrier), or to only mean paper-printed news given the explosive popularity of 네이버, 다음, and various other news portal websites.

    Koreans have basically erased the very existence of their royalty, so it is no doubt they know they had a lot of scum who collaborated with the Japanese.

    Okay… So you do agree that at least the first half of the “the Koreans are trying to rewrite a long history of weakness and close collaboration with their Japanese occupiers into one that presents its own liberation as having occurred by its own hand.” is complete bullshit. Good.

    Look at any Korean organization now, and you will see a lot of scum collaborating with Chaebol management.

    You’re seriously reaching here. Existence of collaboration under a foreign occupation, a global phenomenon mind you, has no correlation or even similarity with the oligarchy established by the Chaebols in South Korea.

    But that is your biggest problem. You have never been in a Korean organization of any sort. You have never even attended a university class in Korea. You don’t know what is going on here, You don’t see the 예, 예 부장님. 알았습니다 bullshit that goes on here.

    You know the Korean language, even though you have only lived in the US, because your parents bequeathed that to you. But that is really all there is to you. That, and the anecdotes you hear from your parents and other Koreans in the US.

    See, this is why you shouldn’t just assume things when talking to a complete stranger. If your premise is filled with inaccurate labels like “never been in a Korean organization of any sort”, and “you have only lived in the US”, it’s going to collapse on you.

    I have never taken an university class in Korea, though. So I guess you got that one right. And the word you’re looking for is the “Yes-Man” or a “sycophant” – loanwords from the Korean language, I’m sure.

    But let’s move past the hilarious lashing out filled with false assumptions, because what’s the fun in that? Let’s move straight on to the topic.

    What, in the name of the Good God Almighty, does the sycophantic, corrupt structure of the Chaebol-dominated South Korea have to do, in any way shape or form, with this batshit insane assertion that the Koreans are trying to rewrite history into saying that they liberated themselves? I mean, where the hell did that one come from?

  • Pomponius

    You have been in a Korean organization in Korea? Please first elaborate on this.

  • bumfromkorea

    I have worked with/for (though not so much anymore) the local 한인회s, the 협회s, as well as the proxy 영사관 “facility” – though that last one is a bit of a stretch, since it’s located in a clothing warehouse. Your labeling me of “You know the Korean language, even though you have only lived in the US, because your parents bequeathed that to you. But that is really all there is to you. That, and the anecdotes you hear from your parents and other Koreans in the US.” is just hilarious.

    But let’s not go off topic here. I repeat the question that you simply cast aside in order to ask me for my resume. What, in the name of the Good God Almighty, does the sycophantic, corrupt structure of the Chaebol-dominated South Korea have to do, in any way shape or form, with this batshit insane assertion that the Koreans are trying to rewrite history into saying that they liberated themselves? I mean, where the hell did that one come from? I usually don’t bother with people when they ignore questions for the third time.

  • pawikirogii

    you think koreans are bad? you better look at the chinese. if i were japanese, i’d be worried about this.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xBW1lQw_WrI&list=UUgFP46yVT-GG4o1TgXn-04Q

    ps i love when some expat thinks he knows korea and koreans even though he can’t speak a lick of korean. priceless. did he get a fork instead of chopsticks?

  • redwhitedude

    Let me add that during the revolutionary war. A substantial part of the population was either neutral or collaborationist(royalists). The part of the population that wanted independence is glorified.

  • Pomponius

    한인회? That mean’s you only worked in a Korean organization outside of Korea!

    I will explain what I mean, if you first will admit that you have never done anything professionally or academically in Korea. That might seem unimportant to you, but not to some of us.

  • bumfromkorea

    Oh, so the goalpost has moved from ” You have never been in a Korean organization of any sort” to “in Korea”. Very well, I’ll play along with you. Yes. I’ve never done anything professionally or academically in Korea. Seeing as how I’m not disagreeing with you on the point of Chaebol oligarchy or the sycophant structure of such organizations, I can’t help but think that this is just going to be a waste of my time.

    I ask, for the third time now. What, in the name of the Good God Almighty, does the sycophantic, corrupt structure of the Chaebol-dominated South Korea have to do, in any way shape or form, with this batshit insane assertion that the Koreans are trying to rewrite history into saying that they liberated themselves? I mean, where the hell did that one come from?

  • A Korean

    Bum, excuse my butting in.

    Listen dumbass, why should he answer your question when you don’t answer his?

  • bumfromkorea

    Because he needs something to distract from the fact that he only has a minimal surface access to what the Koreans are talking about. If a Korean immigrant in US who doesn’t speak a lick of English start talking about how Americans are all for bombing brown people, the Americans living abroad can’t win the argument in the end because the immigrant in question has no means of verifying what should be a very obvious truth to anyone who has access to both the local language and the internet.

  • A Korean

    Only to the ones I love. :)

    No, seriously, you still in Korea? Your wife is ER doctor/nurse/technician. Is getting her license transferred to Canada a problem?

  • Pomponius

    For all of you did not understand what Bum means by 한인회,
    he means an organization for Koreans living outside Korea. He has no actual experience working or studying in Korea.

    Koreans know they did not liberate themselves. Koreans also know that a lot of Koreans, including their expunged royalty, collaborated with the Japanese.

    However, the present Chaebol structure is just an extension of that Japanese system in Korea, run by Koreans and just as evil. I don’t think that Koreans are trying to rewrite their history to say that they
    liberated themselves from the Japanese, I think they are stuck in a situation that is very similar to the past, and still lack the fortitude and collective honesty to address their problems on their own and tackle it.

  • bumfromkorea

    I don’t think that Koreans are trying to rewrite their history to say that they liberated themselves from the Japanese,.

    So you do agree that the second half of “the Koreans are trying to rewrite a long history of weakness and close collaboration with their Japanese occupiers into one that presents its own liberation as having occurred by its own hand.” is bullshit. Good. I don’t know what the hell you’re arguing with me about, since now you’re in complete agreement with my original point.

    I think they are stuck in a situation that is very similar to the past,
    and still lack the fortitude and collective honesty to address their
    problems on their own and tackle it.

    Okay… and? Who the hell here is arguing that Chaebols are awesome and they’re the pride of Korea? Literally everyone here (especially DLBarch (;-)) agrees that the Chaebol-dominated oligarchy is a horrific system, and I’ve argued numerous times here that they’re the direct source of many of Korea’s modern societal ills including the brutal education system, youth unemployment, youth suicide rate, depressed birthrate, and gender inequality.

    What ended up happening here is you completely missing the point of conflict in the previous argument (that Koreans are trying rewrite history into saying that they freed themselves from the Japanese rule) and just charged on ahead about some completely irrelevant rant about Chaebols that no one is arguing about. All connected by the flimsy premise that the Chaebol oligarchy is an extension of the Japanese occupation (it’s actually a bit more complicated than that – I certainly don’t blame the Imperial Japan for establishing the Chaebol oligarchy. That one’s on Park I, not the Imperial Japan).

    Next time, read a bit more into what the actual topic is.

  • bumfromkorea

    I dunno about Canada, but America could sure use more ED [insert a career]. The nursing shortage in particular is atrocious, and is usually the main cause of the jaw-dropping wait time in the EDs (and not, as many in this particular state would claim, the Mexicans).

  • A Korean

    I agree. We need more hot Philippino nurses.

    Damn.

  • SeoulGoodman

    Everything’s going as planed, but it takes time. It used to take 4 months for Koreans to get a residency visa (when you could get them from the embassy in Seoul), now it takes 14 months thanks to the Harper government’s bright idea of closing the offices in the region and redirecting the applications to the embassy in the Philippines.

  • Aja Aja

    You’re probably mistaking the real Kim Il Sung, with the fake one that was appointed by Stalin to lead North Korea. The fake Kim Il Sung’s real name was Kim Song Ju. He changed his name to Kim Il Sung, taking the name of the famous anti-Japanese resistance fighter at that time, so that he can use the real Kim Il Sung’s popularity with the people for his own advantage. Most North Koreans who had no ideal probably believed that they were supporting the real Kim Il Sung, the resistance fighter.

  • Aja Aja

    You’re replying to a Japan revisionist. You know the type..the Japanese net right wingers and their foreign apologists.

  • wangkon936

    Ah, the “Tenno Heika Banzai” charge. Great way for a GI to get souvenir samurai swords!

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-6NPBKuMmVs

  • bumfromkorea

    Nah, this guy doesn’t strike me as the Black Van type. For that, you gotta scroll up a bit more. 😀

  • piratariaazul

    Did the German foreign ministry complain about the scenes in Indiana Jones & Temple of Doom where German soldiers in Nazi uniforms get shot?

    To those in Japan bothered by these photos — try to grow some common sense. Before anything else, own up to your history of aggression and show some sincere contrition for what your countrymen did to the people of Korea, China, and other Asian countries Japan invaded during WWII. You were the aggressor, not the victim; so, for the love of god, quit whining.

    Why is this so complicated?

    Germany gets it – and they have a shot at a leadership position in the new Europe.

    Japan obviously does not – Leadership position in a new Asia? Fuhgeddaboudit. How about being shunned by every country in Asia that it attacked or occupied during WWII, combined with a continuing demographic death spiral? No need to worry about future threats from a rising China – Japan’s worst enemy is its own mindset….

  • WMunny

    I’d really like Robert to fix it so that I can see the blog post author’s name on my mobile device. He should also update the title of this blog to “Marmot’s K.A. / Gyopo Circle Jerk”.

  • http://kuiwon.wordpress.com/ Kuiwon

    I am going to second this comment. I’ve found that non-Korean Korea commenters who know Korean even at an intermediate level* much more knowledgeable than those who do not know a lick of it. This is mostly because so much of what goes on is exclusively in Korean.

  • MikeinGyeonggi

    This is true. Being frustrated with Japan for their stances on historical issues is natural. But many schoolchildren are being taught a poorly examined hatred for Japan, and this hate sticks with them well into adulthood. It’s worrisome to say the least.

  • MikeinGyeonggi

    I agree with you about language skills, but even with poor skills it is still possible to get a pulse for how Koreans feel about issues. Expats just need to talk with a variety of Koreans beyond their coworkers.

    Koreabang translates a smattering of Daum and Naver comments with each post that are interesting to read as well.

    I think it’s largely a matter of embracing society with an open mind and a desire to understand what people are feeling. I’m not always great at this, but I keep trying.

  • jfpower

    “Korea also has freedom of speech…”

    Only if your standards are molded by extremely low expectations. Freedom of speech as understood in Europe, not to mind the U.S., does not exist in South Korea.

  • A Korean

    Pomponius, my apology for the name calling.

  • A Korean

    Time (can) fly. Good luck.

  • bigmamat

    Do you find it difficult to discuss sensitive topics with Koreans? Everything I read in English about Koreans suggests to me that discussing certain issues among themselves isn’t something that is done often, let alone with a foreigner.

  • bigmamat

    Southerners get derision for good reason. I’m one of them so I know. There is measurable statistical data to back up the claim that the “south” is backward, uneducated and even a drain on the American economy. As for deifying certain leaders from our history, I don’t see why not. Without their leadership and determination we would still be a British colony, or something very different than what we are now. That isn’t to say that Americans don’t have exactly the same tendency as anyone else to use the legacy of these people in some of the most dishonest and self serving ways. Nor does it change the fact that all of these people were human beings and while they may have all done some extraordinary things they were also responsible for being people just like everyone else.

  • A Korean

    A bit of lubrication and all kinds of stuff spill out. And lubrication is … ahem … somewhat more frequent in Korea than other places.

  • bigmamat

    Damn I had to think for minute there….why is he talking about “lubrication”…my mind must have been somewhere else for a second there if you know what I mean…

  • flyingsword

    Why do the Koreans celebrate “independence day?” It is not like they had a hand in securing their independence.

  • Guest

    Same could be said with the Americans. The British, some of whose intellectuals at the time derided American revolutionaries as hypocrites for being pro-slavery but at the same time speaking of “liberty,” backed down largely because of French and Spanish involvement.

  • bumfromkorea

    What a pointless thing to say.

  • bumfromkorea

    Too many (5 or 6?) Korean Americans, not enough Koreans-raping-their-granddaughter stories for WMunny, I suppose.

  • Dokdoforever

    Can you imagine if Germans were to start complaining about disrespect shown to the NAZIs? It’s clear that some Japanese have a very distorted view of the period of Japanese imperialism and colonialism.

  • Tapp

    There’s a huge difference between a movie set in Europe during WWII and state-supported mock-executions by school children. I think Japan netizens are overreacting (like every netizen in the history of the word), but your comparison is absurd.

  • Tapp

    I don’t know, the French and the Dutch both seemed quite happy to be liberated by a foreign power. They still hold celebrations on it to this day. Both of those countries were also rife with conspirators and sympathizers to the Nazi cause, but that bit of history hasn’t been brushed under the table.

    (I’m replying to the statement, by the way. I honestly have no idea which of you are correct in how this information is being taught in schools around the country. I’m merely pointing out two countries that have reconciled with their past and teach, from what i understand, an accurate account of the European theater during WWII.)

  • MikeinGyeonggi

    Many of my Korean friends will discuss pretty much anything with me. I believe it’s because (1) I try to be open-minded and genuinely interested in whatever they say and (2) we’re usually drinking.

  • wangkon936

    This was good. Thank you for this.

    I remember seeing some Chinese shows on Shanghai TV of a Chinese partisan group driving motorcycles with mounted machine guns defeating entire units of Japanese. It was the corniest thing I saw in my life.

  • wangkon936

    Hummmm…. I thought my tone for this post was appropriately negative.

    Anyways, the ultimate irony of your statement is that many times the harshest statements about the Japanese in the posts (the comments, not the posts) are from Mr. Koehler. Obviously, Mr. Koehler is not a KA/Gyopo.

  • Sumo294

    There is a lot of proper and well examined hate in the world today. Regardless–as in the case of Black America–it is not a positive force for the community. Hate is often very understandable–as such–many Americans today will never ever buy a Mercedes in their lifetime. Hate is often very proper and well examined–is it ever often good for the individual or their community?

  • WMunny

    It wasn’t so much the “Koreans-raping-their-granddaughter”; it was more the CRAZY court ruling afterward: http://rokdrop.com/2008/11/28/court-rules-that-family-can-keep-teenager-they/

  • piratariaazul

    Probably for the same reason Yanks celebrate theirs, even though the French did some very heavy lifting.

  • piratariaazul

    Well, I put them both into the “entertainment” category. I guess you’d rather put the latter under the same category as waterboarding.

  • piratariaazul
  • Tapp

    Not at all, but I’d place it square in the category of proliferating hate.

  • platethief

    As you’re now referencing yourself, I thought it only proper to highlight to the other poster your earlier inconsistencies regarding language ability and cultural/societal knowledge.

    You should be thanking me.

  • MikeinGyeonggi

    I can’t say I’ve ever heard of any American boycotting German products in 2014.

  • A Korean

    Ask not what Robert can do for you.

    Ask Robert to let you write here on jerk-off, your apparent expertise.

  • Christian Karl

    “You’re probably mistaking the real Kim Il Sung…” No, because I’m not KCNA!!^^

  • bumfromkorea

    It’s not absurd. The only reason the offense is being taken is because the modern Japanese netizens are identifying the Imperial Japan as part of their identity – while simultaneously complaining that they’re different from the Imperial Japan. Again, they’re dressed as IJA soldiers, not these guys:

    http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/9/96/US_Navy_120208-N-KB563-104_Members_of_the_Japan_Ground_Self-Defense_Force_conduct_small_arms_weapons_training_aboard_the_amphibious_assault_ship_US.jpg/1280px-US_Navy_120208-N-KB563-104_Members_of_the_Japan_Ground_Self-Defense_Force_conduct_small_arms_weapons_training_aboard_the_amphibious_assault_ship_US.jpg

  • bumfromkorea

    This is like, what, 5th time you’ve ran away from providing any meaningful rebuttal on the issue? How boring, but predictable.

  • pawikirogii

    you’re welcome. ‘china uncensored’ is often spot on.

  • wangkon936

    Nice camo pattern!

  • wangkon936

    Mike,

    Just FYI, but Japan has enjoyed a healthy trade surplus with Korea since the late 90’s.

  • wangkon936

    Good lord I hope you’re not an officer.

  • Tapp

    Children are mock executing a supposed ally in 2014. That is absurd. Comparing those mock-executions to a Hollywood production about WWII and insinuating that the movie should be at the same level of offensiveness is even more absurd.

    For the record, i also am completely against the American habit of hanging and burning a straw-man in effigy before a rival football game. I grew up in small town in the Midwest and I still feel my blood rise a bit when I think about our big sports rival one county away. That hatred is taught by mature adults from generation to generation. Even though I’m aware of it, a bit of hate is still my default setting due to that conditioning. Multiply that by 100 and you have the current state of education for future Korean leaders. That is also absurd.

  • redwhitedude

    What is really pathetic is that Japanese militarism is what enabled Mao and the communist to defeat Chiang and the KMT. Now they are railing against Japanese militarism. Chinese propaganda makes no sense. They just manipulate things to suit their needs.

  • redwhitedude

    Yup. After watching many episodes they make more sense than the CCP. Like combating smog by banning outdoor grills while doing nothing about care exhaust and coal burning plants.

  • redwhitedude

    Jeez. Some reasoning.

  • bumfromkorea

    Children are mock executing a supposed ally in 2014.

    Oh, my mistake. I was under the impression that South Korea was an ally of 日本国, not 大日本帝国. Or is it that the SDF still plays dress up as IJA soldiers?

    Comparing those mock-executions to a Hollywood production about WWII and insinuating that the movie should be at the same level of offensiveness is even more absurd.

    First, “mock execution” is a pretty inaccurate term. It looks like the kids are having a water gun fight with the Bad Guys, and not, you know, an execution:

    http://www.pacificwar.org.au/webgraphics/JapWarCrimes/Aussie_execution.jpg

    Second, in terms of impression left to the general public (especially younger ones), there really shouldn’t be that much of a difference between a water gun fight and a popular war movie. If anything, the latter is more likely to have a wider, stronger effect than the former.

    For me, the most interesting part about this whole story is the Japanese netizens’ doublethink: disowning the Empire of Japan (It’s all in the past!) while simultaneously defending it as part of their identity (how can they do that against us?!).

    Let’s repeat this a third time, because it apparently isn’t a clear point: The soldiers in the pictures are the soldiers of the Empire of Japan. Not the State of Japan, but the Empire of Japan. The two, I’ve been told, are as drastically different as Nazi Germany is to the Federal Republic of Germany. And it should raise eyebrows that the Japanese netizens are reacting so strongly towards the Korean children shooting water gun at the soldiers of Empire of Japan.

  • bumfromkorea

    so that’s where they got this idea!

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yF0JCB24Ld8

  • platethief

    Rebuttal of what issue?

  • bumfromkorea

    so that’s where they got this idea!

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yF0JCB24Ld8

  • wangkon936

    Well, let’s not bee too harsh. Some Chinese seem to know that their anti-Japanese shows are a little hokey and unrealistic:

    http://video.sina.com.cn/p/news/s/v/2013-04-11/080962284929.html

  • wangkon936

    I found the Chinese drama! It does exist!

    They must have seen Machete because the mortorcycle scene is almost the same!

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6WmxrCQmZNE#t=929

  • bumfromkorea

    Good lord, that scene went straight to childbirth.

  • Tapp

    By that rationale, Comfort Women deserve zero compensation because it was the Empire not the State who committed the atrocities.

    I’m really not trying to defend the psychotic netizens, I’m just saying that the idea is ill conceived and that it proliferates hate.

  • bumfromkorea

    So, Korean people thinking IJA soldiers are evil = Japan shouldn’t pay Comfort women compensation. Wow. Just wow.

  • Tapp

    Come on…. I took his logic and I applied it to the same players in a different scenario. You can’t say “they shouldn’t care because that was the Empire and not the State” if you don’t adhere to the same rules. What’s good for the goose is good for the gander.

  • Tapp

    I guess I missed the historically accurate reenactment portion of the water gun executions…

  • Alex

    water gun execution is not a fair description. one of the soldiers appears to be shooting back with his own water gun!

  • Tapp

    Fair enough. I was focused on the soldiers at attention, but you are correct.

  • WMunny

    I’ll take your word for it.

  • See-konk Chong
  • bumfromkorea

    There’s a great difference between “How dare you insult these honorable soldiers!” and “What they did was wrong, and we’ll pay compensation”. Just because both establishes links between the Empire and State doesn’t mean the two concepts are equivalent and therefore linked together as one.

    Again, they’re getting upset because the Korean kids are shooting water guns at the mock soldiers who are synonymous with rape, murder, pillage, and rape (they like rape). If that idea doesn’t disturb you, then we’re at a fundamentally different places with our thoughts. At least for the Koreans, IJA = Modern Japan as much as Modern Japan lets it be. And judging by these comments as well as the actions of the elected leaders, it’s going to be this way for a long time.

  • wangkon936

    WMummy,

    Conversely, wouldn’t a lot of articles like this just create another “Circle Jerk”? Just one of the angry expat variety?

  • wangkon936

    Given your background, I am surprised that you are not aware of this:

    http://rsf.org/index2014/en-index2014.php

    South Korea is ranked 57. Japan is ranked 59. The U.S., surprisingly, is ranked just 46. Imagine that.

    Ireland is #16.

  • Kumabear

    Korea urges the U.N. to warn the Japanese government to crack down on rampant hate speeches against Korea in Japan while she keeps letting anti-Japan hate speeches like this go on. And actually the U.N. whose current president is Korean warned Japan. Comments by the Japanese made reference to it.