Duc, sequere, aut de via decede!

Hidden meaning in Korean Naval symbol?

March 29th, 2006 . by Matt

Korea has a new destroyer called the Taejoyoung (대조영) that has a symbol that is pregnant with hidden significance, reports Kuki News.

According to Kuki News, “The mark shows the sea and sky blue of Dokdo and makes it clear that Dokdo is our land, and there is no Japan on it. Given the direction of the missiles, it would not be unusal to think that they are headed for Japan”.

navy symbol

Although there had been complaints from the Japanese embassy about the symbols, the company that designed the symbol said the inclusion of Japan where it is supposed to be on the map would have needlessly complicated the symbol.

Look and decide for yourself.

Teaching English in Korea

March 21st, 2006 . by Matt

Here is a must read post from Jeff of Ruminations in Korea. A lawyer in Korea, he offers some good advice for people wanting to teach English in Korea, but also ruthlessly smacks down self centered whiners. One of the funniest parts was this conversation that Jeff overheard at the US embassy.

Him: This is X.

Her (sobbing and crying uncontrollably throughout the conversation): YOU HAVE TO HELP ME!!!!

Him: What’s the problem?

Her: My institute director!!! You have to help me! You have to make him stop treating me like this!!!

Him: What’s wrong? What’s he doing? Are you OK?

Her: I can’t believe he keeps making me do it!!! It’s not right!!! I can’t live like this!!! I just can’t do it every day!!!!

Him: I’m sorry. I don’t understand. You have to calm down and stop crying so I can understand what you are saying. Take a deep breath and tell me what the problem is.

Her: It’s terrible!!! You have to make it stop!!! The embassy has to help me!!!

Him (getting a little irritated): I don’t know what to do, if you don’t tell me what happened.

Her (gaining a little composure): My institute director! He is making me live in this appartment that is so far away from my school. It takes me 30 minutes one way to get to and from work! (sobbing again) You have to make him move me closer to the school!!!!

Him (nearly roaring with mixed anger and incredulity): WHAT?????

Her: You have to make him…..

Him (cutting her off): Look! Just a minute.

Him (shouting across the office): Miss A, how long does it take you to get to work?

Miss A: one hour.

Him: Mr. B, how long does it take you to get to the office?

Mr. B: 45 minutes.

Him: Miss C, how long does it take you to get to the office?

Miss C: about an hour.

Him: And it takes me about 45 minutes to get to work. You see. Can you understand that your institute director has ABSOLUTELY NO CLUE what you are whining about?? I bet he would give his right arm to be able to live only 30 minutes away from the school!

Her: But what can I do?

Him: Look! If you don’t get what I am talking about, then I can only suggest one thing. GO HOME! Just go home!

Go and read it for yourself and have Jeff tell you how it really is.

I have seen this before…

March 21st, 2006 . by Matt

Here is part of a post about Chinese PDAs – ‘Public Displays of Anger’ – from the Talk Talk China blog.

I never cease to be amazed at the number of domestic arguments you see on the streets in China. Walking to and from work, I pass by a major subway station and would see close to one every day. They invariably go something like this:

1. Young couple are bickering on street side.

2. Girl gets teary, pouts, crosses her arms, and turns her back on Guy, ignoring him. This is the Pouty Chinese Girl Routine. If you’ve ever been out with a Chinese girl, you know EXACTLY how this works. If you are a foreigner, you do not proceed to step 3 and it all stops right here.

3. Guy gets very red in the face and slightly sweaty, and speaks intensely but very closely to Girl. He forcibly grabs her shoulder and tries to turn her around. This is the Huffy Chinese Guy Routine. Sometimes the force used by the guy can get a bit rough – certainly more than you could use on the street in the West without being set on by about 6 chivalrous passers-by. But in China no one ever seems to intervene in these situations.

4. Girl breaks free and starts walking away from Guy, but she is sure to walk slowly enough that he can catch up with her.

5. Guy stands there slightly nonplussed, shaking his head and looking the other way, maybe gets out his phone and has a bit of a play. He acts like he is not going to follow Girl.

6. Guy follows Girl.

7. Go back to 1 and repeat.

Be sure to check out the original post and the comments. Very funny indeed.

Another dose of Hyomilryu… If you can stomach it

March 16th, 2006 . by Matt

As promised, here is a bit more of Hyomilryu (혐일류). This time I will show the ‘Koreans are tall and Japanese are short’, featuring our favorite Korean foreign student in Japan.



(original Korean 1,2)

After that it launches into a tirade of worthy of Der Sturmer about the ‘issue’ of height. I am not even going to bother translating that trash. Instead I will just post the original Korean – even from the pictures the idea is clear enough.



The last frame with the huge Koreans scaring away the small Japanese says “So dont you go around claiming Dokdo because now we know which country has more plastic surgery!“. Nice logic that. Dokdo is ours, because we say that Japan has more plastic surgery than Korea.

It would be nice to write off the author of Hyomilryu as a lunatic, but that is not true in my experience. The author is the product of a society that has encouraged anti-Japanism to the extent that it has grown out of control. Its time for Korea to stop teaching hate in the classroom.

Korea’s answer to Kenkanryu – Hyomilryu (혐일류)

March 9th, 2006 . by Matt

hyomilryu kennichiryu
The text on the cover says “It is an order! Just try to copy half of half of half of what Germany did!”

I have managed to get my hands on about half of ‘The Hate Japan Wave‘, which has been scanned on to the internet.

If you were expecting Korean counter arguments to what was in Kenkanryu, you are not going to get it. Indeed, reading Hyomilryu makes you wonder if the author even bothered to read Kenkanryu, as Kenkanryu debunks the few arguments he bothers to make. Most of Hyomilryu seems to be racial abuse against Japanese, when there was nothing like that towards Koreans in Kenkanyu. The proof is in the pudding, so lets take a look at Hyomilryu.

hyomilryu kennnichiryu

hyomilryu kennnichiryu

Without mentioning the toilet outrage, it is obvious this guy knows nothing about the Japanese language. The Japanese language has an extensive and complicated system of honorifics. (original Korean 1,2)

hyomilryu kennnichiryu

hyomilryu kennnichiryu

hyomilryu kennnichiryu

I doubt this is really really the case, as travelers to Choson era Korea like Isabella Bird described human fecal matter on the streets, and people also handling the fecal matter. Furthermore, people in Korea at the time simply did not wear colorful clothing like that. (original Korean 1,2,3)

This next one is one of my favorites – an extreme example of wishful thinking and inferiority complex in play.

hyomilryu kennnichiryu

hyomilryu kennnichiryu

I bet that never happened to any male Korean foreign student in any country on the planet, much less Japan.

hyomilryu kennnichiryu

I had a bit of trouble translating the first frame of the next one.

hyomilryu kennnichiryu

Wow, Japanese women and black men. Now Koreans can add ‘anti-black’ to ‘anti-Japanese’. (original Korean 1,2,3,4)

There were plenty more just like the above, like making fun of Japanese height, calling Japanese by derogatory and discriminatory names, depictions of the ships of the Shilla era looking just like those from the Choson era ad infinitum. Obviously, Kenkanryu was nothing like that.

When I get the time, I will translate some more and put them up.

I got hold of Kenkanryu 2!

March 6th, 2006 . by Matt

I bought Kenkanryu 2 at Kinokuniya a couple of days ago. As I promised before, I will read it and then give a review. So far it is interesting, and has a lot of different information.

Here are a couple of pictures.

Kenkanryu 2

Kenkanryu 2

At this point, Kenkanryu 2 is causing some excitement on some Korean blogs, but as far as I know has not caused big waves in the Korean mass media.

I have some other Kenkanryu posts in the works in addition to the review, that I will post in the coming days.


March 3rd, 2006 . by Matt

David Irving
People in Europe can go to prison for expressing insulting opinions

David Irving, a denier of the holocaust, pleaded guilty of ‘holocaust denial’ and was sentenced to three years in an Austrian jail. Irving, who has expressed and opinion offensive to a great many people is being punished for it.

The problem with this is that Europe is now in the very embarrassing postion of defending the Mohammed cartoons as ‘non-negotiable free speech‘ while putting another man in jail for exercising his ‘non-negotiable free speech’.

This could not come at a worse time. In the muslim world, this is going to be seen as the ultimate hypocrisy, where in the west one is free to insult Muslims but go to prison for insulting Jews. It gets worse. Now Iran has decided to hold a competition with a prize for ‘holocaust cartoons’, and are daring European newspapers to publish them. The European papers will not, and thus the Iranians will win a propaganda victory.

The winner of a controversial Iranian contest for cartoons of the Holocaust will receive a handsome 12,000 dollars, organisers announced, AFP reported.

The competition was launched a week ago in a tit-for-tat move over caricatures of the Prophet Mohammed that have angered Muslims worldwide, with the selected cartoons posted on Irancartoons.com, a website run in association with Iran’s biggest selling newspaper Hamshahri.

“This is the biggest prize in caricature history,” the site boasted, explaining that the second best entry would get 8,000 dollars and the third best 5,000.

“Twelve other prizes are also to be given,” it added.

Organisers say they want to turn the tables on the assertion that newspapers can print offensive material in the name of freedom of expression.

The sentencing of David Irving led the Iranian foreign minister to observe that free speech in Europe is a ‘Western paradox’.

Tehran – Iran on Tuesday said the three-year jail sentence imposed by Austria on the British writer David Irving for denying the Holocaust clearly showed the ‘Western paradox’ on freedom of expression.

Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki said the West on the one hand claims freedom of expression but on the other, implements the opposite in practice.

He said that during his talks in Brussels on Monday in the European Parliament ‘the deputies were not even willing to open this discussion.’

‘We do not understand why the West so desperately insists on having committed this crime and killed exactly six million (Jews),’ Mottaki said.

It is impossible to rebuff the Muslims on principle in one case, while violating those same principles in another. Amazingly, it took a Jewish writer in the Jerusalem post to point out the obvious to the Europeans.

The timing of Austria’s conviction and imprisonment of David Irving for denying the Holocaust could not have been worse. Coming after the deaths of at least 30 people in Syria, Lebanon, Afghanistan, Libya, Nigeria and other Islamic countries during protests against cartoons ridiculing Muhammad, the Irving verdict makes a mockery of the claim that in democratic countries freedom of expression is a basic right.

We cannot consistently hold that cartoonists have a right to mock religious figures but that it should be a criminal offense to deny the Holocaust. I believe that we should stand behind freedom of speech. And that means that David Irving should be freed.

Before you accuse me of failing to understand the sensitivities of victims of the Holocaust, or the nature of Austrian anti-Semitism, I should say that I am the son of Austrian Jews. My parents escaped Austria in time, but my grandparents did not.

The article continues –

So I have no sympathy for David Irving’s absurd denial of the Holocaust – which he now claims was a mistake. I support efforts to prevent any return to Nazism in Austria or anywhere else. But how is the cause of truth served by prohibiting Holocaust denial? If there are still people crazy enough to deny that the Holocaust occurred, will they be persuaded by imprisoning people who express that view? On the contrary, they will be more likely to think that people are being imprisoned for expressing views that cannot be refuted by evidence and argument alone.

In his classic defense of freedom of speech in On Liberty, John Stuart Mill wrote that if a view is not “fully, frequently, and fearlessly discussed,” it will become “a dead dogma, not a living truth.” The existence of the Holocaust should remain a living truth, and those who are skeptical about the enormity of the Nazi atrocities should be confronted with the evidence for it.

IN THE aftermath of World War II, when the Austrian republic was struggling to establish itself as a democracy, it was reasonable, as a temporary emergency measure, for Austrian democrats to suppress Nazi ideas and propaganda. But that danger is long past. Austria is a democracy and a member of the EU. Despite the occasional resurgence of anti-immigrant and even racist views – an occurrence that is, lamentably, not limited to countries with a fascist past – there is no longer a serious threat of any return to Nazism in Austria.

By contrast, freedom of speech is essential to democratic regimes, and it must include the freedom to say what everyone else believes to be false, and even what many people find offensive. We must be free to deny the existence of God, and to criticize the teachings of Jesus, Moses, Muhammad and Buddha, as reported in texts that millions of people regard as sacred. Without that freedom, human progress will always run up against a basic roadblock.

Article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms states: “Everyone has the right to freedom of expression. This right shall include freedom to hold opinions and to receive and impart information and ideas without interference by public authority and regardless of frontiers.”

The article ends with this sensible observation.

Only when David Irving has been freed will it be possible for Europeans to turn to the Islamic protesters and say: “We apply the principle of freedom of expression evenhandedly, whether it offends Muslims, Christians, Jews or anyone else.”

Europe needs to get over its moral crisis, and start dealing with problems realistically. It can start by practicing what it preaches.

Is it possible for someone to have this much bad luck (or lack of judgement)?

March 3rd, 2006 . by Matt

12 boys being booked for raping 5 girls back in 2004

Here is a story that is simply difficult to believe. In a story called “Sexual Assaults Haunt Nation“, the Korea times reports about a girl that was raped or sexually assaulted several times by different, unconnected men, while trying to deal with an initial rape.

Recently, a 16-year-old girl, identified as Song, was sexually assaulted by a 25-year-old man whom Song became acquainted with in a computer chat room.

Worried about pregnancy, Song visited a pharmacy to buy morning-after-pills, but an employee at the pharmacy took Song to the dispensary, saying he would tell her how to use the pills, and sexually harassed the girl.

Song told the story to a 25-year-old man through computer chatting. The man took Song to a bar saying he would give counseling, but raped Song after getting her drunk.

She took a cab to report the man to the police. The taxi driver, who consoled her and asked the reason for going to the police station, sexually assaulted the girl again in a parking lot.

The article goes on to say that –

Many sex offenders claim they were drunk at the time of assault, and that the harassment was a mistake that could be forgiven, she said.

I have no particular comment on it. I just find the whole story bizarre.

Video of the London muslim protests

March 1st, 2006 . by Matt

I found a video of the London muslim protests over the Mohammed cartoons. Its amazing to see footage of extremists like this openly threatening non-muslims. Here are a couple of my ‘favorite’ parts of the video.




The last pic is especially interesting considering the muslim wave of rape of native peoples in Sweeden and other countries.

Free speech is one thing, but this protest is an open declaration of war. Its time to deal with it.

View the video for yourself and see what goes on in one of the worlds great capitals.