Occidentalism
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A final word on Kenkanryu

December 6th, 2005 . by Matt

After the New York Times published their drive-by-shooting style story about Kenkanryu (and the NYT article has been ripped off by another writer with a Japanese name as well), it has become apparent to me that none of these people criticising and pontificating on the content of Kenkanryu have actually read the comic, including the author of the NYT article, hack writer Norimitsu Onishi. In the article, Onishi translates the title of the comic as ‘Hating the Korean wave’. I have been saying for a while now that the title of the book in English is ‘the hate Korea wave‘, not ‘hating the Korean wave’. If you had just looked at the cover without reading the comic, you might think that it actually meant ‘hate the Korean wave’ (I did too, before I read it), but once I read it, I understood the real meaning of the title.

Here is what it says in the comic.

現在マスコミでは「韓流」などと友好を演出しているが、水面下では韓国を嫌う日本人が急増している。マスコミが隠しているもう一つの韓流、それが・・・・・・「嫌韓流」だ!!

My translation

Nowadays the massmedia is promoting ‘the Korean wave’ and the like for friendship, but behind that Japanese people that dislike Korea are growing in numbers. There is one more ‘Korean wave’ that the massmedia is hiding, that is… ‘the hate Korea wave’!!

the hate korea wave
NYT writer Norimitsu Onishi, another Jayson Blair? Onishi wrote an article critical of a comic he has never read

As far as I am concerned, if you have not read something, then you dont have a right to review or criticise it. Where are the Journalistic Ethics? Worse, where is the common sense? A blogger posting from Australia, reading in Japanese, shouldnt have to play watchdog for the New York Times.


129 Responses to “A final word on Kenkanryu”

  1. comment number 1 by: ponta

    People with a strong dialect can not eat at the restaurant.
    Foreigners are not served all right at the restaurant.
    I strongly suggest you change this kind of custom.
    Do you mind telling President Mary McAleese to do so?
    http://www.rte.ie/news/2005/0316/mcaleesem

    nig Said:

    December 8, 2005 at 4:47 am

    “Do you mind telling President Mary McAleese to do so?”

    Ok I will mention to her that she should use her power to campaign against elitism in restuarants .

    What I was saying is this.
    if in Korean and irealand, people with a strong dialect and foreigners are not served well in the ordinary restaurants because of elitism and regionalism in Korea and in Ireland,you should quit that custom. You promised me to tell the president to do so.
    I said, you seem to think that nothing is wrong with this custom, because this custom exist in Ireland also.
    In Japan a fisherman from the south coast of Kyushu are serverd all right in the ordinary restaurant, even in the top restaurant if he is the member.
    Did I make myself clear?
    Dialects or the place where you come from does not matter.

  2. comment number 2 by: ponta

    NIg
    Maybe I should say clearly
    momo and the man in the asia page were in the ordinarly restaurants.
    The man was not served at all.
    Momo was not served well.
    We are here talking about the ordinary restaurants.
    Then you start talking about the top restaurants which are member only.
    Then you start talking about illegal shops where foreiners are restricted.
    Remember red herring.

    A Red Herring is a fallacy in which an irrelevant topic is presented in order to divert attention from the original issue. The basic idea is to “win” an argument by leading attention away from the argument and to another topic. This sort of “reasoning” has the following form:

    Topic A is under discussion.
    Topic B is introduced under the guise of being relevant to topic A (when topic B is actually not relevant to topic A).
    Topic A is abandoned.

    The topic is about the ordinary restaurants.
    You changed it to the topic about the top restaurants and illegal shops.

    I understand your love for korea.
    But I think there are things that they should change.
    Matt is the one who tries to reveal things that Koreans need to change.
    Nig is the one who tries to cover up the things that Koreans need to change by claiming that this kind of things exists everywhere, or this kind of things exists in Japan,
    If you want to criticize Japanese society, that’s no problem. I welcome you as well as I welcom Deibito
    But the changing the topic and covering up the problem do not solve the problems koreans are facing.
    Thanks

  3. comment number 3 by: nig

    Takeshima,

    I am not an ethnic Korean. You seem to be the last one left that has yet to accept this.

  4. comment number 4 by: takeshima

    Well, nig you have been brainwashed well. I commend your hogwon master.

  5. comment number 5 by: nig

    Ponta,

    I gave my opinion already on the ordinary restaurants. It was not a Red Herring. Its great that you have learned a new term but you don’t need to batter me with the fish references to prove a point if you’ll excuse the pun.

  6. comment number 6 by: nig

    “Well, nig you have been brainwashed well. I commend your hogwon master.”

    Yes, I have been conditioned by personal experience. What would you put your conditioning down to?

  7. comment number 7 by: Yamato

    “Confucious said a lot of daft things. Thats why the Japanese government are trying to reform company structures based on Confucionism to kickstart the economy. ”

    This is typical “arashi” of the post site. Somebody care to return to the topic?

  8. comment number 8 by: Yamato

    ponta-san:

    Kanari nangi na hito ga imasune. Kekkyoku, kono saito wo arashiteiru dake nanode, sorosoro suruu suru no ga yoroshii kato zonji masu.

  9. comment number 9 by: ponta

    Yamato
    Hahaha, Thanks but let me say a few words
    NIg

    I gave my opinion already on the ordinary restaurants. It was not a Red Herring. Its great that you have learned a new term but

    Thanks, i do not know a lot of English terms, but “red herring” was not a new term. .

    I gave my opinion already on the ordinary restaurants

    I reread your posts.I could not find one.

    If a fisherman from the south coast of Kyushu went into the top restaurants in Tokyo he would also have problems

    This is your first resoponse to me it is about the top restaurant.
    So far it seems to be rea herring to me.

    Have you been to the top restaurants in Tokyo?

    This is your second response. it is about the top restaurant.
    So far it seems to be rea herring to me

    Ok I will mention to her that she should use her power to campaign against elitism in restuarants We could make Ireland the first country in the world where it doesn’t happen.

    This is your third response and the last comment about the restaurant.Maybe is this it?You said you already gave your opinion already on the ordinary restaurants. So this must be the one.
    So in ordinary restaurants in Ireland, Irish person with a strong dialect is not served and foregners in ordinary restaurants in Ireland are not served well because of elitism..Am I right? If I am right, I think the president really should use her power as soon as possible..

  10. comment number 10 by: nig

    Ponta,

    I will quote myself. Here is what I said about ordinary restaurants.

    “The story about the man not getting served also could happen anywhere.”

    Then the communication progressed onto an evolution of the first topic. Very normal in this situation.

    “So in ordinary restaurants in Ireland, Irish person with a strong dialect is not served and foregners in ordinary restaurants in Ireland are not served well because of elitism..Am I right?”

    No, you are not. You have misread my post about it.

  11. comment number 11 by: ponta

    Nig
    Thanks.and sorry for misreading you.
    So
    “The story about the man (with a stong dialect in ordinary restaurants) not getting served also could happen anywhere.(paranthis added by ponta to interpret )”
    Is this your opinion about the ordinary restaurant?
    It did happed in Korea according to the Asia page, but it is not happening in Ireland, you say. Then where do you know it is happening except Korea?

  12. comment number 12 by: nig

    Ponta,

    The story never mentioned what kind of restaurants he had the problem at.

    What is “it”?

  13. comment number 13 by: ponta

    NIg
    So you think he was eating at the top restaurant?
    But you said

    will quote myself. Here is what I said about ordinary restaurants.

    “The story about the man not getting served also could happen anywhere.”

    Here you are supposed to be talking about the ordinary restarurant.
    And we are talking about the man in relation to the man in the asia page.
    So you are supposed to be talking about the man with a dialect in an ordinary restaurant.

    What is “it”?

    It = the fact that the man with a dialect is not served in an ordinary restaurant.

  14. comment number 14 by: nig

    Ponta,

    I can’t be sure from reading the article.

  15. comment number 15 by: ponta

    NIg
    I for one think that it is unnatural to suppose he was trying to eat in the top restaurant under the context.But the fact that you ” can’t be sure from reading the article” does not matter here.

    You yourself said,

    i will quote myself. Here is what I said about ordinary restaurants.

    “The story about the man not getting served also could happen anywhere.

    Here you are talking about the ordinary restaurants.
    Here we are supposed to be talking about the man in relation to the man with a dialect in the asian pages.
    Hence I concluded what you are saying is that the story about the man with a dialect in ordinary restaurant could happen anywhere.
    Is my interpretation correct ?

  16. comment number 16 by: ponta

    NIg
    1)If you have been talking about the top restaurant all the way,
    What you said, that is, the propositon that you gave your opinion already on the ordinary restaurants is false if not a lie.

    2)And If you have been talking about the top restaurant all the way.
    I would say red herring is taking place, because if the man in asian page, or momo were talking about the top restaurant, there is nothing worth talking about it.unless some other context is add ed to the story. So it is natural to suppose that they were talking about the ordinary restaurant .But since you have been talking about the exceptional cases all the way, red herring follows.

    3)if the proposition that you gave your opinion already on the ordinary restaurant is true, then based on what you said, the sentence that “The story about the man not getting served also could happen anywhere” is talking about the ordinary restaurant, it follow that you claim that The story about the man with a dilect in the ordinary restaurant could happen anywhere..
    In that case, I’ll ask again,where could such a thing happen except in korea? It did happen according to the asian page, it is not happening in Ireland in your opinion, in my opinion it does not happen in Japan. then where? It must be easy to name a few because you said the story could happen anywhere.

    4a)if there is none, the statement the kind of story could happen anywhere is false.
    Still, the kind of custom in korea should be changed.
    4b)even if there are some,still, the kind of custom in these places should be changed.

    5)That the kind of custom should be changed was the point of the story.But by changing the topic to the topic about the top restaurant.one mihgt try to cover up the point- – -that, I think, is wrong.

    Thanks.

  17. comment number 17 by: nig

    I rested my case in the last message. We can leave it to the silent jury out there to decide. There is a chance this case would end up as a mistrial due to incompensible reasoning but court verdicts in Japan have no real meaning anyway according to your Prime Minister so its not important.

  18. comment number 18 by: takeshima

    Ponta -nig succeded wiht his red herring. His goal is to always move the topic away from anything that could possible be taken as negative twards corea. He is very proud of his brainwahing and wont let anybody interfere with his vision that corea is heaven and japan is hell.

  19. comment number 19 by: ponta

    NIg
    Thanks
    Sure, we can leave it to the silent jury out there to dicide, in that case, the what prime minister said is nothing to do with the topic.here,(the supreme court, not our Prime minister, has the last word on the interpretation of our constituition according to Japanese constituion by the way) and one might think you are again changing the topic..
    I believe the jury out there, can tell the valid reasoning from invalid reasoning, and i am sure the she/he knows changing the topic is a fallacious argument and unconvincing.
    Thanks

  20. comment number 20 by: momo

    >Ponta
    >Nig

    Good job, guys!
    I read the whole discussion between you two, and I learned a lot.
    Now rest your eyes and hands and get ready for next topic!!

    clap, clap, clap! from momo

  21. comment number 21 by: Katz

    Are you serious? I thought they were flirting. Just kidding :p.

  22. comment number 22 by: tomato

    >momo

    Actually, such mutual concession (?) would not help so much, I think, although I admire the typical Japanese niceness in you. Ponta has fallen into one of nig’s trap- in Japanese, we call nig’s reasoning “kotobajiri wo toraeru”. Total nonsense. Rude, in fact, to people who respond. Ponta-san, otsukaresama desu- yoku yarimashita!

    Case closed.

  23. comment number 23 by: momo

    >tomato

    I just didn’t need to say ‘I think oooo is right,” as they had already decided to leave the judgement up to us. It was good that they argued till each other’s ‘boro ga deru.’ Now it is crystal clear to the audience which is more reasonable and which is not. Thus, thanks to both of them.

    Now really case closed.

    >Katz

    I thought Nig is a guy. There’s nothing wrong with homosexuality, though.
    I can tell they like each other…

    :op

  24. comment number 24 by: Katz

    WTF? I never believed ponta is a guy. But if you say so it is totally wrong.

  25. comment number 25 by: chonko

    I rested my case in the last message. We can leave it to the silent jury out there to decide. There is a chance this case would end up as a mistrial due to incompensible reasoning but court verdicts in Japan have no real meaning anyway according to your Prime Minister so its not important.

    CASE VERDICT: Nig = Soooooo Korean that it ain’t even funny.

    Nig is posing as an Irishman???!?!?! Hahahahaha! What is sadder is that some of you guys are buying it! Takeshima, you should be ashamed of yourself! Nig just reeks of Korean gyopo so badly that you can smell the kimchi from a mile away. The fact that he is Korean, just from the statement above, is as subtle as a tornado. Trust me, me old man is pure Irish..straight from Shamrock. I have relatives from both Ulster and in Dublin and I will tell you that Irish couldn’t give 2 flips about whether or not Korea is better than Japan. That type of insecurity and jealousy is reserved strictly for Koreans.

    So Nig..if you are Irish, you would definitely understand Gaelic. Tell me what the following sentence, one that is commonly known and taught and learned by all Irish growing up that it is ubiquitously known. (Don’t bother using an online translator because it ain’t gonna help you).

    Faere Eire Noogean Meiyogre Aisteire.

    Also, tell me what footie club is known to be the Dublin crusaders? This is common knowledge to all Irish as is asking a Korean who Yi Sun Shin is.

    Counting down until the Korean “hwabyung” in you erupts and exposes you for the Korean you are.

  26. comment number 26 by: Matt

    We are all pretty faceless here online. We will never really know who each other are – anyone can conceivably say anything. Nig’s IP address is an Irish address, so I am convinced he is in Ireland. However, his Koreanesque anti-Japanese attitudes are quite puzzling to me. Perhaps he picked up this prejudice when he lived in Korea.

    In any case, knowing who someone is can be insightful in learning how they formed their opinions, but it is pretty irrelevant to the quality of their argument.

  27. comment number 27 by: nig

    Chonko,

    Maybe your Dad misinformed you. The only Dublin Crusaders I know of are an Athletics club.

    Also I don’t know who taught you to scriobh as Gaeilge but they were obviously not too sharp at spelling.

    You are right about one thing. The average Irish person doesn’t know a whole lot about Korean-Japanese relations. The Japanese I met here didn’t know a lot about the Northern Irish troubles either but they were always keen to learn more.


  28. […] I found this on the “Enjoy Korea.jp” BBS (actually an interesting site that I think is run by Naver — It has a really good Japanese<->Korean machine translation service that is great for me as I can’t speak Korean at all). While the “Hate Korea Wave/Hate the Korean Wave” (whatever the final decision on that was — I’ve never read it so I can’t say) has gone unpublished in Korea for doubts of it’s legality, the “Hate Japan Wave” was recently found on bookshelves in Japan. […]


  29. […] Ah, no, it does not mean “Hating ‘The Korean Wave’”. Kenkanryu actually has nothing to with the Korean Wave, and certainly nothing to do with hating it. As I explain here, “Kenkanryu” is a play on words and it means “The Hate Korea Wave”, as in a wave of hating Korea. It is saddening to see that one of the authors of the article is called “Rumi Sakamoto”, a Japanese name, which indicates to me that the Japanese education system is in such a poor state that things simply explained in a comic go misunderstood by Japanese natives. Although I am but a humble foreigner, I would like to offer to instruct her on the subtleties of the Japanese language. […]