Duc, sequere, aut de via decede!

Korean Broadcasting System – Manchuria is our territory

September 8th, 2009 . by Matt

According to this article, KBS, the Korean national television broadcaster, had a television program shown between 29/08/2009 to 05/09/2009 called “Manchuria big investigation” that claimed that Manchuria is land belonging to the Korean race, and that the Qing Dynasty emperors were descendants of Koreans.

Other quotes from the program –

*The Manchu Liao river area civilization started at 6000BC, 1000 years before the flower of civilization blossomed at the Yellow River.
*In 3500BC the Hongshan civilization had the rudiments of a forming nation-state.
*The Yellow River and Liao River civilizations are definitely different. In artifacts from the Liao River civilization, there are earrings and the like that look exactly like those exhumed in Korea.

The program goes on to say that Manchuria had deep connections to Korea (and not China).

In relation to the program, the chief of a Chinese social science research institute said, “Some Korean people arbitrarily fabricate history. Currently from the result of archeological studies, we know that the Liao River, Yellow River, and Yangtze River civilizations are an important source in the inheritance of Chinese civilization”. He rejected that Korean theory that the ancestors of Manchurians were all Koreans, saying that Korean related people were ethnic minorities.

The reaction on the Chinese side this time has not really been anger (it has on past occasions). This time a lot of them are laughing about it and making sarcastic comments.


On a portal website, two polls was taken about this issue. Asked how they felt about the show, “feel resentment” was 29%, “want to laugh” was 69%, and “don’t care” was 3%. On the question of, “with the Korean media doing this kind of conduct, does it lower your general opinion of Korea?”. “Opinion lowered” was 89.3%, “not lowered” was 3%, and “don’t care” was 7.7%.

Although some of the comments were of anger or of scholarly rebuttal, many were humorous in nature. Comments included, “Koreans change history at their own convenience”, “how funny, what poor people”, “if South Korea unites with North Korea, then it will be doubly funny”, “Korean’s ancestors are Martians. Go back to Mars ASAP”, “that’s right. The Koreans that carried out the big bang were the first ones on the earth to carve the two characters 韓国 (Korea) on a stone”, etc.

Australian deputy PM lies to Indians

August 31st, 2009 . by Matt

The Australian deputy Prime Minister went to India and lied about Indian students being safe in Australia.

Australian deputy prime minister Julia Gillard promised on Monday to save Indian students studying Down Under from violence and fraudulent institutions.

Gillard is on a five-day damage repair tour to India following attacks on students in Sydney and Melbourne. “I am here to reinforce Australia’s image of a culturally-diverse, welcoming and safe country. I want to offer reassurance to the students here that Australia is taking necessary measures for their safety. Australia has zero tolerance for violence against Indian students and others,” she said.

About 1,00,000 Indian students study in various Australian institutes. Gillard listed out the various legislations and reforms her country has decided to initiate to regulate education-providers and international students’ safety. She said 120 additional police officers had been posted in sensitive areas, such as Victoria and Canberra, to make Indian students feel secure.

“Police patrols have been increased substantially for visible policing on streets. Already a large number of arrests have been made,” Gillard said. Australia has also taken up community-sensitisation programmes to reduce tension between Indians and locals.

This is an utter lie. Indian students generally live in ‘diverse‘ areas that are absolutely dangerous and have essentially been abandoned by police. The NSW police service will not deal with the perpertrators of these crimes. This problem has been going on for years.

Vera Hohleiter controversy

August 24th, 2009 . by Matt

Vera Hohleiter, a German woman that has appeared on the chattering beauties talk show in Korea, has been criticized by Korean netizens for looking down on Korea. Some interesting posts on the topic appear on Brian Deutsch’s blog and also on Korean Rum Diary, so go there for a description of what is going on.

I am not surprised that the Chattering Beauties show is scripted, because I always thought the show existed merely to stroke Korean pride. However, I don’t think that a script is strictly necessary to keep the girls on the show saying how much they love Korea (and sometimes Korean men) because foreigners that know Koreans are aware that Koreans are excessively vain, prideful, and easily manipulated by praise of Korean racial or national characteristics.

Koreans are never going to hear what most foreigners really think about them and their society, because just as Koreans are willing to lavish attention on foreigners that stroke the Korean ego with their unconditional praise, they react extremely to any minor criticisms, or what they believe to be criticisms. Foreigners clamp up and just tell Koreans what they want to hear. It is something I have seen time and time again. I have also seen foreigners do it in a very manipulative manner – and Koreans fall for that kind of sycophancy every time. An example – I know a white guy that breaks into Korean groups of mixed men and women while out drinking. His opener is to basically talk to the Korean guys and tell them how great Korea is and how great Koreans are and how it is so much better than his own country and so on. He lays it on thick and he is invariably invited to sit with the group, but they have been suckered because he was targeting the girls in the first place.

Praising Koreans in this manner gets the praising foreigner the ‘good foreigner’ label. Foreigners that are circumspect and real with Koreans end up with the ‘bad foreigner’ label. It is easier for a foreigner to lie to Koreans about what they think, rather than tell them the truth, because the Koreans react so badly to even minor criticisms. The result is that people tell Koreans one thing, then rip into them later.

By all accounts (I have not read the book but others have described it’s contents) Vera Hohleiter’s book is a largely positive account of her time in Korea, with a handful of negatives that are being focused on by the Korean media. However, the Korean media is correct when they say her criticisms of Korea are inconsistent with the kind of praising statements she made while she was actually in Korea, on Korean TV. However, there is very little reflection by the Korean media that there are no incentives for foreigners to be real with Koreans, and in fact there is considerable negative-incentive not to do so, just as there are positive incentives to lie to them.

Vera Hohleiter is not even the first foreign TV celebrity on Korean TV to go back home and write negative things in a book about Korea. Shunpei Mizuno was a Japanese man that became a TV celebrity in Korea. He was known for his fluency in the Korean language and his deep knowledge of Korean customs and culture. He was on Korean TV telling Koreans what they wanted to hear, and never offered up an honest criticism, even though he was eminently qualified to do so. Why? Because he knew Koreans well enough to know that Koreans cannot handle criticism – any criticism.

The result was that Mizuno vented what he couldn’t say on Korean TV by writing books under a pen name that were extremely critical of Korea. Eventually Koreans found out about it and were shocked that a foreigner that had been so unconditional in his praise actually had thoughts about the negative aspects of Korea.

Vera Hohleiter and Shunpei Mizuno simply reacted to the positive and negative incentives created by Koreans to behave like that. For that reason Korean’s don’t have a right to complain about these two foreigners, or any foreigners, being two faced at all.

Comments over at Marmot’s

March 11th, 2009 . by Matt

A few comments got deleted from various commenters over at the marmot’s hole because they were off topic. In relation to this comment by Hamel

Shak: I grow weary of seeing Gerry claiming some intellectual and moral high ground. Yes, he does express a contrarian viewpoint, but so what? I do that sometimes too.

When you say that he apparently does it “in a society that refuses to consider points of view outside the official political orthodoxy” are you speaking of this blog, or Korea? Because the two must not be conflated.

I am aware that Gerry has spent some decades in Korea, and has some facility with the Korean language. I do not see any signs, however, that he “is able to take Korea on Korean terms.” I would say that of, for example, Oranckay, who essentially lived his entire adult life here, or John Linton, who grew up here.

As to my big mouth that likely can’t string a sentence together past the minimum 호프 Korean, well that’s funny. Is this really to become a “my Korean is better than your Korean” debate? I won’t claim to be any great shakes in the language, but I don’t like to blow my own trumpet.

As to what Gerry said about Dosan, I agree it wasn’t that unusual per se. I don’t necessarily think he meant anything negative. But for many here, the fact that Gerry is speaking about a Korean independence figure, and that he tends to speak mainly on Japanese colonisation of Korea and Dokdo, well, you do the math, as the Americans say.

I answered –

There is a substantial difference between whatever contrarian viewpoints you express and the specific viewpoint that Gerry has been expressing.

Virtually all Koreans, probably statistically 100%, agree that the Liancourt Rocks are historically and legally part of Korea, and have been for centuries. Any opinion that goes against this is considered distortion and lies. This unanimity of opinion in itself is problematic. I cannot think of a single issue in Australia, for example, that inspires such goose stepping in opinion. I think it is fair to say that the Dokdo issue is a cultural taboo. Discourse outside of accepted orthodoxy is proscribed, with harsh penalties dealt out to those that deviate.

I doubt that you have ever had a contrarian opinion, or if you did, expressed such a contrarian opinion regarding a Korean sacred cow to your Korean hosts. There are quite a few issues that are open to debate in Korea, but the one that Gerry discusses is not one of them.

That is why, regardless of the merits of his arguments (which I think are excellent), Gerry’s work is very important. There needs to be dissenting opinion. There being no dissenting opinion in Korea on this issue, this taboo, and it is very unhealthy. Think about it – Gerry expresses an opinion backed up with vast amounts of data, yet all we have are people ascribing evil motives to Gerry’s work without even dealing with the substance of his argument. We are not talking about a normal academic issue here, or even a territorial issue, it is a taboo.

Anyone can have contrarian views about safe topics, and have them safely – I am sure you are the archetype of that. Having a contrarian view about topics in which 100% of people are going to disagree with you despite themselves being basically ignorant of the topic in question is another thing all together. A little support for someone that actually faces societies taboos would be helpful. Your snide insinuations, sarcasm, and disingenuous remarks are just part of the taboo enforcement mechanism, whether you consciously participate or not.

Dokdo adherents advertise on google adwords

July 30th, 2008 . by Matt

I was reading my mails when I noticed that on the top of my gmail screen there was an ad from a Korean site asserting Korean ownership of the Liancourt Rocks. I screen captured it below.

google adwords dokdo

The link leads to a silly video (posted below) that will convince no one except Koreans about “Dokdo” and “the East Sea”. On the issue of calling the Sea of Japan the East Sea, as far as I know most English speaking westerners do not mind what Koreans call the Sea of Japan in their own language, but object to the idea that they should change the words that they are using (Sea of Japan) just to suit Korean tastes. Furthermore the East Sea issue is clearly motivated by anti-Japanese feeling and prejudice, given that there are other seas around Korea with other names that Korea is not objecting to.

These people have money to burn on unconvincing ads.

Debito leading foreigners down the garden path

July 21st, 2008 . by Matt

Debito has a lot of misinformation on his site, especially regarding the extent of racism and manifestations of racism in Japan. The girl in the youtube below is an American living in Japan, and is an English teacher studying Japanese in her spare time. She been posting video blogs on youtube for sometime, and thanks to the fact that she is a white girl that is trying to speak Japanese, she gathered a Japanese following.

At some point she came across Debito’s site and decided to give a speech on youtube about human rights and Japanese racism towards foreigners in Japan. In her summary of the video, she included a link from Debito.org. The selection of topics are all from Debito’s site so it is obvious that she got her “opinions” from there. The original video is no longer visible as she has taken it offline, but someone made a rebuttal video, so we can see most of what she said there. The Japanese writing in the video is the rebuttal, not her words.

My translation (please remember that she is a beginner in Japanese and I am doing my best to translate it and not put words in her mouth) –

“… But to me the is one aspect of Japan that is still old fashioned. That is that Japan does not have a law to eliminate racial discrimination. So if I try to rent a place, go to a hotel, or a restaurant, it is accepted to rejected foreigners. When I was looking for an apartment, I saw this for myself. I cannot accept judging people just on their faces, their faces or their nationality.

Even then, there are foreigners in Japan who obtained Japanese citizenship, and they are often being judged based only on their faces. From now on Japan really needs foreigners, that it clear. It is not just me, the UN, economics newspapers and magazines, all are saying this. Japan is aging, and the number of people that can work is decreasing every year. So foreigners don’t come to Japan to replace them, who knows what will happen to the entire country. That is scary… I don’t want to see that.

Also, I don’t want Japan’s image to become worse. However, if tourists at Japan’s travel locations, for example, if there are signs excluding foreigners, saying “Japanese only”, Japan’s image will become worse. After the foreign tourists go home, they will talk about what happened in Japan. I don’t want that to happen.

Also, there is some talk of having the olympics in Tokyo in 2016. But in the current sitution if the olympics take place, I don’t think that would be good. First, think about foreigners rights and make laws, and live together in peace”

Again, her original video included a link from Debito’s site, which is obviously where she got the idea that foreigners were being discriminated against left and right. The fact is that instances of discrimination are quite rare, and when it occurs they are radical exceptions. Debito would have people belive that Japan is an exceptionally racist country, which it is not.

The result was that many of her Japanese fans took exception to what she was saying, and posted counter arguments on the comments section of her video blog. They corrected the misinformation she repeated from Debito’s site, and because of that she posted another video apologising. See below.

I am not going to translate it all, but basically she apologises for the Debito sourced and factually incorrect rant.

This is what happens when people take what Debito is saying at face value. I am a foreigner. I lived in Japan. I rode a bicycle. But I did not get stopped by police while riding a bicycle an average of 17 times a year (in fact never), which is one story about discrimination that Debito is spreading about. I have never seen a sign rejecting foreigners, except when that sign was in front of a brothel or other similar establishment. I have never been turned away at the door of a shop or denied service or ignored by wait staff. All of the foreigners that I know do not have the kind of experiences that happen to Debito, and the reason is simple – he goes looking for it. I am sure there are all kinds of racism in Japan, but it is by no means extraordinary, very widespread, or systematic. Furthermore, in terms of personal safety, I have never felt safer anywhere than I felt in Japan, and I know a great many foreigners feel the same way. They would not feel this way if they really experienced racial prejudice.

Debito is spreading misinformation that is actually harming the foreigners living in Japan. There are foreigners that will not go to an onsen (hot springs) anticipating discrimination, mainly because of Debito’s activism, and his refusal to point out in his writings that discrimination at onsen are exceedingly rare.

At some point excessive complaints that are not based on the facts about a particular people turns into race hustling and even outright racism. I have noticed how increasingly extreme Debito’s site has become, with posts proclaiming that the Japanese government condones the outright murder of foreigners appearing on his site. People that follow Debito down the garden path are going to find their lives in Japan to be that of miserable paranoia.

Absurd claims – Korea Times

July 10th, 2008 . by Matt

In an unsigned editorial in the Korea Times called “Absurd Claims”, Japan’s claim on Takeshima/Dokdo is most absurdly criticized.

It is regrettable that Japan has continued to lay claim to South Korea’s easternmost islets of Dokdo. The volcanic outcroppings in the East Sea between the two neighbors are unequivocally part of Korean territory. All historic documents show that the islets have belonged to Korea since ancient times. A detachment of the Korean Coast Guard is currently stationed on Dokdo to defend it.

Japan’s sovereignty claim over the islets is none other than an attempt to revive its past militarism and imperialism. The Japanese navy defeated Russian forces off Dokdo in 1904, setting the stage for colonizing the Korean Peninsula for 35 years until the end of World War II. We have no choice but to express our deep concern about the Japanese move that runs counter to the universal values of peace, reconciliation and co-prosperity.

“All historic documents show that the islets have belonged to Korea since ancient times”? The anonymous writer from the Korea Times editorial staff needs to get an education on Takeshima/Dokdo. There are no Korean documents detailing Korean historical affinity with the islets, not any map or reference that even suggests that Koreans even knew Takeshima/Dokdo even existed. Absurd claims indeed.

If the editors at the Korea Times want to know about Dokdo/Takeshima, they should check out Gerry Bevers’ informational site, Dokdo-or-Takeshima, or check out the extensive Takeshima/Dokdo writings that he was written here, linked below.

Lies, Half-truths, and Dokdo Video, Part 2

Lies, Half-truths, and Dokdo Video, Part 3

Lies, Half-truths, and Dokdo Video, Part 4

Lies, Half-truths, and Dokdo Video, Part 4 Supplement

Lies, Half-truths, and Dokdo Video, Part 5

Lies, Half-truths, and Dokdo Video, Part 6

Lies, Half-truths, and Dokdo Video, Part 7

Lies, Half-truths, and Dokdo Video, Part 8

Lies, Half-truths, and Dokdo Video, Part 9

Lies, Half-truths, and Dokdo Video, Part 10

Lies, Half-truths, and Dokdo Video, Part 11

Lies, Half-truths, and Dokdo Video, Part 12

Lies, Half-truths, and Dokdo Video, Maps 1

Lies, Half-truths, and Dokdo Video, Maps 2

Lies, Half-truths, and Dokdo Video, Maps 2 Supplement

Lies, Half-truths, and Dokdo Video, Maps 3

Lies, Half-truths, and Dokdo Video, Maps 4

Lies, Half-truths, and Dokdo Video, Maps 5

Lies, Half-truths, and Dokdo Video, Maps 6

Lies, Half-truths, and Dokdo Video, Maps 7

Lies, Half-truths, and Dokdo Video, Maps 8

Lies, Half-truths, and Dokdo Video, Maps 9

Lies, Half-truths, and Dokdo Video, Maps 10

Lies, Half-truths, and Dokdo Video, Maps 11

Lies, Half-truths, and Dokdo Video, Maps 12

Thanks to IP for letting me know about the editorial.

Civil disobedience as iyagarase

June 2nd, 2008 . by Matt

Iyagase (嫌がらせ) means harassing or annoying someone. This is the essence of the latest scheme being promoted on Debito’s blog. The title of the post says it all: “Protest NJ Fingerprinting: Pay your taxes in one yen coins“.

It seems that some foreigners in Japan believe that their human rights are being violated by having their finger prints taken when they enter the country. Therefore a plan has been put forth to pay municipal taxes in 1 yen coins. The goal? To Iyagarase to the extent that city workers need to count the coins and to try to throw a spanner in the system, possibly delaying processing of other peoples taxes.

Debito has been in Japan, what, 18 years now? Doesn’t he know that all kinds of protests are fine, but the moment you cause trouble (meiwaku 迷惑) to other people, you lose support? If there are Japanese people behind a foreigner that is paying in 1 yen coins in a line, what kind of impression are the Japanese people going to have? Are they going to admire the foreigner’s “activism” or are they going to be pissed off that they cannot conduct their business in a timely manner just because a foreigner wants to protest in an oblique manner unfamiliar and puzzling to the Japanese?

Do you harass city workers on the local level for decisions taken by the central government, which is on the national level? Does the mayor influence national security policy?

Furthermore, is finger printing people on entry to the country really a violation of human rights? Japan is not the only country that does it. Certainly Japan was encouraged to do it so it can more fully cooperate in capturing terrorists for the “war on terror”. At worst, being fingerprinted is an inconvenience.

It seems that the plan wont work as a commenter on his site cited a law that would make that plan unfeasible.

What really shocks me about Debito is that despite being in Japan so long, he seems culturally tone deaf. He doesn’t seem to care about Japanese strategies that work when dealing with Japanese people, rather he prefers Americanisms that are alien to Japanese thought. I think this is why he achieves precious little, as we see here and here.

What Debito offers is not Japanese and foreigners getting along, rather it is a state of permanent opposition (tairitsu 対立) where issues are never, ever, resolved.

(PS., the romaji in brackets is what Debito does in some of his posts. I thought it might be interesting for any foreigners to know the words)
(PPS., I put the kanji in as well)

Bonesdog dissects a Debito post

March 5th, 2008 . by Matt

Here. Read bonesdog tear apart the racist tripe that Debito deems fit to publish on his blog.

Debito suppresses the opinions of dissenting foreigners II

February 11th, 2008 . by Matt

We have done it! The sign that Debito has been complaining about has been taken down thanks to the actions of Occidentalism commenters MaidoOido and Ponta, and also the policy of Occidentalism of bringing foreigners and Japanese people together, rather than driving a wedge by misunderstanding and prejudice.

Ponta spoke with the owner on the phone, and the owner said that different customs lead him to write “Japanese
people only” on the sign. In addition to the foreign customers not being able to follow the written rules in Japanese, they also brought their own food to the restaurant, brought children to the restaurant but left the children alone in the restaurant while the parents went elsewhere which caused trouble for the staff, and some foreign customers ordering only on dish between 5 people, etc. The sign was already down this morning when Ponta spoke with the owner, because MaidoOido had already contacted the local restaurant association to explain the situation.

At the moment there is no sign, but the text of the sign may be changed to make it clear that it is non-discriminatory, unlike the old sign which easily leads non-Japanese speaking foreigners to conclude that the shop owner hates foreigners. This excuses the comments of Debito’s readers, but not Debito’s comments.

The people that Debito has been deriding on his blog as “trolls” and “apologists” for Japanese only signs, including myself, have been the ones to solve this precisely because we allow an atmosphere of open discussion that allowed someone with the details of the restaurant to come forward, so we could contact the restaurant.

Debito on the other hand concealed the meaning of the Japanese text of the sign, very mitigating details, which reveal that the owner may not be racist, just clumsily excluding those people who most frequently violate his many rules. Understanding the actual problem is important in crafting the solution, but it is not clear that Debito wants a solution that doesn’t involve moralistic grandstanding. Read all about Debito’s deletions, spin, and outright deception here, in “Debito suppresses the opinions of dissenting foreigners“.

Ponta is going to interview the owner later today, so I will have more details, and photo’s of the shop and new sign (if a new one exists), later on.

By the way, what is with Debito calling foreigners with reasonable views “apologists for Japanese only signs”? Whats next, being called an “uncle tom”?

Important Update: Ponta’s interview with the owner. Here is Ponta’s report below.

I interviewed with the shop owner. It was a small restaurant where there is only a counter-table with just 11 seats.

Being explained that the sign was misleading, he took down the sign and threw it away. A Japanese blogger contacted the Tukiji association and advised what to do.


He said, “First and foremost, I apologize for causing troubles. As for the English sentence on the sign, I apologize for causing unpleasant sentiments among gaikokujin”

I asked why he posted the sign besides the reasons he gave me in the morning. He said, “when foreigners came”, he responded in Japanese, “they ordered Sushi, but the shop is not sushi restaurant, its main dish is ankou(an angler)and anago(sea eel).And the restaurant is pretty busy at launch, I can’t speak English , don’t have time to explain it in particular when busy , and the customers are mainly tourists who can’t speak Japanese. And the price is high for fishes. When complained I can’t explain it in English”. Sometimes a group of foreign tourist came in line, realizing the shop does not offer sushi, they just went away, that gives other customer trouble”.

Interestingly he said even after he posted the sign, there were foreigners coming. He didn’t reject them because they had a memo in Japanese saying what they wanted. More interestingly it was a foreigner who speaks Japanese that suggested him to set the shop for Japanese people only hearing troubles he had.

That’s how he posted the English sign.

He emphasized that he did not hate foreigners. He was working at Roppongi, he met a lot of foreigners whom he respects. But Tukiji is a place for tourists. That makes difference.

He said he is a big fun of Gundam (an anime that is popular among foreigners and Japanese), and he holds the belief that we can understand each other.

I told him, there were suggestions from gaijin, rewriting the post to “Entry restricted to people that understand the rules written below ” ( Matt) or “We reserve the right to refuse service to anyone” (Gerbilbastard )

He said he had no intention to post the sign, for the time being at least and that shop would welcome anybody, Japanese or foreigners, who keep their manners.

He looked frightened being explained what Debito’s post says.

Look at the photo I took today, the sign says “Please keep the manner when drinking. Don’t speak to other customer without reason

no sign

no sign

no sign

Thank you Ponta. Additional thanks to MaidoOido and Tonchamon.

Problem solved, and all it took was Japanese people and foreigners working together, done without hysterical accusations of racism, selective bannings of dissenting commenters, or implying that people are racist “apologists for Japanese only signs”. I hope Debito can learn a lesson from all this.

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