Duc, sequere, aut de via decede!

The net is a permanent record

February 7th, 2008 . by Matt

You can try to cover stuff up, but the fact is that the net is a permanent record of events.

Around three days ago I wrote about Trans-pacific Radio accusing Ampontan of having a sock. Since that time they have completely deleted that post and all the comments in it. Fortunately, the net is a permanent record. There is the google cache of their perverse cover-up. Archive.org also collects things frequently.

This is their Modus Operandi. Write something outrageous that eventually leads to their embarrassment, then delete it later on when no one is looking. And yes, they have done it before.

Now my link to their page just leads to their “affiliates” page.

Why would they cover-up something if they were not ashamed or embarrassed of something? I find it pretty interesting that they seem to have a pretty good relationship with Debito too. A case of 類は友を呼ぶ (birds of a feather flock together)? Definitely!

UPDATE: OK, it looks like they have set up a redirect so if you access their site from a link here, it goes to their affiliates page. They are posting about it now on their site. It is quite funny. But lets see the posts.

Comment by JS

February 7, 2008 @ 7:02 pm

Now that guy is trying to claim that this post was deleted!


A comment by JS. Then Ken, a moderator, replies –

Comment by Ken Worsley

February 7, 2008 @ 10:24 pm

Even more hilarious! It\’s amazing how far some people will go to keep an in-joke going!

That should settle any credibility issues forever.

OK, kind of funny Ken, but now you are going to be exposed. First up, the redirect to the affiliate page from my site. Here it is, all youtubed.

And next up, who is that guy JS, and how is it he is able to include a link to my post at 7pm Japan time, more than 3 hours ago, when I only wrote the post around an hour ago? To make it clearer, here is a graphic for you, JS (or is that Ken? Yep!)


Either JS has future predicting powers in which he can accurately predict posts more than 2 hours before I write them, comment on it and include a link to boot, or Ken Worsley is messing with time stamps and is actually JS, talking to himself.

Yes, this does “settle any credibility issues forever”.

Debito suppresses the opinions of dissenting foreigners

February 6th, 2008 . by Matt

Meet Arudou Debito, a naturalized Japanese citizen from the United States of America. He is an activist campaigning on issues relating to foreigners and non-Japanese people in Japan. That is all well and good except the guy is so dishonest.

He does his level best to make foreigners living in Japan fear discrimination or persecution, when in actual fact such incidents are extremely rare. In this sense he is a very divisive figure, doing much more damage to community relations than the infrequent examples of discrimination.

His blog is a perfect example of his dishonesty and lack of integrity. He has a comments section in which he only allows the comments of approving cronies to appear, and blocks the comments of naysayers, no matter how well grounded they are. Here is an example from his blog today

Hi Blog. Here’s a sign I received a couple of days ago from a friend in the Kansai. “JAPANESE People ONLY” in a Tsukiji restaurant, along with a litany of what kind of food appreciation they expect from their customers.

How urusai. Problem is, they indicate that NJ cannot have this degree of food appreciation, and so refuse them entirely.

Click on photo to expand in your browser. Anyone want to run down to Tsukiji for me and get a definitive picture of the storefront with the sign? (These things usually need two photos–the sign and the storefront with the sign). And a confirmation of what the name of the restaurant (and the address if possible?) Thanks.

debito sign

Again, this is what happens when this kind of discrimination is not illegal in this society. More of this genre here. Arudou Debito in Sapporo

I commented, but Debito blocked my comment. However, he allowed some comments that agreed with him that the sign was horribly racist. Unfortunately, in line with Debito’s dishonesty, he has left some very important information out which is written in the Japanese part of the sign, which mitigates to a large extent the “Japanese people only” part of the sign. But first, my comment on Debito’s site that he would not allow.

Grasping at straws, aren’t we? Yes, it says Japanese people only in English but directly under that it says that this is a shop for fish lovers and Japanese people that can’t understand the rules below are also not allowed in. What follows is a long list of rules that puts the owner in the “eccentric” box more than the “racist” box, although it might be a prejudiced assumption to think that foreigners living in Japan could not read the rules (but lets face it most cannot).

It seems pretty obvious that the owner cannot write those complicated rules in English, and thus does the best he can do, which is “Japanese people only”.

Most of the foreigners visiting your site would not be able to figure this out on their own, because they cannot read the Japanese, but don’t you think it is a bit arrogant of you to assume a fellow foreigner like me could not read it and see through your deception by omission?

I don’t have much confidence that this will see the light of day since you have deleted another comment of mine that pointed out your error in the past.

That is the comment. The fact is the sign is very eccentric, and if I saw it, I would pass it by even if I were Japanese. Basically the sign outlines a number of rules like: starting times, reservations, that tea must be had before an order and that ordering when the tea comes causes problems, no bringing food from outside, don’t speak loudly, don’t turn around and speak with other customers, don’t cause trouble, no more than 2 people at a table and if there are groups with more people they have to sit separately 2 to a table, follow the rules and enjoy, certain foods take time to make, and many more rules. It specifically says that Japanese people that cannot understand the rules will also not be allowed into the shop.

Debito can read Japanese. He would know then that the most probable reason for the “Japanese only” thing is that there are so many rules that they would not be able to explain it to the average foreigner, who cannot read the sign or understand that much Japanese. But Debito does not want to give any information that might cast doubt that this sign is just blatant racism, nor will he allow me or anyone else that disagrees with him to offer an opinion on his site.

The real test for that shop would be to talk to the owner and demonstrate that you can read the sign, and can follow the rules. Could the person that took the photo read the rules? I doubt it.

This is the problem with Debito. He is dishonest. He cannot tolerate dissent and has an authoritarian personality. He is attention seeking and thrives on controversy. He also gives the impression that he is somehow a community leader for foreigners living in Japan, which would really be a problem for me if I went back to Japan because I don’t want to be associated with him. He counts on the foreigners he ‘represents’ having very poor Japanese language ability, who make the mistake of relying on him as a source of information.

But lets get to the root of the matter. Debito is not Martin Luther King, and foreigners (especially white people like Debito) are not Southern Blacks suffering under Jim Crow laws.

Lastly, I call on Debito to be honest. Honesty is the best policy, after all. Be a man, Debito.

Language exchange fury

December 9th, 2007 . by FamilyGuy

I am “FamilyGuy”, a commenter on this blog and Australian guy in Sydney. I personally know Matt and have lived with Koreans and have several close Korean friends. I am not anti-Korean in the least as anyone can see from my comments that I have posted these many months.

I regularly organise language exchange events in Sydney just to get people from different backgrounds together for things such as beach trips, BBQ’s etcetera.

The week before last I had organised a dinner. This dinner was to be at a Korean BBQ restaurant in Sydney, and was attended by Australians, Chinese, Korean, Singaporeans and Japanese.
About 16 people attended. Most of the people I had organised via a Language Exchange website. Of the guests one was a Korean girl called “Karen” that I had met on this site. She was in Australia to study English and had only been here a short time and was eager to improve her conversational English and to meet friends that were not Korean.

The dinner I had organised involved lots of different types of Korean BBQ food and drinking of Soju. That night I had spoke only briefly with Karen as she was at the opposite end of the table.

The night was a success but from that day on Karen never replied to my text messages or my phone calls.

Finally late last week, I got a message from her to say “sorry that I had not replied but my Korean boyfriend got very angry a t me and I haven’t been able to use my phone”. I replied to her asking why he had been angry, she said because she came home drunk from the dinner that I had organised and this was shameful to him. She also told me he had hit her a few times and she couldn’t come out because of a black eye. Then what she said next surprised me, she said “anyway it was my fault and I deserved that I shouldn’t have gone out and drank Soju”

I was both shocked and surprised at this attitude but have been told by other Koreans that this is commonplace and she should have known better.

Recently I have not heard from her at all but I bumped into her completely by chance on Friday and she told me she could not talk to me and walked past me. I think her boyfriend told her not to speak or contact me again or he would “get angry again”.

It reminds me of a joke I heard “What does a Korean man say to his girlfriend that has two black eyes?”

“Nothing he already told her twice”.

It just seems to me that Karen only wanted to go out and improve her English ability along with the intention of meeting new friends, but was physically punished by her Korean boyfriend for doing so. This to me is completely unreasonable but it seems to have been a normal reaction by Korean standards.

The Metropolitician arrested

November 20th, 2007 . by Matt

Metro got arrested after being accosted with racial slurs by a drunk. Yes, the victim arrested by Korean cops. Please support Michael with your supportive comments, and help fight against this injustice. Read all about it here.

Thanks, Oppa

October 23rd, 2007 . by Matt

The other day I met a girl that had just arrived in Sydney. She found shared accommodation in a place with 6 Korean guys and 2 other Korean girls. On her first day in Sydney, the first piece of advice her Korean male flatmates gave her was “don’t date Australian guys” – all 6 of them. Just in case that it might lead to dating, she was also told not to meet Australian guys. The reasons were that Australians were bad, untrustworthy, insincere, treated Korean girls badly etc.

She told me about this but I can’t say I am shocked because every single Korean girl is told exactly the same thing. As far as I know there are no Australians telling people not to date Korean men or giving reasons as to why they should be singled out as uniquely immoral or bad. Yet there seems to be a whole movement in Sydney among Koreans (especially Korean men) that want to racially slander Australians as a somehow morally and ethically inferior people.

As an Australian that can speak Korean, I have long regretted that understanding Korean means that I have to know the degree of contempt that we are held in by Korean immigrants and foreign students (the foreign students don’t matter though because they return to Korea – the immigrants are here forever). If the average Australian were able to understand this kind of thinking, they certainly would not be so enthusiastic about Korean immigration, and certainly would not consider Korean immigrants a ‘model minority’.

Are the morals and ethics of Korean men so good that they look down from their pedestals and pass judgment? I don’t think so. It is hypocrisy, pure and simple. If they could date Australian girls, they would, but they can’t so they have to make sure Korean girls are tightly controlled and corralled. It is the fear of mating competition, and despite protestations, the fact that a great many Australian men are sincere, kind, trustworthy, and would treat Korean girls with respect.

The funny thing is that warning the girls off meeting Australian (“foreigners”) doesn’t even work. It just makes girls want to find out if it is true or not, and the only way they can do that is to interact with Australians.

Update: I was with a friend and three Korean girls this morning in a 24 hour Korean restaurant and when one of the girls went to the toilet she was followed by a Korean guy who intercepted her and told her not to meet foreign guys. When she got back she told the other girls what happened (and by default us too, since my friend and I both speak Korean). I can’t say I was surprised, and neither was my friend, who has experienced similar things many times. One mitigating fact for the ‘oppa’ is that he was obviously very drunk.

Japan focus article reported in Korean media

October 6th, 2007 . by Matt

Daum Media has reported about the Japan Focus article on Kenkanryu.


한류열풍에 대한 역풍으로 일본내 ‘혐한류(嫌韓流)’를 우려하는 시각이 많다. 일본 대중문화의 한 축으로 자리잡은 한국 콘텐츠에 일본 젊은이들이 민감하게 반응한다는 것이다.

2005년 한국을 폄하하는 내용을 담은 만화 ‘혐한류’(야마노샤린)가 출간돼 1,2권 합쳐 65만부나 팔렸다. 이를 기점으로 ‘한류의 위기’를 토로하는 국내 미디어의 보도가 이어졌다.

하지만 혐한류라는 것이 미디어의 과장에 의한 허상일 뿐이라는 지적도 제기되고 있다.

일본의 평론웹진 ‘재팬 포커스’는 ‘혐한류의 실체’에 관해 의미있는 논평을 게재했다. 일본인 사마모토 유미와 미국인 맷 엘런이 글을 썼다.

“한국에 대한 애정과 혐오는 동일한 상업주의 마케팅 전략, 그리고 미디어 효과에 의해 일어났다”는 점을 지적했다. 혐한류를 일본내 ‘인터넷 운동’의 일환으로 분석한 것이다. “특정 운동의 내용에 대한 현실참여로서가 아니라 부조리하고 불합리한 운동일지라도 그 엔터테인먼트 가치로서 조작될 수 있다”는 설명이다.

일본 인터넷을 강타한 ‘쇼난 고미 히로이 호우 카이’라는 운동을 예를 들었다. 커뮤니티 사이트 ‘2채널(ch)’의 네티즌 수백명이 후지TV가 진행하던 해변청소 이벤트 직전 자기들끼리 먼저 청소를 해버린 사건이다. 메인스트림 미디어를 당황하게 만들겠다는 의도였다. 위 평론은 “인터넷 운동이라는 것은 이렇게 소모적이고 공격적이고 무의미한 일이다”고 해설했다. “따라서 인터넷에 기반을 둔 혐한류도 내셔널리즘으로 보기에는 무리가 있다”는 분석이다.

“만화 ‘혐한류’를 베스트셀러로 만들어낸 운동도 진지한 내셔널리즘 동참이나 반한 선언이 아니라 그저 실제세계를 인터넷 운동으로 한번 흔들어대는 것에서 흥미를 찾으려 했다”는 것이다.

일본 네티즌들은 서점에 ‘혐한류’를 비치하거나 그것을 베스트셀러 리스트에 넣지 않았다고 불만을 토로하거나, 그 책의 유통에 대해 서점 직원과 이야기를 주고받거나 혹은 만화카페에 ‘혐한류’를 비치하라고 요구하면서 벌어진 대화들을 인터넷으로 옮겨 적으며 즐겼다.

심지어 ‘혐한류’를 도서관에 기증한 후 다시 도서관을 찾아 그 책을 찾아달라고 요구한 일본인도 있다. 이런 이야기들은 부지런히 인터넷으로 올라와 엔터테인먼트 형태로 소비됐다.

“이런 유치한 즐거움은 민족주의를 지지하고 소비하는 것과는 다르다. 일본 네티즌들의 관심은 ‘혐한류’의 내용에 온전히 일치돼 있다고 보기 힘들며 그저 기존 체제에 대한 반항일 뿐이다”는 주장이다.

“결국 혐한류는 그 책의 이데올로기적, 내셔널리즘적인 내용에 의해 팔린 것이 아니라 엔터테인먼트를 주는 상업적 상품으로 또는 뉴스가치라는 부가가치로 팔렸을 뿐이다”이라고 규정했다.

혐한류라고 호들갑을 떨며 위기상황을 자처한 국내 미디어가 고민해 봐야 할 지적이 아닐 수 없다.

A Japanese netizen provided a translation into Japanese.








No need for any translation. It is a brief summary of some of the positions taken in the Japan focus article.

Follow up on Gerry’s Japan focus post

October 6th, 2007 . by Matt

Gerry posted about a Japan Focus article about Kenkanryu – “The Hate Korea Wave”.

Besides the hysterical spin, there are some glaring inaccuracies in the article.

Quotes from the article –

The internet has become an increasingly influential medium throughout East Asia. In this article we examine the case of Kenkanryu (‘”Hating ‘The Korean Wave’”), a manga published in 2005 in hard copy, but available online as a web comic for many months prior to print publication.

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.

Of course, they have a reason for saying that it means “Hating ‘The Korean Wave’” – it is the color and font style of the character 嫌. So rather than reading the content of the manga and using common sense for interpreting the meaning of the title, we have a bizarre interpretation of colors and font style.

[1] The title means “Hating ‘The Korean Wave’” rather than ‘The Hating Korea Wave’, as indicated by the different color and font used for the letter ‘ken’, or ‘hate’).

Ironically, the authors of the article make the same elementary mistake concerning Kenkanryu as was made by the Korean media. Japanese wikipedia makes the meaning of “Kenkanryu” clear


Translation: Furthermore, in Korea Kenkanryu is mistaken to be “Ken Kanryu” (hating the Korean wave), a book expressing antipathy towards the so called “Korean wave”. The subject matter is “Kenkan ryu” (the hate Korea wave).

Here is the relevant text explaining the meaning of “Kenkanryu”. It is on page 271.

explaining kenkanryu

The text says 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!!

The 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’!!

It is a pun on the Korean Wave, but that is it. It is just trying to warn of anti-Korean sentiments being created by anti-Japanese activism in South Korea.

Although it is unrelated to the content of the “The Hate Korea Wave”, the authors even manage to spin a classic conspiracy theory of the guys in black trucks really being in charge of Japan through their “close ties” with politicians, media and academia.

Though representing voices of a minority, these new-wave nationalists are strident, their messages amplified (often literally by loudspeakers on trucks!) through close ties with dominant conservative groups within the long-ruling Liberal Democratic Party, as well as within media and academia.

In the meantime, the authors spend their time trying to stigmatize Kenkanryu as reflective of nationalism among Japanese youth. “Nationalism” and its variants, “nationalistic” and “nationalist” are peppered throughout the article, appearing 54 times, and is in fact the the dominant word of the text as the only words beating it are “Kenkanyu” (the subject of the article), “Japan(ese)”, “Korea(n)”, and “media”. Just in case you miss the point the authors are pushing, the authors assure us that nationalist sentiment among Japanese people is “toxic”.

This essay looks at Kenkanryu, an anti-Korean comic book published in 2005 to address the two factors that contribute to the new toxic nationalism: the construction of the enemy figure and the popularity of this manga. The first section analyses the ideological structure of the manga itself, focusing on its representations of Korea and Koreans as Japan’s Other. The second section looks at the process by which Kenkanryu became a bestseller.

Indeed. Of course, they have chosen to justify their claim of “toxic nationalism” by providing some links to newspaper articles.

There is no doubt that Kenkanryu is a parochial, ‘toxic’ nationalistic and anti-Korean work, as has been reported in a number of English-language media.[6]

Yes, so because someone somewhere said it, it must be true, to be endlessly repeated in the echo chamber of incestuous amplification by like minded individuals.

The authors continue to assert that Kenkanryu is a backlash against the Korean wave.

Secondly and more immediately, Kenkanryu appeared partly as a backlash against the hype of the ’Korean Wave’ (hanryu) that Japan was, and in fact still is, going through.

This is incorrect. Kenkanryu does not attack the Korean wave, rather Kenkanryu owes its existence to the Korean wave, for as interest in Korea grew, people began to find out about the negative aspects of Korea, in particular the anti-Japanese sentiment that is prevalent in South Korea. Kenkanryu is a backlash – but it is a backlash against anti-Japanese sentiment in South Korea, not against the Korean wave. The failure of the authors to put this in its appropriate context is unforgivable.

How can so called scholars write about controversial subject matter when they cannot even get some basic facts right, like the meaning of the title of a manga? If an average Joe from Sydney can punch holes into the arguments of people that are supposed to be academics specialising in Japan, you know there is a big problem. There are two authors of the article, one Matt Allen (who by his name I suppose is non-Japanese), and Rumi Sakamoto, who sounds Japanese to me. Matt Allen I am more forgiving of, because people say and write stupid things about other people and cultures all the time, owing to their limited perceptions, language abilities, and contact with the natives. Sakamoto Rumi on the other hand should know better. Shame on you.

Articles on Occidentalism about Kenkanryu –

Initial review of Kenkanryu
Kenkanryu in the New York Times
A ‘final’ word on Kenkanryu
A full copy of Kenkanryu, translated into Korean

Sad story of marriage

September 18th, 2007 . by Matt

This is a saddening story. I hope she can find some justice in Korea.

When Nlan, a 24-year old Vietnamese woman, married a Korean man four years ago, she had no idea where her life would head. She certainly never imagined that her two babies would be sent away to another woman.
Nlan was living with her parents near Ho Chi Minh City after graduating from high school when she first met her husband through a broker. She was told that he had been divorced once and wanted to start a new family. His past didn’t bother her, so they soon married, and Nlan became pregnant. Shortly after the delivery of her first child, however, her husband suddenly asked her to send their baby to his ex-wife.
“My husband tried to convince me by saying that we could have another baby, but his ex-wife couldn’t,” Nlan said. “He said she lives a lonely life now.”
She reluctantly agreed, and moved on with her life.
After giving up her baby to her husband’s ex-wife, Nlan gave birth to her second child in 2005. Soon, however, her husband suggested that they also send their second child to his ex-wife. When Nlan came home from the hospital, she discovered her second child was gone.
Shortly after the incident, her husband asked for a divorce.
“I was too young and naive at that time,” Nlan said. “I had no friends or family whom I could ask for help. And I didn’t speak Korean at all. When my husband’s attitude turned cold, I could do nothing except sign the divorce contract.”
After divorcing him, she found that her husband had reunited with his ex-wife with Nlan’s children. Nlan then realized that she was used as a surrogate mother for his husband’s marriage because his ex-wife was barren. Now she is pursuing a legal suit against him.

More Korean BS in Regard to Lone Star

August 22nd, 2007 . by Gerry-Bevers

UPDATE 2: Korean Banks Feel “Duped” by Lone Star

UPDATE 1:  Speak of the Devil–Another tax office raid on Lone Star 

An August 22, Chosun Ilbo article, “Lone Star in Talks to Sell KEB to HSBC,” said the following on the negotiations between Dallas-based buyout company, Lone Star Funds, and London-based HSBC to sell Lone Star’s majority stake in Korea Exchange Bank (KEB):

The FSC earlier rejected a bid by Development Bank of Singapore to purchase KEB, saying it was a non-financial company. HSBC has no such problem with its qualifications, but Korean financial authorities apparently frown on HSBC’s bid since the firm has a history of pulling out, withdrawing bids for the takeover of Seoul Bank in the late 1990s and Korea First Bank in the early 2000s.

Why would HSBC’s history of withdrawing bids cause Korea’s Financial Supervisory Commission to “frown on HSBC’s bid” to buy KEB? Isn’t that something that Lone Star should be worried about, not Korean authorities? It sounds to me like Korean authorities are just looking for another excuse to turn down a Lone Star deal to sell its stake in KEB. 

I think it is obvious that the real reason Korean authorities frown on such a deal is that they dislike the fact that Lone Star was able to come to Korea, invest in a failing Korean bank, and make a huge profit in a short time by restructuring that bank. For reasons that may stem partly from Joseon-era thinking, Koreans do not seem to like foreign companies coming to Korea and making what they consider excessive profits. Of course, Koreans do not seem to have any problem with Korean companies going abroad and doing the same thing. On the contrary, they seem to be quite proud when Korean companies have success abroad. It seems like a clear double standard.

Anyway, I am interested to see what Korean authorities will come up with next in their attempt to screw Lone Star.

Columnist and Asian supremacist sentenced to therapy

August 13th, 2007 . by Matt

For threatening a white neighbor with a hammer.

A former columnist and self-described Asian supremacist who applauded the Virginia Tech slayings has been sentenced to a year of mental health treatment for waving a hammer at a neighbor’s face and threatening to kill her and her family.

Kenneth Eng, 24, of Bayside, New York, pleaded guilty in Queens County Court on Thursday to an indictment charging him with attempted assault and harassment over the incident last April.

Eng was arrested May 9 for threatening the neighbor, Marissa Addison, 29, and her mother, Jane Rosovich, who were standing with their two dogs on their lawn in front of their Queens home.

Eng is accused of yelling at Addison, saying, “If your dog bites me, I will kill you and your family,” and then swinging a hammer at her.

Last February, Eng was fired from the San Francisco-based weekly newspaper AsianWeek for writing a column titled “Why I Hate Blacks.”

Three months later, in a Village Voice interview, Eng gloried in the slayings of 32 students and teachers at Virginia Tech and fancifully speculated that his own writings might have inspired the killer, Seung-Hui Cho.

Eng also told the New York weekly that his own plan for a similar killing spree at New York University was aborted only because he could not afford a weapon.

After his sentencing on Thursday, federal authorities produced an arrest warrant and took Eng into custody. The nature of that case was not immediately known.

His attorney, Joel Dranove, of Manhattan, said he expected Eng to appear in Brooklyn federal court on Friday, but had no further comment.

He is a pretty nutty guy, as this interview on TV reveals.

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