Occidentalism
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Distortions in Korean Video on the East Sea

June 1st, 2007 . by Gerry-Bevers

Below is a 3-part series of Korean propaganda videos that argue the Sea of Japan should be called the “East Sea. The videos are generally silly and ridiculously one-sided, but there is one distortion that I found particularly flagrant.

In an attempt to show how the name “East Sea” has appeared on Korean maps for centuries, the video shows a 1530 Korean map with the name “East Sea” (東海) printed on it; however, that is a distortion since the “East Sea” on the map was referring to the name of a town in Gangwon Province, not to the sea. This is not the only distortion in the videos, but it is a good example of the kinds of distortions you will find.

UPDATE: It has been pointed out to me that the city of Donghae has only been established in recent years, and that the Donghae (東海) on the following map is a reference to the sea, not to the city. In fact, now I think I remember reading about this peculiarity on the 1530 map before. I apologize for the mistake.

Here is the relevant frame of the video and links to the 3-part video series:

Links to the Videos


15 Responses to “Distortions in Korean Video on the East Sea”

  1. comment number 1 by: ymc556

    Hi!

    I’m sure you are not a Korean.

    The Donghae(東海)circled in red is not the name of Donghae city, but The East Sea.
    In 1530, there was no Donghae town in Ganwon-do!
    In the year 1980, Donghae City incorporating Mukho Town, Myeongju-gun County and Bukpyeong-eup Town, Samcheok-gun County, has been established.

    Bye

  2. comment number 2 by: Gerry-Bevers

    Ymc556,

    You are right. I am not Korean. You are also right about the city of Donghae (東海). In fact, now I think I even remember reading once that “Donghae” (東海) was written on the Korean peninsula on the 1530 map instead of in the sea area.

    I do not know why, but for some reason, I remember reading about a place, not the sea, called “Donghae” went I was doing research on Dokdo. Now, it appears I must have gotten it confused with something else.

    Anyway, I apologize for the error and will describe it as an error on the post.

  3. comment number 3 by: toadface

    Busted again eh Gerry?

    …sigh…..

  4. comment number 4 by: ponta

    # toadface Says:
    June 3rd, 2007 at 12:27 am

    Busted again eh Gerry?

    …sigh…..

    One should make a correction when a mistake is pointed out. The correction makes him/her more reliable.
    There are some people who made no correction even after tons of mistakes are pointed out.
    ……Toadface…..sigh……

  5. comment number 5 by: James

    The fact that Koreans have used a Korea-centric name for the sea on their own maps is in no way a meaningful reason for the rest of the world to refer to the sea by a vague name term such as “East Sea.”

  6. comment number 6 by: toadface

    James. You should study historical maps of East Asia more.

    For centuries the Japanese the Koreans and the Europeans had frequently used the name “Sea of Chosun” to represent was it now called “The Sea of Japan”

    While it is silly to for Koreans to insist we should the Sea of Japan, the Sea of Chosun again. There is nothing wrong with Koreans’ desire to have this sea named/mapped in a manner which better reflects the region of a whole. It’s not lly irrational of the Koreans expressing their will to rename the water that borders their own country. Though, as a foreigner I find it kind of silly myself.

    From what I understand Koreans don’t care what the sea is called. They just don’t like the name “Sea of Japan” After all, it is not Japan’s sea is it?

    Hanmaumy’s free board has a link to some “Sea of Chosun” maps (try link 2)
    http://dokdo.naezip.net/board.html

  7. comment number 7 by: toadface

    Here’s the link to many historical maps of Korea and Japan that shows this sea was not traditionally known as the “Sea of Japan” especially prior to the expansionist Meiji era.

    http://www.koreasea.net/collection.htm

  8. comment number 8 by: Matt

    For centuries the Japanese the Koreans and the Europeans had frequently used the name “Sea of Chosun” to represent was it now called “The Sea of Japan”

    Well, not more than they used sea of Japan though, did they?

    From what I understand Koreans don’t care what the sea is called. They just don’t like the name “Sea of Japan” After all, it is not Japan’s sea is it?

    Right. The word for that kind of sentiment is “racism”, I believe. I do not see people complaining about “the Indian Ocean”.

  9. comment number 9 by: James

    They just don’t like the name “Sea of Japan” After all, it is not Japan’s sea is it?

    So England owns the English Channel? Ireland owns the Irish Sea? Norway owns the Norwegian Sea? Mexico owns the Gulf of Mexico? Iran owns the Persian gulf? The Philippines own the Philippine Sea? China owns the South China Sea?

    If you think it’s reasonable for people to see the name “Sea of Japan” on English language maps and think that the sea’s name implies Japanese ownership of that body of water, it’s a waste of time to even respond to your other flawed statements.

  10. comment number 10 by: pacifist

    toadface,
    .
    Did you notice that you are talking irrational things? I thought you were more wise and rational in those days…
    .
    If they don’t like the name of Japan, then they can use their local names. I don’t mind, nobody won’t mind. But they don’t have a right to force it to the people in the world. This must be the basis of democracy.

  11. comment number 11 by: Kaneganese

    They just don’t like the name “Sea of Japan”

    Funny thing is, everybody in the world knows this except “some” Korean themselves…

    We Koreans have a little ‘thing’ against japan, but we’re definitely not that stupid to demand a changed name of a sea just because we hate the word ‘japan’

    https://www.occidentalism.org/?p=627#comment-21820

  12. comment number 12 by: Ken

    Though they do not like the name ‘Sea of Japan’ to that extent, why do they sell ‘Cuisine of Japan’?
    How come?

  13. comment number 13 by: Matt

    Though they do not like the name ‘Sea of Japan’ to that extent, why do they sell ‘Cuisine of Japan’?
    How come?

    One of my Japanese friends thinks it is a conspiracy to destroy the reputation of Japanese cuisine worldwide. 🙂

  14. comment number 14 by: Ken

    “One of my Japanese friends thinks it is a conspiracy to destroy the reputation of Japanese cuisine worldwide.”
    Docile Kenny is convinced!

  15. comment number 15 by: General Tiger

    Everyone makes mistakes.
    .
    My respect for you haven’t changed yet, Gerry. Just continue getting excellent arguments, and this can be overlooked ^_^