Duc, sequere, aut de via decede!

Japanese Repentence Marathon?

August 26th, 2005 . by Matt

not sorry

The Joongang Daily among other Korean media organs have been reporting that a ‘Japanese Repentence Marathon’ involving 13 Japanese people took place on the 17th of August in Seoul to apologise for Japanese militarism. Since then, similar articles have been run by MBC, Yonhap, and you can see the TV broadcast of the story on KBS.

Unfortunately, this is another crazy case of Koreans making up stories again. According to the organisers of the event, it was a ‘Peace Run’, not a ‘Repentence Marathon’. The peace run took place because 2005 is the Friendship Year between Korea and Japan.

The organisers of the marathon had 8 points of contention with the Joongang Daily article, which were –

1. The article claims that it was a ‘Repetence Marathon’, when it was actually called a ‘Peace Run’.

2. The article claimed that one of the runners was filled with emotion and cried “Peace!” – the organisers say that didnt happen.

3. The article claimed that the runners “felt they had to apologise for their ancestors past misdoing”. The organisers say this is just conjecture by the writer of the article.

4. The article claimed that they “Attended Buddhist services to apologise for Japanese Imperial agression”. The organisers say they offered flowers, lit incense and offered a silent prayer for the dead.

5. “After Professor Watanabe visited Sodaemun prison alone last year, he said that he had worried about how to apologise to the Korean people about what happened in the past”. In fact, Professor Watanabe indeed went to Sodaemun prison, with another teacher, and never made any such comment.

6. “Professor Watanabe said that Japan ruled Korea and as a result was tragically split in two”. In fact, Professor Watanabe did say that “Japan ruled Korea’, and that ‘Korea was tragically split in two”, but he did not mention any causal relationship between the two, separate statements, in contrast to the way he was quoted.

7. “Once Korea is reunified, we want to hold another ‘Repetence Marathon’ to Pyongyang”. In fact, they did not mention anything about reunification, just that they would like to hold another ‘Peace Run’ once or twice more.

8. “Visually impaired Mr Tadashi Miyagi (44) said that ‘Japan must reflect on its militarism, and pray for Korean unification'”. In fact, Mr Miyagi was accompanied by another runner at all times because he is visually impaired, and that runner said Mr Miyagi said nothing of the sort. Mr Miyagi actually said “I was born after the war, so I dont know much about it. I participated in this run to learn about it, and to pass the knowledge on to the children”. (Mr Miyagi also says in the KBS televised interview that “I wanted to boost my awareness of peace, and thats why I am participating”)

Amazing. The Koreans were able to take a ‘Peace Run’ in the Korean-Japanese Friendship Year, and turn it into an opportunity for anti Japanese activism. I cant help but think that any attempt at sincere friendship with Koreans is wasted.

12 Responses to “Japanese Repentence Marathon?”

  1. comment number 1 by: Katz

    ““Once Korea is reunified, we want to hold another ‘Repetence Marathon’ to Pyongyang”. In fact, they did not mention anything about reunification, just that they would like to hold another ‘Peace Run’ once or twice more.”

    I woudn’t let them do it.

  2. comment number 2 by: Travolta

    Holy shit. Thank god for people like you who are around to set the record straight. This makes me think I should trust even LESS of what the Korean media claims. Having recently read much about the history between Japan and Korea and opening my mind to views opposing the established Korean views I am amazed to learn how much seems to have been invented and blamed on Japan. I’ve lived in Korea for two years and heard only the Korean side and it’s easy to see how Koreans have such a hardcore hatred of Japan. Korean schools and Korean media must be a factor holding Korea back internationally. (Discussion please). I understand Korea suffered under the Japanese and what Japan did in WWII was shocking and terrible. But the vast majority of Koreans I have spoken to don’t know anything about the numerous apologies, the millions in reparations money and seem to easily dismiss the 60 years of peace between the two nations which have existed since the end of the war as being not good enough or not sincere. Koreans seem to want to become a big player not only in Asia but the whole world, however at the same time they attack their closest ally (USA), take a shit on Japan at every chance they get and lick the sweat off Kim Jong Ill’s hairy balls with pleasure. Why would anyone in the world take Korea seriously? Hub of Asia? Keep up the good work exposing this kind of crap!

    PS: I don’t hate Korea (I live here don’t I?), I hate bullshit and lies wherever they exist.

  3. comment number 3 by: jae

    You’d think some things are a little too noble to sully with journalistic corruption, but there’s just no stopping these guys is there?

    The Korean media has a lot to answer for when you can’t even correctly report on a goddamn fun run.

  4. comment number 4 by: Mithridates aka 데이빛

    I’ve put up an article of my own on my Cyworld. 참회 마라톤, that was odd thing to write. -_-

  5. comment number 5 by: YoshoMasaki

    PS: I don’t hate Korea (I live here don’t I?), I hate bullshit and lies wherever they exist.

    Like this? The world spins round and round, as does the news …. my head hurts.

  6. comment number 6 by: Travolta

    YoshoMasaki Said:

    August 28, 2005 at 6:05 am

    PS: I don’t hate Korea (I live here don’t I?), I hate bullshit and lies wherever they exist.

    Like this? The world spins round and round, as does the news …. my head hurts.

    That would be a great example of the bullshit im talking about.

  7. […] As we saw in the ‘Japanese Repentence Marathon?‘ post, the Korean media can be extremely dishonest. Of course, this was not an isolated incident, but a pattern which has continued for a long time. Now we have another instance of the Korean media making things up, this time courtesy of commenter ‘Nakashima’ that wanted to show that I was one sided by not reporting that Japanese tourists intentionally defaced a Korean nationalist monument in Russia. […]

  8. comment number 8 by: firesoferebus

    I’m not really saying one side is correct and the other isn’t, but saying that something is untrue because the organizers said it was doesn’t really work out. Of course that goes for everything, so we’ll never really know what actually happened, but basically saying that “what this guy said isn’t true because this other guy said it wasn’t” doesn’t really prove it in any way.

  9. comment number 9 by: suneo

    Tom said P
    Mary said that Tom said not P
    What Mary said is wrong (if it is proved that Tom said P)

  10. […] We have heard of Koreans saying they would rather attack America than North Korea before, but it boggles the mind that more than 20% of Koreans would want to attack Japan if America attacks North Korea. Looking at the guy in the picture, he doesnt look insane so he must have formed his opinions somehow. Maybe through the anti-Japanese media or the anti-Japanese education system. […]

  11. […] I wonder where they got the photo. If it was from the North Korean government, I wonder if they just accept these kinds of things at face value without checking. Considering all the other stuff I have written about, like the lies about Japanese apologies involving a manga artist apology and the so called repentence marathon, the fake grave desecration by Japanese tourists, and the absolutely hysterical Korean media panic about foreign English teachers might be having sex with Korean girls and we start to wonder what on earth is wrong with the Korean media establishment. […]

  12. comment number 12 by: ecthelion

    I know this is an archaic thread, but I figured perhaps, as one of the few sane Koreans willing to say something about it (the rather vocal minority seems to have cowed most others into submission), I would put in my two cents regarding what exactly is wrong with the Korean media.

    1) The culture of South Korea (can’t speak for North Korea because I have no idea how anything works there), has not gotten to the point where, how do I put this, professionalism and neutrality are respected and desirable qualities, especially when it seems to conflict with things like nationalism (something my mother always warned me against), filial/familial piety (“what will your relatives say when they see that you’ve written what could be an anti-nationalist article?”). Passion, emotion, and stirring appeals to the public psyche (almost along the lines of mass hysteria) are still preferred over reasonable logic that gives better returns in the long run. You will find few Koreans willing to openly say this about their own people: we want the world, and we wanted it yesterday. We just don’t know how to get there, so we think (collectively, not individually) that maybe by making a spectacle of ourselves (much like throwing a tantrum), we’ll get what we want. All I have to say to that is – it didn’t work in the past; what’s to say it’ll work now?

    2) Korean institutions (family, work/business, government) are still heavily (and I mean heavily) intertwined, to the point of interfering with neutrality on a regular basis. Most other countries have similar problems, but they seem to have kept that sort of thing in check pretty well. Of course, I’m not too familiar with cultures other than those in the U.S. and in South Korea, so I can’t really speak for anyone else, but that’s what it appears to be – it’s also possible that I’ve just paid less attention to that sort of thing in other cultures. But I’m not going to lie – we Koreans do have systemic cultural problems when it comes to conflicts of interest (hence frequent busts for corruption and scandals, in business and government, and now we also have really embarrassing scandals in science), even in the media, and these problems are very visible (if foreigners can see them clearly, they’ve become too great a problem to cover up) now; I can only hope we as a people can find some way to correct them before they all really blow up in our collective faces.

    3) Ultranationalism in any form, for any particular political entity, in my opinion, is idiocy (ideologically I’m an anarchist, but I do understand the practical inconsistency of my ideology), and it would seem that parts of the Korean media (and a notable portion of the general population, all without fact-checking or actually looking anything up) have bought into this hook, line, and sinker. I’m naturally a cynic and I don’t believe anything I’m told, in print, on screen, or in person, at face value (at least not initially, until I’ve had a chance to gauge any neutrality or lack thereof in the source), and I take it as a matter of course to assume things I hear from the Korean media are prima facie false, unless proven otherwise. I suppose most subscribers to this blog have done the same, and if they haven’t, they are fooling themselves. You thought Fox News was bad? You ain’t seen nothin’ yet until you’ve gotten a load of some of the crap that the Korean media puts out, and that’s no lie. Granted, the majority of the stuff that the Korean media puts out is truthful (because there’s nothing at stake in being honest about those stories), but if there’s any possibility of nationalism, national pride, politics, etc. associated with the story, your first instinct should be to reject its conclusions out of hand, if not run for the hills.

    Wow, that was long. Sorry, but it seems that you folks have a longer attention span than some of the other people I’ve bored with my lengthy posts on other blogs and websites.