Koizumi visits Yasukuni Shrine

Japanese Prime Minister Koizumi on a previous visit to Yasukuni Jinja

Japanese Prime Minister Koizumi has visited Yasukuni Jinja, sparking protests from Korea and China. This was his fifth visit, according to Asahi Shinbun.

Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi on Monday made his fifth visit to Yasukuni Shrine, drawing immediate criticism from China and South Korea and raising concerns at home about diplomatic relations.

The visit marks the fifth straight year Koizumi has made the pilgrimage to the shrine where 14 Class-A war criminals are memorialized along with the nation’s war dead. His last visit was on New Year’s Day in 2004.

Chief Cabinet Secretary Hiroyuki Hosoda said Monday that Koizumi did not visit the shrine in his official capacity as prime minister, but that did not prevent an angry reaction from Japan’s neighbors.

“The Chinese government will staunchly oppose Prime Minister Koizumi’s repeated visits to Yasukuni Shrine where the Class-A war criminals are enshrined–regardless of how the visits are made,” said Wang Yi, the Chinese ambassador to Japan. “The fact that the prime minister has done such a thing on the day when the Shenzhou 6 made a successful return to Earth is a challenge to all Chinese people. The prime minister should accept historical responsibility for destroying China-Japan relations.”

South Korean Foreign Affairs and Trade Minister Ban Ki Moon summoned Japanese Ambassador to South Korea Shotaro Oshima in Seoul. Ban said the South Korean government felt “deep regret and disappointment” over Koizumi’s actions.The leaders of China and South Korea have repeatedly called on Koizumi to refrain from visiting Yasukuni this year, the 60th anniversary of the end of World War II.

However, Koizumi remained noncommittal, saying only that he would take “appropriate measures.”

Monday is the start of the autumn memorial services at Yasukuni. Koizumi’s visit Monday was not as elaborate as some of his past trips. He even tried to give the appearance that he was making the visit as a private citizen.

Koizumi arrived at Yasukuni wearing a regular business suit.

In past visits, he dressed in formal Japanese or Western wear. He did not sign the shrine register as in previous visits when he wrote “Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi,” nor did he make a formal payment for a floral decoration.

He never entered the main hall of the shrine, but he threw money into the offering box and bowed to the hall after praying for a few minutes.

In Korea, the foreign minister demanded an explanation from the Japanese ambassador, and it seems likely that President Roh will cancel a summit with Japan.

South Korea considers scrapping plans to hold a summit with Japan as Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi once again visited a controversial war shrine in Tokyo Monday, a Chong Wa Dae spokesman said.

The two countries do not have settled summit schedules, but it is President Roh Moo-hyun’s turn to visit Japan as his Japanese counterpart came to Seoul last June.

Kim Man-soo, presidential spokesman, said that the government will reconsider whether Roh will visit Japan later this year as predicted.

“As of today, the government can’t say that we are thinking of President Roh’s visit to Japan,’’ Kim told reporters. “I mean there could be a change in schedules.’’

He also questioned the possibility of holding a bilateral meeting during the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum in Pusan next month by saying, “We have not paid special attention to it.’’

Kim said the government will make decisions on the Seoul-Tokyo relations, based on a recognition that Koizumi’s visit to the Yaskuni Shrine would affect the bilateral ties.

In the meantime, Koizumi has found support for his visit to Yasukuni Jinja from Former Taiwanese President Lee Teng-hui.

NEW YORK — Former Taiwanese President Lee Teng-hui on Sunday praised Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi for visiting Yasukuni Shrine despite opposition by neighboring countries such as China. “That was good,” Lee said, commenting on Koizumi’s visit to the war-related Shinto shrine in Tokyo on Monday.

Lee has supported Koizumi’s visits to the shrine, saying, “It is natural for a premier of a country to paid homage to the souls of people who lost their lives for their country.” Lee also said earlier there is no reason for foreign countries to tell Koizumi not to visit the shrine.

My country (Australia) was one of the countries that actually fought Japan, unlike Korea. My countrymen actually suffered war crimes from the Japanese army (unlike Koreans). However, Korean prison guards in South East Asia were reputed to be especially cruel to the allied prisoners.

In ‘Prisoners of the Japanese,’ on page 104, Gavan Daws makes the following comment –

“No one could imagine anything worse than a Japanese guard until Korean guards began turning up in the Southeast Asian camps.”

Indeed, there are many accounts by allied prisoners of Korean cruelty.

By end of February 1943 another fifteen British horios had died, mainly from disease and malnutrition, leaving fifty-seven. One had succumbed to a particularly severe bashing by Korean guards, ‘some of the cruellest men in the world’, who had taken over.

There were one hundred and forty-eight former Korean prison guards were convicted of war crimes, and 23 or those were executed. (kudos to Gerry Bevers for this information)

Although one can half understand China protesting (whether the protest is justified or not, China was at war with Japan), the Korean reaction is puzzling. The 13 ‘war criminals’ interred in Yasukuni Shrine (out of 2,466,000 dead enshrined there) have nothing to do with war crimes in Korea (Japan was not at war with Korea), so there is a big question as to whether Korea has any right to be involved in this controversy at all. After all, if this is about war criminals, and there are no Korean victims of war crimes, then it seems like they are involving themselves in a controversy they have no business being in.

I wonder what the Koreans think of the 21,000 Korean soldiers (all volunteers) interred in Yasukuni shrine? I believe there is also a Korean Kamikaze pilot interred there.

190 thoughts on “Koizumi visits Yasukuni Shrine

  1. Mika,

    Trust me, I do believe that China had no business crossing the Yalu River and invading South Korea. As for North Korea, that is a part of one nation, so to ask for reparations from the northern half would be like the southern American states asking for reparations from the federal government for what it did in the American Civil War.

    Those injustices should be dealt with. However, don’t use smoke screens to lessen Japan’s obvious war guilt. Taking over a country is one thing, but robbing a country of its identity and prohibiting the usage of the native language and forcing Korean women in sex slavery is NOT acceptable is a crime against humanity.

  2. Ponta, tonight I will ask members of my family about the forcing of Japanese names onto Korean people by the Japanese colonizers; they DID have name changes occur and they said it was against their will…but I will ask again to confirm. Why are you painting such rosy picture of the Japanese colonizers??? Were you alive then? Were in you Korea then? Members of my own family were.

  3. Also, Ponta, my comparisons of Korea’s supposedly “siding” with Japan against the US in WWII with the Jews supposedly “siding” with Nazi Germany against the US, or black slaves supposedly “siding” with the Confederacy during the Civil War against the US are relevant. No one would dare say that Jews sided with the Nazis in the fight against the US, even though many of them were forced to help Nazi Germany in its war efforts. No one would dare say that black people sided with the Confederacy against the liberating US government, even though many of them had been forced to help their white slave owners. So why is Korea accused on this board of “siding” with Japan in its war against the US? Koreans were colonized by Japan, and Japan FORCED Korea to do many things which Korea did not want to do, like give five four-fifths of its rice supply each year during WWII to Japan while Koreans starved. I doubt Korea did this happily.

    Their are so many Japanese nationalists on this board who are determined to justify the colonization of Korea and to turn a blind eye to what the Japanese did. I don’t know why.

  4. Thank God for the United States that freed the Asian countries under the cruel Japanese rule. And the cowardly Japanese who attacked at Pearl Harbor have the nerve to ask for an apology from the US because of the bombs the Americans justly dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki??? OMG What about all the terrible abuses that the Japanese inflicted on the Koreans and the Chinese???

  5. JK

    Why are you painting such rosy picture of the Japanese colonizers??? Were you alive then? Were in you Korea then? Members of my own family were.

    I don’t have any rosy picture of the Japanese colonizers at all.The times was hard both for Japanese and Koreans. In particular, considering the status of then Korea, I think it was harder for Koreans than for Japanese..
    I was not living then. So I have to trust official documents.The documents shows that there was no force involeved. Make sure you ask what was the penalty for not adopting Japanese names, and ask them why there were Koreans who were using Korrean names.
    And I am willing to correct my perspective if you give me a sound argument. After all, that is the point of discussing.
    A testimony is useful but it has to be examined carefully.

    No one would dare say that Jews sided with the Nazis in the fight against the US, even though many of them were forced to help Nazi Germany in its war efforts

    You are right on this point. But in case of Korea, for instance, in 1943, more than 300000 Korean young men volountarily applied for the army,only 5300 were accepted, and others were rejected.
    And it is said the Koreans were more cruel to POWS than Japanese.
    You can not miss these points.

    Japan FORCED Korea to do many things which Korea did not want to do, like give five four-fifths of its rice supply each year during WWII to Japan while Koreans starved. I doubt Korea did this happily.

    Did Japanese stole the rice? From what I have read, the fact is that rice was scarce both in Japan and in Korea, rice was sold to whoever bought it at higher price, and that happened to be Japanese.But correct me if I am wrong.Please show me the concrete evidences, again, I am willing to change my perspective.
    But it seems what you are saying is similar to what some Koreans are saying to the US.Some of them say that Korea is Forced to let the US use the place for the US army.though the fact is the Korea govenment has the treaty with the US.

    Thank God for the United States that freed the Asian countries under the cruel Japanese rule. And the cowardly Japanese who attacked at Pearl Harbor have the nerve to ask for an apology from the US because of the bombs the Americans justly dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki??? OMG What about all the terrible abuses that the Japanese inflicted on the Koreans and the Chinese???

    This only shows how muh you hate Japan and Japanese. Japanese does not demand apology to the US at all..
    I am talking about the logical possiblity.The US has never been tried for what she did.
    Radhabinod Pal, a judge as the representative of India in Tokyo Trial, said “The victors, too, should be brought before tribunals”
    Japan apologized to Korea and China for the sufferings the she inflicted on Chinese and Koreans.
    For instance,

    16 January 1992. Kiichi Miyazawa. “We the Japanese people, first and foremost, have to bear in our mind the fact that your people experienced unbearable suffering and sorrow during a certain period in the past because of our nation’s act, and never forget the feeling of remorse. I, as a prime minister, would like to once again express a heartful remorse and apology to the people of your nation” (Speech at dinner with President Roh Tae Woo.”

    “Prime Minister Koizumi is of the firm conviction that Japan’s present peace and prosperity are founded on the noble sacrifices made by those who lost their lives in the war. He visits Yasukuni Shrine to mourn and offer his respect and thanks to those who had to lay down their lives on the battlefield against their will; to reaffirm the importance of ensuring the present peace and prosperity of Japan, which those who died in the war were unable to witness; and to uphold Japan’s pledge not to engage in a war. He makes the visits as an individual citizen, not in an official capacity.”

    We want to move on, JK.

  6. hey jk

    buddy we didnt make southern states pay for the things they inflicted in the civil war becuase we becmase a country but when the country spilts its a different story.

    as for this whole japanese – korean thing the japenese were wrong at points but admitted it the koreans were losers and never admitted anything and still today dont donate millions of dollers to such things as live aid like japan did and all they do is complain bout north korea. if they have such a probelm with north korea they should have solved it when they had out help and not wasted good america lifes for crap. thrid u cant be forced to take on a name and even if what u say is true it has been happening in korea way before japan got involved. korea had been kingdoms of mercilessness for the others for hundreds of years. so just becuase they werent screwing each other over and someone else was doesnt mean u should make up excuses cheif

  7. JK,

    Traditionally, Korean rulers belittled Hangul and forced Korean people to use Chinese characters. Do you even recognize that Korea had traditionally been a tributary state of China till Japan defeated China in the first Sino-Japanese war? Read Article 1 in Treaty of Shimonoseki. http://www.isop.ucla.edu/eas/documents/1895shimonoseki-treaty.htm#Article_1
    Korea was too weak and destined to be occupied by one country or another because of its location and inability to defend itself. Korean politicians who didn’t want Korea to be a Russian colony suggested annexation to Japan. You really need to be rational and consider the situation of Korea and the rest of the world at that time. It was the era called Imperialism. Most of Asian and African countries were colonized by Western Countries.

    Those injustices should be dealt with. However, don’t use smoke screens to lessen Japan’s obvious war guilt.

    I’ve said many times; Japan already apologized many times and offered reparations to Korea. What about Western countries. Britain has never given India any compensation for their colonial occupation. And yet India has never asked for anything. Tell me why that is.

  8. JK,

    Japan did bomb pearl harbor.. but guess what.. the USA knew it was coming.. sorry buddy, it was no sneak attack. You are one of the only “americans” i know who expresses glee over bombing japan. Almot any american i have ever met feels dred about it but felt it was necessary. Are there any americans out there that feel glee over nuking japnan? (non corean american).

    Demanding that japan applogise to meet your standards is silly. You and your kind will never accecpt an appology so quit asking. Your leader roh has stated the corean position that its not about appology but instead about money and takeshima island, and any other issue that coreans feel its ok to bring up.

  9. JK,

    I think I recognize your writing style from the millions of psychotic nationalist racist Korean internet sites (basically any site devoted to Koreans will eventually be a breeding ground for pathetic but funny racist masturbatory boasting from Koreans) on the web. In anycase, methinks that just like so many Koreans, you love to dish it out and rag on Japan, but when anyone who criticizes or calls Korea on its own BS gives Koreans like you a taste of your own medicine, you guys can handle it..just like a spoiled, selfish baby. Typical Korean “We are always right and are incapable of any wrongdoing” type of mentality. Love to dish it out but hate to take their own.

    Also, just to let you know, I know Koreans love to think that anyone who calls or questions Korea on its twisted lies and racist propaganda has to be a Japanese national, but for your information, almost none of the people on this board who criticize Korea are Japanese with the exception of Momo and Ponta, both of whom are very rational, mature and polite…unlike Koreans whose method of debate consists of screaming racial epitets and using profanity and whining. Face it, non-Asian foreigners like us side with Japan not because we are pro-Japanese but because we get disgusted with Korean people’s hypocritical and immature attitude and whining. If this was an argument between Koreans and Chinese or Koreans and Vietnamese (for the attrocities commited by Korean troops in the Vietnam War agains Vietnamese civilians which Koreans continue to deny), I am sure most of the foreigners here would still support the other side, just because of the inferiority complex-driven racist insecurity that is notorious among Koreans…as demonstrated perfectly by your comments.

  10. Wow!!! I spend most of this week studying for my accounting final exam and this blog site just goes to pot because of one blogger….


    I have read most of your posts while during my lunch break here at Yongsan Garrison, Seoul. All I can say is that people like you make me embarassed [sic] to be an American. If it was up to me, I’d burn up your U.S. passport for A LOT of the remarks you have made on this site AND give you a South Korean passport. (I’m sure you’d prefer one of those, correct?) The same also goes for that totally clueless “Chinese-American” blogger on this website, whose name I cannot remember, that claimed to have a Japanese wife and a dog named “Kamikaze” (I hope I got that right.), yet was writing all kinds of uninformed trash on this otherwise excellent blog. To tell the truth, I hate these nationality-by-convenience types of people. Yes, I’m talking about people like yourself AND Robert Kim (see elsewhere on this blog for more info about him) who hide behind their U.S. passports, but are really Korean through and through.

    Name-calling aside, let’s get down to business, shall we?

    So, you have some Korean-American family members who lived during the period of Japanese-ruled Korea? I’m sure that they have some interesting stories and memories to tell from that time period. I’m not doubting what you say about their experiences. From THEIR POINT OF VIEW, the period for them was tough. What a lot of people who regularly contribute to this website (Ponta, Mika, Matt, and others) have shown through their own research is that the “official” Korean view of the years from 1910 to 1945 is complete bunk. This “official” view is that Koreans endured all kinds of suffering, humiliation, etc, etc, etc. Who is that Korean professor that calls 1910 to 1945 a Korean “holocaust”? When I first came to Korea, I used to take this propaganda that every Korean espouses as truth. However, one day, I started doing my own research about Japan-ruled Korea. The conclusions I have reached are that Japan-ruled Korea WAS NOT the horrible, miserable place that MANY, MANY Korean nationalist zealots like to portray the period. This is the same conclusion that many other people who contribute to this blog have reached.

    Getting back to your relatives’ stories, again, I do not doubt the accuracy of their stories of WHAT THEY EXPERIENCED. However, as many people have shown, proven, and demonstrated on this very blog is that your relatives’ stories don’t exactly match with what has been reported in other sources. In other words, the experiences of your relatives are hardly typical. For example, there was a huge scandal here in South Korea several months ago regarding the former Speaker of the South Korean National Assembly about Japanese-ruled Korea. To make a long story short, after repeated denials, the Speaker finally admitted that his father had been an MP whose job had been to track down Korean draft dodgers during the final year of World War 2. His experience doesn’t match your relatives’ experiences does it? Or how about South Korea’s hero from the Korean War, General Baik Sun Eup? Did you know that he was a Japanese Imperial Army officer AND a graduate from Japan’s version of West Point? It sounds like he was a collaborator to me. Or how about Park Chung Hee? As I have mentioned on other posts on this blog, the former President/Dictator for Life of South Korea was another Japanese-trained officer who preferred to speak in Japanese and loved to sing enka when he wasn’t busy being entertained by hordes of young Korean girls (aka comfort women). In fact, A LOT of the rich elite in South Korea today owe their family fortunes to their ancestors who were active collaborators with Imperial Japan (Samsung, Dong Ilbo, etc). What about those experiences? These contradict a lot of your claims about the period, don’t they?

    You still want to argue about comfort women? There are two sides to this subject. Comfort women have always existed in one way, shape or form throughout the history of human conflict. They weren’t unique to Imperial Japan. Yes, there were abuses in the system. Yes, some women were tricked into becoming prostitutes against their will. Yes, the Japanese government has apologized and paid money. However, like most Koreans, you ignore the facts that there were a lot of Koreans who actively collaborated in the sex trade, whether they were parents who sold their “economically useless” daughter to an unscrupoulous Korean recruiter/pimp or a woman who had a lot of debts and couldn’t find work. Prostitution has always existed in Korean society. What takes away Koreans arguments about comfort women, in my mind, is the prevelance of prostitution and the sex trade in South Korea today. Once I started to learn about the sex trade here in South Korea and how much of a multi-billion dollar industry prostitution it is, you just have to wonder about the whole comfort women debate in a new light.

    Like Mika pointed out in a post to you, one hundred years ago, imperialism was the rule of the day. If your country didn’t have any colonies, protectorates, or spheres of influence, it wasn’t worth much on the international stage. You know, it’s funny, when I read about Koreans who complain about Japanese imperialism, yet they seem to have no problem whatsoever with the imperialism of other countries, namely British colonialism. After all, there are reasons why English is the official language of countries like Australia, Canada, New Zealand, South Africa, and, of course, the United States. The primary reason was British colonialism. It was the European countries (France, Russia, Britain, Holland, Spain, Germany, et al) and, yes, the United States, that were carving up the world at the time. Japanese imperialism was in response to European imperialism, pure and simple. People in the Japanese government wanted their own colonies as well. In their view, if Japan didn’t have its own colonies, then Japan would either be colonized or have no respect on the international scene. Either way, they were probably correct. It’s amazing to read how Koreans conveniently ignore the facts that the Korean peninsula has LONG been a colony/protectorate/tributary state of Han/Tang/Mongolian/Ming/Manchurian-dominated China for most of its existence. Or how Russia had designs on Korea AND Manchuria one century ago. Russia wasn’t giving sanctuary to the King of Korea in its embassy in Seoul out of some noble cause to preserve Korean independence from Japan one century ago like the tourist leaflets would have you believe.

    Mika asks a good question that should be repeated: When has Britain ever apologized to India for colonizing it? When has France ever apologized to Algeria or to Vietnam? When has Spain apologized for the actions of Hernando Cortez against the Aztecs? (Now there was a holocaust.) When has Imperial Russia/USSR/Russia apologized for anything its done to the numerous countries it has invaded (Japan, China, Manchuria, Afghanistan to name just a few)? Since you claim to be an American, when has Washington apologized to the various American Indian tribes? Should these countries apologize for anything? The silence is deafening, isn’t it? So why all of the noise for Japan to apologize?

    Basically, to me, the whole point of this blog/website/whatever-you-want-to-call-it is to critically examine a lot of these issues and topics. If you don’t like the conclusions some people have reached and the research they have presented for others to examine that challenges their preconceived notions about Japanese-ruled Korea, then go find one of those one-sided, ditto headed, “Taehan Minguk ueber alles”-type blogs. Goodness knows there are way, way, way to many of those kinds of blogs around.


    Yongsan, Seoul
    Former HQ of the Japanese 20th Infantry Division in Korea

    P.S. Sorry about the length. Sorry about the rant.

  11. >Chris

    I’ve just finished reading your comment and I think it pretty much sums up the whole discussion between JK and others.
    It was wonderful.

    I have learned a lot since I found this blog and started reading all the comments.

    Thank you all :oD

  12. >JK

    Howdy, JK

    The only family experience you talk about is this sentence:

    “Members of my family did indeed have to take on Japanese names, and it is true that from 1938 to the end of WWII, Korean was not allowed in most Korean schools.”

    Only the first half of your sentence is based on experience, and the latter half is only what you have learned from some other source. So basically, you only know that your family took on Japanese names. What is this supposed to prove? Forced assimilation? NOPE. It only proves that your family took on a Japanese name. I bet your first name is like other Americans: James, John, Jason or whatever. Were you parents forced to do so? Come on!, you have to be better than that to convince anyone here.

    Also, I don’t see what is so wrong in Japan teaching Japanese to Koreans when Korea was part of Japan. I would say that it would be cruel if Japan didn’t teach Japanese at all. If not, Koreans would not have had any access to higher opportunities. The fact is, many Koreans were successful under the Japanese empire. I wonder if any Indians were able to win seat in the British House of Commons during British Indian colonization?

    It is regrettable that Korea lost its independence in 1910. But to blame all this on Japan without ever analyzing the situation in Korea before the annexation is unfair. Blaming every troubles in present-day Korea, North and South, to the Japanese rule is JUST ABSURD. Well, so long as the Koreans keep their offcial view of history (which is distorted), they will never reflect on it or learn from it, and they will never rise up to a certain point. This, I would care less.

    P.S: what ever happened to the cloning scientist? When is he going to get his Nobel Prize?

  13. Chris, you already had my respect but that pretty much sums my opinion and its well said. Kudos!!. the sad part is gyopos like JK are the norm.. not the exception. Nolji, HKIM, blujives.. are all “american’ corean that deeply hate the yankee. THey are robert kims in their behavior, and even worse is their attitude and deep hatred for anything american. (yes they give lipservice of loving yankee) but they are the first second and third to point out anything bad about america.

    Kicking them out is no anser. they the yankees willl have to listen for 1000 years about the poor poor victoms the coreans. I just try and show one person a day of the real corea… and real coreans.. then let them experence and learn on their own.. if at the end of the day they like corea.. so be it.. but just showing then the likes of noodlesji and blind nationalists like the ‘american’-corean jk.. they see the light.

  14. Ah, so much to reply to, but so little time right now. I’ll be back.

    I do leave you with this, though. I DID talk with my family members yesterday, and everything I wrote yesterday was confirmed. One of them was born in 1938. She was only taught Japanese in schools and was not allowed to learn Hangul until 1945. She had a Japanese name. She was not allowed to use her given Korean name in public until 1945.

    I spoke with another family member who came from what is now North Korea. He has been a critic of Korea many times over including discussing the corruption that goes on there (not that Japan is innocent of this either to this present-day). In other words, he has frequently acknowledged Korea’s weaknesses. BUT when I asked him if Korea benefited from Japanese rule, he said definitely not and that Japan by the 1930s tried to obliterate Korean culture and the Korean language through forced “Japanization.” This is the truth, and this was seen by someone who was an adult by the late 1930s.

    I have many more replies as well as other interesting tidbits taken from last night’s conversation. I will write more later.

    But why is it that this board seems to have an opinion formed already and just wants to hear their own opinions??? Did any of you all think that the current Iranian president’s words in a recent speech about the Holocaust were ridiculous? He claimed that the German (and other European) abuses and oppression of the Jews were exaggerated or “misunderstood.” Were many of you reading about this news of his remarks in disbelief? Now you know how I feel reading the posts on this board.

    I wonder how a Jewish-American with family members who lived in Europe during WWII would feel going on a discussion board mostly of Germans (who weren’t even alive in WWII) who say that the Jews severely exaggerated what occurred in the Holocaust. Some would quote some German professor, and some would pull one or two Jewish scholars and quote a few passages of their works that support these German nationalists’ claims (even though MOST Jewish scholars agree that the Holocaust occurred).

    The fact is I DO have family members who were forced to take on Japanese names (this is not the same as a Korean-American voluntarily adopting an Anglo name), and those who had attended schools in the late thirties to early forties were NOT ALLOWED TO LEARN KOREAN IN THEIR SCHOOLS. And for some on this board to say that Koreans came up with this law, rather than the Japanese is ridiculous.

    Anyway, more later.

  15. One more.


    People like you make me embarrassed to call MYSELF an American. You dare compare me with the traitor Robert Kim? Based on what? My family and I have done probably more for the USA than you can possibly imagine. Do you always attack Korean-Americans who RIGHTLY discuss Japanese abuses against Korea? Do you also attack Irish-Americans who discuss English abuses against their forefather’s country? How about African-Americans who protested for decades about what was happening in South Africa? Jewish-Americans who discussed German abuses of the Jews in Europe? If not, then why so easily for Korean-Americans? Don’t ever EVER question my loyalty to America, son. EVER.

    As for excellent blog, it’s entertaining, but I don’t know about “excellent.” I’ve looked over the other discussions like about how many opponents of the Korean soccer team got hurt, and I have to wonder if this whole site isn’t just another Korean-bashing one. I’ve seen that from many Westerners who had been inconvenienced in Korea or who were not happy with their treatment. But, God help me, I decided to join the fray and point out unfair, sometimes racist, comments when I see it. The fact that you compare me with Robert Kim just because I correct incorrect findings about Korea by others makes me question your psyche, to be honest. I can’t rule out racism as well.

    As for what is the true side, I will go by what people who SAW and lived through Korea during the Japanese colonization over younger people like yourself who weren’t even there. I will go by those who ATTENDED SCHOOLS in Korea during that time to learn about the prohibition of the usage of Korean in schools over younger folk like yourself who weren’t even there.

    You seem to be saying that a happy medium is the most objective and fair view to take. That would be like some young American (or German) finding sources to confirm a belief (among young German nationalists) that the Holocaust wasn’t as bad as eyewitnesses claimed and that the Jews are playing victims.

    Also, Chris, I have to believe that even YOU would agree that to say Korea, the whole nation of Korea I mean, sided with Japan against the US is like saying that the Jews sided with Nazi Germany against the US because many Jews were forced to help the Germans. In other words, to say Korea was an “ally” of Japan is a ridiculous statement.

    I got a WHOLE LOT MORE TO SAY of truths, and it’ll be coming. Trust me.

  16. BTW Chris, I knew about Park Chung-Hee. Yes, he did serve in the Japanese army and helped hunt down Korean nationalists. Then he was a prick of a dictator. What’s your point?

    Also, I understood that colonialism took place by the Western countries and the US. The difference was that there was no FORCED usage of just the language of the colonialists’ language in the schools and there was no organized sex slave institution to entertain the colonialists’ troops during a war. The only time we hear of this on a mass scale was by the Japanese. So yes, the Japanese are held to a different standard. They took oppression of another people to a whole different level.

    And once again, Chris, I must wonder what I did to warrant being compared to Robert Kim. Should I compare you to Benedict Arnold or John Wilkes Boothe?

    I am a proud American (who is also proud of his Korean roots. Don’t ever question my loyalty to America again because you did so by putting me in the same category with that despicable Robert Kim.

  17. Takeshima, you with your insulting posts are an idiot. I know plenty of Korean-Americans who serve in the US Armed Forces and who protect countries like your own (yes, the US still protects Japan). Show some freakin’ gratitude!

    I only want Japanese nationalists like yourself to stop denying the truth about what the Japanese did and understand why Koreans are as angry as they are.

    My major source are members of my own family who LIVED during the colonization of Korea. Others here are quoting scholars (mainly Japanese and a FEW Korean) who probably weren’t even around during that time. Maybe, JUST maybe, Takeshima,, the MANY Korean scholars who say that things were bad were actually right. But even if the truth hit you in the face, you would just get angry and deny it.

  18. BTW, from what I hear from my family, the punishment for not taking on a Japanese name was jail…..or worse. To say Koreans VOLUNTARILY took on Japanese names would be to say that American sailors impressed (or taken against their will) onto British ships prior to the War of 1812 joined the British navy voluntarily. And that is so wrong to say that.

    It was a matter of survival. Americans have Social Security numbers because otherwise they cannot function well in America without it. And survival is what we all want, no? Basically you took on a Japanese name or you were screwed in Japan-controlled Korea. Jail, beatings, or even worse.

  19. And yes, Takeshima, I am one of the MANY Americans who felt that the bombs over Hiroshima and Nagasaki were justified considering the cowardly attack on Pearl Harbor – that the Americans did NOT know about despite what conspiracy theorists say. Roosevelt did NOT know abotu the impending attack, and why would he risk the destruction of the US Navy? Go back an investigate some more, Agent Mulder.

  20. BTW, all, especially Chris, I never EVER denied that there were collaborators among Koreans. I already knew that there were some, including the future President Park as well as some of the chaebol.

    This, however, does not excuse what Japan did to Korea overall by prohibiting the usage of Korean in the schools and the comfort women institution, sanctioned by the Japanese government itself.

  21. Tomato, the cloning scientist is a disgrace. But, uh, what does that have to do with the discussion? I could mention that Japanese cult leader who gassed people in the Tokyo subway, but what would THAT have to do with the discussion?

  22. Jh

    BTW, all, especially Chris, I never EVER denied that there were collaborators among Koreans. I already knew that there were some, including the future President Park as well as some of the chaebol.

    This, however, does not excuse what Japan did to Korea overall by prohibiting the usage of Korean in the schools and the comfort women institution, sanctioned by the Japanese government itself.

    I am afraid you miss the point.
    It is not that i want you to excuse what Japan did.
    Japan apologized and paid reparation.
    The point is that there were much more collaborators among Koreans
    than you realize.Koreans are not facing history.
    A lot of Koreans applied volountarily for the Japanese army, but many were rejected.
    In 1943, more than 300000 Korean young men applied for the army.
    The population of that year 24000000, so almost all the young men between 18 and 22 applied for the army.
    year    passers applicants rate of passer
    1938 408    2,948     7.7
    1939 613    2,348    20.1
    1940 3,060  84,443   27.6
    1941 3,206  144,743  45.1
    1942 4,077  254,273 62.4
    1943 5,300  303,294 56.7

    These facts are well documented in Japan center for a historical record.

    It is not just a few big shot like Park who colloborated Japanese army.
    Are Koreans facing the history?
    On the issue of the comfort woman, Japanese government resoponded:
    “Recognizing that the issue known as “wartime comfort women” was a grave affront to the honor and dignity of a large number of women, the Government of Japan, together with the people of Japan, seriously discussed what could be done for expressing their sincere apologies and remorse to the former “wartime comfort women.” As a result, the Asian Women’s Fund (AWF) was established on July 19, 1995 in order to offer atonement from Japanese people to the former “wartime comfort women.”
    In 2001 Koizumi said,

    “As Prime Minister of Japan, I thus extend anew my most sincere apologies and remorse to all the women who underwent immeasurable and painful experiences and suffered incurable physical and psychological wounds as comfort women”

    On the other hand,
    “Prostitution has been a component of Korean culture for literally thousands of years”

    c)Modern times Korean smugglers
    Even in modern times Korean smugglers of sex workers are rampant.

    Did Koreans leran from the past?
    Did Korean blame for the Korean pimps who forced and decieved Korean women?.
    Are Koreans facing the history?

    How do you explain those who are not punished for not adopting Japanese names?

    General. Hong Shi-yoku(洪思翊中将) and the governer of Gyeongsong Bug Do, Kim Dei-u( 金大羽慶北道知事) did not have the Japanese name

    This is a copy of a family register under Japanese rule.
    There is no Japanese name but Korean name is written in Hangule

    This is a high school graduation album during the colonization..Korean name are listed.

    This is a korean famous dancer called Che Yonhi . She was super star even among then Japanese

  23. JK,

    The point about Park Chung Hee, Baik Sun Eup, the founder of Samsung, the founder of the Donga Ilbo newspaper, the Korean flapper-dancer Che Yong Hi, and the very, very long list of others shows that there were people in Japanese-ruled Korea who actually thrived during the period. They had careers and rose to positions of responsibility. This contradicts the same old propaganda that ALL Koreans suffered. The situation from 1910 to 1945 was a lot more complex than people like yourself seem to refuse to admit. Again, I’m not denying your relatives’ expericences; however, if you look from the broader perspective about the period, it was certainly a lot more complex than just “Us, poor, poor Koreans!!! We had it sooooooo bad!!!” that a lot of Koreans repeat over and over again like some kind of a mantra or autosuggestion.

    For example, you mention your relative who is originally from the norther regions of Korea. His recollections are that the Governor General didn’t do anything to improve the lives of the people who lived there. It is pretty much common knowledge that the Governor General spent a lot of money on factories and the creation of industry within northern Korea, while the southern part tended to remain agricultural. At the same time, the Governor General also constructed one of the largest hydroelectric dams in the world at the time in northern Korea: Gwacheon Reservoir. You can find a picture of Gwacheon Reservoir on this website. If you do some more digging around on this website, you might find some pictures of Pyeongyang taken in the 1920s. These are some amazing pictures. I wish I could find the book they were taken from, so I could see some more. Pyeongyang certainly looks like a much better place in the 1920s and 1930s than it does today. In fact, I am willing to bet that the people who lived in the city at that time had more freedoms than the people who live in Pyeongyang today. Just a guess. A lot of the infrastructure that the Governor General built in northern Korea is still being used today, train tracks, bridges, dams, and so on. So, unless your relative was from a small, isolated mountain village, it’s hard to see his viewpoint that Japan didn’t do anything good at all in northern Korea. That the North Koreans let much of that investment and infrastructure go to waste is entirely their fault. Ain’t Juche great, comrade?

    In the 1920s, Imperial Japan was considered to be one of the most progressive AND law-abiding countries on the planet. Did you know that? Or does that not exactly match your bias that everything in Japan is evil? For example, how does one explain the existence of Korean textbooks from the period? I didn’t know about this until some people on this blog pointed this out. Why didn’t I know this? Well, the South Korean government likes to whitewash the whole period: “Every Korean fought against the Japanese colonial oppressors!” and other such nonsense. This directly contradicts the often repeated assertion that Korean wasn’t taught in schools at the time. BTW, does anyone know what Park Chung Hee was before he joined the Imperial Army? That’s right, he was a school teacher. Ha!!!

    An interesting contrast to what happened in Korea would be to compare what was going on over in Formosa (Taiwan) during the same time period. According to the all-powerful, all-knowing Wikipedia, Taiwan became an economically self-sufficient colony of Japan in the early 1920s. Surprising isn’t it? In fact, that’s one of the interesting things about Imperial Japan and one of the most frustrating things as well. Japanese colonial policy was a patchwork. From what little on the subject I’ve read, there was a lot of debate that went on in Tokyo at the time about the status of non-Japanese peoples within Imperial Japan (i.e., Koreans, Chinese and tribespeople in Taiwan, Ainu in Hokkaido and Karafuto, etc). For example, Tokyo had a sizable Korean population and Yokohama had a sizeable Taiwanese population as well. Did you know that? (Even Japan’s Mr. Baseball, Sadaharu Oh, is part Taiwanese.) Does a Korean or a Taiwanese have the same basic rights as a citizen of Imperial Japan as a Japanese person? Your relatives would say no. Since Japan’s experience as a colonial power was brief in comparison to Britain, France, Spain, and Russia, these kinds of hard questions went unanswered. The resolution should have been that if Japan was going to stay in Korea, Taiwan, Saipan, and other places for the long-term, the government should have done more to win the hearts and minds of the different people they ruled. After all, as it has been pointed out ad nausem, the Emperor of Japan traces his ancestry back to Baekje in southwestern South Korea.

    In contrast, no one in America asked the American Indian tribes if they ever wanted to be a part of the United States. We conquered the Indians, put them onto reservations that had mostly poor soil, and took whatever else we wanted, land mostly. An oversimplification of America’s Indian Wars perhaps, but that’s what pretty much happened. They were forcibly assimilated into being American whether they wanted to be or not.

    Another good example for comparison is Algeria. The French invaded Algeria in 1830. French colonial policy considered Algeria and Algerians to be French. Efforts were made by the French to assimilate the local population (i.e., French names, teaching French in schools, etc). There were even Algerian units of the French army that fought in World War I. I believe there is a monument to them in Paris today.

    Did you know that there were Korean kamikaze pilots? I didn’t know that until I read about it on Yahoo about the Battle of Okinawa. I asked a KATUSA at work if he knew about that. He said he didn’t. I went back to the War Memorial next to Yongsan Garrison to try to find any information about them. I couldn’t because according to the South Korean government, all Koreans fought against their colonial oppressors. That’s the official party line. Hmmmm.

    Much of what your relatives experienced dates from the later years of the war when much of the Imperial Japanese government was clamping down on dissent for the war effort. Every country did such measures during World War 2. The US government clamped down on the freedom of speech during the war and so on. So, your relatives were forced to adopt Japanese names and speak only Japanese. Well, those kinds of policies fit in exactly with a government that is under war, not with a government that is enjoying high rates of economic growth and prosperity following World War I, just like Imperial Japan.

    Yongsan Garrison, Seoul
    Former HQ of the Japanese 20th Infantry Division in Korea

  24. JK
    Speaking of the punishement, you might want to read this.
    This is the story of Seodaemun Prison Museum
    I think this exemplifis well how Koreans are facing history.

    1 Before the colonization
    “the pre-modern forms of punishment in Korea (See Shaw, William Legal Norms in a Confucian State. Berkeley: Institute of East Asian Studies University of California, Berkeley, 1981) were highly developed, along with its legal system, but were brutally violent as well. Torture was completely normal part of the extraction of confessions by criminals, and it was also common to torture witnesses who weren’t even accused of anything.”

    2 During the colonization period
    I am not sure how cruel Koreans was punished under the Japapnese rule,
    But here is the list of name who interrogated.
    Have member of your family read this.
    All of them were Koreans.(Are you sure Koreans are not allowed to use Korean name?)

    3 After the war,
    “Postwar Korea boasts a long and ignoble history of torture, unjust imprisonment, political oppression, and dictatorship which stretches decades into the postwar period”

    I think muunin sum up well how some of Koreans are facing the hisotry.
    “Like most nationalist narratives, the emphasis is squarely on the oppression that they committed against us. It is not as interesting or urgently pressing that we teach our people about the atrocities committed by us against us”

  25. Gman
    What is the point?
    Are you against gays?
    Are you interested in gays?If so,here you are
    There are a lot of gay entertainers in Japan.
    I am not a gay, but I like them.
    The individual right to persuit of happiness must be valued.


    from what I hear from my family, the punishment for not taking on a Japanese name was jail…..

    I asked a member of historians who specialized in Korea about this.( I was waiting for the answer)
    he said this was completely false.Five governers of 13 prefectures in Korea were Koreans and two of them were still using Korean names.How could the governers who uses Korean name force the residences to use Japanese names?, he said.
    Now you repeated what you said before.but did not show us any evidences.Nobody here deny the expericence of your family but memory is not accurate. You said a member of your famility was forced to adopt Japanese name.
    I am sorry to ask this, but
    Who forced him to adopt Japanese name?
    Is it not that he just thought he was forced?
    Is it not that he just thought he would be punished if he did not adopt Japanese name?It is possible hatred painted the memory in a distorted way .
    I am willing to change my opinion about this if you give me evindences.

    There were many Koreans who were using Korean names.
    80% of koreans adopted Japanese names.then 20% of Koreans did not change their names.
    Three were many Korean big shots who were using Korean names.
    How did they escape the punishments?
    Was 20% of Koreans punished or worse?

    Koreans have adopted names like Chinese for more than thousands years.(katz kindly taught me)
    Most of koreans in Japan are still using Japanese names.
    You adopted names like Americans.
    Is it not natural to suppose people in those days adopted Japanese name volountarily?


  26. Chris,

    There is a famous movie about one corean kamakazi..

    its called firefly. In truth there was very few coreans willing to be kamakazi. This should not suprise you, if you look at coreans in general.

    Coreans wish they had the balls to be kamakzzi and wish they could claim that japan forced them to be kamakzzi, but in fact only a few were. About 50% of coerans were not able bodied enought to voulinteer, to fight, let alone be trained as a pilot.

  27. jk,

    just becasue ur parnets or relitives or whoeve r u no couldnt use a launge or watever doesnt mean that that happened to teh massses. Also when u were talking about irish americans jewish americans african americans complaing it was becuase they had been wronged. The holocaust was one of the worst mass killing in the world and wat happened in korea pales in comparsion. also the africans have been wronged much longer hten the koreans have becuase not only were they slaves for the longest time they now have the highest pertage of people with aids, lowest average age per death and poorest contry, while as korea is far from that. i dont no why u brought up the irish. at lest they came here to work and not complain and be proud of htere own country. they at least consider themselves americans and not irish americans. if u got such a probelm move back to korea we will be much happier here without u.

  28. JK
    . I reread your comments again.I have new thoughts on them.

    The difference was that there was no FORCED usage of just the language of the colonialists’ language in the schools and there was no organized sex slave institution to entertain the colonialists’ troops during a war.The only time we hear of this on a mass scale was by the Japanese. So yes, the Japanese are held to a different standard. They took oppression of another people to a whole different level


    I know a lot of African people who can still speak French well , but I know few Koreans (except Koreans in Japan) who can speak Japanese well why?.
    And non-Japanese also have different story about colonizaion.than Koreans.

    Offspring of Empire: The Koch’Ang Kims and the Colonial Origins of Korean Capitalism, 1876-1945 (Korean Studies of the Henry M. Jackson School of International Studies)
    Carter J. Eckert
    “Korea’s 35 years (1910-45) of domination by Japan are usually treated by historians as a period of political, economic, and cultural subjugation. Most Koreans look back on the era bitterly. Nevertheless, a more balanced view takes into consideration the Japanese contributions to the construction of an infrastructure upon which post-colonial Korean economic expansion could be based. Much was invested in schools, public health systems, railways, hydroelectric projects, and the like. In this study Eckert sees Japan as a catalyst abetting the rise of a capitalist class of entrepreneurs. He concentrates on a single remarkably successful Korean family, the Kims of Koch’ang county, in this enlightening and highly innovative work on modern economic development. This is a book of award-winning quality, thoroughly researched in both Korean and Japanese sources, and brilliantly presented. Of major interest to specialists in the field.
    – John H. Boyle, California State Univ., Chico”
    And Eckert said “It is important for Korean historians to find mental satisfaction by bashing Japan rather than logic.”

    Wealth and Poverty of Nations by David S. Landes


    There is no former colony which the No.1 colonial rule person is Japan.
    South Korea and Taiwan succeeded through the time, and the annual growth rate per one people in 1950 to 1973 exceeded industrialized nations.


    But it was also thanks to the rational economy which the Japanese government left to the colonis that a success was brought to the former colonies, and “the highest masterpiece of the modernization efforts which Japan itself was performing” was carried out in the colonies.



    Japan is responsible for a policy to colony residents, and its it is the same also in Germany to the Netherlands and Africa to France and East India to Belgium to Congo, or Indo-China, Italy, Spain, and Portugal. If all are seen impartially, the judgment to Japan’s colony efforts should be made compared with other colony situations, and should not compare with a theoretical Utopia.


    “a major part of the credibility problem that exists with Korean claims about Japanese rule is that they are so often blatantly untrue, and nowhere is this more clearly self evident than when considering how the Korean economy fared before and after the imposition of Japanese governance. ”

    Here are some photos before and after colonization.

    We discussed the issue of comfort woman already.

    I know plenty of Korean-Americans who serve in the US Armed Forces and who protect countries like your own (yes, the US still protects Japan). Show some freakin’ gratitude!


    I am not sure if takeshima is a Japanese or not. But I am grateful to the US.
    (But again I found one ethinic Koreans who think whoever criticize Korea must be Japanese.it shows how deep your hatred toward Japan is, though you might not realize it)

    My major source are members of my own family who LIVED during the colonization of Korea.

    That might be the major source of problem. I don’t intend to deny what members of your family said, but it has to be examined carefully.

    the punishment for not taking on a Japanese name was jail…..or worse.

    I should add. less than 2% of Taiwaneses was permitted to adopt Japanese name.
    And I wonder why the Korean governers at the time was not in jail or worse.
    I wrote about the punishement in Korea.
    But here are some photos that show how they were before the colonizaion.. (Warning;, some photos are sickening to look at)

    I am one of the MANY Americans who felt that the bombs over Hiroshima and Nagasaki were justified considering the cowardly attack on Pearl Harbor

    Here is some facts about atomic bombs.
    “We probably could have ended the war sooner with fewer deaths on all sides by using the full carrot and stick: 1) offer retention of the Emperor for a quick surrender; and 2) threaten Russian invasion and 3) atomic destruction as the alternative. None of these key incentives to surrender were used prior to the atomic bombing of Hiroshima.”
    So Truman could have done otherwise but he did choose to kill innocent civilains in Hiroshima and Nagasaki ,who had nothing to do with Pearl Harbor.
    And in general, people are not morally justified in doing the evil if he could have done otherwise.
    Is that not so in your moral standard? JK?
    Japanese people say “No more Hirosima!” because we know how devastating the atomic bombs are.That is our resposibility. Koreans never ever should say “nuke Japan or anycountries”.That make them look complete idiot.But I do not think Japanese demand apology.As far as I know, there is none. Regardless of the past, most Japanese loves the US. I learned a lot from American writers and philosophers. I am grateful to the US. We look to the future.

    the Americans did NOT know about despite what conspiracy theorists say. Roosevelt did NOT know abotu the impending attack, and why would he risk the destruction of the US Navy? Go back an investigate some more, Agent Mulder.

    Thanks to you, I investigated. There is a loooooong controversy on this issue, isn’t there?.
    And one author says “On 7 December 1941 the greatest disaster in United States history occurred. Truly this was and is, “’A date which will live in infamy.’”(Costello 1), but not for the bombing of Pearl Harbor, rather for the deception and the mis-guidance used by the Government and Franklin D. Roosevelt. In a purely artificial chess game Roosevelt sacrificed over 2400 American Seamen’s lives, thanks to his power as Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces. By over-looking the obvious facts of an attack by Japan on Pearl Harbor, Roosevelt was able to control both the political and economic systems of the United States. Most of American society before the Pearl Harbor bombing believed in the idea of isolationism.”
    So I don’t think you can be so sure about this if you did a little investigation.

    Lastly I want to say this.
    You can keep blaming and hating Japan when Japan aplogized and reparated.
    Do you keep blaming and hateing Japan withouth blaming and hating Korea
    when the largest political party, issinkai, 一進会, welcomed Japanese annexization.
    (issishinkai = 一進会は20世紀初頭朝鮮革命のためにあらゆる革命勢力が連合して結成された、朝鮮史上最大の政治組織であり数十万軍革命家の結社である。
    Isshinkai is the largest political party ever in Korean history, formed by every revolutionary powers, in order to revolutionalize Korea in the beggining of 20th century;It consisted of hundreds of thousands of revolutionist.force,
    p266 Kim wan Sop 親日派のための弁明)

    when most young Koreans ( at least in 1943)volountarily applied for the Japanese army?
    when it was Koreans parents and pimps who sold Korean women to brothels?
    when Koreans tortured Koreans before and during and after the colonization?
    when Koreans and Japanese worked together to make the largest dam in the world?
    (who benifited from that? the population of Japanese was less than 1 % of the total populatoin in Korea)
    when Japanese prime ministers pays respect for all the war dead including Koreans who were killed in the battle field?.I think those Koreans loved Korea and Japan just as you love Korea and the US.
    JK, Japan apologized, and I apologize, but we want to move on.
    Feel free to criticize

  29. I have many things to say, but I am extremely busy these days. Among the MANY points I have to make is how anyone could possibly believe that President Roosevelt would knowingly let the US Pacific fleet be destroyed by Japanese fighter planes. That’s ridiculous, and quoting some quack scholar to support this notion is like quoting Chomsky or http://www.kimsoft.com to support supposed US atrocities against innocent Koreans in the Korean War; in others’s it’s ridiculous – both the claim and the sources.

    What are you all gonna say now? That because Chomsky, a supposed “scholar” said once that the US and South Korea started the Korean War that it’s true? Are you all gonna believe a site like kimsoft.com that says ridiculous claims about American troops? Then why do you make a claim and use sources that may not be credible?

    Anyway, I have LOTS of points to make, but I leave you with this one for today: President Roosevelt would NOT risk the large part of the Pacific Fleet to go to war against Japan. If Japan was attacking and he had known about it, he would have been ready to fight back immediately but would also STILL have grounds to go to war with Japan. (Germany was another matter and it’s questionable if the US would have entered the European theater just because the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor; Hitler fixed that problem by immediately declaring war against the US soon after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.)

  30. Chris,

    I, uh, never said there were no collaborators (more like survivors adjusting to a sadly impossible situation) on the Korean side. When did I say otherwise? I didn’t, so don’t suggest I did.

    Likewise, would you say that African-American slaves who adjusted to their environment once they were brought to the US forcefully were “collaborators”?? Do black people today have a right to discuss slavery? After all, some got to serve in the master’s house while the rest stayed out in the plantation fields. A LOT got to work in the house serving their masters in more comfortable environments. Does this mean that black people don’t have a right to discuss slavery? A lot of JEWS in WWII got special privileges, relative to other Jews. Does this mean that Jews today have no right to talk about the Holocaust, especially if Germany was STILL denying some of its war guilt? I think not.

    I don’t think all Japanese are bad, Chris, so don’t say I did, you racist-against-people-of Korean-descent American. But I am addressing actual crimes committed by the Japanese against Koreans at that time. Trying to bring up facts like collaborators (yes, they existed, just like so-called black “collaborators” before and during the Civil War in the US) or so-called improvements by the Japanese to Korea (there are white people even today in America who insist that slavery helped the black people, believe it or not) doesn’t change the fact that Korea suffered unjustly.

    As for name changes, they WERE forced on Koreans, particularly in the thirties and forties, and quoting a Chomsky-like quack scholar isn’t gonna change that. Furthermore, as I said, members of MY OWN FAMILY who had been born in the late thirties didn’t even get a chance to learn their OWN ALPHABET until 1945.

    I don’t know the full history of English and French colonization, but I challenge you to find anything inhumane as the Japanese government-supported sex slavery that occurred in Korea. And yes, I am aware that prostitution goes on in KOrea, and I deplore it. Does this mean this elderly halmunnies were all lying then? How about if Al-Qaeda took over the US for 35 years and used innocent American women as sex slaves? If later on, Americans tried to get Al-Qaeda to acknowledge and apologize for it, I could see those crazy Islamic fundamentalists sayign, “Hey, you guys already had prostitution in the US…AND you still do.” Oh yeah, and let’s say they made people like youselves take on names Saddam bin-Laden but later when you make this claim that some person from Afghanistan pulls out some Al Qaeda scholar’s work saying such a thing couldn’t havee happened. Well, buddy, I’m here to tell you such a thing DID happen in Korea, and I am probably the only person on this board with eyewitnesses to this (at least in terms of the forced name-changes and the usage of only Japanese in the schools in the late thirties and early forties).

    I got a WHOLE lot more to say to you, Chris, but it’ll have to wait. I have to make a living.

  31. Oh yeah, I forgot to close off for the day, Chris.

    Yours truly,
    JK from
    the USA, a country that once practiced (and still does practice, according to many Americans)terrible racism against African-Americans, native Americans, Jews, and Asians, despite the fact that these people helped build the nation

  32. BTW, why mention North Korea? Does anyone here think I APPROVE of the way that regime is running North Korea?? Hell no! He is truly a criminal.

    As horrible as the North Korean situation may be though, that still doesn’t excuse Japan’s taking over another country (a centuries-old dream) and forcing the people to use Japanese, forcing Koreans to adopt Japanese names, and then perhaps most sickeninly of all, forcing women in sexual slavery.

    Yours truly,
    JK from
    the USA, a country that once practiced (and still does practice, according to many Americans)terrible racism against African-Americans, native Americans, Jews, and Asians, despite the fact that these people helped build the nation

  33. I wonder what you all think about those Japanese-Americans who were incarcerated in little camps during WWII. Suppose you had family members who suffered during that time. Then imagine how you would feel if some KOREANS said, “No, it really wasn’t that bad, according to what this Korean scholar or THAT ONE JAPANESE scholar said (one with as much credibility as Chomsky). Also imagine who you would all feel if someone said, “But some Japanese DID help Japan. Therefore NO Japanese-Americans have any room to complain about what happened to them. Everything that happened to them improved their lot.”

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