Occidentalism
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Korean Air Seoul to Sydney flight

January 11th, 2006 . by Matt

koreaair.JPG

A friend that just went on a flight from Seoul to Sydney took the above picture on the plane. Notice it says ‘East Sea’ where it should say Sea of Japan, and also features ‘Dokdo’, despite the island being an insignificant geographical feature, while omitting many major cities and more notable islands.

Is this for Korean customers, or a desperate attempt to send their message to non Koreans? It strikes me as a very insecure thing to do.


23 Responses to “Korean Air Seoul to Sydney flight”

  1. comment number 1 by: darintenb

    Well, the East Sea thing is somewhat understandable as that is what it’s official name seams to be in Korea regardless of what the rest of the world says, but the Dokdo part is obviously trying to make a statement. I mean, they’re so insignificant when dealing with a map of this scale. But then again, even the East Sea part — that could be interpreted to mean that South Korea doesn’t follow international standards, which can’t work to their advantage.

    I flew from Chicago to Seoul on Korean Air and then from Seoul to Narita on JAL when I first came to Japan way back when, but I didn’t notice what the map said then.

  2. comment number 2 by: Travolta

    I would guess that it’s for the Korean customers. Maybe some people at Korean Air think it will help the Korean cause but it’s mosty for Koreans I’d say. Why not throw a dash of nationalism into each flight? Also, think about the backlash from Korean passengers if they DIDN’T have “East Sea” and “Dokdo” displayed on the map. It was probably a very good idea from the Korean Air’s point of view.

  3. comment number 3 by: nig

    I have flown on Lufthanza planes from Frankfurt many times and they have the same map. There is a strong possibility that the map was not made by Koreans.

  4. comment number 4 by: darintenb

    It’s definitely the same style of map as used by pretty much all airlines (looks identical in design and what not to maps on JAL, American, United, ANA), but I doubt that it says East Sea and Dokdo on all the other maps used.

    My guess is there is a company that makes the digital map that is used by the airlines, and then each airline has the ability to label things as they like. I don’t see why any airline other then one trying to make a statement would label it East Sea because it’s current official international name is Sea of Japan regardless of what debate is going on. It’d be like American using a turkey for their symbol instead of eagles. Benjamin Franklin, unless this is one of those fibs that’s spread as though it was fact, wanted the official bird to be a turkey not an eagle, but it is an eagle.

    In the event that all airlines’ maps say East Sea and Dokdo, would it be so far fetched that the company which makes airline maps is from Korea? Korea is indeed more then well developed enough to have such technology.

    I think Travolta makes a real good point though, it’s probably just done that way so that no passengers cut their fingers off or beat the flight attendants with bamboo poles.

  5. comment number 5 by: nig

    “it’s probably just done that way so that no passengers cut their fingers off or beat the flight attendants with bamboo poles. ”

    You are not allowed to bring cutting tools onto flights nowadays. I would imagine bamboo poles fall into the same category.

  6. comment number 6 by: darintenb

    Sorry… I forgot we’re not allowed to have fun on planes anymore 🙂

  7. comment number 7 by: nig

    “Sorry… I forgot we’re not allowed to have fun on planes anymore ”

    Can you tell me in advance if you are planning to have “fun” on a plane so I can avoid making a reservation on that flight?

  8. comment number 8 by: darintenb

    Apparently we’re not allowed to have fun on the ground either anymore too. Dude, lighten up.

  9. comment number 9 by: Gerry-Bevers

    Speaking of maps, the shape of Korea (North & South) looks like a “rabbit,” with the upper part of the country being the rabbit’s ears. I have mentioned this to Koreans before, but they often get defensive and tell me that it looks like a tiger, not a rabbit. However, no matter how hard I look, I do not see a tiger.

    By the way, I met a Korean-Chinese woman last night for coffee. Without my mentioning anything about the shape of Korea, she told me that China is shaped like a chicken, and that she lives up near the head, near the North Korean border.

    The woman also told me that she did not have much sympathy for North Koreans hiding in China because she said that many of them are thieves and steal from the people who try to help them. I did not say anything, but I had a feeling that many of those stories were probably created by the Chinese government to keep Chinese from helping the North Korean refugees. Anyway, I had an interesting 3-hour chat with her.

  10. comment number 10 by: darintenb

    I’m gunna have to go with ‘rabbit’ too. A ‘chicken’ is pushing it, but a ‘tiger’ is just too much.

    I think your assumption about the Chinese government telling people that N. Koreans are dangerous so that people don’t help them is pretty safe. But I wouldn’t be at all surprised if there really were cases of people stealing food from a market, but then again, that’s what starving people do.

  11. comment number 11 by: nig

    I agree with the rabbit comparison for whats its worth.

    If China ia a chicken, is Hainan the egg?

  12. comment number 12 by: ponta

    Speaking of maps, the shape of Korea (North & South) looks like a “rabbit,” with the upper part of the country being the rabbit’s ears.

    Hahaha, Yes, I see the rabbit!!

    I have mentioned this to Koreans before, but they often get defensive and tell me that it looks like a tiger, not a rabbit. However, no matter how hard I look, I do not see a tiger.

    It seems some Koreans have talent to twist the perception so they can see what they want to see. I sometimes envy them..(BTW what is wrong with a rabbit?)

  13. comment number 13 by: nig

    “It seems some Koreans have talent to twist the perception so they can see what they want to see. I sometimes envy them.”

    You don’t need to envy them. It is what you do with my comments with your incorrect “conclusions”.

  14. comment number 14 by: chonko

    Hey speaking of Korean insecurity, I think I know where it probably comes from!

    http://www.clickpress.com/releases/Detailed/7763005cp.shtml

  15. comment number 15 by: tomato

    Hi, guys!

    I see that somebody is trying to take a “balanced” view, but hey, are the Koreans NOT fabricating facts (especially about the relationship with the Japanese) in order to prove their racial supremecy? Or, the Korean government and media are NOT preaching hatred towards Japan and maybe even the U.S. and the greatness of Koreans related to other peoples of the world in a way that would be usually regarded as being racist rather than a patriot? Really, anyone can believe what they like, but somethings are hard to deny.

  16. comment number 16 by: Sonagi

    Chinese maps are even sillier. Every single blinkin’ map shows a dotted line encircling the Spratleys in the South China Sea, most of which is claimed by China.

  17. comment number 17 by: kenji808

    This just shows how ridiculous Koreans are sometimes. They can’t even stand the fact that something is named after Japan…OMG. Sea of Japan…?? NEVER!!! Hahahaha sometimes the Korean mindset amuses me.

  18. comment number 18 by: kei

    actually,the avarage eastasian is silly

    By the way, i complain that korean imitate Japan
    too much. http://photo.jijisama.org/Pakuri01.html
    And they insist that those origin are their own

    that is their bad point

     

  19. comment number 19 by: kei

    Im sure avarage Japanese(especially Nagoyans)andKoreans and Chinese(in developed cities) mental age is  very low. Therefore some silly conflicts occur.
    Cuz we dont have any deep philosophy like Westerners. They(including japanese)tend to act according as
    somethin weird criteria rather than logic

  20. comment number 20 by: sqz

    日本語で失礼します。

    http://www.donga.com/fbin/output?sfrm=1&n=200601180130

    上記は、韓国語記事ですが、翻訳してみると驚きの内容です。
    韓国が日本から竹島(独島)を、どのようにして盗んだのか、
    その詳細な経緯を ほぼ日本側の主張どおりに記述されており、
    「李承晩LINE(平和線)」を快挙と賞賛しているのです。

  21. comment number 21 by: ponta

    ↑
    (my poor translation)

    I am sorry for writing in Japanese.
    http://www.donga.com/fbin/output?sfrm=1&n=200601180130
    The above is Korean article,I was surprise to see the translation.
    It describes the detailed process of how Korea stole takeshima(dokdo) from Japan.And the description almost fits with the claim Japan has made about takshima.Moreover, .the article praises the Syngman Rhee line(Peace line) as a heroic.

  22. comment number 22 by: sqz

    ponta, Thank you for translation.
    いつも迷惑かけてばかりで申し訳ない。

  23. comment number 23 by: tomato

    sqz, ponta:

    Thanks for the article.
    It really shows that it is Korea that does not want to have peace with Japan. We have to re-think how we deal with these thugs.
    Trying to be nice to them has taken us nowhere.

    BTW, Tokyo Metro is presently announcing caution against foreign burglar gangs using tear gas in the subway system . I bet they are Koreans (or perhaps Chinese, but burglar gangs are usually Koreans). How nice of them!.