Occidentalism
Duc, sequere, aut de via decede!

Korean reaction to Yasukuni visit

October 20th, 2005 . by Matt

Yahoo Japan reports that there have been protests outside the Japanese embassy. With the buring of foreign flags being illegal in South Korea (although it never seemed to stop anyone before), anti Japanese Koreans have found a new way to protest – Bite the Japanese flag!

bite the flag

Now radical Korean protesters have found a way to express their displeasure without cutting off their own fingers.

The Yahoo Japan article –

靖国参拝・日の丸にかみつくデモ参加者
韓国ソウル中心部の日本大使館前で、日の丸にかみついて小泉純一郎首相の靖国神社参拝に抗議するデモ参加者。デモ隊は小泉首相の辞任を要求した

My translation

Yasukuni visit – Participant in demostration gnaws on the Japanese flag
In the heart of Seoul in front of the Japanese embassy, this demonstration participant chewed on the Japanese flag to protest the visit of Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi to Yasukuni Shrine. The purpose of the protest was to demand the resignation of Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi.

I suppose its better than cutting off your own finger, but its still not normal.


20 Responses to “Korean reaction to Yasukuni visit”

  1. comment number 1 by: nemu

    はじめまして。いつも読ませて頂いています。さて、彼の行動ですが、日本でも「恒例行事」として良く知られています。SAPIOと呼ばれる雑誌の表紙を飾った程です。詳しくは下をご覧になって下さい。

    His action is well known to Japan as a ‘customary’, even was displayed at the Japanese famous magazine’s cover.

    See detail at

    http://skygarden.shogakukan.co.jp/skygarden/owa/solrenew_magcode?sha=1&neoc=2300404105

    http://blog.livedoor.jp/mumur/archives/50157723.html

  2. comment number 2 by: takeshima

    Koreans are very proud if you cut your finger off for any reason. Sadly, all the indonesians, pakistani, thai and philipinos, that lose their fingers and hands in unsafe corean factories, usually get shipped out of corea. I guess the corean logic is that if a coreans cuts off his finger for takeshima island, then he is a hero. And if a imported worker (who are usually lied to) loses a finger helping corea get rich…. well fuck em.

    Well, at least all the imported workers, know one thing. They all hate coreans. I guess we may see a new corean wave someday.

  3. comment number 3 by: Matt

    はじめまして。いつも読ませて頂いています。さて、彼の行動ですが、日本でも「恒例行事」として良く知られています。SAPIOと呼ばれる雑誌の表紙を飾った程です。詳しくは下をご覧になって下さい。

    His action is well known to Japan as a ‘customary’, even was displayed at the Japanese famous magazine’s cover.

    See detail at

    http://skygarden.shogakukan.co.jp/skygarden/owa/solrenew_magcode?sha=1&neoc=2300404105

    http://blog.livedoor.jp/mumur/archives/50157723.html

    SAPIO is my favorite Japanese magazine. They have the best covers and and best headlines of any Japanese magazine.

  4. comment number 4 by: chewbaccca

    remember we all only have 10 fingers so that only means 10 different issues koreans can cut their fingers off for, so i guess you have to use them wisely, i guess eating a flag saves his fingers for more important issues??

  5. comment number 5 by: GI Korea

    I went by the Japanese embassy yesterday. It is swarmed with riot police but there hasn’t been any protesters since the original protest of the usual handful of idiots who have been making Korea a global laughing stock with their antics.

  6. comment number 6 by: Matt

    I went by the Japanese embassy yesterday. It is swarmed with riot police but there hasn’t been any protesters since the original protest of the usual handful of idiots who have been making Korea a global laughing stock with their antics.

    I agree with you. The problem is that Koreans refuse to condemn stupid protesters if the protesters claim to be motivated by patriotism. For people overseas, the silence seems like agreement.

  7. comment number 7 by: Bob Reemus

    Indeed.

    But goddamned, that photo is funny. Hilarious. I want to blow it up and frame it and put it on my wall, next to a large poster of the ministry of silly walks from Python.

  8. comment number 8 by: chewbaccca

    maybe that flag would go well with a side dish of dokdo apology cakes?

  9. comment number 9 by: kinchipig

    Such actions only serve to reinforce the Japanese belief that Koreans are their retarded third cousins.

  10. comment number 10 by: dead

    It is a great picture.
    I wonder how many takes it took for the final shot?

    People may say it is crazy, loony, retarded, or whatever…but at least they have passion. When was the last time there was such passion in other countries over social or political issues.
    In USA (my home country), there are war protests but where is the feeling?
    A few speeches, a song, and everyone goes home. And we don’t remember it the next day.

    In Korea, there seems to be a protest every week. People chanting slogans and singing songs? That won’t get on TV.

    Cutting off fingers? well, that gets media attention.
    Biting foreign flags? again, here is the press, the media, the blog world talking about it.

    Without these shocking images, there would be no story.
    So, let’s give a thanks to this kind gentleman for creating a story out of nothing.

  11. comment number 11 by: takeshima

    Interesting comments Dead. I want to add that, you are right that in Corea they protest over anything and everything. I think that Coreans just like to be close to each other and argue.

    Coreans are like magnets to other coreans. And they also love to fight and agrue.

    However, I am not sure that there is ‘ a story out of nothing’. He is protesting about japan, and if you ask any corean, they pretty much all repete the same ignorant brainwashed things. So, he is expressing what every drone from the hive thinks.

  12. comment number 12 by: ponta

    Dead
    I don’t see any problem with his being passionate.
    The problem is that his passion looks very funny and it is hard to understand for the outsiders.

    A lot of demonstrations sometimes mean that demoncracy is functioning in that society,(Chinese are not allowed to demonstrate since the last demonstration in April) but too many demonstrations sometimes shows instability of that society.

  13. comment number 13 by: dead

    ponta,
    I also don’t see any problem in his passion. In fact, It is quite interesting..
    It is one aspect of a growing democratic society, to have passion.
    .
    Japan had violent university protests in the 60s. So did USA.
    Now, they have calmed down.
    Where is the passion these days?

    Korea? It has been a democracy for such a short time, it is going through “democractic growing pains”. Do people have a right to make fun of it?
    Well, of course not. It is like making fun of the boy in middle school whose voice is changing or the girl going through growth spurts. We went throught the same growing pains and therefore understand. If only Japan could remember their own democractic growing pains and try to understand Korea better.

    And, as takeshima said

    He is protesting about japan, and if you ask any corean, they pretty much all repete the same ignorant brainwashed things. So, he is expressing what every drone from the hive thinks.

    Well, there is no understanding here.

  14. comment number 14 by: takeshima

    Yes, I agree Dead, in Corea, there is are real lack of understaning. Its too bad. The big problem is that Coreans lack empathy. Coreans cannot imagine themselves in anybodies elses position or situation.

    Sadly, when you ask them about this. The same old tired excuses of Corea being small, weak, poor, Park CHung hee, dictators, Yankee, Japs..etc.

    On the bright side, Corea wants more recognition around the world. Naturally Corea thinks the world will act like the Yankees and give while getting nothing in return.

    The world will probally respond like this: http://times.hankooki.com/lpage/biz/200510/kt2005102122525511910.htm
    The short version is that Corea demands leadership, but wont pay but a pittance to the OECD. Well, the OECD needs funding and if every nation was like Corea, it would shut its doors.

    Corea will have to open its wallet if it wants more say in world events.

  15. comment number 15 by: ponta

    Dead thanks

    Japan had violent university protests in the 60s

    Yes, Japanese students used to demonstrate on the street in the 60s
    But there is, I think, a big difference between Japanese protest and Chinese and Korean proteset..
    Japanese students’ main target was againt Japanese government.
    After all, it is Japanese government which concluded the treaty with the us. It is Japanese government which they have influece directly.
    .

    Do people have a right to make fun of it?Well, of course not. It is like making fun of the boy in middle school whose voice is changing or the girl going through growth spurts.

    I am not sure if this analogy holds up.
    First, korean are supposed to be intelligent nationals.
    Second, unlike voice changing, they could do something about it.
    they could have acted otherwise.
    Third, biting Japanese flag to protest against japanese government is very unique, hard to understand, and funny.Do you think you can stop outsiders from feeling that? Do you think you have right to stop people from expressing the opinion that it is funny.?
    I did a lot of stupid things when i was kid,and i was made fun of. I learned and i don’t repeat that stupid things.(i still do differnt kinds of stupid things though)

    We went throught the same growing pains and therefore understand. If only Japan could remember their own democractic growing pains and try to understand Korea better.

    Yes, Japanese democracy went through the growing pains, and it is still in the process of growing.
    Japanese students’ violent demonstrations recieved a lot of criticism from . inside and from outside.
    But it seems Korean people remains silent ” if the protesters claim to be motivated by patriotism. For people overseas, the silence seems like agreement”

    And Japanese people are indifferent to what Korean people do as far as it is their domestic issue. But when they are spreading false idea about Japan, I think Japanese have right to protest againt it.
    Japan explained her intention of visiting Korea to Korean government several times.
    Japan aplogized several times to Korean government for what it did during the colonization
    Korean people would not have listened, in my impresson, they repeating their myth.

    Korean people thinks that they enjoy freedom of expression, but when you are ostracized if you speaks something a little bit in favour of japan, I don’t think they have freedom of expression.

    The person like you who are not educated in Korea, who loves korea know that something is wrong with korean society. I think the person like you are the right peson to tell korean people your honeset opinion that Korean can be better if they chnage whatever you think harms korean than good.

    If only Japan could remember their own democractic growing pains and try to understand Korea better.

    Japanese TV seldom if ever show the nagative image of Korea for fear that it might cause anti-Korea sentiments among japanese people.
    Most of Japanese people are still indiffernt to Korea.
    Some are pro=Korean.
    But more and more Japanese people are getteing frustrated with the fact that Korea had been anti-Japan for 400 years however Japan apologized.
    I think Japan is in the process of understanding korea.I am in the process of understanding Korean. Yes, I try to take your points into consideration, but it does not mean that I’ll keep silent about what Korean do to Japan,and I want you to join the discussion so I can understand Korean better.Thanks.

  16. comment number 16 by: bishamon

    I don’t call this flag biter “passionate”. After all, he is the one who is repeatedly biting flags since last March (Shimane’s Takeshima Day issue). He is in fact a well-known figure for touching Hinomaru and crying like there is no tomorrow in front of camera, for every anti-Japanese occasion we can think of. I remember him on a Japanese TV show, happily explaining how to fake stomach-stubbing by using a toy knife and red dye.
    It seems that Koreans think, by exaggerating actions and showing how they are “emotional” about the certain topics, they can manipulate and agitate the mainstream opinion. It’s very “last century” buy they are probably the out-of-jobs remnants from Korean national movements in the 80’s.


  17. […] It seems that Korean flag biter is continuing his unique brand of flag biting activism against Japan and has managed to gather support from a Korean citizens group. […]


  18. […] Discussion of Koizumi’s previous Yasukuni visits can be found here, and the Korean reaction to the previous visit can be found here. Expect more of the same. […]


  19. […] More on the flag biter here and here. […]


  20. […] Flag-Eating: Apparently burning foreign flags is illegal in South Korea, so if one wants to legally express their displeasure with a foreign country, why not eat their flag instead? This man was so angry about Japanese Prime Minister Koizumi’s visit to the Yasukuni Shrine in 2005 that he tried to do just that: […]