Occidentalism
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Korean veterans celebrate anniversary of Incheon landing

September 17th, 2006 . by Matt

Korean veterans gathered in front of the MacArthur statue in Incheon to celebrate the Incheon Landing which was a decisive turning point in the Korean war.

Korean wave

Take a look at the picture. Notice any flag missing? I find it hard to believe that the Korean veterans would have forgotten to bring along an American flag with them, so the American flag must have been excluded from the picture.

Update: Looks like the Lost Nomad beat me to it.

Update 2: Thanks to commenter void, we have been able to confirm that the American flag was excluded from the picture.

sankei shimbun

That is the picture that void took of the Sankei Shinbun. Notice that the American flag is there. How can this be explained as anything but anti-Americanism?


49 Responses to “Korean veterans celebrate anniversary of Incheon landing”

  1. comment number 1 by: James

    There’s no need for an American flag in the picture: It looks like they set up the photo so that MacArthur, representing America, would be the central figure.

  2. comment number 2 by: showgee

    Thanks. Now I understand why he, Henry J. Hyde, Chairman of the U S House of Representatives Committee on International Relations, had to finish his career by paying the last tribute to the statue.
    I wonder what is the right expression for this deed in English. In Japanese, “恩を仇で返す” should be the right phrase. Could it be “They bit the hand that fed them”?. Anyway I can imagine how Mr. Hyde had been ‘pissed off’ by the deed.
    http://www.icasinc.org/bios/hyde_hj.html

    By the way, I came across a Japanese site which deplores a similar incident caused by ‘恩知らずな’ people who will never learn how to return the favors they received. Sorry, the contents are all in Japanese.
    here

  3. comment number 3 by: Gerry-Bevers

    I agree with James. The people in the photo are there to honor MacArthur and the Incheon Landing, so I do not think the absence of the US flag in the photo was meant as a slight.

  4. comment number 4 by: empraptor

    It’s hard to believe that veterans would exclude US flag. If some zealot at Jungang cropped it out, I could believe it more readily. But US flag should have been right next to Korean flag anyway.

  5. comment number 5 by: Matt

    It’s hard to believe that veterans would exclude US flag. If some zealot at Jungang cropped it out, I could believe it more readily. But US flag should have been right next to Korean flag anyway.

    Thats what I thought. James’ theory –

    There’s no need for an American flag in the picture: It looks like they set up the photo so that MacArthur, representing America, would be the central figure.

    Also seems probable.

  6. comment number 6 by: MarkA

    Old Glory is there. Newspaper deliberately chose to make sure it didn’t appear in the picture as published.

  7. comment number 7 by: yooklid

    I was wondering if it was just a dumb camera man who left it out of the picture…

  8. comment number 8 by: GarlicBreath

    To me it looks like they are celebrating the UN. They are all wearing UN hats and shirts. I am quite certain that the exclusion of the US flag was intentional. I expect that someday the USA’s role in saving the thankless Koreans collective asses will be wiped from the Korean history books and replaced with the UN. Just another ugly irony, when it comes from a nation whose citizens cut off their fingers, shoot flaming arrows into embassies, or eat flags to protest when other sovereign nations don’t print Korean propaganda as historical fact.

    Matt, I don’t know if you saw the movie taegookie, but there wasn’t a US soldier in the movie. Just UN blue hats. The fact that the blue hats didn’t exist then is irrelevant to modern Korea.

    Koreans in general and more often then not, Korean “Americans” (read: paper citizens) hate the USA. Its good that Americans are finally paying attention to Korean deception and duplicity.

  9. comment number 9 by: void

    The image in this article must be trimed.
    I saw this photo on Sankei shinbun this morning. It is from the AP, and the photo includes a man hold the stars-and-strips on the right of the image attached here.
    And, Korean veterans must be the last pro-US men in Korea.

  10. comment number 10 by: Matt

    The image in this article must be trimed.
    I saw this photo on Sankei shinbun this morning. It is from the AP, and the photo includes a man hold the stars-and-strips on the right of the image attached here.
    And, Korean veterans must be the last pro-US men in Korea.

    Void, do you have a link with the photo, or can you take a picture of it?

  11. comment number 11 by: jazzman

    http://wwwc.house.gov/international_relations/109/hyde091406.pdf

    I’m an ethnic Japanese and play some jazz. In the above pdf which contains the summary of Hyde’s recent speech, he said that it was curous South Korean leaders blamed Japn when North fired missiles on July 4th.

    Here I’m just adding my remark on typical Korean behaviours. Well, Japanese mentality may look strange to westerners, but Korean mentaility is impossible to understand for Japanese despite our geographical nearness.

    Thank you for your efforts and keep excellent works!

    Hoping well in Japan

  12. comment number 12 by: jazzman

    I’m sorry for posting in a row. I checked the argument by Mr. Void. First, I subscribe to Yomiuri and admit that I have not read a copy of Sankei. I just checked their website, http://www.sankei.co.jp. It had no story on Korea with a photo. I also checked the Associated Press site:
    http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/external/search.hosted.ap.org/wireCoreTool/Search?SITE=OKPON&query=south%20korea

    The above search shows hopefully all news AP distributed in recent two days. I just cound’nt find any relevant article. Here I’m not saying Sankei didn’t carry such photo, but just saying I could not confirm Mr.Void’s argument.

    best

  13. comment number 13 by: void

    I could not find the photo in Sankei-Online, so I took a picture and upload it to flickr.

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/

  14. comment number 14 by: Matt

    I could not find the photo in Sankei-Online, so I took a picture and upload it to flickr.

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/

    Thanks void. I have updated the post.

  15. comment number 15 by: void

    I hate eccentric Korean nationalism, but also hate cheeting.
    Laughing them is easy and fun (yes, I’m bad), but we should always take care on the reliability of the information found in the Internet.

  16. comment number 16 by: void

    mmm. I’m sorry Matt. I found you took the photo from JoongAng Daily.
    So, the fact may be, JoongAng Daily didn’t want to show US flag to the reader.

  17. comment number 17 by: showgee

    Whenever I watch, read or hear news like this, a very proverb comes into my mind ;Gyofu-no-ri, 漁夫の利, witch means ‘fisherman’s benefit’ literally. In Engish could it be “Two dogs fight for a bone and a third runs away with it.” However, for me this English counterpart seems too simple to relay the original Chinese connotation. Like AESOP’s fables ancient china produced a good libray of fables, proverbs and so-called ‘words of wisdom’, tens of thousands of them.
    Sadly when Koreans decided to exclude Chinese characters as a must learning, they throw away as well the opportunity of learning one of the richest ‘sorce of the wisdom’ came with it. I think these valuable teachings of thier ancestors have not been taught at schoolds in CCP China either.
    Well, anyone seems to know who are the two dogs and the third but South Koreans!!
    Since my knowlede on English language and Chinese history is not good enough to put it into accurate English, I add a site hoping that someone translates the real episode of Gyofu-no-ri for me. Thanks

    http://www.e-t.ed.jp/edotori40080/ explained in Japanese with the original Chinese passage.

    http://www.wku.edu/~yuanh/China/proverb.html
    this one’s reference purpose only. a good source with some original characters and Pinyin as well as its source.

  18. comment number 18 by: sewing

    Showgee: South Koreans do learn Chinese characters in school: 900 in middle school, and another 900 in high school–1800 total. And Koreans are familiar with the Chinese-character proverbs. There’s even a gangster comedy from 1997 called Number 3, where the gangsters often speak in 故事成語, which are also displayed as captions (in Chinese characters) above their heads (as if in comic books).

    It is true, however, that for a few years in the early 70s under Park Chung Hee’s government, teaching of Chinese characters was ended/banned/whatever. Since characters were used a lot in newspapers and literature at the time–and still are today, but less so–they were reintroduced in 1973 or 74. There are some middle-aged people today who still have trouble with characters because they missed out on learning them in school in the early 70s. But younger and older Koreans have learned them.

  19. comment number 19 by: Matt

    Showgee: South Koreans do learn Chinese characters in school: 900 in middle school, and another 900 in high school–1800 total. And Koreans are familiar with the Chinese-character proverbs. There’s even a gangster comedy from 1997 called Number 3, where the gangsters often speak in 故事成語, which are also displayed as captions (in Chinese characters) above their heads (as if in comic books).

    If they are teaching Chinese characters, then the teaching is about as effective as the teaching of English – meaning totally useless. I do not think the average Korean is able to read 100 characters, much less 1800.

  20. comment number 20 by: Two Cents

    sewing,
    Hmm, that’s weird.
    I once had an opportunity to chat with a Korean student studying in Japan somewhere around 1990, and we got to talking about Chinese influence on Japanese and Korean culture. She told me she would have lost out tremendously in her research had she been born 10 years later, saying that Chinese character education has basically been abolished from normal schools. Judging from her age, I believe she spent most of her middle-school to college education in the 1980s. Since then, I was under the impression that the abolition of Chinese characters was on the rise in the 1990s; they certainly are not used presently in Korean newspapers or Internet sites.

  21. comment number 21 by: Gerry-Bevers

    I would guess that few Korean high school graduates these days can read more than a couple of hundred Chinese characters. Many of my college students cannot recognize even some of the basic characters. They have told me that they studied Chinese characters for only an hour a week in high school and few found it interesting.

    In the 1980s, Korean students were very eager to talk about literature, history, and politics, but these days it is difficult to find any anyone who knows much about literature and history or has any interest in politics.

    My university is a medical science university with no Literature, History, or Foreign Language departments. It seems that my school has decided to create a generation of doctors and nurses who will only be able to communicate and socialize with other doctors and nurses. How boring!

  22. comment number 22 by: jazzman

    Thank you for the correction, Mr. Void. Anyway I never tried to mislead, which I hope is clear to all.

    As for Chinese character, Japanese use Chinese charater in everyday life. We regard them a blessing. It is also true that we are laughing at Koreans in their efrforts for abandoning the Chinese characters.

    Our attitude may be explained by a fact that we also use kana (Japanese alphabet) in writing. Yes, Chinese characters are very difficult to write, but once you master them, the reading becomes very easy. Thanks to word processors, now we don’t have to remember exactly how to write Chinese character.

    Frankly said, Koreans abandoned the Chinese character. Chinese themselves onece tried to abandon or simplyfy them during Cultural Revolution era , but Japanese has never considered such an idea. Very interesting!

  23. comment number 23 by: Two Cents

    jazzman,
    The Japanese almost had to abandon the kanji after the war during the GHQ occupation. There was even a plan to romanize the Japanese alphabet.The Americans thought that the complicated system of writing was no doubt a factor in suppressing the literacy rate (and maybe they thought that was why the people were vulnerable to propaganda?). However, the GHQ conducted a literacy test among the Japanese public, and to their surprise, discovered that the Japanese actually had higher literacy rates both in reading and writing compared to the US. So the plan was dropped.

    However, the Japanese did simplify the kanji without any persuasion from foreigners, although not to the extent that the Chinese did, but to an extent that, now, an average Japanese would find it a bit laborious to read pre-WWII books that do not conform with the present set of characters. (It’s only a matter of getting use to it though.) I think the Taiwanese are the only ones now that use the original form of the Chinese characters.

    Let’s be thankful that the GHQ treaded with care at least with the language reforms. Otherwise, we might be writing sentences like, “mattosanno okushidenntarutte saito shitteru? kakitemo jyuujitushiterushi, yomigotaega aruyo. imanara jeri-sanno takeshimamonndaino posutoga tokuni osusumekana.” The literacy rate might be near 100%, but the actual reading comprehension skills and the number of avid readers would have plummeted, not to mention the tragic dissociation from the history and traditions of our ancestors that would have occured.

  24. comment number 24 by: YoungRocco

    Jazzman.

    How are you doing?

    I found this quote of yours a little puzzling given current trends in Korean education:

    As for Chinese character, Japanese use Chinese charater in everyday life. We regard them a blessing. It is also true that we are laughing at Koreans in their efrforts for abandoning the Chinese characters

    This second phrase of yours also raises concern:

    Frankly said, Koreans abandoned the Chinese character

    Jazzman, I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt and assume that you simply argued from your gut. Jazzman, your notions are completely out of date. Koreans are picking up Chinese with increased vigor.

    Perhaps you can provide some statistics on Chinese language learning in Japan.

    Here is an article from the Koreatimes you should peruse:

    http://times.hankooki.com/lpage/biz/200602/kt2006020717232111860.htm

    Adios!

  25. comment number 25 by: ponta

    It seems clear to me that we are talking here about Chinese characters as a native language not as a foreign language, or are we not?
    Reading old Korea newspaper, it is clear that Korean people used to use Chinese character as an native language.
    Pronunciation, and style of Chinese letter is different from modern Chinese.
    Probably for young Korean people, Chinese characters are nothing but foreign language.

    (Are they going to blame Japan for spreading Hangul during the colonization?ーーーー only Chinese character had been used in the Korean official documents before ,as is clear from Gerry’s post about Dokdo ).

    BTW, I have read a article that there are increasing number of Japanese parents who have their kids enter Chinese school in Japan, so that their kids can speak Chinese.

  26. comment number 26 by: sewing

    Matt, TwoCents, Gerry, Ponta:

    Well, learning them in school and remembering them afterwards are two different things, eh? It’s all just for passing the next test, right?

    I agree that the use of Hancha in mainstream culture has dropped to virtually zero. As a result, there’s basically no incentive to retain whatever was learned in school. Whether it’s still a mandatory or optional course as TwoCents suggests, I’m not sure, but “Hanmun” is still part of the basic curriculum (whether optional or mandatory)–both of my oldest nephews studied it–and the government still publishes its list of 1800 basic Hancha for educational use (the 1800 that are taught in school). Most Koreans’ names are still made up of Hancha…while usually written in Han’gu^l, they must also appear in Hancha form on official documents.

    And scholarly texts–even online encyclopedia articles–still often use Hancha, sometimes exclusively, and sometimes in parentheses to clarify the preceding word (for example, “운지(運指) 숙달방법에….” (See this Naver article, where 邊子音, 冠子音, 받침不要母音, 받침要母音 are printed without Hangul equivalents, and 運指, 韓英, and 右子左母最左 also appear: http://100.naver.com/100.nhn?docid=730436 .)

    I would agree that sadly, Hancha use has declined precipitously, but it has hardly been COMPLETELY abolished in South Korea (although such an attempt was deliberately made under Park Chung Hee in the early 70s, as I mentioned before). From what I gather, however, in the North, Hancha use is basically banned…since, I assume, the Norks don’t want their citizens to know that Koreans got anything from other countries (like Soviet support, Chinese money, American food aid, etc.).

  27. comment number 27 by: sewing

    (By the way, on that Naver article, if you move the mouse over any of the characters, its 音 and 訓 readings (equivalent of onyomi and kunyomi in Japanese) appear…another concession to loss of knowledge of Hancha, I guess!)

  28. comment number 28 by: HanComplex

    YoungRocco,

    The subject here is the abandonment of Koreans of usage of Chinese characters IN Korean, not the learning of Chinese (Mandarin) itself. To be precise, Hanja (Kanji), of which 1800 used to be mandatory in middle and high school until several years ago when the education ministry made it optional.

    Agreed with Jazzman. Frankly I think that was a dumb move as Chinese characters have been part of Korean history and culture for over a thousand years (longer than Japan, I believe). Mainly because of ultranationalism now a few generations of Koreans are Hanja illiterate and have to study Chinese/Japanese separately when as recent as 30 some odd years ago it was still widely used in newspapers, books, and other media. Quite unfortunate. Personally, I find all Hangeul to be boring as hell. There’s an intrinsic beauty to Chinese characters as it’s an ideograph–one character conveys a meaning with the radicals that make it up. This especially holds true with traditional characters that are used in HK and TW, and to a great degree in Japan.

  29. comment number 29 by: randomcow

    I guess it depends on what you consider to be the purpose of an alphabet/written language. From a practical point of view I see nothing wrong with ditching the Chinese characters from the Korean language. For example I don’t think including chinese characters would make their research papers or technical documents any more accurate. Perhaps in poetry or literary works the nuances between two phonetically-similar words could become important, but shit, this is the 21st century we’re living in.

    RC

  30. comment number 30 by: HanComplex

    From a practical point of view I see nothing wrong with ditching the Chinese characters from the Korean language. For example I don’t think including chinese characters would make their research papers or technical documents any more accurate.

    On the contrary, many medical and legal documents still use Hanja to disambiguate and clarify technical terms. This is especially important in the medical field, where preciseness is a serious concern when dealing with diagnoses, procedures, illnesses, etc. This is usually denoted by writing the Hanja in parentheses after the Hangeul writing. Chinese and Japanese need not do this because they already know and use Hanzi/Kanji on a regular basis.

    Sewing:
    Don’t know if you’ve seen it, but there’s a Korean movie called “Whasango” (“Volcano High”) released a few years ago. It’s a manga-inspired, Matrix-meets-DragonballZ type popcorn action flick. What I found amusing about it beside its cheesy silliness is that it intentionally overloads on Hanja, like a manga brought to life and put to film. Possibly no other Korean movie has used so much Hanja, tongue-in-cheek or not. Check it out if you haven’t done so. As far as action movies go, it’s fairly entertaining.

  31. comment number 31 by: jazzman

    Two Cents, thank you for your comment. The people in this site know more about Japan than I, to my surprise. Yes, your argument is true.

    Also I received many question from Americans in conversation: Why do you stick to difficult writing/reading system? Well, I’m too young to say anything about GHQ, but the generosity of the Occupation Army is fairly evaluated among us. That said,

    1. it is generally perceived among intellectual Japanese that Koreans are lowering the status of kanji due to their excessive patriotism.

    2. On the contrary, we never tried to abandon kanji by our own efforts.

    Ponta, as far as I know, there are many parents who want their kids to go to American school where everything is taught in English, but I don’t think we are very earger to learn Chinese because Chinese are more eager to learn Japanese and we don’t feel an accute need to learn it. Two thing is clear here:

    1. Japanese is very simple in pronunciation and difficult in writing.
    2. Chinese pronunciation system is too complicated for us.

    Well, I’m not making any ethnically derogative remarks here. But it is true that my knowledge of East Asia is not extremely good because I’m not a scholar. My profession is playing music and not language interpretations!

  32. comment number 32 by: ponta

    Jazzman
    Thanks

    but I don’t think we are very earger to learn Chinese because Chinese are more eager to learn Japanese and we don’t feel an accute need to learn it.

    Well, I have read an article in the weekly magazine about Chinese school in Japan, while waiting , perhaps. at the dentist, If I remember correctly, there
    are many Japanese parents who have their kids to enter Chinese school because they want their kids to learn modern Chinese, seeing Chinese rapid economic development.
    Here is a related article.
    It seems this article attributes the increase of Japanese students in Chinese school to the low tuition, though..Anyway, I guess this is a new tendency.
    But yes, considering the fact that there are a few Chinese school in Japan, the number of Japanese students learning Chinese are very low.

  33. comment number 33 by: showgee

    Wow, I was surprised by the number of the posts which followed mine. Thanks everybody. I was able to learn the situations where Hanja has been taught or not been taught in South Korea. As to the respective post I’d like to comment later.
    By the way I came to know that Japanese gyofu-no-ri is called “The snipe and the clam” in English. If you know want to more about the background of the original story you may visit this site. Or this site may give you a strategic connotations of this fable which seems fairly simple on the surface.

    By the way if you would like to have your knowledge on the ancient Chinese teachings, you may be able to do so by the following site as a litmus test for your knowledge. I think most of the Taiwanese, chinese speakers in Hongkong or Macao can understand the teaching on the four postage stamps by just a glance. I would say most of the Japanese ,say, above 18 years old could do the same. People who had elementary education before 1945 would do in Korea. Since these are the most common teachings, probably people finished middle school or above in PRC would recognize them too. What do you think? I’d appreciate your views. Thanks.

  34. comment number 34 by: Two Cents

    Ponta,
    Since there are only 5 Chinese schools in Japan (a total of 300 students per grade), I would say the original Asahi article was exaggerating the situation. Typical biased reporting from the slave-to-the-Chinese Asahi. However, the number of students in college who choose Chinese as their third language has increased. Over 80% of the universities currently offer Chinese courses. (That is not to say the students are seriously learning Chinese. Chinese is rumored to be an easy course to get credits.)

    jazzman,
    Actually, kanji abolitionists were active since the early Meiji, when the Japanese thought that breaking away from China would be a cool idea. There were the roman alphabet sect, the hiragana sect, katakana sect, and an original character sect. Fukuzawa Yukichi also supported the reduction of kanjis used, stating that only 2000 to 3000 characters would suffice for normal use (Close to the present situation.) After the war, Shiga Naoya published a paper which said the Japanese should be abolished altogether and French, the most beautiful language on earth, should be used as the official language. (I’m sure such radically absurd ideas did not come from any GHQ coaxing.) You could say that the 表音主義者 (phonogram supporters) took advantage of the loss of WWII when the Japanese self-esteem was at an all time low to achieve their goals. The kanji set we now use mostly corresponds to the set selected by a Japanese committee (naturally under the GHQ) to serve as an interim set until the full abolishment of the kanji which was planned to come at a later time. However, owing to the confusion that would surely ensue a full abolishment, the abolitionists could not force their way after the GHQ had dispanded and were no longer backing them. In 1981, it was finally settled that kanji would be kept. There still is a group called the kanamojikai who are advocating the abolishment of kanji, but looking at their site, you get the impression that even they can’t quite seem to get rid of kanji.
    http://www1.ocn.ne.jp/~kanamozi/

  35. comment number 35 by: jazzman

    Is this site a meeting place of CIA and MI6 spies on East Asia? Your knowledge of Japanese developments is just amazing. I found this site incidentally and I also found Matt’s efforts to promote the “truth” beneficiary to Japan. I just wanted to thank Matt, although I’m convinced he is managing this site according to his own idea regardless of Japanese interest.

    Maybe I’m posting too many remarks, but I think at least I should answer two cent’s question.

    Yes, there has been a romanaization movement in Japan. It was promoted mostly by leftists or “commies.” I’m sorry for this offending expression, but I’m telling it as it is . One leader is Sadao Umesada, a Kyoto school scholar on civilization development a la Hangtchinton. Now he is blind due to his age and I don’t want to criticize old man’s sturbbon argument, but his argument has never been seriously taken by Japanese or by our goverment. But Japanese media exposed his idea many times partly due to our media’s leftist slant. Anyway it is good to know that we have the freedom of speech even if the argument is bad natured.

    Several years ago Mr. Makihara, Chairman of Mitsubishi trading company suggested that within his company English should be the language to communicate. In this case Makihara was called a “Martian.” It just impossible for us to do so (OK, I can do that, but I’m an exception to prove general inability of Japanese English skill.

    There has been many movements in Japan. Even in my small town, there are several devoted Japan’s Communist Party supporters. But that does not mean we belive in communism. This is a dilemma every democratic country faces, I think.

    Adios, amigos! Todos parabens para tu!

  36. comment number 36 by: tomato

    Showgee>

    I wasn’t sure I knew the fourth one about the clam.

    By the way, we Japanese do highly regard Chinese civilization (especially the classic one), and we like quoting classic Chinese literature. Our “Nengo” (ex. Showa, Heisei) comes from Chinese classics. If one does’t have knowledge of Chinese classics, he/she won’t be considered educated. I guess it’s like Roman/Latin literature for the Europeans.

    So, we will never give up Kanji. We aren’t ethno-centric and ultra-nationalistic like some country next door. We don’t have any trouble at all in using foreign ideas, and we don’t have to claim false origin in order to hide our complexity towards everything foreign (and we pay for the use of intellectual rights, we don’t just copy-for-free). I guess in the long run this difference in attitude will make the difference, or should I say the difference in the level of economic and social development is already pretty much apparent. And I’m not talking about China or Taiwan, just so you don’t get me wrong.

  37. comment number 37 by: showgee

    Two Cents Said:
    Actually, kanji abolitionists were active since the early Meiji, when the Japanese thought that breaking away from China would be a cool idea.

    Yes, you are right. However, “cool” has nothing to do with the movement. As you know well, it was 25-year-old diplomat, scholar named MORI Arinori(森有礼) from Satsuma,now Kagoshima pref., that first adovocated introduction of “Simplified English” and the abolishment of Japanese ‘written form’, outdated Chinese blended in Japanese, for the sake of Japan catching up with the Western colonist nations which had been stalking the Pacific nations for their next prey. It was in 1872(Meiji 4th) that he first adovated his idea. He was sent to UK for study at the age of 17 by then-Satsuma daimyo(feudal lord) Shimazu. That was even before the Meiji Restration. For further details pls refer to this site.

    In 1873(six years after the Meiji Restoration) an intellectual society called Mei-roku-sha,明六社,was set up by Mori . Its purpose was to promote Civilization and Enlightenment. It played a prominent role in introducing and popularising Western ideas during the early Meiji period. To name a few among the members; Nishi Amane,Fukuzawa Yukuchi, Kato Hiroyuki, Nishimura Shigeki, Nakamura Masanao. They were the main forces who coined thousands of 和製漢語Japan-born Chinese compound words) in order to help introduce totaly new ideas and things and insutitutions brought up in the Western civilazation. There was an interesting episode related to this; it is said Mao could not have finished writing ‘Mao Zedong Thought’ without the help of these imported Japan-bornd Chinese compounds. Needless to mention their nation’s name, -People’s Republic(人民-共和国) part.

    By the way, 1886 thru 1889 he was the very first MOE of Ito hirobumi and Kuroda cabinets during which he enacted the “Mori Reforms” of Japan’s education system, which included six years of compulsory, co-educational schooling for all.

    Please note that when he advocated his idea, there was’t even standard spoken Japanese. Under the Tokugawa rule(1603-1867) hundreds of daimyos were rather encouraged to keep the local dailects alive so that passers-by(possible spy from other province) were identified easily. Those who interested in what they are like in today’s Japan, pls visit the following post by a Rob, teacher of English. He has a good sense of humor as well as a keen observation of life in Japan. The play mentioned was 国語元年, Kokugo Gannen (The First Year of the Japanese Language). It was written by Inoue Yasushi. Actually I watched it on NHK in 1985. It was quite enlightening as well as entertaining. It was my first Japanese TV drama with full ‘Japanese’ subtitles and the last one.
    I have a kind of strage experience related to this topic myself. When I was a college kid, I liked to travel thru out Japan by local trains、鈍行(slow progress?). When I wan in Aomori pref.,Norther most one in Honshu(main island), I started hear a two old ladies talking to each other enjoying the ride. I try to listen to their converstions to find out the topic. I could understand none. not a word. So, this time I was ALL EARS. It wasn’t English, French,German,Italien,Spanish, Mandarin, Cantonese or Russian. I speak none of them except English, yet I can tell them when I listen to. So, at last I decided to stand up and look back at them only to find out they were local petite Obaasans,old ladies, engrossed themselves in conversation in a local dialect called 津軽弁,tsugaru-ben.

  38. comment number 38 by: nou

    I find it hard to believe that the Korean veterans would have forgotten to bring along an American flag with them, so the American flag must have been excluded from the picture.

    this photo doens’t include the whole veterans with flags on the stage. any flag could be cut and many flags including the american one were cut.

    watch this video. (you should click the rectangular button with TV icon and ‘300K’. you can skip the first 50 sec to reach the flag scene directly.) you will understand why the flag was cut from the photo. the stars and stripes was at the very left of the stage and the photographer took the center of the stage including the Mac Arthur Statue. i think any photographer would take the center stage, if he should produce a single picture representing the event.

    i think the newspaper must have been more considerate to gaijin population on the internet with victim mentality. any photo missing american (or australian) flag could hurt them greatly.

  39. comment number 39 by: Matt

    watch this video. (you should click the rectangular button with TV icon and ‘300K’. you can skip the first 50 sec to reach the flag scene directly.) you will understand why the flag was cut from the photo. the stars and stripes was at the very left of the stage and the photographer took the center of the stage including the Mac Arthur Statue. i think any photographer would take the center stage, if he should produce a single picture representing the event.

    i think the newspaper must have been more considerate to gaijin population on the internet with victim mentality. any photo missing american (or australian) flag could hurt them greatly.

    Hi nou,

    Maybe you are right, maybe it is purely incidental and nothing was meant by it (although the picture from Sankei Shinbun seems to get the American flag in just fine even though it is also on the left). Maybe you are right in that foreigners are just being too sensitive about it, and have a ‘victim mentality’. However, I prefer to look at the larger context to find meaning. I was reading a Korean history textbook (junior highschool, I think), and the description of the defeat of Japan made it seem like Korea had defeated Japan, not America and the allies. It said something like ‘although the army of the united nations assisted, it was largely the fierce resistance of the people and patriotic Korean armies that liberated Korea’. When the official Korean history textbook can distort facts like that, it is not so hard to imagine that the Korean media would also try to minimize the contribution of other countries, especially America.

    I have to say though, would a competent photographer really fail to get the American flag in there?

  40. comment number 40 by: nou

    hello matt,

    i understand your larger context. i think the quote from the textbook could make more convincing and meaningful article.

    i can’t find bad intention from the photo. the photographer could contain every flag in one shot, but it would have made the faces and the flags undistinguishable. In my opinion, Mac Arthur, who happens to be one of the greatest AMERICAN generals, being in the center of the photo pretty much substitutes the stars and stripes.

    i find you rely on image or scandalous incidents rather often. my french friend once told me that he doesn’t watch TV but read newspapers. He told me the image can easily paralyze one’s reason. it was one of the most valuable remarks that i’ve got in france.

  41. comment number 41 by: Two Cents

    Matt,
    This is completely my personal opinion, and has nothing to do with the real world, but if I were Kim Jong Il, I would like nothing more than to split the ties between the US and ROK. And since a tactic like this would cost nothing (except maybe some drinks for the photographer), I would order a spy to try to get it done in order to make a dent, however small, if it would be effective in alienating ROK from the US. Although a picture like the one seems like a petty tactic, small incidents can lead to mistrust and eventually a total split between allies. Naturally and understandably, Koreans will claim that the American flag just happened to be out of the scope of the shot. The Americans may take it as an intentional act. Given the delicate situation that the alliance is in now, I would have to say that either the photpographer or the editor was a total fool. He should have taken extra care to choose a shot that included the US flag. Of course, the photographer or the editor may simply have had an agenda of their own.

  42. comment number 42 by: showgee

    Yesterday I went to the local city library to find the photo in The Sankei Shimbun. It was on the page 6 of Sep.20 12th-edition issue which featured the international-related news. The very photo was provided by Associated Press, well-known American news agency while the other one Matt pointed out was provided by YONHAP News Agency, the sole news agency in S.Korea. One more thing I noticed was that The largest flag appears in the photo was that of American and it’s the only one kept almost complete form.

    Like TV repots and newspapers, as a news source organization no news agency can be free from the country from which it supplies news or its national sentiments. No one believes Xinhua can reports without any interference from CCP. Being different from Xinhua AP and Yonhap are news agencies based in free countries. However, like the foreign policies or economic strategies they carry national interests intentionally or not, I think.

    While I have no doubt about the true feeling of the patriotic retired former S.Korean soldiers who are the last generation fought in the war and witnessed the historical event, I have been bothered by the fact that even the photo itself cannot be free from propaganda. You even don’t have to distort it. All you have to do is move your camera a few degrees horizontally. “Old South Korean soldiers never die, they just fade away.” ?

  43. comment number 43 by: nou

    All you have to do is move your camera a few degrees horizontally.

    then you lose the statue of mac arthur because the stars and stripes is located at the far left of the stage. sankei photo may have been taken in a diffrent moment when the US flag holder moved to the center.

  44. comment number 44 by: showgee

    nou said Oct.2nd in a comment on “What, you mean Japan DOESN’T SINK?!”
    no photographer in this world can’t take the statue and the US flag in a close shot. the US flag holder had to move to the center to be included in that close shot you showed us.

    You mean”can take”? I guess that’s typo anyway. Don’t you understand?
    Nobody cares to comment becuase your vidoe proves nothing.
    Toward the end of the video a man was saying some thing giving directions. Any international event like this size has to be organized with lots of attention and requires people who help it go smoothly according to the organizer’s aim and schedule. Not to mention the surge of the annual anti-MacArthur(American) national sentiment in S.Korea as Sep.15 approaches. The veterans who held 17 national flags were given strict direction from the person when they posed for the photos. Otherwise it would be impossible that only American flag were kept far right excluded from the memorial photo.
    I think the both photos were taken, say, within 5 minutes, one photographer was very closely to the subject using a wide-angle lens, the other was taken a bit afar using a telephoto lens. That explains the difference between the two photos concerning the respective MacArthur statue position against the veterans.
    Well, to tell you the truth, I do not care the difference of the two photos which are supposed to tell the readers what exactly happened on that day.
    What I wanted see was a piece of photograph which sports both Korean and U.S. flags side by side in front row along with the U.N flag, for it was American soldiers that suffered the heaviest casualties among the allies and it was Americans that kept the S.Korea peace for more than 5 decades. Dispite the strong anti-American sentiment surrounding the MacAuthur issue the Korean press must at least have a courage to express honestly the appreciation for thier efforts.
    Those who wish to examin the differences between two witnesses to the the event, please do so by collating them.
    Thanks.

    nou also said
    i find you rely on image or scandalous incidents rather often. my french friend once told me that he doesn’t watch TV but read newspapers. He told me the image can easily paralyze one’s reason. it was one of the most valuable remarks that i’ve got in france.

    I quite agree with you. Then, you must respect my grandpa. He had kept reading only newspapers without any photos till he died. lol.

    “The great masses of the people will more easily fall victims to a big lie than to a small one.” by Adolf Hitler

  45. comment number 45 by: showgee

    Soooory. The above link is dead. Please refer to the following links;
    http://www11.plala.or.jp/harunobu/img/Macarthur_statue.jpg 700x873pix
    http://www11.plala.or.jp/harunobu/img/Mac1.jpg 1081x801pix

  46. comment number 46 by: KidfromOhio

    As a kid that goes to the oldest military college of US…. ( a Korean american american korean….whaterver why you wanna put it – )

    when I lived back in Korea I always recall…..during classes

    how great Gen. McArthur is. how he had a 3.997 gpa at west point …I remember this when I was in 6th grade – our history teacher talking about how great he is. ( IN KOREA.)

    Every Korean Independance day I’ve seen a Korean war special and McArthur special. And let me tell you something – If I’d ask the general public of America ” do you know Mcarthur” they’ll probobly say

    “huh? who is he – is he famous or something?”

    do I think the korean sense of respect is retarded from time to time? yes. but do I think koreans honestly don’t realize ( especially the older generations) US saved Korea’s arse? no. ( it’s late – hope you’d understand my grammatic flaws…)

    anyways, I’m furious about that pic – so you’re not alone – but you should know. I should see for the previous independance day in ROK if there was a Mc arthur special..

    actually…let me see.

    alrighty….Instead I see Gen. Mcarthur’s prayer to his son
    translated into korean – ( I’m guessing b/c Koreans love him.)
    (http://onelove.or.kr/zboard/zboard.php?id=onelove_QTC&page=5&sn1=&divpage=1&sn=off&ss=on&sc=on&select_arrange=hit&desc=desc&no=1)

    a Korean christian’s visit to Mcarthur’s memorial site in the US – chicago –
    http://www.skdch.or.kr/board/zboard.php?id=sk_jan_acc&page=9&sn1=&divpage=1&sn=off&ss=on&sc=on&select_arrange=headnum&desc=desc&no=219

    granted, due to the dumbarseness of pro US = anti NK

    or anti US = pro NK equation in South Korea – there was a fuss that asked the gov/ to bring the great general’s statue down – but –

    a netizen comments that it is ridiculus for one to do so –

    http://kin.naver.com/knowhow/entry.php?d1id=5&dir_id=5&eid=sX6fjqE38YZQzrErbcUwofBBP1GOFks/

    so…..

    Korea is so anti america…eh? How about America being Anti- french when
    the French saved America’s arse over UK?

    we all are hypocrits, remember that matt. ( why’d you have to have my father’s name? anyhow )

    good night.

  47. comment number 47 by: Intranetusa

    PR-China, ROC-Taiwan, Koreas, and other countries don’t like Japan for WW2 warcrimes. Japan doesn’t like China/N Korea for their crazy government and S Korea for anti-Japanese setiment. Korea and PR-China doesn’t like each other for history distortion.

    It’s a big hate fest

  48. comment number 48 by: Ken

    It is only 2 countries which dislike Japan.
    http://www.worldpublicopinion.org/pipa/articles/home_page/168.php?nid=&id=&a mp;pnt=168&lb=hmpg1#Britain

  49. comment number 49 by: allpotti

    see below
    1)http://pds7.egloos.com/pds/200710/12/97/d0030897_470eca3ca6ff6.jpg

    2) http://cfs4.tistory.com/upload_control/download.blog?fhandle=YmxvZzEwNDk3NEBmczQudGlzdG9yeS5jb206L2F0dGFjaC8wLzAyMDAwMDAwMDAwMS5qcGc=

    Now…satisfied?