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More book controversy

October 14th, 2005 . by Matt

medicine

In what seems to be a ‘wave‘ (forgive the pun) of expose style books about Korea coming from Japan, a new book has become the target of critism in Korea. Called ‘Medicine for Koreans – the pathology of asymptomatic urinaraism‘ (The title was mistranslated by the Choson Ilbo), the book takes on Korean societal issues instead of the political issues dealt with in other books.

From the Choson Ilbo

A book by a Japanese language instructor living in Korea has attracted the ire of Koreans even before publication. The book, tiled “Medicine for Korea’s Ills” by Ryoma Nakaoka and subtitled “A country infected with ‘Our-Country Disease'” features on the cover an image of President Roh Moo-hyun holding a mirror in the shape of a yin-yang symbol — a none-too-subtle allusion to the president’s recent plastic surgery.

And –

In a chapter provocatively titled, “If you don’t know these things, don’t date a Korean” the author nonetheless shows willingness to indulge in some misogyny, saying that “because Korean women all have an inherently wild temper, once they are ignited there’s no stopping them.” “You cannot win an argument with a Korean woman,” the author moans. But Nakaoka also disparages Korean men, saying the majority are over-jealous stalker types.

According to the blurb, the book started out as Nakaoka’s blog, which opened half a year ago and visited by more than 2 million people

I have actually read some of Mr Nakaoka’s blog (AKA Christopher), and found what he was writing to be well thought out and the product of actual, real life contact with Koreans. His blog is here, but with the current controversy, he has restricted access to the blog for those with passwords (I will probably have access again soon, but will not be able to release the password here, sorry).

In the book, Mr Nakaoka deals with issues of society, culture, customs, men and women and many other things. Here some examples.

*The Change of the Korean president – A society that cares more about outward appearance than what is on the inside, and its reliance on it

*The under the table culture of bribes in the Korean education system

*Why Korean women cant get into cabs in the morning – The tradition of derision of women

*While the youth roar their love of Korea, there is an explosion of youth trying to leave

*The mystery of why cohabitating relationships are not accepted, and unregistered marriages are

*The suspension of the thinking process – Korea’s sophism on Takeshima

*Why girls born on January the first are disliked

*Born and thrown away – The advanced country that is a lead exporter of orphans

*Why Korean dramas follow one pattern

As usual, I will go and buy the book at kinokuniya, and write a review of it here when I have finished it.


15 Responses to “More book controversy”

  1. comment number 1 by: kage

    韓国SBS放送で報道された動画です。

    SBSニュースの“朝鮮につけるクスリ”完全翻訳しました。突っ込みどころ満載です。
    http://bbs.enjoykorea.jp/jaction/read.php?id=enjoyjapan_16&nid=1712679

    マットさんも朝鮮日報の記事を書かれていますが、他の各韓国メディアも異常とも言える反応をしたのを受けて、作者は身の危険を感じblogを閉鎖してしまいました。(作者は韓国在住者)

    以下にコリアン・ザ・サードのコメントに残された、作者の文を転載します。

    管理人様

    「今だからこそ・・・ 韓国斬り!!」の管理人、「韓国人につけるクスリ」の中岡でございます。
    突然の緊急閉鎖により日頃お世話になっておりました皆様がたに挨拶が当ブログ上でできませんでしたので、コメント欄をお借り致しましてご挨拶させて頂きます。

    当ブログ書籍「クスリ」が、先日韓国のテレビニュースや韓国版朝鮮日報、Naverのトップ、daum、トケビニュース、その他のネットニュースで大々的に取り扱われました。内容を読んでみますと当ブログの情報は個人の偏見にみち、捏造と歪曲だらけだといういつもの論調でした。

    テレビニュースは私も見ましたが、酷い放送の仕方です。重要なポイントは全て飛ばし、韓国人の怒りが反応しやすい部分だけを大きく強調している報道でした。過程やデータ、韓国新聞からの引用部分などは意図的に全て無視されています。

    この歪曲された報道により韓国に住む身としましては保身の為に潜らざるを得なくなりました。ブログ自体は緊急閉鎖によりとりあえず管理人権限で私しか入れないようにしております。

    現在は当然ですが復帰のメドなどは全くなく、状況によってはこのまま消え去る可能性も十分にございます。

    管理人様にはお世話になりましたことをここにお礼申し上げます。

    Posted by 中岡龍馬 at 2005年10月14日 16:24

  2. comment number 2 by: Matt

    Kage

    Thank you for this update. I recommend that everyone click the naver link to see just how extreme the Korean reaction to this book has been (the link has a Korean SBS TV news story).

    カゲさん

    いつも面白い掲示、ありがとうございます。このごろ私は仕事で猫の手でも借りたいくらい忙しくて、当ブログを放置してしまいました。上記のような情報があれば遠慮なくどんどん掲示してください。

  3. comment number 3 by: Gerry Bevers

    The author of the book should be grateful to SBS and others for making such a big deal out of it. It is another mountain made from a molehill if the SBS report is any guide.

  4. comment number 4 by: kage

    Mattさん
    こちらこそ、いつも面白く拝見させて頂いています。
    恥ずかしながら、英語は出来ないので機械翻訳で読んでいます。
    議論には参加出来ませんが、いつも見ていますので頑張って下さい。
    お言葉に甘えて、何か情報がありましたら掲示いたしますので、その時は自分の意見を表現出来る日本語になる事をお許し下さい。

  5. comment number 5 by: dead

    >Thank you for this update. I recommend that everyone click the naver link to >see just how extreme the Korean reaction to this book has been (the link has >a Korean SBS TV news story).

    Okay…I clicked the link…Japanese translation provided for those who can’t understand Korean…and….”how extreme”?

    There is a short comment at the end but for 90% of the news report, it is fair review of the book.

    “笑いものにして朝鮮をこき下ろしています”

    well, yes, the book is making fun of Korea.

    the report gives an example of taxis refusing women in the morning. Extreme.

    and the final comment:

    “多くの日本人達は相変わらず朝鮮に対してよい感情を持っているので敏感に反応する必要は無いと言う指摘もあります。

    しかし、相手の文化に対する理解も無く程度を超えた非難に対して私達がどのように対処するか悩まないといけない課題です。”

    well, does the book promote culutral understanding and healing? no…

    So, “how extreme” is the Korean reaction? As expected when someone writes a negative-focused book about their country. Of course, any country would feel the same way “理解も無く” not understanding us”

    P.S. before, you said not to write comments in Korean. “Write in English”
    and yet, Japanese is okay?

  6. comment number 6 by: Matt

    Dead, you have a NEWS STORY on TV taking quotes out of their context and saying that that Koreans are being looked down upon (again – they also said that KENKANRYU looked down on Koreans, but we know that is not the case).

    P.S. before, you said not to write comments in Korean. “Write in English”
    and yet, Japanese is okay?

    Kage was not trying to hold a debate in Japanese. All he did was come and say ‘sorry I cant speak English, but please take a look at this link’. Its a big difference from the Korean woman that was trying to debate me in Korean (she wrote ‘I havent read what you wrote, but this is my feeling…’). I am not going to get into lengthy debates with Koreans in Korean anymore because it just takes too much time, and the Korean always disappears anyway.

  7. comment number 7 by: Paul

    Hello, I happened to come across your site while searching the web for relations between Korean and Japan. You seem to be very interested in this topic, but I would like to ask you if you are interested in creating a closer bond between the two nations, or at least in lessening anti-Korean/anti-Japanese sentiments. Your articles are very informative, but sometimes I wonder what your larger purpose is.

  8. comment number 8 by: Matt

    Hello, I happened to come across your site while searching the web for relations between Korean and Japan. You seem to be very interested in this topic, but I would like to ask you if you are interested in creating a closer bond between the two nations, or at least in lessening anti-Korean/anti-Japanese sentiments.

    Hi Paul, I wish that would happen, but no, that is not the purpose of this site.

    Your articles are very informative, but sometimes I wonder what your larger purpose is.

    Have a read of the frequently asked questions page.

  9. comment number 9 by: Ell

    One thing that always puzzles me is why the Korean media goes on a blitz when something like this book comes out in Japan.
    It’s only a book, a book that one has to buy to read. It’s not like it’s a requirement of the Japanese to read.
    And in a free democratic world, there are many opinions and there is freedom to express them. And the book itself is not encouraging violence against the Koreans or anything…

    If a similar book about Japan came out in Korea, it would hardly make any news in Japan.

    Isn’t calmness a virtue in Korea at all???

  10. comment number 10 by: ponta

    when something like this book comes out in Japan.
    It’s only a book, a book that one has to buy to read. It’s not like it’s a requirement of the Japanese to read.

    Right, there are so many other books abut Korea.The readers are smart.They are not requreid to believe what the author says.

    If a similar book about Japan came out in Korea, it would hardly make any news in Japan.

    I agree.

    One thing that always puzzles me is why the Korean media goes on a blitz when something like this book comes out in Japan.

    I’ve bought this book today,it was 1200yen, cheap for this kind of book. and finished it.
    I think this book help you understand why “the Korean media goes on a blitz” At least it helped me understand some of the things korean do.

  11. comment number 11 by: Matt

    I am still waiting for the book. Its taking time because they are having it sent from Japan. I will have it reviewed as fast as I am able to read it once it arrives.

  12. comment number 12 by: Matt

    Finally got hold of the book. I have been busy with work but hopefully I will be able to read it in two or three weeks.


  13. […] After a long wait, Kinokuniya called me yesterday to say that Medicine for Koreans had arrived. […]

  14. comment number 14 by: Lawrence

    One thing that always puzzles me is why the Korean media goes on a blitz when something like this book comes out in Japan.

    It’s because that Korean Culture and Life still remains based on toadyism and their mindset is Chinese with a Korean flavor.

    Korean and Chinese attitudes are best described;

    The assistant press secretary of Chinese Communist Foreign Affairs was quoted yesterday as saying that China is proud that they have been peace-loving country and had no arms conflicts in its entire history (since 1949). Rewriting history has been a pastime for Chinese in power.

    One must be able to accuse others of wrongdoing as though they had committed that yesterday while he can keep committing atrocity to their own people today.

    Teaching pre-school age toddlers to draw pictures of burning Japanese flags and killing Japanese while pontificating Japanese of Korean’s current wishful view of history half a century ago.

  15. comment number 15 by: Katz

    The assistant press secretary of Chinese Communist Foreign Affairs was quoted yesterday as saying that China is proud that they have been peace-loving country and had no arms conflicts in its entire history (since 1949). Rewriting history has been a pastime for Chinese in power.

    Hahaha… The Gando and Goguryo issue.