Currently, it takes some time to respond to comments because I have some other things I have to prioritize.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Sports and politics

There was a soccer game in South Korea on Tuesday.
It was Japan against South Korea.
I kind of foresaw this kind of image because "anti-Japan" is so common in Korea.
The flags at the center say, "conquer Japan" and "Japan sink."
I know "anti-Japan" is Korean government's policy, and many Korean people are very much satisfied with the policy.
But not inside the stadium. This place is not designed for political propaganda.
Would any viewer recognize it as "friendship match"?

The follwoing picture claims an island, which is illegally occupied by Korea according to Japan's stand point. Does the issue have anything to do with the soccer game?
I don't even wanna imagine what the banana means in this picture.

Would a Japanese man be optimistic about Japan-Korea future relationship after watching these pictures?


  1. Well you hear a lot of that Japan-Korea conflict. I've even seen photos of kindergarden kids from Korea and their paintings how Korea conquers Japan or just simply destroys it. Not to mention burning Japanese flag in public by grown ups. I find it kinda sad.
    Also, about the Korea-Japan mundial in 2002. I was still a teenager and wasn't really interested in things I am now, but how it went? Were there any problems?

  2. I always thought Japan and Korea where good friends, but when i saw the things on you tube, and the way they treated the Green Pheasant just because it was Japan's National bird- i started to wonder.

    You are very right, sports should be devoid of politics and hate. Sports are supposed to be friendly and competitive, not charged with such disgraceful displays.

    Why would South Korea not like Japan? I can't think of anything negative about Japan. Well i supose the JSDF could do a better job in killing Godzilla, but thats just me! :P

  3. @sakurablank
    Of course there are many negatives about Japan, just like about anything else; nothing's perfect.
    But the roots of the conflict between those countries reach long time ago. I'm not very good at history myself, but Korea has grudge against Japan about how they treated them back them. You can read about this whole thing all over the internet.
    Here's a fragment I've found in the net.

    Japan defeated Russia in the Russo-Japanese War, from 1904 to 1905. In the resulting Treaty of Portsmouth, Japan receives Korea as a protectorate nation, as well as the transfer of Russian interests in the area of southern Manchuria. Japan then establishes itself as an imperial power in Taiwan and Korea.
    These proceedings, of course, came after the Sino-Japanese War, which lasted from 1894 to 1895. In this earlier war, China and Japan fought over control of Korea; Japan won. In the resulting Treaty of Shimonoseki in 1895, Japan becomes an imperial power after ceding Taiwan and the Pescadores from China.
    After the Meiji Restoration and the fall of samurai and the traditional feudal class system, with Commodore Perry's arrival as a catalyst, Japan began rapid modernization and Westernization. These events see the establishment of Japan as an ultra-nationalist, imperial power, with relatively equal standing amongst the great Western powers of the time.
    Japan controlled Korea during World War II, and they killed 35 million Chinese, 6 million Koreans, and 1 million Filipinos during their occupation of East Asia.

  4. @nomercyy

    I knew about most of that, but it's been so long since then, i had no idea they would hold a grudge. I think everyone should forgive each other for mistakes of the past.

    Admittedly Pearl Harbor was not the best PR move, but that was 70 years ago and now 89% of Americans belive Japan has a positive influence in the world, and 87% hold a favorable view toward Japan- with Japan being one of our most looked up to counties and people (it might be the highest, but being just below Canada if it's not)

    Every country makes mistakes, just like every Human makes mistakes. I'm not particularly proud of how we treated the Natives, or that we did not have slavery outlawed from the start. Yet most Natives and blacks do not hold hateful grudges over it.

    Remembering the past is good as it helps prevent the same mistakes from being made, but to be so resentful of it?

    Besides..three words


    Who coudln't love Japan for these gifts? :P

  5. @sakurablank
    Well Japan is now widely known mostly for their original style of cartoons, comic books or even different style of music than the rest of the world. I'm not a fan of the Japanese cartoons or the comics myself; of course I remember the shows of my youth. Can't really forgot it, hehe. People may be into it regardless of their age, it's a matter of taste not age. Same applies to video games.

    But back on track; I just wanted to paste a link for you to see what I meant in my previous post.

  6. That breaks my heart to see Japan treated that way.

  7. [During Korea-Japan mundial in 2002]
    I was a junior-high student, so I don't remember a lot either. I did a brief research on the internet. There happened the same kind of things such as booing during the opening speech by Japanese prime minister.

    [Why would South Korea not like Japan?]
    The biggest cause is that the Korean government hasn’t told Koreans how sincerely Japan has compensated for the loss during WWII. A government always need scapegoat, and Japan is the most convenient one for Korea.

    [China and Japan fought over control of Korea; Japan won. In the resulting Treaty of Shimonoseki in 1895]
    Article 1: China recognizes definitively the full and complete independence and autonomy of Korea, and, in consequence, the payment of tribute and the performance of ceremonies and formalities by Korea to China, that are in derogation of such independence and autonomy, shall wholly cease for the future. except ends here

    At least the document itself supports Korea's independence.

    [Russo-Japanese War, from 1904 to 1905]
    Without the annexation of Korea to Japan, Korea had been annexed to Russia. This meant to lose the buffer zone between Japan and Russia who boasted "the most threatening army at that time." I believe Japan made the best choice he could make at that time.

    In Korea, population increased from 13 million to 25 million between 1910 and 1942.

    Korean people's literacy rate increased from 10% in 1910 to 65% in 1936. Japan actually taught them the Hangul together with the Japanese. (Ordinary people didn't have access to Hungle before the annexation)

    [35 million Chinese, 6 million Koreans, and 1 million philippines]
    "I" believe the numbers are exaggerated.
    This kind of number is predominantly one-sided.
    Do you think winners show real number of victims when they want to distinguish the evil from the good? In fact, the numbers vary depending on the document you refer to.

    I don't really know Japan's official standpoint on these, but these are the info I could find online. Don't take it too serious, it's just that even history can be subjective when it's related to national interests. The older the less distorted (It’s my theory).

    In conclusion, Japan is the most convenient scapegoat for Korea and China, and thus they make the most of it. Very simple and quite reasonable.

    Sorry for the disorganized writing.