AMPONTAN

Japan from the inside out

Shimojo Masao (2): Another East Asian entity

Posted by ampontan on Friday, October 9, 2009

HERE’S THE SECOND in a series by Prof. Shimojo Masao.

*****
China and its Vassal State on the Korean Peninsula: Another East Asian Entity

Chinese influence was brought directly to bear on the Korean Peninsula in the 7th century when Silla accepted military assistance from the T’ang Dynasty during its attempt to conquer Baekje and Goguryeo. Silla thus became a T’ang vassal state, and their relationship became one of sovereign and subject.

This relationship was maintained through the Sung, Yuan, Ming, and Ch’ing dynasties and evolved into a tributary system. Every time a new state was established in China after a change of dynasties, it followed the pattern of sending expeditionary forces into the surrounding states (i.e., military invasions). Whenever this occurred on the Korean Peninsula, the Chinese demanded the receipt of homage from the Koreans as a vassal. This was the Chinese version of an East Asian entity. Vietnam was among the vassal states, but Japan was never incorporated into the framework of the system.

Vietnam and Joseon broke away from this system at the end of the 19th century. After suffering defeats in wars with the French in 1885 and with the Japanese in 1895, China recognized Joseon as an independent country.

The tradition of this tributary system continues today, however. The People’s Liberation Army invaded East Turkmenistan (now the Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region) in 1949 and Tibet (now the Tibet Autonomous Region) in 1950. Both were placed under Chinese rule. The reason Taiwan, which was ceded to Japan in 1895, has caused the Chinese so much difficulty is because of the hegemonic tradition that arose from the history of this tributary system.

How will the East Asian entity as conceived by Prime Minister Hatoyama overcome this historical reality?

– Shimojo Masao

52 Responses to “Shimojo Masao (2): Another East Asian entity”

  1. Edward said

    Well… Shimojo fails to mention that once Tang China made it clear that Silla will be fully incorporated as a directly administered commandery in the system they revolted and fought the Tang for an additional seven years. At the end of it, Tang was evicted from the peninsula and put the headquarters to govern the commanderies away from Pyongyang and well north into the Liaodong peninsula.

    There were also times where Korea broke free from the tributary system such as when the Tang dynasty disintegrated, the Liao Khitan were fighting against the Song dynasty and during Mongolian rule.

  2. camphortree said

    Was the Korean dynasty one time free like this from the Mongol?

    Genghis Khan: I am the top of the world!

    Kubilai Khan: I got a barbarian shit hole in the east. I think it is called Korea.

    Korean scholar, Choe Ie: What an honor. Let’s get Japan too. Let the beasts suffer from your hellish occupation like we did, no, not that, your glorious, sacred blessings like we got.

    Kubilai Khan: Well then, go tell your king that he builds 900 battle ships, conscript 8,000 soldiers, 6,700 oarsmen.
    Korea will finance all the invading cost. Make sure Mongol will win.

    Korean Choe Ie: Goo, great idea as always sir!

    Korean 2 bureaucrats Kim and Song at Koje Island: We are supposed to guide three Mongol emissaries to Japan so that they may hand out Kubilai’s state letter to the Shogun. We were going to do so, but we changed our mind because of the bad weather. Let’s go home.

    Kubilai Khan: Go, go back and deliver my letter as I told you!

    The Korean scholar Kim and Song at a tiny island Iki, off Kyushu: This is close enough to Japan. Hey Japan (mayor-kind of the island), get this letter! Bye!

    Shogun Hojo at Kamakura: What the f**k is going on?

    First Mongol Invasion (1274)
    35,000 invaders Vs. Kamakura shogunate. Among the invading soldiers 13,500 were either war dead or drowned. Japanese modern historians deny that the Divine Wind ever blew though they recognize that it rained on the second day. Because the battles turned out not favorable to the invading forces the survivors jumped back on the remaining ships that had been drilled with holes by the Japanese pirates. Many ships sank on their way home. The Koreans were the first to invade, and they were the first to retreat. They survived far better compared to the Mongols.

    Mongol Invasion 2 (1281)

    Korean King Wongjoh: Our God like leader Kubilai Khan, let’s go and defeat the beasts in the east. This time thoroughly and mercilessly! I can’t wait!

    In 1275, 8th time Korean guides and Mongol emissaries to Japan: Hey Japan, get this letters! These letters are to your shogun from the great Korean king and the God like Emperor Kubilai. This is the eighth letter you know, can’t you get it?

    Shogun Hojo at the Kamakura beach: Enough! Head off!

    In 1279, 9th time Korean and Mongol emissaries: Hey Japan, we brought you letters again.

    Shogun Hojo: Head off! All of them!

    Mongol Invasion 2 (1281)

    140,000 invading soldiers landed on the northern coast of Kyushu. The battles on the land did not turn out favorable to the invading force. 100,000/140,000 invaders were abandoned in the land by their commanders. The captives were either killed or enslaved. The survivors learned to mingle with the locals and thus the China Town in Fukuoka originated, they say. The rest of the invading forces jumped back to the ships that had been again damaged by the Japanese pirates. Many were drowned on their way home. The Japanese modern historians do not recognize that the Divine Wind ever blew. It might have rained. Mongol history record (元史)says that 10~20% of them made their way home. The Fukuoka China Town is the gift from the Mongol Invasions. Thank you.

  3. Ken said

    Kyoto Univ Prof emeritus, Umesao concluded in the consultation committee during PM Miyazawa administration, “There has been no favorable thing if Japan associates with continental Asian countries.”

    http://sankei.jp.msn.com/politics/policy/091009/plc0910090322001-n1.htm

  4. WangKon936 said

    # 2, Japanese author Yasushi Inoue wrote a critically acclaimed book called “Wind and Waves” that was about the Korean, Japanese and Mongolian interaction at this time that is, to say the least. far more accurate than your assessment. Perhaps you should pick the book up.

  5. Aceface said

    And WangKon936,I’ve already told you THAT is a novel and a fiction before.You might want to be more careful with the accracy of information on Japan.

  6. […] Was Shilla a vassal state of the Chinese? […]

  7. Edward said

    Aceface,

    The interesting thing about that book was that it really wasn’t about Japan, but the burdens that Korea had to endure to sponsor the invasion. That part of history is very well documented and it is to Yasushi Inoue’s credit that he made that subject the focus of his book.

  8. Jason said

    To Camphophenic (uneducated wart) or Camphortree, you really need to brush up on your history before you start to write little droplets like that thinking that you’re witty. It’s very offensive to refer to countries as “barbaric shitholes” considering that most of the culture from your homeland (I’m assuming you’re of Japanese descent) probably extracted every once of civilization from “the mainland”. Also, Genghis Khan wasn’t around when Kubilai planned on invading Japan as he was only 12 when Genghis died, dingus.
    ———————–
    Apart from having no patience for people killing time by trolling (which is not you), the only rule for Comments is no ad hominem.

    If you want to call Japan, or more to the point, the nation I come from (the US) a “barbaric shithole”, go right ahead. People will draw their own conclusions.

    But you could have just as easily made your point without making it personal. Please keep that in mind in the future.

    – A.

  9. Aceface said

    No question about that.However,that’s not particulary unique in post war Japan,or to be more exact,that’s more like conventional narrative on Korean hiostory of the time among Japanese liberal and Zainichi Koreans based on “Mongolian Invasion元寇”by Hatada Takashi.
    It was especially popular around at the times when South Korea “had to endure to sponsor the invasion” in Vietnam.For it contradicts “the moral supremacy of Korea that haven’t invade other for five thousand years like Japan”meme.

  10. camphortree said

    Jason,
    Khubilai Khan was a grandson of Genghis Khan, and Khubilai was the 5th ruler of the 元 Dynasty. A whole line of space Ampontan kindly puts between Genghis and Khubilai indicates that Khubilai ruled in a later succession. If the space did not work out for you Jason as it was intended I deeply apologize. I appreciate Ampontan for adding the space for the convenience of the rest of the readers.

  11. Jason said

    Got it, Ampontan. So, on your blog, personal attacks are highly discouraged, yet verbal attacks and name-calling on a whole culture or nation is OK and not subject to censoring. Or maybe just attacks on the Korean culture are ok. People can draw their own conclusions when one attacks a whole culture, but we cannot when the attack is towards one biased individual. Got it. Thank you for laying down the rules.
    ——–

    People can draw their own conclusions when one attacks a whole culture

    Indeed, you did get it.

    Deleting ad hominem attacks has nothing to do with the readers. I get all the comments by e-mail and I choose not to waste my time on reading that crap. Also, women post here, and they get real tired of that stuff very quickly.

    People occasionally come by and attack Japanese culture, and I don’t stop them.

    I can understand why you might be disoriented, however–what with all the popular websites focused on Korea in more than one language in which posters get to bash Japan as much as they like without being deleted, while people who object or make similar points about Korea are deleted.

    And that’s not to mention the treatment Japan gets 24/7 from the South Korean media, which never happens in the Japanese media about South Korea.

    Thank you for laying down the rules.

    You’re welcome. Any time.

  12. Aceface said

    “It’s very offensive to refer to countries as “barbaric shitholes” considering that most of the culture from your homeland (I’m assuming you’re of Japanese descent) probably extracted every once of civilization from “the mainland”.”

    Now,that DOES explain why all “Made in Japan” electric goods do look-alike Samsung products….

  13. Edward said

    Aceface,

    I like to think that neighboring countries learn from each other via exchange.

    Samsung got much of it’s early technology from Sanyo… probably because they were making private label for some Japanese manufacturers in the late 80’s and early 90’s. Somehow, later on Samsung started learning and achieving on it’s own.

    Same thing with Hyundai. Early on they relied heavily on Mitsubishi designs. I think the early Equuis’ had Mitsubishi engines actually.

    But some very basic things that are a part of Japan did come from the Korean peninsula. Buddism is one and so are kanji characters. Japan’s ability to acquire these assets through intermediaries like Korea instead of directly from China and India contributed to Japan’s uniqueness.

  14. Bender said

    Edward,

    The problem is, Koreans boast their racial and cultural superiority over Japan based on those past connections to an extent that is ridiculous. But then looking at modern Korea, the Japanese influence is hard to deny. I fail not to see the serious psychological insecurity there.

  15. Jason said

    Bender,
    I wouldn’t call it ‘psychological insecurity’. Although I admit that the “letting go” of past events by Koreans isn’t easy to come by, I think the Koreans are very secure in their identity and psyche. It has to do more with historical resentment as Japan was noticeably trying to erase the cultural identity and history of Korea during several long periods. I think any country that has had this type of conflict would field serious and harsh resentment towards the aggressor. If it cannot be understood on why Koreans feel that way, then it’s only because the culture that you identify with has not gone through a similar history.

  16. Aceface said

    Edward.

    Nothing to add your words.

    But one thing.When you posted something under WangKong name,haven’t you posted something like “Japanese are forgetting that they became rich because of Korean war and here’s some proof that even one of them admitted it”?

    Forgot the exact wording.But the page you linked was English translation of Sumiya Mikio,who happened to be an avid supporter of DPRK and harsh critic of ROK under Park Chug-hee.
    I understand Park is considered as “pro-Japanese” in Korea.But back in 70’s,he was most hated foreign head of the state in Japan for various reasons including abduction of KDJ from Tokyo.

    Sumiya was the leading liberal economist and one of the intellectual that supported appeal against Japan-ROK normalization in 1965.
    Sumiya’s logic(and many others) is that Japan having tie with only one Korea would commit Japan to the division of peninsula.And there has been an idea among post-war Japanese intellectuals that Japan helped Korea’s division by becoming supply base for UN forces during Korean war although Japan was still occupied by the allied forces and lacked independence to decline the commitment.I understand there are huge left wing bias on the idea.But then,that has been the intellectual landscape of this country.

    Yasushi Inoue’s novel”Wind and Waves” actually reflects this version of political thinking among Japanese liberals.In the novel, the Mongolians are the metaphor of Americans,Koryo,the Japanese.Meaning they are pretty politicized with post-war Japanese bent.

    These along with some of other your posting on Japan at Marmot Hole made me believe some of your knowledge on Japan is based on second hand sources and may lack understanding of the context nor the political intention of the original articles.No hard feelings.

    Cheers.

  17. wangkon936 said

    Aceface,

    I don’t know if this is a habit of yours, but you really shouldn’t discard ideas or poison the well because it comes from a source you don’t agree with. However, I didn’t get the idea from the person you mentioned. I got it from my undergraduate East Asian Politics class back in my college days. The instructor was a Japanese lady who showed a PBS video called Pacific Century.

  18. Aceface said

    ”I don’t know if this is a habit of yours, but you really shouldn’t discard ideas or poison the well because it comes from a source you don’t agree with.”

    Well,that’s just happened to be my habit and you are just getting some new informations from a sources you don’t agree with.
    BTW,Wangkong,I also don’t believe in this guy
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sen_no_Riky%C5%AB was a Korean,apart from your thesis.

  19. Bender said

    Jason:
    Before you accuse me from coming from an unsophisticated society (which I do not, thank you), maybe you should find out how Japanese culture trickled into post WWII S. Korea, even though importation of Japanese culture was all but officially banned until very recently. Tell me that’s coercion.

  20. Jason said

    Bender,

    First of all, where did I say you (I’m assuming you’re Japanese) come from an unsophisticated society? In fact, I even gave credit to Japan for creating their own identity during during the past 1,500 years (in another post). Not once did I say Japan was an unsophisticated society. And yes, I never would deny that modern culture trickled back into Korea after WWII…the modernization model was probably highly dependent from the Japanese modernization model. Every nation takes aspects of another and integrates it into their own, right? Japan is not excluded from this either. The cultural aspect that was banned from Korea was mainly from the “pop” culture…such as music, comics, movies, etc. Although I never personally agree with these types of policies, I will say that it’s understandable, considering that during the colonial period, Koreans were banned from enjoying many aspects of their own cultural past (ie-book burning and name changes). In fact, when you were asked in elementary school “What do you want to be when you grow up?”, you were scolded if you didn’t give a canned answer about wanting to help the Japanese empire. This resentment was understandably reflected in the policies of those that went through that period. But you don’t see that now (which is why the “ban” has really not been in effect for a long time) with the younger generation who didn’t live through that. I believe Edward pointed it out that neighboring countries always transfer, share, trade cultural aspects back and forth and one country cannot claim they originated anything.

  21. Ken said

    “It has to do more with historical resentment as Japan was noticeably trying to erase the cultural identity and history of Korea during several long periods. I think any country that has had this type of conflict would field serious and harsh resentment towards the aggressor.”

    Yes. Imperial Japan banned following Korean traditional dance but it seems to have revived judging from the handy cam-corder seen in the film.

    Also, Imperial Japan directed to quit ocultic methods against various deseases and brought scientific remedy but it is said to have caused serious resentment.
    The other, there were traditional culture using human feces such as 상분, diagnosis method by tasting patient’s feces, in Korea and Imperial Japan ordered to discard them but it seems to have caused harsh resentment as well.
    And likewise, those culture such as Ttongsul, human feces mingled spirit, is reviving judging from a blg and as follows.
    http://www.heraldbiz.com/SITE/data/html_dir/2009/08/04/200908040436.asp
    The point is “It is not an exaggeration if the spirit is not drunk now.”, which means they cannot deny completely.
    HongTak, Ray soaked and fermented in human feces jar, is welknown too.
    I wonder why more ordinary culture does not revive even if they were arased by Imperial Japan.

  22. bender said

    Not really, he seems to represent the chauvinistic view that Korea begot Japan and Japanese culture- and the Japs aren’t thankful about it or are in collective denial. None of the latter part about unthankfulness/denial is true, which you could have picked up if you’ve been tracking Bill’s posts about Japan. There was a post about a shrine dedicated to a Silla prince, if I remember right. A type of gate found in Japanese castles is called a “Koryo Gate”- I wonder why the crooked Japs didn’t bother to change the name to hide its Korean origins.

    Anyways, if you think hatred is justified, so be it.

  23. Ken said

    Rarely ChosunIlbo described uncivilized condition of Korea before annexation with Japan as follows.
    http://news.chosun.com/site/data/html_dir/2009/10/30/2009103001583.html
    I wish those who were brain-washed by Korean invented history like Jason would learn the truth by the column.
    It confesses Korean did not have camera and so the cartoon was duplicated from a photograph taken by an American.
    The original photograph is as follows.

    As a chance of the beginning, here are some referncail evidence before and after annexation (Click above site).
    http://jeogori.web.fc2.com/
    http://photo.jijisama.org/hg.html
    http://photo.jijisama.org/BeforeAfter.html
    http://www.geocities.jp/hiromiyuki1002/cyousenrekishi.html

  24. Jason said

    Ken, what is the point you are trying to make? Are you saying the annexation by Japan of Korea was justified because Korea was a poor country? And moreover, by annexing it, it was acceptable to treat the Koreans and their land the way they did? Are you saying that is ok? Be a bit clearer when you are trying to make a point and try not to deviate with your pointless posting of irrelevant links of strange Korean articles (by the way, you clearly did not understand the article in the link about ddongsul).

  25. Ken said

    Jason;

    Where did I justify annexation? Don’t substitute topic.
    You said, “Japan was noticeably trying to erase the cultural identity and history of Korea during several long periods.”
    What I am saying is that it is Koreans who erased own cultural and history of Korea.
    Furthermore, Isabella Bird described Koreans of 19 century as the most lazy and unfair people in East Asia in her book, ‘Korea and Her Neighbours’ but it is translated in Korea reversely, isn’t it?
    You had better read a book ‘Offspring of Empire’ by Prof of Korea Institute in Havard Univ, Carter J Eckert.
    If you still believe that there was advanced culture in Korea before the annexation and Imperial Japan swept away even after reading the book, there will be no medicine applied to you.

  26. Jason said

    Ken,
    If you weren’t trying to justify Japan’s annexation by trying to show all of the poor or “uncivilized” conditions in Korea prior to the occupation, then what were you trying to say above with all of your comments of degradation (many of them false, by the way) in your comments above? Were those just straight-out racist anti-Korean comments you were trying to display? Also, I never said Korea was an “ADVANCED culture” during that period, whatever your definition of one may be. What I’m saying is that no matter how “uncivilized” you may view another culture (whether it be one of “lazy” or “unfair” people) it is never acceptable for a glory-hungry country to think they can stomp on another and erase their history just because they have more advanced military technology. *Anyways, this string of comments has strayed into a different topic from the original posting. But it wouldn’t have strayed if we didn’t get so many Korean-bashing comments from the usual gang on here.

  27. Ken said

    Jason,

    You do not want to know truth of history, do you? Then I cannot cure you.
    If the start line is where you are, such scheme as East Asia Community is going to fail.
    Thanks to the existence like you, more Japanese can notice Korean way of thinking.
    Live along in your world and do your best!

    Btw, I am also interested in your definition of neo-right wing and right winger.

  28. Jason said

    Ken,
    Just so you know…my sense of history was not influenced by the “Korean way of thinking” as you might expect, since I’m an American who was born and raised in the US. So, your assumptions are wrong.
    And what are you referring to when you talk about “truth of history”? Does your truth of history mean that Japan had every right to try and take over Asia? That is truth to you? It may be truth to you as your sense of Japan’s rights have been distorted by right wingers. My definition? My definition would not be empirical, but it would include those who are overly-nationalistic and see it as Japan’s “justifiable right” to do what they did during the first half of this century without any sense of wrong-doing. Then they try to re-write the history in textbooks to distort what really happened during this time and to hide their shame. Most of Japan’s history had been noble up to that point in time. I think you may want to ask yourself that question if you want to know the truth in history or not. I’m not looking for you to “cure me” as there is no illness to be cured. I get most of my history from non-Korean and non-Japanese sources. If you have the “truth” about history, please enlighten all of us. I think the Japanese who think just like you are just a minority in your country as many Japanese I know are not neo-right wingers and realize the truth of how terribly Japan carried itself out during this time. For most Japanese, this was a period that they would like to leave behind and move forward, but people like you are trying to bring it back as if it was something worth being proud of.
    —————

    Then they try to re-write the history in textbooks…

    …that are used in 1.6% of Japanese schools…

  29. Jason said

    Not that I doubt your figure at all, but can you give me a source for that? I would like to read more on that. Also, it is very likely that it is only 1.6% of textbooks..and as I said, it is only a minority (albeit growing) of the educated Japanese that are revisionists. Most of the Japanese I personally know and also the ones that speak out in the media try to be a bit more fair in how they paint the past (ie-Professor Yuki Tanaka of Hokkaido Research Institute…I know, I know…you will consider him a far left winger). What I’m referring to when I say “re-write” (aka the revisionists) are the minority in Japan, although there is no doubt that there has been quite a resurgence in this type of attitude after the ’80s and ’90s. It doesn’t just relate to the way Japanese treated Korea either…I’ve read the arguments on both sides of the Nanjing massacre and although some of the Japanese nationalists have a good argument when they say it was exaggerated propaganda, a clear majority will not doubt something similar to a massacre took place. This is what I’m referring to when I say that there are efforts to “re-write” history.

  30. ampontan said

    can you give me a source for that?

    The people who publish the textbooks. They were bragging they got over 1%. Since you don’t read Japanese, there’s no point in giving you a link.

    Also, it is very likely that it is only 1.6% of textbooks

    How would you know?

    it is only a minority (albeit growing) of the educated Japanese that are revisionists.

    How would you know whether the revisionists are growing or not? Or even declining, for that matter?

    I know, I know…you will consider him a far left winger

    How would you know what I consider to be a “far left winger”? Is he a Marxist?

    Besides, since you are avoiding giving us your definition of “neo-right winger”, I don’t see that you have a basis for making any of these claims at all. Nobody knows what you’re talking about.

    there is no doubt that there has been quite a resurgence in this type of attitude after the ’80s and ’90s.

    How would you know there is “no doubt”? How do you know they aren’t declining, and the existence of these people is only being reported because of a greater interest in Japanese affairs from overseas? Or that there’s no change, and these people have been there all along?

    Since they obviously have little or no influence on Japanese education, and little or no influence on Japanese governmental affairs, it’s pretty much beside the point anyway.

    I’ve read the arguments on both sides of the Nanjing massacre

    I’ll bet you haven’t read this:

    https://ampontan.wordpress.com/2007/06/17/askew-on-nanjing/

    Oh, and one more: Considering the perversions taking place in South Korea today regarding the study of history–with professors being fired for failing to toe the nationalist line–and the distortions in Chinese textbooks, I think it’s safe to say that the average Japanese history textbook is more accurate than any in other Northeast Asian countries.

    I also think it’s a safe bet that an educated Japanese with an interest in these issues has a better grasp of regional historical realities than their counterparts in other Northeast Asian countries.

  31. Jason said

    Bill,
    Why would you assume that I don’t read Japanese? Are you the only American on here who can read Japanese? If you don’t have the source, just say so.
    And why are you questioning my statement about me giving credibility to your own statement?
    Are you trying to start an argument for the sake of starting an argument? I said it is very likely it is 1.6% (based on what YOU said in a previous post). For you to say “how would you know?” seems pretty shallow and contradicting of your own statement. And it appears you are picking on every sentence of my comments and asking “Why? How do yo know??, etc”. I guess bloggers can have an all-day pissing match with refutes of each other’s assertions or assumptions. I could pose the same questions to your last two comments as well. “It is safe to say that the average Japanese history textbook is more accurate than any other NE Asian country?” Really? Do YOU have any proof of that? We all know your loyalties lie to the Japanese, but your last statement that an educated Japanese has a better grasp of regional history is also highly unsubstantiated and quite an assumption on your part. Please don’t hate people just because they present a view that you don’t necessarily agree with.

    ————-

    Why would you assume that I don’t read Japanese?

    Because you don’t.

    If you don’t have the source, just say so.

    http://ja.wikipedia.org/wiki/%E6%96%B0%E3%81%97%E3%81%84%E6%AD%B4%E5%8F%B2%E6%95%99%E7%A7%91%E6%9B%B8%E3%82%92%E3%81%A4%E3%81%8F%E3%82%8B%E4%BC%9A

    My mistake. It will be over 1% as of April 2010.

    And it appears you are picking on every sentence of my comments and asking “Why?

    That’s because you make assertions without backing them up.

    Please don’t hate people

    Telling someone that they’re wrong isn’t hating them.

    Still no definition of “neo right wing” out of you. Still no explanation of why Ken, who is probably Japanese, has “racist” views of Korea. And the Askew piece left unread.

  32. Aceface said

    “It is safe to say that the average Japanese history textbook is more accurate than any other NE Asian country?” Really? Do YOU have any proof of that?

    1)Because freedom of speech has been guaranteed in Japan since 1952,thus allow academics of all stripes can write basically whatever they want.No NE Asian country has enjoyed the freedom in such long time span.Meaning Japan probably developed more diversed historiography on modern history than others.like China and North Korea.

    2)Because there’s such thing called “Neighboring nation clause”in text book editorial policy of Ministry of Education.Read what good people from Japanese Communist Party describe to you in easy Japanese,Jason.

    http://www.jcp.or.jp/faq_box/001/11-12-12.html

    No such things exist in Both Koreas,China and Taiwan.

    3)The Japanese government do not circulate single type of history textbook to the classroom around the country.Schools can select from multiple publishers that had passed the Ministry of Education guideline.Meaning the government do not have power to push one particular publishers product to the schools.
    (The said “revisionist”textbook has been ordered to “re-write”to meet the criteria of neighboring nation clause of MoE in order to sell their product as school textbook.They agreed and “white-washed” the parts in question.Thus owns the current market share)
    This is not so in South and North Korea where government monopolize the history textbook market.

    4)Japanese texbooks make head lines all over the world either there’s any error or when correspondents want to sell some biased stories on “Japan white-washing history”story.Meaning the textbook is always under the critical eyes all around the world,and this,I see nowhere resembling around the world.

  33. M-Bone said

    “Really? Do YOU have any proof of that?”

    I’ve looked at many examples of all and can testify to that, but I don’t expect you to simply take my word for it.

    Why not, however, look at the “joint” textbook that was produced a few years ago? It was released in Japanese as “Mirai wo Hiraku Rekishi” (hard to translate artfully, but I would go with “history for a better future”). It contains detailed coverage of Japanese WWII era atrocities, just like the vast majority of the Japanese historiography. South Korean atrocities in Vietnam, nothing. Cultural Revolution violence, nothing. Tibet, nothing. Massacre of student protesters, nothing. There is a pattern here.

    This isn’t just an East Asian issue either. If, for example, you were to go to a major bookseller in Japan, you would find more works giving details of past war crimes than you would in an American bookstore.

  34. Ken said

    I know, Jason. I know there are numerous Korean immigrants in the US.
    ‘Queen Min’ incident? You know such a minor incident well for an American, don’t you?
    The next is to revise the evaluation of the terrorist, An Jung-geun, isn’t it?
    Why do Koreans teach the (hi)story made by Koreans, not more common history, even in foreign countries? (Please answer this if you are not Steve because he escaped from this question.)

    “your assumptions are wrong.” “who is probably Japanese,”
    So is yours.

    “racist”?
    Prove it. If you cannot, the very you is a racist.
    Moreover, ‘Right winger’ ‘neo right wing’ ‘ nationalist’ ‘revisionist’?
    You really love to classify people with labeling, don’t you? What is the next?

  35. Jason said

    Aceface,
    Thank you for the link. I don’t disagree with you in that the Japanese media tries to present an unbiased view of things. In fact, when I lived in Japan, I used to watch some talkshows where they discussed hot international topics and they generally were, in my opinion, presented without any personal emotions….no question about that. The article you linked me to was written under JCPs website, which is generally known to be neutral in their views on international relations and they avoid leaning towards any particular country (even within their own Japan). Am I correct in my understanding that they are a very minority party in Japan though?
    As I’ve said before, my comments on here have never been directed towards the general Japanese population, which I view as one that strives to be fair. I am directing my comments towards the very small minority of Japanese (and those who side with the Japanese) who are NEO RIGHT WINGERS…yes, I know all of you love that term. Maybe I can substitute that term with Neo-Cons.

    M-Bone: I never doubted that Japan has numerous open publications on the atrocities committed in the 20th century. My use of the term “revisionists” was never geared towards the whole of Japan…just to a very small group of people. And by the way, Korea does not hide anything about the Kwangju massacre from under President Chun. In fact, people talk about it freely all the time and they are in every history textbook (at least the ones I’ve seen). They even made a movie about it. As far as Koreans and the Vietnam atrocities, are you talking about something like this?:
    http://www.hani.co.kr/h21/vietnam/Eng-vietnam273.html
    You may be wondering why some countries don’t have as much publications and exposure of their atrocities in the modern era. But the answer may just be because the level of atrocious acts committed by these other countries was not on the level or scale as those committed by the imperial Japanese.

  36. Aceface said

    “The article you linked me to was written under JCPs website, which is generally known to be neutral in their views on international relations and they avoid leaning towards any particular country (even within their own Japan). Am I correct in my understanding that they are a very minority party in Japan though?”

    Well,since you were interested into “minority”opinion in Japan,I felt the need to show you some example.The link was indeed from JCP website.However,I found the content basically remain in the line of conventional wisdom of Japanese liberal.
    (conservatives disagree with 侵略/進出debate ignited by “minsreport”from Asahi.)Plus JCP does have influence beyond their seats at the diet.JCP publishes the daily”Akahata” with circulation around 2million and strong influence over teachers union.Added to this,the party encourage their members to be active in local PTA board.Which is the reason why the right chose textbook to start culture war against the left since their influence is dominatant in school education.

    “I am directing my comments towards the very small minority of Japanese (and those who side with the Japanese) who are NEO RIGHT WINGERS…yes, I know all of you love that term.”

    No you don’t.I like the one without “neo”title on top.

    Anyway,the issue you brought up was neither the accusation toward Japanese in general nor it’s small minority,but whether “the average Japanese history textbook is more accurate than any other NE Asian country or not” and demanded some “proof”.Correct? Hence my version of “the proof”is on the table.

    Now,my questiion to you is,why would you think the otherwise,Jason?

  37. M-Bone said

    “But the answer may just be because the level of atrocious acts committed by these other countries was not on the level or scale as those committed by the imperial Japanese”

    Is there some kind of international agreement that I am not aware of that says that if your country’s troops only killed and raped tens of thousands of civilians, that you don’t need to teach it to your kids?

    This sort of thing only goes toward feeding the idea that Korea is the most unfortunate of all victims of colonial violence and exploitation.

  38. Jason said

    Aceface, How did you provide proof that Japanese textbooks are more accurate than other textbooks in NE Asia, other than stating that “No such things exist in Both Koreas,China and Taiwan.” That is not proof on the table.

    M-Bone, the difference with Korea being in Vietnam versus Japan invading Korea/China/Taiwan/SE Asia is that the “tens of thousands” were not civilians but mainly enemy troops (the article I linked did not say they killed tens of thousands of civilians). The big difference here is Korea did not initiate or instigate the war in Vietnam (they were 1 of just 9 or 10 of the anti-communist forces). There is a big difference between nations who were fighting for a cause (like repelling communist forces) versus a country just merely invading neighboring countries for their own imperialistic ambitions. If you are simply trying to put the scale of deaths committed by the anti-communist troops and their purpose in Vietnam on par with what Japan was trying to do during WWII, then that perspective speaks volumes on the education you received.

  39. M-Bone said

    I have a PhD, BTW.

    There are estimations in credible press accounts that there were hundreds to thousands of civilians killed in single operations.
    http://www.encyclopedia.com/doc/1P2-515747.html

    This article contains details gathered by a single American on hundreds killed in several incidents –
    http://www.japanfocus.org/-Heonik-Kwon/2451

    There are other estimates that South Korean troops killed tens of thousands of civilians and given the tenor of that war and the total estimate of 3,000,000 – 4,000,000 Vietnamese civilians killed, it sounds quite realistic. In any case, one of the reasons why we have no idea how many were killed is because there isn’t any concentrated effort in Korea to do the research.

    “There is a big difference between nations who were fighting for a cause (like repelling communist forces)”

    If you want to describe the slaughter of millions as a “cause”, go right ahead. The Japanese revisionists dishonestly downplay the violence of the IJA. You seem to be touting Korean and American violence in Vietnam, which included mass killings of non-combatants on the ground and from the air, as being honorable. That, to my mind, is some serious historical blindness.

    As for scales of killing, an estimated 5,000,000 – 6,000,000 Vietnamese died in the years that correspond with the American years of the war. The estimates of deaths in China (1931-1945) up to the 1990s were about 10,000,000 (in both cases, disease, starvation, and violence within the group were responsible for many deaths). I don’t see the scales as being so amazingly different here that it completely absolves the “anti-communists” of any reason to reckon with that past. And how many Koreans died directly from Japanese violence anyway? The estimates are the same “tens of thousands” that you get for Korean actions in Vietnam. Now what is the point here? Simply that it doesn’t hurt to take the dirt in one’s own country’s past and use it as a foundation for seriously thinking about violence. At the very least, it can stop the wholesale branding of other countries/cultures/ethnic groups as naturally and eternally bloodthirsty – those same feelings that end up perpetuating cycles of violence.

    “versus a country just merely invading neighboring countries for their own imperialistic ambitions.”

    Imperial Japan was “fighting Euro-American imperialism”, right? Just like “anti-communism” they knew how to put a nice name on continuous massacre in service of their geo-political interests. Japan’s expressed war aim was to form a coherent and exploitable economic bloc free of interference from ideological rivals. Even individuals who were fully behind the Vietnam War like Kissinger have proclaimed that this is what America was doing. You don’t actually think that the people doing the planning talking about freedom, do you? It was realist self-interest.

  40. M-Bone said

    The latest Korean textbook says – “Many Koreans were opposed to the unification with Japan. There were protest movements against Japanese control and the Japanese authorities put them down with violence”.

    The rightwing Japanese textbook says – “Korean was a backward region and the Japanese empire moved to aid the people there with a program of economic development. The Korean people welcomed Japanese rule and prospered.”

    Oops, I got those mixed up, the first is from the Japanese rightwing textbook (this year’s version) and the second is stuff that I made up.

  41. Aceface said

    “That is not proof on the table”

    Well,At least there are multiple measures in Japan to prevent the government dictates historical narrative in educational system.Added to the fact that there are check and balance in the political sphere to marginalize the political right.
    (revisionist textbook share in the market is below 1%.The Communist party,a very minority party in Japan,gets around 10% of entire votes at general election in bug cities,7% in the national level.)

    It will be on your burden to bring some logic(or proof) that “Japanese textbooks are NOT more accurate as other NE East Asian nation” ,Jason.

    “the difference with Korea being in Vietnam versus Japan invading Korea/China/Taiwan/SE Asia is that the “tens of thousands” were not civilians but mainly enemy troops”

    1)Japanese”invasion” to Korea and Taiwan and China and SE Asia needs to be diffferentiated.Hence the former was the Japanese colony and the latter was not.”tens of thousand” of killing had occured in the latter,where battle were fought and war crimes were made,not that I undermine the human right abuse in the colony,though.

    2) There isn’t much differences between the cause of making “Asia for Asians” and “Better dead than red”,especially for the victims who had been killed on their soil by the foreign troops.
    The main point is Vietnam never recieved apology(both official and non-official),sympathetic media coverages and financial compensation from Korea as much as Korea gets from Japan(and even that never really impressed Korean that much)

    “the article I linked did not say they killed tens of thousands of civilians”

    Actually,it does.
    QUOTE:
    In Vietnam, the Korean military killed a total of 41,400 enemy soldiers. But there were also killings of civilians that have not yet been officially reported nor made known to the world. According to the Vietnamese Ministry of Culture and Communications, the total number of civilians killed by the Korean military-the Ministry is careful to add that it is a preliminary count-comes to approximately 5,000.
    However, the Vietnamese people do not trust these figures. They even express their obvious discontent over the government’s lukewarm attitude to unearthing the truth. In a certain region, the figures claimed by the inhabitants more than double the official count of the Ministry of Culture and Communications.”

  42. bender said

    versus a country just merely invading neighboring countries for their own imperialistic ambitions

    You mean the expansion of Anglos across the North American Continent? How did Texas and California become Anglo territory? Where are the Native Americans now? What happened to Chinese settlements that were scattered throughout the Pacific Coast?

  43. Jason said

    M-Bone, You have either misunderstood my point or you are distorting what I’ve said. NOBODY will say that the anti-communist actions in Vietnam were “honorable”. (BTW, that was a good article you posted from japanfocus..a bit long, but worth the read). Also, you cannot say there was a “slaughter of millions”. There were millions of casualties, but when you use the term “Slaughter”, it generally implies the deliberate killing of innocent civilians.
    The clear distinction I’m drawing here (or the “cause” I referred to) was the purpose of the war. As with the Korean war, you have a war about North vs South with two different idealogies at work here and there was a request for military assistance from other nations. Sure, during this war, there were many casualties (no question about that based on the articles we’ve just read).During the Korean war, there were also millions (probably more than 3.5MM, including civilians and military). The UN involvement in Korea was more than welcome by the ROK. Just as the anti-communist “advisors” were welcome by the south Vietnamese (as south Vietnam’s military was generally viewed to be incapable of battling off the North). Of course, as with any war, the casualties are a common yet unfortunate result. But why hasn’t Korea demanded an apology from the USA for their killings? Why hasn’t Vietnam demanded an apology from Korea or the US (or any of the other national forces)? (They may have, but I haven’t come across it yet)
    However, the reason why I have a trouble drawing the parallel with imperial Japan’s actions and the Vietnam War is because Japan went into these countries for what purpose? To make “Asia for Asians”? To free the rest of Asia from Western democracy and capitalism?? Come on. Isn’t this one of the points they’re trying to revise in those textbooks (the 1%-1.6% or so of those schools)? Japan went into these nations UNINVITED. How have you been diluted to believe that Japan coming into one’s country was a welcome move?
    Moreover, Korea has not white-washed their involvement in Vietnam and has not tried to glorify what happened in Vietnam. So, forget about apologies…I’m not talking about Japan saying a mere “we’re sorry”. I realize that Japan’s representatives have already done so on many occasions in one form or another. We’re talking about not revising history. If you’re going to talk about “historical blindness”, don’t you think that “blindness” would apply to those who have diluted themselves to believe that the colonization and imperialistic ambitions (which involved destroying another country’s culture, historical landmarks and relics, language, and not to mention innocent civilians) were for the greater good of all of Asia? Oh, but you believe Korea (and the other Asian nations) are better off now because Japan slapped us into shape to modernize, right? As if that was the only way any Asian nation could have prospered, right? Interesting point to that perspective is that Korea was still very poor when Japan left. In fact, Korea was torn and devasted after the Korean war. How did Japan’s colonization help us prosper? By speaking Japanese?

    “Imperial Japan was “fighting Euro-American imperialism”, right?”…you really believe this, M-Bone? Or was that sarcasm I didn’t pick up (it’s hard to pick up sarcasm sometimes over written statements).

    “Japan’s expressed war aim was to form a coherent and exploitable economic bloc free of interference from ideological rivals.”
    This sounds like the revisionist writing in those new textbooks.
    But to address your comment, YES, there almost always is political self interest when a country goes to war. No doubt about that. But again, I’m making that distinction that America did not look to take over and erase Vietnam’s culture and make them American. There’s a big difference there. Imperial Japan’s ambitions were to slap the other nations around and make them “Japanese”…just like Japan did to the Ryukyus. And DON’T tell me otherwise, because that was clearly evident during the colonial period in Korea. Just ask any Korean who’s lived through that period. Japan didn’t want you to be Korean…they wanted you to be “Japanese”.

    Bender, your point is well understood in the US. There’s no secret or cover-up by the US that we trampled on the Native Americans. But again, to make a point: the USA does not say in their textbooks (at least not in modern times) that we took Mexico’s land and kicked out the Native Americans because we wanted to save them from the influence of Europe. At least the US can admit something shameful and not try to sugar-coat it. By the way, what were you referring to when you mentioned the Chinese settlements scattered across the Pacific Coast? Are you talking about some of the theories in
    Gavin Menzie’s book “1421”? I don’t believe China had settlements here, but it is an interesting theory. (Sorry if I wrote too much, Bill).

  44. bender said

    Aceface and others:
    Korea is kind of like Ireland or Poland- so I can understand that their perspective on history is based on animosity towards their powerful neighbors. S Korean misbehavior in Vietnam really isn’t much of a counter-argument. Other than the chest-thumping stories that Koreans begot Japan or invented this and that before the Chinese, which have no relevance with past Japanese or Chinese aggressions (and is completely ridiculous), I’d think that some level of hatred will persist, and it’s even justified.

    The point should be: why should the generation of modern Japanese feel guilty about it, and not only that, but why should a Western guy, coming from a long, long history of violent and bloody conquest, subjugation, and enslavement of other peoples, be preaching that to the Japanese. Also interesting is that the Western Japan-bashers, out of ignorance perhaps, don’t seem to really care about how Japanese society significantly progressed from the totalitarian and recessive one it once was. It’s the same, old, dirty and sneaky Japs for them. In the end, it’s probably some form of racism that’s going on here.

  45. Jason said

    “The point should be: why should the generation of modern Japanese feel guilty about it”
    Bender, You’ve completely missed the point here. Do I detect some over-defensiveness here? I don’t think modern Japanese should necessarily feel guilty about it. That would be terrible….the modern Japanese had nothing to do with it! Personally, apologies sometimes don’t mean a thing…especially if they are coming from the people who had nothing to do with the crime, don’t you agree?
    But again…the point (which obviously has been lost among the many different points discussed) is that it is more important to remember what happened and not try to change it or “revise” it. It’s very clear that many of you here believe imperial Japan set out to stomp all over Asia in order to create a better Asia and free Asia from the influence of Western powers. That is where the danger lies. As nationalists, don’t you give any credit to your Emperor? Wasn’t it your own Emperor Akihito who said that “such war sufferings will never be repeated”? In order for that to happen, isn’t it important that the shameful past not be “revised” or “glorified”? Why don’t you listen to your own Emperor?

    And there’s no question Japan has progressed exceptionally during the past 50-60 years. In fact, it’s without question one of the most miraculous economic and political transformations of the last century. Nobody is insulting that here. And if you’ve read my comments above carefully, you will see I gave credit to the whole of Japan and the openness of media and publications. But obviously, you do not see any of that and the only message that gets through to you is the one you feel most defensive about.

  46. M-Bone said

    “but when you use the term “Slaughter”, it generally implies the deliberate killing of innocent civilians.”

    What do you think “free fire zones” were about? And who do you think they were bombing in the North?

    Also read the second part of this – the closest thing that we have to a primary document. Testimonies regarding dozens of incidents of South Korean troops, apparently under no threat and for no strategic purpose, rounding up and slaughtering women, children, and the elderly. And this is just what a couple of NGO people managed to turn up themselves.

    “there was a request for military assistance from other nations.”

    There was a strong faction in Korea supporting the “amalgamation” with Japan and Japanese troops originally went to Korea due to a “request”. Did this make any of it alright? I would say “no” and I don’t see any difference in Vietnam. As Aceface pointed out, a “cause” doesn’t make those civilians any less dead or raped.

    “Just as the anti-communist “advisers” were welcome by the south Vietnamese”

    Welcomed by a government that was, after a point (Diem’s death) hand picked by those “advisers”. You write – “Japan went into these nations UNINVITED.” Not really, they supported certain factions that welcomed them in Korea, Indonesia, Burma, and yes, Vietnam – even China and Manchuria had “sympathetic” governments supporting the Japanese presence. It was all bullcrap, but you really should read up on just who these governments that were inviting the US in later actually were. Just for the record, what Imperial Japan did was hypocritical, self-interested, and brutal. By totally buying into the “they invited us, we were doing them a favor” narrative, however, you end up not only whitewashing the Vietnam War legacy, but end up helping to use the same rhetorical techniques to support the US’s subsequent record of interventionism (Iraq but not Rwanda, for example). For parallels with Vietnam just look at Karzai in Afghanistan – implicated in extra legal violence, corruption, election fraud, etc. A hand picked “yes man” with nothing but support from a certain class and region. Exactly what the US and Japan did back in the day. Is there any wonder that stability in Afghanistan doesn’t seem to be on the horizon?

    “Why hasn’t Vietnam demanded an apology from Korea or the US”

    Why, for example, did China wait until 40 years after the war until demanding apology from Japan and at several points 58, 72, 78 – clearly state through official channels that the Japanese were “also victims” of militarism? I think that it is obvious that a certain level of civil society, which didn’t exist in China until the 1980s, has to be in place before there are serious requests for apology (you will also note that South Korea only became serious about constantly asking Japan for different apologies when it became democratic). In addition, Vietnamese leaders did ask Clinton to acknowledge that it was an aggressive war on America’s part but he balked at that suggestion. In Japan you may have dull apologies, but elsewhere there is a strong refusal to even talk about apology.

  47. bender said

    it’s very clear that many of you here believe imperial Japan set out to stomp all over Asia in order to create a better Asia and free Asia from the influence of Western powers.

    Ahem…strawman argument?

    As nationalists, don’t you give any credit to your Emperor?

    Strawman and rude. I’m no nationalist and I don’t feed trolls. No thank you, and adios amigos.

  48. Aceface said

    “There were millions of casualties, but when you use the term “Slaughter”, it generally implies the deliberate killing of innocent civilians.”

    Sounds like “My romance,your affair”logic to me.

    “The clear distinction I’m drawing here (or the “cause” I referred to) was the purpose of the war. ”

    ” you have a war about North vs South with two different idealogies at work here and there was a request for military assistance from other nations. ”

    You might be interested to know the reason Japan allied with Hitler and Mussolini was because of the threat of the communism both imagined and real.Tokyo also repeatedly demands Chiang Kai-Shek to join this alliance(of which later made enforced a pact with puppet regime lead by Wang Jing wei,whom later “requested”Japan’s military support in China)

    “Just as the anti-communist “advisors” were welcome by the south Vietnamese (as south Vietnam’s military was generally viewed to be incapable of battling off the North).”

    That’s because the regime in Saigon was a puppet lead by the likes of Ngo Dinh Diem(whom later being killed in an armored vehicle during a coup orchestrated by the CIA).And that is the reason why many non-communist dissident joined Viet Cong to fight Saigon and American lead foreign troops.They,along with other civilians,are counted among the “casualites”of war in Vietnam.

    “Of course, as with any war, the casualties are a common yet unfortunate result. But why hasn’t Korea demanded an apology from the USA for their killings? Why hasn’t Vietnam demanded an apology from Korea or the US (or any of the other national forces)? (They may have, but I haven’t come across it yet)”

    Ever read anything from KCNA,Jason? Pyongyang has been condemning American war crimes for more than half centuries.I’ve also read certain articles from Hankyoreh and progressives during Roh years.

    Vietnam has been vocally demanded both apology and compensation for the civilian casualities(genocide in their words)during normalization talks with Washington in Ford/Carter years.There are short description on this in Nayan Chanda’s “Brother Enemy” when Hanoi had talks with Richard Holbrook,then assistant secretary of state for East Asian and Pacific affairs.Holbrook just gave cold shoulders to the Hanoi’s request and American public paid no attentions.

    “To free the rest of Asia from Western democracy and capitalism?? Come on. Isn’t this one of the points they’re trying to revise in those textbooks (the 1%-1.6% or so of those schools)?”

    I think you are conveniently forgetting the fact that there were only two countries that secured independence in Asia before 1945,Jason.One is Japan and the other is Japan’s formal ally,Thailand.

    “Japan went into these nations UNINVITED. How have you been diluted to believe that Japan coming into one’s country was a welcome move?”

    Because that’s what happened pretty much elsewhere with exception of China and the Phillippines.Nationalists in South East Asia welcomed Japan for they wiped out western colonial overlords.What the revisionist textbook failed to tell is what happened afterwards.

    ” Oh, but you believe Korea (and the other Asian nations) are better off now because Japan slapped us into shape to modernize, right? As if that was the only way any Asian nation could have prospered, right? ”

    Could you keep your criticism based on what we wrote and not what you imagine some of us to be,please?

    “Interesting point to that perspective is that Korea was still very poor when Japan left.”

    But Korea was also the second most industrialized area in Asia at the time of 1945.Not that we are asking for any thankyous,though.

    “In fact, Korea was torn and devasted after the Korean war.”

    A war that erupted five years after Japanese surrender,with no Japanese fight with boots on the ground,right?

    “How did Japan’s colonization help us prosper? By speaking Japanese?”

    Again,Japanese colonialism built infrastructure of various kinds and public education.While the aim was to make Korea more connected with Japan and making Korean more loyal imperial subject,there were some gains in economic field for the colony,unlike the Burmese and the Filipino who only had their land devasted by the Japanese.Plus speaking Japanese may have helped in catching up in modernization.

    Having said that,only real Japanese contribution to the well being of Korean people that is worth noting started in 1965,not before.

    “Imperial Japan was “fighting Euro-American imperialism”, right?”…you really believe this?”

    Why not?Japan wants what Europe and America(and China) had possessed.War in Asia during WW2 was basically a war between imperialism of different stripes.

    “I’m making that distinction that America did not look to take over and erase Vietnam’s culture and make them American. There’s a big difference there.”

    Because Vietnam wasn’t America’s colony.It was the French.French did just that and America,in the Phillipines,FYI.

    Making Taiwanese and Korean into Japanese started in 1938 to 45.For Japan needs to differentiate “Japanese” and “Non-Japanese” as the sphere of influence in East Asia gets bigger.If the main objective of colonialization was the destruction of local culture and turning them into Japanese,I believe Tokyo would have acted a lot more earlier just as they did so in Ryukyus.

    Biggest difference is that Japan lost the war and it’s act being convicted by the former enemy and victims.And any challenge to the historical narrative ignites anger and suspicion regardless of intention and will automatically be portrayed as the “rightwing conspiracy”.Others don’t.

  49. bender said

    About Chinese settlements in the west, there were many, but destroyed by Europeans out of racial hatred.

    One example:
    http://www.mchsmuseum.com/chinesefishing.html

    Ban on interracial marriage in California persisted until 1948.

    You’re sense of righteousness is misplaced.

  50. bender said

    Aceface:
    Arguments that Japanese rule wasn’t as bad as it is depicted is good fodder for the trolls.

  51. Aceface said

    Maybe,but I’ll take the risk anyway.

    The fact is modernization in Asia doesn’t mean freedom of individual nor ethnic group and economic prosperity solely won’t be the objective of the well being of the nation.Just as we now see in Xinjiang and Tibet.

  52. Mac said

    > How did Japan’s colonization help us prosper? By speaking Japanese?

    I’d say the 31 to 43% of Koreans who were slaves (Nobi) to the Yang-ban caste did pretty well out of the Japanese abolition of slavery and I would say that their conversion into tax paying citizens with a more efficient and less corrupt bureaucracy benefit them and Korea hugely.

    Interestingly, the same 2,000 year old Korean slave caste did pretty well out of Hideyoshi’s invasion 300 years before too … ‘upto’ 30% of them plus absconding in the chaos.

    So, it was not only emancipation from ‘Whitie’ that Imperial Japan was offering. Based on historical facts, it was a far better deal for the common people and slave castes of Korea to have been Japanese subjects. (One of the strictest rules within the massively regulated and highly efficient Korean slave industry was that children born to slaves must retain their slave status).

    We can quibble over the actual figures but the message is clear. I am always fascinated in debate such as these ‘who’ exactly these nation states are … who exactly is this ‘Korea’ or ‘Japan’ Jason talks about?

    I am empathizing with the now majority of Koreans who ancestors were slaves and am saddened by how easily they are duped into believing that the ‘Yangban heritage’ was ‘their heritage’, as they are enfranchised into recent revisionist models of Korean national identity (excuse my simplifications of the argument here).

    Given the role of education in creating national identity, one has to bear in mind that Korea only commenced its own experimentation in the creation of a national identity since the late 1940s. That is really not very long ago in human terms, especially given the hiatus of the Korean War and the influence of foreign based curriculums until the late 1980s.

    > [the] … expressed war aim was to form a coherent and exploitable economic bloc free of interference from ideological rivals.

    Which is exactly what the Russians, Europeans and Americans were doing in the same region … America had more cards, played them better and won. And now we are all Americans … with a few funny national costumes to dress up in once or twice a year.

    ‘History games’ are interesting exercises … I’d love to play out with some genuine, dispassionate experts the scenarios of Korea having being consumed by China or Russia instead of Japan, or even left alone.

    Looking at the Post-War Taiwanese, Chinese and Soviet Block experiences versus the Japanese one, we have very good evidences to theorize how life would have been, especially for ‘we peasants’ … somewhere between ‘shit’ to genocidal in the case of China and Russian, I would say. And, ‘same old shit’ in the case of Yangban rule. At best, Korea might have risen to become the Asian Nigeria.

    Obviously, the manipulation of Japan as a folk devil and the violent suppression of discussion and criticism of corrupt Korean political elites have been central to Korean identity forming over the last 50 years but I stick my neck out and would say … without any doubt … that the life of the common people of Korean benefited greatly from the Japanese incursion. They would have benefited even more from a united Korea and continued Japanese management/investment after the war until the nation gained its own independence or a united Korea and Japan evolved.

    Nationalism is worth shit. It matters not to a child what language it grows up speaking. Education, sanitation, freedom of movement, democratic rights are what matters. Would the Greater East Asia Co-prosperity Sphere have softened and evolved with time without the Bull and Bear of the US and Russian economies leaning on it? Of course. Much more quickly.

    > “Imperial Japan was “fighting Euro-American imperialism”, right?”

    Ask the Philippines, Hungary or Central America (if you know anything at all about history).

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