Japan from the inside out

Grudge match

Posted by ampontan on Friday, August 3, 2012

THE combination of the hypernationalist undercurrent endemic to the Olympic Games and the two-ton chip on the Korean shoulder almost guarantees the emergence of a certain attitude familiar to those who live in Northeast Asia.

The following newspaper article appeared in the Japanese-language edition of the Joongang Ilbo this morning. (Many Korean newspapers translate some of their articles for Japanese-, English-, and Chinese-language editions.) Here it is in English. Please keep in mind that most of it is going from Korean to Japanese to English, and the soccer manager’s comments are going from English to Korean to Japanese to English.

Great Britain’s team in Olympics men’s soccer has again wounded the pride of the South Korean team coached by Hong Myung Bo.

Early in the morning of the 3rd (Korean time), Great Britain’s manager Stewart Pearce continued his dialogue with the British media at an official news conference at Cardiff Millennium Stadium that had the nuance of ignoring South Korea.

The news conference was about the quarterfinal round, but no questions arose about South Korea. The only questions were about those that had no direct relationship with the next match, such as the significance of playing with a unified British team (it combines players from England and Wales), the meaning that appearing in the Olympics has for the younger players, and the potential for a medal.

Watching this, the South Korean media could not remain indifferent, and asked the British manager to evaluate the South Korean team that his team would be playing in the quarterfinal. It was the first time that Pearce opened his mouth, and it was clearly lip service. As if he had been waiting for the question, he was enthusiastic in his praise for South Korea.

“In the three matches of the first round, South Korea gave up only one point. They have exceptional organizational strength. They are well prepared, and are a very complete team. They present a new look in technique and strategy in every match.”

But his attitude changed when he was asked to select a South Korean player that should be marked in particular. With a somewhat confused expression on his face, Pearce said, “I know South Korea only as a team. I am not as familiar with the individual players.” It was a string of excuses that didn’t rise to the level of excuses.

It isn’t only Pearce. The overall atmosphere of British soccer is much the same. They seem to be more concerned about whether they will beat Brazil, who is likely to be their opponent in the semifinal match, rather than South Korea in the quarterfinal match.

The objective of the South Korean team is not only to win their first soccer medal ever in the games. A compelling situation has now arisen for a victory to take down a peg soccer’s colonial power that disrespects South Korean soccer.

The newspaper’s tone was a bit different when their players got thrown out for trying to throw a two Olympic badminton matches. This is the extent of the admonitions I could find in Engish:

Korean head coach Sung Han-kook said after the match that he was fed up with the Chinese players’ actions, saying “it’s not in the Olympic spirit to play like this.”

However, it turned out that Korea is not in position to blame the other teams as Ha and Kim apparently tried to throw a match against Jauhari and Polii of Indonesia. The two teams also purposely gave up points and made mistakes in an attempt to avoid world No. 1 Wang and Yu in the quarterfinals.

“This is a shame and disappointment,” a netizen wrote on Web portal Naver. “What about other players who put their efforts forward to advance? It is right for these players to be disqualified.”

Some local badminton officials said that the Korean team’s actions weren’t proper, but they could understand why the badminton crew committed such an act since getting good results matters at the Olympics.

And some people wonder why Japan has a difficult time establishing stable diplomatic relations with South Korea.


To those who wonder if the tone of Japanese newspapers is the same, I offer this from 2008.

They get excited about soccer in South Korea.

2 Responses to “Grudge match”

  1. Camphortree said

    How many Olympics have been wasted before Englishmen admit that the Koreans invented soccer? Along with monkey dancing in the stadium that was meant to give free lessons to the Japanese so they would know what they were.

  2. Ken said

    Long time, no see, Camphortree.

    That MonKi Sungyueng diverted the responsibility to Scots as he is discriminated in Scotland, didn’t he?
    Japanese people should have made the conduct to public by sending bunch of mails to his address to make it freeze like Koreans did against Swiss player to expel from the tournament.
    But they had gone too far as follows.

    A few Koreans are sane as follows but in vain.

    Their way of thinking is what they do is definitely done by other countries’ people as follows.

    They made noise outside of their opponent’s hotel and repeated ‘ping-pong dash’ (to ring the chime of opponent’s room and run away to unable opponent’s players to sleep well) all night long during 2002 World Cup.
    4 of 10 worst miss judges in World Cup history are in the games against Korea at that time still now.

    Though there is a dialog in Indy Jones, “Is he crazy?” “No. He is nuts,”, they are not nuts but distracted.
    There is a proverb in Japan, “Cutlery to crazy guy.” and now it should be “Internet to Koreans.”.

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