Japan from the inside out

Straight from the horse’s mouth

Posted by ampontan on Thursday, August 30, 2012

From the 7 August 2002 Donga Ilbo

The Society that Promotes Lies

Hong Chan-shik, Editorial Committee (Excerpt)

* Accounts that the Koreans are skillful liars have sometimes appeared in books written by foreign missionaries and preachers who visited in the latter part of the Joseon dynasty.

In the 1920s novelist Lee Gwang-su cited several shortcomings of the Koreans when he offered a proposal for remodeling the race. Lying was one of them.

Lying is still so chronic that one sometimes today hears the phrase “The Republic of Lies”. While I can’t deny it, I can’t agree with the view that this is due to the national character of the Korean people.

* There’s been a sharp increase in perjury in South Korean courtrooms

Courts are sometimes referred to a Theater of Lies. It is not impossible to understand why an accused party, driven into a difficult situation during a proceeding where others are arguing that he committed a crime, would easily resort to a lie, the Devil’s temptation.

Along with hearings, which have further degenerated into a Theater of Lies, this is a self-portrait of shame.

The problem is how to create a society in which the power of truth erupts and overflows, without the Korean people falling into self-condemnation.

What upright and proper states share throughout the world is a value system based on thrift and honest poverty. They are not bound by ties of blood to family and relatives.

As long as money and authority are the supreme constituent elements of society, an upright life, even in poverty, will be nothing but the butt of jokes. There will be no reduction of lies at all.

From the 13 February 2003 Chosun Ilbo

Perjury-Inundated Courtrooms

Bak Se-yong (Excerpt)

Perjury, in which innocent people are set up as criminals and the crime of the person who should receive the punishment is concealed, is running rampant in courtrooms. It is when a witness lies at a hearing to determine the truth, such a civil or criminal trial or an administrative lawsuit.

Prosecutors indicted 1,343 people for perjury in 2002. This is an increase of nearly 60% from the 845 indicted in 1998. That is one thing in criminal trials, where prosecutors are present, but civil trials have come to be known as a Theater of Lies.

The difference with Japan in particular, where there is almost no perjury, is clear from the statistics alone.

In 2000, 1,198 people were prosecuted for perjury in South Korea. Five people were prosecuted in Japan.

Allowing for the differences in population between the two countries, the Supreme Public Prosecutors’ Office says that perjury in this country is 671 times greater than in Japan.

The prosecutors say the primary reasons perjury is so prevalent are the social trend that doesn’t consider lies to be that serious, and the compassion in Korean culture. (情にもろい)

From The Collapse of South Korean Ethics, O Seon-hwa, 2008

Why has lying become so chronic in South Korean society?

I view this as having originated in the concept of the “Righteousness of Flesh and Blood” (身内正義) from the society based on strong blood ties during the days of the Joseon Dynasty. In that society, the unethical ethics arose that any unlawful act against someone from outside was permissible if it benefited one’s family (or group). Even today, this tradition runs riot, and has broken down into the concept of the “Righteousness of the Self”.

In my view, as long as society does not overcome this bad tradition, the trend will further strengthen toward a course further removed from righteousness, against a backdrop of the recent intensified market competition. This is how far South Korean society has decayed.

From the Yonhap news agency, 26 August 2012

Evidence of Dokdo (Takeshima) Domain Discovered at Site of Ancient Silla Fort?

A fort associated with Usan, subjugated by warlord (Kim) Isabu in the 6th century, was discovered in Gangneung, Gangwon, it was learned on the 26th. Ulleong and Dokdo (Takeshima) are viewed as the territory of Usan. This is the focus of interest as important historical evidence proving that Usan was a subject territory of Silla, and that Dokdo was part of the nation on the Korean Peninsula 1,500 years ago.

The discovered remains of the fort indicate that Isabu conducted an expedition to conquer Usan from a base in the Gangneung area. The remains of the fort are thought to date from the early 6th century. They were found at the site where it was planned to build a hotel.

The year 512, when the fort is thought to have been built, corresponds to the period Isabu, who subjugated Ulleoung and Dokdo, was the ruler of the Gangneung area.

(See this Korea Times article for additional information.)

From the 31 August 2011 edition of the weekly Shukan Post

The Dokdo Museum located on Ulleong is the only museum in South Korea devoted to territory. It has several surprising exhibits. One is a relief map at the entrance that claims Usan = Dokdo. The relative positions of Ulleong and Usan are shown based on the oldest surviving map of the Korean Peninsula, Paldo Jido (or Chongdo) (1530). To the left (west) is Ulleong, and to the right (east) is Usan, with a distance between them of 87.4 kilometers. But the actual map itself shows Usan to the left and Ulleong to the right. It is intentionally falsified material to show that Usan = Dokdo.

The display in the museum interior:

In fact, an accurate version of the map is carved in stone outside the museum. In other words, contradictory maps are openly displayed at the exterior and interior of the museum. The stone carving, incidentally, also claims that Tsushima is Korean territory.

According to the 5 May 2007 edition of the Sankei Shimbun, their reporter asked the museum about the relief map (at the front) and they said it would be “removed soon”. It’s still there after four years.

(According to a report in Japan’s Zakzak this week, it’s still there now.)

The Paldo Jido. Usan is the island to the left, and Ulleong is the island to the right in the Sea of Japan, as highlighted.

An accurate contemporary map, with Takeshima/Dokdo identified as the Liancourt Rocks. Ulleong is the unmarked island to the west:

From the Joongang Ilbo 29 August 2012

This map of Japan is included in the Shinsen Chishi geography textbook printed with the authorization of Japan’s Education Ministry in 1887. Both Ulleong and Dokdo (Takeshima) are within the horizontal line that demarcates Korean territory. The island within the circle in the magnified area is Dokdo. Japanese territory is shown by horizontal lines. (Photograph: Dokdo Museum)

Here is the map shown in the newspaper:

Readers are invited to offer possible explanations for how the horizontal line delineates Korean and Japanese territory.

2 Responses to “Straight from the horse’s mouth”

  1. nigelboy said

    In regards to Shinsen Chishi, the original map is here.

    Notice the small spec of island marked between Oki and the far eastern island which is clearly missing from the article?

    In any case, the two sets of islands appears to be from left to right, Argonaut and Ulluengdo.

  2. 21st Century Schizoid Man said

    There is a saying in an area far from Far East that when a people are known as liars and when one of them admits it, how can one interpret it.

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