READER Ken sent the following YouTube video of a segment that was presented on the Korean Broadcasting System (KBS-TV) during its 8:00 a.m. program. There was no information about the year, but it might have been 2007. In any event, the activities described in the video continue today. It has Japanese subtitles, which I’ve translated into English.
Female anchor: Do you remember that Japan drove metal piles into the ground throughout our country during its forced occupation to disrupt the vitality of our race? Recently several large wooden piles were discovered on Mt. Gaehwa in Seoul. These are presumed to have been driven in by Japan.
Male anchor: It’s the first time wooden and not metal piles have been discovered…used for a feng shui invasion. This reminds us once again of the intensity of the Japanese desire for domination.
Male reporter (Kim Hak-je): Sixteen wooden piles, 27 metal piles, and two piles made of stone were discovered on Mt. Gaehwa. They managed to remove the metal and stone piles, but the wooden piles discovered later were quite large, and the removal work has so far not been easy. We set out to discover who drove in those piles, how they did it, and for what reason.
Voiceover: Mt. Gaehwa is about 130 meters above sea level on the other side of the Han River from the Haengju Fortress. Thick wooden piles of indeterminate form rose on the summit of the mountain.
It’s 2.85 meters high and has a circumference of 83 centimeters. Does it get thicker the further down it goes?
There were 16 in all, each of slightly different lengths and thicknesses. A specialist in the hexed metal piles began the work to remove them last month.
Seo Yun-yeong, Chairman of the Committee to Promote the Vitality of the Race: I’ve already removed a lot of these hexed metal piles. But this is the first time I’ve seen so many wood ones…The purpose of these piles was probably the same as the metal and stone ones.
Voiceover: On the day we visited the site, the real size and shape was revealed of the long wooden pile that was deeply buried in the earth.
Seo: Ah, it’s out! Your role is now finished. This poison pin!
Voiceover: The metal and stone piles that were discovered last September have all been removed. Also discovered was a thick wire coiled around the metal and stone piles to connect them.
Seo: So we Koreans would find it difficult to live…so no great people would be born in Korea…for this wicked objective, they used nature. It’s frightening.
Voiceover: Here is the place where what are thought to be hexed piles were buried. Twenty-seven metal piles, two stone piles, and now 16 of the wooden piles have been discovered for the first time in the country. But the people who lived in the vicinity had no suspicions about the real nature of the wooden piles, unlike those for the metal piles. It had been said for many years that they were used for military drills.
Lee Jeong-hun, Seoul: They say there was a military drill area here in the past. I heard there were no wooden piles, but they carried ropes for training.
Voiceover: But after suspicions began to surface, the squad conducted the work for confirmation at the site three times. We received a reply from military sources that the wooden piles on Mt. Gaehwa had no connection with a military facility. The location was unsuitable for military training purposes. They explained military technology at the time was incapable of burying the wooden piles in such a sophisticated way.
Seo: Cement and rock, cement and rock. There are 12 layers of rock and 12 layers of cement, 24 altogether. Just who buried these piles with this sophistication and with these numbers in mind?
Voiceover: There was also a space intentionally created between the lower part of the wood and the bottom. It was filled with oil, which seems to have been to prevent rot.
Seo: The odor is gross. It was filled with oil.
Voiceover: Scholars of feng shui geography have noted that Mt. Gaehwa on the other side of the Han River from Haengju Fortress was an important control barrier
Shin Sang-yun, Head of the Asia Feng Shui Geography Research Institute: This was to prevent good fortune from moving to the northwest. The metal, stone, and wooden piles were put in a place in the mountain to prevent the fortune from rising.
Voiceover: A large quantity of piles resembling this have been discovered throughout the country at sites of maximum good fortune (from a feng shui perspective).
Prof. Seo Gil-su, Seokyeong University: There have been at least several hundred of these found throughout the country. One person isn’t capable of doing the amount of work involved. This was planned and thoroughly prepared, and the theory of feng shui geography was used for the piles as a kind of invasion of our vitality.
Voiceover: How many places and in what forms do piles such as those discovered at Mt. Gaehwa remain as the residuum of the Japanese forced occupation period? The things we want to know and the concerns are growing.
An excerpt said to be from the 21 April 2006 edition of the Dong-a Ilbo:
The answer is that these were benchmarks or triangulation points for surveying, piles for civil engineering use, or for climbing mountains. From this excess of hatred for the Japanese, the result of going around and digging up these piles has been the loss of 60% of the benchmarks and triangulation points in one year.
Note that the reporter in the story wonders how they were all driven in. One wonders if he thinks pile driving technology is all that complicated.
This first came to public awareness during the Kim Young-sam administration in 1995 as part of the 50th anniversary of liberation, and the tabloid press was instrumental in keeping it there. Typical storylines:
* “Imperial Japan’s feng shui conspiracy to eliminate the vitality of our race and cause disasters for our country!”
* “Imperial Japan feared Korea, and they drove in all these metal piles in lines that would sever energy flow to destroy Korean superiority and strength.”
The work to remove the piles began at the urging of the government, it was officially sanctioned, and there were rumors of the sale of pile removal rights to certain large companies.
Some of the piles that were removed are exhibited at the Wonju Municipal Museum as important historical artifacts.
It is still possible to read the advice of some of the oh-so-well-intentioned and the oh-so-superficially-knowledgeable in academia and thinktankeria that Japan must “face up to history”, don the hair shirt, and enter perpetual apology mode.
Apart from the fundamental errors on which those assumptions are based, such behaviors would have no effect.
Nothing will have any effect until some people on the Korean Peninsula grow out of their enthrallment with the East Asian equivalent of dancing for rain with snakes in their mouths.