HERE are two related posts. The first is an excerpt of an article that appeared on the website of the Cheonji Ilbo, a South Korean religious daily that focuses on history, culture, and religion.
The Race that Knows History will be the Masters of the Future
“Hang Sang-won, professor of East Asian and Western linguistics, holds that the countries that do not know history are idiots and will be rendered extinct.
“It is not possible to understand the history of Asia without an understanding of Dangun-era Joseon in the ancient history of Northeast Asia. (N.B.: According to legend, Dangun founded Gojoseon, the first Korean kingdom, in 2,333 BC).
“Dangun-era Joseon is that important for ancient history, but it is impossible to understand why South Korea does not recognize its importance.
“Though Japan and China make up history that didn’t exist, why do you Koreans believe that history which actually existed did not exist? This country is unbelievable.
“It all started with the scholars who taught the distorted historical falsehoods of the toadyism and colonialism concocted first by the Chinese and the Japanese. We must authenticate the resplendent civilization that was the start of human history by restoring the history that was shredded. Yet the scholars without common sense, neutered by the transmission of that which is erroneous, who destroy the true history by declaring it false, hold firm to the mendacity.
“The history and civilization of humankind began in the East and moved westward. Western historians past and present are well aware of the importance of the history of humankind. The historical philosophers of the West have insisted on meeting the “wise men of the East”. They have included Francis Bacon, Albert Einstein, and Arnold Toynbee. Toynbee once said that human civilization will move from Europe and the North American continent to Northeast Asia. He predicted the reality of today.
“The people of the West now have nothing to brag about. They have no history or philosophy worth mentioning. That’s because the roots of the history and philosophy they are so proud of originated in the East. This fact is also well known by people in the West….
“…The Oxford English Dictionary, published from the early 1800s to the early 1900s, makes clear through linguistic proof that humanity originated with the Korean people.
“To cite a familiar example, there is the word “khan”, which means ruler. If we remove the silent K, it becomes Han. In other words, “Hanguk” (South Korea) means either the country ruled by the king, or the race with hereditary rule by kings.…
“…As a result of linguistic research in the East and the West, it was determined that the origin of humanity was the Korean people. They were the Dongyi people who created a flourishing civilization in the Pamir Mountains (of Central Asia) even earlier than the Sumerian civilization that so astounded the Westerners. We must know that the Dongyi are our ancestors, the Khan people who used Chinese characters, moved to Sumer, and created the foundation of contemporary Western civilization.”
The second is the introduction to a book by Takushoku University Prof. O Seon-hwa. She was born in Jeju in 1956 and first came to Japan in 1983.
“The arrogant attitude that the culture of one’s tribe is the standard, and that the culture of other tribes, such as the customs of their daily lives, their ways of thought, and the forms of their behavior, are disgraceful, irrational, mistaken, and inferior, is known as ethnocentrism.
“It can only be said that the Koreans’ belief that their culture’s value system is more proper and splendid than any other has exceeded normal bounds to a substantial degree.
“The damage of ethnocentrism is manifest in the self-serving fantasies and an unwillingness to look at reality. This problem is serious in South Korea because this way of thinking now extends into academia.”