I like Japan and Korea. That’s not a secret. I left part of my heart in Okinawa’s dazzling ocean, my stomach in Chicago yearning for deep dish diabeetus on a plate, and I fell in love with Korea whilst traveling last year. I find when I get excited and I compare how similar they are (including language) some people don’t find it so endearing.
The only reason I’ve been learning Korean quickly is because I have a Japanese base and many of the words are similar. For instance, I’ve been teaching a Halloween lesson to my kids and some have been responding monster names in Korean. I’ve found the words for easy, mummy, clown, nail cutter, and the counting systems are pretty similar. I appreciate both cultures so I get worked up when I make connections that help me learn.
20th Century History between Japan and Korea
The relations between Japan and Korea have always been tense. While I do agree Abe is not the best prime minister, I don’t think that’s grounds to hate Japan (and Japanese people in general). For those who don’t know the history, let me break it down. A long time ago, Japan decided they wanted to be the master race of the Asian empire and started colonizing a bunch of Asian countries. These included Taiwan, Korea, a part of Russia, and islands in the Western Pacific.
During World War II, Japan stole women and girls from Korea, China, the Philippines, and other Japanese colonies. These women were forced into sexual slavery. A number of prime ministers from Japan have personally apologized in the past, but according to Korea, the Japanese government has yet to officially do so.
Japan’s stance remains as Koreans were Japanese citizens during this time and they don’t need to extend reparations because as citizens, they were doing a duty to their country. Every year at the peace summits nothing gets done because neither side will budge.
In my experience, I noticed a lot of “Japan needs to apologize for its treachery during World War II” propaganda on the TV and in my community. What happened to these women was a horror beyond all belief and no one should ever suffer a such a fate. I didn’t really watch TV in Japan, but Japan is “quietly” sweeping this dirt under the rug. It’s kind of shocking to see hateful Japan propaganda on the TV. The only time I see negativity on TV in America is during presidential elections to shed terrible light on the candidates.
In addition, due to Abe’s instruction, the history of the comfort women has been erased from Japanese textbooks. It’s so extreme Abe sent a representative to a historian at McGraw-Hill in America to lecture them about the in-correctness of the comfort women and they never existed. In slight of recent events, Abe and his extreme left-wingers have tried to stir up patriotic education. They have pledged to step up international efforts to push his administration’s view of history.
In my opinion, good luck, Abe, you old bat. I think it’s hilarious he sent a representative to lecture an American book maker. ‘Murica doesn’t take crap from no one when it comes to freedom of the press. Thanks to the treaty between Japan and America (because of what happened at Pearl Harbor), Japan was not allowed a military. Recently, they were allowed to engage in combat. They may most likely never be the military power they once were, but now they’re allowed to fight. One of the things my country does well is the aforementioned freedom and no nation, including my own, can take that away. I also think if something is historically accurate and many eyewitness accounts can attest to it, it happened.
Why I Feel It’s a Crime
Now you know the history, and these are my observations. For people who haven’t lived in a country other than their own, they could never possibly fathom what it’s like to understand another culture. My blog, YouTube or personality is not a place of hate. It’s a place to discover the world and what makes it tick. I don’t know the personal history of some people, but the younger generation seems to be somewhat affected by this. I heard my middle school students talking about how they hated Japan. When I asked them if they ever met a Japanese person or had a Japanese friend they said no. I told them not to judge unless they knew the country or a Japanese personally. I also think it’s slowly changing as the kids are becoming more interested in what’s going on in the world.
When I first arrived, my kids told me they hated Japan because of Abe, the Liancourt Rocks (called Dokdo독도 in Korean and 竹島Takeshima in Japanese), and the Korean boys claimed Japanese boys “play” with Korean girls. You can’t base everything off what middle schoolers say, but nonetheless, I find it hilarious, because in reality, everyone around the world is playing with each other. Let’s be real. People act real brand new over matters of lust and love. Wars have started over the female flower. I rest my case.
When I talk about my time in Japan, I have to tread lightly. In fact, it’s worse than walking on eggshells. Some people get annoyed when I talk about Japan and I feel like I should erase that part of my life or say nothing at all. I chose to say nothing at all because I can happily think back on good memories myself. It keeps the mystery around me the less I say. 😉 I also noticed many Koreans and Japanese visit each other’s countries, but the shit talking is incredible. At least they can agree on one thing…
They both hate Chinese tourists.
That’s something, right? My main point is, why you gotta sip on Haterade, brah? It’s all love here. I’m neither Japanese or Korean. If anything, I’m most likely honorary Uchinanchu (because I play the sanshin and love Eisa just as much as the next Okinawan). I’m an Amer-itali-mexican chameleon, if you so please. No one did anything so awful to me that I hate either country as a whole. I like to think of myself as neutral. I am Switzerland.