Monday, August 8, 2005

Blinded by looking right of the Rising Sun

I'm not going to link where this is from, and I'm removing the name of the author to whom I'm responding, but I thought I should put this up because without seeing the actual words from this person's keyboard, it's hard to imagine that someone can actually be like this.

Bold and italics is an older comment by me. Italics is X's reply to that. The regular type is my response to that.

"X" wrote, in response to me:
You simply don’t know enough about the context [of the "souvenir photo" of a Japanese soldier with the half-naked Comfort Woman he apparently just paid for] to depict this as Korean “peddling” of what you call “false history.”

I have seen the photo I brought to attention used numerous times on Korea websites, and by Koreans online. This is the kind of image that younger Koreans have of the Japanese administrative period of Korea.
Yes, but it's also available in Japan, too, put up by Japanese. It is crafty of you to post this photo, allegedly doctored by Chinese and reprinted in Europe, North America, Japan, and Korea, and call it the "peddling" of "false history" by Koreans.

But that's your m.o. Your primary motivation in having this site is to spread animosity toward Korea, plain and simple. But if you focused on Japan with the same hate-filled scrutiny, you would find many terrible things that you choose to ignore.

You would rather scrutinize Korea, post things that may or may not be legitimate gripes, and then depict them as if they represent everyone's view.

You are no better than the Japan-bashers in Korea, who nitpick every little thing they can find and then portray them as if they represent the true face of Japan.


And, more importantly, since the book and its pictures are presented in Chinese, by a Chinese publisher, about atrocities that occurred in China (including those involving Korean comfort women), it is specious to blame this on Korea or Koreans as a whole for “peddling” this “false history.” Whether true or not, the peddling is being done by the Chinese publisher. You are so gung-ho to bash Korea that you’re smearing the whole country for things that, if they are indeed false, are perpetrated by someone from another country.

Yes, the picture is supposed to be an actrocity of the attack of Nanjing. Nothing to do with Korea, but Koreans keep using photos like these as ‘proof’ that Japan did those kinds of things in Korea.
Are you referring to the Comfort Woman picture or the other atrocities? The comfort woman picture and many others like it are used by Koreans and non-Koreans alike to depict the humiliating plight of the Comfort Women.

But the other atrocities? I have not seen atrocities against Chinese used as "proof" that Japan did this in Korea, because there's plenty of evidence in Korea [of atrocities] to begin with.

Now, it's possible that these photos and photos like them are used to demonstrate the general viciousness of the Japanese military in general at that time, and it's true that the Japanese military was brutal in Korea, in Guam, in the Philippines, in China, etc., so it is a valid point to hold up such photos, if they are legitimately Japanese military atrocities, as evidence of Japanese imperial-era brutality.
And I’ll be willing to bet dollars to donuts that these same books or pictures are reproduced in Japanese somewhere, too (some years ago, I believe I saw them while browsing some train station bookshop). Then the Japanese you so love are also guilty of “peddling false history.” Then your whole anti-Korean argument is moot.

Some people in Japan will believe the authenticity of the above photo. Many ‘actrocity photos’ have been published in Japanese newspapers and contrary to what you likely believe, are widely thought to be genunine.
"Contrary to what I likely believe"? X, you haven't the faintest idea what I believe because, as you've made clear time and time again, you think of people in one-dimensional caricatures based on your world view.

I know there are Japanese who think those pictures are genuine, or that the pictures genuinely depict Japanese military atrocities even if some of them are not accurately labeled. You see, I have Japanese relatives and friends, including some who work as history teachers in the school system or university system. I've been to Japan many times and see evidence that plenty of Japanese are aware of Japanese military atrocities.
And you should come clean with what you think is the false history. Are some of the pictures fake, in your opinion, or are all of them?

Some of them are composite photos or airbrushed or otherwise altered, some of them are removed from their context (hundreds of dead bodies strewn on the ground - massacre or battlefield?), some are quite simply of unknown origin, and may or may not be the Japanese army.
It would be nice to think that the Japanese army went into China and nobody innocent got killed, huh? Then you can feel good about your unconditional love of Japan.
Do you think tens or hundreds of thousands of civilians were or were not killed by the Japanese in Nanjing?

Its quite hard to say. I am not an expert on Nanjing, so you have never heard me comment on it before.
I was not claiming you had. But I think your view on this would be an interesting insight into your true beliefs.

I even gave you a way out: you could have said that you thought tens of thousands were killed but not hundreds of thousands, as people like Iris Chang and the Chinese government claim. But you said about even tens of thousands of deaths that, "it's hard to say."
However I have read some criticisms of the book ‘The Rape of Nanking’, which contains many inaccuracies. I think it is certainly within the realm of possibility that a massacre took place, but equally possible that the wartime Chinese government may have exaggerated it for propaganda purposes.
I think this really exemplifies what people find so scary and offensive about you and your m.o.: you don't want to believe bad stuff about Japan. You find comfort in the possibility that maybe it's all made up.

Yeah, I have read the right-wing Japanese criticisms of Iris Chang's book, but when you distill it all down, they are still not a denial that there were atrocities committed. They only thing they can do is cast aspersions on where and when they happened, not that they happened. But even then, there are many parts they are not able to discredit, including Western accounts of events happening. So even if the critics are right, there are still thousands upon thousands, probably in the tens of thousands, that were killed.

Face it, people from your beloved Japan, people I am probably related to, killed untold thousands of innocent Chinese, as well as others.
Do you believe or not believe that tens of thousands of Korean women were duped, coerced, or forced into sexual slavery?

Korea has had a long history of prostitution before the Japanese came to Korea. I am sure there were many willing prostitutes.
You are parroting the right-wing defense, which attempts to discredit the claim by a vague assertion that there were "willing" prostitutes. Well, then, what percent? Give a ballpark. 1%? 10%? 50%? 90%?
On the otherhand, it seems that some girls were tricked by their parents and Korean pimps into being prostitutes.
When the comfort women issue first came to light, there were stories of girls being duped by stepfathers (Korean) and schoolmasters (Japanese), job brokers (Japanese), etc. But ultimately this was orchestrated by the Japanese government for the military.

That some Koreans were involved in this duplicitous and evil act does not absolve the Japanese government of moral responsibility, which is why Japanese historians pushed their government to admit responsibility, which they ultimately did.

But you, X, seem to believe that the Japanese government (or the Japanese military, take your pick) was not ultimately responsible, right?
You find exactly the same thing happening in many parts of Asia at this very moment.
Yes, this is true. And this was happening in Korea, too, a country where women have historically been maltreated.

But you see, X, that does nothing to absolve the Japanese government of responsibility. They denied it for decades, and then were forced by Japanese historians who found the records to admit they had orchestrated this. Why is this so difficult for you to accept?
While the Japanese government did not do enough to protect the civil rights of some of the women involved,
X, the Japanese government were the ones stripping their rights away. Koreans in Korea had few rights at all, thanks to the Japanese colonial administration. This is why tens of thousands of Koreans voluntarily chose to go to Japan proper or to Japan-controlled Manchuria, because then they might actually be granted the rights they were promised (though these voluntary migrants certainly are NOT the only Koreans to go to Japan and Manchuria; many were forcibly mobilized).
I think the greater responsibilty is shouldered by the Korean parents that sold their female children into prostitution and the Korean pimps that profited from it.
Those people who did that shoulder great responsibility. But the Japanese government which mobilized them and set up the system that forcibly held them there is at least as responsible.

Read George Hicks's "The Comfort Women." Japanese in Korea were duping these women. You can't push this on parents and prostitutes.
In short, I think the majority of the women were normal prostitutes, and a minority were tricked and sold out by their parents.
I'm sure you'd like to believe that's all it boils down to. But it doesn't. The Japanese imperial government was directly responsible for the sexual servitude of tens of thousands, if not hundreds of thousands, and has admitted so, your denials notwithstanding.

You are merely parroting right-wing propaganda that, like you, wishes to pretend Japan historically has really done nothing wrong. You are the same as the nationalist Koreans you so despise.
In anycase, tricked or not, all the women were paid for their ‘work’.
Held in sexual slavery in dangerous conditions, repeatedly raped and then "compensated" with pennies, and you think that makes it all okay. If you really think so, X, then you are sick.
If there is some soul searching about the ‘comfort women’ to be done, it should be done by Koreans that place so little value on the rights of females that parents would sell their own flesh and blood to the sex industry.
You know what? You are right. And I made that point many times since this issue came out. But the cases you site are only a percentage of the total. But ultimately, the Japanese government is responsible for those and all the rest.
And if they were duped, coerced, or forced into it, is it or is it not an on-going sex crime throughout the whole ordeal, including when the souvenir picture was taken?

This picture has nothing to do with Korea, and it is unknown if the Chinese brothel owner forced the girl to be a prostitute or not. I choose not to speculate.
"Chinese brothel owner"? Even if that particular brothel was run by a Chinese (as the right-wing critics of Iris Chang claim), the government has admitted that they were running brothels.
What is the false history, X?

False history is the kind of image the Koreans are trying to create about the Japanese rule of Korea.
"The Koreans"? See, this is what you do: fine a nice little piece to rip on, and then depict it as if it represents the entire country. Well, wouldn't Andrew Nahm's more balanced history be as representative? There are others, how about theirs?

Your problem, X, is that you don't want to believe any of it. So even if something utterly objective and level-headed were in front of you, you would reject its assertions, too.

I know people who were beaten up in prison by Japanese guards for not worshipping the emperor. I know people who were beaten by Japanese officers who had gone into their home late at night because they (the Koreans) were "hording" rice so they wouldn't starve. I know people who were forced to work in mines during the war. I know lots of people who have experienced these things.

Believe it or not, not all of these "victims" hate Japan. Some of them think Japan is a good country or that Japanese are basically good people. They blame the people who beat them. Or they blame the emperor for allowing this.

But regardless of how they feel, the treatment was real. Japanese military and governmental authorities did some horrible things. People were beaten, they were tortured, many died. Tens of thousands of people. More if you count those who were killed while wearing a Japanese uniform or through war-induced starvation.
Here is a case in point.

From the introduction of Jo Jung-rae’s Arirang

“How many Jews were killed by the Hitler government of Germany during the Second World War? According to the Jews the number was three or four million.
So how many of us Koreans were massacred and killed by the Japanese during the 36 years of Japanese colonialism? Is it three million? Or four million? Or is it six million? Unfortunately that estimate has not been made public or official. My estimate is between three and four million. With the writing of Arirang, I am going to make that figure concrete.”
You cite the intro to a novel as historical fact? I suppose you think "The Da Vinci Code" is an accurate history of the Catholic Church, too.
There were not any large scale massacres of any kind in Korea, yet this is the kind of image of Japan that Koreans want to show. That is false history.
The hunting down of the Righteous Armies... the suppression of the Samil Movement? These were not large scale massacres? They were larger than Kwangju in 1980, and I would classify that as a large-scale massacre.

I'm with you, though, on any claims that what Korea experienced was somehow comparable to the Holocaust. To me, that is nothing short of offensive. Not even what North Korea is doing to its own people now is on the scale of the Holocaust.
You keep saying that the Japanese leaders apologized, and they indeed did, but then it appears you are perpetrating the right-wing argument that undermines the apology, that these incidents being apologized for are “false history” (your very words). What part is the false history, X?

Most of the apologies are vague because they cannot admit to the specifics of what the Koreans say they did.
But on the Comfort Women issue, the apologies have pretty much admitted government culpability. Culpability you are deflecting and denying.
In my opinion the Koreans keep asking for and rejecting apologies because the Japanese government is foolish enough to play the game. I think its a waste of time catering to Korea’s persecution complex.
They keep demanding apologies because right-wing zealots with the same agenda as yours keep saying tht what is being apologized for didn't really happen. Sphere: Related Content

15 comments:

  1. I think I know who this "X" chap is..My guess is.. nick he uses on marmot is S something?
    There are extremists everywhere. u.s, s.k, japan, china, france, etc but what troubles me is the prevalence of these extremists and their far-reaching influence in Japanese society.
    When these extremist try to portray japan as the victim of pacific war or claim there's no proof that Nanjing massacre ever happend, boy it boggles my mind.

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  2. Yes, i eat babies, you are probably right about who it is. But I don't want my blog linked to his, so I am going to remove from the post and the comments anything that might link his name or blog to mine in a technorati or google search. I just don't want his mindless minions coming over here and clogging my blog with their nonsense.

    There are extremists everywhere. There are too many extremists in Korea, and I use my position to expose their nonsense whenever I can. My Corea-versus-Korea post is even referenced in Japanese-language Wikipedia.

    But what is disturbing is that X is exactly the kind of person he despises on the other side. It's even more disturbing that he's not Japanese, but instead has swallowed and frequently regurgitates the right-wing Japanese historical view.

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  3. His minions? wow his site must be pretty popular nowadays. figures..

    I've always wondered why would gaijins like him who will never be accepted as part of japan goes around spreading these extremists views..

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  4. Thanks for this post, as scary as this X character is, it is "interesting" to see how some people are in denial... I did one of my MA papers on the Nanjing Massacre and I think the amount documentation, a lot independent of Japan or China, shows that this did indeed happen.
    The comfort women issue is awful. I have interviewed a number of comfort women and none of them was sold into slavery by their family. While I am sure this happened, it is frankly racist of the Japanese right to imply that Korea is a land of prostitutes and they went to the Japanese army willingly. I appreciate your fight, and wish you luck!
    Good decision to keep his identity secret, we do not need his kind and his poison.

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  5. Sannakji wrote:
    Thanks for this post, as scary as this X character is, it is "interesting" to see how some people are in denial...

    Thank you for saying that, really. To be honest, I really wondered whether I should put this up. And this is one of the first posts I actually consiered taking down.

    But it so represented what is wrong with people who think like this, that I felt it should be put up.

    I did one of my MA papers on the Nanjing Massacre and I think the amount documentation, a lot independent of Japan or China, shows that this did indeed happen.

    Such people choose to ignore the mountains of evidence, choosing instead to nitpick at decades-old photos for errors, in a sleight of hand aimed at pretending the whole thing is a big lie.

    Why they can't accept that Japan actually did a lot of nasty stuff is beyond me. It doesn't mean modern Japan is a bad country. In fact, about the only people today I would really consider bad people on this issue are those who willfully distort this stuff.

    The comfort women issue is awful. I have interviewed a number of comfort women and none of them was sold into slavery by their family.

    That is the case of the people I met at the Nanume-jip.

    While I am sure this happened, it is frankly racist of the Japanese right to imply that Korea is a land of prostitutes and they went to the Japanese army willingly.

    And misogynistic, too.

    The Japanese military left a path of rape and murder in its path. Are we to believe they were all prostitutes? It's an evil defense of an evil act.

    Of course, given that this X posts links to eleven-year-old girls in swimsuits, it doesn't seem his regard of women is all that high to begin with. That might seem like an ad hominem attack, but his character on such matters goes to the heart of the issue.

    I appreciate your fight, and wish you luck!
    Good decision to keep his identity secret, we do not need his kind and his poison.


    Thanks. I will try to keep it to a minimum, though, because there's it's not just exhausting but demoralizing, too.

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  6. Seems that I also have had the dishonour of getting linked to (my post on itself outrageous comparisons between the Jewish holocaust and Japanese occupation by a Korean novelist) by this X in his quest of proving the low character of Koreans.

    In the issue of "comfort" women, the statement by professor Lee Yeong-hun sometimes last winter that there were also Korean pimps active in recruiting women for forced prostitution was like rain in drought for X and a certain older US-born person.
    Dismissing the fact that prof. Lee clearly expressed the Japanese responsibility of the sexual slavery, these apologists could now take a small part of the big picture (Korean recruiters) and go around touting it as the essence of the whole issue.

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  7. Antti wrote:
    Seems that I also have had the dishonour of getting linked to (my post on itself outrageous comparisons between the Jewish holocaust and Japanese occupation by a Korean novelist) by this X in his quest of proving the low character of Koreans.

    Actually, Antti, I did read your blog entry in response to X. I had momentarily forgotten about the intro to Arirang, and I was thinking that X was referring to an actual history book.

    In the issue of "comfort" women, the statement by professor Lee Yeong-hun sometimes last winter that there were also Korean pimps active in recruiting women for forced prostitution was like rain in drought for X and a certain older US-born person.

    Ah, yes, Older US-born Person (OUP). The two do seem to go together. Sometimes I think OUP is simply motivated by frustration at the one-sided arguments that easily dominate discourse on Korea-Japan issues (or Korea-America issues), but when he so regularly and so clearly spits out the right-wing party line on things like Tokto, it really seems like he's not really interested in promoting dialogue at all.

    Dismissing the fact that prof. Lee clearly expressed the Japanese responsibility of the sexual slavery, these apologists could now take a small part of the big picture (Korean recruiters) and go around touting it as the essence of the whole issue.

    I dare say that it is people like OUP and X that dampen the chance for open discourse, because any small concession of an iota of Korean culpability will be distorted out of all proprotion by the Japanese apologists.

    It's just so sad that these two, especially X, are just like the people they bash.

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  8. The following comment was posted by Matthew, except I have removed the link he provides at the end. Anyone who would like to know the link in question may email me and I will provide the information. The reasons for doing this have already been stated.

    matthew said...
    Hi Kushibo. I can see that you have taken the position of not providing the link of our debate. Could it be that you are afraid that people will see the debate in its full context and decide that I am right, and you are wrong?

    I have allowed you the freedom to present your position on my site without any censorship whatsoever. I hope you will allow the readers of your site to make up their own mind.

    Our debate [link removed]

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  9. Antti wrote:
    Seems that I also have had the dishonour of getting linked to...by this X in his quest of proving the low character of Koreans.

    Well that's not suprising since in your post I got the impression you were suggesting somehow all koreans were taught history or influenced by this novelist you speak of..

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  10. I do agree with Antti's outrage over Holocaust comparisons. It's just not the same, and it's insulting to the Jews, Gypsies, and others who were nearly wiped out.

    As I alluded to in my Corea-versus-Korea post, it's also an insult to those who actually suffered, because it suggests that their actually suffering is not enough to generate outrage, so stuff has to be made up.

    The problem is, as I've said, that those with an agenda to completely absolve the Japanese imperial military and government of any wrongdoing, such as X appears to be doing, take comments like Antti's and twist them around to suggest that any criticism of Japan's past behavior is bogus.

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  11. Extremism is really disturbing me at the moment.

    I really enjoyed the Corea-Korea post. it took 'balls' to come out and question a logic and be deemd as anti-Korean/pro-Japanese.


    Just as a side question, do you know of this forum? http://aog.2y.net/forums/index.php?
    This is how I got the link to this blog, as a member there argued for the Corea Korea thing. But I found it disturbing there that the issues you speak of in this log, were being refuted because the so called 'pro-Koreans' were too extreme themselves.

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  12. "do you know of this forum? http://aog.2y.net/forums/index.php?"

    Hmm, I get the impression the forum is run by someone who thinks Japanese colonization of Korea wasn't all that bad and ultimately was good for Korea..sounds awfully familiar..
    Things japanophiles will say to justify colonization of Korea and absolve Japan of her war crimes is just mind numbing..

    oh kushibo, I'm moving to san diego so if you do move back to cali give me a holler.

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  13. i eat babies wrote:
    Hmm, I get the impression the forum is run by someone who thinks Japanese colonization of Korea wasn't all that bad and ultimately was good for Korea..sounds awfully familiar..

    I didn't have a chance to read that much, but the gentleman in question seems to have more critical faculties than X. The historic viewpoint X takes so closely and uncritically follows that of right-wing deniers in Japan, it's scary. That means either he's been entirely duped by them and/or he's on a mission to actively promote their agenda.

    At least the person whose blog this is, when I've encountered him on Marmot's, does seem to have considerably less of an agenda (unless I am confusing two people with the same nom de plume).

    Things japanophiles will say to justify colonization of Korea and absolve Japan of her war crimes is just mind numbing..

    Funny how apologism and apologies run counter to each other.

    oh kushibo, I'm moving to san diego so if you do move back to cali give me a holler.

    I hope you're not planning for us to go to an infant-serving restaurant.

    Actually, if I'm in the States anytime soon, for living there, it's most likely Honolulu at this point. But I do miss California. And San Diego is a great place to be.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Yep, I know what that "X" guy is as well. He is a descendant of English convicts and is a racist Korea-basher who probably got snubbed by too many pretty Korean women, so he takes out his frustrations by putting Korea down whenever he can on his blog. He also defends every practice by the Japanese. Sick guy. And very racist.

    And a coward.

    ReplyDelete

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