Tuesday, August 31, 2010

The facts were these...

This started out as a private email to a couple other bloggers, but in honor of the centennial of the Korean Empire joining Japan's Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere, I thought I'd make a whole post out of it.

When certain folks (especially those with a baffling disdain for Korea and Koreans despite the apparently lavish lifestyle they get from being in the country) talk about how "the facts re Japanese contributions to Korean modernization are not really debatable," I'm reminded of two great old posts at Popular Gusts (this one and this one), about the "cultivation of foreign apologists" for Imperial Japan and the misleading "facts" they employ. The posts skewer some of the more popular claims made by such folks and paint, in my opinion, a more accurate picture of that period of history.

See, if "the facts" were so undebatable, then we wouldn't see apologists for Japanese Imperial expansionism giving Japan credit for aspects of modernization (like the introduction of Western medicine and hospitals or a system of modern education) that occurred before they took over. The posts are a good read, so take the time to wade through them. (And it gives me a second chance in as many days to mention Isabella Bird.)

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