Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Overdue books

Japan is returning to South Korea a bunch of volumes of historic texts that were looted from its Korean colony in the first half of twentieth century.

From the Chosun Ilbo:
Japan has agreed to return 1,205 volumes of priceless Korean texts including a collection of Chosun Dynasty royal protocols seized during its occupation of the peninsula between 1910 and 1945. Foreign Minister Kim Sung-hwan and his Japanese counterpart Seiji Maehara agreed to the deal in a phone conversation Monday evening, the Foreign Ministry said on Monday.

But archives containing the official seal of the Chosun dynasty court library and royal texts recording lectures by former kings will not be returned due to ongoing disputes over when and how they were spirited to Japan.
I guess this is one advantage of having a more friendly-minded approach to Japan's leadership (and vice-versa), sort of like what we used to have.

It may also be a fringe benefit of having a president who was born in Japan.

The Yomiuri Shimbun also has the story.

An illustrated text titled The Protocols of the Office of Royal Seals
kept in Japan's Imperial Household Agency describes how to make 
the seal of the state of the Chosun Dynasty.
"Royal seal?" you ask. "That looks more like a turtle."

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