Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Pictures of Modern Patriotism

Two parades...

Tokyo, August 20, 2012 - Double decker buses on the Ginza carrying medalists from the 2012 London Olympics



Chengdu, August 19, 2012 - Marchers demanding Japan give up the Senkaku/Diaoyutai Islands


Call me a fool but I am glad I did not choose Mandarin. I probably missed out on becoming insanely wealthy. However, I do not have to try to justify anger over ebullience.

I did study Korean, for a year. Another missed opportunity.

Then again, being able to read the Choson Ilbo's "Japan Needs to Take a Cold Look at Its Empire" in the original would likely not make it any better.

Still obsessing about the assassination of Queen Min? Did someone slip something into my coffee this morning?

Can you imagine the Austrian Minister for European and Foreign Affairs calling Belgrade, "Yo, Serbia. Before I get into your tariffs on the importation of wheat straw as a part of your accession application, what are you going to do about Gavrilo Princip?"

Photo image credits:
Top: Yomiuri Online
Bottom: Wall Street Journal China Real Time


1 comment:

Douglas Watt said...

It is pretty amazing. I know that Korea was strongly affected by Japanese actions over the last 118 years (counting from the Sino-Japanese war), but almost no one involved in the subjugation of Korea is still alive.

I don't think Koreans actually know what they want Japan to do. They likely are riding high on a sense of solidarity that distracts from the everyday problems faced by their country, and Japan is the easy target (much easier than discussing North Korea or China).

Then again, Japan makes it easy to be mad at. Taciturn and stoic to a fault. I think this is the result of mixed imperialistic nationalism remnants, anti-Korean racism (a problem in Japan for years that is only slowly being resolved through actions like entertainers announcing Korean heritage), and worries that direct acknowledgement will force Japan to acknowledge other events it wishes to forget/ignore, and possibly weaken Japan's claim to Takeshima/Dokdo.

I also agree that talking about Queen Min is a bit of a stretch, but Japan could show some good will by announcing a review of the Miura Goro trial to look for evidence of imperialistic will overriding the rule of law. Japan wouldn't need to openly admit that "ya, we gave Miura-san a pass because it helped us in Korea", but would also appear to milder Koreans that Japan is interested in dialogue, not demagoguery.