Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Can't the big-nosers leave Korea alone for even a moment?

In 1884, as George Foulk, an American naval attache and one of the first westerners to learn Korean, traveled around Korea, he chatted with a Korean man who considered him and all foreigners "half-barbarians who only thought of doing harm to his country."

One hundred years did little to change this attitude. In 1990 (as was noted by seouldout), Nonghyup distributed a comic to elementary school students explaining to children why opening the Korean market to imported agricultural goods wasn't such a good idea. As part of a multifaceted attack on imported goods, it was explained that they weren't as healthy as good Korean foodstuffs, that eating them was un-Korean, and that the imported goods sent to Korea would be rotten by the time they arrived. This page and a half explain further the great threat posted by these goods:


"If consumers only buy imported farm goods... Our more expensive agricultural goods won't be sold.
If this happens it will be impossible for farmers to eat and live (the baby cries, 'I'm hungry!'). Farmers will of course have to leave the farming villages. 
And without the farmers, our agricultural goods won't be produced at all. If that happens, we'll have to depend on foreign agricultural products even if we don't want to: "Please give us rice."  "How much?"


Then they will turn this against us...  "Let's make it expensive."
Since they can raise the prices as high as they like, we will have to choke back our tears [and buy it anyway]. "If you charge that much, how can we live?" "If it's expensive, don't buy it!"
---
And once again students learned the valuable lesson that if Korea was to open its borders even a little, rapacious foreigners would take advantage of Korea!

The solution was to monitor one's parents when they went to the market to stop them from buying foreign goods and bringing about the destruction of Korea's agriculture and way of life.


Of course, when the Washington Post decided to translate this scene, the Kyunghyang Sinmun, referring to 'Nonghyup's PR', headlined their article 'American media also joins in on trade pressure.'

So, in the 23 years of globalization since, has this view of the rapacious foreigners out to harm Korea changed?

Perhaps not. James Turnbull sent me this poster awhile ago, and it's barrels of fun:


For a close up:


Title: "Prevent the end of the railroads"
[Within the hand]: "Safety threats, fare increases, rail industry subordinate to foreign countries, local routes reduced or abolished."

"The complete opening of railways and subways to foreign capital - NO!"
"Starting the privatization of the railroads by separating the Suseo KTX corporation - NO!"

Most fun is the image below, showing the turning over of Korean trains by the traditional-roof-and-hanbok-clad 'Korean government' to a big nosed French or German compete with 19th century top hat, sideburns and moustache.


"Train, subway sale, sale!" (Separating and Privatizing the Suseo KTX [route])
"Wow - Thank you!" [Standing ovation - clap clap clap!]


Can we expect more projections of dastardly deeds by big-nosed foreigners in 2014? Only time will tell!

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

A heartwarming tale of blue-eyed Santas

The Gangwon Ilbo yesterday reported on a heartwarming tale of volunteers at an orphanage in Chuncheon:
The orphanage was warm as blue-eyed Santas arrived

American native speaking instructor James gathered with friends to do a good deed

A surprise visit carrying a bundle of presents; they also made cookies, sang carols and had a Christmas party with the children


"Christmas was fun with a Blue-eyed Santa"

In the midst of a cold snap, native speaking instructor James (37) and 24 of his friends visited an orphanage in Chuncheon on the morning of December 21. In one hand they had presents, while the other was full of different kinds of food, and when they entered the front room of the orphanage, the children cried out 'Wow!' and ran towards James and his group.

That day James and his friends called out the names of the 48 children at the orphanage one by one and gave each of them a present. They had received a list of the toys, clothes, shoes and dolls that the children wanted from the orphanage and collected money to buy the gifts they gave out that day.

After that, they had a great time playing soccer with the children in the small playground in front of the orphanage and also sang Christmas carols and made cookies and snacks with the children until late afternoon.

When this was all finished, the children thanked James and his friends and gave them a hug goodbye. One eleven year old staying at the orphanage said "I lost track of time while playing with Mr. James." "Though I can't speak well with him, I love him."

James, the blue-eyed Santa loved by the children at the orphanage, came to Korea from the US to work as a native speaking instructor in May of 2009. Since then he has worked at places such as Wontong Elementary School and Hallym University. James, who planned the community service activities, learned of the orphanage in Chuncheon by chance in March of 2010.

In the US as well, he was a community service volunteer who helped underprivileged people such as heart disease and AIDS patients, and he continued this community service in Korea as well.

James said, "My friends and I were concerned about doing something meaningful this Christmas so we looked for an Orphanage." "My native speaking instructor friends are thankful we were all able to do something good."

An official at the orphanage said, "As the end of the year is a lonely time, it was a much appreciated gift for the children." "I want to give my thanks to James and his friends who never forgot and sought out the children."
It's nice to see the Christmas spirit alive and well in Chuncheon. And to see that it was considered worth reporting by the Gangwon Ilbo.

Apparently the Christmas spirit is alive and well in Mokpo as well; this is the sight that greeted me upon arrival this past weekend:

(Not shown: Four more standing across the street at the crosswalk.)

And for a more cynical (if humourous) look at Christmas visits to orphanages in 1965, a story by James Wade can be read here.

I wish all of my readers a merry Christmas and a happy holiday season.

Monday, December 23, 2013

A somewhat unsatisfying Samsung CF

Enjoy:



What's missing, I feel, is the ultimate conclusion to this guy stalking this girl ('Hey, I know we just met, but I secretly took not just photos of you but also video! Check it out!'), which would be later in the hotel room when (after he answers in the negative when she asks him 'Aren't you going to take the watch off?') he makes his own x-rated clip of her and spreads it on the internet, becoming a hot topic in Samsung-friendly news outlets in Korea (ie. all of them).


The comments are, to put it nicely, unsupportive of the ad, calling it 'creepy' and such. Come on, non-Koreans! Please try to understand that Korea is home to sayings, as James has noted, such as '"열번찍어 안넘이 가는 나무 없다," which roughly translates as "There is no tree that can withstand being chopped 10 times."' (Though, to be fair, this comment should be read in tandem with that quote.)

Still, one wonders if the old 'we know what foreigners want/like, so why the hell would we ask them their thoughts on our ad campaign' mindset played some role in this just plain bad ad.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Did the Ministry of Defense declare 'Arirang' a subversive song?

From the Kyunghyang Sinmun yesterday:
Ministry of Defense designates 'Arirang,' a song that even President Park loves to sing, a 'subversive song'


The inclusion of the traditional song 'Arirang' on a 'list of subversive songs' maintained by the Ministry of Defense is causing controversy. MBN reported on the 18th that the Ministry of Defense had designated around 50 songs, including Arirang, as subversive songs and directed that they be deleted from Noraebang equipment.

According to the article, of the 50 songs included on the list of subversive songs the Ministry of Defense included mostly songs calling for peace or reunification such as "Our Wish" or "Come the Day," but among these were also included four traditional folk songs, "Arirang," "Nodeul Riverside," "Miryang Arirang," and "Ggaturi Taryeong." As a result, these songs cannot be sung at noraebangs on military bases and even at some commerical noraebangs.

As this has become known it has led to criticism on the internet. Sungshin Women's University professor Seo Kyoung-duk, the Korea promoter who last year led the movement to have Arirang registered with UNESCO as an intangible heritage asset, wrote, "Last year I put a lot of effort into having Arirang registered as part of UNESCO's Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity, such as placing one-page ads in the Wall Street Journal and New York Times, but now that you can't sing it because the Ministry of Defense has designated it a 'subversive song'... I really don't have the words! Anyway, lets have civilians work together to protect Arirang."

The Ministry of Defense issued a statement saying "Other than North Korean songs, the Ministry of Defense has not requested the deletion from noraebang equipment of a group of normal South Korean songs." "Since around 2004, requests could be made by front line commanding officers according to their own judgement for noraebang equipment supplied to bases to have songs removed that are judged to be unsuitable for soldiers to sing." "After this, used noraebang equipment from military bases has been found to have entered the open market without being restored to its original condition."

Prior to this, while watching a performance held in the Blue House Garden titled 'Our flavor and style for cultural prosperity - Arirang,' President Park Geun-hye sang 'Arirang' with singer Kim Jang-hun.
The original MBN TV report is here. So... are we dealing with a heavy handed military here, or irresponsible, sensationalist media? Or a little of both?

While considering that one of the less-than-positive legacies of the current president's father was the destruction of much of the popular culture which is now drawing attention to South Korea (see Mark Russell's essay here, for example), including the banning of songs, widespread arrests of musicians (under the rubric of a 'war on marijuana'), and the destruction of much of the early 1970s rock music scene, it's likely not entirely fair to connect her personally to this story (especially if we take the military at their word and take into account that military units have been asking for songs to be deleted since the Noh Moo-hyun era), even if I might really like to...

(Hat tip to Ami.)

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Snowfall

It was nice to finally get some snow today that stuck around (for most of the day, at least).




The kids were certainly having fun today...



Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Insert your own caption

The Simin Ilbo seems to have chosen an odd photo for one of its articles...


Thursday, December 05, 2013

Groove Magazine is holding an awards ceremony for its contributors and up for grabs is best cover story of the year. I contributed to one such story - this one - so I invite anyone who liked it to vote away.

Dusty daze

It's kind of amazing how much all this dust is affecting visibility in Seoul. As reported in the Korea Herald:
The concentration of fine dust particles smaller than 10 micrometers in diameter, or PM10, increased to more than three times normal levels Wednesday, with Gyeonggi Province recording the highest figure of 268 micrograms per cubic meter. [...]

The concentration raises the fine dust alert level to “very bad,” the highest level considered by the research center. A scale of zero to 30 is “good,” 31 to 80 “normal,” 81 to 120 “slightly bad,” 121 to 200 “bad” and 201 to 301 “very bad.”
Here are a couple of photos I took yesterday morning:




Not exactly the time of year for hiking, I guess, but at least, as a friend noted, it does trap the heat and make the weather warmer.

Monday, December 02, 2013

The countryside is no longer safe from foreign teacher drug addicts

On November 28 Yonhap broke the following story of a foreign teacher busted in Gyeongsangnam-do for smuggling in DMT via international mail. NoCut News' story, is, of course, far more amusing:
Elementary and middle school native speaking teacher smuggles in raw materials for, produces and takes new kind of drug
New kind of drug with powerful hallucinogenic effects easily produced... "From now on the provinces are no longer a drug-safe zone."


Dimethyltryptamine smuggled through ordinary international mail. (Photo provided by Changwon Prosecutors' Office)

A native speaking teacher working at elementary and middle schools was caught by prosecutors for smuggling a large amount of a plant that is a raw material for a new kind of drug and taking it.

The special unit of the Changwon Prosecutors' Office arrested A, a 24 year old British native speaking teacher working at an elementary and middle school in Changnyeong-gun, Gyeongsangnam-do, for smuggling 1075 grams of the plant from which the psychotropic drug DMT is made, and for keeping and taking it in his home.

At the beginning of November, A ordered 1075 grams of the plant from which the psychotropic drug DMT is made from a seller in the Netherlands via the internet, paying $134 US for it, and it was caught being smuggled via international mail at Incheon International Airport on November 12.

He is also being charged with keeping at his home and taking drugs like DMT, LSD, marijuana, and 5-APB.

As drugs with strong hallucinogenic effects, dimethyltryptamine and LSD are classified as psychotropic drugs under item 1, article 3 of the Drug Control Law. In particular, LSD is known to have a hallucinogenic effect 100 times stronger than Cocaine and 300 times stronger than methamphetamine. As well, 5-APB is a new kind of drug that has recently been used in Europe.

A, who started working as an elementary and middle school native speaking teacher in May, graduated as an English major from a prestigious school in the UK but stated that he became absorbed in religion and took drugs to commune with god in a hallucinogenic state.

In particular, A processed the raw material plant for DMT into the finished product himself. Prosecutors are looking into the crimes he committed while taking drugs over this long period of time.

As prosecutors have seen a significant number of cases in which the raw materials for drugs have been bought over the internet and smuggled into Korea using international air mail for production and use here, they are planning to expand their investigation.

Prosecutors are paying attention to the fact that this new kind of drug which was seized for the first time in Korea, was not found in a large city or in the capital,

One prosecution official said, "Since the kind of drug we seized could get hundreds of people high at the same time, from now on the provinces are no longer a drug-safe zone."

As cases of native speaking teachers, whose identities cannot be accurately confirmed, taking drugs increase, educational authorities need to take caution, and the Prosecutor's Office plans to sternly punish drug smuggling in cooperation with customs and airport authorities.
As always, NoCut News - the (Christian) news outlet that produces the most negative stories about foreign teachers (after Yonhap and YTN combined) - doesn't disappoint, what with (most likely made-up) quotes like "from now on the provinces are no longer a drug-safe zone." I also chuckled heartily at the assertion that "cases of native speaking teachers, whose identities cannot be accurately confirmed, taking drugs [is] increas[ing]."

Especially since this is only the second foreign teacher to be reported being arrested for drugs this year. The only other case was an American teacher arrested on May 30 for smuggling pot visa international mail on two occasions (3 grams and 9.5 grams), with the latter occasion involving sticking it in a jar of peanut butter (which got him caught).

But yes, cases of foreign teachers getting caught for drugs are increasing! Say it enough times and it might become true, NoCut News!

As for this guy who got busted, if they can't prove he shared it with anyone, I'd be curious how the court would react to his defense. Considering the little illegal pharmacy he had at his house, I'd imagine not too well, but courts have been more lenient when it comes to drug smuggling in recent years, as long as people weren't sharing or selling it.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Never forget!

This would appear to be an apt soundtrack for this post...



A few weeks ago I heard banging in the hallway during class and realized that the 'airport-themed enclosure' near the English rooms was being torn down (by hand, using hammers and chisels).




 You'll never guess what replaced it:


That's right - a display about those islets and a TV with a live feed showing one of the islets - complete with the sound of the sea and wind (but not the sound of the police stationed there saying, "Golly, I'm so glad to be stationed here!").


It's kind of insidious really... a constant reminder of something that really isn't important in the larger scheme of things. Why not a live feed of Seoul Station plaza, and a reminder of the homelessness problem? Or a live feed of the empty area behind Yongsan Station, allowing students to question the hubris of developers and the folly of mega-development plans? Because that would be silly, and might cause people to start thinking about the wrong things. So hey, kids - don't ask what those islets can do for you; ask what you can do for those islets. Oh, and raise your middle finger to Japan while you're at it. Mansei!

Korea Herald article on HIV testing of foreign English teachers

A Korea Herald article by John Power published Monday asks "Is HIV testing of foreign teachers here to stay?" Here are some excerpts:
But, amid a pending U.N. committee ruling on whether the policy constitutes racial discrimination, an unclear picture of the current status and future of testing has emerged across government and educational bodies.

A press officer at the Seoul Metropolitan Office of Education on Thursday told The Korea Herald that all local education offices had scrapped retesting for contract renewal as of this year.

“Because of problems of fairness between Korean and foreign teachers and discrimination that arose, some education offices did not require testing for contract renewal,” said Kwak Yoon-cheol. “Accordingly, this year all education offices decided to end testing for contract renewal.”

He said, however, that foreign teachers were still required by immigration to submit test results after their initial entry into Korea. The Korea Herald communicated with several native English teachers who said they had been retested recently, in some cases just weeks previously. [...]

A Justice Ministry spokesman confirmed on Monday that one-time testing for immigration purposes was still in place, after earlier claiming the ministry had no such requirement.

An official with Korea Immigration Service, a division of the Justice Ministry, however, also said there had been no change in policy.

“We have not changed any of our policies on HIV testing,” Lee You-jin, a member of the residence and visa division of KIS, said via email on Nov. 19. [...]

In the past, the Justice and Education Ministries have taken different positions on the issue, specifically on the need for in-country retesting.

An official at the National Institute for International Education, the division of the Education Ministry that runs the EPIK NET program, told The Korea Herald in 2010 that it supported enshrining retesting as official policy. At the time the organization cited parental concerns and the results of two surveys showing strong public support for testing as rationale for its stance. It is not clear whether those surveys referred to one-time or multiple testing.

But an NIIED official, speaking on condition of anonymity, last week declined to confirm if this was still the organization’s position.

“We let each educational office know about the current regulations of the Ministry of Justice,” said the official. “So when we have annual meetings, if there are questions or issues we just give them information about current regulations and they are the ones who should decide, considering the regulations and other factors in their areas.”
Do read the entire thing. It's nice to get some confirmation that re-testing is being scrapped in some locales, and it's certainly interesting that immigration wrote that HIV testing "was still in place, after earlier claiming the ministry had no such requirement." I guess the left hand doesn't know what the right is doing. Earlier confusion over re-testing was reported on in this 2010 Korea Herald article.

Since we're mentioning the Ministry of Education, I guess I'll toss in this interview with the minister of Education sent to me a few weeks ago.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Presentation for KOTESOL Daejeon Chapter's Thanksgiving Symposium next Saturday

At 11:00am on November 30 I'll be giving a presentation at the 2013 KOTESOL DCC Chapter Thanksgiving Symposium and Turkey Dinner being held at Woosong University in Daejeon. Here's the description:
"Patience, sir": 200 years of foreigners teaching English in Korea

From the first-recorded English lesson in 1816 to Lee Myung-bak's promises of a "native speaker in every school," English has played many different roles in Korea's history, from its use in Korean attempts to preserve its sovereignty and Japanese efforts to present Korea as a 'failed state' at the turn of the last century to the radical expansion of the study of English as a foreign language over the past twenty years. This presentation will look at the experiences of those teaching the language, including missionaries, Peace Corps Volunteers, 'beeper cowboys' and even World War II prisoners of war. At the same time, while the Korean government has perceived mastery of English as necessary for Korea to compete in a globalized world, it has also shown distrust of the culture attached to the language, a wariness which stretches back to the days of the Joseon Dynasty, and manifestations of both the desire to learn the language and the distrust of the accompanying culture - and the teachers who embody it - will also be examined.
Anyone can attend the symposium, with pre-registration costing 10,000 won for members and 15,000 won for non-members, and on-site registration costing 15,000 won for members and 20,000 won for non-members. The turkey dinner costs 25,000 and everyone must pre-register for it.

The registration link can be found here. I look forward to meeting anyone who can make it out!

Denial of service, then and now

A bit late with this, I know (sorry for such light posting lately), but in the news last week was the tale of businesses in Bali banning entry to Korean customers:
Hotels, retailers and restaurants on the resort island of Bali are rejecting Korean customers due to some who flout regulations to make the most of their stay, according to South Korean TV network SBS.

Korean tourists are reportedly finding new and creative methods of vacationing on the cheap at the Indonesian vacation destination, which is frustrating local business owners to no end.
There's a discussion thread about it here that was pointed out to me (read it if you dare; it consists of lots of 'Koreans deserve it because they do it in Korea too' kinds of comments). This isn't the only place that has shown annoyance with Korean tourists, as Scott Burgeson noted in Fukuoka a few years ago; on a similar topic, he posted a chat with a woman who worked as a receptionist at a Korean-run karaoke club in Jakarta almost 9 years ago.


Upon hearing of what had happened in Bali, I couldn't help but be reminded of a passage in Jo Yoong-hee's article "The Relationship between Joseon Envoys and Western Missionaries in Beijing in the Early 18th Century: Focusing on Lee Gi-ji's Iramyeon-gi."*

In it, he describes Lee Gi-ji's visit to Beijing as part of a diplomatic mission in 1720, and notes the friendly relations between the missionaries and Koreans. Forty years later, however, Hong Dae-yong wrote about his visit to Beijing in 1765 as part of a mission and described how the hospitality of the missionaries towards Koreans had changed:
Since the Emperor Kangxi (r. 1662-1722), Joseon's diplomats used to visit the Catholic churches in Beijing and to be welcomed by the missionaries. The missionaries used to show exotic paintings, icons and other objects in the churches and even give the visitors presents brought from Europe. Joseon diplomats year by year wanted more exotic goods and experiences at the churches, so visiting Catholic churches in Beijing became the diplomats' conventional practice. Our country's custom seemed like arrogance, exaggeration and maliciousness, and the diplomats from Joseon often neither behaved politely nor paid back for the presents they received. Moreover, their followers were often uneducated, smoked and spat inside the churches, and touched things without allowance, which made the missionaries, who liked cleanliness, angry.

Recently, the Western missionaries became to dislike visitors from Joseon more than before. The missionaries refused to do the Joseon visitors a favor. They did not treat the visitors with heart.
The article goes on to describe how things had changed over 40 years: "Whereas Lee Gi-ji was welcomed by the missionaries without any advance notice of his visit, the visitors from Joseon in Hong's days were not allowed to enter the church even when they asked to see the church."

I guess you have to hate it when a bunch of idiots ruin things for everyone.


*일암연기 / 一菴燕記, in Hangeul / hanja, for the curious.

(Hat tip to Kelly.)

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Photos of Colonial-era Korean cities

A few years ago I posted a zip file of photos of colonial-era Korean cities which has disappeared from hosting sites repeatedly - hopefully this link (to a 80mb or so zip file) will be a little more permanent. The collection features over 300 photos taken of cities all over Korea between the 1910s and 1940s.


Thursday, November 14, 2013

Renewing or about to renew a public school teaching contract?

As I noted in this post last week, Seoul Metropolitan Office of Education is no longer requiring HIV and drug tests for teachers renewing their contracts. Commenters also noted that Daegu and Chungcheongbuk-do have lifted the requirements. John Power at the Korea Herald is looking into this topic and would like to talk to teachers who recently renewed or are about to renew their contracts. Any readers who would like to talk to him can reach him at johnpowermedia@gmail.com.

Tuesday, November 05, 2013

An interesting development regarding HIV tests for SMOE teachers

The renewal requirements for native speaking teachers working for the Seoul Metropolitan Office of Education include this rather interesting requirement at the bottom of the page (click to enlarge):


I'd be curious to know the exact reasoning for the removal of HIV and drug tests from the health check. I have no idea if word of the CERD case has trickled down (perhaps the government is trying to justify its assertion to the CERD committee that it stopped requiring HIV tests for renewing teachers in 2010?) or if it's for some other reason. Have any readers heard of the testing requirements (for renewal) being dropped by other education offices?

Thursday, October 31, 2013

"I don’t know if it’s appropriate for a foreigner to judge"

The Korea Times reported the other day that a foreign pastor was protesting homophobic textbooks:
Rev. Daniel Payne of Open Doors Community Church near Itaewon said they would deliver letters on Monday to the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology as well as relevant lawmakers, after the ministry recommended that two publishing companies — Kyohak Printing and Publishing and Chunjae Education — rewrite material teaching that homosexuals should not be discriminated against.

The move was made after an Oct. 4 meeting between the ministry and 20 Christian lawmakers and religious leaders who oppose same-sex marriage. They argue that the references are an affront to those who believe homosexuality is a sin.

Lee Seung-pyo, the education ministry’s senior supervisor of textbook planning, said the companies will likely be ordered to make the changes if they do not accept the recommendation. The Education Minister holds the authority to revoke the approval of these books for use at schools if publishers refuse to follow the ministry’s direction.
Those Christian lawmakers and religious leaders sure put the 'fun' in 'fundamentalist.' The government response is rather amusing, however.
But Lee of the education ministry wondered if Payne should be involving himself in the issue.[...]

“Every country has its own set of laws in evaluating and approving the education material for books. I don’t know if it’s appropriate for a foreigner to judge how we manage our education. You won’t see us commenting how other countries teach at schools.”
Right, like the ROK hasn't lodged, what, hundreds of protests against Japanese textbooks?

Monday, October 28, 2013

Makgeolli!

Someone - a farmer? - having makgeolli with Park Chung-hee, presumably in the 1960s. I found this on my computer the other day and don't know where it came from. I couldn't help noting that he's pouring with two hands.


I wondered if it might be someone like his father, but no, his father, Park Seong-bin, who was born in 1871 and took part in the Donghak Uprising, died in 1938. That link does reveal that Park Geun-hye's first cousin once removed was in the 90s band
Sechs Kies. The things you find out through Wikipedia. At any rate, one hopes that his drinking partner didn't imbibe too much, say something dumb, and get himself arrested.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Joongang Daily hopes Japan will "turn more proactive in banning racial discrimination"

So two weeks ago a Japanese court ordered the anti-Korean group Zaitoku-kai ["an association of citizens who do not tolerate privileges for Korean residents in Japan"] to stop a "hate speech" campaign and awarded damages in the case. As Agence France-Presse continues,
A civil court in Kyoto also ordered the group and its activists to pay some 12 million yen ($120,000) in damages to the elementary school run by affiliates of the pro-North Korean General Association of Korean Residents in Japan.
The Joongang Daily offered its suggestion to Japan in an editorial titled "Japan must act against hate."
A Japanese local court for the first time recognized hate speech as a crime, ordering an association of ultra-nationalist civilian groups campaigning against non-Japanese residents to pay damages to a school run by pro-North Korea residents in Japan. The court said the rallies and language used by Zaitokukai and its supporters, held near the school, were illegal because they go against an international treaty that bans racial discrimination. It is the first such case in Japanese judiciary history and will likely rein in activities that menace Korean residents in Japan as people can now file suit against hate speech and activities by anti-Korean groups.

Zaitokukai has recently been more blunt and aggressive in its protests and propaganda against non-Japanese residents, thanks to a passive response by the conservative government. Japan is a member of the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination and yet does not punish racial discrimination. The latest court ruling was a civil case, not criminal. It remains unclear if the Japanese government and legislature could revise the law in order to create the legal grounds to punish racial discrimination. Tokyo rebuffed advice by the United Nations Committee on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights in May to draw up an anti-discrimination law, saying it does not have any bigotry that demands a law.

The Seoul government issued a statement that it strongly wished the ruling would help stop racial discrimination and other activities against ethnic Koreans.[...]

We hope Japanese society will turn more proactive in banning racial discrimination and hate speech. The government must also act to rein in the improper activities of Zaitokukai and other similar groups. [Emphasis added.]
I'm not entirely sure why the Joongang Daily pointed out that "Japan is a member of the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination and yet does not punish racial discrimination," because Korea is also a member of CERD -  and  has done even less in regard to racial discrimination, particularly in regard to citing to CERD, and also lacks an anti-discrimination law.

This may be the first use of CERD in Japan to punish hate speech, but it certainly isn't the first use of CERD to punish racial discrimination. It was in fact a case in 1999 - Bortz v. Suzuki - which first cited to CERD. In the case, a Brazilian woman who was told to leave a jewelry store sued the owner and eventually won damages of 1.5 million yen ($12,500). As this translated opinion points out, Asians in Japan are more likely to "experience subtler, perhaps more deeply-rooted, forms of discrimination," while non-Asian foreigners are more likely to "experience more overt forms of discrimination" such as "ejection from a store, denial of entrance into a store, rejection on a housing application, being shooed away."
These acts clash with notions of fundamental fairness that westerners expect in society. For the westerner, the lawsuit is the preferred method of restoring persons injured by such behavior. The challenge for Bortz was where to find relevant law. The Japanese Constitution prohibits discrimination based on race, but only for its own citizens. Bortz’s lawyer had the vision to invoke the U.N. Convention to End All Forms of Racial Discrimination (CERD), which Japan signed in 1996. Judge Soh Tetsuro likewise exhibited creativity in applying international law domestically, via tort law, to fashion a modest, but unprecedented, remedy for Bortz.
While the ROK has been a party to the ICERD since 1978 (18 years longer than Japan) and has declared that the treaty "has the same authority of domestic law and does not necessitate additional legislation," no court in Korea has ever cited to CERD, even when it has been brought to its attention (such as in this case). Japan, on the other hand, has had a handful of successful suits seeking damage for racial discrimination.

In addition, while Japan never signed the optional protocol which allows individuals to bring a case against the state itself, Korea did, but - again - it had never been used until the case of a foreign English teacher who lost her job for refusing to do an HIV test for contract renewal was accepted by the CERD committee last July. Not many people in Korea would know about this, of course since no media outlet - Joongang Ilbo included - reported on the case. And again, Korea responded to this case 9 months later - 6 months after the deadline. And as was noted here, in its reply
[t]he government neither denied that foreign teachers face mandatory HIV tests nor claimed the tests were necessary for public health reasons. In fact, it said nothing about the testing of foreign teachers upon entry, and countered that Education Ministry guidelines no longer require re-testing upon renewal of annual contracts.
Which is, to put it gently, completely untrue. But yeah, get your act together, Japan!


As Agence France-Presse notes,
In handing down the ruling, presiding judge Hitoshi Hashizume said the group’s actions "constituted racial discrimination as defined by the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination."

"The actions are deemed intended to arouse a sense of discrimination among the public toward Korean residents in Japan," he said.

Hate speech, per se, is not illegal in Japan. The civil court’s ruling turns on the racial element of the outbursts.
In the case of the teacher who lost her job for refusing HIV testing prior to bringing the case to the CERD committee, the CERD was cited in her complaint to the National Human Rights Commission and the Korean Commercial Arbitration Board, but was ignored by both. So, there is no way to appeal directly to the CERD Committee in Japan but courts will cite to it, whereas in Korea you can appeal to the Committee (and wait a long time for a response) but courts have never cited to it.

All of which makes the Joongang Daily urging "Japanese society [to] turn more proactive in banning racial discrimination and hate speech" rather hypocritical, to say the least, especially it makes very clear just whose 'human rights' it's concerned with:
It is the first such case in Japanese judiciary history and will likely rein in activities that menace Korean residents in Japan as people can now file suit against hate speech and activities by anti-Korean groups.
It might be more honest to say the paper - in very correct ethno-nationalist manner - is trying to promote 'Korean rights.'

Now, on the one hand, it could be argued that carrying out protests near a school where participants rant about wanting to kill all Koreans is more serious than passing discriminatory laws requiring drug and HIV testing, and it's certainly more threatening. The thing is, though, if xenophobes and racists get invited to contribute to immigration policy - as they have in Korea - why would they ever need to hold a vocal protest?

Back in early 2011, Anti-English Spectrum - which I will make clear no longer exists after its leader Lee Eun-ung left the website - posted a new introductory message at the top of their (or 'his,' really) site:
These are the goals of the Citizens for Upright English Education:

To realize English education completely taught by Korean English teachers.
The best method is to keep our children away from overheated private English education and throw out unfit native speaking instructors.

To realize a public education system in which the English teachers are all Korean, we must make an effort to compile a budget for Korean English teachers from the more than 300 trillion won of the English education budget wasted on keeping native speaking assistant teachers.

The way public education is now with native speaking instructors simply using their native tongue must disappear.

Also, to provide safe English education for our children, continual monitoring of unfit native speaking instructors should be implemented.

We will inform citizens of misunderstandings caused by native speaking instructors who create distortions, and will also inform about the existence of honest, hard working native speaking instructors.
Moving from depicting foreign teachers as AIDS-infected, drug-addicted, morally unfit child molesters in order to justify demands for ever-stricter health and criminal record checks (which were ultimately granted), by early 2011 they wanted "only domestic English teachers" in public schools, to "keep our children away" from foreign instructors in English hagwons ("overheated private English education"), and to "throw out unfit native speaking instructors" (ie. all of them), thereby ethnically cleansing the sphere of English education in Korea. You can't say they were being unclear about what they wanted, or that they were unambitious.

And if it seemed like they were thinking big, well, why not? They had already accomplished all of their other goals, like continued (and ever stricter) drug and AIDS tests for foreign teachers, demonization of foreign teachers by the media and politicians, and their influence of public opinion in regard to foreign teachers. They complained about 'drinking parties' at GEPIK orientations, got New Daily to report on it, and GEPIK changed its policy. By the end of 2011, the budget issue had already gained traction with enough provincial or city council politicians for GEPIK to dramatically slash its native speaking teacher budget and for Seoul to plan to do the same. So when Lee Eun-ung left the group in 2011, he could do so rest assured that the had accomplished most of his goals, and that to that point attempts to undo them had failed.

I have to wonder how many similar groups in Japan would be able to say that.

[Hat tip to Benjamin Wagner.]

[On a similar topic, Michael Hurt reminded me of this on Facebook last week.]

Friday, October 18, 2013

A “Cash” Transaction in Korea

Foreign correspondents in Korea during the Russo-Japanese War 

Part 1: From Japan to Korea
Part 2: In Seoul and Chemulpo
Part 3: Along the coast of Korea
Part 4: R.L. Dunn: Jack London knows not fear

I hope to return to this at some point - discovering that Collier's Magazine can be read online has lead me to find several new articles, especially those by the photographer R.L. Dunn, who accompanied Jack London and Frederick McKenzie as the first foreign correspondents in Seoul in 1904. Below is one of the more interesting photos and stories associated with Robert Dunn from that time, as published in the June 4, 1904 issue of Colliers.


A “Cash” Transaction in Korea

R. L. Dunn, Collier's special war photographer in Korea, wrestled with many hardships and obstacles in his march from Seoul to Ping-Yang. Some of them he expected and tried to forestall. Others he met as they befell. He had not reckoned with having too much money as one of the troubles of campaigning in Korea or anywhere else. The photograph, which shows Mr. Dunn in the middle background, does not explain itself, because it conveys the impression that he is examining a huge heap of sausage, possibly procured as an addition to his field commissary.

As a matter of fact, however, the photographer helplessly surveying a mountain of money three feet high and sixty feet around the base. It is Korean currency, copper coins, in strings of a thousand each, the kind of disk, with a square hole punched out of the middle, which was first used in China, and a few hundred or thousand years later borrowed for the fiscal system of the Hermit Kingdom. From fifteen to thirty of these "cash" are required to equal the value of an American cent. A string of a thousand will weigh several pounds, a dollar's worth will make a load for a strong man.

Mr. Dunn had no intention of stripping Seoul of its small change when he gave the fatal order to Kurita, his interpreter. He was making ready his outfit for the advance, and it occurred to him that a supply of native money would be indispensable, inasmuch as a good deal of forage and other supplies must be obtained along the way. In addition, Kurita assured his master that many necessaries on their list could be had only in districts further north, and that "plenty of money" must be packed along. “Plenty of money” meant at least two or three hundred dollars to the American bound on a campaign of weeks. But he told Kurita to go out and find change for one hundred and fifty dollars, and be quick about it.

The forenoon passed and no Kurita returned. He was needed for a dozen urgent errands, and the afternoon was nearly spent, before Mr. Dunn became uneasy, impatient, then alarmed. The interpreter must have absconded, and all the foreign correspondents in sight were rounded up as a searching party. It was useless to notify the native police, and the photographer and his friends did not delay for official justice to be awakened from its slumbers. Just as the expedition was starting forth, one of the hotel boys came running up the street, beckoning to Mr. Dunn, shouting breathlessly: "Come, look, see, master. Kurita no can do. Have got, but no can do."

The boy led the way to a courtyard in the rear of the hotel, where the hapless Kurita yelled for joy as he sighted the party:

"Plenty money, got him cheap," was the interpreter’s greeting. "What you wanchee me do now?"

In the words of Mr. Dunn, as he wrote about it in a letter to the office:

"It took me only an instant to realize that I was the proud owner of what looked like a whole city block of real money-money enough to sink a ship, money piled in heaps and heaps, money enough, you would think, to last a spendthrift a million years."

Kurita had filled the order, and the coolies had been staggering under their burdens of “cash” from every corner of Seoul to the courtyard since morning, while the native money changers had put up their shutters until they could renew their stock.
“I had the money all right,” says Mr. Dunn, “but what could I do with it? I could not carry it, and nothing short of an army could move it. We paced around the edge of the heap and measured sixty-odd feet of circumference, while the average height was at least three feet. Kurita insisted that twenty men were needed to guard my wealth, night and day, until I should be ready to move it.”

Mr. Dunn was ready and eager to take the field, so nothing else could be done than to take a few strings of “cash” for immediate wants, and leave the mountain where it lay until its owner should come again to Seoul. Kurita was authorized to employ a guard of worthy and brave men, of strictest integrity, and a score of them, standing watches in relays, hovered around the concentrated opulence when collier’s photographer and his interpreter hurried away to the front.

They returned two weeks later, to find that many strings of “cash” had evaporated, although the guards swore by a million-odd saints and devils of the Korean mythology that not one copper coin was lacking. However, when it came to paying the wages of the guards for two weeks, on top of the singular depreciation noted, the mountain of cash had melted almost to nothing. It was a fact that the heap of money had eaten itself up, and the only beneficiaries were the sentinels, who shuffled away, doubled over with the weight of installments of their wages, and later came back with carts to collect the remainder.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Robert Capa Exhibition

I was reminded the other day that the Robert Capa exhibition is still on at the Sejong Cultural Center near Gwanghwamun and continues until October 28. The exhibition celebrates the 100th anniversary of Capa's birth and displays original prints of his war photography. More information can be found here (and in Korean here).

Here's a good documentary about his life:



I should note, though, that there's a continuity glitch in the video on youtube. At 29:50 (the sudden 'gambler' speech) you need to jump to 44:50 and watch until 59:50, at which point you need to jump back to 29:50 and watch to 44:50, and then jump to 59:50. Not really that confusing - jump 15 minutes ahead, watch for 15 minutes, jump 30 minutes back, watch for 15, and jump 15 minutes ahead. Or maybe it is confusing. Anyways, it's worth watching, even with a bit of myth making added in (though Capa himself cultivated his own myth throughout his life).

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Stolen gold

The 1988 Seoul Olympics

Part 1:  The Seoul Olympics, 25 years later
Part 2:  The 1988 Olympics and Korean fears of AIDS
Part 3:  Americans and bad first impressions
Part 4:  Reptilian Style: The 'live-or-die general war' against Hollywood
Part 5:  An attack in a boxing ring
Part 6:  Media responses to the boxing ring incident
Part 7:  No more lion: US swimmers' 'prank' becomes 'diplomatic incident'
Part 8:  KAIST catches Big Ben
Part 9:  Hankyoreh interviews Korean witness to theft by swimmers
Part 10: Stop me if you've heard this one: Four GIs head to Itaewon in a taxi...
Part 11: Taxi-kicking US runner taken to Itaewon police box
Part 12: NBC uses the power of t-shirts to insult Korea... again
Part 13: Cultivating outrage toward America
Part 14: Politicians engage in damage control
Part 15: Heaven on Earth
Part 16: Hustler magazine tramples the purity of the Korean race 

Part 17: Stolen gold

Boxing had already seen its fair share of controversy at the 1988 Olympics, what with a New Zealand referee being attacked by a Korean coach and other boxing staff for 'favouring' and allowing a Bulgarian boxer to win, which led to an explosion of media-driven anti-Americanism as newspapers lashed out at NBC for daring to do what they paid hundreds of millions of dollars to do - televise the Olympics.

As the final boxing matches drew closer, controversy began to draw a little to closer to home, as a September 29 AP article published in Stars and Stripes noted:
Three South Korean fighters also won by decision, including a 3-2 win at 156 pounds by Park Si-hun over Vincenso Nardiello of ltaly.

The win so enraged the Italian fighter that he kicked the ringpost and then charged toward the official scoring desk near ringside. Nardiello had to be restrained by his coach from attacking the officials.

Korean fighters have won a string of close decisions in front of a highly partisan crowd at the Chamshil Student Gymnasium since several Korean officials attacked a referee last week after Korean fighters lost a pair of decisions.

The quarterfinal victories assured the fighters bronze medals at the worst going into the Thursday semifinals[.]
There was more than a bronze medal assured for Park. As the Guardian describes it,
The final, on the last day of boxing at the Games, was a rout, Jones, barely bothering to raise his guard, landed 86 punches to Park's 32. The Korean took two standing eight counts and was twice warned by the referee. NBC's Count-A-Punch recorder scored the rounds 20-3, 30-15 and 36-14 in Jones's favour. [...]

The three judges didn't think so. Bob Kasule of Uganda, Uruguay's Alberto Durán and Hiouad Larbi of Morocco gave Park the fight, two others giving it to Jones. As the referee, Aldo Leoni, raises Park's hand, the Korean fighter looks entirely embarrassed. Leoni himself looks disgusted. "I can't believe they're doing this to you," he whispered to the distraught American.
I thought Park looked embarrassed and shocked:


The Stars and Stripes article continues:
"It's the worst judging in boxing since I've been in it," said Elmo Adolph, an American referee and judge who has been in amateur boxing for 24 years. "I'm extremely disappointed almost to the point of being incensed."

Anwar Chowdhry, president of the International Amateur Boxing Association, said the scoring was bad and that it had been a frequent problem at other tournaments. With that, AIBA made Jones its most outstanding boxer of the Olympics.

"Outrageous," U.S. Coach Ken Adams declared. "He clearly won the bout. It's a political thing, and that's what's bad about it."
He would take things further than that (via another AP article in Stars and Stripes):


The other Stars and Stripes AP article continues:
"I thought I had beaten him to a point I couldn't get robbed," Jones said. "Unfortunately I was."

Jones' father,-Roy Sr., a former prize fighter, said his son was crushed by the decision. "I've never seen him shed a tear before and he was shedding tears," the father said. "It's every athlete's dream to win a gold medal, and they took it away from him."
The fight and its outcome is described here:



As the Guardian quotes Jones,
"When I had that problem in South Korea. I went with an interpreter to face the guy I fought," he said in 2004. "I asked him 'Did you win that fight?' He shook his head and said 'No'. And then I was cool with it. If you tell me the truth, I'm cool."
Well, he may have been cool with Park, who really wasn't responsible, but he certainly wasn't cool with what happened. Park did grab his hand during the medal ceremony - he clearly feels bad...


But it's pretty clear in the video of the medal ceremony how distraught Jones is.



The Stars and Stripes AP article did note that "Even some of the Koreans in the crowd booed when the decision was announced." In this documentary, it's said that "50 Korean monks arrived to personally express their shame and sorrow" to Jones, who said, "They were so sorry about what had happened to me and what their country did to me." In fact, the Hankyoreh published an article the next day titled "Korea's stained 'insisted-upon medal'" which stated that the paper had received many calls criticizing the result of the match, and apparently many had said that the medal should be returned. So while organizers might have been pushing for this kind of thing, it's clear that not everyone was buying it or thought that 'gold at any cost' was something to strive for.

Mind you, as the Stars and Stripes AP article points out, some were true believers:
Kim Seung-youn, who resigned Sunday as head of the Korean Amateur Boxing Federation over an earlier controversy, said, "Today's decision is very, very fair. There is no scandal today. It cannot happen. I cannot understand why foreigners have such prejudice against Korea."
That would be the boxing ring assault incident that he was finally resigning over. And yes, when coaches assault referees, it's the network showing it who is to blame, and when medals are stolen, such beliefs are due to "prejudice against Korea."

Or not. As the Orlando Sentinel reported,
For his 1996 book, The New Lords of the Rings, [Andrew] Jennings discovered police documents that offered the most damning evidence that bribes were made in Seoul. Records from the files of the Stasi -- the defunct East German secret police -- showed more than $15,000 changed hands among boxing officials in Seoul.
The the Guardian elaborates:
Karl-Heinz Wuhr, the general secretary of AIBA, was mixing his boxing duties with work as a Stasi agent. When the Stasi's secret files were released following the collapse of the Soviet Union the investigative journalist and author Andrew Jennings found allegations of outright bribery. "They did not miss a chance to try to corrupt or influence me," Wuhr wrote. "They [the host nation] repeatedly attempted to persuade me to take back my decisions punishing judges they seemed to have an interest in. There were always judges prepared to declare a South Korean boxer victor, even if this was completely ludicrous." He alleged bribes had been paid to several unnamed judges, including three from Africa and one from South America and felt the "manipulation" went high up into the executive of AIBA. The referee Leoni supported the claims, saying an Argentinian colleague had been offered an envelope stuffed with cash by the Korean boxing authorities.
Oh, and the icing on the case is this:


Recognize the man congratulating Park on his 'victory'?


Wait, wasn't he suspended?

Well, yes, but as the LA Times reports:
After the melee, a seething AIBA president, Anwar Chowdhry of Pakistan, suspended five South Koreans for their role in the melee for the duration of the Olympics.

But nearly a week later, the South Korean Amateur Boxing Federation is largely ignoring Chowdhry's ban. Lee Heung Soo, the Korean coach-trainer who was suspended, has attended every South Korean bout since the riot, coaching from an arena floor-level seat or, as was the case Tuesday night, from the press section.

Although Lee no longer wears an Olympic credential, he has been seen daily in the restricted athletes' zone in the building, freely walking past security check points, and sitting in the arena's floor-level ticketed sections.

Lee also has been seen shouting instructions to boxers from the spectator seats, the press section, and escorting South Korean boxers to and from the arena.

Chowdhry was asked if he had been aware that Lee was still coaching the South Korean boxers.

"That was brought to my attention, and I gave a written directive to SLOOC, asking that the credentials be pulled from all five of the people we suspended," he said. "I am unhappy that those people are even in this building."

The next day, however, Lee was still acting very much like a coach.

And the South Korean boxing federation has yet to issue a public apology for the incident. Kim Seung Youn made a clumsy attempt to do so several days ago. He had about 150 gift boxes passed out to reporters. The boxes, with his name on them, contained after-shave and skin lotion, a razor and two blades.

Of the failure of the South Koreans to apologize publicly for the melee, Chowdhry said: "That has surprised me more than anything, that they have said nothing. All they have done is to assure me there will be a police investigation, after the Olympics."
Well, yes, there's a certain irony in 'the side that demand apologies' not making them, but when you're morally in the right, there's no need to apologize. So I guess the Donga Ilbo's assertion that the Olympics were Korea's way of showing its "moral and ethical supremacy" turned out to be correct. Because when you're morally and ethically supreme, you never need to say your sorry, because it's someone else's fault. The problem is, while being the eternal victim (of 'prejudice' in this case) gives you the moral high ground, it doesn't give you any agency, which leaves nationalists in a bit of a confusing situation. The way out of that will be the topic of the final post in this series (or posts, who knows how long it might get!).

Tuesday, October 08, 2013

RAS lecture tonight: 'Imagining the Dual City in Colonial Korea'

Tonight Professor Michael Kim will be giving a lecture titled "Imagining the Dual City in Colonial Korea (1910-1945)" for the Royal Asiatic Society:
This presentation will focus on key aspects of the everyday life experiences within the colonial city. One of the central features of colonial Seoul was its division into a Korean district and a Japanese district that had considerable disparity in terms of urban development. This dual transformation of Seoul led its residents to redefine their urban spaces and collective identities according to ethnic lines. Colonial Seoul is a particularly important site for exploration, because this was the location where many Koreans encountered both a colonial reality and a nascent capitalist modernity in their most palpable forms. Koreans living in the countryside could live their entire lives with little evidence of the Japanese presence. Many parts of Korea remained isolated from development and experienced hardly any changes throughout the Japanese occupation. However, the Korean residents of Seoul were acutely aware of the transformations that took place within the capital city, which was a major showcase of the Japanese empire, and the shifting urban landscape influenced their collective identities as colonized subjects. 
Through images and various Korean voices from the colonial past, this presentation will attempt to contextualize the colonial transformation of Seoul.
The lecture will be held at 7:30 pm tonight (Tuesday) in the Residents' Lounge on the 2nd floor of the Somerset Palace in Seoul, which is behind Jogyesa Temple, and is 7,000 won for non-members and free for members. More information can be found here.

Anyone wanting to read more about the colonial development of Korean cities can do so at this issue of Korea Journal, which features articles about the development of Seoul, Busan, Daegu, and Mokpo during the colonial period. Even today Mokpo is, as Robert Koehler described it, 'an outdoor museum of colonial Korea.'

Monday, October 07, 2013

Hustler magazine tramples the purity of the Korean race

The 1988 Seoul Olympics
Part 1:  The Seoul Olympics, 25 years later
Part 2:  The 1988 Olympics and Korean fears of AIDS
Part 3:  Americans and bad first impressions
Part 4:  Reptilian Style: The 'live-or-die general war' against Hollywood
Part 5:  An attack in a boxing ring
Part 6:  Media responses to the boxing ring incident
Part 7:  No more lion: US swimmers' 'prank' becomes 'diplomatic incident'
Part 8:  KAIST catches Big Ben
Part 9:  Hankyoreh interviews Korean witness to theft by swimmers
Part 10: Stop me if you've heard this one: Four GIs head to Itaewon in a taxi...
Part 11: Taxi-kicking US runner taken to Itaewon police box
Part 12: NBC uses the power of t-shirts to insult Korea... again
Part 13: Cultivating outrage toward America
Part 14: Politicians engage in damage control
Part 15: Heaven on Earth

Part 16: Hustler magazine tramples the purity of the Korean race

In a September 19, 1988 Joongang Ilbo article titled "Women’s Organizations give 'final warning': we can’t take any more sexual abuse," it was reported that the day before the Olympics began, the United Korea Women's Association gave a statement denouncing the attack by US military teens against a pregnant Korean woman (mentioned here) and criticized the "special privileges" of the US military, citing a government statistic that out of 15,000 crimes committed by US soldiers in the past decade, the Korean government had exercised jurisdiction in less than one percent of the cases. As well, they called for the perpetrators' parents and the US Ambassador to publicly apologize to Korea citizens, a speedy and fair investigation and punishment by government authorities, and "revision of the unequal SOFA." They also declared that it "wasn’t simply an assault, but a reflection of Americans' tendency to look down on Koreans." Another such example was given by the association:
As well, they condemned and announced they were considering countermeasures against an article in the most recent issue of the American pornographic magazine Hustler titled "Olympic-goers guide to Korean sex," which insultingly portrayed many Korean women as cheap prostitutes who entice men on the streets.

The article stated that because there were fears that Korean women might be infected with AIDS from the millions of foreigners visiting Korea during the Olympics, some groups argued that foreigners entering the country should carry AIDS test certificates, but were silenced by the government's plan to distribute free condoms in the athletes' village.
That's right, the October 1988 issue of Hustler did indeed feature a 'Korean sex-scene guide':


Introducing the article is a two-page not-safe-for-work illustration, and as the article begins, the title 'Guide to Korean sex' is followed by the subtitle 'The casual Western visitor to Seoul will be astonished to find armies of big-titted, strapping young whores.' While one could understand that offense would be taken at a description of the prostitution available to visitors during the Olympics (again, "the unspoken rule that [journalists] should only look at what Koreans chose to show them"), and at NBC itself broadcasting reports about prostitution in Korea, the article was quite a bit more offensive than that. Here's the opening (click to enlarge):


 
The writer, Jun Kanda, maker of sex tapes shot in Asia, offers up some howlers as well, such as describing a “culture dominated by women” (because “Even today, a Korean bride keeps her family name after marriage”) and asserting that “The real power in the country is concentrated between the dewy thighs of Korea’s proud vagina owners." He also tells us, "I was cruising Itaewon, the red-light district of Seoul." Right. Kind of like how Myeongdong is the shopping district of Seoul. It gets more offensive, however, as he describes the tutelage of the US military and the nature of Korean women:


At this point, it should be remembered that, like everywhere outside of Europe and America, Korea had been the object of many 'studies' and travelogues in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, some of which were written to justify Japanese occupation of the peninsula, others which were written to make the superiority of western culture stand out in relief. The following paragraph (which I first posted here) from George Kennan's October 8, 1904 Outlook article, "The Land of the Morning Calm":
American friends who have spent in the peninsula more years than I have weeks tell me that the Korean, as a man, is intelligent, courteous, teachable, kind-hearted and superior in many ways to the Japanese; but in the first place, he impresses me as lacking in virility, and, in the second place, he is so abominably dirty in his personal habits and his environment that I find it almost impossible to credit him with a spark of self-respect. His apologists say that he has been crushed and disheartened by centuries of bad government. This is undoubtedly true, and it accounts for many of his weaknesses and defects; but bad government does not prevent him from cleansing his premises, nor a body of citizens from cleaning up their neighborhood. So far as my limited observation qualifies me to judge, the average town Korean spends more than half his time in idleness, and instead of cleaning up the premises in his long intervals of leisure, he sits contentedly on his threshold and smokes, or lies on the ground and sleeps, with his nose over an open drain from which a turkey-buzzard would fly and a decent pig would turn away in disgust.
Even when writers were trying to say nice things, it could come out laced with a large amount of condescension, or worse, as this paragraph from the 1950 book 'The Epic of Korea' (looked at here) reveals:
Korea is a land of gooks ; the Korean is a gook. He is incomprehensible because his thought processes are different, his philosophy not of the earth but of the air. He belongs to another world. But just when we think that we can never understand the Korean, the light of comprehension shows in his dark eyes and in his ready smile and laughter, and we call him gook with foolish tenderness. Almost unwittingly we find ourselves so fond of him that we want to shelter him from all harm.  
And while nowhere near as offensive as the Hustler article, his comments on Korean women are rather objectifying and condescending:
The Korean woman, like all Asiatics, is small, but she is much better proportioned than other Asiatics. Unlike the Japanese, in whom the torso is normal in size, the hips larger than normal, and the rest of the body diminutive, the contours of the Korean woman are superbly regular. Her body is almost rigidly erect, largely because of the burdens she has borne on her head. Unlike the breasts of the Japanese woman, those of the Korean woman are well developed and sometimes even bulging. But, with a kind of winding-sheet, she binds her breasts, outward and downward, to her body. And the Korean woman, although very modest, has no squeamishness or childishly sensual attitude toward the various parts of her body. They were created with her soul and are to be treated with dignity, not laughed at by people with a sudden awareness that the human body has members. By way of example, a young American officer said to a barmaid in Seoul in his broken Japanese, Anata wa, chichi ga arimasen ka? ("But haven't you any breasts?") The barmaid, a very pretty young woman, said, "Yes." With complete aplomb, she reached into her tunic, opened her red flannel undershirt, unwound her winding-sheet, and produced a white-gold orb, which she held in the palm of her hand and said, "See!" Even amid American guffaws she retained her native impassibility. Only complete chastity such as most Korean women possess can produce such perfect self-composure.
The illustration which accompanied the Hustler article can also be connected to images like this (from halfway through Michael Hurt's photo essay here) or to more ribald photos taken by G.I.s I won't link to here.

Needless to say, and no doubt with the type of writing above in mind (at least for some of them), the Hustler article certainly made an impact upon university students. The following was published in a regular column in the Donga Ilbo titled 'Hyujitong,' or 'garbage can' on September 23:
Students from Suwon area universities such as Gyeonggi University and Hansin University are carrying out a signature campaign in opposition to a seven page feature article published in the most recent issue of the American-published lewd magazine Hustler, titled 'Hustler's Korean sex for Olympic tourists,' which provides information about prostitutes to foreigners coming to Seoul to see the Olympic games.

The problematic article in the most recent issue of Hustler says that "Itaewon, an area crowded with apartments and shopping beneath Namsan in Seoul, is a mecca for enjoying Korean sex" and goes as far as introducing hotels where one can easily meet Korean women and how much money to pay for sex. It also insults Korean women, saying "Because some women who tend to prefer foreigners spend lots of money, you don't need any special preparations to enjoy Korean sex."

Regarding the article in the American magazine with distortions and fabrications which sexually degraded Korean women and said they preferred foreigners, students are carrying out a "Signature campaign to prevent sex Olympics and stop AIDS and the commercialization of women" to demand the government formulate measures.
The article gained a wide audience after it was photocopied, translated, and posted up at universities, as the September 30 Miami Herald article titled "Korean Students Fuel Anti-U.S. Sentiment" makes clear:
Come to Korea, where the women are all sluts: so says the latest issue of Hustler magazine. The article has been taped to a wall at Seoul's Yonsei University for all to read, labeled a typical example of American journalism.

Illustrated by a drawing of naked Oriental women frolicking in the basin of the Olympic flame, the magazine piece, titled "Hustler's Olympic Goer's Guide to Korean Sex," is an imaginary and pornographic description of Korean women, who are portrayed as so eager to please visiting Americans that even prostitutes among them will entertain Yanks for free.

Reading the article, which has been translated into Korean, are scores of students of both sexes, their faces intent, sober, controlled. The article is unremittingly vile, vividly insulting.

Just the ticket to incite an anti-American demonstration, which is what a young man with a microphone nearby is trying to do.

"You see? The Olympic Games are just an excuse for Americans to come to Korea and pollute our country with AIDS!" he shouts. "Yankees out of Korea!"

"Yankees out of Korea!" echoes the crowd of about 50 students. Across the front of the building are four huge posters proclaiming: "Yonsei University students curse American barbarism."

Across town at Korea University, about 15 miles from the Olympic stadiums, a group of 1,000 students charged police and hurled firebombs, shouting, "Down with the dictator's Olympics!" and "Yankee go home!" But even this rally, wild by Western standards, is just an afternoon's drill for students here. They used to do this every other day before the Olympics began.
The connection between the Hustler article, AIDS, and America would be made more than once. On September 28, the Hankyoreh published a letter from Seoul resident Jin Jeong-mi, in which she used the term minjok (nation/race/ethnicity) a number of times:
In holding the Olympics, Korean women are mocked
Low American magazine 'Hustler' says they are "traditionally gisaengs"

If you are a Korean woman, or no, if you are citizen of this country, I believe all of you should know about this, and I write these words unable to calm my indignation. A few days ago I saw a poster at school with an image and article which appeared in the pornographic American magazine Hustler. The image had semi-nude Korean women lying in the Olympic torch with a set of giant chopsticks next to them. The picture has the meaning that "Come to Seoul, where the Olympics are being held, and using chopsticks, help yourself to Korean women."

Furthermore, the article next to the image made me feel even more unbearable outrage and humiliation as a Korean. [...]

As I read the article, I was shocked at how the majority of foreigners coming to the Olympics may look at our country's women.  Our history of subordination, with 36 years of Japanese rule followed by the stationing of US military here, has shown our minjok to be the nothing but the plaything of foreigners, and if this country is seen as a den of kisaengs, what in the world do many women, beginning with those volunteering for the Olympics, look like in the eyes of a foreigner.?

The government, meanwhile, hasn't taken any kind of measures against the main route for AIDS into this country, the US military, which is in various places across the country, and during the Olympics, instead of having AIDS tests for foreigners entering the country as they should, they're giving away condoms for free in the Olympic Village, something I really can't help but deplore. Beneath the splendid signs for the Olympics, Korean women are suffering mockery and the purity of the minjok is being trampled. How can this be "the Olympics, pride of the minjok"?

I think that denouncing and severely condemning America, which looks at this country's women as nothing but prostitutes, and the current government authorities who allow this is the least we can do to recover the pride of our minjok. I earnestly appeal as a woman to combine the power of all citizens in order to do this for the country.
As the Miami Herald article noted, the Hustler article had been "labeled a typical example of American journalism," and above we see the writer claim that "America... looks at this country's women as nothing but prostitutes." After the humiliation of seeing their own sporting officials assault a foreign referee in the ring suffering this mockery and trampling of their purity by America, students took further action. On September 30, the Donga Ilbo published the following article:
SNU Student Council Reps Visit US Embassy
Deliver letter protesting distorted media reports

Seoul National University Student Council president Park Jae-hyun (Astronomy and science, 3rd year) and 4 other student representatives went to the US embassy to deliver a open letter protesting a series of recent crimes committed by Americans and distorted news reports.

Seoul National University Student Council's letter claimed that, "The recent series of events involving NBC and US soldiers are more than accidents - we cannot but see the explicit expression of a trend showing implicit contempt for Korea and Koreans." "In regard to this we are also looking into the "88 Olympic Korean Sex Tour" article published by the American magazine Hustler.
And so the tale of the Hustler article ends... at least during the Olympics. It would be invoked in a very prescient article a few weeks later. That will have to wait, however.

[Note: I first learned of the Hustler article here, and it was, ironically, through the Hustler article that I learned about the government's plans to test foreign Olympic visitors for AIDS.]