Monday, August 8, 2011

What the ... Era Error?!?!?!

An article in the Korea Times, Worst in the Nation, brought up the whole "Sea of Japan" versus "East Sea" bugaboo again. "Korea protests US agency’s support for 'Sea of Japan'" read the headline. (Is it just me or does the use of "agency" seem to be used to imply some sort of sinister intent? Like spy agency?)

A U.S. maritime boundary group told the International Hydrographic Organization (IHO) that they supported the use of "Sea of Japan". The British also agreed with using this term. Thus ignoring the Korean desire for "East Sea" to be used.

There was really nothing new in the article but one statement made me wonder just who Korea is blaming for the Western use of "Sea of Japan".

"This is the latest setback to the Korean government’s long-time efforts to replace the appellation with “East Sea” in the guideline in what appears to be a campaign to root out one of the longest surviving legacies of Japan’s colonial rule of Korea from 1910 to 1945."

How is it a legacy of that Era if a) Western countries coined the term not Japan, and b) it was used well before the Colonial Era, possibly as far back as the 17th century?


  1. Koreans are always saying "han" is impossible to define, that it's a feeling/trait that all Koreans (and only Koreans) share. During the time I've spent here, I think it's pretty easy to define. It simply means "small man syndrome"

  2. I had forgotten all about "Han".

  3. @David - One of my Canadian friends here refers to it as "anger management issues." I'm with you - I think of it as "inferiority complex."

  4. I remember an episode of 'The West Wing' titled "Han." It was about a North Korean concert pianist who wanted to defect. They told him no because of security concerns. He stoically accepted his fate, played a marvelous concert, and there wasn't a dry eye in the house.
    So, 'Han' means not pitching a fit when you get fucked over?
    I... don't think many Koreans have it, then.