Behold the power of Yonsama
The current dispute between Japan and Korea over the naming of Dokdo (Korean name), aka Takeshima (Japanese), aka the Liancourt Rocks (American) has spilled over into Bae Yong-joon, aka Yonsama, issues.
There are a bunch of bloggers who’ve already covered the Dokdo-Takeshima dispute, but those tend to get pretty heated and/or biased, so here are a couple of more neutral articles from BBC News instead. The articles are a few years old, but as you can see the issues haven’t changed much (or at all) in the interim.
Anyway. Suffice to say that Dokdo-Takeshima is a touchy subject, with the Korean perspective characterized by overreaction and oversensitivity and the Japanese often characterized by a dismissive, “Oh the occupation was ages ago, why can’t Korea just forget about it?”
Apparently, after the magazine Lady Kyung-hang published an interview with Bae in their July issue, letters started trickling in from Japanese fans, “written very courteously,” expressing an apologetic sentiment over the “difficult situation” with Dokdo and offering their wishes for a positive resolution of the issue. According to the magazine, “Above all, they were very careful in explaining their hope that Bae Yong-joon would not be hurt over this incident.” There were even some who added, “Dokdo is Korea’s land! Long live Bae Yong-joon.”
For instance, “Iwate in Tokyo” wrote a letter saying, “In the past, I wouldn’t have been very interested in this [Dokdo] matter, but after being introduced to Yong-joon sshi, any news that mentions the word ‘Korea’ has me stop what I’m doing and perk up my ears. Whenever news like this arises, I feel my heart sink. Not all of Japan believes Dokdo to be their land. I wish to apologize in place of our politicians.” After more apologies, the letter closed, “It makes me sad that our countries would be further distanced by one small island. I wanted to make sure to express these feelings to other Korean people.”
Another letter titled “I don’t know anything” by someone named Kitajima Tokio went, “I hope that Japan would reflect upon its past actions with humility and wisdom and advance together with Korea.”
Well, it’s said that Winter Sonata did more to ease relations between Japan and Korea than any recent political act, so maybe Yonsama does deserve credit.
SONG OF THE DAY
The The – “독도… 대한민국의 땅” (Dokdo is Korea’s Land). For having such a potentially inflammatory title, it’s a pretty nice song. [ Download ]
Tags: Bae Yong-joon