22

Behold the power of Yonsama

Oh, brother.

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.

Via Chosun.com

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 ]

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

RELATED POSTS

Tags:

22

Required fields are marked *

Just run for presidency already.

0
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

When I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, 'tis the shining beacon of Yonsama (aka Bae Yong Joon pachinko machines!) that leads me out.

Our Lord and Master Yonsama is great! Yep. And his hair is silky!

0
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

LOL. I've listened to that song a billion times and I had no idea what it was about *_*

0
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

Hilarious!!!!! long live korean culture. and of course the almighty yon sama.

0
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

Oh, wow! That's impressive.

I get so annoyed when my mom gets all fired up about Dokdo. I mean, a sense of nationalism/patriotism is one thing, but to go as far as saying "Those Japanese are awful. It makes me never want to use Japanese goods again. We should avoid them!" -- a little to much, methinks. ...and the funny thing? All 3 cars in our driveway are Japanese cars. We've ALWAYS bought Japanese cars.

But whatever, I'm glad to see that something positive is happening. Even if it is just the Bae Yong Joon fans...

(Sorry, I got annoyed. My mom tends to do that. Annoy me, I mean.)

0
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

Good lord, I knew celebrities were capable of swaying public opinions but this is proof ardent fandom can overcome everything from historical controversy to political unrest. Maybe Choi Ji Woo's Lovers is Asuka is better idea than I thought. Japan-Korea relations would get better a lot faster if they both concentrated on making dramas rather than poking around on patently useless islands.

0
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

behold the power of korean stars. although i did not understand half of what the real issue is (being a non-korean, i guess i am not expected to...) it seems that fame does a nation good?
another q: howcome there are not a lot of updates in k blogs? coolsmurf, k-popped... hmmm...

0
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

Great, balanced article in the perspective of Yonsama and his fans....it's like a microcosm of Korea and Japan. Those Japanese ahjumma fans are so funny!

But there are various reasons for Japan's unrelenting desire for Dokdo. There was an article in Chosun in 2006 about researchers at KAIST (a Korean University) found that Dokdo is an abundant source of future energy in the form of methane gas - something that Japan would definitely envy.

Here's the link: http://english.chosun.com/w21data/html/news/200608/200608170025.html

0
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

Ter, i had the same reaction. I'd put the album into repeat mode and zoned out, and it took me several listens before I started paying attention to the lyrics, wondering, "Wait, are they... singing about... what it sounds like they're singing about?" lol.

Personally, I have no great love of Yonsama but give credit where it's due: The man couldn't have amassed his sizable (and passionate) fan base for nuthin'.

0
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

amazin ...seriously he should run for presidency for both korea and japan !
i don't want to imamagine what would happen if he gets married there would be a genocide or masse suicide somewhere ouuuf

0
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

That is so funny! I believe it too! I look at my own experience. After I adopted my kids from Korea, I tried so hard to learn about Korean culture...traveled there, read books on Korea, had a k-nanny for the kids, attended k-church, dabble a bit in k-pop, but it was still difficult for me to understand. Then, I saw my first drama in 2002, which happened to be Winter Ballad (tho I was in love w/ Park Yong Ha), and wow it all came together for me. Finally Korea w/ subs! That is what I was missing! I've had a passion for k-culture and dramas ever since. Now, I can read all the critical stuff at places like Marmot's Hole, yet balance it against the cool things I really love about Korea. The power of pop culture…if it brings a little understanding between cultures, that’s great. BTW, another example of this is the Korean-Japanese drama Friends. I love the way Tomoko falls in love with Korea because of a boy, but her love for Korea and desire to understand its culture grows beyond her initial relationship with Ji Hoon. Nice drama. Thanks for sharing this story javabeans.

0
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

speechless!
"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." <-- this observation is so true!

0
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

ha ha
what did he say in the magazine??

0
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

“Dokdo is Korea’s land! Long live Bae Yong-joon.” there's something compeletly surrealistic about that X-D

0
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

Can't it be joint territory? Or is that just impossible? I don't know much about this issue.

0
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

@soyboy
Hey thanks for the article :)

0
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

great piece w/ all the emotions :) yonsama, please take on NK next :D

0
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

^ oops, "without all the emotions" :P

0
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

another reason for him not do his military service like everyone else...so unfair....

0
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

First of all, the fact that Japan, even to this day, refuses to apologize or even admit the treacherous acts committed during their occupation in Korea is unforgivable. One of which was the kidnapping and raping women from villages and using them as sex slaves "comfort women". Even to this day, Japan had refused to publicly apologize to these women or even acknowledge the use of comfort women during the occupation in their textbooks. And you say that Korea is a overreacting and oversensitive?? I think it's better to look and think twice before using words like that.

0
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

shinae,

I've studied the issue of comfort women in detail. I've studied Japanese culture and language extensively. I think what imperialist Japan did in its occupation of not only Korea but many other Asian countries is shameful and horrific and cause for censure to this day. So much of the actions its government committed in the name of imperialism were beyond the pale. The fact that the nation has never publicly admitted wrongdoing, not to mention issue reparations to the victims, is an issue that cannot be swept under the table.

However. Dokdo is an issue entirely separate from the crimes against humanity perpetrated against comfort women and others in WWII and before. The fact that many Koreans cannot talk about one issue without jumping to drag in others just gives naysayers more ammo to level against Koreans as incapable of thinking logically and dispassionately, and without being overwhelmed with emotional arguments.

So yes, I have thought twice -- more than twice -- about this issue and I'm not just throwing around words like "overreact" frivolously. (And just because I say Koreans tend to be oversensitive -- WE ARE -- doesn't mean I think that our/their claims are groundless. I just mean that the Korean argument would be helped by less jumping to point fingers and more calm rationale.)

0
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

eu vou manda vc toma nu cú por q vcs sao viados de 27 cú seus boiolas filhos da potas vagabondos filhos das equas filhos das prostitutas que da o cú pra cada um que passar na rua e vcs sao vagabundos

0
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

Currently Airing

Prime-Time Shows This Week
Monday-Tuesday (July 6-7) Wednesday-Thursday (July 8-9) Weekend (July 10-12)