|From:||Yoon Ha Lee <yl112@...>|
|Date:||Friday, September 8, 2000, 1:26|
On Thu, 7 Sep 2000, DOUGLAS KOLLER wrote:
> Koreans were _low_ man on the totem pole. When I was there, even 2nd
> generation Japan-born ethnic Koreans had to be fingerprinted, just like the
> rest of us "gaijin". I don't know if that's still around. There was a great
> deal of outcry; foreigners didn't appreciate being made to feel like
> criminals and Korean Japanese were none too thrilled either. Perhaps this
> has now changed.
From what I've heard, Koreans today are still very much second-class in
Japan. OTOH, it's not like South Korea is all that receptive toward the
Japanese, either. It was about 8 years ago when I visited the Korean War
Museum, but there was a *lot* of anti-Japanese material related to the
Japanese occupation. While I will certainly admit that most Koreans had
good cause not to like that period of history, it seems silly to demonize
all Japanese for it.
During the Imjin War (1592-1598) the Japanese were called (I'm told by
Prof. Strauss) "waeran," or "dwarves" (with rather unpleasant associated
connotations). Since we ethnic Koreans aren't particularly tall
ourselves, I find this almost amusing...though *most* Japanese I've seen
are slightly shorter than *most* Koreans. I think short is good, though,
even if I have to ask people to get books on the highest shelves
<grumbling about tall people--j/k>.