11 months ago
South Korean fans hang a banner Sunday reading ‘There is no future for a race oblivious to history’ at the East Asian Cup finale against Japan in Seoul.
This week, Japan and South Korea have been reopening old wounds. It started off on Sunday at a football match in Seoul, when fans unfurled a banner accusing Japan of being “oblivious to history”.
The next day, a Busan court ordered a Japanese company to pay up for forced-labour practices in the past. A day later, Glendale, a city in southern California, unveiled a memorial for Asian women and girls held as sex slaves by Japanese soldiers more than a half century ago.
Three days, three news stories with a common theme: Japan’s brutal invasion and occupation of Asia in the early 20th century. In Seoul and Tokyo, government officials initially showed restraint. For once it seemed the two sides wouldn’t get drawn into their familiar tit-for-tat.
Too bad it didn’t last long. Soon Japan’s minister for education, culture, sports, science and technology, Hakubun Shimomura, was calling Sunday’s mix of politics and football “regrettable” and saying, “It calls into question the nature of the people in the country.” South Korea fired back, saying it was “deeply regrettable” that a senior Japanese official would insult South Koreans over a sporting event. The Korean Football Association accused Japanese supporters at the game of provoking action by waving a Rising Sun flag, which once fluttered above the decks of Japan’s wartime naval fleet. It remains a potent symbol for many South Koreans of Japanese militarism and 35 years of colonial rule.
History has a way of whipping up nationalist sentiments on both sides. Officials in Tokyo and Seoul can’t help but weigh in. The results are predictable – finger-pointing, hurt feelings. This has brought about a stalemate of sorts: South Korea demands Japan shows more contrition for a militaristic past and Japan defends itself by saying that past wrongs were settled decades ago.
Rarely do they deviate from the script. Tokyo’s fallback position is to invoke the 1965 treaty that established diplomatic relations with South Korea and settled old grievances and it also reminds Seoul of compensation provided to South Koreans through a private fund. Seoul views this as a way for the Japanese to shirk responsibility for their past. For South Koreans there are other signs of this, such as textbooks that gloss over Japan’s wartime atrocities, lawmakers who visit a Tokyo war shrine and bureaucrats who demand that Seoul hand over control of a group of islets in the Sea of Japan.
The most extreme views on both sides tend to taint the relationship. Pessimists say it’s only a matter of time before something aggravates things further. But what they forget is how economically dependent on each other these two countries have become. Japan is South Korea’s second-largest trading partner; South Korea ranks among the top five for Japan. Commerce between the two exceeds $100bn (€75.5bn). You’ll find South Korean tourists loaded down with shopping bags at fashion retailers in Harajuku and gushing over Japanese anime and Japanese tourists tucking into bulgogi at restaurants in Hongdae and dancing to the latest K-pop tunes.
There’s a strange disconnect between the tense diplomatic ties and commercial cosiness. It’s a love-hate relationship with so much emotional baggage that it defies a straightforward solution. For now expect the blame game to continue. (via Monocle)

South Korean fans hang a banner Sunday reading ‘There is no future for a race oblivious to history’ at the East Asian Cup finale against Japan in Seoul.

This week, Japan and South Korea have been reopening old wounds. It started off on Sunday at a football match in Seoul, when fans unfurled a banner accusing Japan of being “oblivious to history”.

The next day, a Busan court ordered a Japanese company to pay up for forced-labour practices in the past. A day later, Glendale, a city in southern California, unveiled a memorial for Asian women and girls held as sex slaves by Japanese soldiers more than a half century ago.

Three days, three news stories with a common theme: Japan’s brutal invasion and occupation of Asia in the early 20th century. In Seoul and Tokyo, government officials initially showed restraint. For once it seemed the two sides wouldn’t get drawn into their familiar tit-for-tat.

Too bad it didn’t last long. Soon Japan’s minister for education, culture, sports, science and technology, Hakubun Shimomura, was calling Sunday’s mix of politics and football “regrettable” and saying, “It calls into question the nature of the people in the country.” South Korea fired back, saying it was “deeply regrettable” that a senior Japanese official would insult South Koreans over a sporting event. The Korean Football Association accused Japanese supporters at the game of provoking action by waving a Rising Sun flag, which once fluttered above the decks of Japan’s wartime naval fleet. It remains a potent symbol for many South Koreans of Japanese militarism and 35 years of colonial rule.

History has a way of whipping up nationalist sentiments on both sides. Officials in Tokyo and Seoul can’t help but weigh in. The results are predictable – finger-pointing, hurt feelings. This has brought about a stalemate of sorts: South Korea demands Japan shows more contrition for a militaristic past and Japan defends itself by saying that past wrongs were settled decades ago.

Rarely do they deviate from the script. Tokyo’s fallback position is to invoke the 1965 treaty that established diplomatic relations with South Korea and settled old grievances and it also reminds Seoul of compensation provided to South Koreans through a private fund. Seoul views this as a way for the Japanese to shirk responsibility for their past. For South Koreans there are other signs of this, such as textbooks that gloss over Japan’s wartime atrocities, lawmakers who visit a Tokyo war shrine and bureaucrats who demand that Seoul hand over control of a group of islets in the Sea of Japan.

The most extreme views on both sides tend to taint the relationship. Pessimists say it’s only a matter of time before something aggravates things further. But what they forget is how economically dependent on each other these two countries have become. Japan is South Korea’s second-largest trading partner; South Korea ranks among the top five for Japan. Commerce between the two exceeds $100bn (€75.5bn). You’ll find South Korean tourists loaded down with shopping bags at fashion retailers in Harajuku and gushing over Japanese anime and Japanese tourists tucking into bulgogi at restaurants in Hongdae and dancing to the latest K-pop tunes.

There’s a strange disconnect between the tense diplomatic ties and commercial cosiness. It’s a love-hate relationship with so much emotional baggage that it defies a straightforward solution. For now expect the blame game to continue. (via Monocle)

11 months ago 1 year ago

LeVar Burton explains his ritual to prevent being shot by police

1 year ago
Gucci shamelessly rips off Acronym: ACRONYM’s GT-J5A jacket (left) & Gucci’s Spring 2014 jacket (right). Read more about it here.

Gucci shamelessly rips off Acronym: ACRONYM’s GT-J5A jacket (left) & Gucci’s Spring 2014 jacket (right). Read more about it here.

1 year ago

The Act of Killing is a film about genocide. And it is so surreal, and so disconcerting that one actually searches for reassurance that it’s okay to watch, okay to have watched. Deeply respected documentarians Errol Morris and Werner Herzog are credited as executive producers, one notes. The film has played established festivals. It’s been authorized. And yet its audience was desperate to exit the theater, and with good reason. This is a film about men who did unspeakable things, and who claim to be at peace with what they’ve done, though we aren’t sure we believe them. Perhaps it is fitting, then, that the film itself is so difficult to grapple with. Or maybe even saying that is an oversimplification: an attempt, in retrospect, to tidy things up with words.

1 year ago 1 year ago

erikbernhardsson:

I visited an H&M supplier in Beijing, September 2011.

H&M just published a list of their suppliers… I’m publishing the photos that should go with it.

(Source: sololoquy)

1 year ago
Contest to kill 100 people using a sword
In 1937, the Osaka Mainichi Shimbun and its sister newspaper the Tokyo Nichi Nichi Shimbun covered a “contest” between two Japanese officers, Toshiaki Mukai (向井敏明) and Tsuyoshi Noda (野田毅), both from Island troops, the Japanese 16th Division, in which the two men were described as vying with one another to be the first to kill 100 people with a sword before the capture of Nanking. From Jurong to Tangshan (two cities in Jiangshu Province, China), Toshiaki Mukai had killed 89 people while Tsuyoshi Noda had killed 78 people. The contest continued because neither of them had killed 100 people. When they got to Zijin Mountain, Tsuyoshi Noda had killed 105 people while Toshiaki Mukai killed 106 people. Both officers supposedly surpassed their goal during the heat of battle, making it impossible to determine which officer had actually won the contest. Therefore (according to the journalists Asami Kazuo and Suzuki Jiro, writing in the Tokyo Nichi-Nichi Shimbun of December 13), they decided to begin another contest, with the aim being 150 kills. The Nichi Nichi headline of the story of December 13 read “‘Incredible Record’ [in the Contest to] Behead 100 People—Mukai 106 – 105 Noda—Both 2nd Lieutenants Go Into Extra Innings”.

Contest to kill 100 people using a sword

In 1937, the Osaka Mainichi Shimbun and its sister newspaper the Tokyo Nichi Nichi Shimbun covered a “contest” between two Japanese officers, Toshiaki Mukai (向井敏明) and Tsuyoshi Noda (野田毅), both from Island troops, the Japanese 16th Division, in which the two men were described as vying with one another to be the first to kill 100 people with a sword before the capture of Nanking. From Jurong to Tangshan (two cities in Jiangshu Province, China), Toshiaki Mukai had killed 89 people while Tsuyoshi Noda had killed 78 people. The contest continued because neither of them had killed 100 people. When they got to Zijin Mountain, Tsuyoshi Noda had killed 105 people while Toshiaki Mukai killed 106 people. Both officers supposedly surpassed their goal during the heat of battle, making it impossible to determine which officer had actually won the contest. Therefore (according to the journalists Asami Kazuo and Suzuki Jiro, writing in the Tokyo Nichi-Nichi Shimbun of December 13), they decided to begin another contest, with the aim being 150 kills. The Nichi Nichi headline of the story of December 13 read “‘Incredible Record’ [in the Contest to] Behead 100 People—Mukai 106 – 105 Noda—Both 2nd Lieutenants Go Into Extra Innings”.

1 year ago

Hong Kong (CNN) — The number of Tibetans in China who have set themselves on fire to protest Beijing’s rule has reached 100, according to Tibetan advocacy groups.

Lobsang Namgyal, a 37-year-old former monk, set himself on fire earlier this month in Aba prefecture, known in Tibetan as Ngaba, an ethnically Tibetan area of the Chinese province of Sichuan, according to Free Tibet, a London-based advocacy group.

"This grim milestone should be a source of shame to the Chinese authorities who are responsible and to the world leaders who have yet to show any leadership in response to the ongoing crisis in Tibet," said Stephanie Brigden, the director of Free Tibet.

Self-immolation has become a desperate form of protest in recent years for ethnic Tibetans unhappy with Chinese rule, and it shows no sign of abating.

Of the 100 Tibetans who have now set themselves on fire in China, at least 82 are believed to have died from the act, according to the International Campaign for Tibet.

(Editor’s note: Let’s be real. China is one of the worst countries when it comes to human rights.)