Korean Mysticism and Anti-Japanese Thinking Series No.2
By Tajima Osamu,
Chapter one Anti-Japanese Eros
Takeshima Island under fortification—The horrible-looking structure makes it appear as if the island were equipped with a chastity belt of concrete.
Japan-Korea relationship and co-dependence of SM
I received a letter from a young woman. It was almost 25 years ago and at that time I was working as a freelance editor and engaged in publishing an insightful adult magazine with maniac followers.
A blue envelope with transparent daffodils had a sender’s first name “Sumiko” (literally meaning ‘happy, beautiful child’ in Japanese). Probably it was a pseudo-name given to her by her partner. I opened it and found a letter and several photographs enclosed. One of the photos showed a Japanese beauty, worthy of the pretty old name, Sumiko, with a fair oval face, smiling a somewhat lonely smile. And looking at a second picture, I was breathless and beside myself. A salmon-colored earthworm was crawling in the center of her fair back. I could barely recognize it as a person’s initials. Her “master” branded them with a needle in his hand as a token of ownership.
Sure enough, her letter described in detail about “Sumiko” and her partner’s various ceremonies performed behind closed doors. According to her account, her master K.T. (hereinafter Mr. K) was a type of sadist who finds love in turning maddening jealousy into lust. This type of sadist is not rare. For example, in the novel of Mademoiselle O, lover Rene, who invites O to the house of forbidden love, is exactly this type. Mr. K might claim, “I am Seigneur Stephan, rather than Rene.” The case of “the wife of Oguchi Suekichi,” which I will mention later, is an extraordinary one, in which this sexual penchant takes its extreme form. Other photos show “Sumiko” wearing a chastity belt of metal and pierces on her genitals. Every time Sumiko had sex with another man, Mr. K, partly as an act of punishment, left something branded on her beautiful body as a token of ownership.
Deplorable Takeshima Island
Now, a completely different story.
The Han (Korean)-style boom was over after the Japanese mass media made much ado about it. Simultaneously, like the stopper popping up on a beer bottle, Korea-phobia erupted on the part of Japanese people.
The man who triggered this trend was South Korean President at the time Lee Myung-bak. On August 10, 2012, at the end of his administration, President Lee landed on Takeshima Island for the first time as incumbent President of Korea. What’s more, he stated, on August 14, “If Japan’s king (Emperor) wants to visit South Korea, he should bend down on knees in front of the graves of those heroes who died for Independence.” Many Japanese people became furious at his remark. Soon enough, this national anger went well over the critical point and tumult, like an atomic explosion, took place here and there. A friend of mine, who is business manager of a publishing company, making a magazine featuring Han-style popular performers said, in a disappointed tone, “Since that incident (President Lee’s landing on Takeshima Island), our magazine sales plummeted.” Shin-Okubo, a town in Shinjuku-ward, Tokyo, hitherto dubbed “mecca of Han-style fans” was completely deserted and popular Korean performers disappeared from Japanese TV screen.
Many readers may remember the scene in which President Lee dearly touched large letters, “Territory of South Korea,” engraved on a rock on Takeshima Island. Whenever I see the words “South Korean Territory,” I cannot help but remember the keloidal initials “KT” crawling on “Sumiko”-san’s back.
In South Korea, Takeshima is called “Dokdo”. South Koreans like the term “love of Dokdo.” I don’t understand how it was possible for them to engrave letters on a rock in “Dokdo” they love so much, which will remain an incurable scar forever. Not satisfied with just engraving words on a rock, South Korea made ports for helicopters and ships and has a regularly staffed police station with armed police on the island. Moreover, they are planning to build a hotel and an electric power generating station. These are nothing short of provocations against Japan. They don’t seem to care at all about preserving the view and the natural environment. This is all about what they call “love of Dokdo.” To me, the concrete structures Korea is building, one after another, on the small island look like a chastity belt, piercing the genitals, a sadist put on his lover.
Bizarre theory that “Dokdo is my wife”
Japan has consulted with the International Court of Justice in The Hague, The Netherlands about rendering judgment on the ownership of Takeshima Island. Korea has continued to reject the consultation to this day. During a press conference held in January 2004, then President Roh Moo-hyun commented, “You tell me to prove that Dokdo is Korean territory? Why do I have to prove to others that my wife is mine?” Thus, he clearly stated that he had no intention of attending the International Court of Justice.
His comment sounds like childish reasoning. Looking at this in a detached manner, this simile of “my wife” is somewhat bizarre to Japanese sensibilities.
In fact, the expression, “Dokdo is my wife,” was not invented by Roh Moo-hyun. Nearly forty-five years ago, the then Secretary of Foreign Affairs, Lee Don-won, reportedly used the expression for the first time during a foreign affairs committee meeting of the 6th Korean National Assembly. When Secretary Lee said the words, Kim Dae-jung, then an assemblyman in the opposition party (later he became the 15th Korean President), reportedly commented, “This statement lacks dignity, coming from the Secretary.” But then he continued, “If I were to use this comparison and if a stranger insisted on saying that my wife is his, then I would rebuke and shout at him.” Mr. Kim seemed to hold the “Dokdo is my wife” thinking in high esteem.
Furthermore, appointed professor Shin Yon-ha at Kang-yo University (professor appointed by the university to study at the university using donations said, “If the prime minister next-door wrongly makes a claim to my family-registered wife, the right response is to assert that the claim is wrong and that she is my wife.” (Chosun Ilbo, Korean Daily Newspaper, dated January 15, 2004)
Statesmen and scholars are not the only ones that believe in this line of thinking. Mr. Cho Young-nam, a Korean personality, who is known as the author of Naguri korosareru kakugo de kaita shin-nichi sengen (I wrote this pro-Japanese declaration, resolved to get lethal blows, published by Kodan-sha), said in an interview with Yonhap News (Union News, dated April 25, 2005 ), referring to the issue of Takeshima Island, “Suppose someone claims my wife, there are two possible responses. One is to ignore the claim, with the thought that the claimant is crazy and the other is to violently strike the claimant. I’m one who ignores.”
As these episodes indicate, it is rather popular expression in Korea, that “Dokdo is my wife.”
Here is a recent example. On the occasion that Undersecretary of the Cabinet, Shimajiri Yasuko, attended, on behalf of the Japanese Government, the celebration “Takeshima Island Day,” held on February 22, 2013 in Shimane Prefecture, to which Takeshima Island belongs, a Dong-a Ilbo (East Asia Daily) February 23, 2013 editorial stated: “Dokdo is not just a small deserted island, but it is a symbol of our heartbreaking experiences during the painful colonial control by Japan and it is almost like a lover who entered the first act of unforgettable history.” The accusing tone against Japan is simply impressive: wife and lover conveying the same message.
If Dokdo (Takeshima Island) were Korea’s wife, Japan claiming the island would surely be an act of an outlaw next-door neighbor. To men, nothing is more degrading than to be robbed of their wives by other men. In Korean society, which is greatly influenced by Confucianism and the thinking that men are superior to woman, and in which adultery is still a crime, I can imagine that the impact would be far greater.
What is triorism?
When a man imagines that the woman he loves (or the target of his admiration) has a sexual relationship with another man, find irresistible joy in agonizing jealousy caused by a triangular love affair or inducing a third man into the relationship between himself and his wife/lover—these types of male masochism are called “triorism”.
This is the basic factor underlying the works of Tanizaki Junichiro and Sacher-Masoch. Among Tanizaki’s books, Kagi [Key], Chijin no Ai [A Fool’s Love] and Tadekuu Mushi [An Insect that Eats Knotweed], this theme is prominent. Masoch’s Venus Dressed in Furs is a good example. In real life, as is well-known, Tanizaki was in a triorismic relationship with writer Sato Haruo through Tanizaki’s former wife, Chiyo. Turgenev’s First Love can also be included in this category. The triangular love affair between the leading character, his father and the woman of his admiration, is described in a warped uniting, them in terms of control and obedience. In this respect, the book can be understood from the viewpoint of sadism and masochism.
Akutagawa Ryunosuke’s Yabu no Naka [In the Bushes] is a valuable text which explains triorism. The story develops around a shocking sequence, in which a thief rapes a wife in front of her husband: the stories of the thief, the dead husband’s soul and the wife differ from each other and contradict each other’s, which leaves readers quite at a loss for the truth. Respective testimonies are presented in parallel so that three different views, of a sadist who rapes another man’s wife, a masochist who watches his wife being raped before his eyes by another man and the wife, who is raped in front of her husband, are effectively described. Thus, it is possible for a reader to feel as if he/she were within each situation. By the way, Dan Oniroku, a great master of Japanese SM novels, refers to Yabu no naka [In the Bushes] as the source of his own creativity.
A Korean Christian cult with triorism as its doctrine
The Unification Church (Holy Spirit Association for the Unification of World Christianity) is a leading Korean Christian cult, which is often discussed by the Japanese mass media in terms of as “inspirational” sales and huge mass weddings. I have found an interesting aspect in their doctrine. Now, I will briefly explain it.
Mankind’s ancestors, Adam and Eve, should have become husband and wife at a divinely designated time, borne children and formed a family filled with divine love after sufficient maturity and establishment of their personality. However, Eve, induced by a serpent, which was the incarnation of Satan, had sexual intercourse with Satan. After that, Eve and Adam had sex at an unnatural time, which became the root of sin or the “original sin”. Through that sin, the blood of Satan was passed on to subsequent generations. The sin continues, without interruption, through human history.
This is the ‘theory of degradation’ found in the “Principle Doctrine,” which the Unification Church holds as their Bible. Of course, this is the rendition on the part of the Unification Church of Eden in Genesis from the Old Testament. In Genesis, Eve, induced by the serpent, ate the “fruit from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.” But in the rendition of the Unification Church, Eve makes love with the serpent, which is very vulgar, indeed. Adam had his wife stolen by the serpent (Satan). The Unification Church’s doctrine is based on triorism.
Then comes their secret doctrine, which says that to purify the blood which was smeared by Original Sin and to reach the benediction, “a change of lineage” is necessary. A “change of lineage” is a so-called “blood division,” which simply means “sexual intercourse” with the founder, Moon Sun-myung. The special feature of the Unification Church, mass weddings, can be regarded as a macro-sized and simplified ceremony of the “blood division.” The idea of “blood division” is not at all Moon’s idea. In fact, the idea has been passed on as a kind of tradition among various heretical Christian sects generally called “blood division cults.” When he was young, Moon Sun-myung, belonged to the Israel Monastery, led by Kim Paekmon, for six months, where he absorbed most of their doctrines. Later, Moon founded the Unification Church.
A branch of the Unification Church, U Group, led by U Myon-sik, further developed the doctrine of Original Sin and teaches: “Cain killed Abel because Cain was furious at the sight of ‘actual change of lineage,” in which Abel had sex with Cain’s wife in an attempt to create the Messiah.” “Ham was angry with his father, Noah, seeing that Noah had sexual intercourse with Ham’s wife to create the Messiah,” and so on. We now know how deep-rooted the Korean Christian complex is, of having one’s wife stolen by other man.
Speaking of the doctrines of the Unification Church, here is something which I find most interesting. The relationship between Adam and Eve in their rendition is an exact mirror of the relationship between Korea and Japan. The Unification Church assert that Korea is “Adam” while Japan is “Eve”. Japan is the wife who committed adultery, which is projected as “Original Sin” as Japan’s annexation of Korea. Thus, they explain, “Sinful Eve (Japan) owes generous husband Adam (Korea) a confession and payback. One kind of payback is to provide the fullest amount of money and labor. In fact, Japanese followers are required to donate more money than anyone else. According to them, a basis of Japan being referred to as Eve is that Japan worships the “goddess” Amaterasu Omikami (“heaven lighting great deity”).
The dyed-in-the wool principle of male dominance and dualism comes from their own rendition of the Confucianist Chinese Doctrines of Zhu-xi, which is deep-rooted in Korean spiritual culture, rather than Christianity. Not only the Unification Church but Korean Christianity as a whole is closely related to the teachings of Zhu-xi and native shamanism. When Christianity (Presbyterian Protestants) came to settle in Korea, they embraced native shamanism. Isaiah Ben-Dasan (the penname of Yamamoto Shichihei ) said, “When Christianity came to Japan, it became a Japanese-styled religion.” In Korea, Christianity underwent a far greater sea-change than in Japan and became completely local. Almost all Christian bodies in Korea are cults.
In the aforementioned thinking “that Dokdo is my wife,” it was Japan that stole the “wife” (Takeshima Island). In the doctrines of the Unification Church and other “blood division” sects, Japan became “a wife who committed adultery.” In either case, Korea seems to willingly play the shameful role of a husband who had his wife stolen from him.
A masochist who abuses oneself by being a sadist?
There is a group of Japanese women living in Korea who call themselves “The Society to Overcome the History Between Japan and Korea and Promote Friendship.” They are famous for their routine, in which they regularly visit major cities in Korea dressed in Japanese kimono and sit on the ground, apologizing for “atrocities committed by Imperial Japan” like the so-called comfort women. The Japanese media has covered them on several occasions. The true basis of this society is a group of Japanese women who came to Korea to get married in one of the mass weddings of the Unification Church. They believe in the founder, Moon Sun-myung, and after they donated extraordinary sum of money and were nearly separated by their parents and kin, they came over to Korea to attend the weddings, where they are made to participate in such odd performances. I don’t know if realize their situation with their minds controlled. To me, this is nothing but a sadistic game of shame.
Japan, with the penchant for self-abuse, can be regarded as masochist in its relationship with Korea. I will call this state of mind many Japanese experience, whether they like it not, as “masochist Japan.”
On the contrary, when Koreans reproach Japan, they envisage “the Japanese” not at all as masochists but as extreme sadist.
According to Koreans: “The Japanese killed Queen Min, our national mother, and after they group-raped her corpse, they set fire to the it,” “The Japanese kidnapped as many as two hundred thousand pure young girls, raped them and made them sex slaves of the military,” “They illegally arrested campaigners for independence and under the pretext of investigation, they committed horrible tortures, scraping suspects’ nails, hanging them upside down and pouring salt water into their nostrils from a kettle,”—that’s what they are. I will call this Satanic Japanese created through a Korean filter “sadist Japan.”
Never forget that the Japanese must be sadist for Koreans to place blame squarely on Japan for various historical issues. The more Korea excoriates Japan, the greater the image sadistic Japan becomes. Currently, the ridiculously exaggerated image of sadistic Japan is disseminated worldwide by Korean mouths and pens. What is funnier is that there are Japanese who never cease to deny the sadistic Japan image created by Korea. Most of these people are intelligent and self-appointed liberals. Listen to them and they say, “Since, Japan killed the Korean queen, who was their national mother, made as many as two hundred thousand pure, young girls sex slaves, just to mention a few issues, Japan should duly apologize and compensate Korea.” These people have an abnormal state of mind—masochists asking for a forgiveness, “I’m a sadist. I am sorry.”
The complex of “having a wife stolen” and the issue of the comfort women
I assert that the issue of the comfort women will never be solved in a clear manner. Even if decisive proof comes out that the so-called comfort women were nothing more than camp followers, the Korean side will never admit to this. Instead, as if there was no such evidence, they will continue to chastise Japan, demanding apologies and compensation. Until they admit to the truth, there is no possibility of a perfect solution.
There is no other issue than the comfort women issue that never ceases to stimulate their stolen-wife complex. Thus, I conclude that Korea will never let this refractive pleasure go.
The phrase they use in condemning Japan, “Imperial Japan made two hundred thousand Korean young girls sex slaves” can be translated into “We also had two hundred thousand of our girls stolen by Japan.” Likewise, this can be translated into: “We watched two hundred thousand Korean girls being kidnapped by Japan, without raising a riot in resistance.” After all, to certain extent, Korea seems to be masochistic in character. Statues of comfort women, which Korea have built all over the world, can be considered to be monuments with “Korea had its wife stolen by Japan,” inscribed on them.
Let me put things in perspective now.
Korea, while sadistically blaming Japan for historical issues, satisfies its masochistic needs at the same time. Those feelings are directly related. The more Korea brazenly shows sadistic traits against Japan, the more they feel irresistible masochistic pleasure. On the other hand, the lower Japan bows against Korean accusations, the more Japan clearly shows its sadistic traits.
Korea usually appears to be sadist, but it hides its masochistic traits behind a mask. Thus, Korea is regarded as masked-masochist sadist. Japan is almost the opposite. Japan is usually openly masochist but hides its sadistic traits—so is masked-sadist masochist．The co-dependent relationship between masked-masochist sadist and masked-sadist masochist is exactly what the present relationship between Japan and Korea is. This co-dependence is the very core that has rendered historical issues between Japan and Korea so complicated and insoluble.
This relationship, so to speak, in which one’s sadism responds to the counterpart’s masochism and one’s masochism responds to the other’s sadism, becomes much more frantic than an ordinary SM relationship. I call this a co-dependent SM relationship.
In the world of the abnormal, a maniac who has found a partner like this, whether happy or unhappy, gives up resistance, thinks of it as karma (destiny) and builds up an intimate relationship to an extreme.
The relationship between “Sumiko” and Mr. K. I mentioned at the beginning of this chapter is exactly this case.
The case of the wife of “Oguchi Suekichi”–the ultimate result of the co-dependence of SM
After all, there is a certain kind of restraint or brake in the relationship between “Sumiko” and Mr. K. They are aware of what they are doing in their game. What is horrifying about this SM co-dependence is total and unconscious absorption in an erotic quagmire, which leads to the couples ultimate destruction.
The case of “Oguchi Suekichi,” which took place in 1917, is a good example. A carpenter named Oguchi Suekichi, living in Ryuzenzi-machi, Shitaya-Ku, Tokyo, tortured his common-law wife Yahagi Yone to death. Yone was a passionate and flirtatious woman. Every time she flirted with other men, she apologized to her angry husband and begged him to torture her to his heart’s content. She was an extreme masochist. Flirting with other men was only an excuse to induce torture.
On the other hand, her husband Suekichi was, according to psychoanalysis, “obtuse in nature and had poorer than normal judgment.” Thus, with Yone taking initiative, they were trapped in an erotic hell of their own. At first, it was only hitting and kicking, but violence escalated in no time. One day, Yone implored Suekichi to make her physically incapable of flirting. She told him to inscribe with burning sticks ‘Oguchi Suekichi’s wife’ on her back. While work was under way, Yone, a towel in her mouth, greasy sweat on her forehead, never uttered a single moan. Yone was never satisfied with the finished product, which was produced after a great deal of pain. Looking in a mirror, she would say, “This shape is not good enough,” “I can’t read the inscription when I put down my arms, and so this time I want you to inscribe with my arms up.” She demanded that he fix it, over and over. Every time, Suekichi responded to her request.
In due time, with tortures escalating day by day, Yone died of complete weakness. Her body was reported to be a total mess. There were 222 wounds on her hip and thighs, and three wounds on either side of her genitals. The inscription, “Oguchi Suekichi’s wife, 1917” made using burning sticks appeared on three regions of here back and the right arm. Her chest was tender and burned with hydrochloric acid. To obtain hydrochloric acid, Yone was said to have had a love affair with a student majoring in chemistry. The third toe of the left foot and middle and little toes of the right foot were missing, while the third and fourth fingers of the left hand were severed from the second joint. The tool used to sever the fingers and toes was a chisel Suekichi used in his carpentry.
Yone was a natural masochist and at the same time a sadist who enjoyed seeing her husband suffer from her flirtations. On the other hand, Suekichi, led by Yone’s skillful temptation, gradually learned to turn the flame of jealousy (masochism) into sadism. Thus, the two crossed the point of no return and entered a world without an exit.
I think any kind of sexual penchant in individual relationships is permissible, so long as it does not break the social order. But when it comes to relationships between states, such behavior is not permissible. That is because Japan is not for us alone but also for future generations to come. We cannot pass Japan onto our children and grandchildren and so on with a psychologically abnormal relationship with a neighboring state as it exists today.
I don’t want the state of Japan to become a “Oguchi Suekichi” nor a “Yahagi Yone”. I feel the same way toward Korea.
How, then, is it possible to become free of this unsound and abnormal relationship? This is a difficult question to answer. Co-dependence is such a troublesome relation. However, everything starts with one step and the same is true for this problem.
The first step is to realize an abnormality.
Anti-Japanese pornographic action
Bizarreness of the House of Sharing
“The House of Sharing” is located at Gwangju, Gyeonggi, on the outskirts of Seoul. Readers may have heard about it. On several occasions, the Japanese mass media introduced the House as facilities where aged former comfort women of the Japanese military live with volunteer staff. Ten thousand people visit this place every year, more than half of whom are Japanese.
The facilities consist of living quarters for the aged women and the adjacent historical museum (which includes an outdoor exhibit area). At the museum, there is a reproduction of a Japanese Army comfort station, where it is said that condoms used by the Army (labelled Charge #1) are part of the exhibited materials. Japanese students who visit this facility on school trips meet the old former comfort women and tour the museum. In a dimly-lit room about 3-jo (roughly 6 square-meters) in size, with a fixed wooden bed, the old women who just welcomed the students with smiling faces describe their forced ordeal of sexually serving the Japanese military when they were about the same age as the Japanese student visitors. Junior and senior high school students will feel all the more shocked for their youthful purity. And they feel a sense of atonement toward the old Korean women and helplessness about being Japanese, with a heavy heart.
They say seeing is believing. A picture beats a million words. To visually experience things is very effective in certain forms of “learning.”
Let me repeat that the House of Sharing is facilities where aged former comfort women live. According to them, one day, military men and policemen suddenly appeared and forcibly took them away, who, at the time, were living a peaceful life, and were made to engage in prostitution at comfort stations in various locations. If their story is true, the facts should certainly be recorded as the most horrible infringements on human rights in human history.
I am male. Supposing that I was female and had gone through such an ordeal, I often thought how I would spend the rest of my life. I can’t find an answer to this. But one thing is certain—I would never disclose the unbearable ordeal I had experienced in the past until the day I die and wish from the bottom of my heart to wipe that experience completely out of my memory.
However, in the House of Sharing, great trouble was taken to reproduce the place where “the old women had been made ‘sex slaves’ in their youth,” right next to where they live now, with the intention of pulling out the sad and miserable experiences from the depths of their memories and to show them to visitors. In a sense, there is nothing crueler than this. Moreover, they charge an admission fee of 3,000~5,000 won or 3~5 dollars, making it appear as if it was kind of a show. If, for example, someone suggested to a rape victim, “How about reproducing the room in which you were taken and raped, next to your house, so that there will be no more rape victims like you?” What would you think of that person’s sanity?
Whenever Japanese politicians and intellectuals express their doubts concerning the issue of forced abduction of comfort women, the Korean mass media lashes out in unison, “The Japanese are rubbing salt into those women’s sores.” At the House of Sharing, it is no exaggeration that day after day, not only salt but also vinegar and even Tabasco sauce are used on the sores in a thoroughly efficient manner. At least, that’s the way things appear to from a rational perspective.
Riddle of Seodaemun Prison
Besides the House of Sharing, one mecca of anti-Japanese education (for Japanese students on school trips, or “self-abusing” education) is the Historical Museum of Seodaemun Prison in Seoul. This place is known as the first modern prison in the Korean Peninsula, which was built during the period of Japan’s Annexation of Korea. According to the Korean ‘view of history,’ many fighters for independence were imprisoned and underwent merciless torture by officials. The number of independence fighters who died unnatural deaths amounted to five hundred thousand.
At present, the prison is open to the public as a historical museum and has become a regular stop for field trips for Korean junior and senior high school students. In the basement, scenes of torture are reproduced with life-sized mannequins, depicting torture with water and fire, whippings and so forth. At the horrifying sights, some students cry and others faint.
Among the exhibits are some actual torture devices which were used during the Joseon Dynasty but not during Imperial Japanese rule. If look at all this with detachment, there are many dubious matters yet to be resolved. After the War, the prison was taken over by the Korean government, which continued to use it as a prison. Under the Korean military dictatorship, many fighters for democracy were imprisoned. One method of torture which is introduced as the one used by the Imperial Japanese, was to put a prisoner into a box-like room and to make him live in a crouched position, which was, in fact, often practiced under the Korean military dictatorship. Inhuman torture and execution during the Joseon dynasty and the Korean military dictatorship were attributed to Japan. This is really unfair to the Japanese people.
In the first place, what is the basis for the “five hundred thousand” fighters for Korean independence killed in prison? Five hundred thousand is about the same number of Japanese killed in action in the Philippines, where fierce battles were fought during the Greater East Asian War. The total casualties of US Forces in the Pacific front are said to have been just over four hundred ninety-five thousand—as many prisoners died in the prison. Let me put it this way. If there were that many valiant independence fighters, who feared neither imprisonment nor death, at that time in the Korean Peninsula, it would have been simple enough for them to organize guerrilla warfare against the Governor-General. First, when comrades were unduly imprisoned, what did the rest of them do? Wasn’t there any attempt to rise at once and retrieve their imprisoned comrades? By the way, on the eve of the French Revolution, a mob of twenty thousand people gathered and surrounded the Bastille Prison. The total population of Paris at that time is said to have been six hundred thousand.
None were executed in the 3-1 Incident
The biggest public uprising during the years of Japan’s Annexation was, of course, the 3-1 Banzai Incident in 1919. A total of 2.05 million people participated in the demonstrations. During the uprising, nearly twelve thousand people were taken to police stations, out of whom four thousand were not indicted and set free. Among those who received a guilty verdict, none were sentenced to death, imprisonment for life or for fifteen years or more. Most of the prisoners were released on parole within three years. All suspects had lawyers and were adjudicated in a lawful and solemn manner. The leaders of the uprising, including Choe Nam-son, became pro-Japanese in later years because they were deeply touched by the law-abiding spirit on the part of the Office of the Governor-General. Choe, who drafted the 3-1 Declaration of Independence, called the Greater East Asia War a “holy war” when the war broke out in 1941. In 1943, he campaigned all over the Korean Peninsula, asking for students to join the war.
On the contrary, during the Joseon dynasty, it was a matter of course that those who took part in any movement against the regime were subject to harsh punishment called ‘annihilation of nine generations’ . Even if one escaped the death penalty, the terminal penalty of degradation to slave status awaited him.
Here is an example from China. In December 2007, the Nanjing Great Massacre Memorial, a propaganda facility of the incident, was reopened after a renewal. The biggest feature here is countless human bones unearthed from the “hole of ten thousand men” (according to the Chinese account, the Japanese killed Chinese civilians and buried the bodies in the hole). Looking at a mere exhibit of an enormous number of human bones, no one can tell for sure whether the bones were due to acts by the Japanese military, the Chinese Nationalist Army, Chinese Communist Party or of those who died during the Great Leap Forward or the Cultural Revolution. To begin with, to the Japanese, the exhibition of bones themselves is blasphemous to the dead.
Anti-Japanese pornographic effect
Facing such shocking visual exhibits, we Japanese are apt to instantly stop thinking and become vulnerable to the propaganda in store from the other side. From the impact, our eyes become blank and upon the blank sheet of our consciousness is easily written impressions such as “Japanese soldiers are brutal and committed atrocities.” Once that happens, one can never view the photo panel showing “Friendly Japanese soldiers smiling at Chinese children and women,” put next to the horrible exhibit. Fear and physically unpleasant things are more easily imprinted on the surface of the human subconsciousness than peaceful and pleasant things. It is the same mechanism as that when we recall a nightmare better than a pleasant dream when we awake.
I call this the “pornographic effect of anti-Japanese (self-abuse).” The method by which we can directly reach our consciousness through visual information is, exactly, the same that used in pornography. Since I have long been involved in the business of writing and publishing pornographic magazines, I can understand the mechanism through my own experience.
In a pornographic magazine, what catches readers’ eyes first in the gravure pages are naked men and women, those in sexy underwear and other erotic situations. A reader who is sexually stimulated by those in the nude or in sexy underwear or whatever imagines that he/she is having sex with the model. Skipping all the necessary processes in real life of finding and meeting sexual counterparts and seducing her/him into a love affair and to bed, an imaginary lover would be right there in action. Pornography can be said to be a genre for the sake of the viewer’s convenience.
In anti-Japanese propaganda, in place of “naked bodies”, there are numberless dead bodies, agonizing Koreans under torture, Chinese prisoners of war about to be beheaded, comfort women forcibly taken aboard the cargo section of a truck, mercilessly laughing officials and military doctors and on and on. At the sight of these shocking visuals (quite uncertain as to whether they are true or false), human brains go into a state of excitation. Under such a condition, normal, rational questions such as “Is it possible to kill a hundred persons using just one military sword?” or “Why didn’t these comfort women try to escape?” are totally frozen while the story of the atrocious Japanese military is reconstructed in the mind for the purpose of propaganda.
Eroticism and cruelty are essentially one to humans. I suppose that the neural area that controls sexual stimulation and the one that is concerned with offensiveness and cruelty are located next to each other. During the mating period, males fight each other over females because these neural areas stimulate each other. The winners monopolize females and pass on their stronger seeds to the next generation. On the part of the female sex, in search of a stronger male, the female sex is very active in stimulating fights between males. In either case, this is the functional mechanism of life on earth that has existed for several hundred million years. The same mechanism probably underlies rape that frequently occurs in war.
What I want to emphasize is that we perceive the other sex’s nakedness and the “cruelty of the Japanese military” in the same manner at the sub-conscious level. As a seductive naked woman causes a man to create an erotic and glamorous image, so the image of “Chinese being dissected alive by a Japanese military doctor” or “demon-like Japanese soldier threatening Korean old women (comfort women) with a military sword” can be a persistent and vibrant icon.
Criminality of Watashi no Senso Hanzai [My War Crimes]
Let’s get back to the subject of the comfort women. The myth that “comfort women” were “forcibly abducted” originated in a dubious book titled Watashi no Senso Hanzai –Chosenjin Kyousei Renko [My War Crimes—Forced Abduction of Koreans], written by a Japanese fabricator named Yoshida Seiji, published in 1958 (published by Sanichi Shobo).
In the book, Yoshida confessed having collected comfort women among female factory workers on Cheju Island, Korea, after he organized a recruitment team for comfort women. With ten armed soldiers and military police, he visited one factory after another. The number of women they collected in a week was about two hundred fifty. Later Yoshida said, in an interview with Shimbun Akahata (Red Flag Newspaper, dated January 26, 1992), “I took more than one thousand women to make them comfort women in two years, between 1943 and 1944.”
The following is a description from My War Crimes about a hunt for comfort women at a factory making buttons from shells on Cheju Island:
“Only robust girls will do,” shouted Yamada and our team members laughed at his remark and started to select girls to be comfort women, looking at the young workers’ faces and physique, one by one, from the side of a row. Yamada shouted, “Step forward,” to a young girl with a large physique. When Yamada put his hand on the girl’s shoulder and made her sit down on the floor, the girl quivered, choked and then cried, making a whistle-like sound. Ohno went around to the back of a girl and looked at the girl’s waist, as if he were making sure whether the female livestock is mature enough, and then said, “Step forward.” A girl was pulled out from among the crowd by a team member. Hirayama went in front of the girl and said, “This one is pregnant.” The man looked at the girl’s belly and suddenly pulled up the front of the Korean dress she was wearing and looked at the belly. The girl screamed, and the man shouted knowingly, “You won’t do.”
Similar descriptions followed. After that, they took selected girls aboard a truck and their job was done. Yoshida said, “On that occasion, the girls screamed and cried, which echoed all over the village.” However, there have been no report of seeing girls being taken away or hearing heartbreaking cries or whines “which echoed all over the village.”
To a rational viewer, it is strange that there has been no report of the hunts to this day. Naturally, there are no reports about this because, as it has already been made clear, the story of forcibly taking factory girls away has been proven to be sheer fiction.
The Symbolism of forced abduction
My War Crimes is nothing but a third-rate SM novel, written by a man named Yoshida Seiji, based on his personal sadistic desire and delusion toward Korean women.
However, even after the book turned out to be completely full of lies, the hunt for comfort women, in which “Korean women were forcibly and violently taken aboard a truck by authorities,” has become a fixed image of Imperial Japan’s taking Korean women as comfort women, together with the act of “taking Korean women under the false pretext of duty for the women’s volunteer corps.”
Although Yoshida’s testimony itself may be nothing more than lies, people may suppose that the act of forcibly taking Korean women to make them comfort women must have really happened. Speculation of this kind is very popular and people easily believe this. This may have certain similarity to the argument that “although Nessie is not real, there must be some kind of monster in Lock Ness.” No doubt, an unknown monster in Lock Ness, UFOs and Abominable Snowmen in the Himalayas are romantic creatures. But when the honor of Japan and the Japanese people are concerned, I don’t like the matter to be treated as romantic by a handful of anti-Japanese elites at all.
I will quote from the book Kankoku-jin no Rekishi-kan [The Koreans’ View of History], written by Mr. Kuroda Katsuhiro, former chief of the Korean Branch of the Sankei Newspaper (published by Bungei Shunju-sha):
“The image of the “comfort women” in Korea comes from a story: In a peaceful, easy-going Korean farming village, suddenly, one day, the Japanese military came aboard on a military truck. They caught lovely girls joyfully picking flowers in the field and took them away aboard the truck, nonchalantly amid girls’ tears and cries for help. At the station, the girls were imprisoned and raped by officers and soldiers alike to satisfy their sexual desires. In later years, when former comfort women talked about their painful life, support groups and the Korean mass media uniformly describe these women in their youth as “girls as lovely as flowers.””
According to Mr. Kuroda, the image of flowery girls appears repeatedly on Korean TV, in serious and comical TV dramas and movies, variety programs and books as well as part of the background for fund-raising campaigns for comfort women. Thus, an unfavorable image permeates throughout Korean society. It doesn’t stop there. In January 2014, at Festival international de la bande dessinee d’Angouleme, Korea entered as many as fifty comic books depicting comfort women. As a result, “the comfort-women hunt conducted by the Japanese Army” is about to spread in Europe, where people had been less interested in the issue of the comfort women up until then.
It all started from a pornographic novel written by a man named Yoshida Seiji.
“Power-orientating” sadist and “class-struggling” sadist
I think male sadistic delusion can be categorized into two types.
One type is “orderly-progression” or “power-orientating” in which the vector of power moves downward from top to bottom. In this case, a sadist retains dominance of power over the other sex, in terms of social, physical or financial power. A typical example of this type is found in the relationship between the Lord and female servant named Okiku in the story of Bancho Sara Yashiki [Residence Called Dishes at Bancho] . Another example is the book Tadanao-kyo Gyoujo-ki [Memorabilia of Lord Tadanao] written by Kikuchi Kan.
The other type is “retrogression” or “class-struggling,” in which the vector of power moves upward from below. In this case, a female partner of a male sadist ranks above the male. She may be the boss, a high school queen, an unreachable popular talent, or an arrogant intellectual. A woman superior to a man comes to be controlled by the man by some circumstance. A typical writer who depicts this type of sadism is Kajiwara Ikki. Immediately after the War ended, there were many cases of rape in Manchuria and North Korea against Japanese women who were on their way back home to Japan. This may also be called “class-struggling sadism” in a somewhat different sense.
My War Crimes clearly contains the inclination towards “class-struggling” sadism. Yoshida narrates, “First, under the authority of ‘the Army,’ with the help of armed soldiers and military police, I went over to Cheju Island, which was then under the control of Japan. After examining helpless Korean girls, staring at them as if ‘to check the maturity of female livestock,’ the men took the girls aboard a truck and left the island.” Clearly, he looked down at Korean girls with the eyes of a superior, displaying his dominant position, of holding in his hand the power of life-and-death of the girls.
If this abnormal novel, written with a viewpoint that is racially discriminatory, is decorated with catchphrases such as “revelation of atrocities committed by the Japanese Army” and “confession by a war criminal,” the mass media call him a “courageous confessor” and Korean intellectuals flatteringly praise the author for being a “conscientious Japanese.” How odd it is! Now that it is made clear that the book does not reveal “atrocities committed by the Japanese Army” or that it is not “the confession of a war criminal”, I think it is right to pay homage to late Yoshida Seiji, pornographic writer, to duly appreciate his book as an orthodox book of abnormality.
Illusion of war as chaos
Viewed rationally, the hunt for comfort women and the claimed 300,000 victims of the great “Nanjing massacre” are nothing but ridiculous fiction, and yet I wonder how they were propagated as if they were factual and, furthermore, accepted without much criticism. These were mainly due to leftwing scholars and media who skillfully proclaimed them and led the public into believing fiction. The more important factor, though, is that the psychological basis for accepting these things was formed through postwar education which made Japanese people think that “this kind of thing could have taken place.” That basis is “illusion of war as chaos.”
In other words, they are illusions such as “in the chaos of war, anything unreasonable can happen,” or “war is insanity in which every possible crime is allowed.” The term ‘war’ may be sometimes replaced with the word ‘Japanese Army.’
There is no denying that in the extremity of a battlefield, there may be moments when human reason and feeling are pushed aside. Korean soldiers at the time of their involvement in the Vietnam War are a remarkable example. However, equally true is that not all the soldiers reverted to beasts. Those who kept their sanity intact under fire or who survived with the help of reasoning are the dominant majority, which has been shown by diaries of officers and soldiers and by records of battles that exist to this day.
Pulp science fiction writers like to depict chaotic future worlds after nuclear warfare: any situation is be possible. Without realizing it, we may be reading third-rate science fiction.
The Kuhio effect
What kind of people, then, are vulnerable to such image manipulation? First are the afore-mentioned young boys and girls in their teens who have not yet formed concrete identities. Anti-Japanese (or self-abusive) propaganda visually imprinted on pubescent children with their unstable psychology is traumatic and may take hold of their lives for years to come. This is exactly what teachers belonging to the Japan Teachers’ Union fondly call “peace studies”. It is as if after being shown sensational pornography, students are asked to write down their opinion about it. Readers can see how abnormal this is.
The next group of people are called “odd intellectuals.” More precisely, these are those who regard themselves as intelligent and liberal, or who want others to regard them as such. They are also the main subscribers to the Asahi Newspaper.
There was a Japanese movie called Kuhio Taisa (Captain Kuhio), which was released in 2009. The movie was based on a comic book that depicted a marriage swindler. The swindler claimed to be Prince Jonathan Elizabeth Kuhio. His real name was Suzuki something and, of course, he was really Japanese.
With the title of “the son of Queen Elizabeth’s twin sister, descendant of the Great King of Kamehameha of Hawaii and US Air Force special unit pilot,” he approached women and had sex with them. Then he swindled them, taking a total of nearly 100 million for “matrimonial expenses”. Proposing to one woman, he would say, “If you marry me, we will receive five hundred million yen from the British Royal Family as a wedding gift.” To make himself look like a foreigner, he had plastic surgery on his nose, dyed his hair blonde, including his pubic hair and used prattle Japanese mixed with English words. How thoroughly prepared he was!
You may be interested to know what kind of women were fooled into believing his dubious story. I was told that most of the victims were career women who were highly educated and self-made entrepreneurs, highly appreciated by men, and were regarded as solid by their peers. These hard-working women with a lot of pride in themselves refused to be treated as easy prey, and hoped to meet Mr. Right some day. In reality, they worked very hard, only to realize that they are well past a nubile age. Before them, a Prince suddenly appears, in military uniform riding a white horse: Captain Kuhio. Their pride and fragile intelligence led to a crevice form in their hearts, which then turned into an empty hole, into which filled outrageous lies. Strange as it seems, it appears that the same kind of thinking that odd intellectuals engage in make it easy for them to believe absurd tales such as the comfort women hunt and the great Nanjing massacre. I call this the “Kuhio effect.”
What is interesting about the Kuhio incident is that among the women who were deceived not a few were reluctant to admit the fact that they were cheated upon, even after Kuhio, or Suzuki, was arrested. The fantastic dream Kuhio whispered into their ears must have been really enchanting. The sweeter the dream, the more they refused to wake up from their sweet dreams and to return to reality.
It is true of marriage swindling in general that in most cases, victims become dubious of the man sooner or later. In Kuhio’s case, for instance, “official documents issued by the United States” were all written in Japanese. Naturally, one should have had doubts about this. But one’s wish to keep the fantasy going overshadowed small inconsistencies and one tends to ignore them. To admit to lies now is to totally deny what one was trying to become. Thus, women directly plunged into the fantasy world Kuhio offered them. This is another characteristic of the “Kuhio effect.”
Once people believe in the hunt for comfort women or the great Nanjing massacre, even if someone explains these things in a scientific and rational manner and exposes them as frauds, they won’t listen at all. On the contrary, they become more obstinate and try to attach themselves to the fantasy even further. To deny the hunt for comfort women and the great Nanjing massacre is to really self-denial. Through the “Kuhio effect,” important information is purposely denied.
Erotic and grotesque peace study left as it is
In the seventies, there was a soft-core pornographic film called Emmanuelle (1974), which was a great hit worldwide, mainly among women. The film was directed by Just Jaeckin, famed fashion photographer for Vogue and other magazines. The success of Emmanuelle showed that if pornography is fashionable and refined, women, too, will enjoy pornography. Following the film, there was a boom of Harlequin Romance novels and Silhouette Romance novels, which are erotic love stories for women. Recently, “adult-rated” pornography videos for women are said to be secretly fashionable.
Frankly speaking, regardless of sex, no one dislikes pornography. It is a very normal to indulge in sensual and immoral fantasy, to express lust, and so forth. What is not healthy are those who try to imprint erotic and grotesque pornography which is anti-Japanese, degrading of the Japanese and self-abusive in a disguised manner, using people’s natural sensibilities in accepting pornography and, thus, brainwashing them. In particular, the erotic/grotesque so-called “peace studies” conducted by teachers belonging to the Japan Teachers’ Union to young children who are not yet able to make judgments based on evidence is extremely dangerous.
So far, the producers of anti-Japanese pornography are China and Korea, with their Japanese erotic and grotesque pacifist accomplices. In recent years, the United States has joined, with enthusiasm. We must pay attention to this fact, to the film industry, in particular. It is certain that huge amounts of Chinese money flooded Hollywood. The astounding, anti-Japanese film, Unbroken, was directed and produced by actress Angelina Jolie. In the film, men of Japanese Army eat American prisoners of war alive and the lead character states, “It feels refreshing,” at the sight of Hiroshima just after its atomic bombing.
I cannot help by worry that, from now on, one after another, anti-Japanese pornography will be produced. We must be more determined and resourceful so that we can disseminate the right information to the world, pointing out that “what is wrong is wrong and a lie is a lie.”
Koreans pretending to be Japanese and Plein Soleil
The Business of pretending to be Japanese
According to the 2009 Report on National and Industrial Brands published by KOTRA, nearly 30% to 40% of North Americans and Europeans think Samsung is a Japanese company.
This fact infuriated proud Koreans. Let me remind everyone that, in the first place, when major Korean companies, including Samsung, first launched into the American and European markets, they got international credit by making themselves look like Japanese brands, advertising with clearly Japanese characters and designs, such as RIKISHI (sumo wrestler) and NINJA (specially trained spy), as well as using the image of Mt. Fuji. Hyundai Motor Company uses an emblem that is almost identical to that of Honda’s. They have fully utilized Japanese companies’ brand images in their business. And now they complain about being mistaken for Japanese companies. It is funny, but that’s how they are. Saying they dislike Japan, they pretend to be the Japanese who they dislike.
The Korean economy is extremely dependent on exports. They manufacture goods and unless foreign countries buy them, they immediately face a national crisis. Their export staples are smart-phones, household appliances, automobiles, shipbuilding and steel manufacturing. These are not the industrial fields Korea was originally dominant in and Korea did not develop these on its own. Without technical advice from Japan or copying Japanese technology, all of these industries would have never come into being. Moreover, all that Korean makers need to do is to enter already developed markets disguised as Japanese brands, with almost no risk. They were lucky in that it was at a time when Japanese companies were stuck in long-term stagnation. While Japanese exports stagnated, Korea steadily grabbed its share of the global export market.
Korea’s pretend-to-be-Japanese business is not confined to the manufacturing industry. For instance, once they noticed that Japanese manga is very popular worldwide, Korea made up a similar genre called manfa. When J-POP (Japanese popular music) came into fashion, Korea came up with K-POP. In the suburbs of Paris, France, a festival of sub-culture (Manga and animation) called Japan Expo is held every year. People come from all over Europe to visit the expo. Hearing this, Korea demanded that a “Korean booth” be installed there.
There is more. They are very good at falsifying the true origin of various things. Koreans say that the Somei Yoshino (a kind of cherry blossoms very popular in Japan) originated from Cheju Island, Korea. Sushi was originally cuisine from Chosun (the former name of Korea) and exported to Japan during the Meiji period. The Japanese traditional tea ceremony supposedly dates back to Chosun’s Sare. Korean fencing (komudo) became Japanese fencing (kendo), and so on. Here, they deliberately change the Japanese word kendo into a Korean word, komudo, and insist that the latter is the original. This is their favorite pattern of making up the origin of things that are Japanese. In place of judo, they made up the word “yudo,” and “hapkido” to replace “aiki-do.”
The famous Japanese area in Los Angeles, California, Little Tokyo, has now almost transformed into Little Seoul, with the influx of Korean immigrants and billboards in Hangul (Korean lettering) everywhere in the town. It is a hundred times easier for Korean immigrants to take over well-established Japanese Little Tokyo, which is a hundred years old, than to build a Korean town from scratch.
How does one explain a Korean mentality that enables them to take advantage of Japanese brand images, imitate them, claim the origin of Japanese culture, pretend to be Japanese and take the place of Japan?
It is very common for one to imitate the hairstyle or fashion of one’s favorite star or athlete and everyone knows about such a penchant. Many artists start their careers by imitating other great talents. Essentially, people don’t imitate someone whom they don’t like. While Korea keeps saying that it doesn’t like Japan, in truth, Korea admires Japan.
Riddle of Fukuda Kazuko’s case
Hearing the case of the hostess in Matsuyama City who was murdered, most people may not know what that case was all about. However, the name “Fukuda Kazuko” may be somewhat familiar.
In August 1982, in Matsuyama City, Ehime Prefecture, an ex-hostess named Fukuda Kazuko (aged 34 then) strangled to death her colleague, identified as hostess No. 1 (aged 31), at the victim’s apartment and ran away, taking the victim’s money and bank account passbook with her. Kazuko moved from one place to another across the country and changed her face repeatedly through plastic surgery, using several pseudonyms. Thus, she continued to successfully elude the police. It was only 21 days before the statute of limitation expired that she was arrested based on a tip to police in the city of Fukui, Fukui Prefecture, where she was in hiding. This was the first time in which the police posted reward money for information that would lead to the arrest of a criminal suspect, and in 1977 before the statute of limitation was to expire, TV shows frequently asked viewers for information concerning her whereabouts. It was sensational then. After her arrest, her bold and dauntless actions that she took after she committed the murder were revealed, which became perfect topics for TV and weekly magazines. Kazuko moved all the furniture and household appliances that belonged to the murdered colleague to the apartment which Kazuko used for secret meetings with her lover at the time. She nonchalantly wore the victim’s clothes, accessories and even underwear. Hearing of her audacity, female TV commentators exclaimed, “Unbelievable!” Most viewers must have had the same impression. On my part, at that time, I could not help but feel that there was something more to this case that was not being reported, and watched the on-going heated reporting, in a somewhat detached manner.
To begin with, the motive of this case was not at all clear. It is difficult to connect the dauntless woman, bold yet cautious, who outfoxed the police which desperately search of her for fifteen years, with the brutal yet impulsive nature of the crime she committed.
She was indicted on charges of robbery and murder, which are felonies deserving of life imprisonment or even the death penalty. If she committed the crimes just for a bank account worth mere one million yen, it hardly paid off. I instinctively felt that there was something special between Kazuko and her victim that none but the two knew about.
In 1998, a year after Fukuda Kazuko was arrested, leading and good-looking French actor, Alain Delon, announced his retirement from acting. These two figures, seemingly without any apparent relationship whatsoever, were somehow connected and vaguely became one in my mind.
Through Alan’s films, I came to appreciate French movies and felt very emotional at the news of his retirement. I have many favorites, but to single out one, I like Plein Soleil (1960), his debut film, the best.
The story is very simple. The three-some—a playboy from a millionaire family, Philippe (Maurice Ronet), and his close friend Tom (Alain Delon), poor but beautiful-looking, who followed Philippe around like a servant, despite frequently being bullied, and Philipps’s lover Marge (Marie Laforet)—cruise the Mediterranean Sea aboard a yacht. Showing off his beautiful lover, Philippe takes pleasure in treating Tom in a degrading manner on every occasion. Gradually, Tom nurtures murderous intent. Tom maneuvers Marge into a lover’s quarrel with Philippe and Marge leaves the yacht. Now with only two on the yacht as planned, Tom stabs Philippe to death and throws his body into the sea.
Back on land, Tom imitates Philippe’s handwriting and steals his identity (thus, pretending to be Philippe) and takes his assets. Tom sneaks to Marge, who is heartbroken after she left her lover Philippe (when in fact he was murdered by Tom). Watch the film to find out the rest of the story.
After Delon announced his retirement, I wrote a short essay of nearly two-thousand words, entitled Fukuda Kazuko and Alain Delon, for a magazine, Gokuh (June 1998 issue). Though I may sound like I am blowing my own horn, allow me to quote from my essay:
“According to famous Yodogawa-san’s account, Delon and Ronet, in this movie, are in latently homosexual relationship. Thus, we can understand Delon’s almost masochistic devotion to his despotic prince, his eyes looking like those of a rain-soaked puppy and the humiliating sexism ensconced behind his eyes. When I first saw this movie in my youth, one scene was simply bizarre, in which Delon dressed in Ronet’s shirt and kisses himself in the mirror, but now the meaning seems…. Why did Delon kill Ronet? Was it for money or the girl? But these are only secondary. It was the only way to manifest love for an ignorant and helpless “him” to become ‘he’. It is true that “he” loved Marge, played by Laforet, but it was because she was ‘his’ girl. In that sense, her existence has the same meaning as his shirt.”
Here, “he” refers to Tom played by Delon and ‘he/his’ refers to Philippe played by Ronet. As is well-known, Yodogawa-san refers to Mr. Yodogawa Nagaharu, a popular film critic, who was a pioneer in the field of film commentating. Mr. Yodogawa was the first and probably the only person that pointed out that this movie connotes homosexuality. On my part, without his mentioning this, I may have recognized the case of Fukuda Kazuko as a mere silly crime committed for a small sum of money.
I concluded my essay in the following manner:
“By the end of her period of hiding, Fukuda Kazuko repeatedly underwent plastic surgery. The face she really wanted to look like is probably….”
Partly because my essay appeared in a magazine for maniac male readers, what I wrote was not taken up by the rest of the media. However, at the trial that was held later (in August 2000), her lawyer announced that she and her victim, now identified as Y, were in homosexual relationship. I was quite complacent, knowing that the case turned up nearly as I had anticipated. Around the same time, weekly photo-magazines pointed out that when Kazuko had plastic surgery, unconsciously she wanted to look like Y. Reading this, I felt a little scared.
Tom Ripley in Plein Soleil and Fukuda Kazuko in real life had homosexual feelings accompanied by a desire to assimilate with the victim he/she murdered. Kazuko’s apparently bizarre behavior, of wearing not only victim’s accessories, but also her underwear, corresponds to the abovementioned scene of Tom posing in Philippe’s shirt in front of a mirror. The white yacht Philippe nonchalantly showed off, his pretty, attractive lover and his spoiled-childish, innocent haughtiness must have been dazzling and fascinating to Tom. Just like the sun above the Mediterranean Sea.
Fukuda Kazuko did not look beautify when she worked as a bar hostess before the plastic surgery and since she was a mother of four children, her body may not have been shapely. Contrary to outward appearance, however, she was coquettish and fun to talk with. There were reportedly many men who frequently visited the bar to spend time with her. At the bar in the small town in which she worked, she was consistently either second or third in popularity. In fact, at that time, she had a lover, aside from her husband, as I mentioned previously. While on the run, she lived with several men at one time or another. In the city of Kanazawa, Ishikawa Prefecture, she became a common-law wife to the master of a prestigious Japanese cake store and ran the store for two years and eight months. She must have been good at dealing with people. What she lacked as a bar hostess was “beauty.” In contrary, her colleague, hostess “No.1”, whom Kazuko murdered, was said to be a beauty.
Korea wearing a shirt called Japan
Korea’s mimicry of Japan or so-called “pretending to be Japanese” can be better understood from the viewpoint of sexual assimilatory desire.
The vector in this type of assimilatory intuition usually moves from the inferior toward the superior or from have-nots to haves. One situated at the bottom projects oneself onto another situated at the top. For instance, quasi-homosexual relationships between a senior and a junior in athletic clubs often occur. However, sooner or later, one realizes that the other is of a different personality and a process of separation (or differentiation) naturally takes place. “My senior is himself/herself and I am myself.” At the same time, the quasi-homosexual relationship dissolves and one’s interest naturally turns toward love of the opposite sex.
However, in some cases, the separation doesn’t work. Instead, an impulse to become the other, who is the target of sexual love, occurs. In the sense that there is no boundary between the object of sexual love and oneself, this sexual impulse could be called self-love. The Korean “act of pretending to be Japanese” is exactly this.
Why does Korea mimic Japanese brand images? The practical reason, that it makes business easier, alone cannot lead us to the answer. It is because by wearing shirt (or underwear) called Japan, Korea wants to find “Japan” within itself reflected in the mirror. Korea kisses “Japan” in the mirror. The impulse to fabricate the original roots of kendo (Japanese swordsmanship) and sado (tea ceremony) derives from the same root. To Koreans, kendo and sado are the same as the white yacht and the pretty girl owned by Philippe, who is the object of Tom’s loves. What Korea really wants is “Japanese” kendo and sado that the world acknowledges, while “martial arts as a sport” or “a manner for serving tea” has no significant meaning to Koreans.
When a little child about the age of kindergarteners demands for a toy, because “I want that toy because my friend has one,” the child has a desire to assimilate with the friend in his/her conscience. Such a child draws a picture identical to the one the friend draws during picture-drawing time.
The dilemma of being runner-up
The ultimate Korean goal is to “take over Japan.” Pretending to be Japanese constitutes only a step toward that goal. However, the more skillfully they can pretend to be Japanese, the more confidently people will think Samsung is a Japanese company, as I explained at the beginning, which Koreans cannot laugh off.
There is a popular Japanese song called The Only One Flower in the World which goes: “Only one, rather than number one.” In its history, Korea/Chosun has never become number one in any field whatsoever. For that matter, they have never had any field in which they can be proud of a product that is strictly Korean. Korea has always remained in second place in East Asia, in which sometimes they are proud of and at other times they feel humiliated.
Based on the concept of Minor China, Korea has regarded China as father of culture (first place) and Korea as the eldest son (second place), despising Japan as the second son (third place). Koreans even invented a unique order of valuing a continent, peninsula, and island, which is, of course, applicable only to Koreans. Regarding modernization, Korea is the second to Japan in Asia or “No. 2”. Koreans are particularly fixated to the term “developed country” because they are overly aware that Japan was the first developed country in Asia.
The tragic comedy extends to the Koreans illusion, in that, had it not been for Japan as number one, Korea would have been number one instead, or were Japan to disappear, Korea would be moved up to number one. Mr. Ko Bunyu (also known as Huang Wenxiong), an economic historian from Taiwan, pointed out that without Japan’s annexation of Korea or Japan’s various supportive roles in postwar years, present-day Korea would have national power, at most, equivalent to that of Bangladesh. In other words, thanks to the presence of Japan, Korea can stay at No. 2. This is the “dilemma of being the runner-up” Korea is destined to bear. Korea’s pretending to be Japanese serves as a solution to this dilemma.
Korean people’s ability to assimilate as manifested by uri
The Koreans can be said to excel in the ability to assimilate/sympathize with others. This is a characteristic of Korean society. Once people get acquainted, the boundary between each other becomes vanishingly obscure. Tour the campus of a Korean university, and you’ll find boys walking hand in hand or lying on the grass with one’s head on the other’s lap, although they are not in homosexual relationship.
I previously mentioned that Fukuda Kazuko wore her colleague’s underwear, which would not be weird to Koreans. It is quite ordinary to share underpants and toothbrushes with friends. Japanese students studying overseas would find it embarrassing if their roommates shared anything. I hear a friend of mine’s daughter once studied in Canada. During her stay, she found that her Korean roommate wore her clothes and shoes without her permission. So, the Japanese girl complained to the Korean roommate about it in the softest possible manner. At this, the Korean was indignant, “I thought you were my friend.” Koreans feel that their true friends with direct contact, skin for skin, and body fluids for body fluids.
Characteristic in Korean human relationships are concepts of “uri” and “nam.”
Uri essentially means “we,” but in most cases, “relative” is closer to the true meaning. Around oneself, there are family, blood relation, the place one comes from, local community, friend, academic circle, and so on, which compose the uri community. Outside the uri community is nam. In plain translation, nam is “total stranger,” but in terms of nuance, the word is far more exclusive. Getting to know each other with a Korean, and if the Korean recognizes you as “uri,” you are considered psychologically assimilated. The boundary between you and the other becomes extremely vague, and the two are in the relationship, which is overly caring and co-dependent. In that kind of relationship, with sharing, it is not strange to share underwear or toothbrushes.
An infant feels safe, recognizing his/her mother as an existence assimilated with itself. The infant thinks his/her mother has the same personality as he/she does. Therefore, the infant regards anyone who tries to take her away as an enemy. If that anyone is the father, then this case is called an “Oedipus Complex”.
When an infant grows up and reaches an age when the differentiation process becomes complete, as I mentioned before, the assimilatory impulse towards “someone” whom one likes takes place. In the case of the Koreans, they go far beyond assimilation with a “uri” community.
The Koreans regard themselves as the “people of jo (sympathy)” and criticize the Japanese as being far less sympathetic. Jo in this case means “degree of assimilation”. “Less sympathetic” means poor ability to assimilate. The afore-mentioned daughter of my friend must have been considered as “unsympathetic,” from her roommate’s viewpoint.
Uri and group soul
I often browse the “Naver Enjoy Korea” Japanese-Korean translation Internet bulletin board and sometimes enter my views. It may not be surprising to say that my interest in Korea began with the Web. To my surprise, reactions to Korean thinking and Japanese entries are amazingly typical. I suppose this was not only the gift of a brainwashing educational system, but also a reflection of the assimilation of Korean views. When it comes to dealing with Japan, “uri” seemed to be effortlessly formed, regardless of social status or age. Small animals that form groups, like killifish and sardines, have a combined soul, as well as an individual soul, which in mysticism is called a “group soul”. For example, a cluster of sardines split when they are attacked by predatory middle-sized fish, but the cluster naturally forms again soon after the attack, which can be explained in terms of the group soul. Though this is only a hypothesis that has yet to be established with biological evidence, if we apply this thinking to Koreans, it works to help us much better understand Koreans. In other words, what is a “group soul” to small animals is the sense of uri to Koreans.
Though both killifish and sardines are very weak fish as individuals, by having a group soul, they have been able to cope with powerful predators in the cruel, natural world. From historical and geopolitical viewpoints, to the Chosun (Korean) people who have been incessantly threatened by the surrounding Powers, the act of mimicking is a strong weapon that enables survival.
Incidentally, in the natural world, there are many examples of weak creatures mimicking stronger ones. A moth larva may display a pair of eye-like crests, which makes its entire back look like a viper’s head, in order to escape from birds, which are its natural predator. From this viewpoint, it will be very interesting to analyze their bootlicking, which is said to be a Korean characteristic.
Nam and the sense of discrimination
Among uri colleagues, even being stuck by a tiny horn will get others to worry and garner sympathy, and others may suffer along as if to share the pain. In particular, Koreans are said to have an excellent ability to share negative feelings such as pain, sorrow, and grudges. The entire uri can feel an individual’s pain.
On the other hand, to those they regard as nam, they show an air of indifference which is almost cold-blooded. According to the book titled Kankoku Kokumin ni Tsugu! [Heed The Koreans!], co-authored by Jin Wenxue and Jin Myungxue, there is an expression in Korea, “If the person is nam, his/her life or death doesn’t matter.” For instance, in Korea, if someone happens to hit someone else on the street, others will passes by nonchalantly, as if nothing happened, because the attacker is nam, after all.
“Korea’s exceeding ‘sense of discrimination’ derives from the distinction between ‘uri = relative’ and non-uri ‘nam = stranger.’ The notorious discrimination in Korea by some regions against other regions is nothing short of a manifestation of extreme distrust and hate against non-uri nam. A preoccupation with a sense of discrimination allows Koreans to believe that those who live in non-uri regions deserve to be treated with suspicion and contempt. For example, since Jeolla Province is not uri to Gyeongsang Province, baseless contempt is considered entirely reasonable.” (Co-written by Jin Wenxue and Jin Myungxue, Kankoku Kokumin ni Tsugu! [Heed The Koreans!], Shoden-sha, Ogon-bunko.)
Here, hatred against Jeolla Province is mentioned as an example. Those from Cheju Island are nam in the Korean general sense. Korean residents in Japan, and the Chosun people in Manchuria are regarded as nam, as well.
Although Japan as seen from Korea is nothing more than nam, Japan is uri in some parts. Many Japanese go to Korea for sightseeing and received in such a very welcoming manner that they may wonder, “Where is anti-Japanese Korea?” Then they go back to Japan, feeling very much touched by Korean kindness and friendliness. Those Japanese people will be much surprised when they hear about the horrible hate against Jeolla Province and Cheju Island that occurs within Korea.
Of course, it depends on each case, but it is not rare that the Japanese are placed higher than Koreans from Jeolla Province and Cheju Island or Korean residents in Japan whose ancestors are from these regions.
Not yet differentiated into love
According to the Korean definition, uri is the assimilation of ego, beyond mere companionship or mutual community, which only Koreans can comprehend. Therefore, it is in a domain that is too far out for our Japanese to comprehend. Against Japanese who emotionally cannot help but resist sharing underwear and toothbrush, Koreans come to feel that the “Japanese are unsympathetic” or “We were betrayed by Japan.” In extreme cases, Koreans think that while speaking of friendship outwardly, Japanese on the inside are making fools of Koreans.
The Koreans can stay cool and nonchalant, taking it for granted to receive technical support from Japan, the country that Korea is supposed to dislike very much. That’s because they unconsciously demand the sense of uri from Japan. But in this case, it must be Japan that yearns to be accepted as uri because the act of assimilation is a request made by an inferior to a superior. Otherwise, Korea is to be regarded as inferior to Japan, which Korea can never accept based on their world view.
Koreans often say, “We are most indignant over the Japanese being indifferent to us.” If Korea regards Japan as nam, there is no need to be angry over Japan’s disregard or indifference at all. In this case, Korea wants to think of Japan as uri. Or, more correctly speaking, as I have mentioned, Korea wants to think that “Japan is eager to join us as uri.”
Korea’s hindering of Japan in one way or another or upsetting Japanese nerves in a variety of manners has a resemblance to an elementary school child’s purposely bullying his favorite classmate solely to attract the other’s attention. Like a boy who hides his favorite girl’s slippers and hiding to see how she reacts. Of course, having done such a nasty thing, the boy would be certainly be disliked by the girl. Here, “being disliked” constitutes a kind of relationship, although it is negative one. Having any relationship is a hundred times better than being neglected, giving him peace of mind. This can be sentimental, but very different from love—he is unable to recognize love.
Let me repeat this idea one more time. Korea does not dislike Japan one bit. Instead, Korea loves Japan so much that it is eager to mimic Japan. Affection not yet differentiated into love takes refractory forms. Indeed, Japan is subjected to Korean anti-Japanese behavior.
Japan has no means to untie the tangled yarn that lies in the Korean mind. All we can do is to expect Korean self-awareness. After all, it is Korea that knows where the hidden slippers are.