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{ Category Archives } Japan

Two Conference Paper Proposals

I recently submitted two conference paper proposals. One is somewhat connected to one of the chapters of my dissertation, and the other is something of a prequel for a post-dissertation project I hope to work on. If they are accepted, I have a foundation of notes to work off of, but there is some more […]

More Evidence Uncovered of Devious Japanese Plan to Claim Dokdo

Evidence continues to mount of, “a carefully coordinated action plan among Japanese officials and ministries to claim territorial rights over the islets” of Dokdo. Last week’s breathtaking revelation that new middle school teaching guidelines in Japan will include the phrase, “It is necessary to deepen understanding about our country’s territory in a way identical with […]

Quotational Quarantines

As historians, we often engage in the liberal use of quotations to sanitize and quarantine distasteful terms or phrases that lend legitimacy to a category or a way of referring to an institution or other body. The use of these quotes, which I confess to frequently using, presumably robs such terms of their nomenclatural power […]

Code-Switching Spotting and Living Korean History

I spent the afternoon in a coffee shop mining footnotes of various secondary accounts of the violence in the autumn of 1946 (it is also known as the Autumn Harvest Uprising, the October People’s Resistance, the October Riot Incident, the October Rebellion, and the Taegu Uprising) to see if I have been missing anything. I […]

Are You Korean?

I caught a taxi today to visit the Baotuquan(趵突泉)springs here in Jinan. I asked the driver what my chances were of catching a cab to the airport around 5:30 in the morning on Monday to get to Jinan airport to return to Korea and how long it would take from my hotel. After he answered, […]

The Hall of Asian Peoples

Although I lived in New York for two years, I never got around to visiting many of its museums. A few weeks ago I finally paid the Museum of Natural History a visit along with a good friend of mine. As some of my previous postings indicate, I have become more and more interested in […]

甘口カレーという問題 (Or, on the problem of the so-called “sweet” curry)

I love curry. I love curry from many countries and in many colors and consistencies. However, I am a firm believer in the basic principle that curry must be spicy. I know that the Oxford English Dictionary describes curry as: curry, n.2 A preparation of meat, fish, fruit, or vegetables, cooked with a quantity of […]

George Will on Yasukuni

A friend pointed out an article about the Yasukuni issue, “The Uneasy Sleep of Japan’s Dead” by the Washington Post’s conservative commentator George Will which I found deeply problematic. I find the article to be a short but good example of a particular type of writing about Japan’s relations with its neighbors and the sensitive […]

国粋 and 국수

I’m giving a presentation to my Korean class related to nationalism, and wanted to explain one translation of the word that is particularly strong and usually has a negative connotation: 국수주의(國粹主義). I want to explain the word by discussing its parts, especially the character 수(粹) which can be roughly translated as “essence.” For reference, I […]

Soccer Game

I was just about to go to bed when suddenly the entire neighborhood erupted with wild cheering. The sounds of joyous voices poured in through the window from all around. “Oh,” I thought to myself, “It must be the world cup and Korea has just scored.” But wait a second, haven’t all the newspapers been […]