Just one of many Children's Anti-Japan drawings found lining the walls of a Korean Subway last summer. Courtesy of Toron Talker.
I remember seeing these pictures on the Toron Talker last summer and being absolutely stunned. At the time I knew even less about the tensions between Japan and the rest of Asia than I do now ( a situation of which I admit I remain almost completely ignorant, but working to understand).
A short time after these children's drawing surfaced, Asahi TV went to the location where they were discovered to investigate, interviewing adults and offering an interesting, if not disturbing, glimpse into a Korean classroom, and the children's views on Kim Jong Il. Korean-based Occidentalism not only reported on the program, but also provided images, translations and a video link on his website. Check it out.
"He's a good person (Kim Jong Il)." A Korean elementary student.
Something to think about:
While the "Hating the Korean Wave" article provides insight into the tensions between the two countries, it is important to remember that less than 1% of the Japanese population had bought it back in Novemeber (360,000 copies sold). In fact, during the 2002 World Cup, Japanese spectators cheered for both Korean and Japanese teams alike, while Koreans often booed when Japan scored a goal.
When I first arrived in Japan back in August of 2004, at least 1 student in every class at each of my 16 schools asked me if I liked Yon-sama (the highly respectful name given to South Korean soap opera idol Bae Yoon Joon by his adoring Japanese fans). At first I didn't know the name, but once the teacher showed me his picture, I recognized him immediately. Star of the enormously famous (in Japan) "Fuyu Sonata," Yon-sama adorned the desktop calendars of many middle aged female teachers. His smiling face had followed me through subway stations and stared down at me from train advertisements. Both he and Choi Ji Woo, the heroine of 'Winter Sonata', can be seen on Japanese TV commercials every day.