[KS] Japan, Korea and the Asia-Pacific

Afostercarter at aol.com Afostercarter at aol.com
Mon May 23 02:07:07 EDT 2005

Esteemed colleagues:

1. Mark's first sentence was surely ironic:
a gentle nod to current sad ructions
across the Sea of No Agreed Name.

Japan Focus is indeed indispensable. And free!
To cite just one recent Korea-related example,
Gavan McCormack has an excellent piece on 
a macabre but vital matter: 
Disputed Bones: Japan, North Korea and the 'Nature' Controversy
by Gavan McCormack

2. Gari's suggestion of a similar organ for Korea is an excellent one. 
But the name Korea Focus is already taken, by another fine publication:
the Korea Foundation's bi-monthly roundup of the Seoul press, plus
longer essays on topics of current concern. There is also a handy chronology. 

Your local ROK embassy or consulate will send it to you, courtesy of the 
Korean taxpayer. Or it's online (both as text and PDF; the latter 
with a useful search facility, at http://www.koreafocus.or.kr/

3. I hope Gari is right that the underlying trend is towards better Japan-ROK 
and that this year's row is merely some kind of evanescent spring squall.
I'm more pessimistic: fearing the bile runs deeper than that - mainly on the 
Korean side -
and that real harm has been done. Whatever the trends in culture, peninsula 
politics seem 
to be becoming more insular; which bodes ill in the age of segyehwa.

Koreans are of course free (south of the DMZ) to chart whatever course they 
But what is one to make of opinion polls which cite either the US or Japan as 
main threat to South Korea, ahead of North Korea or China? See eg
As John McEnroe used to say: you cannot be serious!

4. Gari's final paragraph alludes to arcane rituals beyond my ken.
If Koreans ever take up cricket, you'll hear it here first ....

Yours at silly mid off,

Honorary Senior Research Fellow in Sociology & Modern Korea, Leeds University 

Home address: 17 Birklands Road, Shipley, West Yorkshire, BD18 3BY, UK 
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[Please use @aol; but if any problems, please try @yahoo too - and let me 
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In a message dated 23/05/2005 01:54:11 GMT Standard Time, gkl1 at columbia.edu 

> Subj:Re: [KS] Japan, Korea and the Asia-Pacific 
> Date:23/05/2005 01:54:11 GMT Standard Time
> From:gkl1 at columbia.edu
> Reply-to:Koreanstudies at koreaweb.ws
> To:Koreanstudies at koreaweb.ws
> CC:ms44 at cornell.edu
> Sent from the Internet 
> I quite agree with its owner and chief operator, Mark Selden, that
> Japan Focus is well worth following for any Korea specialist,
> especially modern Korea specialists. As he justly says in his
> posting and self-advertisement, the Focus has lots of stuff on
> Korea, and in spite of its name is really focused on Northeast
> Asia, although I think it's fair to say that it's focused from
> Japan. That's no disadvantage. Lest people think that somehow the
> Korea angles come with a Japanese slant, I have found him often
> featuring Japanese writers who have very objective spins on
> Korea-Japan issues.
>   The only thing in his posting that I might differ with is Mark's
> surmise that "a Koreanist, in good conscience," might
> understandably lean away from anything with a Japanese label. But
> if one has a good conscience, one will also be fair-minded. And it
> should be said that Koreans nowadays, especially the younger ones
> and especially in the cultural area, are much more balanced and
> open than they used to be with respect to Japan, and more and more
> this is met by equal attention to Korea on the part of Japanese.
> "Yonsama" may be a fad, but it's one with an increasingly deep
> understructure. It's true that when the big-buzz issues pop up
> periodically, such as Tokto and the history textbooks, one can
> count on peninsular passions to come into play for a couple of
> weeks. That is to be understood and taken in stride.
>    Someone in the modern Korean field might well consider building
> an internet feature like Mark's, maybe called Korea Focus, and aim
> for the same kind of broad, outreaching coverage. Between North
> Korea's nuclear specialists and diplomats that routinely flummox
> the rest of the world, and South Korean pop culture and stem cell
> technology that are state of the art, Korea is a world force. I
> thought of this this morning, reading in the sports section about
> an exploit of Dae Sung Koo, a relief pitcher for the NY Mets who
> played four seasons with the Orix Blue Wave in the Japanese
> leagues. He put four straight Yankees down with a handful of
> pitches, then came to the plate in the bottom of the 7th and
> promptly hit a Randy Johnson pitch to the center field wall for a
> double. Then right away he scored from second on a sacrifice bunt
> with a slide that took your breath away. OK, as he claimed, maybe
> he hadn't had a hit since high school, or slid since junior high,
> but can anyone doubt the "Korean Wave"? Why not put that into an
> intellectually broad internet format that comes to you every week
> with something new and interesting?
> Gari Ledyard
> Quoting mark selden <ms44 at cornell.edu>:
> > Can a Koreanist, in good conscience subscribe to Japan Focus?
> > True, the name of our electronic journal is
> > something of an affront, and it is to be hoped
> > that it changes in due time to reflect the
> > Asia-Pacific thrust of the work that appears
> > there, notably reportage and scholarship on
> > Japan, China, Korea and the Asia-Pacific.
> > In fact a great deal is being published that is
> > central to Korea and to Northeast Asia: on the
> > two Koreas, on Japan-Korea relations, on US-NK-6
> > nation nuclear negotiations, on the future of a
> > Northeast Asia community, on China-Japan-Korea
> > conflicts over  territorial issues and war memory.
> >
> > We invite Koreanists to subscribe and contribute to the journal.
> >
> > Japan Focus is an electronic journal chronicling
> > Japan and the Asia-Pacific in global perspective,
> > encompassing politics, economics, society,
> > history, culture, international relations, war
> > and peace, and historical memory. In addition to
> > Japan Focus exclusives, it presents translations
> > from Japanese and other languages as well as
> > reprints of important texts. Japan Focus draws on
> > the writings of researchers, journalists, policy
> > analysts and writers throughout Asia and the
> > Pacific, North America, Europe and Australia. Its
> > fully indexed website provides a permanent
> > resource for researchers on the Asia-Pacific.
> >
> > Subscribers receive a weekly announcement of the
> > latest posts and a link to each. Here are the
> > articles posted during the last two weeks.
> > Articles of particular reference to Korea are
> > asterisked (*).
> >
> >       Japan Focus Newsletter
> >   New Articles Posted May 11, 2005
> >
> >   in this issue
> > <#feature>Robert S. McNamara, Apocalypse Soon
> > <#article1>*Utsumi Aiko, Japanese World War II
> > POW Policy: Indifference and Irresponsibility
> > <#article2>*Jess Bravin,    Prisoner Rights
> > and International Law: Japanese and American
> > Responsibility >From World War II to Guantanamo
> > <#article3>Geremie Barmé, Mirrors of History: On
> > a Sino-Japanese Moment and Some Antecedents
> > <#article4>Mark Selden,    Remembering 'The Good
> > War': The Atomic Bombing and the Internment of
> > Japanese-Americans in U.S. History Textbooks
> > <#article5>*Asahi Shimbun, Korean Slave Laborers:
> > Repatriating and Burying the Dead
> > <#article6>*Jin Hyung-joo, Textbook Nationalism:
> > Perspetives on China, Japan and Korea
> > <#article7>*Kaneko Masaru, Lost Horizons: The
> > Flawed 'Nationalism' of the Koizumi Regime
> >
> >     New Articles Posted May 19, 2005
> >
> >   in this issue
> > <#feature>Yuki Tanaka, Firebombing and Atom
> > Bombing: an historical perspective on
> > indiscriminate bombing
> > <#article1>Andrew DeWit, Scientific Stereotypes East and West
> > <#article2>Tony de Brum, BRAVO and Today: US
> > Nuclear Tests in the Marshall Islands
> > *<#article3>Karasaki Taro, Why Japanese Wartime
> > Apologies Fail: A German perspective
> > <#article4>Greg Mitchell, Incribing Hiroshima:
> > The Photography of Matsushige Yoshito
> >
> >
> >   For access to all Japan Focus articles, or to
> > subscribe, go to http://japanfocus.org/
> >
> >
> >
> > mark selden
> > ms44 at cornell.edu
> > coordinator, japan focus

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