[KS] Hanbando, Pukkando, etc.

gkl1 at columbia.edu gkl1 at columbia.edu
Mon May 15 17:48:05 EDT 2006

   While the negative Japanese colonial view of Korean politics,
economy and culture is very much as Hyung Pai has described it, my
impression is that it arose from the Japan-driven argument over
"stagnation," which was seen as a general Korean cultural and
social malaise resulting from isolation and over-sinification.
China's historical situation was seen in much the same "stagnant"
terms. Why such a state of affairs should have been a result of
Korea's peninsular state is beyond me, but then, nothing in this
construction was ever very rational.
   In spite of all the kilobytes lavished on "pando" and peninsulas,
it has not yet been noted that pando, in its Japanese form (hantou),
as in the phrase "hantoujin," was two or three degrees more hateful
and condescending than "Chousenjin," which itself almost always
came out in popular Japanese discourse laden with deep disdain and
hatred. When I circulated in the Korean community in Tokyo in the
fall and winter of 1955-56, I witnessed many instances of the
disparaging use of "hantoujin." Still, it was always clear that
this was driven by negative feelings about Koreans, not about
   On "Pukkando," I think it should be registered that people rarely
use that qualified form, but say simply "Kando."
"Pukkando" (northern Kando) is mainly used when it is necessary to
distinguish it from SOgando (Se.kanto in Yale), western Kando.
Northern Kando, as already well explained, refers to the Korean
immigrant community north of the Tuman River, while Western Kando
refers to the Korean community living north and west of Paektusan
in the northern watershed of the Amnok (Yalu) river and nearby
areas. The northern community was far more numerous and at issue
than the western one, and there was also a language dimension in
that Kando proper (i.e. northern) was of HamgyOng origin and spoke
the Yukchin dialect while the western group was mainly of P'yOng'an
provincial origin.

Gari Ledyard

Quoting Hyung Pai <hyungpai at eastasian.ucsb.edu>:

> Dear members,
> I have found the use of "Hanbando" in Japanese historical
> literature
> around the 1900s. It seems to be used to contrast the
> geographical
> and environmental conditions (fudo-p'ungt'o)of Korea as a
> peninsula
> nation as opposed to Japan which is an island nation (shima
> kuni).
> These kinds of analogies most frequently appear when the Japanese
> scholars I read ( mostly art historians, archaeologists and
> anthropologists) are attempting to explain  why Korea's art,
> architectural and archaeological remains as compared to that of
> China
> as a great continent ( Taeryuk kijil) remained small in scale and
> remained stagnant in development after the Silla Period. The
> Korean
> people and their culture and civilization could not expand
> because
> they were geographically circumscribed by more powerful empires,
> and
> physical barriers such as mountains, seas as a bando nation.
> There are also many articles that attempt to compare Japanese
> racial,
> artistic and architectural achievements in the Nara period to
> that of
> Ancient Greece ( Esp.  Buddhist sculpture and the Graeco-Buddhist
> Origins of Japanese art) due to their geographic similarities as
> islands that spawned the roots of Western civilization. On the
> other
> hand, the Korean peninsula in ancient times is often written as
> resembling Italy -again a peninsula that was once great in the
> past
> but had declined since the Roman empire. There are still many
> Korean
> scholars today who throw out these general statements regarding
> such
> environmental/racial deterministic reasons for explaining the
> rise
> and fall of civilizations.

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