[KS] Choson, The land of the morning calm... really?

Niels Kobschätzki n.kobschaetzki at googlemail.com
Mon Jun 18 15:41:59 EDT 2007

On Jun 18, 2007, at 9:03 AM, Ruediger Frank wrote:

> Dear list,
> I think Gari is touching upon a truly important issue in what might  
> have been meant to be only the introductory paragraph for the more  
> scholarly part of his posting. I quote:
>> Why is it that Korea got stuck
>> with these "poetic sobriquets" (as they've been described)?
>> I can't think of any phrases this bad that have been pinned on China
>> or Japan.
> Indeed. My guess is that relatively many visitors deemed it  
> appropriate to describe Korea with one sentence or less, while  
> fewer have dared so in the case of China or Japan, countries they  
> probably regarded as more complex. If correct, this would be a  
> truly disturbing observation. In other words: Land of The Morning  
> Calm and especially the prominence this phrase has reached might  
> not primarily be an expression of insufficient linguistic  
> knowledge, but more a sad proof of ignorance towards Korea.
> What would be comparably established stereotypical descriptions of  
> China and Japan? Middle Kingdom? Land of the Rising Sun? Any other?

Land of the rising sun (therefore 日本) was given as a name to Japan  
after it finally paid contributions to China - before that it was  
called "Land of dwarves"; hence there wasn't chinese characters used  
to give a country some name which fits on something the locals used  
but to give it an official name (and seen from China it is the "land  
of the rising sun" because it is to the east of China)


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