Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Korea/the sea of Japan

It appears that VANK's campaign has been quite successful in changing the name of a geographic feature - one wonders which toponym will be the next to be changed due to an email writing campaign?

Below is a copy of one of the many letters I have received.......

Using a proper name for the body of water between the Korean peninsula and the Japanese archipelago is not simply a question of changing the name of a geographical feature.

It is rather a part of national effort by the Korean people to erase the legacy of their colonial past and to redress the unfairness that has resulted from it.geography.about.com

(the emphasis mine)

Korea has another body of water with a name that creates no political problems, despite having conditions similar to those of the East Sea/Sea of Japan. The Yellow Sea is Korea’s sea to the west and China’s sea to the east, but everyone calls it the Yellow Sea and that is the name that is internationally recognized. We need a name like “Yellow Sea” for the body of water between Korea and Japan.

A number of Korean scholars once suggested the neutral “Blue Sea,” a name they came up with based on historical documentation and the characteristics of the body of waterHankyore

Korean editorial: Anything but “Sea of Japan” is acceptable

It has already been clearly proven that widespread international usage of that name predates Japanese imperialism and has nothing to do with Japan’s colonial occupation of Korea. Korea’s campaign to force a name change is entirely by hatred of seeing Japan’s name on a map, and no reasonable country should be forced to change their maps because Koreans don’t like the Japanese.Asian watch

via occidentalism

Incidentally I think this shows how hisory is being used in Korea.

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