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South Korean cultural claims

South Korean cultural claims - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

South Korean cultural claims

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

South Korean claims over Chinese and Japanese culture is an ongoing controversial issue where some Korean ethnicity claims various aspects of Chinese and Japanese) culture as their own creation, as a byproduct of heightened Korean nationalism. Such claims are also made that certain celebrities are of Korean descent[1][2], or that human inventions be originated from the Korean peninsula as follows. These claims are known under the name of "Korea-Origin Theory" (韓國起源論, 韓国起源説) by the lump in China and Japan. These claims are sometimes picked up not only on the internet but by some mass media nowadays, such as SAPIO. In Japan, it is well known that Manga Kenkanryu ("Hating the Korean Wave"). According to Today Online, however, some rumours are claimed to be "Hoax article", and its made by Chinese internet user for defame korea.[3].



General Idea

Example of various claims include not only Koreas own culture but also foreign culture such as Kendo, Kabuki, Judo, Sumo wrestling, Samurai, Chinese characters, Soy sauce and so on[4].

These claims are also known as "uriginal" in Japan, which is a word coined from "uri" (meaning "our" in Korean) and "original"[4]. This word is so populary used in Japan that there is even a university professor who uses the word in his website[5]. Masami Oiso, a former professor at University of Shizuoka, Japan, says that this is happening because Koreans have the sense that they can say anything especially to Japan, treating it with distain[4].

In 2007, South Korea was elected as the country which Chinese internet users hate the most according to Xinhua News Agency[6] and the reason was that Koreans were regarded by Chinese as a country that claims Chinese culture as if it were Korean culture[7].

Shunpei Mizuno, a Japanese author who has been working on this issue, states that "although these claims look to Japanese eyes like a ridiculous distortion of history, Koreans see these claims as "re-difinition of history" in order to establish "Koreans' ethinic justice and self-esteem" by "raising the ethnic self-esteem.""[8]

Partial examples

Toward Japan

Case Argument against
Samurai There's a belief in Korea that the culture of samurai is originated from Korea. Some Koreans claim that the word, "samurai", is from a Korean word meaning "fighting man," ssaurabi. Even though the word was coined recently and etymology of samurai is clear (samurai literally means "those who serve" see Samurai#Etymology_of_samurai_and_related_words), a film named "Ssaurabi" was created in South Korea in 2001 and the film claims that the samurai culture is derived from Korea. Chosun ilbo reported that "Japanese staffs were surprised at the historical fact that the samurai culture, such as seppuku, derived from Korea and that it was interesting that they acknowledged the film as a vanguard of cultural exchange between Japan and Korea"[9]. The film, however, was never released in theatres in Japan because of its strange history[10].

There is also another false etymology known as Samurang. According to certain organizations and practitioners of Haidong Gumdo, a Korean martial art, the Samurang (士武郞) were warriors from Goguryeo who later played a role in the creation of the Japanese samurai caste. There is, however, no historical evidence that supports existence of either Ssaurabi or Samurang and the claim is likely based on a purposely created false etymology.

Kendo Along with the claim for origin of samurai, there is a claim for the origin of kendo. According to Strange Horizons, because of Japanese brutal occupation of Korea, "Koreans wholesale refuse to admit the sport's origins, and instead call it "kumdo," insisting that Japanese kendo originated in Korea.[11]." Alexander Bennett from International Research Centre for Japanese Studies also states that "Koreans for the most part refuse to entertain the notion that the sport's origins lie in Japan, and instead call it "kumdo", insisting that it originated in Korea," which is "a preposterous claim to Japanese kendoka".

This claim is known so well that All Japan Kendo Federation officially denies it in its website[12].

Judo There is a belief that Judo is derived from Korea to Japan. United States Yudo Association officially claims that Judo invented in China and it was introduced from Korea to Japan during the time of the Japanese invasions of Korea (1592–1598) and became extinct on the Korean peninsula during the latter part of the Choson Dynasty, and that Yudo was reintroduced to Korea, from Japan, in its modern form as a self-defense system, around 1910[13].

There is another belief that Yusul, a martial art which Koreans believe to have existed in ancient Korea, is the origin of judo. For example, Lee Won-Hee, a famous Korean Judoka who won the gold medal in the men's 66-73 kg division at the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens, states "although Japan claims itself to be the ""suzerain of judo, they actually changed Korea's Yusul into a sport by subdividing it."[14].

But these claims are not popularily believed outside Korea(see Jujutsu#Origins).

Naoki Murata from All Japan Judo Federation denies the claim that judo derives from Korea[15].

Kabuki Chosun Ilbo states that "Baekje Girak (百濟技楽)" is "the origin of Kabuki." However, there is no specific record of what "Baekje Girak" was like.[16]. Besides, there canntot be any direct relationship between kabuki and Baekje Girak because kabuki is said to have established in the early 17th century while Baekje went out of existence in the 7th century. Although Chosun ilbo also states that "Japanese consider Baekje Girak as the origin of its traditional performing arts such as kabuki and gagaku," history of Kabuki is said to have begun in 1603 (see Kabuki#1603–1629: Female Kabuki). Japan Arts Council does not even refer to Baekje Girak[17].
Soy sauce According to Joongang Ilbo, a Korean company Dong Eun Food Co., Ltd states that soy sauce is Korean originated in Korea and Korean traditional food. They say that they want to correct the idea that soy sauce is Japanese[18]. According to Japan Soy Sauce Brewers Association, soy sauce is originally from Chinese jiang (醤) and developed in Japan and became today's soy sauce[19].

Toward China

Case Argument against
Chinese character According to posts made in an internet discussion forum, the Chinese character was invented in Korea.[20] Soon after discovery, Chinese media began reporting on the claims.[21] However, most of these claims are regarded as rumours.[22][23] According to a major public dictionary in Korea, Hanja (Korean name for Chinese characters) originated from China.[24]
Chinese medicine South Korea attempted to register Dongui Bogam, an encyclopedic bible of medical knowledge and

treatment techniques compiled in Korea in 1613, as a UNESCO world cultural heritage.[1] However, Chinese media claimed that Korean medicine derived from Chinese medicine. and They accused South Korea of stealing Chinese culture.[25]

Confucius According to the November 23th issue of Weekly Shincho (pp. 145-146), a Japanese magazine, some South Koreans claim that the ancient birthplace of Confucius was within Korean territory, and so Confucius is claimed to be Korean. Kong Jian Shi (孔建氏), who claims himself to be the 75th direct descendant of Confucius, states that he was surpirsed to have heard the theory and that the theory proves how seriously Koreans treasures Confucianism, although there is no evidence that Confucius is Korean. Ming Xia (鳴霞), a Chinese journalist, states that the reason why Koreans makes such absurd claims is that China and Korea have a dispute on Baekdu Mountain. However, South Korean mass media deny Koreans' claiming that Congucius is Korean.[3]. According to a major public dictionary in Korea, Confucius is Chinese. [26]
Cradle of civilization It is not a wisely accepted claim in Korea[citation needed]. According to a unclear chinese blog entry, Hwanguk, originating from the Korean peninsula, is the world's most ancient civilisation, which spreads all the way to Sumer.[27] The KBS documentary, "The Handan Chronicles", refutes this claim.[2] It is a fringe myth of korea and it never considered as a "official history" in Korea[citation needed].
Gangneung Dano Festival South Korea registered Gangneung Danoje Festival as a UNESCO intangible cultural heritage.[3] Gangneung Danoje Festival is a local festival in Gangneung where Korean agricultural communities pray for good harvest through a series of activities, from April to May, in a manner similar to Shamanism. Such activities involve wrestling, washing and dancing. These activities are entirely different to the Dragonboat Festival, as it has no mention of Dragonboating, dumplings or any other practices associated with the festival. On November 24, 2005, UNESCO officially recognised "Gangneung Dano Festival" as a South Korean heritage festival despite opposition from China. Evein if Dragonboat festival is entirely different to Gangneung Dano Festival, Chinese claimed that Gangneung Dano Festival is also came from China. and They accused South Korea of stealing Chinese culture.
Soy milk According to a rumor in Chinese internet, A unclear South Korean manufacturer of soybean milk has claimed in a commercial advertisement paper in Japan that "soybean milk has been produced by Koreans for several hundred years ... South Korea is the birthplace of soybean milk." China refutes this claim.[28]
Sun Yat-Sen According to Chinese media, a professor at Sungkyunkwan University, South Korea, Park Pun-Gyong (박분경) claim that Sun Yat-Sen, who is considered the "Father of the Republic of China", is of Korean descent. However, the university in question only has one professor with the surname "Park", Park Gi-Su (박기수), There is no professor Park Pun-Gyong in Sungkyunkwan University and Chosun Ilbo claims that they did not report on the subject.[29]。Thus, it is a hoax originating from rumours circulating the Chinese Internet.[30][31]
Go (game) One korean Professor Jin Dae-Ha at Inje University claims that the cradle of go is Korea, according to Joongang Ilbo[32]. Go is generally said to have been invented in China.
Other rumours reported in China Xi Shi is Korean; Li Shizhen is Korean; Yao Ming has Korean heritage; Mao Zedong is of Korean descent; Giant pandas originate from Korea; Founders of Buddhism are Koreans, and not Indians; Koreans made the Qin terracotta warriors; Michael Phelps has Korean genetics.中媒又造谣:韩国主张菲尔普斯有韩国血统(朝鮮日報 2008年8月20日)</ref>

Toward Other Countries

Case Argument against
Printing press According to People's Daily, South Korea held an exhibition in Germany titled "South Korea - the first invented metal Printing".[33]


  1. ^ http://www.debito.org/tokaispeech062507.doc
  2. ^ http://www.debito.org/tokaispeech062507.doc
  3. ^ a b "Hoax article shows Chinese anger against Koreans over what they see as theft of culture". Today Online (2008-08-23). Retrieved on 2008-09-19.
  4. ^ a b c Soy sauce originated in Korea? Japanese makers surprised.J-Cast News, 5th June 2008
  5. ^ Institute of Masami Oiso Concerning about Koreans' sense of self-superiority
  6. ^ Chinese hate Korea more than they hate Japan Chosun Ilbo, 11th December 2007
  7. ^ Mainichi Shimbun, 11th January 2008
  8. ^ Shunpei Mizuno, Japanese Surprised! Korea's Faulse Japanese History, Shogakukan, 2002, p.194
  9. ^ Ssaurabi Attracts WorldChosun ilbo, 24th May, 2001
  10. ^ Shunpei Mizuno, Korea vs Japan: World of false historyShogakukan, 2007, pp. 100-103.
  11. ^ "Rising Sun vs. Morning Calm: The Birth of a Korean Fencing Tradition, Strange Horizons". Retrieved on 2008-09-12.
  12. ^ "All Japan Kendo Federation’s Perspective of Kendo". Retrieved on 2008-09-14.
  13. ^ "United States Yudo Association". Retrieved on 2008-09-12.
  14. ^ "‘감동의 유도’ 꿈꾸는 이원희…난 한판승 사나이". Retrieved on 2008-09-12.
  15. ^ "SportsClick". Retrieved on 2008-09-12.
  16. ^ "'Origin of Kabuki' Restoration of Baekje Girak extreamly hard.". Retrieved on 2008-09-13.
  17. ^ "Japan Arts Council". Retrieved on 2008-09-13.
  18. ^ "Soy Sauce origineted in Korea". Joongang Ilbo (2008-06-04). Retrieved on 2008-09-18.
  19. ^ "History of Soy Sauce, the Almighty Flavouring". Japan Soy Sauce Brewers Association. Retrieved on 2008-09-18.
  20. ^ "Korean invented chinese language" (in en). www.chineselanguage.org (2002-9-29). Retrieved on 2008-02-12.
  21. ^ "可笑!韩国人发明了汉字?" (in zh-hans), People's Daily (2006-10-25). Retrieved on 2008-02-12. 
  22. ^ "如何保护我们的传统文化" (in zh-hans). 河北日报. 河北新闻网 (2008-1-18). Retrieved on 2008-02-12.
  23. ^ "方舟子:风水难道要靠谣言申遗" (in zh-hans). 网易 (2007-12-25). Retrieved on 2008-02-12.
  24. ^ 한자, 엠파스 국어사전
  25. ^ "中の東北工程、今度は「韓医学」狙う?", 中央日報 (2006-10-24). 
  26. ^ 공자, 엠파스 국어사전
  27. ^ "바이칼호와 개벽 및 환국. 배달국. 고조선" (in 韓語) (2005-12-12). Retrieved on 2008-08-07.
  28. ^ 「[http: //japanese.joins.com/article/article.php?aid=88212&servcode=400&sectcode=400 中国ネチズン「中国が豆乳の元祖、韓国が奪った」]」(中央日報、2007年6月8日)
  29. ^ "繼孔子之後 南韓學者稱孫中山是韓人後裔", 中國時報 (2007年7月31日). Retrieved on 2008-08-01. 
  30. ^ "又开始妖魔化韩国人了?", 中国网 (2008-08-01). 
  31. ^ 李明振、 姜榮洙 (2008-08-01). "中媒所引“韓媒孫中山血統報導”毫無根據". Retrieved on 2008-08-01.
  32. ^ "Igo no Hasshouchi ha Kankoku [The Cradle of Go is Korea]". JoongAng Ilbo (2006-06-02). Retrieved on 2008-09-13.
  33. ^ "可笑!韩国人发明了汉字?", People's Daily (2006-10-25). 
  34. ^ "Anti-Korean Sentiment Rising in Chinese Cyberspace", Dong-a Ilbo (2008-08-15). Retrieved on 2008-09-12. 
  35. ^ "한중문화전쟁, 출구가 보이는가?", KBS (2008-01-05). Retrieved on 2008-09-12. 
  36. ^ "Absurd Taiwanese Media", Chosun Ilbo (2008-08-09). Retrieved on 2008-09-12. 

External links

See also

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