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Old Dec 6th, 2012, 06:26 PM   #1
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East Asia

anything pertaining to East Asia.

FYI, China, Japan, Korea has no big love toward each other Of course mainly for historical reason.

about SK's belittling China, think of China as SK in the 60s to 80s, developing nation. Thus lots of SK think Chinese rather unsophisticated, boorish, coarse, what have you 'Chinese Continental scale' jokes should be understood in that context.
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Old Dec 6th, 2012, 07:04 PM   #2
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Re: East Asia

about Japan. They were essentially pirate nation. Like Vikings and Elizabethan England Of course they had their distinct samurai culture, but military strength doesn't necessarily mean cultural strength, think of the Vikings. Nobody could stop them, some even took root in Italia. Mongol too, for that matter

Anyway, while Korea benefited Japan immensely throughout all these years, Japan returned the favor by attacking and pillaging Korea shores. Culmination was of course the 7 yr war from 1592 to 9. Japan attacked Korea using rifles, and Korea had to get help from Ming dynasty to finally defeat them(of course at sea Korea was victorious due to Lee Sun-shin, one of most brilliant naval geniuses in world history)

But probably they were richer, commercially stronger than Korea from the 1600s. While Korea pushed Confucianism to the limit, thereby denigrating commerce, Japan embraced it. And due to their geography, had contact with the West earlier than Korea. And while Korea prided themselves as 'Little China' 'Little Bro' of China and despised 'barbarians', Japan quickly took notice of Western scientific and military strength and was not shy of translating their literature and adapting. They of course reverted to fierce isolation in the 19th century, but after Perry of U.S. forced Japan to open their doors in 1854 or something, there was no going back for them. But proud China and Korea 'missed the bus', to paraphrase Neville Chamberlain
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Old Dec 6th, 2012, 07:53 PM   #3
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Re: East Asia

I'm mostly interested in Tang dynasty China and the dynasties before that the ones that opened the Silk Road. And to a much lesser extent Heian period in Japan. And also the Mongols of that period.

My interest is mostly from a religious perspective. The spread of Buddhism along the Silk Road, the syncretism of it with Chinese Taoist religions and the rivalries.

I really like Wu Zetian despite her flaws. East Asia in the 1st millennium, it's a geographical area and historical period that I'm still exploring.
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Old Dec 6th, 2012, 10:18 PM   #4
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Re: East Asia

Winchester, Simon (2008), author of The Man [Joseph Needham] Who Loved China: The Fantastic Story of the Eccentric Scientist Who Unlocked the Mysteries of the Middle Kingdom (Authors@Google) ...





The Great Reversal: The "Rise of Japan" and the "Fall of China" after 1895 as Historical (Harvard)...

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Old Dec 6th, 2012, 10:56 PM   #5
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Re: East Asia

China's not 20 years behind Korea, never mind 40, and even if it was that's no reason to look down on a nation. Lots of westerners could use that logic to look down on Korea but they would be just as wrong to do so.

Also, you don't think the Vikings and Elizabethan England were contemporary, right?

Anyway, I miss Seoul!! It's such a metropolis.

I lived here in Cheongdam (in Gangnam-gu) just off of this street, a little bit behind the tallest tower on the right:


My Street by keithmaguire 김채윤, on Flickr

This is actually the view from the local cinema. Cool, huh!?
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Old Dec 6th, 2012, 11:06 PM   #6
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Re: East Asia

I think you're very harsh in your evaluation of Japan. They had more than that. Japan had (and still has) a much more flourishing and varied literature than Korea did/does. Japan had a very refined side too. I think you're just taking their shogunate/military side and running with it, but ignoring the fact they had a beautiful, highly refined cultural center in Kyoto in this time period.
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Old Dec 6th, 2012, 11:07 PM   #7
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Re: East Asia

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Originally Posted by kwilliams View Post
China's not 20 years behind Korea, never mind 40, and even if it was that's no reason to look down on a nation. Lots of westerners could use that logic to look down on Korea but they would be just as wrong to do so.

Also, you don't think the Vikings and Elizabethan England were contemporary, right?
Yeah of course I know it's wrong to look down on Anyway there's lots of tensions..some Chinese soccer fans' threatening behaviors, that kind of thing. Some Chinese can be incredibly arrogant too

Contemporary? Of course not. But they were both pirates (ok maybe I'm exaggerating a bit on Elizabethan England But piracy was their MAJOR revenue at that time )
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Old Dec 6th, 2012, 11:13 PM   #8
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Re: East Asia

There are arrogant people in every country. You don't need to out-do them in the arrogance stakes. If they want to be arrogant, that's their loss. Take the high road. Also, it'd be wise, economically, to suck up to them as much as possible!

I used to always make a point of telling Koreans that Cambodia was my favourite country in Asia too. Many, knowing that it's one of the least developed countries anywhere in East or South-East Asia, could not quite compute this! It might not be developed today but Angkor was one of the most developed cities in the world back in the day and there's nothing in Asia that compares to it in my opinion!

Cambodia

Sorry, I'll stick to discussing East Asia in the future!
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Old Dec 6th, 2012, 11:14 PM   #9
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Re: East Asia

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Originally Posted by dybbuk View Post
I think you're very harsh in your evaluation of Japan. They had more than that. Japan had (and still has) a much more flourishing and varied literature than Korea did/does. Japan had a very refined side too. I think you're just taking their shogunate/military side and running with it, but ignoring the fact they had a beautiful, highly refined cultural center in Kyoto in this time period.
Of course I'm not saying that they were ignorant barbarians
But throughout history they were mainly on the RECEIVING side, on cultural matters.
I always laugh when they say that Japanese was a different civilization than China Same written language, Confucianism, Buddhism, so what's so different about it

Varied literature? Like novel? I do think there was more lateral information exchange and sort of mass culture going in Japan than Korea. Korea was Confucian culture par excellence, pretty stratified society if you ask me. Very conservative, unlike more pragmatic Japanese. Chosun dynasty should have collapsed WAY earlier, preferably after that 7 yrs war in late 16th century. Like the French 3rd Republic, they totally deserved their destruction.
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Last edited by fantic : Dec 6th, 2012 at 11:21 PM.
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Old Dec 6th, 2012, 11:19 PM   #10
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Re: East Asia

kwilliams are you living in Dublin now? My family lives in Apgujung dong

And aren't you nonplussed at our stupid english for surnames? Kim? Lee? Park? We don't pronounce that way, as you know. Who the stupid fuck made that rule
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Old Dec 6th, 2012, 11:26 PM   #11
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Re: East Asia

Varied literature as in imo Korean literature took much longer to stop mimicking Chinese literature and to create "Korean literature." Japanese began to break away from just mimicking China earlier on, and we got things like the first novel in Genji, bunraku and kabuki plays, waka and haiku, etc. I'd agree though that Japan was helped by having a flourishing popular culture scene that ended up fusing low-brow with high-brow for new types of literature like haikai.

And I do agree Japan was on the receiving side of things. But I just don't see how that makes them different from most every other Asian country at the time with China and their tributary system. It just so happens that Japan got most things later just because of geography.

About Korean surnames, I swear I have some OCD and I was upset for like a week that 박 doesn't contain an r like Park does.
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Old Dec 6th, 2012, 11:33 PM   #12
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Re: East Asia

that's true. Korea was just too enthralled by China. Although they invented their own letter in 15th century, still their official written language until the end of Chosun dynasty like 400 yrs later, was Chinese(Well, for that matter Japanese letters are even more dependent on Chinese letters than Korean one ). Maybe geography helped Japan become more freer in that regard.

And that's precisely my point. There's nothing especially separating Japan from other countries that merits their culture as a distinct 'civilization' In a broader sense East Asian cultural paradigm was a Chinese one, no doubt about that.
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Old Dec 6th, 2012, 11:40 PM   #13
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Re: East Asia

It may well be true that Piracy propped up Elizabethan England. But in many ways perception overcomes reality in such things, and the perception is that the Elizabethan era is one of the great ones in English history, and Elizabeth herself one of the great monarchs.

Turning to Asia, Im English, but living here in Japan for a year and a half, and married to a Japanese lady. Japanese is a wo Deerfield country in many ways but in difficult times people often turn to extremes. It happened in World War 2 and in the looming Japanese elections it may happen again.

Most Japanese people I've met seen to like Korea, though the flare ups in Iskabd disputes have affected that.

But anti-Chinese sentiment is VERY common here. I blame both sides in that. Historically China has very real grievances against Japan which have not been dealt with definitively by Japan. Yet the Chinese government sometimes exploits this for its own ends.
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Old Dec 6th, 2012, 11:41 PM   #14
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Re: East Asia

I believe the oldest metal printing press (or book that was made from it) was from Korea

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"The world's first known movable-type system for printing was created in China around 1040 A.D. by Bi Sheng (990–1051) during the Song Dynasty;[1] following that, the first metal movable-type system for printing was made in Korea during the Goryeo Dynasty (around 1230). This led to the printing of the Jikji in 1377—today the oldest existant movable metal print book. "
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Old Dec 6th, 2012, 11:49 PM   #15
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Re: East Asia

Quote:
Originally Posted by Halardfan View Post
It may well be true that Piracy propped up Elizabethan England. But in many ways perception overcomes reality in such things, and the perception is that the Elizabethan era is one of the great ones in English history, and Elizabeth herself one of the great monarchs.

Turning to Asia, Im English, but living here in Japan for a year and a half, and married to a Japanese lady. Japanese is a wo Deerfield country in many ways but in difficult times people often turn to extremes. It happened in World War 2 and in the looming Japanese elections it may happen again.

Most Japanese people I've met seen to like Korea, though the flare ups in Iskabd disputes have affected that.

But anti-Chinese sentiment is VERY common here. I blame both sides in that. Historically China has very real grievances against Japan which have not been dealt with definitively by Japan. Yet the Chinese government sometimes exploits this for its own ends.
Japanese can be VERY sadistic..just look at their porno culture And of course, their history. Japanese were in many ways more horrible than Nazi Germans. Japan has always been a bane to Korea. For hundreds of years, they wreak havoc upon Korea. They sure were a predatory nation. After colonising Korea in 1910 they tried to erase our language, for chrissake. Even Japanese' dramatic economic rebirth was fueled by Korean war from 1950 And as you said, unlike Germany, Japan was never sincere about their pass transgression. They will never be a (moral) leader of Asia. Well, Japan themselves aren't quite sure about their identity; West or Asia
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