Thursday, January 29, 2015

The Famous Crying Baby of Shanghai in 1937

“Unlike many other publications, newspapers and magazines alike, that cropped, retouched, and otherwise altered photographs at will, Life treated its photographs as finished works, and quickly abandoned the random shapes and size (circles, ovals, and others) that most periodicals used to create visual interest.” (p. 226, The Publisher: Henry Luce and His American Century, Alan Brinkley)

Really? Though Life may not have retouched the photo, it is very clear that Henry Luce was manipulative to increase support for Kuomintang of Chiang Kai-shek.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Truth about "Sex Slaves": Old Lady Kim

We now know that there were Japanese soldiers and Korean comfort women who actually married. Then, the case of “Old lady Kim.” It should be surmised that there were others who agree with her without voicing their view openly against the pressure groups in Korea.
“Kim was taken by a Korean proprietor couple via Shanghai for a spell of two-and-a-half years at the front. Second Lieutenant Izumi took a fancy to her, called her to his quarters and was able to arrange for her to accompany him wherever he moved. He taught her writing and arithmetic, and in 1940 finally arranged for her safe trip home with four other women. He then wrote her twice monthly, declaring his love and promising to reunite with her ‘after victory’. She wrote back and sent him comfort parcels. Defeat spoiled their plans and, ostracised by her fellow-villagers, she moved to Seoul and became a married man’s mistress. She bore a son, who in turn gave her two grandchildren. She never revealed her past, but when the comfort women issue started to be publicised, she raised the matter with her daughter-in-law and niece. They tried to dissuade her from carrying it further, but she insisted. She found it a great relief to unburden her han, the constantly recurring Korean word for long-held rancour. Her approach, however, differed from that of the campaigning women’s groups. She regards the Japanese government as now responsible only for compensating Japanese comfort women. She contends that the South Korean government should care for its own citizens. (pp. 81-82, The Comfort Women, George Hicks)

With the Treaty of Basic Relations between Japan and the Republic of Korea signed in June 1965, South Korea received US$800 million from Japan in the form of grant and loan (per capita GDP of South Korea in 1965: US$106, World Bank) to settle all the claims between the two countries finally and completely. The South Korean government never raised the issue during the treaty negotiations and did not use any part of the money it received for its former comfort women. Why? That’s because South Koreans didn’t see they were an issue at all.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

"American Friends of Vietnam" and Present Korean Lobby in the United States

Reading the part in which Frederik Logevail describes the South Vietnamese lobby organization, called the “American Friends of Vietnam“ in his book, “Embers of War,“ makes me think about what the Korean lobby may be doing now in the United States on the issue of comfort women. The AFV boasted the members like Senators John F. Kennedy, Mike Mansfield and Hubert Humphrey, Karl Mundy and William Knowland, academics such as Arthur Schlesinger Jr., Wesley Fishel and Samuel Eliot Morison. Also, it had members from the US media like Henry Luce of Time Inc., Whitelaw Reid (New York Herald Tribune), Walter Annenberg (Philadelphia Inquirer), Malcolm Muir (Newsweek) and William Randolph Hearst Jr. (New York Journal-American). This reminds me of the attitude in the US toward Ferdinand Marcos of the Philippines.

And the stories told by Thomas A. Dooley can be understood as a precursor of what Seiji Yoshida would do many years later, though the big difference is that Dooley talked about a foreign country and Yoshida smeared the reputation of his own country.

Sunday, January 04, 2015

Finished Two Books about Vietnam War

Early tonight (January 3, 2015), I finished “Tet!” by Don Oberdorfer (Johns Hopkins paperback edition, 2001) and “A Vietcong Memoir” by Truong Nhu Tang (Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1985).

Last night, I watched “The Fog of War” again and tonight “Minds and Souls” again, both after a few years.

And tomorrow, I’ll start reading “The Deluxe Transitive Vampire” by Karen Elizabeth Gordon.