Koreans have been living in Japan for decades and decades and have been the whipping boy for Japanese racism. It's not like they have done anything wrong… these Koreans have just been living and working and trying to live life in Japan.
But… there is still a somewhat large and vocal faction of Japanese folk who don't like the Japanese and want them to get the hell out and go back to their own country.
Thankfully, not all of Japan is like that.
At the weekend demonstration, accompanied by a brass band and dancers, the anti-hate protestors carried signs reading: "We oppose hate speech" and "Let’s get along", while chanting "Stop discrimination, let’s live together."
Yoshino Hisashi (surname first), 45, says: "I don’t want to live in a city in which there is racism. There’s no other way to stamp it out other than each and every one of us making an effort to stop discriminating."
Wow… that's awesome. He's not even talking about racism against Koreans, but racism in general.
But… back to the Koreans...
If you were to talk to the average Japanese person, I would bet that even if they preferred Japanese products over Korean ones, they wouldn't have any racist thoughts to the Koreans.
Last April 2013, there was a hate rally, with hundreds of Japanese protesting their anti-Korean views carrying signs like: "Go Back To Korea!"… all the while calling the Koreans cockroaches. (The image above was taken during that event.)
Now… before you condemn Japan, note that there was also an equal number of protestors there who were protesting the hate protest. They chanted vociferously: "You are the shame of this country!" "You’re the ones who need to go home!" "Get back to the Internet where you belong!"
Bravo. But... seeing as how I am on the Internet like you, I am unsure how to take that insult.
Koreans have been influencing Japan since at least 300BC. Buddhism, Japan's main religion originated in India, traveled across Asia through China and Korea and ended up in Japan.
There are the Zainichi Koreas—a term that implies long-term Korean residents of Japan who came during Japan's Imperial Rule in the early 20th century.
For example. With the Japan-Korea Treaty of 1910, Japan annexed Korea. Keep in mind that there was already a 1905 Japan-Korea Treaty whereby Korea was a protectorate nation under Japan… and the Japan-Korea Treaty of 1907 in which Korea was deprived of the administration of internal affairs.
The Treaty of 1910 had eight articles, the first being: "His Majesty the Emperor of Korea makes the complete and permanent cession to His Majesty the Emperor of Japan of all rights of sovereignty over the whole of Korea".
Does anyone believe this was a voluntary thing? No.
Anyhow… the Japanese confiscated land and … well, damn near everything they wanted… the Koreans, in order to survive traveled to Japan to seek employment, because there was little going on back home. These are the Zainichi Koreans.
Of course, Japan says that their colonization of Korea helped kickstart their economy, and that the wave of Koreans looking for work in Japan was voluntary and had nothing to do with the fact that the Korea economy was in the dumps.
During a soccer match in Seoul, South Korean supporters raised a banner referring to Japan’s 1910-45 colonial rule over Korea: "There is no future for a race oblivious to history." This apparently upset the Japanese.
Want more? Japan conscripted Koreans into their war effort - oft times using them as comfort women (sex toys) for Japanese soldiers, or were worked to death as laborers (Click HERE for a story)
About 5,400,000 Koreans were conscripted, though ONLY around 670,000 were taken to mainland Japan to work, and while treated better than those from other countries, 60,000 are guesstimated to have died between 1939-1945.
After the war, Japan became a tad more sympathetic, as there was a wave of Korean refugees caught in the middle of the Korean War in the 1950s.
Gee… who could have caused such a great divide in Korean nationalism? Anyone? Japan? Anyone? Japan? Of course… Korea played a large hand in its own current state of affairs.
During the 1980s, another wave of Koreans landed in Japan, which was undergoing a very hot economy.
Anyhow… with Japan's defeat at the end of World War 2, Koreans could reclaim their citizenship… even those living and working in Japan… sort of…
Japan only formally abandoned its claim to Korea on April 28, 1952 when the San Francisco Peace Treaty was passed, and Allied occupation of Japan was ended. But… when that happened.. the Zainichi Koreans lost their Japanese nationality.
Now… in 1965, with a Treaty on Basic Relations with South Korea, and Zainichi Koreas who chose not to apply for South Korean citizenship kept their Chosen-seki (Chosen is the old Japanese name for Korea)… but the Chosen-seki did not give the Zainichi Koreans citizenship to any nation.
Cockroaches… they don't belong in Japan. Or anywhere.
That's not my mindset, of course… but now you can see where it comes from.
But… like many immigrants who come to another country, the Zainichi Koreans have recently begun to assimilate themselves into Japanese culture… speaking Japanese, going to Japanese schools and work, marrying Japanese…
And here we sit… Koreans living and working in Japan are being persecuted by a handful of racist Japanese. The Koreans, on the face of it, have been taking it up the ass in a non-pleasant way for decades.
I haven't even talked about the Korean massacre in the days AFTER the Kanto Earthquake when warmongers set up false rumors suggesting Zainichi Koreans were looting and pillaging. Many Japanese went wilding, and killed anywhere between 6,000-10,000 Koreans. Official Japanese reports suggest only 231 Koreans were killed.
The truth, regardless of the number, is still an appalling number of deaths.
And yet… some Japanese have a racist hate-on against Koreans. Ridiculous.
Thank goodness there are also people out there now who are protesting the hatred.