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Film on 1597 victory over Japan breaks Korean box office records

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Everybody likes to see the home team win.

11 ( +14 / -3 )

Interesting to see a lot of hinomaru (Japanese rising sun flag)-like symbolisms in this film. Made me wonder about the history of the hinomaru and whether it was in use hundreds of years ago, and in a Korea invasion. Not that historical accuracy should trump artistic and propagandistic license in a historical reenactment movie among neighbours with less that warm diplomatic relations .....

10 ( +11 / -1 )

Urinara fantasy.

3 ( +18 / -15 )

WOW, if this doesn't clear it up once and for all that South Korea has a MASSIVE chip on its shoulder regarding Japan.

If this 'let's hate on Japan propaganda movie' gets them through the day and makes them feel superior, then so be it but seriously, how pathetic can one country be?

7 ( +24 / -16 )

A film depicting a famous 16th century naval victory against Japanese invaders has set records at the South Korean box office,

Nothing wrong with that. Pearl Harbor with Ben Affleck did very well here in the states -- grossing nearly $200 million. And Letters From Iwo Jima was #1 for 5 straight weeks in Japan. So can we try to keep the usual SK bashing from the usual sources to a minimum?

-9 ( +17 / -25 )

Wow that's a very historically inaccurate use of the Japanese circle of the sun flag

but who cares if it is a propaganda film right? But wait..

Choi also starred in a 2003 hit thriller “Old Boy”.

"Old Boy", a movie based on a Japanese manga of the same name. It seems that Koreans buy anything to with Japanese, that being especially true when it has a Korean spin to it.

2 ( +10 / -9 )

So can we try to keep the usual SK bashing from the usual sources to a minimum?

As usual I was way too optimistic. Thanks nigelboy and KnowBetter for lowering the bar on any discussion:

Urinara fantasy.

WOW, if this doesn't clear it up once and for all that South Korea has a MASSIVE chip on its shoulder regarding Japan. If this 'let's hate on Japan propaganda movie' gets them through the day and makes them feel superior, then so be it but seriously, how pathetic can one country be

-10 ( +9 / -19 )

Everybody likes to see the home team win.

Only to nationalistic people, whatever their nationality is.

-3 ( +5 / -8 )

Smacks of insecurity and lack of self esteem. Not to mention jealousy and petty hatreds.

Oh, that's right, the Japanese government has 'neeever' apologized or atoned for its past actions towards South Korea or comfort women.

Yawn.

6 ( +20 / -14 )

japan ships are only for ferrying supplies and people. They don't have cannons nor long range artillery. The south Korean naval ships simply move out of arrow range and fired. But it was a different story when the Japanese landed, they immediately controlled the land and CHina's vassal being wrestled out from their hand sent Chinese armies to fight the war. The war was proven costly to China thus it ended the Ming dynasty and Qing dynasty started.

4 ( +10 / -6 )

Indoctrinate the population AND get them to pay for it! Very smart. Looks like South Korea has learned a few tricks from the ol USS of A.

0 ( +8 / -8 )

To be fair on the Koreans, Admiral Yi Sun-shin was by all definitions: a genius. He defeated his foe despite being severely outnumbered and having less combat experience by using innovative ironclad ships. Like Hannibal Barca, his success was a target of political jealously of his own countrymen, rendering him powerless for sometime and led to repercussions that nearly doomed the allied Chinese and Korean side in the Imjin War.

This film would have had my sincere attention if they had at least got the Japanese military kit and banners right instead of anachronistically using the Hinomaru so prevalently. Alas.

4 ( +8 / -4 )

What are the odds that they'll make a movie about the Chinese who entered the Korean Peninsula in 1950 and killed South Koreans?

7 ( +20 / -13 )

WOW, if this doesn't clear it up once and for all that South Korea has a MASSIVE chip on its shoulder regarding Japan.

If this 'let's hate on Japan propaganda movie' gets them through the day and makes them feel superior, then so be it but seriously, how pathetic can one country be?

Beat me to it. Just exactly what I was to say.

It's sad, but that's Korea and Koreans for you.

2 ( +15 / -13 )

attracted 13.62 million viewers as of Saturday after 18 days of screening,

With a population of only 50 million that is over 25% of the population. Amazing statistic

4 ( +8 / -4 )

"Amazing statistic"

Indeed. Almost enough to make someone suspicious....

9 ( +14 / -5 )

Well, this was the last instance of a major, direct, armed confrontation between Japan and Korea, so I'm sure the audiences in Seoul and elsewhere ate it up. Better for them to watch re-enactments of this violence onscreen than do anything else. Filmmakers give audiences what they want. In Japan, it's maudlin, sentimental stuff like "Yamato" and "Merdeka 17805" which sounds like a story (Japanese "liberate" East Indies from Dutch rule in 1942) taken right from the walls of the Yushukan.

I'm curious about how so many here categorize Koreans as "pathetic" for flocking to watch such a film. What type of movie hitting box office gold in Korea would be an example of Koreans not being pathetic to you people? You seriously expect Koreans to pay money to watch some movie that would be endorsed by the likes of Hashimoto Toru?

0 ( +13 / -13 )

Well, the movie could also be a hit in Japan. Remember what a hit "Pearl Harbor" was here? If there are enough cute KPop type looking guys in the movie.

-1 ( +6 / -7 )

As a point of certain irony (if that's the correct word) as a raging Japanophile I've always had a certain fondness of Korean films and TV shows like this (such as the Invincible Admiral Yi) due to the fact that they're often the best made for portraying samurai warships. That ship in the background is called an Atakebune a beautiful design unique to Japan that I've seen depicted nowhere else except in Korean shows for the express purpose of getting blown to pieces by Korean turtle ships. I'll probably buy this movie when it becomes available and just skip to the parts where I can see the samurai and their warships.

2 ( +7 / -5 )

Jeez...think all you anti-Korean posters here are overreacting just a wee bit? Of all the things to unleash your "outrage" over, you choose this piffle?

So someone somewhere makes a movie (loosely based on actual history) about local resistance fighters beating back colonial invaders trying to conquer their country...and the talk here is about how they put the colonizers in a bad light, right? As if this were the only movie ever made with such a plot premise...Why, I'm sure everyone here could think of five such movies without even resorting to a search engine!

Why do I find myself under the impression that were the Japanese to make an against-the-odds war movie about their repulsing of the Mongol Invasions of 1274 and 1281, somehow no one here would be harping on about Japan's "inferiority complex" or how "Japanese are still so anti-Mongolian!"

It's a summer MOVIE, people! Go watch "The Last Samurai" (where the Caucasian lead single-handedly changes the course of Japanese history) or "Sayuri" (starring Chinese nationals playing Japanese geishas) or better yet, the Canadian Keanu Reeves' gawdawful "47 Ronin" if it's true history you're really after...pfff....right....

1 ( +13 / -12 )

BNlightened

The only problem I have is that they teach what is depict in the movie as HISTORY at school which is gross revisionism. I only wish someone write the the English version of Wiki with more objectivity then what is written right now by VANKers no doubt.

3 ( +11 / -8 )

sometimes showing movies like this are not to promote hating on other country, instead to raise awareness that no matter what the past may be, we can all still be friends if we change... :) as Elsa once said, The past is in the past! Let it go!

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

songwillem2011: Great comment and observation about the Atakebune ships. A kind of dry, somewhat irreverent comment I was not expecting to find on this thread (can't say the same about other comments I've read here...cough cough...Koreans pathetic, low self-esteem...cough cough).

-5 ( +4 / -9 )

Predictable SK bashing is predictable.

Irony is people here who accuse Koreans of hating Japan seem to hate Korea just as much, if not more.

The film 'Taeguki, a.k.a. Brotherhood' about 10 years ago attracted 10 million moviegoers. So does SK have some kind of huge inferiority complex vs NK?

The mutant monster movie "The Host" attracted 13 million. So Koreans have some sort of complex against SF monsters?

Korean heist flick "The Thieves" attracted 12 million. So what kind of complex do Koreans have here?

-3 ( +9 / -12 )

Classic panic and hypocrisy from the SK-hate team on here today. SK did repel an attacking force, so it is a part of history, and a big one. But only a few days ago in Japan there were all sorts of shows about the greatness of Kamakazi pilots -- their heroism as well as the genius of the Zero fighter, etc., which all of these posters no doubt fawned over and waxed nostalgic. SK copying a manga for a successful movie (after Japan can't make one)? Big deal! Japan also copies a lot of material from other nations. Samurai doesn't like how SK teaches history? I bet he has no problem with Abe omitting sex slaves, forced suicides in Okinawa, and most other Japanese atrocities from textbooks (oh, but wait, the annexation of other nations on the Korean Peninsula HELPED the area, and Japan gave nations like Taiwan modern education!! It was a GOOD thing!!), or that kids in classes read manga to learn about history.

The funniest part is how petty and hateful the panicking posters are being when they call SKoreans petty and hateful and that they cannot even begin to fathom their own hypocrisy. BNenlightened said it all: you guys are just upset because it's a movie made in SK and is extremely successful. You see the same kind of ranting and raving when South Korean pop bands, movies, and shows sell more in Japan than domestic acts, and when Samsung outsells Panasonic world-wide (to which nigelboy said, "In your dreams" when I pointed out the fact to him, and he had could no longer comment when he had to check and see he was wrong, by the way). So, go watch something else if you're that offended, people. Go watch Godzilla and pick apart how fat the monster looks, or how it's "historically inaccurate" because it was made in Hollywood.

-10 ( +11 / -21 )

25% of the population have been to see this in under 3 weeks?! Wow.

I dunno. My wife is Japanese, my neighbours are Korean. The neighbours are lovely people and they all get along just fine. My wife does consider Koreans slightly inferior, in the same way I might think New Zealanders slightly inferior - as a kind of good natured banter that has no seriousness to it (except in the Kiwis case, which is obviously true).

I do think there is an inferiority complex at play in SK though. I went to Seoul in 2000 for a couple of days and really liked it, but I noticed Koreans referring to Japan a lot. I hadn't been to Japan at that point, so it struck me as odd that there was this constant dialog of comparison to Japan - from tour guides at the Royal palace, to shop assistants in music stores. They seemed very keen on constantly clearly establishing their differences to the Japanese as a sort of universal subconscious mindset.

This is not intended as a bashing, it's merely an observation based on my experiences only.

7 ( +14 / -7 )

SK just can't win in any case, can they?

(1) This movie is not made -> Nobody praises SK for NOT making this movie.

(2) This movie is made, and is not a box office hit -> People will say oh look the pathetic Koreans made a propaganda movie and couldn't even make it a hit.

(3) This movie is made, and is a box office hit -> People say oh look the pathetic Koreans made a propaganda movie and everything flocked to watch it.

I haven't seen it (and probably won't because I dislike period films), but maybe it's just a great popcorn summer flick?

Have the SK bashers ever heard anything about SK that they didn't immediately try to turn into some negative rhetoric about 'pathetic Koreans with deep seated inferiority complex?'

Uniqlo is massive in Korea, Koreans in their millions flock to Japan to enjoy their holidays every year, and Japanese restaurants everywhere in Korea are premium dining establishments. How about some of you drop the same hatred that you accuse Koreans of?

-6 ( +9 / -15 )

Mitch Cohen

True, occasionally there have been other Korean hit movies that are not about defeating Japan. However, all of them, including the ones you mentioned, are second to "Myeongyang." The fact that

“Myeongryang” (“Roaring Currents”) attracted 13.62 million viewers as of Saturday after 18 days of screening

says it all. The Koreans these days still buy into the 'feel so good' sentiment of beating Japan, which has provided them (Koreans) with strong doses of stimulants along the way toward where they are today, when it still feels damn good for them to see their "unconsciously superior" neighbor (Japan) beaten somehow.

5 ( +13 / -8 )

True, occasionally there have been other Korean hit movies that are not about defeating Japan.

@intlobserver - are you sure?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_highest-grossing_films_in_South_Korea

Out of the top 50 highest grossing films in Korea of all time, NO OTHER FILM is about defeating Japan.

0 ( +8 / -8 )

Smith

Upset? Panic? Nope

I'm simply amused that such irrelevant person who did nothing even remotely close to what the movie showed is considered a top hero in Korea.

Hence, Urinara fantasy. Your country can enjoy it as much as you please.

6 ( +15 / -9 )

Mitch Cohen

OK, let the word "occasionally" be dropped, what still holds is that

Out of the top 50 highest grossing films in Korea of all time, NO OTHER FILM is as big a hit as the defeating- Japan “Myeongryang” (“Roaring Currents”) - IMPRESSIVE!

-4 ( +4 / -8 )

In SK movies don't need to be historically correct as long as it spurs national hate against Japan. China is doing this much more professionally but SK is doing well in learning from them. If the population is unruly, distract them from local issues by mass-driving them with patriotic propaganda.

6 ( +15 / -9 )

In SK movies don't need to be historically correct as long as it spurs national hate against Japan.

@CGB Spender - It looks like your posts don't need to be factually correct as long as it spurs your hatred against SK.

http://www.imdb.com/list/ls052624288/

Please take a look at the above list of top 100 highest grossing films in Korean history, and tell us which other film comes remotely close to spurring hatred against Japan? (hint: answer is zero).

-5 ( +6 / -11 )

Gee, so a film depicting a real-life naval victory against overwhelming odds is a big hit, and for that people are ridiculing and insulting Korea? Talk about deep-seated insecurity and inferiority complex -- the Japan-apologists must be the most insecure people anywhere. The Japanese and their weeaboo allies just can't take losing to Korea in anything, can they, not even when it's about a historical fact hundreds of years old. You talk about Koreans' so-called "inferiority complex", but it's obvious the Japanese are cursed with a baseless 'superiority complex', which, as everyone knows, is really based in a deep-seated fear of inferiority. What do you do when a movie showing a Japanese victory against odds is a hit in Japan? Would it be all right for Koreans ridicule the Japanese for it? Nothing illustrates this make-believe mindset better than Nigelboy's labeling of Yi Soon-shin as an "irrelevant person who did nothing even remotely close to what the movie showed" ; Yi Soon-shin's victories are real, and they are studied in naval academies in other countries, not just Korea. Would Nigelboy ridicule that as 'irrelevant'?

-8 ( +7 / -15 )

South Korea is allowed to make jingoistic films the same as anybody else. The people of that country who enjoy them have pretty much the same mindset as those outside of that country who moan or bitch about them. Very catty and childish.

-6 ( +3 / -9 )

slowguy2

I guess you only read Korean history books.

The whole story is a fairy tale that can be verified in Japanese AND Chinese history books since the Ming soliders were involved as well. This so called battle wasn't even a battle but a small skrimish in which Japan lost less then 100 in casulties. During sunset the 13 Korean ships retreated in which the Japanese ships did not pursue since they were not familiar with the terrain. The Japanese ship landed and took seize of the harbors and surrounding area placing the Myeongnyang Strait under Japanese control. Koreans were not able to return until Japan had moved on to the next phase in constructing castles through out Korea. Yi Sun-Shin had to move to Wando to regroup which took him over a year.

10 ( +17 / -7 )

@CGB SpenderAUG. 17, 2014 - 03:15PM JST

In SK movies don't need to be historically correct as long as it spurs national hate against Japan.

Recalling "2009 : Lost Memories" movie...seems to be true !

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

In my opinion, it's absolutely true that SK compare itself to Japan over and over again. You know it, as long as you read SKorean newspapers. It's basically amost an obsession, but they have also the obsession to become popular around the world, and about how they are viewed around the world. They also make a huge problem if some foreigners can't tell apart NKorea from SKorea. The success of this movie only shows how nationalistic they are, overall. I have nothing against SKorea, but my experiences with SKoreans on the web are not very positive, unlike my experience with people form many other countries. During Roma-Lazio derby, Psy was invited to sing, and the Italian public booed him. First embarrassing thing: some of the videos that showed this were erased because of "copyright", when you hear Psy songs in tons of other videos, the only difference here is that the public booed him, so it was bad advertising and the videos were deleted. Second embarrassing thing: some SKoreans people didn't understood that Italian people wanted to watch the derby, not Psy, but because of his presence (who nobody wanted) the ticket was overpriced. Italians protested that. Plus, if you dislike an artist, you can boo him also at La Scala di Milano, and you can't boo Psy? When I tried to explain these things to Koreans people who very, very MAD at Italy, they insulted my country saying we were Fascist allies with Japan, we are envy of SKorea because they are rich, they have Samsung, etc. I was like...really? Seriously? I'm not a nationalistic type, but why should Italy envy SKorea? I repeat, I don't want to seem nationalistic, but to be honest I think Italian culture worldwide is more known than SKorea's. Our history, art, food, fashion, luxury cars, dolce vita, etc. We have almost 50 milliions of turists every year. Why should we envy SKorea? I don't know it. I'm not saying my country is better than SKorea, but these SKoreans thought Italians booed Psy because we envy SKorea. Explaining them the fact of the tickets and that also great artists at La Scala di Milano can be boo, was useless. Okay. <___<; I'm not saying that all SKoreans are blind nationalistic, but my experience with them isn't very positive and their press online shows an obsession about how to promote a positive image of the country. The press in my country is more focused on Italy problems, we don't need to promote ourselves so much.

7 ( +13 / -6 )

The whole story is a fairy tale

@SamuraiBlue - Your opinion seems to be the minority opinion not in line with the rest of the world, similar to your Japanocentric views on other historical issues like the 'comfort women'

http://www.unesco.org/new/en/communication-and-information/flagship-project-activities/memory-of-the-world/register/full-list-of-registered-heritage/registered-heritage-page-6/nanjung-ilgi-war-diary-of-admiral-yi-sun-sin/

You'd better write UNESCO an e-mail quicksmart to let them know they got it all wrong, and the whole thing is a complete fabrication.

-9 ( +4 / -13 )

Oh, and I'm waiting for tons of thumbs down here, because it's plenty of SKoreans and American-SKoreans, obsessed about what foreign press writes about SKorea. This is only the confirmation to my words, about how nationalistic they are. Take it easy! =.=;

7 ( +10 / -3 )

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Mitch Cohen

His claims cannot be verified by any other participating nations. No documents about any famous battle and can only be found as foot notes in people's diaries about a skirmish. Basically a fabrication by the author which became a center peice of nationalism propaganda by the Provisional Government of the Republic of Korea.

-1 ( +6 / -7 )

nigelboy:

Urinara fantasy.

Plenty of wagakuni fantasy from this country too but I don't see you whining.

-5 ( +4 / -9 )

I also wonder, how they showcasted their warriors , the Koreans, did they call them as Ssaurabi ? I again have to put in light the Korean propaganda that want to steal the cultural roots of Samurai, with claiming that it is theirs , , and also, they want to say that Katana is also Korean origin, and also, their try with Chosun Ninja https://www.youtube.com/user/ChosunNinja to claim also that Ninja is originated from Korea, and of course, just look on this huge list that exist on wiki on how Korea influenced Japan http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Korean_influence_on_Japanese_culture, and what is strange, the same list of how China influenced Japan dont exist on wiki, so, we know the influenxe China had on Japan, but these Korean obsession with truing to show them self greater than Japan, and also they want to show them self as origin of the best of Japan culture and history , and in that way, to say the world that they need to forget Japan , because all those things that people love in Japan are actually Korean ones, so , Korea should be loved, not Japan . And again to say , but with bold leters, KOREA WANTS TO ELIMINATE EVERY TRACE OF JAPAN IDENTITY IN THE WORD, AND TO REPLACE WITH KOREAN ONE And this movie will give them the strength to continue in that direction , because Korea is the most cohesive country in the world, when it comes hating Japan .

-1 ( +7 / -8 )

His claims cannot be verified by any other participating nations. No documents about any famous battle and can only be found as foot notes in people's diaries about a skirmish.

@SamuraiBlue - So we have a 400+ year old historical record, with no other existing records which contradicts it.

So your logical conclusion is ..

Basically a fabrication by the author

I don't follow your logic.

-8 ( +2 / -10 )

Alex80 I basically agree with you about all the Koreans' obsession with Japan that you have noticed, because it's what I have noticed, too. I haven't seen the movie mentioned in this article, but I have seen a Korean soap opera ("The Race" or something like that). In this soap opera, they (Koreans) keep disparaging Japanese cars and implying that Korea makes better cars than Japan! I was surprised to hear that they dared say Italy envied Korea. Industry-wise, the Koreans still have so much to learn from and catch up with Italy and Japan.

8 ( +12 / -4 )

@intlobserver: I don't want to say that Koreans have to learn something from my country. But I don't see why they (well, some of them) think that anyone who criticizes something about Korea, envies Korea. No offence, but Korean culture isn't very known in Italy. The "Korean wave" never arrived here. Some days ago I read this article on CNN, and I thought it was very weird.

http://edition.cnn.com/2014/08/08/opinion/yang-korea-cool/

They speak like if SKorea pop-culture was popular all around the world. It's not true. The worst part was this

"In the fastest-growing markets in the world — Southeast Asia, Latin America, Africa, the Middle East — K-pop is aspirational in part because it holds out hope that they, too, will someday be able to join the ranks of the global economy's cool kids."

Hey! The author of the article doesn't know HOW HUGE is Latin American pop culture? Not only the music, but also the soap-operas (what Asians call "drama")? In Italy, there are not K-drama on tv. In Italy, little girls are crazy for series like "Violetta", "Ninì", "Il mondo di Patty (Patito Feo)", "La CQ", "Chica Vampiro", etc. Latin American pop culture wave is huge currently between the teens, in Italy, while Korean pop culture isn't mainstream, it's something for a niche of people who watch the stuff on internet. For this reason I'm not liking currently SKorea attitude towards the world. They try too hard to be liked, also lessen other cultures. I know, the author of the article is Taiwanese. Well, if he had been Korean, the propagandistic tone would have been too much blatant.

10 ( +12 / -2 )

Mitch Cohen

It's like disproving the existance of ghost, you can't disprove something(a great battle) that doesn't/didn't exist in the first place. If you read his journal closely and compare it with what is know historically you can easily figure out what had actually happened.

"The Korean fleet consisting of 12~14 ships attacked the Japanese scout fleet consisting of 30 ships and then broke off and retreated from the immediate vicinity abandoning the control of the strait.

Tell me why did he abandon the control of the strait and retreated all the way to Wando IF he won the battle in the first place?

9 ( +12 / -3 )

Gee, so a film depicting a real-life naval victory against overwhelming odds is a big hit, and for that people are ridiculing and insulting Korea? Talk about deep-seated insecurity and inferiority complex -- the Japan-apologists must be the most insecure people anywhere.

SlowGuy 2 -- spot on. Anything that smacks of nationalism in Japan is 100% fine, but when SK or China do it, it is horrible. As you say, such defensiveness is a clear sign of deep-seated insecurity, since they all know Japan's history is littered with less-than-stellar events. Probably a reason why Japan TV is so cluttered with dramas about the Samurai, since they would like to make themselves believe they are still that type of society.

-12 ( +0 / -12 )

I was surprised to hear that they dared say Italy envied Korea.

They also said we are not able to create popular songs since the 90s, and this is one of the reasons why we envy them. Well, italo-dance was pretty popular in the 90s, indeed, worldwide. It created hits like this:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=68ugkg9RePc

K-pop sounds similar to this kind of music, with tons of auto-tune. During the 2000s, this genre is someway dead in Italy, I don't know why. But K-pop is nothing new to our ears, it's very similar to our italo-dance (and euro-dance in general) in the 90s. The fact is that many SKoreans come to Italy for learning "opera", a musical genre that my country created. Italians don't go to SKorea for learning to sing pop-songs. SKorea didn't invent the pop genre, so those guys could be more humble.

Well...nationalistic people don't know what they say, I guess. Anyway, all Koreans who want to learn opera in Italy are welcome, of course. xD I don't want to be misunderstood.

8 ( +10 / -2 )

Mitch Cohen - while I support your position, you should know that the IMDB source is flawed. Movies not yet released are on that list as well as it appears a single, non-official source provided the data.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

"The only problem I have is that they teach what is depict in the movie as HISTORY at school which is gross revisionism."

Seriously, people who accept modern history according to the wall panels of the ridiculous Yushukan museum (adjacent to Yasukuni Shrine) as objective truth are complaining about "gross revisionism" in South Korean classrooms? So Yi Sun-Shin achieving a great naval victory over invading Japanese in 1597 is a fabrication, but "anti-colonial" Japanese soldiers "liberating" Southeast Asians from Western domination in 1942 is objective truth that cannot be disputed?

Please tell me again why anybody should take the views of such people any more seriously than whatever South Koreans believe about anything.

-7 ( +2 / -9 )

They also said we are not able to create popular songs since the 90s, and this is one of the reasons why we envy them.

@Alex80 - Just WHO is 'they'? And why are you fixated on the notion that Koreans believe Italians envy Korea. I can tell you now, 99.9% Koreans don't think Italians envy Korea in any shape or form.

It was also mentioned in this thread that some Koreans believe the Japanese Samurai have Korean roots. Again, 99.9% of Koreans will frown and look at you funny if you ask them whether they believe the Samurai come from Korea.

Don't fixate on the 0.1%. That would be like judging the whole country of Japan by the black van nationalist idiots draped in imperial era Japanese flags abusing innocent bystanders.

-8 ( +2 / -10 )

MASSWIPE

South East Asia was liberated you can see it clear as day by comparing maps of 1930's and 1950's. In the 1930's maps they all had European countries names plastered in South East Asia while you look at the 1950's map you'll find nations like Indonesia, India, Malyasia, Vietnam, etc.

Whether you like it or not WW2 became the catalyst for independence from European colonism in the region and would not had happened without Japan.

7 ( +10 / -3 )

@Alex80 - Just WHO is 'they'? And why are you fixated on the notion that Koreans believe Italians envy Korea. I can tell you now, 99.9% Koreans don't think Italians envy Korea in any shape or form.

I was speaking about some nationalistic guys on Youtube. I can see your point, though. I can't judge the whole country because of my interactions with some nationalistic people on the web. Anyway, the press in your country is actually very nationalistic, you can't deny it. And if people can read only nationalistic stuff, most of them will become like that. I'm not able to find a Skorean newspaper similar to the Mainichi Shimbun, for example, that is pretty left-wing. If you can advise me one, I'd be interested. Thanks.

9 ( +11 / -2 )

Movie looks entertaining. I'd watch it.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

'Whether you like it or not WW2 became the catalyst for independence from European colonism in the region and would not had happened without Japan.'

Many of the former European colonies in Africa and Asia gained their independence in the 40s, 50s and 60s without the benevolent intervention of Japan, and as we all know, the families of those butchered, the maimed, the tortured and the raped were and are of course very grateful for Japan's intervention. Just ask them.

-10 ( +1 / -11 )

It's just a movie.

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

Jimizo

Are you talking about middle eastern nations with proxy kings and rulers? If so I don't think you would call them Independence.

In SE Asia besides Thailand, there was not a single independent country from European colonism and why don't you ask the view of one's who were actually under the stick of brutal European colonism their opinion of Japan's intervention into the region?

8 ( +10 / -2 )

OK, I'm starting to realize that those individuals who accept as objective truth the ridiculous (this word cannot be used often enough) "Yushukan" version of modern Japanese history are the same sorts of people who refuse to believe a Korean filmmaker's rendering of a famous naval battle between Japan and Korea in 1597.

This is not entirely surprising, but why is this the case? What is the link between downplaying the significance of Yi Sun-Shin's naval exploits against Japanese forces in the 1590s and seriously believing that modern Japan has basically never done anything wrong and is in fact a morally superior country to the Western powers and China and Korea?

-4 ( +3 / -7 )

@Nenad I'm not sure how much time you've spent in Japan but you'll find that many Japanese are either ignorant or dismissive of the role that other cultures played in shaping the culture of Japan ( particularly if it came from Korea or China ). Many Koreans share this very peculiar trait of very often claiming something as their own creation, showing just how similar the mindsets are in these countries. To take one example which is a great source of pride, ask many Japanese the origins of many staples of Japanese cuisine and you'll be shocked at what many believe to be a Japanese creation and/or unique to Japan. My experience in Japan and Korea has often seen 'Ah, only Korea/Japan' as default position if I replied that a certain food, festival or custom wasn't common in my country. Exasperating from both countries.

-7 ( +2 / -9 )

Has anyone actually watched this movie before dismissing it as propaganda without even watching it? It looks like the LA Times gave a very good review. Historically the odds were 13 Korean ships against 333 Japanese (130 battleships, 200 transport/supply ships), with a battle in the narrow straights with treacherous currents. Despite the numerical superiority, the Japanese could not commit all their ships all at once because there just was no room in the narrow straights.

The Koreans were outnumbered but their ships were far superior than the Japanese ships. Koreans had the advantage in long distance cannons that Japanese did not have. The Korean ships also had flat wide bottom ships that allowed them to turn in tight circles, allowing their cannons from both sides to fire rapidly while turning in 360 degree circles. On the other hand, the Japanese ships had narrow bottoms which were built for speed on the high seas, but less maneouverable. They could not turn on both sides without turning in wide distances. The Japanese naval tactic at that time, was to ram the enemy ships then board them, and take the enemy through hand to hand combat. The Koreans on the other hand, maximized their advantage by firing from the distance to take advantage of their better cannons, which the Japanese had no answer for. Japan was successful at defeating the Korean ground troops, but they were bogged down on land, when Ming China entered the war. Japanese troops were slowly starved out in Korea, because they could not properly supply their troops on land, since the Korean navy controlled the seas, absolutely destroying Japanese ships which tried to supply their land troops.

Here's some the scenes from the movie.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U9w911ESTvA

The actors who play the Japanese samurais are Korean actors, but they did a credible job. Apparantly this movie had lot of help from the Japanese historical museaums, who helped with Japanese period costumes and Japanese ships. The movie did such a fantastic job recreating the Japanese set pieces, the Japanese officials from the museaums were shocked that the Japanese set pieces from the movie were so accurate that the movie was even better than what they themselves had. The only things that were not accurate were the battle scene where the Japanese and Koreans engage hand to hand combat on the ships. Most of the big damages on the Japanese were done by Korean cannons, arrows, and also the unpredictable strong currents, making the Japanese ships to ram each other.

I think that other then the fact that if Japanese disregard the fact that Japan loses in the movie and the strong anti-Korean feelings in Japan, this movie could do fairly well in Japan itself, because it has very strong acting, and good realistic battle scenes.

In Korea, this movie is doing very well because many Koreans are feeling empty that South Korea lacks strong leaders who can lead the country - especially after that disasterous ferry accident, lot of Koreans are yearning for good leaders at a time when they need a hero.

-4 ( +6 / -10 )

Very accurate commentary, Papi2013. This is not a "Japan-bashing" movie. It celebrates a military genius: Yi Sunsin. There are virtually no seriously negative portrayals of the Japanese despite the fact that they slaughtered hundreds of thousands of people brutally, often beheading innocent peasants and children.

Remember the mound of 20,000 Korean ears and noses? Many were that of townfolk massacred by combat-ready samurai.

-4 ( +4 / -8 )

Nothing illustrates this make-believe mindset better than Nigelboy's labeling of Yi Soon-shin as an "irrelevant person who did nothing even remotely close to what the movie showed" ; Yi Soon-shin's victories are real, and they are studied in naval academies in other countries, not just Korea. Would Nigelboy ridicule that as 'irrelevant'?

Only if it were true.

Like I said, you are more than welcome to celebrate him as a hero.

2 ( +9 / -7 )

Sir_Edgar, the movie strictly deals with the battle of Muyngrang, it makes no attempt to get into the overall war theme. It's the background, the tactics, the strategies, the details surrounding that battle. Yi Sunshin had only 13 ships left, after the disasterous naval battle fought by the Korean King's previous appointee, General Won Gyun who lost over 100 ships and 10,000 men to the Japanese, due to the King's incompetency and the hapless Gen. Won Gyun who was stuck in carrying out the King's orders (which were horrible orders). This movie is not just about winning the war, but it's also about Korea's lone hero who says "no" to the incompetent king, and standing up to the incompetent/corrupt ruling authority with courage for what is right. That's probably the greatest message in this historical lesson/film, not the "Japan bashing", as lot of people here thinks it is (without even watching the movie).

-4 ( +6 / -10 )

argue that Yi Sun-Shin never did what mainstream analysts and historians agree he did.

Only if it were true.

It is absolutely possible to like Japan and Japanese people AND concede that Japanese armed forces suffered a major defeat at the hands of Koreans during a naval battle that took place 417 years ago--but apparently this is NOT possible for the revisionists. I do see parallels with white supremacists who feel the need to insist that Western civilization has always been superior to every other civilization on earth.

The only revision I see are Koreans making him a hero based on fairy tale battle.

4 ( +11 / -7 )

Alex80 I basically agree with you about all the Koreans' obsession with Japan that you have noticed, because it's what I have noticed, too. I haven't seen the movie mentioned in this article, but I have seen a Korean soap opera ("The Race" or something like that). In this soap opera, they (Koreans) keep disparaging Japanese cars and implying that Korea makes better cars than Japan! I was surprised to hear that they dared say Italy envied Korea. Industry-wise, the Koreans still have so much to learn from and catch up with Italy and Japan.

That's pretty much what anyone would notice if they observed Korean attitudes towards Japan: Koreans are basically obsessed with comparing and proving themselves better and superior than the Japanese. So the question is, why do they keep doing this? What's with the fixation?

The simple answer is that they have a massive, deeply seated inferiority complex. Basically they know deep inside that Japan and Japanese are much more popular, respected, and admired internationally than they can ever hope to be but can't do anything about it. So, to compensate, they keep spouting off how great Korea is and always compare against Japan. It's some form of national-level psychosis where, if they keep repeating it over and over again, they'll feel better about themselves and they'll start to believe it, too.

They even have organized VANKers to do their online propaganda in the hopes people not familiar with Asian cultures will believe them. And they'll reach for anything, even claim that something as banal as pop music and the popularity of K-Pop is evidence that Korea is better than Japan. Never mind it's just government-funded, repackaged Western style pop music being promoted due to lack of any interesting real culture they're confident enough to export. Even worse, if you don't agree with their claims of Korean superiority over Japan they'll say you're just "jealous." Unbelievable. Grasping at straws is the only way to describe Koreans and their supporters. It's really sad.

A divided country since the 1950's, with their own flesh and blood to the North that can annihilate them and wipe out their cities in a blink of an eye. An eternal obsession with being seen as better and superior than Japan and taking every opportunity to tell anyone who'd listen, while oblivious to the fact that they look foolish in their desperation.

Seriously, you just have to feel sad for Korea and Koreans. What an unfortunate people and culture.

7 ( +10 / -3 )

Epically good. A parable for our times. Now we need another one about the Kamikaze episode in the Mongol invasion of Japan.....

-6 ( +0 / -6 )

some SKoreans people didn't understood that Italian people wanted to watch the derby, not Psy, but because of his presence (who nobody wanted) the ticket was overpriced. Italians protested that. Plus, if you dislike an artist, you can boo him also at La Scala di Milano, and you can't boo Psy? When I tried to explain these things to Koreans people who very, very MAD at Italy, they insulted my country saying we were Fascist allies with Japan, we are envy of SKorea because they are rich, they have Samsung, etc. I was like...really? Seriously? I'm not a nationalistic type, but why should Italy envy SKorea?

That's Korean logic for you. If you don't agree or praise anything or anyone from Korea, then you're envious, pro-Japan, etc. I like the Samsung part the best. Apparently it makes them feel superior because Samsung is Korean.

Incredible, isn't it?

5 ( +7 / -2 )

SamuraiBlue Whether you like it or not WW2 became the catalyst for independence from European colonism in the region and would not had happened without Japan.

And thank goodness Japan lost the war those countries weren't left colonized by the Japanese instead.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Don't have opinion for "what if" scenarios.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

@genjuro: their inferiority stems from centuries of being under the shadow of their stronger and more influential neighbors China and Japan. It's like a poor man who's been looked down upon on for all his life. He wins the lottery and needs to prove his worth but overcompensates in the process.

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

their inferiority stems from centuries of being under the shadow of their stronger and more influential neighbors China and Japan

No. their inferiority stems from their education where they brainwash their children to hate Japan.

9 ( +12 / -3 )

@tinawatanabeAUG. 18, 2014 - 05:21PM JST

No. their inferiority stems from their education where they brainwash their children to hate Japan.

You hit a nail on the head.

@Alex80AUG. 17, 2014 - 06:08PM JST

During Roma-Lazio derby, Psy was invited to sing, and the Italian public booed him. First embarrassing thing: some of the videos that showed this were erased because of "copyright", when you hear Psy songs in tons of other videos, the only difference here is that the public booed him, so it was bad advertising and the videos were deleted. Second embarrassing thing: some SKoreans people didn't understood that Italian people wanted to watch the derby, not Psy, but because of his presence (who nobody wanted) the ticket was overpriced. Italians protested that. Plus, if you dislike an artist, you can boo him also at La Scala di Milano, and you can't boo Psy? When I tried to explain these things to Koreans people who very, very MAD at Italy, they insulted my country saying we were Fascist allies with Japan, we are envy of SKorea because they are rich, they have Samsung, etc. I was like...really?

Something like this took place during last Winter Olympics. South Korean fans of Yuna Kim posted insults towards to Gold Winner Sotnikova in various social networks.

12 ( +15 / -3 )

Italy envied Korea.

Korean papers often say things like that if they felt any country had criticized SK. You can find "Japan envies Korea" version the most.

5 ( +9 / -4 )

Understandable!

0 ( +1 / -1 )

this is just a movie that produced ple-----nty income. Very successful in Korea. Hinomaru appeared in ancient Japanese history book, Emperor Monmu? It just depicted history in which Japan's military failed. It is just a movie. Not a big deal.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

their inferiority stems from their education where they brainwash their children to hate Japan.

If only they followed the Japanese education system where equality and respect for everyone - regardless of gender, ethnicity and race - is taught

2 ( +5 / -3 )

Yes akkk1. Exactly

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

S.Korea has always felt inferior to the Japanese. So when a film like this comes out, it is expected.

However, as a warning... don't get all pig headed like China. You'll end up looking like a fool and actually be inferior to other countries.

Take pride, but do it with dignity and respect.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Yuck.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Choi Minshik is an amazing actor and this is a very well made movie. It's being shown in metropolitan cities in the US concurrently. Stop being butthurt.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Meh.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

It's good that the Koreans have made this film... if they'd left it much longer there might have been a Hollywood version depicting how it was actually the good ol' USA who won that battle in 1597,

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

In SK movies don't need to be historically correct as long as it spurs national hate against Japan.

Haha, the upvotes to this post and the downvotes on my response to it (pointing out that out of the top 100 highest grossing films in Korea, no other film is about Japan) demonstrates a profound disconnect from reality in some people.

Some posts are matters of opinion and one is at liberty to agree or disagree, but that post was completely and utterly incorrect, but people chose to ignore the facts and take sides. Very interesting.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

Film on 1597 victory over Japan breaks Korean box office records

Where are the protests in the streets here in Japan? Where are the hordes of angry far-right wingers throwing bottle and bombs at the South Korean embassy? Well, there aren't any because the Japanese couldn't careless what South Korea does in South Korea and there is the difference.

If Japan would have made a movie about a Japanese victory against South Korea you would have seen and heard it. The South Korean's would have taken to the streets and cried foul and claimed to be victims (as usual). Hell, Korean's in the US would storm Congress and cry their alligator tears and beg (pay) Congress to do something about Japan.

This is just another example of who are the mature players in this game and who are the over emotional 10 year olds.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

JoeBigs, so now you're blaming Koreans for a bad thing they HAVEN'T done? That's very amusing. As for street protests against this movie not happening in Japan, it's not necessary - there are plenty of Korea-hate demonstrations already -- you know, the ones where bigoted and insecure Japanese accuse Koreans of committing all the crimes in Japan and yell stuff like, "Kill Koreans", "Drive Korean cockroaches out of Japan", and "Rape Korean women". Or have you been living under a rock?

And Mitch Cohen, you are absolutely spot-on when you say "Some posts are matters of opinion and one is at liberty to agree or disagree, but that post was completely and utterly incorrect, but people chose to ignore the facts and take sides. Very interesting.". It is indeed an interesting phenomenon; perhaps anthropologists could make a study of it. However, it's hardly novel in Japan. Just look at the history-deniers right here, like nigelboy and tinawatanabe, insisting "Not true! Not true!" against all objective sense. It's a wonderful illustration of the Japanese talent for make-believe -- also known as "Galapagos Syndrome".

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

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