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Anti-Korean stickers posted at several points along Shikoku pilgrimage route

86 Comments

Several racist stickers have been found posted at 13 locations along a famous pilgrimage route in three prefectures in Shikoku.

The first sticker was noticed in late March at a rest place along the 88 Temple Pilgrimage route in Takamatsu, Kagawa Prefecture, NHK reported. On Wednesday, more racist posters were spotted along the route in Yoshinogawa and Awa in Tokushima Prefecture, as well as at one site in Ehime Prefecture.

The 1,200-kilometer-long 88 Temple Pilgrimage (Shikoku Henro) is Japan's most famous pilgrimage route and draws many pilgrims on foot, cars, buses or bicycles. The pilgrimage has a history of 1,200 years.

Last year, a 38-year-old Korean woman, Choi Sang Hee, was chosen as the first foreign guide for pilgrims. To help foreign tourists not get lost, she recommended posting stickers giving directions along the route and got the OK to do so.

One of the racist posters said "Please protect our sacred sites from rude Koreans who are posting vile evil stickers and spoiling the route." Police said it was signed by a group claiming to be in charge of protecting Japan's pilgrimage routes.

A spokesman for the Shikoku 88 Temple Pilgrimage Association said discrimination cannot be tolerated and asked whoever was posting the racist messages to stop, NHK reported.

© Japan Today

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How disappointing. Not very "spiritually cleansing" is it?

11 ( +14 / -4 )

MGigante Apr. 12, 2014 - 06:50AM JST Anti-Japanese sentiment is rampant, but it is exhibited in different ways. Korean racism is based on feelings of humiliation over the Japanese colonization; the racists don't hate everything Japanese (well, some undoubtedly do).

When Koreans or Chinese stand up for their heritage it’s called pride and it’s considered good and normal in most countries, but when Japanese in Japan stand up for their own, they are considered “evil racists.” Clearly it’s a double standard aimed at attacking Japan.

9 ( +13 / -4 )

Oh my word, 13 stickers have been found with racist jargon on them!

The world is ending, all Japanese are to blame, Abe is to blame, meteors are to blame, the Easter bunny is to blame, no no wait it's the fault of Yasukuni shrine!

Yes, that must be the problem! Yasukuni shrine has the spirits of XX convicted criminals (no Bob, no bones just so called spirits) so that must be where all the hate in the world originates from!!!!!

Oh wait, could it be that this is the work of a bunch of idiots with a printer?

Nah, that can't be it, all the Japanese in Japan must all be racists!

Yeah, that's the ticket!

Anyone who voted for Abe and his party must be racists!

Okay, time to end my sideshow and time for some reality....

Japan's population that stands around 128 Million.

13 stickers are discovered in different location and this is news worthy?

Really, you folks think that 13 stickers is shocking?

If you think that this is shocking then you must be living in a bloody shell..

One more time for those that have problems......Japan's population stands at around 128,000,000 and finding 13 stickers means absolutely nothing!

This was as news worthy as someone passing gas at a train station!

Try harder Japan Today, there are more important things happening in the world than 13 silly racists stickers being found anywhere!

What I find really funny and shocking are the folks that are shocked and dismayed by this childish bs

Grow up people and join the real world.

8 ( +17 / -9 )

As some point out, this sticker issue is being taken WAY out of context.

I agree with Lloyd and a few others, the blind racism and hatred expressed towards all things Japan from your average Korean citizen is far more pervasive and worse than what is found in the average Japanese citizen.

Yes two wrongs don't make a right, but interesting how one side gets excused for their racism and hatred under the guise of past historical wrong doings.

8 ( +13 / -5 )

Sounds like the work of those sad, unemployed black-van cretins. Good to hear the Pilgrimage Association has condemned this disgusting racism.

7 ( +14 / -7 )

It doesn't actually say 'vile, evil'.

The translation itself is slightly inflammatory.

You could translate 'Kimochi warui' any number of other ways, such as 'unsightly' or 'unsettling' stickers, etc.

7 ( +9 / -2 )

Both of these stickers should be removed immediately. The stupid racist ones and the stupid Korean ones. What kind of moron just puts up stickers all over the country side?

6 ( +10 / -4 )

I checked and ... even worse the stickers are spamming a website that is currently down.

For folks who have never been on the Henro, there already are simple, non-linguistic graphics sign posting the pilgrimage. This really is a case of spamming to promote her own blog/website.

Part of understanding of this is to appreciate how locals feel about their own community and its street architecture.

Putting up bill posters all over the place is just not done in Japan.

6 ( +11 / -5 )

Re: Thomas, "On the poster, it says "Let's protect (ourselves) from the Koreans' hands". How is that not racist?"

No, not 'ourselves'.

Thomas, the poster says, "Let's protect our precious pilgrim paths from the hands of certain ill-mannered Koreans." ... who go around putting up unsightly stickers... etc.

Granted their language is racist in tone, but it just happens that the 2,000 or 4,000 stickers are in Korean, and not in Chinese or English. There is a grievance, or deep anger there, which would be pointed at English-speaking people if they had done the same thing. It breaks the law and disturbs the Wa of the ancient woods. Putting up the stickers was insensitive. Imagine putting up 2,000 Japanese stickers around a Korean holy island?

6 ( +10 / -4 )

If I had my way, I'd take them all down and replace them with official posters next to the Japanese ones. If it helps tourists contribute to the local economy and experience Japan's amazing, beautiful culture, why not?

@Papi2013,

Anti-Japanese sentiment is rampant, but it is exhibited in different ways. Korean racism is based on feelings of humiliation over the Japanese colonization; the racists don't hate everything Japanese (well, some undoubtedly do).

Japanese racism is a little different, and based more on a perceived increased foreign presence, generally.

6 ( +8 / -2 )

In summary, 1 fool, disguised as an organization, decides to put up discriminatory signs against Korean people. So this fools opinion represents the entire country's opinion? It's like saying some guy living in Busan talks to his buddies at the barber shop about how much he hates Japanese people. Then it becomes National news a few days later.

5 ( +8 / -3 )

4,000 stickers is moronic vandalism. Regardless of whether she is Korean or not, this dame obviously has some kind of obsessive compulsive disorder.

The Henro is perfectly well marked with non-intrudive, non-language specific symbols. Failing that people can buy specific map books ... or learn to accept that sometimes it is necessary to become lost to find one's self in a true Buddhist manner.

The complaint isn't racist, it's perfectly reasonable. Did anyone consult with all the communities involved before she started her campaign?

Why not just teach the K-tourists to read maps?

Pandering to tourism is part of the problem and part of the blame must lie with the people promoting it as that. Folks, it's a spiritual pilgrimage. It's meant to be a little difficult.

5 ( +10 / -5 )

tmarieApr. 11, 2014 - 08:25PM JST "Sure. And if some Japanese put up similar signs in Japanese for some religious/cultural place in Korea how long do you think it would last?" Did your mother never teach you "two wrongs don't make a right?" They might do the same thing has as been done >here - and it would be just as disgusting. What's your point?

You are obviously unaware of the degree of anti-Japanese racism in South Korea. Do you know that a Korean pop idol was refused broadcast because they used a "Japanese word" in their song? In contrast do you know how popular Korean dramas and KPOP are in Japan? Are you even aware of the extent to which anti-Japanese Korean racism is being spread outside in other third party countries?

5 ( +12 / -7 )

I have been to many of the temples in Shikoku and did so without the help of any signs posted along the way in any language. As a matter of fact, I haven't noticed many signs in Japanese either indicating a certain temple was this way or that way. That's the fun of hiking along these routes. That is, you have to use your beanie to find your way during the journey. I use English maps to get me in to the area I want to explore, then, if necessary, use a Japanese map to work my way into my intended temple.

I believe that signs or location indicators should not be posted along the way as they would spoil the local natural beauty that can be seen while trekking to the next temple. Besides, you can get more of feel for the area by trying to find a temple on your own.

And, if you want to try to see the 88 temples on your own ... believe me ... many of them are not easy to find. That's the challenge ... and the fun of the whole experience ...

4 ( +9 / -5 )

I think 4000 stickers are overkill, but let's remember Ms. Hee's motives : she was moved by the kindness she received when she visited Shikoku that she set up a website in her own country introducing the 88 temples. She has since brought many people over to share her experiences.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

Are you sure? I can see only her stickers on utility poles and road sign poles in the photos in her blog.

Yes...I lived in Ehime along the Henro path for 3 years.

There are stickers at every intersection along the route to prevent people from getting lost. The only difference between these stickers and the ones already plastered all over the place is the language they are written in.

Please note that the temples are not saying anything against the stickers and are denouncing the anti-Korean signs.

4 ( +8 / -4 )

4,000 stickers in a language that you don't understand are too much. Honestly, it's annoying for the local people.

Putting such stickers without permission is illegal, which somebody should have told the Korean guide in the first place.

In any case, I don't think we need such number of guiding arrows in the pilgrimage route. When we are lost, just let ourselves be lost. It may be an acetic training given by Buddha. Local people will be kind enough to help you, so just appreciate for their kindness. It's what we should do as a pilgrim, and people there are living in such tradition and culture.

Also, it is not fair to treat this case as an example of Japanese racism against foreigners. The Korean guide said it was to help foreign tourists not get lost, but how many of other foreigners can understand Korean language?

4 ( +8 / -4 )

notasapApr. 12, 2014 - 01:51AM JST It seems the professional umbragers are hard at work...first Japanese and Koreans are the same race. So what's with >the racist bit?

The word racism no longer requires participants to be specifically members of the Caucasoid, Negroid or Mongoloid race. That definition of "racism" ended a couple of decades ago and is now used to cover all ethnic, national and even religious differences.

Papi2013Apr. 12, 2014 - 01:30AM JST I'm more disgusted with the responses in this forum than the actual racist Japanese posters which are being justified >here. Wow, just wow.

Does the rampant anti-Japanese racism of Koreans not disgust you at all?

4 ( +13 / -9 )

I'm surprised that nobody has commented on the wording of the signs. Chosen-jin (朝鮮人) is used instead of Kankoku-jin (韓国人). This would only be done by someone who is either quite ignorant of the negative perception of the word among Koreans or by someone who intentionally wanted to cause offence.

Additionally, no official group would call upon people to remove signs themselves, but to report it to a relevant authoritative body. Nor would they use the unsophisticated and derogatory term 'Kimochi-warui' (気持ち悪い)to describe something, even if they did find it unpleasant.

Whether the Korean guide actually had official permission or not or whether one perceives the signage to be in bad taste is a separate matter.

From all indications the Japanese sign was created (likely by a single person) to appear official (albeit crudely), while conveying their own negative opinions about Koreans.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

@sfjp330,

I agree with you. 100%. I was just trying to show the

@Octagon,

My current Japanese girlfriend loves Korean dramas. She and her friends are going to Pusan, soon, and they're super excited. I haven't met many Japanese people who hate Korea, nor have I met many Koreans who hate Japan during my time over there.

However, racist feelings do exist. Koreans have their own brand of expressing racism against Japan, and Japan has it own way. They're different approaches.

Also, I'd be surprised if even a small minority of Japanese youth feels the way you describe. I've not seen it. That said, they should be proud to be Japanese as long as its not taken to excess. Its about time they started.

@Thomas Anderson,

I'm sorry you don't understand this, but you can't ignore Korea's anti-Japanese sentiment when you talk about Japanese racism against Korea. The former is far more statistically significant, with 2/3's of Koreans having a negative view of Japan, and less than 30% of Japanese feeling negatively about Korea according to a 2013 BBC world poll.

I also think you are going a little too far in your indignation. No one here is claiming Koreans "always have bad intention." Nor has anyone said that Koreans are "...evil, nasty, [or] ugly."

The response was extremely minimal, 13 stickers (the work a handful of people, most probably just 1 person), that were condemned by the association handling the pilgrimage route.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

There is a vocal segment of readers on this site who claim that all Koreans are brainwashed to have a burning hatred for all things Japanese in their hearts. Yet, when confronted with Koreans who visit Japan to experience its beautiful culture and heritage, they can only respond with hate. If these stickers don't follow local regulations then they should be taken down, but must it be done with a heaping side of racism? Some of the responses to this article here make me wonder who's really brainwashed to have a blinded, burning hatred for whom.

3 ( +7 / -4 )

I agree with Lloyd and a few others, the blind racism and hatred expressed towards all things Japan from your average Korean citizen is far more pervasive and worse than what is found in the average Japanese citizen.

Yes two wrongs don't make a right, but interesting how one side gets excused for their racism and hatred under the guise of past historical wrong doings.

Well said. For Koreans there's nothing wrong with double standards as long as it's against Japan. It's just business as usual.

3 ( +7 / -4 )

Last year, a 38-year-old Korean woman, Choi Sang Hee, was chosen as the first foreign guide for pilgrims. To help foreign tourists not get lost, she recommended posting stickers giving directions along the route and got the OK to do so.

It is also reported that this Korean guide put 2,000 stickers along the 88 temples. http://doumin.exblog.jp/18760786/

It is also questioned if she really received OK, for many of the stickers were put on road sign poles.

2 ( +14 / -12 )

it needs protecting from rude people who are Korean that are posting vile evil stickers

What's vile and evil about giving the directionally-challenged directions?

Sticking up notices saying that the stickers are vile and evil and telling people to remove them, just because they're Korean, seems more vile and evil to me.

I'd be more interested in seeing a photo of the Korean sign than the Japanese one.

Mister Google is your friend. :-)

http://doumin.exblog.jp/18760786/

I can't see anything objectionable in the round stickers. The square one seems to be a bit bigger and has 'Korea' printed on it in English, I can't really see the point of that.

2 ( +9 / -7 )

MiyukisAPR. 11, 2014 - 05:17PM JST I don't think it was particularly racist. It doesn't say that ALL Koreans are rude, just that it needs protecting from rude people who are Korean that are posting vile evil stickers. Surely nobody wants that, irrespective of where they are from?

Interesting. The signs are not exactly friendly are they? Why are they written in Japanese if they are intended to inform Koreans? There is a sign in the Cotswalds of England written in Japanese which states "Please be so kind as not to walk on the private gardens". Much more respectful and polite. It doesn't say in English, "Stop the rude Japanese from walking on the gardens".

2 ( +9 / -7 )

Thomas/Chucky/Egloo/Eiji/etc.,

I personally find it to be an ugly looking script. So, what's the problem?

Stop getting emotional and focus on the topic.

Sorry, it was 4,000 stickers that the Korean guide has put on the road along the 88 temples, rather than 2,000.

Man, it's even worse than I thought. This must be the equivalent of spamming in real life. Again, do Koreans need that much help finding their way?

2 ( +10 / -8 )

It looks the Korean woman had a very good time during her pilgrimage in Japan. You can tell from her photos.

http://blog.daum.net/shikokuohenro/102

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Miyukis

I don't think it was particularly racist. It doesn't say that ALL Koreans are rude, just that it needs protecting from rude people who are Korean that are posting vile evil stickers. Surely nobody wants that, irrespective of where they are from?

As expected, there are excuses.

On the poster, it says "Let's protect (ourselves) from the Koreans' hands". How is that not racist?

1 ( +12 / -11 )

Joe Bigs, my hats to you, post of the month.

1 ( +7 / -6 )

In reference to Thomas Anderson's post:

Maybe so, but he seems to mention it as though it's only Japanese that are racist to the Koreans. Let's not forget that the Japanese are on the receiving end of much worse racism from the Koreans themselves. I'm friends with a few of Koreans, you've only got to mention the word "Japan" to them and they give you a look of disgust and a mouthful of bad words about Japan. Seems to be the case for the majority of Korean people. From my own personal experience of meeting several Koreans, the Koreans will find some way or another to tell you bad things about Japan if they know you have any association with Japan at all.

Pretty much most Koreans are anti-Japan.

I felt the need for this to be mentioned, especially after seeing Thomas Anderson's post and to the people who were shocked and disappointed at the racist stickers. Just a reminder that the Koreans are much worse.

1 ( +9 / -8 )

Use of Choseon is not discriminatory or derogatory by itself. You have to see the context.

Oh please, it's 2014 Japan. By choosing the word Chosen-jin instead of Kankoku-jin, the author of the signs was making an anti-Korean racist slur.

This is why the police and Shikoku temple associations are calling them racist posters.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

"wavelength" ... a belated reply to your question above concerning information on the Shikoku trek.

My favorite map/information guide is "Shikoku Japan ... Pilgrimage to the 88 Sacred Places ... Guide Map." It is >published by the Shikoku Tourism Promotion Association. Its URL is: http://www.shikoku.gr.jp/

I picked up my copy at a tourist information center in Takamatsu, Kagawa Prefecture.

That's just great. Cheers, mate!! I probably won't be getting to all 88 then, but I'll give it a try.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Just goes to prove that racism against Koreans is still very much alive and well in Japan.

0 ( +17 / -16 )

I wonder how people in my hometown would react if stickers written in Arabic or Farsi were suddenly plastered all over a famous walking route?

0 ( +9 / -9 )

Just goes to prove that racism against Koreans is still very much alive and well in Japan.

Thomas, I would say that it is alive but not very much. Shikoku 88 Temple Pilgrimage Association and NHK showing this on TV, the punishment for the "Japanese only" sign at the Urawa Red's game, the anti-racist demos on the other side of the street against racist right-wings marching in Shin Okubo.

I'm really glad to hear people in Japan are standing against racism and putting a stop to it.

0 ( +6 / -6 )

edojin, did you have any good guides to get you going on the "henro?" I was thinking taking a sabbatical and spending a couple of months in Shikoku sometime this year or next. Any advice?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

UpgrayeddApr. 11, 2014 - 07:47PM JST

There are literally tens of thousands of stickers in Japanese along these routes.

Are you sure? I can see only her stickers on utility poles and road sign poles in the photos in her blog. http://blog.daum.net/shikokuohenro/102

0 ( +6 / -6 )

UpgrayeddApr. 11, 2014 - 08:27PM JST

Yes...I lived in Ehime along the Henro path for 3 years.

There are stickers at every intersection along the route to prevent people from getting lost

I used google street view. I could not find any of such stickers. Every intersection? Am I missing something?

0 ( +5 / -5 )

me

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Seriously?

Do you even live in Japan?

It's 2014 - In popular usage, "Chosen-jin" means NORTH Korean only. In fact, most dictionaries say something like "Korean, especially North Korean". Sure, the word technically refers to all Koreans of the peninsula but it stopped being used that way 70 years ago.

Now we have to consider the facts that North Koreans do not get to travel to Shikoku (or Japan) to take part in religious pilgrimages, and the Zainichi Koreans who continue to identify with the North would not need Hangul signage to get around Shikoku because they read Japanese natively. It becomes quite clear that whoever made the signs was making an anti-Korean racist statement. And again, the local police, governments, and temple associations agree the signs are pure racism.

Lastly, there are nowhere near 1,000,000 zainichi North Kroeans living in Japan :)

0 ( +1 / -1 )

UpgrayeddApr. 14, 2014 - 11:46AM JST

It's 2014 - In popular usage, "Chosen-jin" means NORTH Korean only.

Then, what is the Japanese word that refers to Koreans that includes both South and North?

You cannot answer, can you? The answer is Chosen-jin.

The Koreans as an ethnic group is called Chosen-jin in the Japanese language, whereas South Korean nationals are called Kankoku-jin, and North Korean nationals are called Kita-Chosen-jin.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

UpgrayeddApr. 14, 2014 - 02:11PM JST

I am curious why you stick to that falsehood, against dictionary definition, against what this native Japanese speaker says, and against the contradiction that, if what you say were true, the Japanese language would have no word for "Korea."

Chosen-go is not a racist slur. You can find Chosen-go language courses in the syllabus of the Tokyo University of Foreign Studies, as well as that of the University of Kyoto. They are the most prestigious universities in language education in Japan. http://www.tufs.ac.jp/education/lc/school/lc_korean.html

http://www.bun.kyoto-u.ac.jp/wp-content/uploads/2010/03/7154aba450120c0274961c351ae1265b.pdf

Choseon Ilbo is the most popular newspaper in South Korea. http://www.chosun.com/ I do not think South Koreans would be offended by the word Chosen.

Why do you stick to the false idea that "Chosen" is a racial slur? Is it because someone imprinted something in you? The answer would also be an answer to similar questions regarding Korea Japan relations.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

just yesterday I watched in tv a polling asking common citizens on the streets: should Japan alow more foreigners into its workforce??

20% Yes 40% No 40% Don't know/Others

How racist can be that???

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Large pasted stickers written in characters unreadable you Holy for you guys feel bad?

Is it discrimination?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I truly admire the real man who did this. I mean, if anonymously posting stickers at random locations does not truly represent all that is the indomitable Japanese Spirit, I don't know what is.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

It is also reported that this Korean guide put 2,000 stickers along the 88 temples. http://doumin.exblog.jp/18760786/

It is also questioned if she really received OK, for many of the stickers were put on road sign poles.

Well, that puts it into perspective. I mean, do they need that many stickers especially if they have a guide already?? I can't believe Koreans can be that dumb that they need to be spoonfed that much info. If your typical white gaijin who barely knows any Japanese or identify Chinese characters can follow along the route, why can't they?

If Koreans are posting notes in Hangul all over the route, then I would kind of understand locals being annoyed. In the current climate (and taking into account that people probably can't read them), most people probably imagine they are saying "Takeshima is Korean!" or something along those lines.

Understandable, plus the fact it's questionable if she got permission for many of those postings. They shouldn't have let her put up those hangeul stickers in the first place, which personally I find to be an ugly looking script. Besides, I'd prefer that it be English or Chinese which is more useful than Korean as they're more universally understood.

-1 ( +8 / -9 )

genjuro

Understandable, plus the fact it's questionable if she got permission for many of those postings. They shouldn't have let her put up those hangeul stickers in the first place, which personally I find to be an ugly looking script. Besides, I'd prefer that it be English or Chinese which is more useful than Korean as they're more universally understood.

Amazing. What did I say about making excuses? Gotta love your little shots at Koreans.

Oh and some of them have Japanese on them.

http://blog.daum.net/shikokuohenro/102

-1 ( +9 / -10 )

Just saw the Korean sign on TV. It is ugly ... should be removed ... At the same time, the Japanese replies should be removed, too ... Just leave the routes the way they were ... no such signs ...

-1 ( +7 / -8 )

The only objection people have with these stickers are the fact that they are written in Korean.

There are literally tens of thousands of stickers in Japanese along these routes.

-1 ( +5 / -6 )

Took my a whole 5 seconds to find this one out in the middle of nowhere.

https://maps.google.com/?ll=33.665747,132.981589&spn=0.004014,0.008256&t=m&z=18&layer=c&cbll=33.665784,132.981557&panoid=bhEIYHZ8uVdLz9LpJNR8Aw&cbp=13,84.59,,0,15.06

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Ignore the typical, expected response. We, as "Foreigners" come to EXPECT this in Japan. "How about the also typical question: "WHY did you come to Japan" ? Sound FAMILIAR ?

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

They're not racist stickers. The Korean woman Choi Sang Hee put 4,000 Korean posters all over in Shikoku, Japan. Why doesn't the article mention about it?

-1 ( +8 / -9 )

The sad thing is that these kinds of incidents are taking place all over East Asia in one form or another.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

oldman_13APR. 11, 2014 - 08:36PM JST Unfortunate but these sort of things happen. And even more unfortunately, incidents like these only add fuel to the anti Japan crowd, who will latch onto every little example like these to 'prove' that 'all' Japanese are narrow minded bigots and racists. And, of course, these people will conveniently overlook the Japanese organization and individuals speaking out against this.

That's just rich coming from you. As if you're any better.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Economically Korean economy are roaring. Recent my visit to Yangon (known as Rangoon), Japanese firms are struggling to get the small slice of market for newly opened nation. K dramas and K pops are capturing the fans there. Samsung and LG have transformed highly competitive brands instead of Sony, Panasonic, Sharp and Toshiba. Korean wave Hallyu is making the hit there. There are some jealousy of Japanese exporters and J ultra nationalists for Korean wave.

Hmmm. According to JETRO, Japanese imports increased doubled fold in 2012 placing them third behind China and Singapore while Korea has just one third the amount of Japan, 24% decrease from 2011.

https://www.jetro.go.jp/world/gtir/2013/pdf/2013-mm.pdf

Feel sorry for this woman for her efforts to promote this route but there already exists signs and stickers (doesn't have to be in any language, just a picture and a direction arrow would be suffice, me thinks). 4,000 with some placed without permission is excessive.

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

nitpickynedApr. 12, 2014 - 07:40AM JST

I'm surprised that nobody has commented on the wording of the signs. Chosen-jin (朝鮮人) is used instead of Kankoku-jin (韓国人). This would only be done by someone who is either quite ignorant of the negative perception of the word among Koreans or by someone who intentionally wanted to cause offence.

A Kankoku-jin means a South Korean, whereas a Chosen-jin mines a Korean, both North and South. The official name of North Korea is Choseon Minchu Chuui Inmin Konghoekuk, in which Choseon is a Korean equivalent of Chosen in Japanese. Because the Korean language has 8 vowels, whereas Japanese has only 5 vowels, "eo" sound must be reduced to "e" sound in Japanese. North Koreans will get angry if they were called Kankoku-jin.

From 1393 to 1897, the country name of Korea was Choseon. Because of this historical use of the name for more than 500 years, a lot of vocabulary with Chosen is left in Japanese. The peninsula is called Chosen-hanto, Kimchi is called Chosen-zuke, the white pottery from Korea is called Chosen-hakuji, the language is called Chosen-go, whereas Kankoku-go refers to the language spoken in South Korea, and the ethnic group is called Chosen-jin, whereas Kankoku-jin refers to people with South Korean nationality.

From 1st century to 5th century, southern part of Korean peninsula was called Han or Kan, whereas northern part was called Kokuryeo, which is one of the origins of the English word "Korea." This historical fact reinforces the limited use of "Kan" to South Korea, whose official name is Dae HAN Minguk, where HAN is equivalent to Kan in Japanese.

Use of Choseon is not discriminatory or derogatory by itself. You have to see the context.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

UpgrayeddApr. 14, 2014 - 10:27AM JST

You should look up the dictionary to see the difference between Chosen-jin and Kankoku-jin.

Ask a North Korean, and he will tell you Chosen-jin is the right word and Kankoku-jin is out of question. There are about a million North Koreans in Japan and you do not have difficulty finding.

If you ask a South Korean, he will tell you all the bad things about the word Chosen-jin, but he does not really mean it. The only one reason South Koreans do not like the word Chosen-jin is that they think it pro-North Korean.

I think Thomas Anderson will agree with me.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Sorry, it was 4,000 stickers that the Korean guide has put on the road along the 88 temples, rather than 2,000.

This is a link to her blog, showing where she put her stickers. http://blog.daum.net/shikokuohenro/102

-2 ( +10 / -12 )

Good old intolerance, and proof that whoever put it up has no reverence for nor believe in the pilgrimage by spouting racism.

-2 ( +8 / -10 )

Thomas AndersonApr. 11, 2014 - 04:38PM JST Just goes to prove that racism against Koreans is still very much alive and well in Japan.

Sure. And if some Japanese put up similar signs in Japanese for some religious/cultural place in Korea how long do you think it would last?

-2 ( +9 / -11 )

Both parties are dumb! But the Korean is wayyy beyond reasonable dumbness.

-2 ( +8 / -10 )

One of the racist posters said “Please protect our sacred sites from rude Koreans who are posting vile evil stickers and spoiling the route.” Police said it was signed by a group claiming to be in charge of protecting Japan’s pilgrimage routes.

Anyone who confuses Japan's scripted politeness to strangers with actual warmth and humanity towards others just needs to read this to see how thin that veneer really is.

-2 ( +6 / -8 )

@CH3CHO

After reading the blog of the Korean guide, I found that she is genuinely happy to help people on the pilgrimage. She also says in her blog that she eliminated the word "KOREA" from her new stickers because some Japanese may feel bad seeing the word, which is rather strange.

I see the objection , why she had the need to write Korea at first place ? And why only Korea word is written on English, and why sun sign on O letter of Korea ? Is she promoting pilgrimage , or she promoting Korea ? Thats the proof that she wanted to do more than just helping Korean people find temples, she wanted to promote Korea to the non-Koreans with those signs , having name Korea on english and with sun in letter O is classic example of touristic promotion .Its like, " you visited these Japan temples , but come in Korea too, we got great sun there " .

-2 ( +6 / -8 )

sfjp330 Apr. 12, 2014 - 07:03AM JST

Korean racism is based on feelings of humiliation over the Japanese colonization; the racists don't hate everything Japanese (well, some undoubtedly do)

At least. racist Koreans tolerate the Japanese characters whether they like it not. I have had Japanese girlfriend which smashed my kimchi Jar due to displaying Korean characters on the label. She told me she hates Korean more than snakes and cobra.

On the contrary, my Korean friend did not break Sake bottle I gave him as gift. He treasured my gift and praised about the taste. He told me Japanese food and wine are something unique.

Many Pro J posters should realize that some new generation of Japanese mentality are not much different from pre war nationalist generation belief of superior, pure and clean Yamato clan. Oversea Japanese born and raised in oversea are more open minded and tolerable. Hawaii born Japanese friend said being Japanese is nothing special. He admitted Japanese ancestors did not come from Sun.

-2 ( +5 / -7 )

McGiganteApr. 12, 2014 - 12:38PM JST

@sfjp330,

I agree with you. 100%. I was just trying to show the

Bias? In fact Korean tourists are contributing the ailing Japanese economy. There is nothing wrong about displaying their written stickers for their tour. After all bucks stop there. Japanese should welcome them instead of threating them as inferior race. No Korean including my friends have never complained about Japanese stickers. Japanese even have no own characters and adopted Kanji from Chinese.

My current Japanese girlfriend loves Korean dramas. She and her friends are going to Pusan, soon, and they're super excited. I haven't met many Japanese people who hate Korea, nor have I met many Koreans who hate Japan during my time over there.

Good on you for having Korean tolerarant J girl friend. You are more fortunate than me. Recently I was in soccer match and I saw many soccer fans displaying Japanese only English sign. Their target was Japanese citizen Korean player in their national team. I have met many Japanese who thinks they are superior race over Korean or other Asians. Some people protested too much K dramas are showing prime time Japanese TVs. Some people protested K pops is poisoning the youth.

Economically Korean economy are roaring. Recent my visit to Yangon (known as Rangoon), Japanese firms are struggling to get the small slice of market for newly opened nation. K dramas and K pops are capturing the fans there. Samsung and LG have transformed highly competitive brands instead of Sony, Panasonic, Sharp and Toshiba. Korean wave Hallyu is making the hit there. There are some jealousy of Japanese exporters and J ultra nationalists for Korean wave.

Japanese should tolerate and friendly with neighbors. Threating tourists with disrespect manner will make Japan as unfit nation for hosting the warm and friendly Olympic. Japan is becoming the land of setting Sun.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Korean_Wave

http://www.academia.edu/3236261/The_Korean_Wave_in_Southeast_Asia_The_Case_of_Singapore

-2 ( +5 / -7 )

Unfortunate but these sort of things happen. And even more unfortunately, incidents like these only add fuel to the anti Japan crowd, who will latch onto every little example like these to 'prove' that 'all' Japanese are narrow minded bigots and racists. And, of course, these people will conveniently overlook the Japanese organization and individuals speaking out against this.

-3 ( +7 / -10 )

I love how this article is about a racist Japanese person who put up a poster that said that the "vile and disgusting" Korean stickers should be removed and the Japanese soil should be protected from the Koreans' hands, yet the blame squarely goes on the Koreans.

Where else would get this kind of an attitude elsewhere? It baffles the mind.

Unbelievable...

-3 ( +4 / -7 )

For people making excuses that "Well, Koreans are also anti-Japan!", well, that just proves its racist attitude toward Koreans. This particular Korean person who put up stickers to help the tourist has nothing to do with the anti-Japan Koreans or whatever. You're labeling ALL Koreans as "anti-Japan" and therefore must "always have bad intentions, they're evil, nasty, ugly", etc. That's clearly RACIST. You can't deny it, for those who still don't seem to understand the concept of racism yet.

-3 ( +6 / -9 )

"wavelength" ... a belated reply to your question above concerning information on the Shikoku trek.

My favorite map/information guide is "Shikoku Japan ... Pilgrimage to the 88 Sacred Places ... Guide Map." It is published by the Shikoku Tourism Promotion Association. Its URL is: http://www.shikoku.gr.jp/

I picked up my copy at a tourist information center in Takamatsu, Kagawa Prefecture.

An American friend tried to see all 88 temples in two two-week tries in consecutive years about 20 years ago. He used very detailed Japanese language maps ... and still did not see all of them. Like me, he found that many are located in difficult-to-find and hard-to-get-to places ... no matter what kind of map you use.

I have met Japanese at temples on the trek and I found that the ones I had difficulty in reaching they also had problems getting there.

My Japanerse niece-in-law has been to all 88 temples twice. I have met other people who have been to all 88 temples ... but all of them went on arranged bus tours. And when they mention this to me, they sort of whisper it ...

You see, to those purists who trek from temple to temple ... going on arranged tours is considered CHEATING!!

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

For the record I do not hate Koreans. My personal experiences have all be negative when dealing with Koreans. So 13 stickers are put up by a few people, the result is the entire Japanese nation is labeled as racist. Thousands of stickers are put up in Japan in Korean. Papi2013, I am sorry they do not announce anything in Japanese and this includes the subways. I remember signs in English but no Japanese signs. I can not read a word of Korean but remember seeing the san kanji at a station. Somehow the Korean people always know I am a Japanese national. I am from Okinawa and look more Chinese than Japanese. Then again I can trace my roots to China. Anyhow I wish they would give it a rest and stop putting up their stickers. I wonder if any of them are on private property? Foreign people come to Japan and do not respect the local culture. A frequent one is their taking money from roadside shrines. Also thinking "finders keepers looser weepers". Again and again my views come from my lives experiences. I am sure there are nice Korean people, I just have never meet them. My kibo is to meet them one day.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

You are arguing semantics and ignoring the popular and most common usages of those words; not to mention completely ignoring the absolutely huge cultural, political, even physical differences that have grown between South and North Korea since 1945.

"Chosen-jin" doesn't refer to the people of the Korean peninsula anymore because there are simply too many differences between the North and South. "(Kita) Chosen-jin" is understood by most of Japan as being a North Korean and "Kankoku-jin" as a South Korean.

99.9% of Koreans visiting Japan would be offended if someone started calling them a "Chosen-jin" or if someone asked if they could practice their "Chosen-go" with them. This is because the rest of Japan and Korea have come to see this word used in this context as a racist slur.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

http://blog.daum.net/shikokuohenro/102

After reading the blog of the Korean guide, I found that she is genuinely happy to help people on the pilgrimage. She also says in her blog that she eliminated the word "KOREA" from her new stickers because some Japanese may feel bad seeing the word, which is rather strange.

The problem is that putting stickers on utility poles and road sign poles, as seen in the photos in her blog, is generally not allowed in Japan. I do not think utility companies or police headquarters issued permit on the stickers and even if they did, they would demand a large sum of advertisement fees from the guide.

Someone should have told her the regulations in Japan, and I feel sorry for her.

-4 ( +7 / -11 )

Sure. And if some Japanese put up similar signs in Japanese for some religious/cultural place in Korea how long do you think it would last?

Did your mother never teach you "two wrongs don't make a right?" They might do the same thing has as been done here - and it would be just as disgusting. What's your point? They might be just as ignorant and intolerant as some Japanese?

-4 ( +7 / -11 )

I suppose it never occurred to people that not everyone visiting Shikoku reads Japanese? How about if the signs were in english?? Would there be this kind of response? Instead of working together to solve the situation, they provide propaganda fodder for the media. Sounds like a microcosm of Korean and Japanese relations these days.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

Unfortunate but these sort of things happen. And even more unfortunately, incidents like these only add fuel to the anti Japan crowd, who will latch onto every little example like these to 'prove' that 'all' Japanese are narrow minded bigots and racists.

@oldman_13: Japanese people never ever use examples of Koreans who are anti-Japan to 'prove' that all Koreans are racist, do they now?

-5 ( +7 / -12 )

sfhp330

When Koreans or Chinese stand up for their heritage it’s called pride and it’s considered good and normal in most countries, but when Japanese in Japan stand up for their own, they are considered “evil racists.” Clearly it’s a double standard aimed at attacking Japan.

Like how this racist poster "stood up for Japan", by saying that the Korean stickers are "vile and disgusting", and should be removed? That's what you mean by "Japanese standing up for Japan"?

When Koreans and Chinese stand up against Japanese imperialism, it's "anti-Japan". Double standards.

Papi2013

I'm more disgusted with the responses in this forum than the actual racist Japanese posters which are being justified here. Wow, just wow.

It's too bad that it wasn't the Japanese authorities who could have put up Korean signs for the benefit of the Korean tourists who represent the greatest number of tourists to Japan from abroad. Instead, a Korean tour guide had to do what the Japanese tourism industry should have done long ago. But you know, it would hurt the pride of the Japanese to have any "ugly" Korean signs anywhere in Japan. I guess it's the attitude of we want your money but we don't want you to come to Japan.

Well said. Again, it just proves my point. Racism against Koreans in Japan is still alive and well, even considered to be somewhat normal, as Koreans are still often seen as nothing more than a nuisance by many, even though by not all, obviously.

-5 ( +4 / -9 )

Koreans should stop this ridiculous behavior.

There is a sacred place of natural faith of Japan.

Koreans will insult Jesus Christ.

Koreans will burn the Koran.

Koreans will pollute the natural faith of Japan.

They do not understand the culture and religion.

-6 ( +7 / -13 )

Does the rampant anti-Japanese racism of Koreans not disgust you at all?

I've been to Korea many times, and I did not see any rampant anti-Japanese racism. If anything, I did see lots of helpful signs in Japanese writings in touristy places for the benefit of the Japanese tourists in Korea. There were also Japanese street signs, in subways, and there are also street signs and highway signs in Japanese as well. Underground train stations also announce their stops in English, Japanese, and even Chinese. Have you ever even been to Korea, "OssanAmerica"? It's too bad that it wasn't the Japanese authorities who could have put up Korean signs for the benefit of the Korean tourists who represent the greatest number of tourists to Japan from abroad. Instead, a Korean tour guide had to do what the Japanese tourism industry should have done long ago. But you know, it would hurt the pride of the Japanese to have any "ugly" Korean signs anywhere in Japan. I guess it's the attitude of we want your money but we don't want you to come to Japan.

-6 ( +6 / -12 )

Well said. For Koreans there's nothing wrong with double standards as long as it's against Japan. It's just business as usual.

For Japanese there's nothing wrong with double standards as long as it's against Korea. It's just business as usual.

-6 ( +3 / -9 )

I don't think it was particularly racist. It doesn't say that ALL Koreans are rude, just that it needs protecting from rude people who are Korean that are posting vile evil stickers. Surely nobody wants that, irrespective of where they are from?

-7 ( +13 / -19 )

I don't think it was particularly racist. It doesn't say that ALL Koreans are rude, just that it needs protecting from rude people who are Korean that are posting vile evil stickers. Surely nobody wants that, irrespective of where they are from

A fine example of head in the sand, "isn't not racist", make an excuse... that is so widely seen here. Bravo. Eye roll.

You know what I'd like to be protected from? Ignorant Japanese folks making vile posts and comments about non-Japanese.

-7 ( +8 / -15 )

If Koreans are posting notes in Hangul all over the route, then I would kind of understand locals being annoyed. In the current climate (and taking into account that people probably can't read them), most people probably imagine they are saying "Takeshima is Korean!" or something along those lines.

Hmm, there is a Korean speaking guide and I assume a Korean map of the route too, but Koreans are still getting lost? Seems they are as useless abroad as the Japanese. Again, more similar than either would like to admit.

-8 ( +13 / -21 )

I'm more disgusted with the responses in this forum than the actual racist Japanese posters which are being justified here. Wow, just wow.

-8 ( +5 / -13 )

You are obviously unaware of the degree of anti-Japanese racism in South Korea. Do you know that a Korean pop idol was refused broadcast because they used a "Japanese word" in their song? In contrast do you know how popular Korean dramas and KPOP are in Japan? Are you even aware of the extent to which anti-Japanese Korean racism is being spread outside in other third party countries?

I am not unaware of it at all. Assumptions on your part. So some folks are anti-Japanese. Does being anti-Korean help matters? Are you aware of how Japan helps spread anti-Japanese racism by posting discrimnatory stickers and "Japanese only" posters, flags and signs to be covered in the news? The constant bashing of Koreans on this site by folks like yourself only makes Japan look bad. Indeed, Korea certainly has it's issues woth anti-Japanese feelings but you do yourself, and Japan, no favours by bashing them in return.

And I am sure you're aware that Jpop and the like is also popular in Korea, right? It seems the younger generation is much more open and forgiving. A shame that older folks like yourself seem so hell bent on stirring the pot and promating hatred instead of looking past things and trying to work together to put differences aside and start getting along. This Korea was trying to do that. Did she perhaps go over the top with a billion stickers? Sure but the push back from Japan on the matter is disgusting - and hurtful. And sadly, becoming far too common here.

-8 ( +3 / -11 )

"If Koreans are posting notes in Hangul all over the route, then I would kind of understand local sbeing annoyed"... "If the signs were shabby or posted in inappropriate locations, or posted only in Korean. this response was partially justified. It also strikes me as a bit stupid to have signs replicated in Korean"..."I believe that signs or location indicators should not be posted along the way"..."They shouldn't have let her put up those hangeul stickers"

Well then, I guess the local Japanese authorities were a bit stupid for #1. Giving permission to put up the stickers; #2. For not having the foresight to make them multilingual. Oh, and about this gem:

"They shouldn't have let her put up those hangeul stickers in the first place, which personally I find to be an ugly looking script"

No, not hateful at all^^. I geess it would be helpful here as a lesson to those who assume the world shares their opinions in everything exactly, that I've known someone who thought Japanese writing (the part that's not Chinese, that is) looked like a bunch of writhing worms. And no, she was not Chinese or Korean. Nor was she a linguist -- most of whom have nothing but praise for Hangeul BTW, who consier it one of the best scripts ever devised in history, and incomparably superior to the clumsy, difficult and confusing Japanese writing, whose users often can't even figure out how to write a stranger's name until it's explained to them.

-10 ( +1 / -11 )

CokeBillApr. 11, 2014 - 04:53PM JST If Koreans are posting notes in Hangul all over the route, then I would kind of understand locals being annoyed. In the current climate (and taking into account that people probably can't read them), most people probably imagine they are saying "Takeshima is Korean!" or something along those lines.

I agree. I'd be more interested in seeing a photo of the Korean sign than the Japanese one. If the signs were shabby or posted in inappropriate locations, or posted only in Korean... well, I'd say that this response was partially justified.

It also strikes me as a bit stupid to have signs replicated in Korean, because .. well, one sign in Japanese, one sign in Korean... then add a sign in Mandarin, then another in Cantonese, then another in English, then one in Tagalog, then another in .... Well, you get the picture, soon you won't be able to see the sights at all. They should rather have reprinted the official signs in a multilingual format.

-19 ( +10 / -29 )

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