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Remembering

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South Korean residents in Japan offer prayers in front of the cenotaph for Korean atomic bomb victims at the Peace Memorial Park in Hiroshima on Friday, on the eve of the 66th anniversary of the world's first atomic bombing on this city.

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No offense but why do the Koreans NEED a separate ceremony? Cant they just pray WITH the locals?

-7 ( +4 / -10 )

papigiuklo; learn about why and you might discover the answer.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Papiguillio: Read up on it, as steve suggests. Not only did many die along with Japanese in the atomic bombings, but when being forcefully shipped back to Korea (after being originally forced to Japan) Japanese ships/subs willingly hit and sunk the ships full of people. Some among a lot (and far too much) of bad stuff the Imperial Army did to it's neighbours.

8 ( +10 / -2 )

Papigiulio,

Because it took them nearly 40 years for the Japanese government to even acknowledge that non-Japanese died in Hiroshima. I'm not sure but if I recall, this cenotaph isn't IN the park; it's NEAR the park.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

@smithinjapan

Papiguillio: Read up on it, as steve suggests. Not only did many die along with Japanese in the atomic bombings, but when being forcefully shipped back to Korea (after being originally forced to Japan) Japanese ships/subs willingly hit and sunk the ships full of people. Some among a lot (and far too much) of bad stuff the Imperial Army did to it's neighbours.

That is absolutely RIGHT. Not to mention the public lynching many Koreans suffered at the hands of the locals after the Great Hanshin Earthquake. It's just TOO MUCH horrible stuff done by the Imperial Army of Japan that this corrupted government tries to erase from our history. Noting that at least half of these very old government bureaucrats are descendants from those War Criminals.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

BlueWitch, I agree with you about this, the politicians of today are trying to whitewash the events of the past. There is no excuse for the events then or now. About being descendant from war criminals. A person has no control over the actions of his ancestors especially before they were born. Perhaps being held accountable for these criminals is why they are trying to blot it out. Anyway a person needs to be accountable for their own actions and trying to revise the past is unacceptable. Lets not turn a lovely ceremony into political pap.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

No offense but why do the Koreans NEED a separate ceremony? Cant they just pray WITH the locals?

Good question.

There are Koreans(about 2,300) listed on 原爆死没者名簿 (List of names who died as a result of Atomic Bomb) since they started compiling the list 1952. It's just that the Korean civic group wanted to build a separate monument memorial 慰霊碑 for themselves even though they were already honored at the main monument memorial "20 Cenotaph for the A-bomb Victims"

For those who are unidentified (70K), they are honoured here.

http://www.pcf.city.hiroshima.jp/virtual/VirtualMuseum_j/tour/ireihi/tour_09.html

-6 ( +1 / -7 )

BlueWitch, I agree with you about this, the politicians of today are trying to whitewash the events of the past. There is no excuse for the events then or now. About being descendant from war criminals. A person has no control over the actions of his ancestors especially before they were born. Perhaps being held accountable for these criminals is why they are trying to blot it out. Anyway a person needs to be accountable for their own actions and trying to revise the past is unacceptable. Lets not turn a lovely ceremony into political pap.

Yes, Yuri, you are RIGHT about that. Not everyone coming from such lineage/bloodline comes with those similarities or characteristics that their ancestors had. My ancestors were all Fishermen/Farmers and I certainly didn't end up being like any of them. But we have to admit that there is a rotten right-wing group of this people that are definitely following some old racist agenda against non-japanese. This rotten right-wings are the ones that go around spreading Anti-Foreigner propaganda in those awful black vans around the country. Shame on those people. Shame on them, because they are the scum responsible for keeping discrimination/racism alive nowadays. Our country would be a better place without such people. Thrown them out of here into the ocean!!

0 ( +2 / -2 )

What about all the Koreans who died in the Tokyo firebombing? Don't they get a memorial service?

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

No offense but why do the Koreans NEED a separate ceremony? Cant they just pray WITH the locals?

Because they had an issue with the city over their procedure to recognize and honor the victims based on race and ethnicity. Hiroshima city—with an assistance of local government—decided to relocate the cemeteries for Korean victims far off from Japanese memorial in the early 1990s. It was their motives for urban modernization projects and civic tourism that complicates the politics of A-bomb memories for Japanese and non-Japanese victims.

See Lisa Yonema’s Hiroshima Traces: Time, Space, And The Dialectics Of Memory.(Barkley, CA: University of California Press, 1999).

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Because they had an issue with the city over their procedure to recognize and honor the victims based on race and ethnicity

You're not answering his/her question.

"No offense but why do the Koreans NEED a separate ceremony?"

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

You're not answering his/her question. "No offense but why do the Koreans NEED a separate ceremony?"

Yes, I did. They were not happy with the city over the politics of memorializing. Period.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

They were not happy with the city over the politics of memorializing

Can you be specific? If the issue of "politics of memorializing" is the procedure and the red tape involving separating the victims based on race and ethnicity, you're still not answering the central question which is "why do the Koreans needing a separate ceremony?"

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Think they needed a separate one as not to pray to the Japanese dead. It is the only answer I can provide.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Prior to relocation, the Korean memorial stood at the northwest end of the Peace Park. It looked like their memorial stood just outside the official territory, despite the city’s effort to integrate all cemeteries across the peripheries within the park. While the east and south peripheries were closely interconnected with the center of the park, the northwest area was more secluded from the main commemorative sites. The location of their site gave visitors to the memorials and some--but not all-- resident Koreans the perception that Koreans were being alienated from Japanese society even after the war. This is what makes the matter complicated to them because it pretty much deals with ethnicity, colonization, and cultural amnesia until today.

Hiroshima city was not planning to make further construction of memorials within the Peace Memorial Park when they issued the regulation in 1967. They argued that 1) the memorial, regardless of its (re-) location, should be ‘universal’ to all victims of atomic bomb; 2) the park should be a sacred place to pray for the peace of humanity without bringing any political issue; and 3) the central cenotaph in the Peace Park enshrines all souls lost to the bomb without regard to nationality or race. The city, however, shifted its position in spring 1990 when they announced that they welcomed the relocation of Korean memorials on condition that both North and South Koreans could agree on a unified memorial for them.

Source: Lisa Yoneyama. “Memory Matters: Hiroshima’s Korean Atom Bomb Memorial and the Politics of Ethnicity.” Public Culture 1(1995): 499-527.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

If the issue of "politics of memorializing" is the procedure and the red tape involving separating the victims based on race and ethnicity, you're still not answering the central question which is "why do the Koreans needing a separate ceremony?"

I'm not sure if the city intentionally did so out of racial/ethnic reasons. It's more plausible to assume that the official politics often conflict with communitarian interests--regardless of race, ethnicity, and nationality.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Because I believe the ceremony is held in Korean, and since 97.6% of Japanese cannot speak a second language, why bother to invite them?

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Poor bastards. Japanese relocated 5.4 million Koreans into murderous forced labor from mines in Japan to building construction on Pacific islands. Massacred for the Kanto earthquake and even now living under what the UN Human Rights Commission called "deep and profound prejudice". What's even more ridiculous is the fact that Koreans are forcibly enshrined in Yasukuni against protest from their familiy while the entire place is run by black van neo-imperialist type fanatics who deny any atrocities happened while harping romantically about the great coprosperity pan asianism while at the same breath claiming Japan has already apologized. How you can apologize for something that you deny has every happened seems to be some sort zen trick.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

amerijapAug. 06, 2011 - 03:39AM JST. I'm not sure if the city intentionally did so out of racial/ethnic reasons. It's more plausible to assume that the official politics often conflict with communitarian interests--regardless of race, ethnicity, and nationality.

Social inequality is created by the way things are organized in Japan. Japan's explanations for behavioral differences toward Korean victims of A-bomb are troubling. Koreans that lives in Japan are use to inequality and exploitation, and Japanese see it as natural and unchangeable, and it gives the Japanese the opportunity to say, “Well, it’s too bad that some people are much better off than others, but that’s just the way it is. There’s really nothing we can do about it.”

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Thanks for the info Amerijap.

So to summarize,

The city basically wanted ALL of the confirmed victims to be honoured at "20 Cenotaph for the A-bomb Victims" However, the Korean group built their own separate memorial outside the park. (1970).

"The location of their site gave visitors to the memorials and some--but not all-- resident Koreans the perception that Koreans were being alienated from Japanese society even after the war" so they petitioned the city to move it within the park.

Then, the cityy told the originators that the said memorial should contain North Korean victims as well. However, the originators rejected this idea but moved it within the park anyways. (Hence, it's still called Kankokujin Genbaku Giseisha Reihi).

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Social inequality is created by the way things are organized in Japan. Japan's explanations for behavioral differences toward Korean victims of A-bomb are troubling. Koreans that lives in Japan are use to inequality and exploitation, and Japanese see it as natural and unchangeable, and it gives the Japanese the opportunity to say, “Well, it’s too bad that some people are much better off than others, but that’s just the way it is. There’s really nothing we can do about it.”

Please explain who represents those who take such apathetic attitude toward culture of others today. It’s more troubling to assume that Japanese citizens—especially those in post-war generations—concur in local/ central government’s understandings of history and memory.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

AJ: I don't know if there can be an "explanation". Japan is one of the most homogenous ethnic groups in the world and I believe culturally it has been a priority for centuries. Oddly enough the Norway terrorist admired Japan and Korea for their homogenous societies.

I am not a Japanese national. But I know I will be a gaijin forever. The social nuances of Japanese society will never change as it's not viewed as broke in need of fixing. I'm not "in" and I actually don't have a problem with it. It seems as though the posters here that take issue with it are only those on the outside looking in. Those on the inside so to speak don't owe anyone an explanation, a motivation to change, etc. seems to me.

0 ( +0 / -1 )

Throughout the city and within the park ceremonies are held for individual groups -for a variety of reasons- but as in previous years a representative of the Korean people also participated in the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Ceremony on the morning of August 6, 2011. On the list of participating countries (As of August 2) -provided inside the booklet which every visitor to the ceremony receives- Republic of Korea is mentioned (Between Rep. of Kenya and Rep. of Latvia). Between 08:07 and 08:15 the representative of Korea laid a wreath of flowers at the side of the cenotaph together with other distinguished guests participating in the Dedication of Flowers, just prior to the tolling of the Peace Bell and moment of silence. 黙とう

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Ah... war only leads to a prolonged anguish..... it is sad....

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Because I believe the ceremony is held in Korean, and since 97.6% of Japanese cannot speak a second language, why bother to invite them?

@legs,after 66 yrs, finally, US has sent a diplomat to Hiroshima. We should welcome all. Apparently, you do not know some German are killed too. It is nothing to do with a second language. We all have a common goal for peace. That's the issue here and nothing to do with a language. Hope you get it streight, legs. '

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Thanx for all the answers. Not sure why a -7 thumbdown was necessary, it was a sincere question.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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