A performer, second from right, clad in a traditional Korean dress, waves during the opening ceremony of the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing, China, on Feb 4. Major South Korean presidential candidates accused China of laying claim to their culture after the performer wore white and light purple hanbok dress during the opening ceremony. Photo: Lim Hwa-young/Yonhap via AP
politics

Japanese, S Koreans in China hold mixed views on Beijing hosting Olympics

43 Comments
By Tomoyuki Tachikawa

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Learn to appreciate the country where you reside. Foreigners living in Japan should learn to appreciate Japan and stop bashing Japanese system. The same goes with foreigners living in China. As foreign residents show some gratitude to your host country! If you hate the country you reside in then go back to your own home country!

-5 ( +33 / -38 )

It won't be long before China claims Kimono as their own, being derived from Tang dynasty era attire. Maybe before that, China will go after Okinanwan dress first.

China already claims Korean and Vietnamese dress as their own.

-16 ( +12 / -28 )

It won't be long before China claims Kimono as their own, being derived from Tang dynasty era attire. Maybe before that, China will go after Okinanwan dress first.

China already claims Korean and Vietnamese dress as their own.

You're right on that. They’ve already changed it from 韓服 to 漢服. The woman wearing the Hanbok was chosen apparently because she is one of the minority groups in China, called Korean minority 朝鮮族, basically Korean descendants who live near the border with Korea.

The photo shows the minority groups in China and attempts to celebrate their culture. It is a celebration of diversity by intention but at the same time the effect would be equivalent of having Native Americans wearing warbonnets or headdresses with Blacks, Asians, and Hispanics in their cultural clothing highlighted at the Super Bowl. Speaking of the Super Bowl…that’s in an hour.

-4 ( +11 / -15 )

Tokyo 2021 involved Japanese ethnic minorities in their national dress, if I remember rightly. So, it seems from the photos, China copied this in their ceremony.

0 ( +12 / -12 )

This article lists slights on both countries by the host country then tries to show Japan’s positive response

Nevertheless, many Japanese in Beijing have become enthusiastic about the games,

compared with Korea’s to show Koreans as petty and angry.

For South Koreans, however, the gala orchestrated by China's renowned film director Zhang Yimou was a "nightmare,"

The same old Japanese view - how the Japanese should be angry but are not and the Koreans are always angry over something small - rears its ugly head again.

-6 ( +14 / -20 )

@Elvis

the influence of traditional Chinese culture is undoubtable in this region

You can say that again. The entire street layout of former capitals Nara and Kyoto is a grid, based on Chang'an, the capital of the Tang dynasty.

2 ( +14 / -12 )

By reading this you would be inclined to believe that the state of affairs has more to do with celebrities and cartoons than real life policies and actions.

15 ( +15 / -0 )

@Elvis is here,

To be honest,I don’t see much cynicism on this site what I see is mostly constructive criticism. Sad thing is that nationalists and Japanophiles don’t think there is such a thing as constructive criticism when it comes to Japan.

-8 ( +19 / -27 )

'Learn to appreciate the country where you reside'. Well said.

15 ( +22 / -7 )

I'm not sure why the South Koreans would be angered by this? I don't see how this would be cultural appropriation when a Korean descendent wear their own traditional clothing? Historically there are significant Korean population living within the Chinese borders for generations, If they exclude this girl wearing hanbok, will they then be angry at the fact that the Chinese are denying their existence and try to "erase" their identify?

It feels like whatever you do would "anger" the South Koreans, definitely a devious political move to win the upcoming election.

14 ( +24 / -10 )

@quercetum

They’ve already changed it from 韓服 to 漢服.

漢服 and 韓服 are two totally separate things.

漢服(Hanfu) refers to ethnic Han Chinese attire, last widely worn until Ming dynasty era. Yes, Han Chinese do have their own ethnic attire distinguishable from other ethnicities.

The problem is that China was ruled by the Manchus until 1911 who forced Manchurian attire and hairdo on their Han Chinese subjects or risked execution if refused, so Han Chinese tradition of 漢服 was lost over a period of 300 years and they are now trying to restore the lost Hanfu tradition, but the resulting restoration doesn't look as fancy as Kimono, Hanbok(韓服), or even Manchurian dress(Qipao).

-16 ( +4 / -20 )

@Betachild

 Historically there are significant Korean population living within the Chinese borders for generations,

Actually that Chinese border wasn't China, but Korea, called Kando. The original border between QIng and Korea wasn't Yalu-Tumen river, but Yalu-Songhua river.

Refer to this 19th century Vatican map describing the border situation of Asia.

https://i.pinimg.com/originals/ea/e1/5f/eae15f1c6f48880e7149e36a129f9489.jpg

It was the Imperial Japan that gave away Kando to Qing Dynasty 1909 in exchange for the right to lay train tracks in Manchuria, thereby causing massive problems for future generations. Imperial Japan did so much harms to its neighbors to be counted.

So those Koreans in China weren't living in China until 1909, they were living in Korea.

-17 ( +7 / -24 )

Whether it’s against China, Japan, or the United States etc., it seems that South Korea is always complaining about other countries. Typical technique of politicians trying to stir up nationalism to avoid discussion of problems in their own country which are their responsibility

6 ( +12 / -6 )

"Learn to appreciate the country where you reside. Foreigners living in Japan should learn to appreciate Japan and stop bashing Japanese system. The same goes with foreigners living in China. As foreign residents show some gratitude to your host country! If you hate the country you reside in then go back to your own home country!"

This comment by "Jim" could have been made by Xi Jinping, or perhaps Japan's homegrown Nazi, Sanae Takaichi.

Foreign residents in Japan work, pay taxes and obey the law (if they don't, they're punished for it just like anyone else). They are not allowed to vote, being non-citizens (fair enough). But what goes on inside their heads is their own business and if they're critical of the Japanese system, it's their right as human beings. The Japanese constitution guarantees freedom of speech. Sure, bad-mouthing Japan will make you lots of enemies, but that's your own freedom.

Informed criticism of Japan's system might be good for Japanese to hear, and think about. Back in the 1970s, people here seemed rather open to foreign criticism, even though much of it was ill-informed, but they're much more closed-minded now.

2 ( +15 / -13 )

Fighto!Today  07:46 am JST

Tokyo 2021 involved Japanese ethnic minorities in their national dress, if I remember rightly. So, it seems from the photos, China copied this in their ceremony.

Yes, you're right. China is like Japan. It uses minorities who are normally rejected by the government (like Ainu) to make the world believe that the country is integrating people well.

The two countries are very similar.

-1 ( +12 / -13 )

"It won't be long before China claims Kimono as their own, being derived from Tang dynasty era attire. Maybe before that, China will go after Okinanwan dress first.

China already claims Korean and Vietnamese dress as their own."

Frankly, who cares? Lots of people around the world wear trousers, or "pants." They seemed to have been invented by the nomadic Scythians back around the 5th-4th century B.C. If there are any Scythians alive today (they may have descendants in Russia, or Ukraine) they can "claim" trousers as their own thing. And I'll be grateful for their having invented a way of keeping my legs nice and warm in winter.

9 ( +11 / -2 )

From Wikipedia:

The first instances of kimono-like garments in Japan were traditional Chinese clothing introduced to Japan via Chinese envoys in the Kofun period (300 – 538 CE; the first part of the Yamato period), with immigration between the two countries and envoys to the Tang dynasty court leading to Chinese styles of dress, appearance and culture becoming extremely popular in Japanese court society.[1] The Imperial Japanese court quickly adopted Chinese styles of dress and clothing

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Some reasonable takes here from people, really heartening to see that the Japanese public isn't kowtowing to US pressure the same as the government. On the other hand, we get takes like this:

At the opening ceremony, a performer, clad in a traditional Korean "hanbok" dress, showed up, sparking anger among South Korean people, some of whom regarded it as cultural appropriation by China.

Was the performer a Korean-Chinese minority? The article doesn't say, but if they weren't I imagine there is a very high chance the article would leap on that fact. There is a huge amount of them, and that wouldn't really be appropriation to celebrate their culture.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Foreign residents in Japan work, pay taxes and obey the law (if they don't, they're punished for it just like anyone else). They are not allowed to vote, being non-citizens (fair enough). But what goes on inside their heads is their own business and if they're critical of the Japanese system, it's their right as human beings. The Japanese constitution guarantees freedom of speech. Sure, bad-mouthing Japan will make you lots of enemies, but that's your own freedom.

Informed criticism of Japan's system might be good for Japanese to hear, and think about. Back in the 1970s, people here seemed rather open to foreign criticism, even though much of it was ill-informed, but they're much more closed-minded now.

Very well said. I have to admit that I have been taking part in the cynicism lately and need to calm down. But saying long timers should not express their different opinions, should they be in the form of criticism, is obscured. I know plenty of Japanese nationals who were born and raised here who have the same criticism towards their own nation. They just don't say it out load and quietly do so over the internet.

Opening up to foreign influence is also what helps countries advance. Since Japan wants more foreign investors, they need to also understand their ideology and address even the criticism. If Japan were to never be open to these ideas, we would still be stuck with a bad reputation of having someone like Mori being the head of the Olympic committee.

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-56020674

1 ( +8 / -7 )

Learn to appreciate the country where you reside. Foreigners living in Japan should learn to appreciate Japan and stop bashing Japanese system. The same goes with foreigners living in China. As foreign residents show some gratitude to your host country! If you hate the country you reside in then go back to your own home country!"

Ah, this worn out old chestnut again....You can respect the country you live in for certain things whilst having the ability to be critical of that which deserves to be criticized. If helps to look in the mirror sometimes and improve what you see.

It is a celebration of diversity by intention but at the same time the effect would be equivalent of having Native Americans wearing warbonnets or headdresses with Blacks, Asians, and Hispanics in their cultural clothing highlighted at the Super Bowl. "

And what would be wrong with that in order to show the country, s diversity? Never seen people getting upset over traditional dresses at any of the multicultural festivals I,ve been to.

2 ( +6 / -4 )

Japanese government officials have expressed hope that the popularity in China of figure skating star Yuzuru Hanyu and the growing boom of the Beijing Olympic mascot will help deepen people-to-people exchanges between the two nations.

people-to-people exchanges between the two nations has been happening smoothly for years, it's politician-to-politician exchanges that's the big problem

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

On related news, Chinese and Koreans had different views on the Tokyo Olympics.

Not all people have the same views on everything.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

It won't be long before China claims Kimono as their own

And soon after they may even claim that Kanji is really Chinese writing!

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

漢服(Hanfu) refers to ethnic Han Chinese attire, last widely worn until Ming dynasty era. Yes, Han Chinese do have their own ethnic attire distinguishable from other ethnicities.

Interesting. The Qing was the dominant power and I’ve only read about the hair braids in the Q shape that was introduced. It makes sense that they would forbid certain fashion as well.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

And what would be wrong with that in order to show the country, s diversity? Never seen people getting upset over traditional dresses at any of the multicultural festivals I,ve been to.

Nothing wrong with it. The article is saying the Koreans are getting upset over traditional dresses being used.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

@Zotoro

Kanji is really Chinese writing!

It is.

@quercetum

the Koreans are getting upset over traditional dresses being used.

The Korean dress as you are familiar with is a modern re-imagined version. Yes, both modern Kinomo and Hanbok look pretty because they are modern re-imagined versions, not historically accurate versions.

If China was sincere about promoting cultures of Koreans whose ancestors lived on Korean province of Kando that Imperial Japan handed over to Qing dynasty in exchange for train track laying rights in Manchuria, then they would have used the version from Kando(Jilin) area, which of course looks nothing like the one people are familiar with from watching Korean drama and movies on Netflix.

Even North Korea's Hanbok looks very different from the re-imagined Southern version and is much closer to the historically authentic version.

-11 ( +2 / -13 )

Tokyo 2021 involved Japanese ethnic minorities in their national dress, if I remember rightly. So, it seems from the photos, China copied this in their ceremony.

This has always been a motif of the CCP, while the Han-ization(漢化?)of the country continues unabated. Tokyo 2020 has zero to do with it.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

*If China was sincere about promoting cultures of Koreans whose ancestors lived on Korean province of Kando that Imperial Japan handed over to Qing dynasty in exchange for train track laying rights in Manchuria, then they would have used the version from Kando(Jilin) area, which of course looks nothing like the one people are familiar with from watching Korean drama and movies on Netflix.*

They were busy enough with Covid and hosting the Games, but they could have paid more attention to details and used the version from the Kando area, the more culturally sensitive attire.

To me the Hanbok and Kimono are different from the original. Its been centuries and fashion changes. It’s like claiming Hiragana characters are Chinese when they are artistic calligraphy forms of Kanji that are not Chinese.

The Qing were no saints. If the CCP were sincere, they might also consider returning the territory taken by the Japanese and returning it to Korea.

3 ( +7 / -4 )

Arguing about who wears what?

It seems petty to me..

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

China made themselves better where they are now.

Korea has been helped by America.

Without Chinese tourist, Korean and Japanese tourism will have to struggle.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Sadly it isn’t just the dress but what it is being used for to push the CCP’s agenda. China started in the 1980’s to claim the historic Korean kingdoms that existed for nearly a thousand years in parts of what is now Manchuria as “Chinese” and by extension that Korean culture was also Chinese. That is the underlying problem so many Korean people (not just the politicians who jumped on the band wagon of popular anger) have with the dress.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

This article fails to mention the context around Korean people's anger towards the use of their culture in Chinese Olympics.

China for many years have been stealing and wrongfully claiming Korean culture as theirs. Some of most notable recent events include Chinese people claiming Kimchi as Chinese food and now Hanbok. You can see Korean celebrity Instagram being flooded with hateful comments from 50c warriors whenever they post a picture of themselves in Hanbok. It's absolutely ridiculous because these 50c warriors are spreading misinformation and flooding comments and posts claiming things as Chinese. Anyone with a single brain cell will know that Hanbok and Kimchi is Korean. Korea in ancient history may have received some influence from China just like any neighbouring Asian country but that is it, period.

So of course when China claims Korean people as a minority in their country and showcase some lady in Hanbok, it's definitely going to ruffle some feathers. China for some crazy reason, seems to absolutely hate mutual respect. They think relationship is a one way street. If China really wanted to do this diplomatically, they should've notified the Korean in advance for acknowledgement.

FYI - This is a major concern for Japan as well. China have previously claimed many Japanese cultures as theirs as well and if they succeed with stealing Korean culture, then Japan will surely be next.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Well, you also can't forget that the South Koreans generally whine about everything. SK has a national persecution complex.

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

Kuruki, from the Chinese perspective it is one way. They still think of themselves as the Middle Kingdom, the centre of the world to whom all others kowtow and pay tribute. In the past even trade was only seen as tribute to them.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Samit BasuFeb. 14  09:31 am JST

 Historically there are significant Korean population living within the Chinese borders for generations,

Actually that Chinese border wasn't China, but Korea, called Kando. The original border between QIng and Korea wasn't Yalu-Tumen river, but Yalu-Songhu up to 1909.

That is your own narrative. China doesn't think so at all. Both Qing Dynasty and Joseon Dynasty kept failing to reach to the agreement on borders even before 1909.

It was the Imperial Japan that gave away Kando to Qing Dynasty 1909 in exchange for the right to lay train tracks in Manchuria, thereby causing massive problems for future generations. Imperial Japan did so much harms to its neighbors to be counted.

So those Koreans in China weren't living in China until 1909, they were living in Korea.

You forgot to refer to 1962 China-North Korea border agreement treaty where North Korea officially gave away Kando. meaning, those Koreans in China used to live in the disputed area , and have been living in China at least, after 1962

-3 ( +4 / -7 )

The photo seems to be intended to show China is a nation of mixed races coexisting harmoniously with each other.

Whenever the U.S. is swayed with race problems, I've wondered if there is no such problems of ethnicity in PRC at all.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

@voicesofkinawa

There are over 50 ethnic groups in China. To say that there are no race problems would be excessively idealistic, but they have definitely grown used to co-existing.

Minority (non-Han) Chinese get a lot of government support to try to balance things as much as possible, as well as education and cultural events, but it would be naïve to think there is no conflict at all.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

An element of intense jealousy is at work. No more no less..

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

In the past 10,000 years a myriad of tribes must have crisscrossed the Asian Continent, from the east to the east and from the south to the north. The Japanese archipelago made the dead end for eastern paradise seeking migrants. 

There's a theory that one of the 12 dispersed tribes in ancient Israel must have arrived in Japan and partially contributed to the formation of the Jomon culture of Japan. The theory is based on the fact that many clay figures in Jewish attire and fashion have been unearthed in northeastern Japan.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Wang Chun, a 51-year-old Chinese woman

A very familiar name. Sounds ALOT like this rock band I saw and met at a free show in a casino a few years ago. Too familiar.

'Everybody Have Fun Tonight', anyone?

 the cuteness of the Olympic mascot in the motif of a panda, "Bing Dwen Dwen."

There's no denying the cuteness of the mascot. And pandas are unique to China.

In 2019, Japan tapped its boy band Arashi, which is now dormant but still popular in China, as a goodwill ambassador to promote cultural and sports exchanges between the two Asian nations, whose relations have been often frayed over territorial and wartime issues.

Boy band? What a dud, an insult as a goodwill ambassador. Japan has much better entertainment than that. How about Shonen Knife or Acid Mother's Temple instead?

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

The Chinese Korean lady performer wore a very elegant dress of Korean traditional one, I think the South Korean doesnt understand the culture of Chinese Koreans. The South Korean society has been highly polluted by corporations and big businesses who produced some untraditional dress(Fake traditional dress) for their own fortunes.

They should understanding their country has been badly influenced by western capitalism and very much appreciated China's efforts to keep the Real Korean culture in intact.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

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