It’s August 15th hear in Korea and you know what that means? It is a time to celebrate Korea’s independence from its colonial master in 1945 and some argue that more efforts should be made to remember that this day was also when the Republic of Korea was officially established in 1948. As with many national holidays like it around the world, it is most of all a time for nationalism in all of its manifestations.
It is time to waste massive amounts of pink and white colored plastic to cover Seoul’s city hall with the national flower. It is a time for for a group of flag draped youth to perform some kind of Tai Chi-looking dance outside of city hall so badly one wonders if they even bothered practicing. It is time to call Kim Dae-jung a pro-Japanese traitor for bowing to an image of the dead emperor Hirohito in 1989. It is time to burn two different brands of Japanese incense at the altars of dead independence activists. It is time to pose for pictures behind headless cutouts of armed anti-Japanese activists. It is time to call for boycotts on trips to China for their government’s historiographical imperialism. It is time to confiscate the land of descendants of pro-Japanese collaborators. It is time to remove Japanese derived technical words from your military vocabulary. It is time to remove flags from glass cases in the schools because such a heinous practice is a remnant of the Japanese colonial period.
In the next few postings I’ll a few more details on the day’s events, along with some of news related to the celebrations in the Korean media.