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  1. William George
    William George September 29, 2010 at 12:38 am . Reply

    In my first year of university, my Korean born and raised Asian history professor assigned a paper instead of a final exam.

    I wrote about the history of war in the region. In regards to the end of the Mongol era in Korea I wrote something along the lines of, “Koreans always felt great joy when their foreign invaders left because they were able to get back to their regular routine of murdering each other.”

    I got docked some points for being facetious in a deadly serious history paper, but he wrote in the margin, “Unfortunately true.”

    He grew up during the dictator era. I think he knew, “A foreigner did it!” was a complete bullshit excuse for locally made problems.

  2. William George
    William George September 29, 2010 at 1:32 pm . Reply

    Heh. I am paraphrasing. It’s been well over a decade now.

    I was basing it on nothing more than what the history books had told me. Korea (and Japan and China) has a long history of competing groups slaughtering each other over the peninsula punctuated with the occasional invader. It just seemed that there was too much of a focus on the invasions and not enough on the far more frequent and far more deadly, locally made conflicts.

    My dislike of Korea doesn’t have anything to do with a “Blame the foreigner” aspect to the culture. You find that anywhere you go. It just makes a good target for snark.

    I snark. I do that.

    And I’d probably be a lot more generous with the place if my life here in Japan wasn’t about a thousand times less stressful and impotent anger-inducing than it was there.

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