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Anti-Japan Tribalism (English Version)

Author : Rhee Young-hoon
Book : Anti-Japan Tribalism

The book entitled Anti-Japan Tribalism was published in July 2019. It sold 110,000 copies in South Korea and became a bestseller selling over 400,000 copies in Japan. The leading author, Principal Lee Young-hoon used the term ethnicism, not nationalism, stating that the Anti-Japan Tribalism means “animosity regarding the neighboring Japan as evil.” Unchanging hostility allows no objective discussion and in it, lies play the role of a totem uniting the ethnicity. At the time of the publication of this book, South Korea was exposed to the stormy anti-Japan policy under the Moon Jae-in administration and the Japan-South Korea relationship was the worst ever. School textbooks were decorated with the statues of the so-called mobilized workers and comfort women right from the front page and the town and TV broadcasting were uniformly painted with anti-Japanese colors. Former President Park Geun-hye and many political dignitaries in her government were imprisoned and things became so critical that many feared that the Federal Democratic Republic of Goryeo, upheld by North Korea, might emerge at any moment. At such a critical time the book Antil-Japanese Ethnicism emerged, like a savior. To prevent the Korean Peninsula from becoming red, it was urgent to recover the Japan-South Korea relationship, which was on the brink of bankruptcy. In order to resume the normal relationship, seminars were held everywhere, inviting scholars and experts. To enlighten the Korean people, conservative patriots desperately endeavored, purchasing tens of copies of the book.

The prologue written by Principal Lee Young-hoon at the beginning of the book was particularly sensational. The title of the prologue says, “liar nation, liar politics, liar study, liar trial, and Anti-Japan Tribalism.” Many Japanese would have felt emotionally moved and relieved after many years of frustrated despair about to burst by the heroic act of the South Korean scholar who has excellently expressed what Japanese have been feeling. I quote a part of it here: “The people of this country don’t regard lies as lies while history and sociology studies in this country are a breeding ground for lies, and universities in this country are factories producing lies.” I cannot help but appreciate these candid and forthright sentences, which convey the high-leveled conscience of the scholars pursuing the truth.

In South Korea, in 1965 and onward, elementary, junior and senior high school textbooks have been teaching that the period under the Japanese rule was that of “seven deprivations.” Namely, they were deprivations of king, sovereignty, land, language, personal names, life and natural resources. Most of the South Koreans believe so. Textbooks teach so, and dramas and movies depict so. Under such circumstances, if Japanese try to tell the truth, there is absolutely no room for objective argument and there are only emotion-ridden reactions. The six co-authors of the book have superbly rejected the untruth and explained the true history based on verified sources.

South Koreans intentionally add the word “forcible” to “mobilization” and blindly believe that the Japanese military arbitrarily took Koreans to mainland Japan and forced them into slave-like labor. Mr. Lee woo-youn, who revealed the lie of forcibly mobilized workers, points out that the root of this grave issue was the book Record of Forcibly Mobilized Korean Workers written by Park Kyon-sik, a teacher at Korean University in Japan, related to the General Association of Korean Residents in Japan (Chongryon) in 1965, revealing that the South Korean education society has been creating school textbooks for sixty years based on this book without any verification of its validity.

Mr. Joung An-ki, co-author of this book and former Professor at Korea University wrote what the Army Special Volunteers (Korean soldiers) were really like. He stated that all because Army special volunteers trained by the Imperial Japanese Army pledged allegiance to the Emperor, they served the Republic of Korea faithfully and patriotically after independence and with the excellent leadership in the battleground, they were able to prevent the International Communist forces from advancing southward in the Korean War. He clearly stated that with the knowledge and technology which were absent during the Joseon Dynasty, former Japanese Army special volunteer Korean soldiers, equipped with diligence and sense of responsibility, played the important role in establishing the Republic of Korea. At the same time, such history proves how greatly the Japanese predecessors ruled Korea. This book will surely clear the air regarding the general South Korean concept of “merciless Japanese villains robbing land, rice, life and chastity” and help recover the Japanese predecessors’ honor. As mentioned above, the book became a bestseller with sales of over 110,000 copies. Unfortunately, however, history textbooks carrying lies are still used as they are and lies are taught daily at South Korean elementary, junior and senior high schools. Thinking of such lamentable situations, I cannot help but wish sincerely that this book would be read further by many more people. First, more politicians, journalists and educators should read this book. I extend my heart-felt gratitude to the six co-authors of the epoch-making book Anti-Japan Tribalism. Let me mention one more thing. The term “colonial rule” is seen here and there in the book. Fact is that Japan gave everything and contributed to Korea in every possible way. The term “colony” implies exploitation of the land and making people obey the rule. I would like to have the term “colonial rule” replaced with a better expression. Then, this book would leave nothing whatsoever to be desired.

Book : Japanese / English (Link to Amazon)