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Korea Day 7: Apparently the Japanese are Assholes

This was the last real day of site seeing (all museums), because Friday was just shopping and flying. The title of this entry will become apparent near the end of this entry. We headed to the Unity Museum and then to the Korean War Museum. Outside the Unity Museum is this enormous monument.

Photo by Jenn

The bridge over a small lake leading up to the Unity Museum and it's full of carp.

Photo by Jenn

I'd like you to take another look at the image above, but this time do it with the understanding that each of those carp is about 2 and a half feet long.

The first cool thing we saw was this amazing incense burner forged during the Paekche Kingdom.

Photo by Jenn

It's Um and Yang, earthly and heavenly. The bottom is a swirling dragon which is holding up the sphere. The bottom of the sphere is covered with animals, the top half of the sphere is covered with humans and on top is a Phoenix. It's absolutely gorgeous, I looked all over to find a small version of it.

The sword below is about 6 and a half feet long.

Photo by Jenn

DJN explained that this sword was just ornamental, it was used by an Admiral in the Navy. He would use it to point and direct the other ships in the fleet. Here are some more ancient swords from the museum, they may look like Japanese katana but they are actually a little bit shorter and much lighter. They are designed to be used with one hand, so they work very differently.

Photo by Jenn

Ok.. now to the title of this entry. So, here in the US we have the Museum of Tolerance. It's a place where we go and think "Wow, this was really horrible and we hope this never happens again." The Koreans have the Museum of Japanese Aggression. This isn't a place that says "Wow, this was really horrible and we hope this never happens again." it is a place that says, "Wow, this was really horrible AND THOSE ASSHOLES DID THIS TO US!"

There is an entire section of the museum that is dedicated to the kinds of torture that the Japanese inflicted on the Koreans when they invaded near the beginning of the 20th century. I'm talking about an entire section of animatronic Japanese soliders that are torturing animatronic Koreans, all the while you listen to an audio track of people screaming. This... place... is... fucked... up.

They tried to change all of the Korean names to Japanese ones. They wanted to eradicate Korean culture. The Japanese rounded up thousands of Korean women and essentially put them through a rape factory because they wanted the next generation of Korean children to be Japanese. They are trying to irradicate the Korean people on a DNA level. I mean, this is seriously fucked up beyond all normal levels of fucked up.

The Korean people HATE the Japanese. When James, our super tour guide, actually said the phrase:

I'm sick and tired of hearing the Japanese complain about Hiroshima.

*shakes head* I mean, that's fucked up. Hiroshima? Come on, that's pretty fucked up. You ask anyone in the world about Hiroshima and they pretty much all agree it was absolutely horrible. Then James says:

Seriously, how many people died at Hiroshima? About 200,000. The Japanese invaded Korea and killed 3 MILLION PEOPLE so I don't want to hear the Japanese complaining anymore.

I just sat in my chair thinking, "Fuck. That's pretty fucked up." But it really doesn't end there. Throughout the entire trip, none of the temples and such we saw were original because they were all burned down either by the Japanese (or during the Korean War). They aren't just trying to conquer these people, they are trying to fuck with them on a physical, emotional and spiritual level. There is this Buddhist shrine on a mountain that we visited. The shrine was designed and carved so that the rising sun would pass into the shrine and the sunlight would land on the Buddha's forehead (one of the centers of power) and rejuvenate Buddha. The Japanese tried to take the shrine apart stone by stone, but it proved to be too difficult (we went and saw the site half way down the mountain where the soliders ended up just dropping the stones and leaving them there). Since they couldn't take the shrine away, they added a stone into the shrine that blocks the sunlight and leaves the Buddha in shadow all day. Spiritually.... They are spiritually fucking with these people.

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