Children of Korean Patriots Struggle, Collaborators Thrive

The ninety-fifth anniversary of the March 1st Independence Movement found that the division between those Koreans who collaborated with the Japanese and those who marched in protest against them remains stark. The descendants of even the most famous patriots, such as Ryu Gwansun, are living humbly and blaming their condition on the legacy of Japanese rule. Online, there continues to be passionate criticism of those Korean families who willingly aided the Japanese authorities and who continue to prosper in the 21st century.

Article from Yonhap News:

“Descendants of Pro-Japanese Collaborators are well off…” Says Relative of Iconic Independence Activist on March 1st

Ninety-five years ago today, March 1st in 1919 was the historically momentous day when Koreans launched a massive non-violent independence movement against Japan’s colonial rule, only to be brutally repressed after Japanese police opened fire on the peaceful protesters. On March 1st, 2014, how have the descendants of those Korean independence fighters been doing?

Our reporter Han Yeon-hyee has a interview with them.

[Reporter] Lee Jong-yeol was an independence fighter when the Korean Peninsula was under Japanese colonial occupation. He was hauled away by Japanese soldiers before breaking out of prison and joining a group of armed independence fighters. In 1990, he was recognized by the government for his service. About seventy years have passed since the nation’s liberation from Japan’s colonial rule, but he still finds it hard to hold back his anger toward a still-unrepentant Japan.

[Lee Jong-yeol] I spent half of my life as a detainee in a prison after being hauled away by Japanese soldiers at that time. [After the nation’s liberation in 1945] I was old, uneducated, and had no practical skills, so it has been hard for me to make a living, just like everyone in my family dating back to my great grandfather.

[Reporter] Another independent fighter, Kwon Yeong-jwa, tears up when he recalls his painful past, when he suffered as part of a family of independence fighters.

[Reporter] We all know the most iconic figure of the March 1st Independence Movement is Ryu Gwansun. The teenage independence activist is only survived by her nephew Yoo Jang-boo. He feels bitter to see that progeny of pro-Japanese collaborators have become affluent while scions of independence fighters have struggled.

[Yoo Jang-boo] My grandfather [referring to Yoo Gwan-soon] and grandmother fought for the nation’s liberation from Japanese rule. The government told me that I can’t be entitled to a national pensions for both of my grandparents, so I have only received a pension for one grandparent.

Independence fighters sacrificed their lives for the nation’s independence, but the agony and pain our great ancestors felt are still vivid for their offspring on this historic day.

Comments from Daum:

Marie Annetonghanette:

What else needs to be said when the daughter of a pro-Japanese collaborator becomes the nation’s president.


[Former President Park Chung-hee] got a a paltry compensation for the conscription of Koreans as soldiers and laborers from Japan and spent the money building a nationwide network of highways, making sure to keep the remainder in his pocket. A daughter of a man who sold the country serves as President, and she puts on a show where she calls out on Japan’s wrongdoings.


The offspring of independence activists who fought against Japan’s colonial rule at the peril of their lives are poor and get attention only one day a year. But the descendants of pro-Japanese collaborators have enjoyed affluence for generations and taken high office. How can we reconcile with this?

만주의친일파가세운나라: [responding to above]

That we failed to punish pro-Japanese collaborators is a gross crime that will last for generations. Given the sacrifice made by our ancestors for the nation’s liberation, we got off on the wrong foot from the very beginning.

iyaki4132: [repsonding to 기러기]

Don’t be too harsh on ourselves. The failure to punish pro-Japanese figures and settle the colonial legacy can be attributed to the United States military rule after the liberation. In taking control of South Korea, the US occupation forces employed pro-Japanese personnel, resulting in increased clout for pro-Japanese figures. I think this shows the misfortune of a small country. We were powerless at that time.


Tell me about it. The offspring of pro-Japanese collaborators are flourishing while those of independence fighters are given the cold shoulder. The most preposterous thing is that the former awarded governmental merits to the latter.

linige: [responding to above]

Pro-Japanese collaborators gave their offspring a good education with the fortune they amassed, holding onto power from generation to generation, but the offspring of independence fighters were hit the hardest by poverty as their parents were chased by Japanese police. Even after the nation won the independence, pro-Japanese forces with vested interests continued to block their advancement. How could they ever achieve success in such a situation?

ShineDon: [responding to jamesju_usa]

I think there were many little-known independence activists at that time who lived and fought for independence far from the spotlight. Fighting for independence doesn’t mean you have to carry a gun. But is someone’s poverty the fault of their ancestors? it’s been three or four generations since independence, they could have succeeded through their own hard work in the time since then.


I think what is more perilous than Abe, who make senseless remarks in his own country, is the offspring of pro-Japanese collaborators, who have become a privileged class on South Korea soil. Even as late as now, we should enact legislation to punish pro-Japanese collaborators and seize their property, yet their offspring are still active in the National Assembly.

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  • noshitbutsmile

    How about koreans starting your discussion from Donghak Peasant Revolution and why it happended.

  • Mighty曹

    Lesson learned: Learn a skill or trade before sacrificing yourself for your country.

    • so be it

      No – in war, you can’t lament your lack of career or education – this is war. My great grandfather made my grandfather go to graduate schools away from Beijing to prevent him from becoming a guerilla fighter – what good did that do my grandfather? Anyone could have served as the Hong Kong connection for my great grandfather’s custody and release of savings accounts of Chinese citizens once they made it out to Hong Kong so I really don’t see what good my grandfather was able to do for anyone.

      Do you really think there aren’t enough lawyers and doctors and other yuppies? I would love to have a trust fund for my family but life didn’t work out that way. Evil doesn’t leave you alone so you can have the peace of mind to devote to yourself.

      • Mighty曹

        Sorry to say but your great grandfather’s decision was not a wise one. Had he known that the aftermath of a war is the “rebuilding” phase he would have known that scholars or any other white collar professions would be the least in demand.

        My great grandfather and grandfather were carpenters and they did very well in the business.

  • prin12

    lol daum.. so where is this correlation? what a pointless article.

  • Rutim

    Well, not surprising since the number of Korean applicants to Imperial Japanese Army was around 700k people in 8 years. Comparing that with things like Korean Liberation Army makes everything clear. Pure statistical comparision between those who were pro-Japanese and those who were in anti-Japanese movements. If you add to that that those who were pro-Japanese knew how to run business and had money before Korea was liberated and didn’t have problems with keeping the Korean-Japanese ties after the war this will be even more clear situation.

    • chucky3176

      Bull shit Japanese claims again, as usual. Most of the profiteers were the Japanese overlords. Their Korean underling traitors who did all the dirty work for them, got the rest of the trickle and profiteered at the expense of the Koreans. Most of the land in Korea were owned by Japanese landlords, while the tenants were all Koreans in their own country. The agricultural production was increased through this colonial system, as well as through building of railroad, but most of it was fed to the Japanese military and the Japanese overlords in Japan. As well, most of the companies and businesses were also all owned by Japanese. The few Koreans who owned land and businesses were the ones who had to collaborate with the Japanese to get what they wanted. Japanese were very careful to reward those Koreans who showed loyalty. After the war, it’s only natural that the collaborators were the ones who had all the money, technology, know how, assets, businesses, land and experience to run factories. To dismantle them all would have meant whole sale complete destruction of the Korean economy and the system. The US military had no choice but to put those people that were in charge during the Japanese period, back into the old positions. In North Korea, they purged out all the Japanese collaborators.

      As for military recruitment into Japanese military, it was forced military draft through undocumented pressure and threats, proven by the fact that most of the Korean recruits weren’t trusted enough by the Japanese, to be armed as full combat soldiers. Instead, except for the few, most of the Koreans served as mule packs and construction units where the Japanese kept a careful eye on them. Also a Japanese private had the authority to take command of any battalion of Koreans. In other words, Koreans were slave soldiers.

    • bad guys r in the catbirdseat

      I think it’s the mentality of selfishness on the part of collaborators – nothing bothers them as long as they remain uninjured. So they have focus whereas the victims and the patriots are going to have a lot of trauma at home to deal with. A lot of unfair and inappropriate noisomeness that arises out of huge distress.

      It’s not going to bother a crook or a Japanese that a corrupt deal will devastate poor people but to the statecrafters, this will be a huge emotional affect. Get it? the hunchback scours the tv screens at the sight of the Mainland Chinese crying for the missing passengers whilst other Chinese suffer to see them suffer.

  • takasar1

    well, there goes the myth of the ‘great resistance’. a hell of a lot of those who resisted were rounded up as ‘communists’ by the the south/US forces and were either killed or fled north. it always makes me laugh when south koreans talk about ‘mass resistance’ and for this reason; many of the most powerful of them gained their wealth due to the japanese and now play the ‘blame card’ to try and stir up the common public.

  • RaphaeI

    this is exactly what north korea is talking about.

  • tina

    can’t they just let go?

    • jetspa

      no most Koreans (including the apologists and defenders here) have a eternal and selective persecution complex and they also have to scream and shout about something (lest they explode). One of the most backward collective mentalities wearing the mask of a developed nation. As if a predecessors child should bear the burdens of a time they did not even exist in. NOT mansae. Not at all.

      • Sillian

        Nice. Another creepy troll account.

        • milo

          Do you honestly deny that Koreans have a pretty strong victim mentality?

          • lol

            Do you honestly deny that Japanese have a pretty strong victim mentality?

          • milo

            The Japanese like to portray themselves as the victim in the war, yes. But they are not even in the same league as the Koreans when it comes to crying foul.

          • chucky3176

            When it comes to crying foul, Koreans mostly do it against other Koreans. Crying foul helps to keep Koreans to improve the society, and change if need be. Mums the word and keeping it quiet makes sure the society stagnates like Japan because nobody ever speaks up.

          • takasar1

            right…so japanese society is ‘stagnant’. sure…

          • chucky3176

            Yes STAGNANT. What else would you call it? vibrant? lol.

          • lol

            I would agree with Chucky, the Japanese are too complacent on domestic issues.

            Allowing the Secrecy Law the pass and not kicking up a storm…

            Allowing xenophobic groups preach hate in the manner of racists banter and calls for violence in the streets of major cities…

            Lack of progress in handling the Fukashima melt down…

          • guest

            lol Sure you would… lol

          • Thanks Corea

            how many times has Korea lost an Olympic gold medal because of judges compared to Japan shamelessly extorting a silver for the men’s gymnastics team in London?

          • lol

            Can you blame them for constantly being “fouled” domestically and externally? loaded question… up to you, if you want to respond to that. ^__^

            IMHO… the level of complacency in countries… like the Japan, Canada, US and other 1st world nations… is disturbing… especially in domestic issues… example (Japanese specific) passing of the Secrecy law that was just passed… in this example crying foul is the right thing to do…

          • Sillian

            jetspa is a troll account. Check its posting history. This topic is mainly domestic politics. The victim mentality comment doesn’t even have to be inserted at every chance.

            >> Koreans as victims

            Korea is surrounded by world’s most ambitious major powers such as China, Japan, Russia and indirectly America. it would be unrealistic to expect them to have zero victim mentality or general sense of being at disadvantages. Another facet of what you call victim mentality might be the David vs. Goliath complex. You see yourself as a weaker one struggling against stronger ones who can turn into bullies. This self-image can even be glorified on the right occasions. The reality is a lot more complex but the underlying psyche is more instinctive. When the external threat is real, this underdog struggler’s mindset is necessary but when it is wrongfully manifested on wrong occasions, it is awkward and annoying.

            >> Koreans as aggressors

            On the other hand, you can easily notice many Koreans feel collective guilt when they hear news about some S.E.Asians or Africans were wronged by some Koreans because Koreans consider them vulnerable. Korean media actively reports such news. Stories are sometimes embellished by Korean journalists or activists. For instance, there was a small scandal about a Korean TV program a while ago because the producers manipulated their experiment results to forcefeed their preconceived thesis that S.E.Asians generally get cold shoulders in Korea.


            >> Koreans as victims and aggressors

            In general, some Koreans are always protesting loud against some injustice they perceive. Do you generally call it ‘crying foul’? Most of the time the subject is domestic politics. If things haven’t slipped your memory by now, you should know that there is strong political division among Koreans and some politicians are being bashed hard by some Koreans at any given moment. This article is another example, but it has been steered off the track and exploited by an agenda-driven troll whom you even encouraged. Only when international politics is involved, some expats tend to suddenly turn on their radar and pay special attention. Then they act like Koreans are making noise only at a few things that caught their selective attention. Something I have noticed. Milo, do you feel this much strongly about Korean domestic politics which constantly makes noise or ‘cries foul’?

          • chucky3176

            Yeah I remember that show where they show the White guy asking street directions and getting all friendly reactions. But the Southeast Asian guy getting all ignored. The show called it R-A-C-I-S-M boooo….hoooo….

            So it turns out it was all… The Burmese says what it first began as a study of Korean people’s English phobia, turned into an experiment on racism without he being informed. He was given lot of friendly helpful reactions, but the SBS show only showed those few times when he was ignored.

          • chucky3176

            I found the blog of that guy from Myanmar which the SBS show said was discriminated against.

            He said 80% of the Koreans on the street, helped him out with every possible way including hand motions and broken English. He apologized to those 80%, he didn’t know the show would pull a fast one him. What started out as a study on English phobia in Korea, turned into a study on Racism in Korea. And they only showed 20% of the Koreans who refused to help him.


          • milo

            From what I have experienced, a lot of Koreans believe that because Korea is a “small” country and was in the past weak, many other countries look down on Korea. They think this manifests itself when Korea is judged unfairly in sporting competitions, when other countries refuse to call the Sea of Japan, the “east Sea”, when court cases rule in favor of Apple as opposed to Samsung. In these cases and others like it many Koreans believe that these negative outcomes follow a pattern in which Korea is the victim of a much bigger power. They believe this will continue until Korea proves itself to be the (one of) the best.
            A lot of people on forums like this one, like to throw around the term “inferiority complex” when insulting each other (wether it be Japan, Taiwan, Korea etc) but Korea really does have a massive inferiority complex and I think it can be traced back in part to the large scale collaboration with Japan. It has created some sort of weird cognitive dissonace that shows itself nowdays in really strange ways. Like my office manager getting enraged when I said I thought don katsu was Japanese food.

            The reason why expats don’t feel as strongly about Korean domestic politics is becuase we generally don’t get accosted for our opinions about that kind of stuff.
            I’ve been approached in subway stations by people asking me “do you know Dokdo??” out of the blue.
            No one has ever asked my opinion on a Korean domestic issue. In fact i tried to engage a co-worker on the doctors/medical strike thing and his reaction was along the lines of why do you care about that? this isn’t even your country. This same guy has also asked me “do you know Dokdo”

          • chucky3176

            The reason why you don’t feel strongly about domestic Korean issues is because you can’t use them to bash Koreans with it, as much as the foreign affairs issues, like the issues with Japan. And domestic issues doesn’t interest you because you can’t understand/read Korean so you don’t know what the hell Koreans are saying and don’t know what the issues are. Come on, just admit it.

          • milo

            You are so hostile Chucky3176. I refuse to admit anything to you.

          • Sillian

            I agree that many Koreans believe Korea has to improve and prove something on the international stage. This may not be a completely positive or negative thing. Insecurity begets ambition. Your anecdote with your office manager is strange but I’m certainly aware of some Koreans’ urge to ask random foreigners about Dokdo. It is understandable why you pay more attention to certain issues as we all have different interests. But it is still necessary to try not to.get tunnel-visioned.

          • thanks Corea

            I think they fake one to impersonate and illuminate our understanding of the Japanese mentality of poor me/admire me/pity me, no compassion for anyone else.

      • Thank you Corea

        But it is that Korean grudgeness that comforts the more sedate Chinese and other Asians because only the Koreans can be so bold about the Comfort Women and other issues with Japan. We are very grateful to their style and character.

    • should be happier, no?

      wouldn’t they just shrug it off unless they were being constantly threatened by the collaborators who think they are eyewitnesses to evil? I think it is odd that if you did something so nice and brave as stand up against the Japanese (meaning your conscience is clear) that you should be traumatized by it as if you expected some reward? Isn’t the reward that Japan had to lose the war and go home and even if they are still waging war, this time we know they won’t win.

      it’s worse if you are being personally threatened but even then it is not about being bitter or comparing how you are faring to Akihito or something. Isn’t the nicest thing that you get to be with fellow common people who are authentic to their ancestry instead of enslaved and bowing to Japanese invaders?

  • R. Vandaka

    Question, how many successful Pro-Japanese Collaborators and their descendants still “thrive” and prosper today? all they talk about is Park Chung-Hee and his daughter, the current ROK president.
    I google it, and it seems some prominent figures in 20th century Korea, after the Korean war, had prominent roles in Korean society, politicians, military leaders, school founders, business executives.
    Maybe, in hindsight, being Pro-Japanese wasn’t the wrong choice after all.
    btw, is Lee Byung-chul, founder of Samsung Group, considered a pro-Japanese?
    what this means is that the Korea today had a lot to do with Japan, and I mean the economy and infrastructures. The Japan yen help funded the “Miracle on the Han River.”
    in the 1990s, companies like Samsung and LG hire former Japanese engineers from Sony, etc. to help make what they are today.
    Actually, Modern Korea owes a lot to Japan and it’s own pro-Japanese collaborators.

    • Sillian

      Japan controlled Korea for longer than three decades. If you aspired to be successful at anything, you had to adapt to the Japanese systems. After liberation and the war, those relatively successful people were considered valuable human resources for rebuilding the nation for obvious reasons. In its strict definition, I think collaborators should refer to those who actively promoted permanent perishment of Korea and prospered at the expense of other Koreans. Not just any random people who adapted to their environment and lived their life to raise their socioeconomic status.

      If your ancestors are identified to be collaborators by legal definition, the government can confiscate part of your wealth that can be attributed to your ancestors’ wealth. The label of ‘collaborators’ has been used in different contexts by different interested parties. The netizens who talk about Park Chung-hee and Park Geun-hye being collaborators incessantly (esp. on Daum) are usually leftists who passionately hate a particular political camp. However, no major Korean political party is free from what they accuse Saenuri of.

      • Chucky3176

        Right on. I would not put all the people who tried to carry on with their lives within the Japanese system, to be collaborators. But I would classify true collaborators as those who actively worked for Japan to promote and prolong the Japanese rule over Korea at the expense of Korean people. What political motivations did these people have and where did their loyalty lie with, are an important question. And I think the list of those Koreans as collaborators are tad too harsh. As for Park Jung Hee, I would consider him as a Japanese collaborator since he was a voluntary officer of the Japanese army. To note, he came to power through a military coup so he was never a Korean people’s choice from the beginning. But he did put forth is military experience in discipline to lead South Korea out of poverty.

    • chucky3176

      That’s a pretty common fucked up logic from Japanese apologist camp, demanding thanks from Koreans for the pure sacrifices made by Japan to help Korea. But it’s like the white man saying “we brought civilization to the Indians”, or saying “we taught you negroes how to read and write”. And what’s Japan Yen that supposedly rebuilt all of Korea, and Japan engineers that are helping to create Samsung to demolish Sony, have to do with any of the Korean collaborators, other then more Japanese self congratulatory bragging and self patting on their own shoulders for imagined greatness and generosity of Japan? No relations at all, I don’t see.

      • takasar1

        any idiot trying to deny japanese aid in korea’s economic revival and subsequently running to the same ‘japanese apologist’ argument, is a bigger idiot than first thought

        • chucky3176

          which “Japanese aid” supposedly rebuilt Korea? The 1965 Japan/Korea Treaty fund? Japanese are good one thing. They’re good at manipulating and fabricating numbers. Like in this example.


          • noshitbutsmile

            Japanese cannot even reach to koreans feet in fabricating numbers and stories. As for Japan aid as outcome from 65 treaty, the size was almost 3times as much as then-koreans national budget, and almost 60% of japans foreign ccy reserve was spent out one shot. Plus, Yen debt from JBIC for next 30years and ODA from Japan government. Sure, those must have did something superb to the countrys economical recovery if not all.

          • chucky3176

            Are you serious? You guys were claiming the $250 million in grants in 1965 were war reparations. Now you’re claiming they were economic aid? Sure, it doesn’t take much to give 3 times Korea’s national budget when Korea’s per capital income was barely over $60 per person. So what were they, war reparations or aid? No you can’t claim both. The other $550 million in loans were borrowed money with interests – which were paid back with interest profit going to Japan. I’m not denying the money was not a great benefit for economically backward Korea which was in great position to demand anything , but this was also a very carefully calculated move by Japan to dodge any future reparations claims by Korea which would have been much more costlier to Japan in the long run. And also, you cannot claim Japanese companies investing in Korea, as economic aid either. That would be like Korea claiming economic aid to Vietnam for all those Korean investments and ODA strictly out of goodness of heart. We all know that’s bull shit. All these are calculated tied moves to profit in the long run – which Japan did – with the tune of $1 trillion in trade/account surpluses with South Korea for 50 years.

          • chucky3176


            “which WASN’T in great position to demand anything”

          • Rutim

            > Now you’re claiming they were economic aid?

            It was called ‘Economic cooperation’ in the treaty. You can call those money whatever you want.

          • noshitbutsmile

            Korea didnot fight war against Japan and hence not among UN nor the battlefield. Korean government disclosed top secrets kept for 40years in 2005, which shocked entire korean citizens with background information of 65 treaty,(As a sidenote, if korean government disclose similarly the background information regaring Kono Danwa re comfortwomen, you would be shocked again) If you know what this was, you should be able to give yourself a hint the treaty can be covering both ways, Economic aid and compensations (not war reparations). You sould not forget 53$bio value(by GHQ cal) asset Japan gave up.You should also not underestimate Just Yen Loans( as China also often downplay the value of Japan ODA) if you have finance knowledge on what it means to the developing small economy that internationally tradable foreign ccy is available at much lower interest rate compared to prevailing market rate for long term. Are you of the opinon that Japans direct and indirect (through IMF)aid in 97 Korean ccy crisis, were also driven seeking for its own benefit? Finally you are typical mindset as those in the photo in the stadium which was constructed aided by
            debt from Japan.

          • chucky3176

            Nice photo shopped picture by the Japanese netizen. I’ve seen that in the Korean portals and everyone was shaking their heads at the length the Japanese will go to.

          • Chucky3176

            ” Are you of the opinon that Japans direct and indirect (through IMF)aid in 97 Korean ccy crisis”

            Japan pulled all their money out of Korea in 1997, what aid are you talking about? The IMF aid was $25 billion, paid back early with interest. Japan simply being part of the IMF fund is not enough reason to claim Japan gave economic aid to Korea. The IMF fund is pooled source by many countries.

          • noshitbutsmile

            Financial Aid to S.Korean crisis (breakdown upto the end of 1998 Unit: $100million)
            IMF 210, WordBank 100, Asia DevelopBank 40, Japan 100, USA 40, Other G7s 50 = Total 550
            Soure; Modern Asian Economy Prof 高龍秀 Konan Univ.

          • chucky3176

            Being part of the IMF or Asia Development Fund are not exactly Japan providing aid to Korea, on an one to one relations. Today Korea also contributes also to the IMF and the ADF, and the IMF fund was used to bail out Greece, Portugal, Spain. Did any Korean claim Korea provided economic aid to these countries? While I won’t say that contributing to those funds don’t mean it’s economic aid, but a big part of that are the international prestiege, voice in international matters (political power), and business opportunities that brings to those contributing members. Let’s put it this way, it’s not all strictly charity, and it’s not the same as giving aid to one on one, like how the US provided economic and military aid to S.Korea from the 1950’s to 1970’s. My problem with Japan’s claims is that they’re trying to give off a false impression that they gave economic aid to Korea, like how the US did for S.Korea, when that is a blatant attempt to take credit for something they shouldn’t.

          • noshitbutsmile

            It was arranged by IMF and Japan/US/Other G7 committed as 2nd line rescue lines as each single countries, not part of IMF. Of that 2nd line group, Japans aid was the biggest, $10bio. It was agreed between S.Korea and IMF on Dec4/97
            that total financial aid is $58bio, of which 1st line aids total $35bio from IMF, WB, AsiaDev were actually utilized. Main reason, if not all, S.K didnot need 2nd line rescue was that Japan government coordinated Reschedule of repayments with provate syndication groups, which then led to entire syndication group including US and Europe banks. You should not underestimate the importance of the fact Commitments were made on dec97 as safetynets to solve chaotic conditions rather than the net is actually used up or not.
            How about Swap agreements made between 2 countries.?
            It is the same in essence as credit enhancement scheme arranged by Japan for Korea. Yes you are right in saying it is not all strictly charity. Those are all bloody tax of each citizens. So what can you expect?
            Regardless it is actually used or not, do you think Japan was actually tryng to make profit from all of those coordinated efforts?

          • chucky3176

            By the way, the IMF bailout money in 1997 to 1998 were allocated 50 billion to bailout S.Korea. But S.Korea only borrowed half of it to pay off all the international creditors, and then paid all the loan back plus interest, in 2001, ahead of schedule. It’s amusing to read Japanese still demanding Korea pay back the money, as well as falsely claiming that Japan paid for the 2002 World Cup stadiums in Korea, and other fabricated nonsense that are going around Japan’s internet as well as their right wing media. There’s also claims in Japan right now that Korea borrowed money from Japan to build the winter olympics for 2018. I don’t know why and how you guys make up such laughable bullshit up and still end up believing them. I think Japan should worry more about Japan’s economy, instead of making wishful thinking fantasies about collapse of Korea. Because the world bank calculations show S.Korea’s per capital income will surpass Japan’s by 2020, or in about 5 or 6 years, after Mr. Abe has successfully weakened Japan’s currency and Abenomics fails. Japan’s per capital income fell by 17% last year alone. It”s not the fact that Korea is doing that great, it’s more of a testimony to how terrible Japan is doing.

          • noshitbutsmile

            >Japan paid for the 2002 World Cup stadiums in Korea, ……. Korea borrowed money from Japan to build the winter olympics for 2018.

            Where did you get these pieces? 2ch?

            I personally think it would be great if S.K income(or GDP) per capita surmounts the one of Japan. In such case, S.K would slow down demanding more compensations from Japan. But the news you quote contains a few “IF”s. Also Watch FX impact which explains fully the last year drop of Japan. Anyway, Stop thinking Japan wishes for the collapse of Korean economy. Your posts very often reflect your mindset too affected by those prejudices.
            You no need to answer to my question as you took me too far deviating away from main stream of this thread topic

          • [email protected]

            “Where did you get these pieces? 2ch?”

            That, and Sankei News.

          • chucky3176

            Shame on the Japanese, trying to raise anti Korean feelings by passing around such clumsy photoshop attempts. Here’s the real picture that you modified.


            Japanese are so childish.

          • Rutim

            Meanwhile in South Korea… Japan became more threatening than North Korea!

            You can call some Japanese netizens childish but it seems like entire nation is childish in South Korea.

          • CK7

            Not surprised by the photoshopped version by the Japaholes to create hate towards Koreans. That’s the Japanese way. I just can’t believe people like noshitbutsmile are dumb enough to believe that pic was the actual thing. Perhaps he knows it’s fake, but chooses to spread it anyway to support his ill agenda.

          • Sillian

            Isn’t it the plain truth that Japan contributed to rebuilding modern Korea before considering any strings attached to it?

          • chucky3176

            Sure they did. Korea got what they needed, and Japan got what they wanted. It was mutual benefit. But can we really call it a Japanese “economic aid”?

            takasar1 claims Japanese engineers working for Korean companies as economic aid. How is that economic aid? Can Korea claim Korea is giving economic aid to China because you know that there are Korean engineers working for Chinese ship builders and electronic companies?

    • Sam Chung

      Most of Japanese-endowed proto-industrial basis and conditions were developed in the northern part of the peninsula, to support the Manchuko during the war efforts and to satiate the political/economic interests of the ever-powerful Kwantung Army in the peninsula/Manchuria.

      If anyone needs to be thankful for Japanese colonization (not saying they should) it’s North Korea. Whatever little industrial infrastructure, capital and etc that existed in South Korean were destroyed or mangled in the Korean War anyway.

      Most South Korean “collaborators” who subsequently became successful/wealthy in the postwar South Korea were decedents of landowners who cooperated with the Japanese, who were the economic basis of southern section of the peninsula since dynastic times all the way up until the beginning of massive industrailization in earnest during the ’60s.

      The only two things Koreans should be “thankful” about the Japanese occupation are the postwar reparation money and forcing the peninsula to embrace modern political/social/cultural arrangements faster than it was willing.

  • Dave Park

    I feel like Koreans should know the phrase: “Don’t blame me for the sins of my father.”

    • Sillian

      How to view the benefits you got from the sins of your father is the actual issue.

    • we’ll see

      are you kidding? that’s not the attitude of a responsible person – I think Coreans would hold themselves up to a higher standard hence the refused apology in Sympathy for Lady Vengeance. As a Chinese, I *get* that refusal by the victim against the lead character. An apology cannot make up for the offense so you should have the manners to not even attempt an apology never mind the character to make such an apology.

      So for an offspring or descendant of an offender to consider themselves not beholden to anyone? Are you kidding? Your family ruined another family’s life and now you are eating tea cakes and calling yourself of equal status? Is the collaborator’s descendant washing the dishes and mopping the floors for the murdered patriot’s descendants to spare them chillblains?
      I don’t think so.

      In Hong Kong, an old man lives alone because he was one of the guerilla fighters during the Japanese occupation that began the day after the Pearl Harbor Attack. As retaliation after one of his group’s ambushes in the hills, the Japanese boarded his extended family’s sampan and killed everyone from the elderly, his mother, his sister in law, his nieces and nephews, his brothers, everyone was gone – his entire family tree wiped out. Stanley Ho collaborated. Does he look after the guerilla fighter’s welfare (not that the fighter would take anything from him) _ but maybe that is why ordinary Hong Kong people have no problem throwing F words at his daughters from subsequent mistresses when they walk amongst the ordinary in Lan Kwai Fong according to youtube videos.

      Do you get it? Don’t pose as a girl next door or a stellar student when your money comes from blood of others and you have ordinary people having a hard time in Hong Kong seeing one of Stanly Ho’s daughters overdressing and detailing her latest shoppping spree.

      COLLABORATOR – as in accessory to MURDER – do you understand? MURDER – do you understand who that damages and how that damages them and the injustice of it?

      if you were truly sorry, you wouldn’t make your presence known. You wouldn’t be flashing your presence as a reminder to the innocent of what your ancestors have done. The Aisingioro will never rule China again but Hirohito’s bloodline is still on the throne. Queen Min did nothing wrong but her bloodline has vacated the Corean throne. Do you see WHO by their behavior is remorseless despite their lies?

      NO on collaborators. NO on their descendants – just remember a Chinese collaborator drove a downed Allied pilot to the Japanese and he died in captivity so that collaborator’s children must never flourish. They should not even be born.

      I wouldn’t plead mercy for my father or my brother if we were descended from collaborators or the Japanese or the Germans but Leonardo Di Caprio has no problem advocating for his mother because she and her mother SUFFERED after WW2 in Germany.

      Shouldn’t you be okay with suffering if you knew that your tribe or your family did such a global wrong?

      • Dave Park

        I don’t know what i can say to this. I feel like you are at the most extreme end of a spectrum. Never flourish, never be born? Children should not be doomed from birth or walk a miserable poverty-ridden road because of who their parents were.

        Maybe it’s because I was born and raised in the US which teaches a more individualistic ideal where a person is a person and I am me but I believe that what my grandpa has done, not that he has done anything, is what he has done and does not, should not, reflect poorly, or even positively for that matter, on me.

  • Insomnicide

    So why did they let the collaborators keep their financial assets and illegitimate gains? Now that’s a better question.

    • reality check!

      Same reason why those who were in power in Japan were able to keep power after WW2.

      The Allies did not want to have to rebuild a nation, from the ground up. They “tweaked” things so that it was acceptable to “them”.

      Yes, yes that is an over simplification of the process but it is what happened…

  • FYIADragoon

    “What else needs to be said when the daughter of a pro-Japanese collaborator becomes the nation’s president.”

    First comment said all that needed to be said. Interested in why the supposedly “different” government that represented Korea afterwards, didn’t appropriately punish the collaborators….

    • Eidolon

      Because, for one, Korea was not liberated by a group of rebels who overthrew the pro-Japan government and were then free to do what it wanted with the collaborators. Korea was liberated by the Allies, and when they took charge of South Korea after the end of World War II, they chose not to destroy the collaborators in charge.

      In fact, it was little different in Japan, where though hundreds of Imperial officers and leaders were executed, the Emperor and the bulk of the Imperial administrative staff was retained. That’s why the descendants of Imperial Japanese officers and leaders continue to take charge in Japanese politics today.

      The collaborators became members of the establishment, with all the security benefits thereof, and they’ve been effective at keeping themselves safe from the ‘patriots’, so to speak. It’s a different case from an internal revolution eg China’s Communist takeover. There, Mao was free to execute, imprison, and persecute all the KMT loyalists he wanted because he had teh guns. The Koreans didn’t have the guns; the Allies did.

  • ytuque

    Why aren’t the names of the wealthy Chaebol families who collaborated with the Japanese given?????

  • A Gawd Dang Mongolian

    I’m seeing a lot of hate directed at kids of collaborators, but not what they should do to make things even.

    Give their money away? Donate to charity? Help support patriot descendants find their own way? Support them? Or just stand there and take the flak for the crime of being born to the wrong parents?

  • truth sayer

    The sad fact of the matter is that the majority of Koreans supported Japanese rule. They were “Hirohito’s willing auxiliaries” across Manchukuo and wider Asia. Read some BR Myers.

    • calling out the false sayer

      I’m not sure how you arrive at this, when Korea’s March 1 movement saw over 10,000 people getting massacred tens of thousands more tortured and executed, after demonstrating peacefully without arms, calling for independence of Korea.

      Right, “truth sayer”?

      • Lubin

        10,000 were imprisoned. The numbers killed in 1919 have never been verified. Ive seen ranges from 50 people to 50000. One my professors said the number will never be known because its not in the interests of both Japan and Korea. It suits neithers agenda.

  • wangkon936

    Another reason why the so-called descendants of the freedom fighters might have been because many of them sided with the Communists… bad idea.

  • B. Willy

    May this not be because Japanese collaborators were typically in the upper class – businessmen, politicians – whereas freedom fighters were from more humble roots.

    • chucky3176

      That’s because the rich Koreans got to where they were by sucking on Japanese pants. If they didn’t, the Japanese would not have let them get rich. By 1938, most of Korea’s land were owned by hundreds of thousands of Japanese settlers. The dispossessed Koreans ended up as poor renters in their own country, while some of them went to Japan to get jobs and get discriminated against. It was a typical colonial slave-master relationship like how Africa was settled by Europeans. On paper, Koreans were Japanese citizens. In reality, they were third class citizens in their own land.

      • The Lamb

        It is the tale of colonialism. Why must Korea think it is special. Over half the world was colonized. And in most cases far more brutally than korea.
        My ancestors were robbed from their lands and stolen away to be slaves in the carribean. Literal slaves. Then the british and french carved up west africa and treated it like their personal kingdom. Utter dispossesion.
        And people wonder why africa is in a terrible state nowadays. People say “oh black people are like animals they cant rule themselves. Just look at the child soldiers”. They forget about the scars of colonialism.
        So Korea, think yourself lucky that you had some geo political worth in the cold war. And be thankful you only experienced 1% of the evil of colonialism. Most importantly when you watch the news about another african genocide thank your god that it isnt your country and know that nobody likes a moaner.

  • donscarletti

    “The descendants of even the most famous patriots, such as Ryu Gwansun, are living humbly and blaming their condition on the legacy of Japanese rule.” Says it all.

    If you’re blaming Japanese rule for your problems almost a century later, then it would explain why you’re having so little success today. Nothing impedes success more than having an excuse for failure.

    • akro

      The favorite line of all those born on third base…

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