Dokdo is Korean land… in yer language!

Okay so for those of you who don’t know, I am an admin of the facebook group “Dokdo belongs to Korea.” I became an admin by actually arguing for the Japanese side in order to stir up debate, as it appeared that all that was going on there was people coming in and shouting that Dokdo is KOREA’s and not really doing anything to try to prove it. In addition you’d also have the people who feel the need to be racist against the Japanese, or dismissing people who don’t agree with them with the words, “you don’t understand Korean history/culture/thinking because you are not Korean, so I don’t need to prove anything to you.”

Anyway the point of our group is to provide a place for healthy debate on the Dokdo subject. While most of the people who join believe that Dokdo is Korean land (myself included) we feel that rather than just to say it, it is important that the people who believe so understand why. Far too often it appears that people who believe that Dokdo is Korean can’t actually prove it logically beyond the statement, Dokdo is Korea’s because it belongs to Korea.

Now this post isn’t going to be about how to prove it logically or what to say in those situations. To any readers interested in that, join the group or check out some of its more interesting discussions.

What this post is going to be about is direct criticism for people who are on our side.
One member provided links to several videos that appear to have been made on the USC campus. In it a Korean student who presumably goes to USC walks around the campus asking random people what they know about Dokdo, then having “random” encounters with people who start to sing the Dokdo is Our Land song in their own language. Here’s an example:

My analysis after the jump.

As you can see, the first few people might actually be random, but the woman who sings the song in English is obviously part of the project. Her conversation is made to look like it is totally random and spontaneous, but it obviously is not!

Ms. Kim : Hi! Are you busy?

“Foreign” Lady: Oh, I can talk to you, sure!

Sure what? That’s either a terribly scripted line written by someone with bad command of English, or you’re nervous and trying to make your unnatural conversation seem natural, thereby making it more unnatural.

Anyway, the “foreign” lady goes on to sing the Dokdo song in English and the video ends there.

As you can see from these next two videos the format stays basically the same, as Ms. Kim continues to find “random” foreigners who can sing the Dokdo song in “their language”.

Spanish Version
Chinese Version

I didn’t actually watch all three of the videos, or even one in its entirety because they are baaaaaaad. However they are so bad that they are good, so it might be fun for some people.

I then came across another video in the series that.. wow.. just… WOW

It’s the Jamaican version!
Of course, anyone who knows anything about Jamaica knows that they speak English in Jamaica. So I fully expected this to just be a repeat of the English version, just with the alleged Jamaican lady singing the song instead.

But no, the alleged Jamaican lady who speaks proper English and is obviously from an educated background (she’s a USC student afterall) breaks into what I can only guess is an attempt at Patois… which I admittedly am not a native speaker of, but my bet is that neither is she. She sounds like she is attempting to sound like she comes out of the Cool Runnings movie, but she fails miserably.. and she’s off key to boot. (in her defense, she probably didn’t hear the background music when she was singing, but still..)

So I have to wonder… who are these videos for? Is this going to convince people that Dokdo belongs to Korea? No. They are specifically made for a Korean audience that desperately wants to believe that their efforts to teach uncouth foreigners that Dokdo belongs to Korea are succeeding. The problem is that if anyone watching the video has an upper level command of English, they will know that the videos are obviously scripted, and the people in the videos are either paid, or they care about Dokdo for other reasons.

So basically my verdict is that these videos are really stupid and if people want to get the point across that Dokdo is Korea’s then they need to make videos that prove the point rather than writing out scripted dialogue with random people who are obviously not random.

( Edit: this post was linked from a Japanese Nationalist blog, which appears to be the reason that I’ve been getting a lot of hits from Japan on this. People have been asking me to lay out my case for Korean ownership of Dokdo, which I will do soon when I have time to be as detailed as possible.)


17 Responses to “Dokdo is Korean land… in yer language!”

  1. I apologize in advance for my poor English. I know this place is not for discussion or debate, but I’d like to know why you believe Dokdo is Korean territory. Korean government has been fabricating evidences from the beginning and brainwashing their people with nationalistic song while Japan has established evidences like documents, archaic maps, official statement and international treaty.

    • Hey Ken, glad you replied. Don’t worry about your English. It actually isn’t poor at all. I will be happy to answer your questions when I have more time, because this is a very sensitive issue, I don’t want to fire away a quick answer, I want it to be easily understandable, succinct, and I want also to give you a chance for your reply. I don’t want this to turn into a shouting match, and I want us to be respectful of each other. I respect your opinion even if I disagree with it. A post detailing the case for Korean ownership over Dokdo will follow in the coming days. I will also inform you directly by e-mail once it is complete so that you can also give your rebuttal if you so wish.

  2. What do you think of these videos?

    • I think they are far more effective in arguing the problem than these singing videos are, but I have to say that they contain a lot of information that while it may be accurate, is unfortunately irrelevant. I’ll soon make a post arguing the case for Korean ownership of Dokdo and you are welcome to argue your case there when it is complete.

  3. I can’t agree more. I was very annoyed by those multi-language singing videos and comments so I’m very glad to hear from someone who’s not driven by sole emotion. I’m on Japanese side but I would be looking forward to your reasoning of the ownership of the land in future posts. And I too hope this stays as healthy debate as possible from both sides.

  4. I am actually very surprised that 3 different people on Japan’s side have come to my blog to discuss. Most Japanese people I know really don’t care about the subject, and most foreign people who are knowledgeable about Japan (with the exception of Koreans) think the subject is stupid. I’ll be happy to oblige you all and I’ll give you all a chance to speak.

  5. […] said, I wrote a post criticizing several videos that were meant to promote the idea that Dokdo belongs to …, and it proved to be a hit with several people on the Japanese side of the argument, including a […]

  6. Takeshima is Japanese territory. Says:

    I found this link on the blog by the producer of “한국에는 타케시마를 그린 고지도는 존재할까?: 일한 고지도의 비교”
    Though his (and my) standpoint contradicts yours, I felt you guys could hit well as friends.
    I totally agree with you on “the people who feel the need to be racist against the Japanese, or dismissing people who don’t agree with them with the words, “you don’t understand Korean history/culture/thinking because you are not Korean, so I don’t need to prove anything to you.”” I could just switch the word Korean to Japanese.
    Wish there would be more rational people on earth.
    Will be waiting for your video of counterargument.
    안부. (Reagards.)

  7. […] Art shamelessly lifted from Nerdesque I’ve crossed over! You may recall that post I did a few months ago that argued for Korean ownership of Dokdo? This was as a response to some Japanese nationalists who had gotten wind of my criticism for one Korean’s approach to the problem. […]

  8. haeunkang Says:

    I am Korean I want to know global perspective on dokdo.
    Please send me a mail or reply as soon as you can.

  9. Dokdo is Japans. Not Koreas.

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