Two skeletons dating to the 400s CE have been found beneath Wolseong Palace in South Korea. When they were placed there, the palace was the seat of the Silla monarchy, at their capital Seorabeol. Archaeologists speculate that the two may have been buried alive!
Ancient Koreans practiced shamanism, which believed in rituals, possessions, and animal and perhaps human sacrifices. There are
folklore accounts of human sacrifices to please the gods and ensure structures like bridges and buildings last a long time. But if these two were sacrificed, this will be the first physical evidence of such a ritual in South Korea.
Thursday, August 10th, 1950
“Mother, today I killed a man…I threw a terrifying device called a hand grenade and it killed him instantly. The explosion nearly tore out my own ear drums. Even as I write at this moment, my ear is filled with a dreadful echo. But as much as an enemy they are to me, it pains my heart knowing that the people I’m shooting at are my people who I share the same blood and language with. And as if death is approaching, my fellow student comrades lay hopelessly in the sun, as if the enemy might advance any moment. However, talking to you eases my disturbed mind. The enemy is dead silent, I do not know when they shall strike.They have countless foes, we only have 71. I am scared because I do not know what to do next. Mother, there is a chance I might die today. It’s unlikely that those numerous North Korean soldiers. Would just ignore us and march on. Dear mother, it’s not that I’m afraid of death. I’m just afraid that I shall never see you or my siblings again. However, I shall live. I promise I will survive.
Mother, my aching heart is starting to settle now.
Mother, I shall survive and be at your side again.
I crave a fresh lettuce wrap right now. I want to slurp down on cold noodles until my teeth fall off beside the waterfall…
Ah, the enemies are coming now.
I shall write again. Mother goodbye! Goodbye! Ah, this is not a goodbye. For I shall write again. Until then…”
- letter discovered on the body of South Korean soldier Lee Woo Geun, killed three days after writing it during the defense of Seoul
Koreans demonstrate in front of the Japanese Embassy in Seoul. They’re protesting Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe’s ongoing lack of forthright apologies for the Japanese state’s aggression during World War II, especially the enslavement of young women in brothels to service soldiers. Two former ‘comfort women,’ ages 88 and 90, are seen here, seated in front.
Photo credit: HaeRyun Kang
THE GOLDEN SEASON: South Koreans revere the strange and ruggedly beautiful mountains east of Seoul for their power to soothe the spirit - photography: Frederic Lagrange - text: Krys Lee - Travel + Leisure October 2016
“Sinheungsa is the head temple of the 1,200-year-old Jogye order of Korean Buddhism”
I just saw a post about what Mamamoo recently did concerning parodying Bruno Mars Uptown Funk.
The story caught my attention very fast considering I am a fan of many of their songs, and feel they’re very talented among most girl groups this generation.
It’s funny cause being a black k-pop fan, you always know you will come across something problematic eventually.
I could talk all day about the previous scandals, G-dragon, Kikwang, etc but today I am here with my own little perspective on the matter.
As unpopular of an opinion as this is, I think this keeps happening because of ignorance. And I don’t mean the new found definition of ignorance that people have been slinging around as if it means ‘doesn’t care’.
I mean these idols actually have no knowledge of blackface. They do not grasp the problem with it and do not understand the history of blackface and why it is so very very offensive.
It is crazy. Especially considering they emulate black culture so frequently. But again just because you listen to black music, or even black influenced music doesn’t mean you understand black history.
I thought back to when I actually became aware of what blackface was. I realized I I didn’t even know what it was until I started doing in-depth research on black history in college. In my Jazz and Pop class we learned about Minstrel shows, and learned about the stereotypes that were forced on African-Americans during that time period. After receiving all that knowledge I was pretty grateful.
I mean if I didn’t know all the way up until college, I could only imagine how unconscious others could have been concerning the matter. Especially non-black, non-american individuals.
When I encounter racism in the K-pop community my reaction is usually something along the lines of “Oh man, y’all dun fucked up now”. But, I do think we need to be aware that most cases are rooted to something deeper . People hate to hear ‘their culture is different’, but realistically it plays a huge role in why things like this happen; not only in South Korea, but other parts of the world too.
Do I believe what they did was wrong? Of course. Even if they weren’t aware they should have been considering they listen to music made my other poc.
Do I accept their apology? Yes. In my opinion it seemed they sincerely did not know it was offensive. And as long as they learn from this mistake I have no issue continuing to listen to their music.
I kinda wish k-pop stars were required to take a class on black culture, but we all know that wouldn’t fly in xenophobic central. Not to mention they probably don’t even know we created it in the first place
*sigh* these idols have so much to learn. But I do think as time passes and K-pop grows bigger things like this will become a rarer occurrence rather than a frequent one.
August 15th (8월 15일) is one of the most significant dates in Korean history. On this day over 70 years ago, Japan surrendered to the Allied forces marking an end to World War II, and the end of 35 years of harsh Japanese imperial colonization and occupation over Korea. During the period of colonization, many Koreans faced vast limitations on their culture, language, and history imposed by Japanese provincial governments that destroyed/removed artifacts, banned Korean culture and customs, and imposed laws that rendered Koreans as second class citizens in their own nation. “Gwang Bok Jeol”, or “The Day the Light Returned” is a national Korean holiday that commemorates Korea’s emancipation from foreign rule, the reestablishment of cultural and linguistic independence, and the recovery of freedom.
[Customs and Traditions]~
Today, August 15th is a holiday where families get together for a nice meal and an evening watching fireworks. Tae Guk Kis are flown from many homes and buildings, and there is a lot of festivity and fanfare. In effect, Korea’s August 15th is very much similar to July 4th celebrated in the United States.
[Korea and Japan Today]~
Despite the passage of many decades since the end of World War II and Japanese occupation, political tension remains high between the two nations (as well as by other Asian nations affected by Imperial Japan). Political/Governmental fumbles revive old wounds and continue to create new ones, but there is hope that the two nations will one day be more at peace with one another and come to a settlement that satisfies both parties.
[Korean Independence Day Vocabulary!]~
독립 (dok rib) independence
자유 (ja yoo) freedom
해방 (hae bang) emancipation
유리 (yoo ri) liberation
태국기 (tae guk gi) South Korea’s flag
(gwang bok jeol)
Korean Independence Day
Hope this helps and happy studying! Stay safe everyone!~