Monday, March 27, 2006

Seoul 2006 - Part III: Japan and Korea in the past

(Continued from Seoul 2006 - Part II: Korean cuisine.)

(From above, Seoul Railway Station (now disused), the Bank of Korea Museum, and Seoul City Hall)

The third thing that I learned during this trip was what Japan did to Korea in the past. As you might know, history education in Japan is terrible in the sense that we do not learn properly about what our ancestors did to Korea, China, and Southeast Asia. It was a weird experience to see some old modern buildings in Seoul were built by the Japanese during colonial time (see photos above).

There are a few former palaces in Seoul, but most buildings inside these palaces date back to, at most, the 17th century because the Japanese army burned them all down in the late 16th century... We do learn Japan invaded Korea at that time but I didn't know the Japanese samurai soldiers reached as far as Seoul... Koreans all know these things. I think I need to learn this kind of stuff properly, but I'm not sure if Japanese historians have properly studied it. (Unlike the EU, where historians across countries cooperate and produce the common history textbook, there has been no communication between Japanese and Korean/Chinese scholars in history, if I understand correctly.)

(Continued to Seoul 2006 - Part IV: Attractions in Seoul)

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