Sunday, July 27, 2014

An Evening with Choi Chongko

Professor Choi Chongko

My wife and I met with Professor Emeritus Choi Chongko yesterday evening for dinner, but we first went to a traditional teahouse, where we snapped the photograph above during a break from discussing Yi Kwang-su, about whom Professor Choi is writing a book. We looked at the text in manuscript and compared two different photographs of Yi Kwang-su's grave in North Korea -- one of the original stone bearing his name in Chinese characters and the other of the new stone with Korean writing.

One of the odd facts about Yi Kwang-su is that his grave in North Korea is honored by that leftist state, whereas the left here in South Korea considers him a traitor for his shift toward support of the Japanese colonizers during the latter 1930s.

During our break from discussion, we also had the following photo taken, this time of all three discussants:

As you can see, I was more in the dark than my wife or Professor Choi! Actually, I really was mostly in the dark, for much of the conversation went forward in Korean -- from which I would catch the occasional Korean word or the odd English or German expression.

Mea culpa for not learning Korean . . .

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At 12:43 AM, Blogger Carter Kaplan said...

Are there difference in the way the North and the South view Japan?

At 4:20 AM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

The North tends to express itself more harshly in its dislike of Japan, but North Korea is currently pursuing a charm offensive toward Japan because the North's ally, China, is alienated by the North's attempts to destabilize the Korean peninsula.

Jeffery Hodges

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