April 28, 2014

Forget it, Barack, it's Koreatown

One of Donald Sterling's high crimes and misdemeanors has been discriminating against non-Korean would-be renters in his properties in Koreatown west of downtown Los Angeles. From ESPN in 2009:
Even more bizarre but just as effective at driving away African-Americans and Hispanics, Beverly Hills Properties changed the name of the Wilshire Towers complex to Korean World Towers. A huge banner printed entirely in Korean was hung on the building, and the doormen were replaced by armed, Korean-born guards who were hostile to non-Koreans, again according to testimony given by multiple residents. In August 2003, during the Housing Rights Center lawsuit, a federal judge ordered Sterling to stop using the word "Korean" in the names of his buildings, but the damage had been done."

From Malaysia, President Obama took time out to upbraid the "ignorance" that Sterling displayed during his illegally recorded private conversation. Still, there remains the theoretical possibility that the octogenarian real estate billionaire isn't wholly ignorant about what his Korean customers are looking for. The news videos above and below are from Koreatown in April 1992.
     

97 comments:

Anonymous said...

Diversity is beautiful.

Anonymous said...

Vincent Chin got lot more airplay than LA pogrom.

Depro Provera said...

http://www.haaretz.com/mobile/.premium-1.587831?v=479A8C0A561777F86F6A5B1793D13E31


Don't the Israelis deport blacks at a furiously high rate?

Depro Provera said...

How much would black tenants have devalued Tokowitz-Sterling's real estate portfolio? Does anyone have the numbers on that?

Anonymous said...

What I wanna know is this. If Sterling had such a reputation for so long, how come NAACP was about to hand him an award?

I mean what the hell is going on?

I guess he donated a good enough sum.

Btw, how willing are Jews in Crown Heights to rent more spaces to blacks?

Anonymous said...

Let me just say this. I'm the only real race-ist.

Anonymous said...

Hey Steve,

I've heard several commenters online suggest that the looting in Koreatown in 1992 was overwhelmingly committed by Hispanics. And watching the footage in the clip below shot near Koreatown during the riots, over 90% of the looters do indeed seem to be Hispanic. What do you know about this?

http://youtube.com/watch?v=PmsKGhLdZuQ

Anonymous said...

What!

Koreans aren't "diverse" enough?

Shouting Thomas said...

Obviously, in the interest of all that's fair, owners of real estate should be forced to rent to gang bangers.

Dave Pinsen said...

That rabbi seems to think Sephardic Jews are black. He sounds ignorant.

Anonymous said...

People seem to think the NBA can simply make Sterling sell. HOw? He has not broken any laws. If there is some kind of owners' charter/contract (I am sure there is but don't know what it's called) and they claim his behavior is detrimental to the game, he must have his own dirty secrets he can reveal about other owners whose behavior has been "detrimental to the league."

Anonymous said...

"I guess he donated a good enough sum."

Google the press conference the local NAACP guy had today. He got really defensive, and yes, you're right--Sterling paid big dough to them.

Like all things racial, shakedowns exist everywhere.

Anonymous said...

"I've heard several commenters online suggest that the looting in Koreatown in 1992 was overwhelmingly committed by Hispanics. And watching the footage in the clip below shot near Koreatown during the riots, over 90% of the looters do indeed seem to be Hispanic. What do you know about this?"

My guess is browns joined in after blacks started it. Since LA has more browns, there were gonna be more brown looters in SOME areas.
But if blacks hadn't gone crazy in the first place, browns wouldn't have joined in.

It's like the London riots. Blacks began it, but then white yobs got into the act too.

I heard that 40% of all looted store were Hispanic owned, so, I think it became a free-for-all after awhile.

http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/1992/10/blacks-vs-browns/306655/

Anonymous said...

"Btw, how willing are Jews in Crown Heights to rent more spaces to blacks?"

Sadly, there aren't any blacks around to rent to...

ogunsiron said...

Dave Pinsen said...

That rabbi seems to think Sephardic Jews are black. He sounds ignorant.
====
A lot of westerners have this idea of "brown" middle-esterners.
I'd expect a less moronic point of view from a rabbi though. Even Eli Yishai, a mizrahi, thinks jews are white people. The rabbi is probably being disingenuous.

2Degrees said...

I live in Korea. It is possible to live here for a week and not see a black or white face even once. The place seems to function fine without enrichment from Bangaldeshis anhd Somalis. It's also very safe, but I did see a fight once outside a railway station. Fights in this country are for real.Expect teeth and blood on the pavement!

Anonymous said...

"Fights in this country are for real.Expect teeth and blood on the pavement!"

There's something savage about them dog-eating freaks. They even eat raw liver.

http://youtu.be/HvzeyDB3lMA

Svigor said...

I did see a fight once outside a railway station. Fights in this country are for real.Expect teeth and blood on the pavement!

Since your personal sample size is 1, I suppose you're basing your evaluation on something you aren't sharing with us.

Anonymous said...

Sterling should have gotten himself a bunch of homo koreans or homoreans, or have them pretend to be homo like Jack Tripper in Three's Company.

If the building had been named GAY KOREAN HOMES, no problem.

Anonymous said...

I'm white and I live in Flushing Chinatown. My husband is Chinese and we live in a rental condo that is go clearly pitched to the Chinese market. The daytime doorman can't speak English. The signage about stuff like trash pickup is all in Chinese. The building has no fourth floor. I am the only white person living on the STREET. And I'm widely accepted. But the Chinese like to keep to themselves. There's a Korean population in Flushing too, but they have their own buildings. They don't mix even with the Chinese.

Side note: we pay below market because my Cantonese landlord likes that I'm white and my husband is a banana. He knows we aren't going to move our extended family into his little investment apartment, or operate an illegal business out of it.

Anonymous said...

A surefire movie idea.

We had REVENGE OF THE NERDS in the 80s.

We also had REVENGE OF THE GEEKETTES, as there are plenty of smart and rich high IQ women in institutions and professions.

But what about the bimbos?
Well, now we have REVENGE OF THE BIMBOS or HOS.

After the Clinton-Lewinsky thing, haven't rich/powerful guys learned anything yet?

No, whenever they look at bimbos, their puds get to singing:

http://youtu.be/BBWOdASBjm0?t=49s

If that's the only way bimbos get their slice of the pie, well...

Anonymous said...

Here is a quote from Eli Yishai, Israeli Minister of Internal Affairs (the son of Tunisian Jews) explaining that Israel belongs to the White Man:

"In a June 2012 interview with the Israeli daily Maariv, Yishai was quoted as saying: "Muslims that arrive here do not even believe that this country belongs to us, to the white man."

(via WIKIPEDIA)

Anonymous said...

I previously posted this, but it seems germane.

Via MIDDLE EAST MONITOR, the lives of Black Jews in Israel:

"Although there are undoubtedly some individual success stories, the picture is pretty grim for many, if not most, Falasha in Israel. According to a report in Newsweek:

Poverty is three times higher among Ethiopians than among other Jewish Israelis, and unemployment is twice as high. Ethiopian youngsters are much more likely to drop out of school and are vastly under-represented at the country's universities. One place they are over-represented is in jail: juvenile delinquency runs four times higher in the community than among Israelis overall.1

In addition, of the more than 120,000 Ethiopian Jews living in Israel today (half of whom were born in Africa and all of whom account for less than 2 per cent of its 7.7 million population), many are consigned to live either in ghettos or illegal settlements. Hundreds of complaints of racism are made by the Ethiopian community to charities and organisations like Tebeka every year and there is clearly a huge imbalance in the treatment of black Jews and non-black Jews. Despite hundreds of millions of dollars being spent by American and Israeli donors specifically to help the Falasha to 'integrate' into Israeli society, a black underclass has essentially been created in Israel, in which 65 per cent of Ethiopian children in Israel live below the poverty line."

Anonymous said...

Previously posted this, but the housing angle seems quite on point.

Racist Housing in Israel:

"The racism extends to such basic issues as where the Falasha can and cannot live. Some areas have a 'policy' of not selling apartments to non-white Jews. In 2009, one estate agent looking for accommodation for his newly arrived clients was shocked to be told by the owner of a building in Ashkelon:

There are no Ethiopians in this area at all, and there won't be any. This is our policy. I have no problem with them living somewhere else ... Anyone can come, but not Ethiopians. This is how it is in the entire building; at least I hope it is, in order to preserve the apartment's value and the building's value ... We've kept this rule of not selling to Ethiopians for 16 years. I can't speak for the entire house, but this is how I feel ... It immediately drops the apartment's value ... their apartments drop 30% in value ... I'm no expert in the details, but the price goes down if Ethiopians come. I don't care who lives here, I'm not racist. But when I leave the building where I have lived for the past 16 years, the rest of the tenants will look at me as a traitor because I sold to Ethiopians. I don't want to ruin my relations with my friends.'"

(www.middleeastmonitor.com/resources/commentary-and-analysis/3917-israel-promised-land-for-jews-as-long-as-theyre-not-black)

Anonymous said...

http://www.amren.com/news/2014/04/a-smuggler-of-immigrants-dies-in-prison-but-is-praised-in-chinatown/

My head hurts.

Anonymous said...

There are no blacks in crown heights? You're either making a joke no one can possibly guess or, more likely, you're an idiot living a thousand miles from crown heights with an ass full of assumptions.

Anonymous said...

I smell a setup too. I really wonder if the Divine Miss V was an informant - either FBI, LAPD, or the NBA?

This isn't the 1st time Sterling has had girl trouble:

http://www.thesmokinggun.com/documents/crime/nba-owner-sex-scandal

"whom Sterling credited with "sucking me all night long" and whose "best sex was better than words could express."

I bet.

NOTA said...

Koreans are the wrong kind of minorities--they do well in school, hold down jobs, marry before they procreate, pay their bills, and stay out of jail. Might as well be Swiss or something.

Chicago said...

The videos reinforce the fact, in case people have forgotten, that when the electricity goes out or law enforcement breaks down then all the 'diversity' comes out to play. 'Play' meaning the opportunity to loot, rape, mug, assault, vandalize and burn everything down. Of course all the people currently screaming about what the goofy Clippers owner has said will never say anything to condemn what the 'diverse' population did in LA or in any of the other thousands of cases of mayhem all across the country. All it takes is for the lights to go out. Sterling is now the centerpiece for a new version of the Burning Man festival.

Mr. Anon said...

If history teaches us anything, it is this: Don't f**k with Koreans. They are serious f**king people who are seriously f**king crazy.

YIH said...

If 0bama had not become a US Congressman/Senator/President I wonder how he would be treated in Seoul. Probably indifferent at best.
As the LA riots proved, Koreans don't particularly like Africans (or even half-Africans that look like and consider themselves African).

Anonymous said...

"He doth protest too much: 'Racist' LA Clippers owner Donald Sterling donated $135,000 to the Museum of Tolerance and African-American charities"

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2615056/Allegedly-racist-NBA-owner-donated-heavily-Museum-Tolerance-United-Negro-College-Fund-Black-Business-Association.html

"The Donald T. Sterling Charitable Foundation made the donations between 2009 and 2012
$30,000 to the Museum of Tolerance in Los Angeles, $50,000 each to the city's Black Business Association and the United Negro College Fund
None of those groups has publicly criticized Sterling since a recording of a racist rant, allegedly in his voice, surfaced Friday
The United Negro College Fund says it won't give back the money "

Hacienda said...

Shrewd Jew. Very very shrewd.

S. Korean 2 year draft trains for a lot a contingencies expected and unexpected. Some S.Central gangbangers and motley illegals don't really mean a thing when you're raised constantly thinking about the Kims upstairs.

Boris Johnson's Other Mistress said...

White participation in the 2011 rioting was overblown. Even academics like David a Starkey, who should know better, even seemed to think it was "whites acting black."

He should know better, but he was approved "conservative" POV.

24AheadDotCom said...

I was in Miracle Mile at the time of the riots and I think the rioters were mostly black. Many of the looters might have been Hispanics, but E.L.A. was quiet. Some building were burned about a mile southwest and a mile southeast from me, at the top edge of the riots and at the time those were predominately black areas. There were also a couple of buildings burned on Hollywood Blvd., but the case of Samy's Camera has always seemed a little strange.

fnn said...

'Racist' LA Clippers owner Donald Sterling donated $135,000 to the Museum of Tolerance and African-American charities"

The Museum of Tolerance is another Holocaust Industry scam. Ask Bill Handel how he hates them. And there's a new youtube video by David Cole/Stein about them.

Boris Johnson's Other Mistress said...

I married a Latina a year after the riots and moved there. The extended Mexican/Chicano family detested the rioting blacks. Sure some gang bangers from Avenues looted, but they sure as shit didn't riot.

Boris Johnson's Other Mistress said...

The Hispanics didn't riot.

They probably used the cat5 as a smokescreen to cleanse the Avenues of their black rivals.

East LA didn't burn. Period.

Anonymous said...

If history teaches us anything, it is this: Don't f**k with Koreans. They are serious f**king people who are seriously f**king crazy.

I remember reading the account of a British soldier in the Korean War concerning the local Korean troops. Apparently, some of them were given to drinking gasoline out of the Allied tanks' gas-tanks as a form of recreation (with alcohol in short supply and there being little else to do in the way of recreation). When the Brit complained to the local Korean commander about one particularly incorrigible miscreant, the Korean officer's first proposed solution was summary decapitation (the Brit eventually argued him down to merely having the gas-guzzler beaten with shovels).

Jefferson said...

"Koreans aren't "diverse" enough?"

Of course Koreans are not diverse enough. If Obama had a son he would not look like the Korean actor John Cho from the Harold & Kumar films.

Shlong Uzi said...

When I hear the word ignorant I reach for my Desert Eagle!

Shlong Uzi said...

If Sterling is a smart guy he's been bugging the locker talk among his players and some of their recreational activity too.

I'd blackmail my team too if I were him.

Anonymous said...

"If history teaches us anything, it is this: Don't f**k with Koreans. They are serious f**king people who are seriously f**king crazy."

The Japanese didn't have much of a problem colonizing/dominating them.

DLC said...

A curious phenomenon worth noting is the immense cult popularity that South Korean pop music currently enjoys internationally - in both the developing and developed world.

I was completely oblivious to this phenomenon until very recently, when I was sitting at a Korean-run Japanese restaurant which was screening a packed Kpop stadium concert.

To my surprise shots of the audience showed that they were mostly either caucasian or black - the concert had taken place somewhere in West.

According to my teenage niece a sizeable proportion of her high school classmates are huge KPop enthusiasts.

When I was a kid growing up I would have never imagined that either black or white teenager girls one day be screaming themselves hoarse over fey, semi-emaciated Asian pop stars:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6eYPmDmRZr0

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bQqsWPv4xKE

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fuiFWgy_XWk

Anonymous said...

Korea is an extremely status based society. All Korean males need to do military service, but you can opt-in for the Korean Marines.
The Korean Marines are impossibly hardcore. Things we'd consider brutal hazing are *genuinely normal* there. And they are very, very effective.
It is an under-told story, but the ROK Marines fought alongside SEALs and the like in Vietnam. Even footing. The best Korean Marines are genuinely among the toughest soldiers on Earth.
But it's also a status issue. Korean Marines are really "brotherhood-y". They are assigned a number when they get in based on the time and year. And they defer to those above them and command those beneath them. It isn't uncommon to see a 45 year old (ex) ROK Marine get publicly bullied around a bit by a 50 y/o ROK-M.
But this set-up allows them a pretty extensive and successful "after service" life. It is pretty common for a, say, platoon to all chip in and buy a gas station or a tire store.
I've never heard an official tally, but among the hundred or so Korean-owned stores, it is beyond question that some (many?) were owned by these ROK-M vets groups.
Americans were (and still kinda are) unaware of the funding/social nature of Korean expat business, so it caught everyone off guard when the local video store and grocery store was suddenly able to errect effective barricades and do a solid job of static defence, but behind the scenes it wasn't a standard laundromat owner, it was a retired Chuck Norris

Anonymous said...

My high school principal was at D Day and the Battle of the Bulge, but he said nothing scared him like those Korean Communists streaming down the mountain one cold February morning.

Anonymous said...

"A curious phenomenon worth noting is the immense cult popularity that South Korean pop music currently enjoys internationally - in both the developing and developed world"

Whorea

Skankorea

But the ferry accident?

Morons

Anonymous said...

"If history teaches us anything, it is this: Don't f**k with Koreans. They are serious f**king people who are seriously f**king crazy."

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x4OCkWJrpQQ

Just a bunch of copycat hipster bullshitters without a culture.

Anonymous said...

"Just a bunch of copycat hipster bullshitters without a culture."

"Whorea

Skankorea

But the ferry accident?

Morons"

Oh come on - no need to hurl spurious insults jus because you totally lack their talent and brains.

Anonymous said...

During the LA riots, the majority of looters were, indeed, opportunistic Hispanics. Bulk of violence against whites and Asians, however, was committed by blacks. Simply put, Hispanics stole, blacks killed and burnt.

Black gangs even declared a truce so that they could go attack Korean businesses together. Blacks were also the majority of arsonists and those who attacked the courageous firemen responding to the many fires.

One of the most distressing things about the reportage was the enormous bias against the likes of Koreans who fought back against criminals. Listen to the two video clips. The narration is one of panic and alarm that these property owners armed and defended themselves, as if they "started something" and "started to shoot anything and everything" when in reality these shopkeepers were responding to threats to their lives and property and were hardly firing in all directions.

And indeed when the cowardly LAPD did show up (which was rare), they didn't help the innocents. In several instances they disarmed the Koreans and moved out.

During this time and thereafter, many Koreans felt betrayed by the system and the whites in power. It is not hyperbole to say that their confidence in America was shaken badly and it is perhaps not coincidence that the voting pattern of Korean-Americans started to change not long after this from largely Republican to increasingly Democrat.

White nationalists who whine about Asians voting for Democrats overwhelmingly today might look up the past numbers and ponder about the fact that Asians used to vote more Republican than whites did and reflect on what role the white political leadership played in that change.

As for me, when the chips are down and there is a race riot, give me that little yellow dude with a $5 haircut who runs toward gun fire bravely any day over the SWPL-types quivering in their homes.

Anonymous said...

""""""During this time and thereafter, many Koreans felt betrayed by the system and the whites in power. It is not hyperbole to say that their confidence in America was shaken badly and it is perhaps not coincidence that the voting pattern of Korean-Americans started to change not long after this from largely Republican to increasingly Democrat.""""""


Irony is that LA at the time had a Democratic mayor.

In other words, Koreans now find themselves voting alongside with the very same blacks and hispanics who stole from them and beat them up.

If they honestly reflected on that, perhaps they'd have second thoughts about siding so quickly with the party that puts blacks first and hispanics third after....those people like....

Anonymous said...

South Korea sent roughly two division-sized force to Vietnam as a part of the free world forces during the Vietnam War. Eventually about half a million South Koreans served in Vietnam to assist the United States and South Vietnam.

Koreans acquired an extremely good reputation for discipline and combat ability. They were renowned for their ability to ambush the Vietnamese on their own soil. They excelled in small unit operations and were very thorough in preparations and pacification. Vietnamese command frequently warned their forces to avoid contact with Koreans.

Many American veterans attest to the reputation and say that Korean areas of responsibility were often some of the safetest areas in Vietnam.

Koreans, however, were also accused of numerous massacres against the local civilians.

On the whole this was a remarkable turnaround. During the earlier Korean War, ill-trained peasant conscripts of the South Korean army (ROKA) had the reputation of breaking and running easily (during the initial North Korean armored onslaught, Seoul fell in three days; panicked South Koreans blew the bridges across the Han River too early and trapped the bulk of their own army north of the river, which disintegrated). To be fair, even the initial American force sent to stop the North Koreans, the infamous Task Force Smith, crumbled and retreated in disarray.

In any case, those South Koreans said "never again" and brought their military up to very high fighting standard and that showed in Vietnam. They routinely had 20-to-1 kill ratio against the Vietnamese and they did not benefit from the advanced and latest weaponry as American forces did.

Anonymous said...

If you want to undertand the LA riots from a Korean perspective, there is an excellent English-language documentary called "Clash of Colors" on YouTube:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=An8LJ_fv0mo

Anonymous said...

Poverty is three times higher among Ethiopians than among other Jewish Israelis, and unemployment is twice as high. Ethiopian youngsters are much more likely to drop out of school and are vastly under-represented at the country's universities. One place they are over-represented is in jail: juvenile delinquency runs four times higher in the community than among Israelis overall.1

Racist white privileged Israelis.

Anonymous said...

And indeed when the cowardly LAPD did show up (which was rare), they didn't help the innocents. In several instances they disarmed the Koreans and moved out.

During this time and thereafter, many Koreans felt betrayed by the system and the whites in power. It is not hyperbole to say that their confidence in America was shaken badly and it is perhaps not coincidence that the voting pattern of Korean-Americans started to change not long after this from largely Republican to increasingly Democrat.
_____________________

Yet totally nonsensical to give their votes to the Dems.

The GOP has been neutered in CA.


Harry Baldwin said...

It is not hyperbole to say that their confidence in America was shaken badly and it is perhaps not coincidence that the voting pattern of Korean-Americans started to change not long after this from largely Republican to increasingly Democrat.

"Enough of this frying pan--I'm jumping into the fire."

Anonymous said...

Btw, K-pop which is second in global popularity only to american music is
derived from the latter,in particular african-american music: hiphop, rap, soul....

Silver said...

"Racist white privileged Israelis."

It's hard to resist wanting to hit back at them, that I can understand perfectly well. But this is the logic of "negrify thy neighbor." It's a game we will all lose.

Anonymous said...

PJ O'Rourke wrote about covering a protest in South Korea and called them the hardest of the hardcore. He watched a kid bite off the end of his finger to write a slogan on his jacket with his blood.

ogunsiron said...

Svigor said...

I did see a fight once outside a railway station. Fights in this country are for real.Expect teeth and blood on the pavement!

Since your personal sample size is 1, I suppose you're basing your evaluation on something you aren't sharing with us.
===
Koreans are reputed to be much more "emotional" than the other north east-asians. Their street riots are legendary.

ogunsiron said...

Boris Johnson's Other Mistress said...

White participation in the 2011 rioting was overblown. Even academics like David a Starkey, who should know better, even seemed to think it was "whites acting black."

He should know better, but he was approved "conservative" POV.
===
I followed the UK 2011 riots closely and whites definitely participated though they weren't the leaders or the initiators, in London.

The UK police started to get tough *only* when the rioting had spread to mostly white cities outside of London. They got tough on rioters only when the rioters were safe targets : chavs, yobs and other UK white trash.

Don't forget that there is an extremely decrepit, quite large white working class in the UK.
I've seen documentaries on the "estates" and it's unbelievable.

Kpop sucks said...

DLCA curious phenomenon worth noting is the immense cult popularity that South Korean pop music currently enjoys internationally - in both the developing and developed world.

...

When I was a kid growing up I would have never imagined that either black or white teenager girls one day be screaming themselves hoarse over fey, semi-emaciated Asian pop stars


It's bad music, but then are Lady Gaga, Katy Perry, Beyonce and One Direction good music now?

South Koreans are quite skilled at image. It's about as well crafted as Japanese pop music, but with more of a naked desire to go for the money (they're a hungry nation still) and less of the cultural peculiarities which have developed around the Japanese music scene.

So their pop does manage to draw in a lot of slightly socially dysfunctional young girls who don't quite understand authenticity, sexuality, maturity or passion very well.

http://www.chinasmack.com/2013/stories/chinese-fans-of-korean-tv-dramas-mostly-have-low-education.html

"According to the paper, (Chinese) viewers with high education and high income prefer “rational and light-hearted” TV shows, therefore, they mostly prefer American TV shows. Whereas the reason why viewers with low education and low income prefer Korean TV shows is because the logic of some Korean TV series is bad, you don’t have to use your brain when watching them, and can simply “let off steam/release emotions”"

(IQ unfortunately is a less than perfect indicator of actually *wanting* to think and understand).

Their pop music is pretty much like that as well (joyless addiction more than wild and spontaneous fun), although their cinema can be sophisticated and well crafted.

Anonymous said...

>>kpop (yes it does) sucks said:
""""Their pop music is pretty much like that as well (joyless addiction more than wild and spontaneous fun), although their cinema can be sophisticated and well crafted."""""

Korean Cinema as really almost all of Asian cinema of the last few decades owes a large influence and debt to the Japanese masters of the past, notably Akira Kurosawa. There hasn't yet been a Korean director to come along to rival the global impact of Kurosawa in particular.

And when that filmmaker does come along, it will be most likely that they were influenced by Japanese filmmakers in film school.

Svigor said...

Koreans are bad-asses because they like to hurt themselves and each other.

I thought the idea was to kick the other guy's ass.

Svigor said...

Koreans are reputed to be much more "emotional" than the other north east-asians. Their street riots are legendary.

Yeah, I know. The Japanese were famous for their displays of fanaticism during WWII. Their willingness to die, commit suicide, etc. But not for their ability to kill the enemy and survive to kill again. They did a lot of dying on those islands in the Pacific.

Anonymous said...

Irony is that LA at the time had a Democratic mayor.

And the governor of California was a Republican as was the president of the United States. Yeah, a platform of law and order. Real irony there.

In other words, Koreans now find themselves voting alongside with the very same blacks and hispanics who stole from them and beat them up.

If they honestly reflected on that, perhaps they'd have second thoughts about siding so quickly with the party that puts blacks first and hispanics third after....those people like....


Not so "quickly." In the 1992 presidential election, which took place months after the riots, Asian-Americans, including Koreans, still voted for the Republicans at a higher rate than whites did. In other words, Asians voted for the so-called white party more than whites did.

But you know what has happened since. And I can't blame them. White nationalists types like to blather about how ALL non-whites automatically and genetically harbor some sort of anti-white animus and will always vote against them. History said otherwise. Yes, a little "honest reflection" would be helpful.

Koreans trusted the whites and had faith in the system of politics and law enforcement they built and maintained. And when blacks and Hispanics transgressed the norms and broke the system violently, they saw that the whites and their political apparatus were coddling the lawbreakers and not the victims such as themselves. They were left to fend for themselves literally and in the aftermath were left out of the rebuilding process.

*I* still think it would be better for them to cast their lot with the GOP. But I understand their sense of betrayal. When the larger and more influential invaders attack you and your allies abandon you and coddle the invaders, do you obstinately hold on by yourself and become everyone's whipping boy? Or do you cut your own deals with the invaders and secure an imperfect peace?

*I* personally would choose the former and go down with the ship but I am unusually pugnacious (and armed to the teeth). Not a lot of people would choose that path. It's always unrealistic to expect others to be martyrs first.

I was a Republican operative once. In that capacity, I spoke to a number of Korean-American leaders in the aftermath of the riots. They all felt that they were abandoned by whites and the political system at large and that they were the discarded shield that absorbed most of the riots while whites were protected. One said very clearly, "we are not going to be the buffer next." And I don't think that was an entirely imaginary perception.

It's not realistic to abandon your political allies in their hours of need and then bemoan later that everyone is against you when you need some allies.

However, I do not think the situation is irreversible. Asian voting allegiance is the least stable and fixed among all major ethnic groups. They are very diverse (not a single voting bloc) and they aren't yet strongly attached to a political party yet, so their votes tend to fluctuate. As recently as 2009, Asian voters in Virginia voted by a wide majority for the Republican Robert McDonnell who was elected governor (of course, McDonnell promptly squandered all that goodwill by turning corrupt and avaricious).

But time is running out on that.

Anonymous said...

Koreans are reputed to be much more "emotional" than the other north east-asians. Their street riots are legendary.

I wouldn't say so much as "emotional" as manly in the traditional sense.

Their street riots are NOTHING like what we call riots here. I was stationed in Korea for some time and saw many of them firsthand.

Their riots are a ritualistic clash, a display of camaraderie, discipline and courage by the two sides, one the riot police and the other some student group or another group of highly organized malcontents.

Like so much a pre-Persian War Greek hoplite battle, they settle the issue in one day with minimal inconvenience and damage to bystanders (you got your "Petasts" throwing rocks and Molotov cocktails on one side and tear gas and water cannon on the other side and eventually there is a clash of the main bodies armed with pole weapons, usually batons and shield for the police and wooden sticks or pipes for the rioters).

They are very entertaining to watch. They were actually much more interesting (from a professional point of view) during the military dictatorship years when rioters frequently took over university buildings to protest the dictatorship. Things often got very interesting then:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zueKrrMoUkY

Anonymous said...

Korean Cinema as really almost all of Asian cinema of the last few decades owes a large influence and debt to the Japanese masters of the past, notably Akira Kurosawa. There hasn't yet been a Korean director to come along to rival the global impact of Kurosawa in particular.

Kurosawa has had a notable impact on the cinema scene in the West, because he was a very westernized filmmaker. I mean, he literally took Shakespeare and put it in Japanese setting.

In Japan he was not lionized and was viewed as too Western.

My favorite Japanese filmmaker is Yoji Yamada who made one of my favorite films, "The Twilight Samurai" which takes place during the late 19th Century a short time before Meiji Restoration. Unlike bombastic and loud Kurosawa films, Yamada paints on a smaller canvas and treats his characters as fully-fleshed human beings dealing with larger historical forces rather than operatic cutouts.

Korean cinema has somewhat different vibe. My favorite Korean director is Kim Ki-Duk. In my view, his "Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter... and Spring" is one of the most sublime and beautiful films I've ever seen. It's widely considered to be a master piece.

I think Korean films tend to be more "Irish" than Japanese films, which are more Anglo-French. I had a Korean woman tell me that "life is pain and suffering and then you die." I told her that was very Irish and Catholic. (You substitute "then you die" with "anyone who tells you differently is selling something" and you have Jewish humor, i.e. "The Princess Bride").

Anonymous said...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zueKrrMoUkY

On that video at about 4:50 mark, you see a rather amazing photograph. All riot/police action halts so that a woman with two small children can cross between the battle lines safely.

LA riot or WTO riot this wasn't.

This is how the ROK riot police trains: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xH8T8zaJjhU

Yes, they train against improvised flame throwers (6:40 mark), because it happens in real life:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HuhNsYgPDg0

(We used to have our own military pension riots in the United States -- good thing those days are over, eh?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bonus_Army).

Anonymous said...

""""" Japan he was not lionized and was viewed as too Western."""""""

Actually this is not true whatsoever at all. I know it is often STATED as such. In the Toho Studios book (Japan's largest then and now movie studio), Kurosawa was Toho's biggest money making filmmaker.

In their 2009 Kinema Jumpo, (one of Japan's serious and established film magazines devoted to film) rated the top 10 films of the last 100 yrs (basically from the early sound era on) and Kurosawa was the only filmmaker to have TWO films in the all time top ten.

From wiki:
"Seven Samurai has also been ranked number one on Empire magazine's list of "The 100 Best Films Of World Cinema" in 2010.[15] It was also voted the "Best Japanese Film ever" in a 1979 Kinema Junpo critics’ poll.[16]

The film was voted number one in an audience poll of greatest films conducted by MovieMail in 2000.[17] It is also the highest-ranked Asian film on the Internet Movie Database's "Top 250 movies" list"


Note that last sentence. It is the highest ranked Asian film ever in history.

urosawa is the Babe Ruth of Asian filmmakers. EVERYONE who is serious about global cinema as an art form mentions his name first whenever they name greatest Asian filmmakers. Facts are facts.

That means, that in Japan, nearly all of his major films, in particular from 1947-1965 finished among the top at the box office. Since it was the Japanese public attending the films that means that the Japanese filmgoing public really enjoyed his films.




"""Unlike bombastic and loud Kurosawa films,""""

'One Wonderful Sunday'; 'The Lower Depths' were neither loud nor bombastic.




'""""'Yamada paints on a smaller canvas and treats his characters as fully-fleshed human beings dealing with larger historical forces rather than operatic cutouts.""""""

This was Kurosawa's style throughout much of his greatest artistic period, as it is for great masters in general. But it is quite possible to paint on a larger canvas and still have 3D characters, which he was a master at doing.

So, per your words, there is yet no major global Korean filmmaker on the level of Kurosawa, thank you.

I would also add in the amazingly brilliant Zatoichi character made famous by Shintaru Katsu.

Anonymous said...

So, per your words, there is yet no major global Korean filmmaker on the level of Kurosawa, thank you.

I am not going to engage in "my kung fu is better than your kung fu" over this marginal topic of Korean vs. Japanese cinema. But I get the sense that you've never seen a film by Kim Ki-Duk.

Also popular and high-grossing are not the same as artistic merit and quality.

Speaking of Wiki on Kurosawa and Western-influence, here you go:

Kurosawa always strongly denied pandering to Western tastes: “He has never catered to a foreign audience” writes Audie Bock, “and has condemned those who do.”[33] However, he did concede in an interview that part of the reason he employed dynamic "Western" stylistic elements in his films was to attract the young Japanese audience of that time. Japanese youth (in the director’s view) often preferred the exciting styles of American and European films and were ignorant of or indifferent to their native history and culture. "In order for them to understand I have to translate, as it were… [In Seven Samurai] under Mifune’s scenes, I had [composer Fumio] Hayasaka put in a mambo. If purely Japanese music had been used I don’t think the young people would have felt what that character was like, how much he resembled them… Oh, I’m Japanese all right. I’m truly Japanese."[34]

A tad "the lady doth protest too much," eh?

Kurosawa was often criticized by his countrymen for perceived "arrogant" behavior. It was in Japan that the (initially) disparaging nickname "Kurosawa Tennō"—"The Emperor Kurosawa"—was coined. "Like tennō", Yoshimoto claimed, "Kurosawa is said to cloister himself in his own small world, which is completely cut off from the everyday reality of the majority of Japanese. The nickname tennō is used in this sense to create an image of Kurosawa as a director who abuses his power solely for the purpose of self-indulgence."[238]

Yup, very Japanese, self-indulgence.

'One Wonderful Sunday'; 'The Lower Depths' were neither loud nor bombastic.

And is he known in the West for these films? What are the most well-known and popular Kurosawa films in the West?

As for the Zatoichi serials, as pulpily entertaining as they were, they were hardly artistic masterpieces, were they? They are the Japanese equivalent of "The Man with No Name" serials.

If you have attended gathering of filmmakers (especially script writers) of late, you'd know that there is a widespread acknowledgment that there has been a large creative burst in the South Korean cinema in the recent years (and also in Scandinavia, especially Denmark).

Anonymous said...

The UK police started to get tough *only* when the rioting had spread to mostly white cities outside of London.

The UK police are arranged by counties so that places outside London dealt with rioters as rioters whereas in London one area burned because the "Roscoe P Coltrane" refused to stand by his officers and let an innocent strand of hair of a rioter be injured by the police whereas its neighbouring area (Chikasaw) had its head guy stand by his officers.

Dennis Dale said...

I've heard several commenters online suggest that the looting in Koreatown in 1992 was overwhelmingly committed by Hispanics. And watching the footage in the clip below shot near Koreatown during the riots, over 90% of the looters do indeed seem to be Hispanic. What do you know about this?

The first day was dominated by blacks attacking everyone and looting. The second and third days were dominated by purely opportunistic looting by Hispanics, who didn't care any more about Rodney King then than they do now, and the mood looked downright festive.

Hacienda said...

1992 was overwhelmingly committed by Hispanics.
----------------

Most of the looting in Koreatown was done by Hispanics where Hispanics live and few blacks. S. Central the looters represented the black/Hispanic mix.

The looting was Karmic. And I mean truly Karmic, not a throwaway line.

Much of the violence was directed at police, where they dared to appear at all. Firemen were left to do their work, at least in Koreatown. S. Central blacks had it out with any whites they saw. Really not so much Koreans. Very much anti-white riot in S. Central at least in the depth of fury.

Hispanics rioting took the form of burning the mean or mercenary merchant stores this included stores operated by MEs. But the genial owner's places were left alone. I lived in the area a long time and had my observations confirmed, so I think I'm right about this.

Big box outlets were free game. Nobody cared about them, including LAPD. This point should be noted for future revolutionaries.









Anonymous said...

""""I am not going to engage in "my kung fu is better than your kung fu" over this marginal topic of Korean vs. Japanese cinema.""""""""

Because you can't win that one, understandable. Kurosawa is the acknowledged master of Asian cinema of the 20th century and his wide ranging influence is shown on filmmakers from East Asian nations today. Thank you.


"""""""Also popular and high-grossing are not the same as artistic merit and quality."""""""""

YOU said that Kurosawa's films weren't all that in Japan because the Japanese filmgoers viewed him as "too wesern", and YET they tended to out earn other films in Japan for their given year and made tons of money. What you seem to forget is that Japanese studios, like US at the time (and also now as well) generally want their released films to make money. If a filmmaker has too many flops, he won't be in the business for very long.

Artistic merit and quality? Lets see: 7 Samurai, won the SIlver LIon at Venice; Rashomon, won the Golden Lion at Venice; Hidden Fortress, won the Golden Bear at Berlin; Kagemusha, won the Grand Prize at Cannes? I wont go on to save you embarrasment, DOH!

Point is, Kurosawa's films were not only box office hits, they were also widely praised by the critics and won tons of awards (given to "artistic" films) at the international level. Also, Kurosawa won 4 Japan's academy awards for best director.

So,....seems as though Aki was quite able to get his awards from the artistically minded hoity toity critics and award judges.


Speaking of Wiki on Kurosawa and Western-influence, here you go:

NO, I do acknowledge his influene on the West, BUT, Kurosawa was heavily influential on both Japanese cinema and on East Asian cinema at large.

It would be like saying that Michelangelo had no influence on other Renaissance artists at large.

Also, UNLIKE many artists who tend to ignore the people's voice (box office), he understood all too well how fragile and fickle the public could be:

"As long as my films make money, I can afford to be unreasonable. As soon as I make a few flops, then I know I will have made some enemies." (quote from woodblock from actor Chiaki Minura)

You know, when a master is "ahead of the curve", so to speak, oftentimes the negative critics will make disparaging remarks here and there. But when the results are in and he still is at the top of all Asian filmmakers, well then........

Anonymous said...

'One Wonderful Sunday'; 'The Lower Depths' were neither loud nor bombastic.

"""And is he known in the West for these films?"""""

Changing the terms in mid sentence eh?

YOU said, Kurosawa's films weren't all that in Japan. 'One Wonderful Sunday' is a very touching moving film and it made money IN Japan. This film enabled Kurosawa to go on to make the amazing post-war themed film 'Drunken Angel'.

Actually, re: 'The Lower Depths' uh,....yes. It was known at the time since it was a make of playright Maxim Gorky's play. (Remember, Russia is also part of Asia, but you already knew that one, of course).



"""""What are the most well-known and popular Kurosawa films in the West?""""""

Gosh, there are so many many of them, now. Are you claiming that you don't know any titles? Are you saying that he had absolutely no influence on Asian directors? Come, come now!




"""""As for the Zatoichi serials, as pulpily entertaining as they were, they were hardly artistic masterpieces, were they?""""""

The first 2 were masterpieces. Then admittedly it took on a life of its own. It was a distinctly unique character at the edges of 19th cent. Japanese society. An outcast, a blind masseuse, whom is not welcome in society as a full member and must make his way in the world by any way and means he can. It is a truly amazing character study.


"""""They are the Japanese equivalent of "The Man with No Name" serials."""""

Good, Bad, and Ugly is an artistic masterpiece, just ask Oscar winning director Tarrantino. Thank you!




If you have attended gathering of filmmakers (especially script writers) of late, you'd know that there is a widespread acknowledgment that there has been a large creative burst in the South Korean cinema in the recent years


What took them so long? Well, the film students are well familiar with what they learned from Kurosawa and other Japanese masters, so it's hardly surprising that the Hermit Kingdom would finally catch on to how get things right. Sure took 'em long enough.

Anonymous said...

Because you can't win that one, understandable.

I don't think there can be objective "winners" in an anonymous internet discussion about the artistic merits and influence of Kurosawa vs. Korean auteurs. But if feeling like a "winner" on the internet is crucial to your psyche, have at it. YOU are the winner! Happy?

I note that, curiously enough, you make absolutely no mention of other Japanese directors or Korean ones, for that matter.

What do you think of Kenji Mizoguchi or Kim Ki-Duk and their films?

Godard especially really championed Mizoguchi as the "authentic" Japanese director.

Kim Ki-Duk's "3-Iron" and "Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter... and Spring" are touted (justly in my view) as highly authentically Korean films with very strong native focus and elements.

Although I do think Japanese directors influenced Korean ones, I think that influence was very limited largely because Japanese cultural imports were virtually banned in Korea for decades and anything seen to be overtly influenced by Japanese culture was and still is disparaged by the Korean public at large as unpatriotic (on the other side of the coin, the ultra-conservative elements in Japan seem to foam at the mouth rather too vituperously at the so-called Korean Wave popularity in Japan).

To the extent that there has been foreign influence on Korean cinema, the influence was overwhelmingly Western (American and European) and Chinese/Hong Kong, rather than Japanese and Kurosawa in particular.

I am also curious about your view of Yoji Yamada's "Tasogare Seibei" and what it says about Japanese contemporary society. How does Yamada rate in comparison to Kurosawa?

By the way, Kim's "Pieta" won the Golden Lion at Venice in 2012. Of course, you must know that Kurosawa's "Rashomon" won the same prize in 1951.

You seem to think that Koreans are "late to the scene." And in that light, where are the Kurosawa-influenced Japanese directors today? Who are the rivals of the likes of Kim Ki-Duk internationally among the Japanese directors of today?

Anonymous said...

Good, Bad, and Ugly is an artistic masterpiece, just ask Oscar winning director Tarrantino. Thank you!

I enjoyed the Spaghetti Westerns and find some Tarantino (it's not "Tarrantino") films entertaining (especially "Reservoir Dogs") if derivative (Hong Kong remade as America?), but it's clear that you and I have vastly different definitions of "masterpieces." I think "The Good, the Bad and the Ugly," for example comes off rather poorly and juvenile in comparison to the likes of "Shane" and "High Noon," particularly in the context of what these films tell us about human nature and the nature of society. But that's just me, I guess. I think of films as more than entertainment.

Anonymous said...

I'm another Anonymous entirely (the one that linked on the characteristics of Chinese viewers of Korean drama vs American drama), but I would say I certainly found "Spring, etc." hard to get into and wasn't able to watch past half an hour of it.

Part of this may be that I had trouble believing in the Buddhist temple context, where peace, contemplation, simplicity, the cycles of nature and the essentially Zen Buddhist ideas just didn't feel authentic and Korean in any meaningful way to me, but very out of context with the thrust of what else I am aware of in their culture.

"Hwal" by the same director, another movie focused on lives lived with simplicity, I found more watchable, with actually less of a sense of an urbanised intellectual fetishising a culture he is removed on and does not understand.

Many of his other films I have not bothered with as they appear to centre around strange, lurid, emo, emotionally dysfunctional and pointless romantic relationships. Like intellectualized, sexually transgressive and arty versions of the emo, emotional porn Korean dramas. What's the point of that?

"Twilight Seibei" was a pleasing film, but I would certainly not class the images or ideas it presents as striking on any level of a film like "Rashomon", at all. I'd class it as ultimately a pleasing yet rather enervated melodrama with a happy ending, and the slice-of-life structure so beloved by many modern Japanese. Fundamentally a very unchallenging film, with characterization that does not reveal much about human life that the audience will be unaware of.

Anonymous said...

I had trouble believing in the Buddhist temple context, where peace, contemplation, simplicity, the cycles of nature and the essentially Zen Buddhist ideas just didn't feel authentic and Korean in any meaningful way to me, but very out of context with the thrust of what else I am aware of in their culture.

You know, Korean culture is not monolithic, just as Korean cuisine is not monolithic to use another metaphor. The mass culture is not all that there is there.

In Asia, I lived and worked in China, Japan, Korea as well as Singapore (and I travelled extensively in other parts of Asia). I was something of an old Asia hand before I retired.

I found the setting in "Spring..." entirely believable and authentically Korean if timeless. In the not too distant past, it was common for Koreans (especially women) to hide out in isolated Buddhist temples when fleeing from trouble or attempting to find a cure for an illness or sterility. There is a long tradition of such tales in Korea.

Of course, watching a film more than half an hour may be necessary to give it a proper appraisal, especially if it's in another language and the context appear alien.

Twilight Seibei" was a pleasing film, but I would certainly not class the images or ideas it presents as striking on any level of a film like "Rashomon", at all. I'd class it as ultimately a pleasing yet rather enervated melodrama with a happy ending...

I don't know that after suffering poverty and ridicule, and risking one's life for one's clan only to die for the losing side in a civil war while one's peers all survived and became successful is "happy ending." Certainly not so in the Western sense. But the Southerner in me appreciates this profoundly. Both Southerners and the Japanese have strong sentimental attachments to noble losers.

I thought the film captured perfectly the contemporary moood of the aging Japanese workers especially the once envied Sarariman some of who are, gasp, being laid off.

Of course, I loved "Rashomon," but consider this appraisal:

Japanese critics did not like the film and it performed poorly at the domestic box office. When it received positive responses in the West, Japanese critics were baffled; some decided that it was only admired there because it was "exotic," others thought that it succeeded because it was more "Western" than most Japanese films.[12]

Anonymous said...

And:

The film appeared at the 1951 Venice Film Festival at the behest of an Italian language teacher, Giuliana Stramigioli, who had recommended it to Italian film promotion agency Unitalia Film seeking a Japanese film to screen at the festival. However, Daiei Motion Picture Company (a producer of popular features at the time) and the Japanese government had disagreed with the choice of Kurosawa's work on the grounds that it was "not [representative enough] of the Japanese movie industry" and felt that a work of Yasujirō Ozu would have been more illustrative of excellence in Japanese cinema. Despite these reservations, the film was screened at the festival and won both the Italian Critics Award and the Golden Lion award—introducing western audiences, including western directors, more noticeably to both Kurosawa's films and techniques, such as shooting directly into the sun and using mirrors to reflect sunlight onto the actor's faces.

Anonymous said...

"""I don't think there can be objective "winners" in an anonymous internet discussion about the artistic merits and influence of Kurosawa vs. Korean auteurs."""""""

The tone of sour grapes. All, right, then unanimous consensus, and the consensus is that Kurosawa was one of world cinema's all time greats. Not arguable. AND that he was directly responsible for influencing a couple of generations of filmmakers both in the west AND particularly in the East, as in Asia.

You seem to have such a hangup giving Kurosawa his just artistic due, as if YOU are attempting to say "he isn't all that". Uh, yes he is.



""""I note that, curiously enough, you make absolutely no mention of other Japanese directors or Korean ones, for that matter.""""

Up to now, Korea has been largely irrelevant. Hard to accept, but facts are facts. Kurosawa was the best of his generation. Yes, of course Mizoguchi, Ozu, and Kobayashi. I didn't think this was a history lesson on filmmakers in so short a space.

Anonymous said...

"""""What do you think of Kenji Mizoguchi or Kim Ki-Duk and their films?""""""""

Samurai Rebellion is interesting, as well as Hari Kiri, which did quite well at Cannes. And Tatsuya Nakadai's star making indelible performance in 'A Soldier's Prayer' no question about it. But, initially we were discussing, or YOU appeared to be discussing how of little artistic merit that Kurosawa's entire opus appears to be. You definitely in the minority of opinion re: Artistic greatness, whether East or West.



""""Godard especially really championed Mizoguchi as the "authentic" Japanese director."""""""""""

Yes, certain new wave critics did appear to champion Mizogouchi as well as Ozu as being more authentic Japanese. Never mind the fact that Godard didn't speak fluent Japanese and was ignorant of Japanese society as a whole.

Donald Richie, however, who DID spend decades in Japan and is considered to be the foremost expert on Japanese cinema from a western perspective, ranked Kurosawa above them all. There, its called balance. And Goddard again, as most New Wavers, didn't speak fluent Japanese.



""""""Although I do think Japanese directors influenced Korean ones, I think that influence was very limited largely because Japanese cultural imports were virtually banned in Korea for decades and anything seen to be overtly influenced by Japanese culture was and still is disparaged by the Korean public at large as unpatriotic""""""""


Question here: You're Korean, aren't you? This excessive defense of all things Korea, we get it. The filmmakers in Korea would've have had access to both Western films AND Japanese films as well. To minimize and downplay Kurosawa's global impact on world film (e.g. akin to Bergman, Fellini, etc) is to frankly, engage in a form of deception. Whether it is intentional or self-deluded its difficult at this point to tell.

Anonymous said...




"""""(on the other side of the coin, the ultra-conservative elements in Japan seem to foam at the mouth rather too vituperously at the so-called Korean Wave popularity in Japan)."""""""""""


It goes both ways. Japanese culture has been more established and Japan's economy for decades was of a higher standard than 2nd rate Seoul's. To weakly attempt to argue that the influence goes only one way, and not at in the other way, sorry. Am beginning to wonder if you're not Korean.



"""""To the extent that there has been foreign influence on Korean cinema, the influence was overwhelmingly Western (American and European) and Chinese/Hong Kong, rather than Japanese and Kurosawa in particular."""""""""""


That's a bit disingenuous. Its a given, frankly that Korea and basically the rest of the world is influenced by Hollywood. The world has for nearly a century, duh. Nope, not buying it re: the rest of the world influenced Korean filmmakers but oh no NOT Japan, definitely not. And to suggest that few filmmakers in Korea have ever heard of Kurosawa or any other Japanese major filmmaker, frankly, is asinine and ridiculous.





""""""I am also curious about your view of Yoji Yamada's "Tasogare Seibei" and what it says about Japanese contemporary society. How does Yamada rate in comparison to Kurosawa?"""""


Do also attempt to use the English translation. You of course are referring to Twilight Samurai. Excellent. Oh, wait, Yamada also did the Tora San series, right? Lucky in kindness but so unlucky in love? Sort of the Jack Lemmon character a la the Apartment.



By the way, Kim's "Pieta" won the Golden Lion at Venice in 2012. Of course, you must know that Kurosawa's "Rashomon" won the same prize in 1951.

Released in 1950, Rashomon. Was a fairly modest hit at the time. Winning the Golden Lion helped increase the popularity.

AND it was included in Kinema Jumpo's 2009 'Ten greatest Japanese Films' of all time. So I guess the Japanese did finally come around to understanding it after all.

Anonymous said...

""""But that's just me, I guess. I think of films as more than entertainment."""""

Yes, it certainly is you. All films post a certain era aren't all that, I hear what you said, got it. A generational thing, no doubt.

Remember, great works of art must also contain a strong element of entertainment value, (albeit of a much higher level than mere commercialism). Film must function and run as a business or it will never survive as an art.





"""""Of course, I loved "Rashomon," but consider this appraisal:"""""""""

Didn't sound as though you did. Glad to hear you have a better opinion of it after all.



"""Japanese critics did not like the film and it performed poorly at the domestic box office."""""

Actually, this is a myth after the fact, a la Babe Ruth pointing to CF and calling his HR shot. At original release it performed lesser than expectations but it made money and upon re-release it proceeded to make a ton.

AGAIN, it is now on the list of Japan's oldest established Kinema Jumpo's ten greatest Japanese films ever made.


""""When it received positive responses in the West, Japanese critics were baffled; some decided that it was only admired there because it was "exotic," others thought that it succeeded because it was more "Western" than most Japanese films."""""""


Yes, yes, that is the standard line. Also, Kurosawa had left Toho at the time due to a dispute as well as a strike at the studio. Filming at smaller Deiehi studios rather than at Toho has contributed to the overall perception that it wasn't an initial box office hit. It was less of a hit, but after the award came in it did become a massive hit.

But Rashomon over the years has more than recouped its initial cost and is considered a masterpiece, even in Japan.




""""""However, Daiei Motion Picture Company (a producer of popular features at the time)""""""

This is a spin on the fact. Actually, Daiei was not not in the same box office league as Toho. Toho = MGM in classic hollyood, and Daiei = Columbia. Barely above poverty row. Think of it as Gable making It Happened One Night at Columbia.



""""and the Japanese government had disagreed with the choice of Kurosawa's work on the grounds that it was "not [representative enough] of the Japanese movie industry" and felt that a work of Yasujirō Ozu would have been more illustrative of excellence in Japanese cinema."""""


To be fair, and accurate, at this time, Ozu (and Mizuguchi) were the more established filmmakers in Japan at that time. Ozu did work on different themes than did Kurosawa. Both were masters each in their own way. But from this point on, Kurosawa was THE fillmmaker in Japan and would remain so for the next two decades.

Thank you.

Anonymous said...

The tone of sour grapes.

Yes, I am annoyed because I find your tone (to the extent it comes across the internet) rude, presumptive and entirely devoted to winning arguments at all costs rather than to communicate well, that is, to get your points across well and to really understand what the other party is saying rather than tirelessly attempting to paint a straw man for some juvenile notion of gaining "victory" on a website of all places.

I find it tiresome, and whatever merits your statements contain become obfuscated. I do not know how old you are, but you come across as very immature.

All, right, then unanimous consensus, and the consensus is that Kurosawa was one of world cinema's all time greats.

True enough, I never said he was a bad director or that he was not a great one, even. It is, rather, my opinion, one reinforced by my Japanese friends and my time in Japan that (to repeat my earlier assertion) he was lionized in the West in ways he was not in Japan, and further that his influence on Korean filmmaking was not significant (that last part is also influenced by my time in Korea).

After all, Kurosawa's nickname of "Tenno" in Japan was not meant to be complimentary. It's meant to be sarcastic and derisive, as if to say, "He THINKS he's the emperor."

What evidence do you propose to advance the view that, say, Kim Ki-Duk was significantly influenced by Kurosawa? Even if you ignore the rest, I'd like to know your answer to this substantive question. Present the evidence, please. It would be particularly helpful if you could point specific points, elements or techniques that Kim uses that are derived from Kurosawa.

As for Godard (it's not "Goddard") not speaking Japanese, how much Japanese do you speak and how much time have you spent in Japan? I lived for years in both Japan and Korea and speak both languages well enough to watch films in both languages (I still score at the highest levels for both on DLAB tests).

Didn't you argue recently, on another topic, that the understanding of an original language is not necesary to understand well a piece of work? You keep changing arguments based on temporary argumentative need that I have trouble following your logic.

And to Godard's actual point, wasn't Mizoguchi indeed the more "Japanese" filmmaker than Kurosawa? I am not a big fan of the French New Wave (in fact, I find much of it execrable rather like "Dogme 95" today), but I agree with Godard on this.

By the way, the English transliteration is "Mizoguchi," not "Mizuguchi."

Japanese culture has been more established and Japan's economy for decades was of a higher standard than 2nd rate Seoul's. To weakly attempt to argue that the influence goes only one way, and not at in the other way, sorry. Am beginning to wonder if you're not Korean.

I am not (sorry, just an old white Southerner who spent too much time in Asia), but what if I were? Why do you constantly resort to ad hominem and personalize the discussion? Do you need to create and win internet flame wars that badly?

Anonymous said...

As for "2nd rate Seoul" (presumably compared to Tokyo) how much have you lived in Seoul or any other Asian city? On what criteria do you make these evaluations? Nobody in the right mind would claim that today Korea is as rich as Japan is (but the gap has been closing rather fast) or doubt that Japan reached modernity earlier. But that's a different argument from Japan's culture being "more established" than Korea's. You may not like it, but Korea's culture is just as old and possibly older than that of Japan. Certainly Japanese culture was exposed to the West much earlier, but again that's the Western perspective.

Also I never suggested that "the influence only goes one way." I merely pointed out that Korean cinema was overwhelmingly influenced in the last 50 years or so by the West and Hong Kong rather than Japan, mainly because of the overwhelming American influence after the Korean War and because Japanese cultural imports and any resemblance to the same were officially banned and publicly detested.

This does not mean, of course, that Japanese popular culture had no influence or that Korean artists couldn't see Japanese works of art (that's not possible) -- quite a bit of it "seeped in" if you will -- but rather that there was very strong, conscious effort by both the Korean public and artists to avoid imitating or being influenced by (or at least avoid being seen to be influenced by) Japan. Unless you lived in Korea, it's difficult to understand the true depth of anti-Japanese feelings (justified or not) in Korea and the almost allergic reaction to Japanese cultural products in Korea. Even their national martial art, Tae Kwon Do, which is largely derived from Shotokan Karate, has been completely sanitized of the original Japanese influence and heavily "Koreanized" to the point where the two are very different today (I trained in Tae Kwon Do in Korea and Shotokan Karate in Japan and, in fact, favor Shotokan; I also trained in Aikido at its Hombu Dojo in Tokyo and trained in Hapkido in Korea and find the latter almost laughable, but that's another story).

But Rashomon over the years has more than recouped its initial cost and is considered a masterpiece, even in Japan

I absolutely LOVED Rashomon. Who doesn't today?

But YOU are being disingenuous now. It WAS poorly received in Japan INITIALLY and only gained following and acclaim AFTER it garnered extremely positive attention in Europe. It ended up "recouping" the initial cost as a direct result of this, not because the Japanese public took to it on their own in the beginning.

Finally, who are the contemprary Japanese heirs of Kurosawa you like today? Who, in your view, rivals or exceeds the artistic quality of Kim Ki-Duk?

Anonymous said...

As for my favorite Japanese film of recent years (and possibly of all time):

The Twilight Samurai was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film at the 76th Academy Awards, Japan's first in twenty two years, losing to the French Canadian (Québec) film Les Invasions Barbares. The Twilight Samurai also won an unprecedented 12 Japanese Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor, Best Actress, and Best Screenplay. [Boldfaces are mine.]

Anonymous said...

""""Yes, I am annoyed""""""

And frankly, it shows. You're coming across as petulant, a bit unhinged, and frankly, perhaps its your age, It makes it difficult to hold a rational conversation with someone who constantly has to resort to lecturing and lecturing and lecturing and lecturing per "when I was in" and "this this and this"

Its like, son of a--maybe it is the way of age, that when a person passes a certain milestone he feels the need to constantly lecture others in the "proper way" of thinking and doing things.

I don't attempt to 'read into' people's imaginary tone per online. That's neither here nor there but suffice it to say, that your tone appears to be quite disrespectful and unacceptable as well.



""""I do not know how old you are, but you come across as very immature.""""""

And you dont? behold the looking glass, as did narcissus.

Anonymous said...

""""he was lionized in the West in ways he was not in Japan,"""""""

But....as his career went on.....he was and has been and continues to remain in Japan, one of their most respected greats. FACT: He is the only Japanese filmmaker to receive two films honored on their respected film critic magazine Kinema Jumpo among the greatest Japanese films ever made. So clearly, in Japan, his countrymen must currently hold a different viewpoint.

And also as his films tended to gross very high revenues at the box office the Japanese public must also have enjoyed his films.


""""After all, Kurosawa's nickname of "Tenno" in Japan was not meant to be complimentary. It's meant to be sarcastic and derisive, as if to say, "He THINKS he's the emperor." """"""

Please. The stuff of legends. If we went by what detractors said about every single filmmaker, in some cases we'd have to block out what we've learned to appreciate their work. Example: Roman Polanski is considered by many to be an artist of the highest order, and yet, he is still wanted for raping a 12yr old child in the US. Therein lies a conflict for some who may be torn between appreciating his work and yet the rape charge still hangs over him.

Also, another Kurosawa nickname given him was "windmaker" since in so many of his films he utilized natural elements such as rain, wind, smog, etc. That naturalist aspect can be directly tied to Kurosawa and whenever it is consistently done in a filmmakers work, it is most likely that they were influenced by Kurosawa.

And in relation to the box office in Japan, "Tenno" he certainly was.

Anonymous said...




""""And to Godard's actual point, wasn't Mizoguchi indeed the more "Japanese" filmmaker than Kurosawa?""""""

But with the French New Wave, one of their reasons of existence was to be anti-estalbishment. Choosing Japanese films in general more than half a century ago was considered a rebellious action vs the West and all its established canons of films.
As Mizogouchi and Ozu were the more established filmmakers at the time, it gave them additional credibility, so to speak, by favoring the more "authentic" filmmaker of the nation (though Kurosawa was in fact Japanese and began his career during WW2 making pro-japanese side features). But that's their prerogative.

What I don't particularly like at all....


""""By the way, the English transliteration is "Mizoguchi," not "Mizuguchi." """"

Ok, old man. I DONT like your corrective, petty minded and frankly, semi-psychotic tone. Perhaps that works down at your local....but really you need to get a grip. I have an autistic nephew and he is much better behaved and on the ball than what I've read here from you. Perhaps that is a bit blunt but that is what I'm witnessing. I wouldn't expect you to understand since, yes, autism is a real disease and it is a very unpleasant experience both for the victim and the loved ones.



"""I am not (sorry, just an old white Southerner who spent too much time in Asia)"""""

Old, yes, that does clearly show forth and shine thru. Never would've guessed the south.


""""but what if I were?""""

That would suggest, that you have a self interest and are not some unbiased observer.


"""Why do you constantly resort to ad hominem and personalize the discussion?"""""

You're reading into things that I've never said. Again, must be your advancing age. Is it ad hominem to disagree with another person's viewpoint? How is it 'personal' to hold another opinion than someone else?
On the other hand, your constant petty correcting over sp. is a bit creepy, and weird.

Anonymous said...

""""You may not like it,"""""

Ascribing motive again? Why would you presume to know what one likes, especially one you don't know?


""""but Korea's culture is just as old and possibly older than that of Japan. Certainly Japanese culture was exposed to the West much earlier, but again that's the Western perspective."""""

Zzzzzzz. Are you through yet with the dissertation? Yes? No?



""""Also I never suggested that "the influence only goes one way." """"

If you think so, go right ahead.


"""""I merely pointed out that Korean cinema was overwhelmingly influenced in the last 50 years or so by the West and Hong Kong rather than Japan, mainly because of the overwhelming American influence after the Korean War and because Japanese cultural imports and any resemblance to the same were officially banned and publicly detested.""""

Rabbiting on and on and on. Geez. You are definitely right about being old and perhaps a bit older than what I originally thought.



"""""but rather that there was very strong, conscious effort by both the Korean public and artists to avoid imitating or being influenced by (or at least avoid being seen to be influenced by) Japan."""""""

Unpleasant fact: Koreans are racist. Actually at some level so are the Chinese and Japanese as well. All three of their long histories have ample examples of bigotry and racial hatred. Not just white westerners who have been referred to as hatemongers.


Anonymous said...



""""Unless you lived in Korea, it's difficult to understand the true depth of anti-Japanese feelings (justified or not) in Korea and the almost allergic reaction to Japanese cultural products in Korea."""""

Name dropping. Oh, how good for you. You lived in Korea and Japan. Do tell, do tell for the thousandth time. Zzzzz.



"""""I also trained in Aikido at its Hombu Dojo in Tokyo and trained in Hapkido in Korea and find the latter almost laughable, but that's another story).""""""


Oh, God and you're about to tell it here, aren't you? No? Thank god! Whew!



""""But YOU are being disingenuous now. It WAS poorly received in Japan INITIALLY and only gained following"""""

Uh, I did say that, actually. That the box office wasn't initially performing up to Kurosawa's previous hits Stray Dog and Scandal as well as the melodramatic A Private Little War. He made Rashomon at Deiei studios which wasn't on quite the same level with Toho. Toho = MGM, and Deiei = Columbia.


"""It ended up "recouping" the initial cost as a direct result of this, not because the Japanese public took to it on their own in the beginning.""""

Well, they did come around and took it to their own in that era as well. And now, of course, it's on the ten greatest Japanese films ever list of theirs so they must still like it.



""""Finally, who are the contemprary Japanese heirs of Kurosawa you like today?"""""

One name that jumps out at me lately has been Naomi Kawase and her documentaries. Her narrative structure very much resembles the Emperor so perhaps she is the Empress.Been also watching some of their romantic comedies lately, so I'll check the names a bit later.





NOTICE. You misspelled a word but I'll give the ancient elder the courtesy of not checking which particular word and allow that it wasn't intentional. Of course, never know.








""""Who, in your view, rivals or exceeds the artistic quality of Kim Ki-Duk?"""""

Currently, of course there's Martin Scorcese. Terrence Malick, if only he would consent to direct more consistently. Gus Van Sant, when he's on, he's really on. If he had only directed Kids, and not served in mere Exec. Producer, it would've been even more remarkable, but there you go.

Anonymous said...

""""""Finally, who are the contemprary Japanese heirs of Kurosawa you like today? Who, in your view, rivals or exceeds the artistic quality of Kim Ki-Duk?""""""


AGAIN, note the misspelled word.


Instant Swamp by Satoshi MIki. Overtones of One Wonderful Sunday and a bit of No Regrets for Our Youth, but I won't push for the later. Miki is a keeper. To use a sports analogy, he's made it to the big leagues and is on the cusp of a couple HRs away from international acclaim. Should be there soon.

Anonymous said...

Yup. Clearly I am the unhinged one. Good luck being the legend in your parents' basement.

Anonymous said...

"""""Yup. Clearly I am the unhinged one.""""""

Uh, yes, you are. You truly are.



""""""Good luck being the legend in your parents' basement.""""""


My mother died of cancer last May (stage 4). I wont go graphic here, but suffice it to say that taking care of her during her ordeal can teach a person more about life and human nature than any and all the superficialities in the world. It is a hard lesson to learn and isn't for the faint of heart.

VERY MUCH like Kurosawa's masterpiece Ikiru, loosely translated to life, or life or living, where a low level bureaucrat has stomach cancer and less than 6 months to live and after several trials and errors finds redemption for his life by establishing a park for others to enjoy after he's gone.

Unlike Rashomon, Ikiru did extremely well at the box office and the critics then as now consider it to be one of the windmaker's all time greatest works.

Clearly, clearly one of Takeheshi Shimura's finest moments (perhaps even better than his characterization as Gambei in 7 Samurai).

Anonymous said...

Let me give you some old man advice.

1. You clearly do not understand sarcasm. I'll let others be the judge of who is petulant and who is unhinged. Further conversation with you on this score is unnecessary and useless.

2. My father died of a very aggressive cancer painfully. And my mother also had two very close brushes with cancer and remains in precarious health. They are not the only people who died painfully or tragically in my family.

We all have suffering. Although I feel sorry for your loss, yours is hardly a unique situation. Have some dignity and don't play the victim card in a useless internet debate. Your suffering does not entitle you to some special knowledge or morality, for others too experience it. The older you get, the more loss you will experience. That's just life.

And be especially grateful that you do not (yet or hopefully ever) know the soul-tearing pain of seeing your own child die, asking for you desperately.

3. Finally, realize that we, none of us, lives for ourselves only. As the Japanese say:

義は険しい山よりも重く、死は大鳥の羽よりも軽い

Good luck to you. Have the final word, if you'd like.