main banner

Friday, October 18, 2013

Changing an Asian sea's name is big issue for Virginia's Korean community

Sen. Dave Marsden (left) meets with chairman of the Korean Federation of Industries during a trip in August sponsored by the Korean government.
Sen. Dave Marsden (D-37th District) has been leading efforts in the Virginia legislature to ensure that textbooks used in the state’s public schools reflect Koreans’ preference to refer to the “East Sea,” rather than the commonly used “Sea of Japan,” which they find offensive.

According to an article in the Connection newspaper, Marsden has been working on this issue with Peter Y. Kim, a Chantilly businessman, who is president of the non-profit Voice of Korean Americans. Kim is trying to get the name changed accepted internationally.

Marsden’s proposed bill would require all textbooks purchased in the state to use both names. “What we call things is important, and names have deep meaning,” Marsden said. “This would go a long way in speeding up the integration of our Korean-American population and making people feel accepted and respected.” There are about 150,000 Korean-Americans in Northern Virginia.

Disputes over the name of the body of water between Japan and Korea have been going on for decades. Korea charges the name Sea of Japan came into general use during Japan’s colonial rule over the Korean peninsula, while Japan claims it was used way before that.

According to the Connection, Del. Tim Hugo (R-40th District) plans to sponsor a similar bill in the House.  And it’s one issue the candidates for governor, Ken Cuccinelli (R) and Terry McAuliffe (D), agree on. Both of them said they support the effort to ensure textbooks use the term “East Sea.”

9 comments:

  1. Really??? They are going to pass a bill about this and yet the professional sports team in the area will continue to slander Native Americans?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Most Native Americans could care less it is just a few making a lot of noise. Let me also add that when I talk about the Redskins it is with pride. No one calls them the Washington Redskins because they want to slander the Native Americans.

      Delete
  2. How much campaign cash did this guy have to fork over to actually make this an issue?

    ReplyDelete
  3. "And it’s one issue the candidates for governor, Ken Cuccinelli (R) and Terry McAuliffe (D), agree on."

    Or to write it a different way, both candidates agreed that there are many more Korean-American voters than Japanese-American voters in Virginia. Nothing more, nothing less.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I agree 120%. This is a real pander move -- not to mention incredibly frivolous and inappropriate.

      Delete
  4. Why stop there--what about the Indian Ocean, Gulf of Mexico, the English Channel, German Shepherd Dogs and French Fries???

    ReplyDelete
  5. Of all the things to "agree" on. I can think of many other issues that should be at the top of the stack versus this one. How about our schools are over capacity? How about our teachers have not gotten a raise in years? How about some of our schools are on probation until their SOLs are up. These are just a few based solely on our schools. If we want to talk about our County that is a whole different issue. This is where are elected officials are using their time and engery. Wonderful!

    ReplyDelete
  6. Using some English on the signs in Annandale would go a long way to making us feel accepted and respected, even possibly considered as customers. It is clear the Korean community doesn't want Americans visiting most of their restaurants.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Koreans called the sea "Dong Hae", Japanese called it "Nihonkai", Chinese called it "Ribenhai", Russians called it "Yaponskoe Morie", and English speakers called it "the Sea of Japan". Everything was fine until 1980 when Korea started a campaign to make everyone follow Korean name which means "East Sea". So, Japanese should call it "Nihonkai / Tokai", Chinese should call it "Ribenhai / Donghai", Russians should call it "Yaponskoe Morie / Vostochnoe Morie" and English speakers should call it "Sea of Japan / East Sea". This is not multi-culturism. It is ethnocentrisms.

    ReplyDelete