Category Archives: Korea

Wordcatcher Tales: Japanese nautical terms

I’ve always been fascinated by the great variety and complexity of nautical terminology, especially on sailing ships. I’ve encountered it mostly in my reading. I don’t really have much sailing experience, except as a passenger aboard ferries and ocean liners, plus the occasional opportunity to go aboard a museum ship. The four-masted, sail training ship Nippon Maru, which I explored last month in Yokohama, was a special treat because it offered a glimpse of sailing-ship terminology in two languages, Japanese and English.

rigging-types-signage

Running rigging and standing rigging


Here’s the text of the English translation on an explanatory sign about the rigging on the Nippon Maru. Though phrased rather awkwardly, it is very clear and instructive.

Running Rigging and Standing Rigging
Ropes which are used for moving yards, raising or lowering sails are called running riggings. The ship carries around 1,100 running riggings and the total length of these riggings accounts for 14,938m. The number of blocks fixed with running riggings accounts for 854 in total. Running riggings have different kinds: Halyards, Sheets and Tacks to raise the sails and Downhauls, Clewlines, (Clewgarnet), Buntlines, (Leechlines) and Tripping lines to furl the sails. When spreading, it is necessary to loosen the rigging which is hauled for furling. When moving a yard, Braces will be used and to loosen the starboard side of the yard, the port side will be hauled. Wires to secure the mast and the bowsprit are called standing riggings. The ship carries 168 standing riggings and the total length of these riggings accounts for about 3,678m. These riggings include the pieces of shrouds which are horizontally tied to ratlines to go aloft. Most of the standing riggings are placed at the back of the mast in order to handle loads induced by the wind pressure coming in from the back.

The Japanese terms for ‘running rigging’ and ‘standing rigging’ are 動索 dousaku ‘moving-rope’ and 静索 seisaku ‘still-rope’, respectively. (The matching Korean terms, dongsaek and jeongsaek, are cognate, and the suo ‘cable, rigging’ in Chinese shengsuo ‘rope-rigging’ is also cognate with J. saku and K. saek.) ‘Starboard’ is 右舷側 u-gen-gawa ‘right-gunwale-side’ and ‘port’ is 左舷側 sa-gen-gawa ‘left-gunwale-side’. (The kanji 舷 gen ‘gunwale’ also occurs in 舷灯 gen-tou ‘gunwale-lamp = running lights’ [on each side of the ship], 舷門 gen-mon ‘gunwale-gate = gangway’, and 舷窓 gen-sou ‘gunwale-window = porthole’.) The bow or fore part of the ship is 船首 sen-shu ‘ship-neck’ and the stern or aft part of the ship is 船尾 sen-bi ‘ship-tail’.

These terms were no doubt in use long before Japanese sailors became familiar with European-style sailing ships (before Date Masamune had his first Spanish galleon built in 1613). The same goes for terms like 帆柱 ho-bashira ‘sail-pillar = mast’ and 帆桁 ho-geta ‘sail-beam = yard(arm)’. Nevertheless, the Japanese text begins with the katakana synonym for ‘yard’ (yaado) followed by its kanji equivalent (帆桁) in parentheses, and employs exclusively katakana terms (borrowed from English) for ‘sail’ (seiru), ‘rope’ (roopu), and ‘mast’ (masuto). Why? Because the names for all the subcategories of nautical masts, sails, and rigging have been imported wholesale from English. At eye-level on each of the four masts is its name in katakana: foamasuto ‘foremast’, meinmasuto ‘mainmast’, mizunmasuto ‘mizzenmast’, and jigaamasuto ‘jiggermast’ (and ‘bowsprit’ is bausupritto). There are ways to write ‘front mast’ and ‘back mast’ in kanji, but it is much harder to differentiate four masts using traditional (Sino-Japanese) terminology.

Similarly, the name for every length of rigging on this modern square-rigged four-master is directly imported from English: ‘halyard’ is hariyaado, ‘sheet’ is shiito, ‘tack’ is takku, ‘downhaul’ is danhooru, ‘clewline’ is kuryuu rain, ‘clewgarnet’ is kuryuu gaanetto, ‘buntline’ is banto rain, ‘leechline’ is riichi rain, ‘tripping line’ is torippingu rain, ‘brace’ is bureesu, ‘ratline’ is rattorain, and ‘shroud’ is shuraudo.

The same goes for the names of every spar among the yards, as the following Yards chart shows. ‘Lower topsail yard’ is rowaa toppuseeru yaado, ‘upper (top)gallant yard’ is appaa geran yaado, ‘royal yard’ is roiyaru yaado, ‘spanker gaff’ is supankaa gafu, ‘spanker boom’ is supankaa buumu, and so on. The Korean translation (yadeu) of the chart title suggests that Koreans have also directly imported this specialized English terminology. (In the Chinese title, ‘yard’ is mistranslated as dui-huo-chang ‘stack-goods-place = freight yard’.)

yards-sign

Names of sailing yards

The last chart included here only confirms the extent to which English modern square-rigged sailing ship terminology has been imported wholesale into Japanese naval usage. Its title in Japanese is Jigaa masuto mawari bireingu pin haichizu ‘jigger mast around belaying pin arrangement-diagram’. The nautical terms of English origin, ‘jiggermast’ and ‘belaying pin’, are written in katakana, the native Japanese word for ‘around’ is written in hiragana, and the Sino-Japanese compound translated ‘arrangement-diagram’ is written in kanji. Although the Korean title is written entirely in the Korean alphabet, the breakdown of word origins is the same (and so is the word order): jigeo maseuteu ‘jiggermast’, jubyeon ‘around’, bireing pin ‘belaying pin’, baechido ‘arrangement diagram’.

In the Chinese translation, ‘jiggermast’ is rendered as 船尾小桅 chuanwei xiaowei ‘ship-tail small-mast’ to distinguish it from 后桅 houwei ‘rear-mast’ (= ‘mizzenmast’, cf. 前桅 ‘fore-mast’, 主桅 zhuwei ‘main-mast’). ‘Belaying pin’ is translated rather directly as 系索桩 jisuozhuang ‘fasten-rope-stake’. These Chinese nautical terms do not render the English sounds, as the Japanese and Korean equivalents do.

By the way, there is a mistake in the English translation of the directions at the top and bottom of the chart. Both directions are labeled ‘sternward’ in English, but in Japanese only the top arrow points sternward (sen-bi-gawa ‘ship-tail-ward’), while the bottom arrow points foreward (船首側 sen-shu-gawa ‘ship-neck-ward’).

belaying-pin-chart

Jiggermast belaying pin chart

Leave a comment

Filed under anglosphere, China, Japan, Korea, language, military, travel

Along the Sumatra Railroad, August 1945

From Chapter VI, The golden spike, in The Sumatra Railroad: Final Destination Pakan Baroe, 1943-1945, by Henk Hovinga, trans. by Bernard J. Wolters (KITLV Press, 2010), pp. 276-281:

It was 15 August 1945. The previous night telexes had spread the news across the world: ‘Japan surrendered. Armistice on 15 August at 00.00 hrs.’ The Japanese officers there in the godforsaken green heart of Sumatra also knew that. They shouted: ‘Banzai Nippon’ while they knew that they had been defeated. But they kept quiet. They only talked about the railway that was finally completed at the cost of immeasurable human suffering. At the cost of more than eighty thousand dead, the vast majority of which were romushas.

The POWs who were waiting motionlessly between the trees, still had no knowledge of the surrender. With sweat dripping down their chins, they did not dare to move. Ignorant of this historical moment in the world’s history, they looked breathlessly at how the bottle on the table was uncorked, how the glasses went around and the biscuits were presented. A short while later the tense ceremony, that had lasted not even half an hour, was abruptly terminated. Tables and chairs were hastily loaded on to the lorries after the emaciated workers had also been offered a biscuit and a swig from a bottle. Then they were ordered back to the trains. One departed to the north, the other to the south, to the camp in the gorge, where fresh rumours had circulated in the meantime….

That evening, shortly before sundown, the POWs were counted and recounted. All men had returned from the railway. The Japanese commander stepped forward in front of the hundreds of almost naked human wrecks. The ribs could be counted on most of them; many were covered in wounds and tropical ulcers. With their hollow eyes they tensely watched the well-fed, arrogant Japanese. Would he announce what they had all for so long desperately wanted to hear? Lieutenant Visser interpreted:

‘Now that the railway is finished, thanks to the efforts of all of you, I have been given the authority in the name of His Majesty, the Emperor, to inform you that all of you are permitted to rest from this moment on. In a short while you will all be relocated to more pleasant parts of the country. As of today all rations of rice, vegetables and meat will be increased. You will be provided with these new rations as soon as we receive new stock. At this moment we do not have any meat or vegetables and we have only a supply of rice for a few days. Pending your relocation, you are not permitted to leave the camp.’

That was all…. The choking uncertainty lasted for over a week, while the men were hanging around the camp with nothing to do. It was probably 24 August when the first train with a real steam powered locomotive stopped at Camp 11…. On August 27 a second contingent of POWs was transferred in the same manner…. The last group from the south departed on 30 August, taking with them the entire inventory of the camp that was now completely abandoned….

‘We obtained complete certainty a little later during roll call. Lieutenant Visser stepped forward and shouted: “Today is 31 August. It is the birthday of our beloved Queen Wilhelmina. That is why together we are now going to sing our national anthem, the Wilhelmus: one, two, three…” But nobody had the courage. “Then I will do it alone”, Visser said as he began to sing. Fearfully, we looked at the Jap, but when he did not move we all joined in one after the other. At first hesitatingly, but then louder, from the heart. It was a very strange moment. I saw the Jap slowly move his legs; he put down his samurai sword and stood up. When the last words of the anthem sounded, he stood directly across from us and saluted. That was when we knew. At last! We hardly dared to believe it, but this time it was true. We were free. We cheered, shouted and cried. We were free. Finally free…’

Without an official Japanese declaration of surrender lieutenant Visser’s group was the last to find out that the war was over. Two weeks earlier the wildest rumours of a possible surrender had already been going around the first camps near Pakan Baroe ['New Market']. Mid August hope of an impending liberation was also glimmering in Camp 2 when the usually sadistic Koreans suddenly turned friendly, even inviting a group of prisoners from the camp staff to a meal! That had to occur at midnight and without knowledge of the Japanese. Naturally the place that would be least likely to attract undesired visitors and snoopers was the cemetery on the other side of the stream. There, at the graveyards, the Koreans offered the representatives of their victims a conciliatory meal. They told the captives that the war was almost over and that they, the POWs, should not be too hard on them. After all Korea had also been occupied and suppressed by the Japanese for years, so that the prisoners and the guards were actually partners in adversity….

When a few days later the news of liberation seeped through to everyone, the most heart-warming scenes took place everywhere along the railway. On 25 August at eight o’clock in the morning the POWs in Logas (Camp 9) were informed that the war was over. The Japs disarmed the Koreans, while a Korean non-commissioned officer stood to attention before a Japanese soldier third class. The next day all ducks and chickens of the Japanese camp commander had disappeared. They had been consumed by the prisoners.

2 Comments

Filed under disease, food, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, labor, Netherlands, slavery, war

Lankov on the Soviet-run Popular Revolution in NK

The Sino-NK blog (“Northeast Asia with a China-North Korea Focus”) has an interesting column with the provocative title, A False Dichotomy: Professor Andrei Lankov on a Popular Revolution Imposed from Without. Here’s Prof. Lankov’s conclusion.

The Soviet involvement with the new regime in Pyongyang was considerable. Soviet control far exceeded America’s rather moderate influence in the South. However, the vast majority of Koreans did not know this. One cannot help but wonder, then: had the extent of Soviet control been fully known in the late 1940s, would such a revelation have had a decisive impact on popular attitudes towards Pyongyang’s regime? It is, after all, difficult to imagine that in 1946 North Korean farmers would have rejected free land had they known that this land had been bestowed upon them by the secretive Soviet viceroy and not by this young, plump guerrilla field commander named Kim Il-sung.

It seems that Korean historians are caught in a false dichotomy when they argue about whether the 1945-50 period was a time of foreign occupation or popular revolution. In fact, it was both. Irrespective of the Soviet advisors, who discreetly but firmly controlled developments, the major ideas resonated well with the majority of North Korean people and provided the language of the revolution. The Kim Il-sung regime of the late 1940s might have been a dependent or even a puppet one, but this does not necessarily mean that it was unpopular. Of course, its popularity was to a large extent based on naive expectations and illusions, but it was quite real nonetheless.

via The Marmot’s Hole

Leave a comment

Filed under democracy, Japan, Korea, military, nationalism, scholarship, U.S., USSR

Stalin’s Fears of Japan and Poland, 1937-1939

From Bloodlands: Europe Between Hitler and Stalin, by Timothy Snyder (Basic Books, 2010), Kindle Locs. 2094-2112, 2285-2321 (pp. 105, 116-117):

In 1937 Japan seemed to be the immediate threat. Japanese activity in east Asia had been the justification for the kulak operation. The Japanese threat was the pretext for actions against the Chinese minority in the Soviet Union, and against Soviet railway workers who had returned from Manchuria. Japanese espionage was also the justification for the deportation of the entire Soviet Korean population, about 170,000 people, from the Far East to Kazakhstan. Korea itself was then under Japanese occupation, so the Soviet Koreans became a kind of diaspora nationality by association with Japan. Stalin’s client in the western Chinese district of Xinjiang, Sheng Shicai, carried out a terror of his own, in which thousands of people were killed. The People’s Republic of Mongolia, to the north of China, had been a Soviet satellite since its creation in 1924. Soviet troops entered allied Mongolia in 1937, and Mongolian authorities carried out their own terror in 1937-1938, in which 20,474 people were killed. All of this was directed at Japan.

None of these killings served much of a strategic purpose. The Japanese leadership had decided upon a southern strategy, toward China and then the Pacific. Japan intervened in China in July 1937, right when the Great Terror began, and would move further southward only thereafter. The rationale of both the kulak action and these eastern national actions was thus false. It is possible that Stalin feared Japan, and he had good reason for concern. Japanese intentions were certainly aggressive in the 1930s, and the only question was about the direction of expansion: north or south. Japanese governments were unstable and prone to rapid changes in policy. In the end, however, mass killings could not preserve the Soviet Union from an attack that was not coming.

Perhaps, as with the Poles, Stalin reasoned that mass killing had no costs. If Japan meant to attack, it would find less support inside the Soviet Union. If it did not, then no harm to Soviet interests had been done by preemptive mass murder and deportation. Again, such reasoning coheres only when the interests of the Soviet state are seen as distinct from the lives and well-being of its population. And again, the use of the NKVD against internal enemies (and against itself) prevented a more systematic approach to the actual threat that the Soviet Union faced: a German attack without Japanese or Polish assistance and without the help of internal opponents of Soviet rule.

Officially, the agreement signed in Moscow on 23 August 1939 was nothing more than a nonaggression pact. In fact, Ribbentrop and Molotov also agreed to a secret protocol, designating areas of influence for Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union within eastern Europe: in what were still the independent states of Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, and Romania. The irony was that Stalin had very recently justified the murder of more than one hundred thousand of his own citizens by the false claim that Poland had signed just such a secret codicil with Germany under the cover of a nonaggression pact. The Polish operation had been presented as preparation for a German-Polish attack; now the Soviet Union had agreed to attack Poland along with Germany.

On 1 September 1939, the Wehrmacht attacked Poland from the north, west, and south, using men and arms from annexed Austria and Czechoslovakia. Hitler had begun his war.

In August and September 1939, Stalin was reading maps not just of east Europe but of east Asia. He had found an opportunity to improve the Soviet position in the Far East. Stalin could now be confident that no German-Polish attack was coming from the west. If the Soviet Union moved against Japan in east Asia, there would be no fear of a second front. The Soviets (and their Mongolian allies) attacked Japanese (and puppet Manchukuo) forces at a contested border area (between Mongolia and Manchukuo) on 20 August 1939. Stalin’s policy of rapprochement with Berlin of 23 August 1939 was also directed against Tokyo. The Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact between Germany and the Soviet Union, signed three days after the Soviet offensive, nullified the Anti-Comintern Pact between Germany and Japan. Even more than the battlefield defeat, the Nazi-Soviet alliance brought a political earthquake in Tokyo. The Japanese government fell, as would several more in the coming months.

Once Germany seemed to have chosen the Soviet Union rather than Japan as its ally, the Japanese government found itself in an unexpected and confusing situation. The consensus among Japanese leaders was already to expand southward rather than northward, into China and the Pacific rather than into Soviet Siberia. Yet if the union between Moscow and Berlin held, the Red Army would be able to concentrate its forces in Asia rather than in Europe. Japan would then be forced to keep its best troops in the north, in Manchukuo, in simple self-defense, which would make the advance into the south much more difficult. Hitler had given Stalin a free hand in east Asia, and the Japanese could only hope that Hitler would soon betray his new friend. Japan established a consulate in Lithuania as an observation point for German and Soviet military preparations. The consul there was the russophone spy Chiune Sugihara.

When the Red Army defeated the Japanese, on 15 September 1939, Stalin had achieved exactly the result that he wanted. The national actions of the Great Terror had been aimed against Japan, Poland, and Germany, in that order, and against the possibility of encirclement by these three states working together. The 681,692 killings of the Great Terror did nothing to make encirclement less likely, but diplomacy and military force did. By 15 September Germany had practically destroyed the Polish Army as a fighting force. A German-Polish attack on the Soviet Union was obviously out of the question, and a German-Japanese attack on the Soviet Union also looked very unlikely. Stalin had replaced the phantom of a German-Polish-Japanese encirclement of the Soviet Union with a very real German-Soviet encirclement of Poland, an alliance that isolated Japan. Two days after the Soviet military victory over Japan, on 17 September 1939, the Red Army invaded Poland from the east. The Red Army and the Wehrmacht met in the middle of the country and organized a joint victory parade. On 28 September, Berlin and Moscow came to a second agreement over Poland, a treaty on borders and friendship.

So began a new stage in the history of the bloodlands. By opening half of Poland to the Soviet Union, Hitler would allow Stalin’s Terror, so murderous in the Polish operation, to recommence within Poland itself. Thanks to Stalin, Hitler was able, in occupied Poland, to undertake his first policies of mass killing. In the twenty-one months that followed the joint German-Soviet invasion of Poland, the Germans and the Soviets would kill Polish civilians in comparable numbers for similar reasons, as each ally mastered its half of occupied Poland.

The organs of destruction of each country would be concentrated on the territory of a third. Hitler, like Stalin, would choose Poles as the target of his first major national shooting campaign.

Leave a comment

Filed under China, Germany, Japan, Korea, Mongolia, Poland, USSR, war

Lankov on Pyongyang’s Recent Blunders

In the Korea Times (20 May 2010), veteran North Korea–watcher Andrei Lankov asks, What’s going on in Pyongyang.

In recent years the North Korean government has begun to do strange things. In the past, the actions of the regime frequently hurt the populace, but the rulers have been very careful in guarding their own interests. This is not the case anymore.

Let’s start with the Cheonan affair. Obviously the operation was revenge aimed at massaging the ego of aging admirals who were hurt by the recent defeats in previous naval clashes. However, revenge is a purely emotional category and as such it should have no place in a truly Machiavellian mind.

From a broader perspective, the affair will greatly diminish Pyongyang’s chances to receive more aid from both South Korea and the U.S. This will make them even more dependent on China, and this is not what Pyongyang rulers want.

Another potentially self-damaging action was their attempt to assassinate Hang Jang-yop, a former top ideologue of the regime who defected to the South in 1997. Upon his arrival in Seoul, Hwang was not very prominent.

The old man in his 80s has largely been a figurehead, presiding over some defectors’ groups, but, frankly, lacking both charisma and practical influence. It did not help that he frequently insisted that juche (self-reliance) ideology is basically a good idea, to be restored to its initial glory.

Hwang is very different from such opposition leaders as, say, Aung San Suu Ky of present-day Burma or Lech Walesa of communist-era Poland. However, had he been killed, he would have become a martyr, a symbol of the resistance movement.

The North Korean diplomacy of the last two years is full of mistakes and miscalculations. They began in late 2008 when North Korea decided to employ the two-stage tactics which it used for decades.

In the first stage, Pyongyang creates a crisis and drives tensions high, while in the next stage it extracts concessions for its willingness to restore the status quo. This time, however, the usual (and well-rehearsed) play was performed badly.

In spring 2009 North Korea launched a long-range missile and tested a nuclear device, while driving the rhetoric bellicosity to unprecedented heights.

However, those excessive efforts backfired. Prior to 2009, a considerable part of the U.S. diplomatic establishment still believed that there would be some ways to bribe and press North Korea into denuclearizing itself.

By now everybody in Washington, D.C., has come to understand that it is not going to happen (they should have realized this much earlier). For North Koreans, this is bad news….

The list of mistakes can easily get longer. But why did the quality decision-making in Pyongyang deteriorate so suddenly and to such an extent?

The most likely explanation seems to be related to the nature of the North Korean state, a personal dictatorship run by one individual who has to approve all major decisions. Dictators tend to micro-manage, and this tendency seems to be very pronounced in the case of Kim Jong-il.

One should notice that the first unusual signs emerged in late 2008 when Kim suffered from a serious illness, in all probability, a stroke. Strokes do not sharpen one’s mental capacity, so it is quite possible that his ability to analyze and judge has been damaged.

It is also possible that now Kim simply has to work much shorter hours, unable to sort out all the important details.

At any rate, Pyongyang is becoming less calculating, less rational and less Machiavellian than it used to be. And this is not good news.

via The Marmot’s Hole

Leave a comment

Filed under Korea, war

Korea ’73 Billy Graham Crusade

From Born Again: Evangelicalism in Korea, by Timothy S. Lee (U. Hawai‘i Press, 2010), pp. 94-95:

As 1972 wore on, many Korean church leaders looked forward to the next year with anticipation. For some time, these leaders, led by Han Kyŏngjik had been planning for what they hoped would be a shot in the arm for Korean evangelicalism: a Billy Graham revival. In early 1971 some of these leaders and the staff of the Billy Graham Crusade (BGC) had held a preparatory meeting. At that time they had made important decisions regarding the upcoming crusade; tor example, expenses for the event would be shared by the BGC and the Korean sponsors, with the former assuming all the expenses related to inviting and boarding Graham and other visiting speakers and the latter assuming the remaining expenses, such as renting the necessary equipment and facilities.

The official title of this event was “Korea ’73 Billy Graham Crusade” but it was also called Fifty Million to Christ. Its theme was “Find a New Life in Jesus Christ.” In 1973 the crusade took place in Korea in two phases. In the first phase, between May 16 and 27, a team of BGC revivalists (except Graham) held preparatory revivals in Pusan, Taegu, Incheon, Taejŏn, Kwangju, Ch’ŏngju, Ch’unch’ŏn, and Cheju—Korea’s largest cities after Seoul. In the second phase from May 30 to June 3, Billy Graham himself led evangelistic gatherings at the huge Yŏŭido Plaza.

Given Graham’s prominence and the success of the Thirty Million to Christ campaign, the organizers of this crusade had reason to expect a high turnout. Yet probably few of them expected the kind of turnout the crusade actually generated. In the regional campaigns alone, the crusade drew 1.36 million people, 37,000 of whom made the decision to believe for the first time. But even this regional campaign was superseded by the second phase of the crusade.

The Yŏŭido Plaza at the time was a huge tract of open area (slightly larger than one and a half square miles) in Yŏŭido, a Han River islet near the heart of Seoul. Even in densely populated Seoul, this area was kept off-limits from developers so that it could be turned into an airfield in the event of war. Despite its size, however, from May 30 to June 3, 1973, the plaza became the most densely populated area in Seoul, serving as the site of the most successful Billy Graham Crusade to date.

To make this crusade a success, just about all the Protestant denominations in Korea cooperated. Even Park Chung Hee’s government helped out, giving permission to hold the event in the plaza, temporarily rescheduling the bus routes near it, and sending its army construction corps to build a choir section big enough to accommodate a 6,000-interdenominational chorus.

On the first night, the crusade drew an audience of 510,000. Impressed by the turnout and the preparatory work that had gone into the crusade, Graham predicted that the evening would be the first assembly of the largest evangelistic rally in the history of the church. The turnouts of following nights bore out Graham’s prediction. On each of the first four evenings of this five-evening crusade, the turnout averaged about 526,000, and the last night’s service was attended by 1.1 million people. In addition, during each night of the revival, about 4,000 people stayed up all night to pray. In all, 44,000 of the participants made the decision to believe for the first time.

In this crusade, Graham delivered typical revivalistic messages, emphasizing the sinners’ need to repent, to be born again, and to gain true freedom by accepting God as the sovereign of their lives. By and large, his message found a receptive audience. On the other hand, it did run into some criticism. Most liberals, for example, dismissed Graham’s sermons as being too simplistic and formulaic. They concurred with L. George Paik, not a liberal himself, who opined that Graham delivered what amounted to an “Apostles’-Creed” type of sermon. Some of them also criticized Graham for failing to take a more prophetic stance—that is, for not addressing issues like democracy and freedom in Korea.

In contrast to the liberals, evangelicals found no problem in Graham’s messages. But they did feel dissatisfied that the whole crusade had been conducted under the leadership of foreign revivalists. They felt that Korean evangelicals should have been able to conduct such an event on their own, with their own resources, addressing their own evangelistic needs in their own tongue. These two developments—liberals’ criticism of evangelistic campaigns for ignoring sociopolitical issues and the evangelicals’ desire to Koreanize them—and the tension created between them would surface again in subsequent evangelistic campaigns.

After the Billy Graham Crusade, the next massive evangelistic campaign to take place in Korea was Explo ’74, held at the Yŏŭido Plaza from August 13 to 18, 1974.

Leave a comment

Filed under Korea, nationalism, religion, U.S.

Protestant Exodus from North Korea, 1946-53

From Born Again: Evangelicalism in Korea, by Timothy S. Lee (U. Hawai‘i Press, 2010), p. 65:

As the communists solidified their control of the North, it became increasingly difficult for evangelicals to live there. Consequently thousands of them fled to the South, constituting a significant portion of those who left the North between 1945 and 1953. Figures on the southward migrants are at best estimates, especially with respect to evangelicals. The number of all Koreans who migrated southward between 1945 and 1953 is estimated at between 1,014,000 and 1,386,000—about 10.7 to 14.7 percent of the average population (9,440,000) in northern Korea between 1946 and 1949. Kang Inch’ŏl estimates that in 1945 the number of northern Protestants was around 200,000, about 2.1 percent of the population. Of them, he estimates that 70,000 to 80,000 might have migrated to the South, constituting 35 to 40 percent of the Protestant population in the North and 6 to 7 percent of all northerners who migrated.

In the South, northern evangelical refugees became a force to reckon with. They zealously evangelized and built churches. In 1950 alone, they were responsible for 90 percent of the two thousand or so newly established churches in the South. Especially zealous were the Presbyterians. Their stronghold had always been in the North, in P’yŏngyang, but by the end of the Korean War a great many of them had migrated, constituting one of every four Presbyterians in the South. The northern Presbyterian refugees went on to build some of the largest and most influential churches in the country—including the Yŏngnak (Youngnak) Presbyterian Church (which in 1971 had a membership of twelve thousand, making it the largest Presbyterian church in the world) and the Ch’unghyŏn (Choonghyun) Presbyterian Church (one of whose elders. Kim Young Sam, became president of South Korea in 1992). From the 1950s to the 1970s, northerners led the church growth movement in the South, not only in the Presbyterian Church but in all the churches of evangelicalism.

Leave a comment

Filed under Korea, religion, war