[KS] Interesting site
adam&eve at henny-savenije.demon.nl
Sun Mar 26 11:22:41 EST 2000
For those of you who don't want to surf the net, I picked this up from the
I have no intention to fire up the discussion we already had a couple of
months ago, this is just for your information, since I have proof that the
name Korea existed already before the Japanese came in.
KOREA OR COREA?
We at GoldSea choose to honor the more natural rendering commonly used in
the English-speaking world prior to the Japanese annexation and
colonialization of Corea beginning in 1905.
American and English books published during the latter half of the
19th century generally referred to the nation as "Corea" as recently as the
years immediately preceding Japan's formal annexation of Corea in 1910. An
1851 map of East Asia by Englishman John Tallis labels the nation Corea.
The same spelling is used in The Mongols, a 1908 history of the Mongol race
by Jeremiah Curtin, the world's foremost Asia scholar of the day, as well
as in several books by American missionaries published between 1887 and 1905.
Japan's annexation of Corea didn't become formal until 1910, but for
all practical purposes Japan had become the power that regulated Corea's
relations with the outside world in 1897 when it defeated China in a war
over Japan's ambition to exercise control over Corea. The only other power
willing to contest Japan's supremacy in the Corean peninsula was Russia.
When it was easily defeated by Japan at Port Arthur in 1905, the annexation
of Corea became a fait accompli. Anxious to avoid a costly Pacific
conflict, President Wilson ignored the pleas of a delegation of Corean
patriots and their American missionary supporters and turned a blind eye to
Japan's acts of formal annexation and colonization of Corea. During that
period Japan mounted a campaign to push for the "Korea" useage by the
American press. Why? For one of Japan's prospective colonies to precede its
master in the alphabetical lineup of nations would be unseemly,
Japanese imperialists decided.
Japan's colonial rule over Corea ended on August 15, 1945 when it
lost World War II. Now that Corea is eagerly shedding the last vestiges of
the colonial period, even demolishing public buildings erected by the
Japanese (for example, the monstrously immense colonial governor's
mansion), forward-thinking Corean and Corean American journalists,
intellectuals and scholars are urging the American media to revert to the
original, more natural rendering of Corea.
The changeover will pose a problem only in English-speaking nations as
other western nations never
accepted the "K" spelling. For example, France, Spain, Germany, Italy,
Brazil, Argentina and Mexico, among many others, use the "C"
rendering. English convention, too, is on the side of the Corea rendering.
Non-European names are romanized with a "C" (Cambodia, Canada, cocoa,
Comanche, Congo, and even old Canton, for example) except where the first
letter is followed by an "e" or an "i", (as in Kenya). Other than that, the
"K" spelling is used only in connoting childlike ignorance of spelling
conventions ("Kitty Kat" and "Skool",
for examples). Therefore, the American "K" spelling is
1.offensive from a historical standpoint (remember "Peking" and "Canton"?);
2.violates western rendering conventions;
3.suggests a lack of sophistication toward Corea; and
4.by connoting naiveté, imputes a lack of sophistication to Corea and
The Corea rendering will ultimately become universal when more Americans
are educated as to its offensive and relatively recent origin. The
English-speaking world was responsible for agreeing to Japanese efforts to
change the spelling of Corea's name in English useage. Who better than
concerned Asian Americans to help change it back? Tell us how you feel
about this issue by taking a moment to vote in our poll!
Should we use the conventional spelling of Korea, or Corea, the spelling in
common western use before Japan began taking steps toward annexing Corea in
(Updated 3/25/00 to reflect the 100 most recent valid votes.
NOTE: While we do appreciate the strength of conviction that motivates
repeated votes from a single computer, the practice does not help your
cause as such votes are screened out.)
Stick with Korea | 19% Help change American useage back to Corea | 81%
Henny (Lee Hae Kang)
Feel free to visit
and feel the thrill of Hamel discovering Korea (1653-1666)
More information about the Koreanstudies