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Pet Sins June 1999

Korean slurs Japanese and Chinese culture and morality

I had the unpleasant experience of meeting a Korean expatriate in the US. He was of the opinion: "Koreans are the most moral. Just look at Japanese and Chinese history. They are so messed up. Virginity is not important to Japanese women. The bow on the Japanese woman's kimono is actually a blanket. So that they can sleep with samurai when samurai wants. The kimono is designed so that it can come off easily. Japanese women are not like Korean women who value virginity before marriage and are moral. Chinese too are not like Koreans. They don't care about virginity that much."

It is strange to me that this Korean individual considers sexuality to be the main criterion for defining a "moral" person. Isn't being a racist bigot immoral? And holding him to his own standards, I really doubt if he lives more chastely than the Chinese and Japanese masses he so freely generalizes and criticizes, from what I've heard from co-workers about his womanizing ways. In contrast, the Chinese and Japanese expatriates I've met seemed much more moderate in their ways, indeed more 'moral' than said Korean when judged by his own standards. And from what I've seen of East Asian movies, social norms depicted in Korean movies don't seem any more 'high' and 'puissant' than those of the neighbors that this Korean individual so despises.

He went on to say, "Americans are so stupid. They see a painting of a Japanese woman and they go crazy over it. Actually, Japanese culture is very uncivilized, unlike Korean culture which is much higher."

He went on to rant about the stupidity of Americans on various occasions without quoting concrete examples of said 'stupidity'. If Americans are really so stupid, how did we succeed in building a country that this Korean wants to migrate to? Would that person want other people to make generalizations about Koreans the way he does about others? Highly doubtful. He'll probably have a fit, given his ethnocentric, chauvinistic character. But he can't seem to put himself in the shoes of others.

S.F.
1997

Comment from 'O., Japanese woman'
The part about the obi being a blanket carried around for trysting is not true. The obi (belt) on the kimono is worn by both men and women. It is not a blanket. As for his depiction of sexual services for samurai from the general population, that is not the case. I am surprised at this kind of hostility towards Japanese from the post-WWII generation.

Comment from 'W., West Asian woman'
Why does he talk about women's virginity? Is he required to be a virgin himself? Classic case of double standards.