|Statue of Brothers|
The War Memorial of Korea represents so many things for so many Koreans. The Statue of Brothers is symbolic of a North Korean Soldier and a Republic of Korea soldier embracing each other. The statue also symbolizes the horrors of war and the sufferings of Koreans on both sides of the now, Demilitarization zone. The need for unification and social harmony has always been a constant feature of Korean thinking in Korea, those in the diaspora only see the American Dream. Such thoughts of harmony, unification, and peace are also similar to what Japan and China also seek.
|Sea of Japan? No, it's the East Sea reads the banner|
For the Koreans, the war memorial represents the resistance to Japanese rule, not just the Korean War against the North. Although you would think, from the point of passive onlooker, that this memorial would glorify the actions of the U.N. lead coalition against North Korea's power grip on the peninsula, when in fact all it really paints is a portrait of Koreans as purely the victims of war.
For the average Japanese it represents nothing. For the average American and European it represents a small piece of history. For me it represents anti-Pan Asian philosophical dogma; Japan is the enemy and "white people are my friend" logic because they helped me to fight against my own Asian brother, the North Korean. The museum memorializes the victims of the Korean War, and all other wars fought domestically by Korean soldiers, and Koreans vs. North Korean conflicts along the border, and so on and so forth.
The idea of Japan unifying Asia through expansionist policies is unthinkable for the Korean mind, for they feel that only "white people" have the right to expand their influence all over the world. China and Korea share a border and relatively warm relations with each other. In Korean's eyes, this is seen as "keeping the peace" whereas if we were to juxtapose that with Japan, it's their ODA paid out to the comfort women, and repeat apologys that is seen as "keeping the peace." The idea of Japan trying to educate and lead all of Asia to world dominance is too (un)Korean and (un)Chinese, therefore unharmonious.
If we were to contrast Korea's War Memorial with that of The Yushukan, Japan's equivalent to a War Memorial museum in Tokyo, we would see similarities in how historical events are portrayed. Korea's interpretation is that they were victims of all wars fought over the last thousand or so years, and how they portray Japan as being absolutely the worst aggressor in its history, no mention of European powers expansion in China and Asia. In spite of Japan educating the Koreans and building its heavy industry, it is still unthinkable for Koreans to accept a more technologically advanced group of Asians during that period in history. The Korean mind is too rigid and too proud to accept this act of benevolence from a fellow Asian, but would rather accept it from Whites ( European and American) instead, and even maybe from China given the circumstances.
The large hanger bay built at the Korean Memorial is identical to that of The Yushukan Memorial. It showcases war planes, armaments and a whole array of heavy equipment used during the war.
The Yushukan is said to glorify war and aggression. That is a purely subjective opinion. If you consider the role of any country's foreign policy, then of course you could draw down the same conclusion. War Museums glorify war and the weapons used in them to inspire patriotism. The Yushukan does not paint Japanese as the victims of America's brutal campaigns in Okinawa and in the Battle of Guadalcanal. It doesn't blame nor does it point the moral finger of condemnation on another country either. It is a showpiece museum replete with an impressive array of artifacts dating back thousands of years to the present.
There is a train on exhibit in the Yushukan that was used in the Death Railway, or the Burma-Thailand Railway to support Japanese troops during the war. This extensive railway was built by forced labor on the backs Allied POWs and Javanese people. Of which many died in appalling conditions and through mass starvation. Juxtapose that to the slavery in North America when African Americans built North Americas Railways, and had to live under forced labor for 400 years. Just in case you forgot click here and here.
Allied POWs were used as forced labor, not slaves, same in North America prior to the 17th Century. Allied POWs were prisoners of war because they tried to kill Japanese soldiers in foreign lands. In America, the term "slave" didn't exist until after the 1600s, prior to that Blacks were simply referred to as laborers. During and after the 17th Centuries the term "slave" became mainstream. Slaves in America had no blood on their hands, and yet were forced to build railroads along with Chinese and native Americans. Many of them also died in appalling conditions, so therefore the Burna-Thailand Railway is perfectly in line with being on exhibit in a war museum where White people are the victims of their own brutality and hypocrisy. No need for an apology then and now, African Americans and their descendents have learned to live without theirs, and the subsequent back pay they never got.
Koreans worship whites, yes. Koreans do worship caucasians for their beauty and seek to emulate them. The burden of history and accountability from passed aggressions does not apply to them. When the Emperor of Japan along with his elders crafted the Hakko-Ichiu, the idea was purely Pan-Asianistic in intent, and that is the spread of the "Tenno Showa's" power and influence not only in Asia but all over the world. However, because Koreans only see "White Rulers" as the harmonious balance in the world they defy Japan, along with China.