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					Japan & the Koreas
Why study Japan & the Koreas?
 Economies of Japan & South Korea are directly
 linked to ours
 North Korea has nuclear power, and now the
 nuclear weapons it could use against its
 neighbors, our allies
 During World War II the US and Japan were
 enemies, now we are allies. Occasionally trade or
 environmental issues threaten our relationship
 Japanese & Korean cultures are important and
 popular the world over

   “The Land of the Rising
     Sun” (United Streaming 16:17)
-Consists of 4 main islands and thousands of
smaller ones
At the closest
point, the
islands are
120 miles
away from the
Takes up about 142,000 sq mi
(smaller than California)
Although it is
larger than
More than 70%
of the Islands
Little land is
suitable for
agriculture or
Most people live along the coasts
Compare the latitudes to the US
 Japan lies on the
 Pacific Ring of Fire
 and therefore has
 experienced many
 volcanic eruptions
 and tsunamis
Japan & the Koreas

Mount Fuji
 The tallest peak in Japan
 Very important cultural symbol
 Active volvano that last erupted in
 Site of pilgrimages for Japanese, who
 regard Fuji as sacred
Cherry blossoms
  Powerful symbol in Japanese culture
     Schools begin new academic year
     Newly hired employees join companies
     Highly anticipated event
  Tokyo‟s Ueno Park is extremely popular for
  When petals fall due to spring winds, it creates
  hana fubuki, or a storm of flower petals
  Thousands of trees given as gifts to USA in 1912
  and again in 1958; they now line the Tidal Basin in
  Washington, DC
                                            Ainu elder today

 First Inhabitants were the Ainu
 In the 700‟s Japan developed an
 unique political system (similar to the
 medieval feudal system):
     Emperor – Figure head
     Shoguns- Powerful warlords ruled over the
     Daimyo-Wealthy landlords
     Samurai-Professional warriors who
     protected the Daimyo
History Cont.
 Traders came in the 1500s
 Fear of foreign ideas caused
 Japan to cut itself off between
 the 1600s and the mid 1800s        Commodore
                                    Matthew Perry
 1853 Commodore Matthew
 Perry arrived and opened trade
 Meiji Restoration (1868)
 Samurai overthrow last shogun
 and restored the Emperors
 Japan begins to modernize and

                                   The Last Samurai
The Japanese Empire 1942
Japan and WWII
 alliance with
 Germany and Italy
 Dec 7, 1941 The
 Japanese bomb
 Pearl Harbor in
End of WWII
 1945 US drops
 Atomic bombs on
 the Japanese cities
 of Hiroshima and
Rebuilding Japan

 After WWII, Japan loses territories
 (the Korea Peninsula, Manchuria, SE
 Asia and many islands)
 Japan sets up a democratic
 government with a Prime minister and
 a diet (legislature) - -Emperor is
 symbolic leader
Japan‟s Government

 chief of state:
 Emperor Akihito

head of government:
  Prime Minister
  Yukio Hatoyama
Other Facts

 Major religions:

 Rice is a major source of food
 God of Rice)

Along with fish

 Often mistaken to mean raw fish, it is
 really a vinegared rice dish, that may
 include raw fish (called sashimi)
 A national dish that prizes purity,
 tradition and simplicity
 Most prized fish to use is bluefin tuna
Japan Economy/Culture
    Second largest economy on the planet
      Just over $4 trillion (USD) per year
      Almost 130 million (127,288,416 in 2008)
      Largely homogenous, about 99% ethnic Japanese
    Japanese naming system
      Family name first, given name last
      Girls often have name ending in „ko‟ meaning child
      Boys often have name identifying place in family, and
      ending in „ro‟, meaning son; Ichiro means „first son‟
Japan Culture

 Traditional female entertainers whose
 skills include traditional Japanese
 dance and classical music.
North and South Korea

 South Korea    North Korea
Just West of Japan
About the size of Utah

 Borders China along the Yalu and
 Tumen Rivers
 Borders Russia in the far NE
 Made up of mostly hills and low
 Like Japan, the weather is greatly
 influenced by the Monsoons
Origins of Korean Cultural
 Struggled to successfully maintain
 cultural identity on the doorstep of
 China and the heel of Japan

 Language, formation myth, religion
 and shamanism much more closely
 related to inner Asia where Korea‟s
 early people came from; not China
Chinese Contact

 108bc China invaded Korea

 Writing, technology, political
 centralization had already begun in
 Korea PRIOR to Chinese contact
“Borrows” from China
  Rice planting, bronze, iron making
  Trade goods
  Writing systems
  Political systems
  Printing systems
  Pottery making

****All were “Koreanized” versions of the
   original, very specific influences were chosen
   and cultivated
Korean Culture
 Like all agricultural societies, Korean life
 has always centered on tightly knit families
Religion of Korea

 Follow a variety of religious ideas
 and organized religions, including:
 Korea was already patriarchal, and
 became even more so with the
 importation of Confucianism--reinforced
 order and authority, family responsibility,
 respect of elders, hard work, protection
 of family, proper decorum

 Spread by travelers and monks

 Royal patronage allowed many
 magnificently decorated temples

 Unique to Korean Buddhism: a side
 chapel or shrine dedicated to a
 mountain spirit (old man with a tiger) a
 symbol of national shamanistic beliefs

 Christianity is now a major religion in
 South Korea

 North Korea claims religious freedom,
 but the communist government
 controls religious activities
Modern History
 After WWII, the Korean Peninsula was split
 at the 38th Parallel with the USSR
 occupying the North and the US occupying
 the South until they withdrew in1949
 1950- North Korea invades South Korea
 and the UN sends in troops to defend
 South Korea - - - Korean War
 1953- armistice is signed. Countries still
 divided along the 38th Parallel
 DMZ is the buffer zone between the two
A ten-foot-high (three-meter-high) barbed-wire fence runs
along the southern side of the DMZ. The sign atop the hill
   flashes patriotic slogans in an attempt to demoralize
               North Korean border guards.
            Photograph by Michael Yamashita
Government: North Korea
North Korea
  Capital: Pyongyang
  Leader: Kim Jong Il
  (known as “Dear Leader”)

  Currency: 1.00 USD
= 142.450 North Korea Won
North Korea
 System of DPRK
   Command economy
   Communist Party sole party allowed (Workers Party of Korea)
   Heavy state control in lives of people
       Limits on travel
       Punishments for associating with foreigners
       Extremely limited private property
       Only government has cars; no private ownership allowed
       Also known as the Hermit Kingdom
   Leaders live well, ordinary people are quite poor
   Has had nuclear power since 1994
   Tested nuclear weapon in 2006
   Launched rocket / satellite in 2009          Major street in Pyongyang.
                                                      The capital city lacks reliable
                                                      electricity, and has almost no
                                                           traffic on its streets.

   Official webpage of DPRK
Government: South Korea
 South Korea
   Capital: Seoul
   Government: Republic
   chief of state: President
   Lee Myung-bak

   head of government: Prime
   Minister Chung Un-Chan

   Currency:1.00 USD
 = 1,259.70 South Korea Won
South Korea

 South Korea today
   Modern, democratically elected
   Fairly large middle class
   US aid after Korean War helped rebuild
     In recent decades, economic growth made
     ROK an “Asian Tiger”
   Export economy
     Major exports: Cars, steel, electronics, etc.
                                          Seoul, South Korea.
Other differences

 The GDP of South Korea is $26,000
 vs $1,700 of North Korea
 81% of South Korea is Urban vs 60%
 of North Korea
 Education in North Korea is more
 limited and there is a focus on
 communist ideology

  United Streaming: Rich and Poor: Exploring the Differences
  between North and South Korea (3:12)
 Talks of reunification continue
 Recently their relationship has improved
 and visits to North Korea have been
 allowed at times
 However, South Korea is afraid it would
 hurt their economy to join with one of the
 world‟s poorest countries
 Also, there is the fear that North Korea has
 and may use Nuclear weapons
Korean Reunification
         Precedence: East & West Germany (but
         Korea is not Germany; the culture, economics
         & isolation makes it very difficult to assimilate)
         Many believe the process has already begun,
         yet it will proceed only very slowly; however
             Setback in April 2009
                – DPRK pulled out of six-party talks (aimed at peaceful
                  resolution to DPRK nuclear weapons program)
                – Stated it would resume enrichment of uranium for use in
                  nuclear weapons
                – Removed nuclear weapons inspectors from the country

Unification flag, used since 1991 (not an official flag for either nation, though).

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