Open Access Articles- Top Results for Anti-Korean sentiment

Anti-Korean sentiment

Anti-Korean sentiment involves hatred or dislike that is directed towards Korean people, culture or either of the two states (North Korea/South Korea) on the Korean peninsula.


Results of 2014 BBC World Service poll.
Views of South Korea's influence by country[1]
Sorted by Pos-Neg
Country polled Positive Negative Neutral Pos-Neg
23x15px Germany 24 59 17 -35
23x15px Spain 21 50 29 -29
Template:Country data Japan 13 37 50 -24
23x15px Mexico 22 41 37 -19
23x15px Chile 21 40 39 -19
Template:Country data Israel 11 25 64 -14
23x15px Brazil 32 41 27 -9
23x15px France 42 46 12 -4
23x15px Peru 32 35 33 -3
23x15px United Kingdom 45 45 10 0
Template:Country data India 30 23 47 7
Template:Country data Kenya 36 28 36 8
23x15px China 40 32 28 8
23x15px Pakistan 31 23 46 8
23x15px Canada 48 39 13 9
23x15px Nigeria 46 36 18 10
23x15px Russia 35 23 42 12
23x15px Turkey 38 22 40 16
23x15px United States 55 34 11 21
Template:Country data Indonesia 48 27 25 21
23x15px Australia 62 27 11 35
Template:Country data South Korea 68 26 6 42
23x15px Ghana 63 16 21 47
Results of 2014 BBC World Service poll.
Views of North Korea's influence by country[2]
Sorted by Pos-Neg
Country polled Positive Negative Neutral Pos-Neg
Template:Country data Japan 1 91 8 -90
Template:Country data South Korea 3 91 6 -88
23x15px United States 4 90 6 -86
23x15px Germany 3 85 12 -82
23x15px Australia 8 86 6 -78
23x15px Canada 6 83 11 -77
23x15px United Kingdom 9 83 8 -74
Template:Country data Israel 1 70 29 -69
23x15px France 10 79 11 -69
23x15px Spain 7 73 20 -66
23x15px Mexico 13 47 40 -34
23x15px Brazil 20 54 26 -34
23x15px Peru 22 49 29 -27
23x15px China 20 46 34 -26
23x15px Argentina 12 33 55 -21
23x15px Russia 19 37 44 -18
Template:Country data Indonesia 28 44 26 -16
Template:Country data India 23 27 50 -4
23x15px Pakistan 28 32 40 -4
Template:Country data Kenya 34 34 32 0
23x15px Nigeria 42 38 20 4
23x15px Turkey 32 19 49 13
23x15px Ghana 57 20 23 37

Anti-Korean sentiment is present in China,[3] Taiwan and Japan, and stems from such issues as nationalism, politics, economic competition, cultural influences, and historical disputes.


In China, it has only come to prominence recently, due to issues such as the 2008 Olympic Torch Relay; which have accumulated over other issues over the years.

In Japan, modern dislike for Korea can be seen as a form of national rivalry; more recently this rivalry was heightened by events such as the 2002 FIFA World Cup, co-hosted by both nations.[4]

Region-based Koreaphobia


Korea and China have historically maintained strong ties.[5][6] As Korea was annexed by Imperial Japan in 1910, Korea became under Japanese influence. Chinese believe that some ethnic Koreans were in the Imperial Japanese Army which invaded China during the Second Sino-Japanese War. Additionally, adding to this sentiment is that some Koreans were reported to be involved into the operation of the Burma-Siam Death Railway.[7][8] The Chinese referred to Koreans as Er guizi (Chinese: 二鬼子; pinyin: èr guǐzi).[9]

From a psychological perspective, Chinese are seen as assuming Koreans to be part of a sinocentric East Asian regional order.[10] As a part of this group, Koreans are assumed to be inherently friendly to China. Chinese also emphasize hierarchy within their sinocentric order, where China is at the top of the hierarchy. In contrast, Koreans reject the sinocentric East Asian regional order and emphasize equality in diplomatic relations in East Asia. This rejection leads to conflict of existential identities, threatening the very meaning of being Korean and Chinese.[10]

At the end of World War II, North Korea, aligned with the Soviet bloc, became friendly with the People's Republic of China, while the PRC and the Republic of Korea did not recognize each other. During the Korean War, when China was engaged in war with South Korea and its western allies, efforts through propaganda were placed to intimidate hatred against South Korea, named a "puppet state" of the United States at the time by the PRC government.[citation needed].

From 1992 on, after South Korea's normalization of relations with China, relations with the People's Republic of China gradually improved. Within the Chinese population, Korean art and culture became popular from 2000 onwards. Amid improvements in relations however, there were also looming anti-South Korean sentiments involved in various disputes between the two countries.


Within Taiwan, some existing animosity towards Koreans amongst Taiwanese may be present as a result of the rivalry between the two states in relation to baseball.[11][12] Disputes between Taiwan and Korea in the international sport competition arose numerous times. In November 2010, Taiwanese citizens protested against the disqualification of a Taekwondo athlete at the 2010 Asian Games after a Filipino referee [13] disqualified a Taiwanese fighter,[14] calling for a boycott on South Korean goods.

On 23 August 1992, South Korea's "Nordpolitik" (Northern diplomacy) have made it to establish a diplomatic ties with People's Republic of China after Soviet Union. This resulted in the change in the diplomatic relationship of South Korea with the Republic of China, since it replaced anti-communist foreign policy with an effort to improve relations with other surrounding countries in the sense of geopolitics, including the People's Republic of China, in order to pressure and appease North Korea that eases the political anxiety and softens military tension in the Korean Peninsula and enables the possibility of a peaceful reunification of Korea. As normalization begun, Roh transferred diplomatic recognition from the ROC and PRC, and confiscated the property of the ROC embassy, transferring it to the PRC.[15]

According to an official from the Korean trade office in Taipei, sales of Korean products are not very successful in Taiwan because "the Taiwanese felt very betrayed after Korea severed diplomatic ties with Taiwan and reestablished ties with China in 1992, because the people of Taiwan had seen Korea as an ally in the fight against Communism... Now because the two countries have similar export-oriented economies and focus on the same business sectors, the Taiwanese see Korea as a great rival, and think that losing to Korea would be the end of Taiwan."[16]

In June 2012, CEO of Foxconn Terry Gou stated that he had "great esteem for Japanese (businessmen), especially those who are able to disagree with you in person and not stab you in the back, unlike the Gaoli bangzi (a racial slur for Koreans)", sparking controversy.[17]


Persecution of ethnic Koreans after the 1923 Kanto Earthquake
Kuniaki Koiso, Japanese Governor-General of Korea, implemented the conscription of Koreans for wartime labor.

Historically, relations between Japan and Korea have been poor.[18]

During the Joseon Dynasty, Wokou pirate raids on Korean soil were frequent, and so there has been general discontent for either side for a long span of time as a result, which would eventually form the basis of hatred between the two sides. Such tensions built up further after the Japanese annexation of Korea in 1910.[citation needed]

During the 1923 Great Kanto Earthquake, widespread damage occurred in a region with a significant Korean population, and much of the local Japanese overreacted to rumors which spread after the earthquake.[19] Within the aftermath of the event, there was a common perception amongst groups of far-right Japanese that ethnic Koreans were poisoning wells, eventually setting off a killing rampage against Koreans, where Japanese would use the shibboleth of ba bi bu be bo (ばびぶべぼ) to distinguish ethnic Koreans from Japanese, as it was assumed that Koreans would be unable to pronounce the line correctly, instead as Template:IPA-ko.[20] All people who failed the test were killed, which caused many ethnic Chinese and Ryukyuans, also unable to correctly pronounce the shibboleth, to be indiscriminately killed in large numbers. Other shibboleths used were "jū-go-en, go-ji-ssen" (15円 50銭?, 15 yen, 50 sen) and "gagigugego" (がぎぐげご), where Japanese people pronounce initial g as [ɡ] and medial g as [ŋ] (such a distinction is dying out in recent years), whereas Koreans pronounce the two sounds as [k] and [ɡ] respectively.[citation needed]

Much of the anti-Korean sentiment present today however deal with contemporary attitudes.[citation needed] During the 2002 FIFA World Cup, Japanese and Korean supporters clashed with one another, while Japanese media reported the conduct of Korean spectators in a negative fashion. Both sides were also known to post racist messages against each other on online bulletins. There were also disputes regarding how the event was to be hosted, as a result of the rivalry between the two nations. The territorial dispute over Liancourt Rocks also fuels outrage within far-right groups. Manga Kenkanryu (often referred to as Hating the Korean Wave) by Sharin Yamano discusses these issues while making many other arguments and claims against Korea.[citation needed]

Zainichi Koreans in Japan are also publicly perceived to be a nuisance[21] and are seen as likely to cause trouble and start riots, a view shared by former Tokyo Governor Shintaro Ishihara. A Zainichi organisation, Chongryon, is commonly accused of providing funding and material to North Korea and indoctrinating the Zainichi Korean population to actively hate Japan.[citation needed]

Right-wing groups in Japan today still commonly target ethnic Koreans living within Japan. One such group, known as Zaitokukai, is organized be members on the internet, and is known to be responsible for leading street demonstrations against Korean schools.[22]

There is also much concern in Japan regarding North Korea and its nuclear and long-range missile capabilities, as a result of missile tests in 1993, 1998 and 2006 and an underground nuclear test in 2006. There are also controversies regarding North Korean abductions of Japanese, where Japanese citizens were abducted by North Korean agents between 1977 and 1983.[citation needed]

The Korean wave, or the exportation of South Korean pop culture, has created some resentment among pockets of Japanese society. Many Japanese citizens with conservative views and some of right wing nationalist groups have organized anti-Korean wave demonstrations via 2channel. On 9 August 2011, more than 2,000 protesters demonstrated in front of Fuji TV's headquarters in Odaiba, Tokyo against the broadcasting of Korean dramas.[23] Earlier, in July 2011, well-known actor Sousuke Takaoka was fired from his agency, Stardust Promotion, for tweeting against the influx of Korean soaps.[24] The general perception of Koreans on 2channel is negative, and board members often reference stereotypes of Koreans, such as the use of dogs in Korean cuisine.[25]

There are some efforts to create mutual understanding and friendship between people in two countries from dialogue, cultural exchange, and education.[26][27][28][29]


Some South Korean men take sex tourism trips to Mongolia, often as clients of South Korean-run businesses in Mongolia, has also sparked anti-Korean sentiment among Mongolians, and is said to be responsible for the increasing number of assaults on South Korean nationals in the country.[30]


The participation of conscripted Korean soldiers serving under the Japanese Empire's flag in the Japanese occupation of the Philippines in the World War II has caused some Filipinos, especially those from the older generations, to associate the Koreans with atrocities committed during the war.[31]

In the recent years, there has been an increasing number of Koreans migrating to the Philippines. Although Koreans are generally welcomed to the country there has been some concerns. One concern is that many Korean migrants refuse to fully assimilate. Koreans continue to prefer to consume Korean products even if a local counterpart is available. It was reported that tour operators in Cebu doesn't benefit from Korean tourist because they are bared by Korean companies thus that only Korean travel agencies solely benefits from the tourist market. There has been complaints of rowdy behavior by Koreans in the country and Koreans are the number one violator of immigration laws according to the Philippine Bureau of Immigration.[32][33]

Former Soviet Union

During the era of the Soviet Union, ethnic Koreans in the Russian Far East were subject to deportations under the national delimitation policy, with the majority of Koreans relocating to Soviet republics in Central Asia.[34]

The deportation was preceded by a typical Soviet scenario of political repression: falsified trials of local party leaders accused of insurrection, accusations of plans of the secession of the Far Eastern Krai, local party purges, and articles in Pravda about the Japanese espionage in the Far East.[35]

The resettlement plans were revived with new vigor in August 1937, ostensibly with the purpose of suppressing "the penetration of the Japanese espionage into the Far Eastern Krai". This time, however, the direction of resettlement was westward, to Soviet Central Asia. From September to October 1937, more than 172,000 of Soviet Koreans were deported from the border regions of the Russian Far East to Kazakh SSR and Uzbek SSR (the latter including Karakalpak ASSR).[36][37]

United States

The majority of resentment against Koreans in the United States and much of the western world is only in regards to North Korea, although there have also been minor historical incidents.

During the Korean War, the United States fought in alliance with South Korea against North Korea. Since the war, the common knowledge of North Korea is that it is an oppressive state.

Following heavy re-militarization and a series of missile tests, Americans were made to fear a possible attack by a "rogue state" such as North Korea. In United States President George W. Bush's State of the Union Address on January 29, 2002, he described North Korea as a part of the "Axis of evil". Following the Nuclear program of North Korea and subsequent 2006 North Korean nuclear test, the United States imposed UN sanctions on North Korea. These economic sanctions are very unlikely to be lifted by the United States due to North Korea's incompliance to the Six-party talk agreements.[citation needed]

The Los Angeles riots of 1992 were partially based on Anti-Korean sentiment. Ice Cube's song "Black Korea" which would later be accused of inciting racism was written in response to the death of 15-year old African-American Latasha Harlins, who was shot and killed by Korean-American store owner Soon Ja Du on March 16, 1991, as well as the preponderance of Korean grocery stores in primarily black neighborhoods. The event resulted in mass ransacking and destruction of Korean-American owned stores in Los Angeles by groups of young African-Americans.[citation needed]

Derogatory terms

There are a variety of derogatory terms referring to Korea. Many of these terms are viewed as racist. However, these terms do not necessarily refer to the Korean people as a whole; they can also refer to specific policies, or specific time periods in history.

In English

  • Gook - a derogatory term for all Asians,[dubious ] first used by U.S. military against South-East Asians.[38] The etymology of this racial slur is shrouded in mystery, disagreement, and controversy. The Oxford English Dictionary admits that its origin is "unknown".[39] The word may have also come from verb endings in the Korean language that, upon hearing Korean speech, sounds frequent to a non-Korean speaker. A widespread urban legend holds that it derives from the Korean term 미국, miguk, meaning "America", which American soldiers interpreted as "me gook", or from other variants involving the word for country, guk.
  • Ching chong - English language to mock people of Chinese ancestry, or other Asians who may look Chinese.
  • Chink - racial slur referring mainly to a person of Chinese ethnicity but sometimes generalized to refer to any person of East Asian descent.
  • Chinky - the name "chinky" is the adjectival form of chink and, like chink, is an ethnic slur for Chinese and other Asian people.

In French

  • Chinetoque (m/f) - derogatory term referring to Asian people.

In Chinese

  • Gaoli bangzi (Simplified Chinese: 高丽棒子; pinyin: gāolì bàngzǐ) - derogatory term used against all ethnic Koreans. Gaoli refers to ancient Korea (Goryeo), while bangzi means "club" or "corncob", referring to how traditional Korean clothing supposedly had trousers that resembled a corn fitting into its cob.[citation needed] There are other various etymologies; some suggest that the term originates from Taiwan as a result of its baseball rivalry with South Korea, where 棒子 refers to a baseball bat; another explanation refers to the Second Sino-Japanese War, where ethnic Koreans in the Imperial Japanese Army were unarmed, and hence beat civilians with sticks and clubs in occupied areas. Sometimes 韓棒子 (hán bàng zǐ, "韓" referring to South Korea) and 死棒子 (sǐ bàng zǐ, literally "dead corncob") are also used.[40][41]
  • Gaoli paocai (Simplified Chinese: 高麗泡菜; pinyin: gāolì pàocài) - literally "Goryeo kimchi" or "Korean kimchi", which makes a reference to kimchi, a Korean staple food. Used by Taiwanese baseball fans, as a result of their rivalry against South Korea, where Chinese Taipei is commonly defeated by the South Korean national team. Variants include 死泡菜 ("dead kimchi").[citation needed]
  • Er guizi (Simplified Chinese: 二鬼子; pinyin: èr guǐzi) - a disparaging designation of puppet armies and traitors during the Anti-Japanese War of China.[42][43] As with the term hanjian, the definition of 二鬼子 has varied throughout history. Japanese were known as "鬼子" (devils), and 二鬼子 literally translates into "second devils". During World War II, some Koreans served in the Imperial Japanese Army, so 二鬼子 refers to hanjian (i.e. Chinese who collaborated with the Japanese) and ethnic Koreans. During the Chinese Civil War, both the Chinese Communist Party and Kuomintang accused each other of being hanjian, and the term 二鬼子 was then applied to the Kuomintang by the communists. More recently, 二鬼子 mainly refers to South Koreans. In addition to the historical background of World War II era, Koreans are perceived as resembling Japanese in their appearance and popular culture.

In Japanese

  • Chon (チョン?); (Hangul: ; RR: Chyong) - vernacular nickname for Koreans, with strongly offensive overtones.[44] Various suggested etymologies exist; one such etymology is that it is an abbreviation of Chōsen (朝鮮?), a Japanese term for Korea.[45]
  • Kimchi yarō (キムチ野郎 Kimuchi yarō?) - literally "kimchi bastard". In 2003, the Mongolian sumo wrestler Asashoryu was taking interviews from journalists when he called a Korean journalist a "kimchi bastard", sparking controversy.[46][47] The phrase became a sensation on the 2channel messageboard overnight following the incident.
  • Chōsenjin (朝鮮人 Chōsenjin?) - derived from the non-derogatory term Chōsenjin (朝鮮人?) used to describe Koreans in a neutral manner.[48][49] The term, however, has eventually been used in a derogatory manner against Korean people.[50]
  • Gokiburi (ゴキブリ Gokiburi?) - literally "cockroach". Often used by the right-wing groups such as the Zaitokukai to refer to Zainichi Koreans. The most recent incident took place in August 2011 when a number of Anti-Hallyu protestors referred to certain music groups and celebrities as "cockroaches".[51]

See also


  1. ^ [1]
  2. ^ [2]
  3. ^ 韓總統:必須明智解決中國反韓情緒- 香港文匯報
  4. ^ Ugly Images of Asian Rivals Become Best Sellers in Japan, NYTIMES, November 19, 2005
  5. ^ Invalid language code. 推动“中韩战略合作伙伴关系”迈出坚定一步, 中国社会科学院院报, 2008-9-9
  6. ^ Invalid language code. 温家宝:巩固发展中韩关系是中国坚定方针, 联合早报网, 2007-04-10 --"...温家宝在出访前接受记者采访时说,中韩有着数千年的友好交往史。"
  7. ^ Historical Fact on the Burma Death Railroad Thailand Hellfire pass Prisoners conditions
  8. ^ Spared Korean war criminal pursues redress - The Japan Times Online
  9. ^ 第一滴血──從日方史料還原平型關之戰日軍損失 (6) News of the Communist Party of China December 16, 2011
  10. ^ a b Gries, Peter Hays. "The Koguryo Controversy, National Identity, and Sino-Korean relations Today" (PDF). p. 14. 
  11. ^ 23 March 2009, 李祖杰, 不瞭解韓國 休想贏韓國, UDN運動大聯盟
  12. ^ 22 August 2006, 沒品的韓國人 台中力行少棒隊20分痛宰對手竟遭禁賽, NOW News
  13. ^
  14. ^
  15. ^ [中華民國外交部 1992年外交公報]
  16. ^ "Taiwan Embraces Korean Culture, But Not Goods". Chosun Ilbo. 6 July 2009. 
  17. ^ "郭台銘:與夏普合作有信心打敗三星". Chosun Ilbo. 2012-06-20. Retrieved 2012-09-30. 
  18. ^ Tong, Kurt W, Anti-Korean sentiment in Japan and its effects on Korea-Japan trade, Center for International Studies, MIT Japan Program, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 1996
  19. ^ Weiner, Michael A. (1989). The origins of the Korean community in Japan, 1910-1923. Manchester: Manchester University Press. pp. 164–188. ISBN 0-7190-2987-2. 
  20. ^ Cybriwsky, Roman (1991). Tokyo: The Changing Profile of an Urban Giant. London: Belhaven Press. p. 81. ISBN 1-85293-054-3. 
  21. ^ Brett Fujioka, Go: Japanese Anti-Korean Sentiment Personified, 4/23/08[dead link]
  22. ^ Martin Fackler, August 28, 2010, New Dissent in Japan Is Loudly Anti-Foreign, New York Times
  23. ^ "Japan’s right-wing groups hold rallies vs. Korean pop culture". Dong-A Ilbo. 9 August 2011. Retrieved 11 August 2011. 
  24. ^ "Hundreds of Japanese Protest Against Korean Wave". Chosun Ilbo. 9 August 2011. Retrieved 11 August 2011. 
  25. ^ Mclelland, Mark (December 2008). "'Race' on the Japanese internet: discussing Korea and Koreans on '2-channeru'". New Media and Society 10 (6): 811–829. doi:10.1177/1461444808096246. 
  26. ^ [3]
  27. ^ [4]
  28. ^ [5]
  29. ^ [6]
  30. ^ "In Mongolia, sex tourism by S. Korean males leads to anti-Korean sentiment". The Hankyoreh. 2008-07-15. Retrieved 2009-01-28. 
  31. ^ Polo, Lily Ann (1984). A Cold War Alliance:Philippine-South Korean Relations 1948-1971. Philippines: Asian Center. p. 64. 
  32. ^
  33. ^
  34. ^ Martin, Terry (1998). The Origins of Soviet Ethnic Cleansing. The Journal of Modern History 70 (4), 813-861.
  35. ^ Pavel Polyan, "The Great Terror and deportation policy", Demoscope Weekly, No. 313-314, 10–31 December 2007 Invalid language code.
  36. ^ German Kim, "Korean diaspora in Kazakhstan", Slavic Research Center, Hokkaido University, 1989
  37. ^ "History of deportation of Far Eastern Koreans to Karakalpakstan (1937-1938)" Invalid language code.
  38. ^ John McCain's racist remark very troubling, Thursday, March 2, 2000, Seattle Post-Intelligencer[dead link]
  39. ^ Interactive Dictionary of Racial Language, Prof. Kim Pearson
  40. ^ 【噴水台】高麗棒 2008.08.28JoongAng Ilbo(Japanese)
  41. ^ "THE WORLD; China and North Korea: Not-So-Best of Friends". New York Times. 1993-04-11. Retrieved 2012-09-30. 
  42. ^ Comprehensive Chinese-English Dictionary
  43. ^ mdbg Chinese English Dictionary
  44. ^ Prof. Arudou Debito, July 17, 2005, On Racism in Japan: Why One May Be Hopeful for the Future. Hokkaido Information University. Accessed 18 July 2009
  45. ^ Mark J. McLelland, 2008, 'Race' on the Japanese internet: discussing Korea and Koreans on '2-Channeru', New Media Society, 10(6), 2008, 811-829. Faculty of Arts, University of Wollongong. "The racial insult in posting 101 is further underlined by the choice of user name: ‘bakachon’, a compound comprising baka ("stupid") and chon (an abbreviation of Chōsen, a term for Korea), a once widespread term for simple things, so easy, even ‘stupid Koreans’ could do them (Gottlieb, 2005: 114)".
  46. ^ 2003年5月8日, 朝青龍の侮辱発言、協会はきちんとした対応をとるべき at the Wayback Machine (archived June 3, 2003), SANKEI SPORTS
  47. ^ January 14th, 2006, Asashoryu calls Korean journalist ‘kimchi bastard’, Occidentalism
  48. ^
  49. ^
  50. ^
  51. ^ Japanese Anti-Hallyu Protests Continue