Meanings of a building both in landscape and memory-scape can be changed ‘not only by its exterior features or interior functions but also by its way of uniting with the earth’ (Chung 1994: 49). In other words, placing a building as well as designing one is a key element in creating meanings in architectural forms. The intimacy of place and meaning is, in part, derived from the place’s primary role as a ‘container of experience’ and, therefore, its ‘intrinsic memorability’ (Casey 1987: 186). Memory, it is pointed out, ‘does not thrive on the indifferently dispersed’ (Casey 1987: 187). In this sense, the former Japanese Government-General Building (GGB), erected in front of a key palace of the last native royal dynasty, more than any other building evoked for Koreans painful and shameful memories of Japanese colonial rule.

Completed in 1926, the GGB bore witness both to the colonial and postcolonial periods of modern Korean history. In fact, its overall lifespan was more postcolonial than colonial. The colonial administration began the construction of the GGB in 1916 and completed it in 1926. For nearly two decades, until 1945, the building housed offices of the colonial government. However, the building survived for a further five decades of Korea’s turbulent post-liberation history, housing the US military government offices until 1948; providing a home to the government of the Republic of Korea in 1948; and briefly serving as the general headquarters of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea during the Korean War. Following the cessation of hostilities, the building served again as the main government building for the Republic of Korea from 1962 to 1982. It subsequently housed the National Museum of Korea until 1995.

As part of national celebrations of the 50th anniversary of Liberation Day from Japanese colonial rule, the GGB was demolished. This article analyses the reasons why the building survived for half a century after the end of Japanese rule, and the debate during the early 1990s leading to the decision to demolish the building. How was the demolition of the GGB received by the various groups of people in South Korean society? Finally, what does the post-liberation history of the GGB reveal about public images and attitudes towards Japan in South Korea? In exploring these questions, I will first briefly summarize the history of the GGB. I will then analyse the political context for the official decision to demolish the GGB in the early 1990s, reflected in the media, at two levels: reaction from ‘specialists’ of various kinds (architects, city planners, and so forth), and the general public. In the process, I survey and attempt to explain changing attitudes and memories in contemporary Korean society with respect to Japan and the colonial past.


There are at least three approaches to evaluating the role of big philanthropy in ed reform. Understanding how they differ makes for a more effective analysis and stronger arguments.

The first approach focuses on the failure of specific policies pushed by the foundations and the harm they do to teaching and learning. For example, a critique of using value-added modeling to measure the effectiveness of individual teachers would deal with the inherent unreliability of the calculations, the nonsensical use of faulty formulas to measure growth in learning, and the negative consequences of rating teachers with such a flawed tool.

The second approach examines how big philanthropy’s ed-reform activity undermines the democratic control of public education, an institution that is central to a functioning democracy. The questions to ask are these: Has the public’s voice in the governance of public education been strengthened or weakened? Are politicians more or less responsive? Is the press more or less free to inform them?

This approach pinpoints certain types of foundation activity: paying the salaries of high-level personnel to do ed-reform work within government departments; making grants to education departments dependent on specific politicians remaining in office; promoting mayoral control and state control of school districts instead of control by elected school boards; financing scores of ed-reform nonprofits to implement and advocate for the foundations’ pet policies—activity that has undermined the autonomy and creativity of the nonprofit sector in education; funding (and thus influencing) the national professional associations of government officials, including the National Conference of State Legislatures, the United States Conference of Mayors, and the National Governors Association Center for Best Practices; and funding media coverage of education.

The third approach examines large private foundations as peculiar and problematic institutions in a democracy. This approach considers big philanthropy in general and uses ed reform as one example of how mega-foundations undermine democratic governance and civil society. The objections to wealthy private corporations dedicated to doing good (as they see it) have remained the same since the early twentieth century when the first mega-foundations were created: they intervene in public life but aren’t accountable to the public; they are privately governed but publicly subsidized by being tax exempt; and in a country where money translates into political power, they reinforce the problem of plutocracy—the exercise of power derived from wealth.


In Eastern Ukraine, Normality Rules Except At Ground Zero - NPR Morning Edition

But almost all of them say they don’t feel like they’re at the center of a revolution, and they don’t care much about the drama taking place just down the road.

At the end of the day, people leave the scene of the protest like concert-goers after an outdoor festival.

A man named Michal walks with a few of his friends. He’s wearing the orange and black ribbon of the demonstrators. He looks at the kids eating ice cream, the grandmothers sitting on benches, and says most people here are just “unconscious.”

"Only about 10 percent of the people who live here really understand what’s happening," he says.

When I ask whether that 10 percent can change the fate of eastern Ukraine, he coolly says that it’s always been this way. “The minority decides the fate of the majority.”

video: Chant: “Tell me what democracy looks like! / This is what democracy looks like!” — from a demonstration at Wisconsin State Capitol, 16 Feb 2011.


The U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday struck down a key pillar of campaign finance law by allowing wealthy donors to give money to as many political candidates, parties and committees as they wish.

On a 5-4 vote, the court struck down the overall limits on how much individuals can donate during the federal two-year election cycle.

Before the ruling, donors could not exceed a $123,200 overall limit during the two-year period. The ruling allows donors to contribute nearly $6 million in the same period, according to public advocacy groups.

Wednesday’s Supreme Court decision is the latest in a series of rulings by the conservative-led court to give big-money donors more influence in U.S. elections.


reuters:

Harsh words from Senator Dianne Feinstein today, as the lawmaker accused the CIA of spying on Congress and possibly even breaking the law:
"I have grave concerns that the CIA’s search may well have violated the separation of powers principles embodied in the Constitution… Besides the constitutional implications, the CIA’s search may also have violated the Fourth Amendment, the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, as well as Executive Order 12333, which prohibits the CIA from conducting domestic searches or surveillance."
Click here to read more: http://reut.rs/1i8CXwi

reuters:

Harsh words from Senator Dianne Feinstein today, as the lawmaker accused the CIA of spying on Congress and possibly even breaking the law:

"I have grave concerns that the CIA’s search may well have violated the separation of powers principles embodied in the Constitution… Besides the constitutional implications, the CIA’s search may also have violated the Fourth Amendment, the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, as well as Executive Order 12333, which prohibits the CIA from conducting domestic searches or surveillance."

Click here to read more: http://reut.rs/1i8CXwi


WHAT THEN, would Rochau have made of all this? Going back to his original definition, it appears that much of what masquerades as modern realpolitik has strayed quite far from the original essence of the term.

The first thing to note is that he was an enemy of lazy thinking. He would have been unimpressed with those versions of realism that resemble a knee-jerk reaction that responds to idealism with a roll of the eyes and retreats to its own set of tropes and doctrines.

Realpolitik does “not entail the renunciation of individual judgement and it requires least of all an uncritical kind of submission,” he wrote. It was more “appropriate to think of it as a mere measuring and weighing and calculating of facts that need to be processed politically.” Above all, it was not a strategy itself, but a way of thinking: an “enemy of … self-delusion” and “the misguided pride which characterises the human mind.”

What Rochau was attempting to articulate was not a philosophical position but a new way of understanding politics and the distribution of power. “Experience has shown that treating it along abstract-scientific lines, or on the basis of principles is hardly useful,” he wrote. One had to contend “with the historical product, accepting it as it is, with an eye for its strengths and weaknesses, and to remain otherwise unconcerned with its origins and the reasons for its particular characteristics.”


安倍晋三首相は二十日の衆院予算委員会で、教育改革に関し「教育基本法は(第二次大戦後の)占領時代につくられたが、衆参両院で自民党単独で過半数をとっていた時代も手を触れなかった。そうしたマインドコントロールから抜け出す必要がある」と意欲を示した。

There is something creepy about the Prime Minister of Japan calling their The Fundamental Law of Education “mind-control.” And I don’t think he means the neoliberal “blame the individual” ideology they seem so steeped in.


一月から二月にかけ都と島しょ部を除く都内五十三市区町村を調査した。十四件の内訳は都教委が三件、練馬区が三件、千代田区が二件、港、新宿、大田、中野、足立区と西東京市が一件。

請願は「旧日本軍の残虐行為を捏造(ねつぞう)している」「天皇に対する侮辱や国歌の否定が含まれる」として、学校図書館などからの撤去を求めている。練馬区教委などに請願を出した「教育問題懇話会」の代表者は「史実をねじ曲げた思想宣伝の教材になっている。親や教員の指導がないまま、子どもに読ませるには毒が強すぎる」と話した。一方、対抗する形で、都や練馬区などには、自由に閲覧できるよう求める請願も出された。

都教委は一月「幅広い知識を身に付けさせるため、さまざまな資料が必要」として、いずれの請願にも応じないことを決めた。一方で「一部に教育上の配慮が必要な暴力的表現がある」とも指摘。校長や教委関係者の会議で、適切な読書指導を行うよう周知した。


撤去を求められたのは、神奈川県海老名市の造形作家中垣克久さん(70)の作品「時代(とき)の肖像-絶滅危惧種」。竹を直径一・八メートル、高さ一・五メートルのドーム状に組み上げ、星条旗や日の丸をあしらった。特定秘密保護法の新聞の切り抜きや、「憲法九条を守り、靖国神社参拝の愚を認め、現政権の右傾化を阻止」などと書いた紙を貼り付けた。代表を務める「現代日本彫刻作家連盟」の定期展として十五日、都美術館地下のギャラリーに展示した。

美術館の小室明子副館長が作品撤去を求めたのは翌十六日朝。都の運営要綱は「特定の政党・宗教を支持、または反対する場合は使用させないことができる」と定めており、靖国参拝への批判などが該当すると判断したという。中垣さんが自筆の紙を取り外したため、会期が終わる二十一日までの会場使用は認めたが、観客からの苦情があれば撤去を求める方針という。


Comfort Women - Wikipedia

Comfort women were women and girls forced into a prostitution corps created by the Empire of Japan during World War II. The name “comfort women” is a translation of a Japanese name ianfu (慰安婦). Ianfu is a euphemism for shōfu (娼婦) whose meaning is “prostitute(s)”.

—————

Who said that time heals all wounds? It would be better to say that time heals everything except wounds. With time, the hurt of separation loses its real limits. With time, the desired body will soon disappear, and if the desiring body has already ceased to exist for the other, then what remains is a wound… disembodied.

—Samura Koichi quoted by Chris Marker, Sans Soleil


The creators of Birth of a Man had launched an appeal on Kickstarter for $600,000 (£366,000) to fund production of the film.

But barely a day after the project had been launched, it was cancelled with no explanation by its creator.

Mojang founder Markuss Persson later posted a message on Twitter to explain why it was shut down.

"We don’t allow [half-a-million-dollar Kickstarter projects] based on our [intellectual property] without any deals in place," wrote Mr Persson, also known as Notch, in a tweet.

The message is believed to refer to the fact that there was no licensing deal arranged between Mojang and the film-makers to use blocks, items and other elements identical to those seen in the game. The film was scheduled to be released on YouTube later in 2014.


 神にささげるお供へもののほとんどすべては、人間がもらつても嬉(うれ)しいものばかりである。上等の御神酒(おみき)は言ふに及ばず、海山の幸やお菓子の類……。或(あ)るとき神社の奉納のお祭りをごく真近(まぢか)で拝見する機会があつたとき、ちやうどお昼を食べそこねて空腹で、目の前を運ばれゆくお供物に思はず腹が鳴つて恥ずかしかつた記憶がある。あゝ、さぞや神さまも美味(おい)しく召上るだらうなあ、と思つたものである。

 しかし神にささげることはできても、人間に供することは決してできないものがある。自らの命である。よく陳腐な口説き文句に「君のためには命をささげる」などといふセリフがあるが、言ふ者も聞く者も、そんなセリフを文字通りに信じはしない。もしも本当にさう言つて、女の前で割腹自殺する男がゐたら、(よほどの毒婦でないかぎり)喜ぶ女はゐないであらう。下手をしたら、精神的打撃をかうむつたと言つて遺族に賠償を請求するかも知れない。人間は、人の死をささげられても、受け取ることができないのである。

 人間が自らの死をささげることができるのは、神に対してのみである。そして、もしもそれが本当に正しくささげられれば、それ以上の奉納はありえない。それは絶対の祭りとも言ふべきものである。

 野村秋介氏が二十年前、朝日新聞東京本社で自裁をとげたとき、彼は決して朝日新聞のために死んだりしたのではなかつた。彼らほど、人の死を受け取る資格に欠けた人々はゐない。人間が自らの命をもつて神と対話することができるなどといふことを露ほども信じてゐない連中の目の前で、野村秋介は神にその死をささげたのである。

 「すめらみこと いやさか」と彼が三回唱えたとき、彼がそこに呼び出したのは、日本の神々の遠い子孫であられると同時に、自らも現御神(あきつみかみ)であられる天皇陛下であつた。そしてそのとき、たとへその一瞬のことではあれ、わが国の今上陛下は(「人間宣言」が何と言はうと、日本国憲法が何と言はうと)ふたたび現御神となられたのである。

 野村秋介氏の死を追悼することの意味はそこにある。と私は思ふ。そして、それ以外のところにはない、と思つてゐる。

長谷川三千子氏の追悼文全文:朝日新聞デジタル

Japanese broadcaster’s board member praised ritual suicide of rightwinger | theguardian.com

In an essay distributed in October, a month before her appointment at NHK, Michiko Hasegawa praised Shusuke Nomura, an extreme nationalist who committed ritual suicide in the offices of the liberal Asahi newspaper in 1993 in protest at its mockery of his rightwing group.

Since at least feudal times, suicide has been seen as a way of preserving honour in Japan. Famously, the rightwing author Yukio Mishima disembowelled himself after a failed coup attempt.

"It is only to God human beings can offer their own lives," she wrote in the document, which has been posted online and was reported in Wednesday’s edition of the Mainichi Shimbun.

"If it is devoted in the truly right way, there could be no better offering. When Mr Shusuke Nomura committed suicide at the Asahi Shimbun headquarters 20 years ago, he … offered his death to God."

Because Nomura uttered a prayer that the emperor may prosper, immediately before shooting himself three times in the stomach, “His Imperial Highness, even if momentarily, became a living God again, no matter what the ‘Humanity Declaration’ says or what the Japanese constitution says,” she wrote.

Japanese emperors were worshipped as demigods until Emperor Hirohito renounced his divinity in 1946, as part of the settlement demanded by allied occupiers after the second world war.

The US-written postwar constitution stipulates the emperor is a symbol of the nation with no political power.

Hasegawa, a 67-year-old academic, is one of a 12-strong board responsible for programming policy and budget-setting at the publicly funded NHK.