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.


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:


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:

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.”


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.






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.





 「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。



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

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.