[FOUNTAIN]Rise above petty disputes of the past

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[FOUNTAIN]Rise above petty disputes of the past

“Creation is a mere exaggeration that is just bearable enough for the viewers.”
Sometimes, the powerful messages from some works of great labor can be sickening. I was puzzled at the feeling at first, but Italy-based Japanese writer Nanami Shiono rightly provided an answer.
In her book, “My life began in a movie theater,” she continued, “The exaggeration should remain subtle. When it is too much, it fails to reflect the reality. When I see Dustin Hoffman, Jack Nicholson and Robert De Niro acting, it is so realistic that it feels creepy, and I feel like I have been forced a certain biased perception of reality.”
After all, the reality described by the creator is a version of reality, not the reality itself. When a creator is too absorbed in a certain version and believes that it is the whole reality, the creation ends up being an unbearable exaggeration.
Korea University Professor Emeritus Hahn Sung-joe has enraged Koreans by rhetorically asking whether the pro-Japanese activities were anti-national.
He must have been obsessed with a certain version of reality, the hostile confrontation between the pro-Japanese rightists and the pro-North Korea leftist. In a mission to provide moral pride to those who chose the pro-Japanese right wing, he argued that “pro-Japanese activities were not anti-nation” and the Japanese rule over Korea was a “blessing in the midst of sorrow.”
However, in a bigger version of reality, pro-Japanese and pro-North Korean factions coexist. The citizens living in a country with sovereignty and liberal democracy have nothing to fear. We are all free and proud. During the time that we had lost our sovereignty to Japan, being pro-Japanese was subservient and incompetent, but in an independent state, being pro-Japanese is nothing to be ashamed of. During the Korean War, being pro-North Korean was a denial of existence and identity, but in a country with a solid establishment of liberty and market economy, being pro-North means maintaining peace and being sympathetic.
You can be pro-Japanese and pro-North Korean. At the same time, you might be pro-American and pro-Chinese as well. It’s the same way a mature adult with a subjective opinion befriends with a group of people with different personalities and intentions.
It is absurd to embrace the pro-Japanese of the past because he loathes the pro-North Korean today. The immature pro-North Korean denying the national policy of Korea is similarly silly. It doesn’t make sense to deny the precious national structure just because the pro-Japanese of the past still have influence.


by Chun Young-gi

The writer is a deputy political news editor at the JoongAng Ilbo.
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