[FOUNTAIN]From Cain and Abel to the Doosan GroupKin Narita and Gin Kanie were Japanese twins famous for their longevity. Their names often come up when the Japanese talk about love among family. Kin, the older of the two, passed away in January 2000 at age 107; Gin, the younger sister, followed in February 2001 at the age of 108. The twins were listed as the world’s oldest twin sisters in the Guinness Book of World Records; their care and affection for each other was said to be one of the secrets to their longevity.
After Ms. Narita died, Ms. Kanie kept her head bowed and stayed at the mortuary like a bird that had lost its mate. In their time, the centenarian sisters had been popular celebrities, frequently appearing on on television and in magazines. But once the older of the two had passed away, Ms. Kanie severed all contacts with the outside world.
A year later, Ms. Kanie passed away as well. She must have missed her sister so much that she followed her path.
Of course, discord among family members is as common as touching instances of brotherly or sisterly love. The “Quatrain of Seven Steps” by Cao Zhi, the third son of the powerful warlord Cao Cao, is considered to be an archetypal story of brotherly conflict and reconciliation. He wrote, “Borne are we of the same root, brothers two; should you now burn me with such disregard?”
Jealous of his brother’s talent, Cao Pi, the older brother of Cao Zhi and the successor to Cao Cao, ordered Cao Zhi to produce a poem within seven strides. Cao Pi was going to kill his brother if he failed, but when Cao Zhi composed the poem in tears, Cao Pi understood the meaning of the poem and spared his brother, feeling sorry for what he had done.
Fratricidal struggle is rooted in religion and myths. From Cain, who killed his brother Abel in jealousy for God’s love, to the Greek god Cronus, who overthrew his father Uranus to become king and swallowed his own children to maintain his power, the conflicts between those sharing flesh and blood have long existed in the East and the West, past and present.
The discord among brothers in the Doosan Group’s controlling family is another example. Doosan’s image has been damaged by the disclosures the brothers made to bring one another down, and confidence in the company has been considerably undermined. The situation is all the more regrettable because the brothers inherited control of the group only recently. Cain killed his own kinsman out of jealousy and envy, and Cronus turned on his own father because he wanted to be the highest of the gods. For what reason are the brothers of Doosan “burning” one another?
by Yi Jung-jae
The writer is a deputy business news editor at the JoongAng Ilbo.