Baseball Toaster The Griddle
A place where a man can slow down to a walk and live his life full measure, but he has to keep his watch on Pacific Time.
Frozen Toast
Google Search
The Griddle

02  01 

12  11  10  09  08  07 
06  05  04  03  02  01 

12  11  10  09  08  07 
06  05  04  03  02  01 

12  11  10  09  08  07 
06  05  04  03  02  01 

12  10  07 
06  05  04  03 
Suggestions, comments, ring the catcher's interference alarm?

Email me at

The stuff I keep track of
Random Game Callbacks

Select a date:

Personal favorites that I wrote
Dae Han Min-Gook!
2006-03-17 08:06
by Bob Timmermann

Dae Han Min-Gook! Dae Han Min-Gook! Dae Han Min-Gook!

This was the cheer that reverberated throughout Angel Stadium of Anaheim Wednesday night as Korea established it itself as the current king of Asian baseball after a 2-1 win over Japan that sent Korea to the semifinals of the World Baseball Classic. Dae Han Min-Gook is the formal way of saying the name of Korea in the Korean language. And it lends itself well to rhythmic chanting. (Sort of like this: long, long, short, short, clap, clap)

The chant stayed with me on the drive home as well as the pounding of the pale blue ThunderStix. I had visions of the Korean flag with its Yin and Yang symbol and I Ching symbolism and people waving white placards with a simple black letter "K" on them are etched in my brain

When I arrived at Angel Stadium, it was readily apparent that the crowd was heavily in favor of Korea. Blue was the predominant color. Sweatshirts with "S Y LEE 25" on the back were a common sight as fans celebrated their favorite player, Seung-Yeop Lee, aka "The People's Slugger" or "The Lion King". Personally, I prefer the former nickname as it has sort of a Dixie Walker (The People's Cherce) feel to it. The Korean-American community in Southern California is about 288,000 people according to the last U.S. Census estimate for the Southern California metropolitan area. The Japanese-American community is around 165,000. The Japanese-Americans have also lived in Southern California for a much longer time and have much less of a connection to their ancestral country than the Korean-Americans living here. The Korean-American community is a bit more cohesive with numerous Korean churches and business associations throughout the area. There was a lot of Korean heard in the stands, but not much Japanese.

And underlying everything was the not so distant past when Japan occupied Korea (1910-45). The wounds caused by that time (which were considerable) have not completely healed in Korea, while the Japanese have oddly gone crazy for Korean soap operas and pop culture. And to this day, Japan and Korea still dispute the possession of some rocky islands which I will neutrally refer to as the Liancourt Rocks. The Koreans call them Tokdo and the Japanese call them Takeshima. The body of water dividing the islands of Japan and the Korean peninsula is called by most people "The Sea of Japan" although in Korea it is called "The East Sea". While the two countries aren't going to go to war, their relationship could not be described as "warm". Fortunately, at Angel Stadium, the Korean and Japanese fans mixed together with no problems.

The pregame festivities had an unusual twist. The colors of the four competing nations in the Anaheim Regional came out along with the WBC flag (it is not against the law to let the WBC flag touch the ground I believe). But instead of getting a military color guard, they just used members of the Angels spirit squad that usually spends its time shooting t-shirts into the stands. And there were three national anthems played. First came the Korea anthem Aegukga, which the crowd started to sing along with (You can listen here, but there will be sound). Then came one of my favorite national anthems in melodic terms, Kimigayo, the Japanese national anthem. It also has the advantage of being really short. Hardly anyone sings along with it as its lyrics are too closely associated with the militarism of the 1930s and 1940s. (You can listen to a vocal version here. After this anthem, Ichiro was ready to head off the field, before his teammates reminded that he still had to be out there for the "Star Spangled Banner". (I'll let you try to remember how that goes.)

And finally it was time to play ball. It would be yagu versus yakyu for the second time of the tournament. The winner would definitely go on to the semifinals. The loser might advance, but could need some help. Korea had the advantage in that it could still lose, but if the score was low, it would still move on. However, Korean manager In Sik Kim knew better than to try to manage the game just so his team wouldn't lose by much. He managed the game to win without wrecking his pitching staff. Kim knew that the best way to move on was to win. So he called on Chan Ho Park to start. Park's fame had been on the wane in Korea after several subpar seasons in the USA. But in the WBC, he had undergone a renaissance and had saved three games. But for this game, he was back in his usual starting role. Japanese manager Sadaharu Oh went with his scheduled starter, right-handed submariner Shunsuke Watanabe of the Chiba Lotte Marines.

It was Japan's turn to be the home team, so Korea came up to bat first and Watanabe easily disposed of the first two batters. That brought up Korea's hero, Seong-Yeop Lee. Lee managed to hit a loud foul off of Watanabe and eventually settled for a walk. Hee-Seop Choi followed, but popped up meekly to third. Nevertheless, the Korean fans roared every time a batter made contact. It was as if Charlie Steiner had taken over the mind of every Korean fan and made them believe that every fly ball was going to be a home run.

When Ichiro singled right through the box to lead off the first for Japan, you might have thought that the Japanese were finally going to end the spell that the Koreans had over teams in the WBC. Oh decided not to have his #2 hitter, Tsuyoshi Nishioka, sacrifice, but his ground out to second did move Ichiro over one base nonetheless. But Park got Kosuke Fukudome (who has looked horrible in the WBC) to strike out and Nobuhiko Matsunaka to ground out

Korea got two on in the second on a walk and what would be their only hit until the eighth. Catcher In Sung Cho managed to fight off a Watanabe offering and dunk it into center field. But shortsop Min Jae Kim, an exemplary fielder, struck out.

Japan threatened in the bottom half of the inning. Akinori Iwamura bounced a ball off the glove of Park and was safe. The crowd had to wait to see if Korea would get its first error of the WBC, but it was ruled a hit. Hitoshi Tamura hit a slow grounder to third that moved up Iwamura and Michihiro "Guts" Ogasawara popped out to first. Tomoya Satozaki then lined a single to right that Iwamura tried to score on, but Jin Young Lee made a good throw to get Iwamura at the plate and the Korean fans roared in approval.

Dae Han Min-Gook! Dae Han Min-Gook! Dae Han Min-Gook!

The game then settled into a pitcher's duel. Korea had no hits from the third through seventh innings. Japan managed to get two on in the sixth, but reliever Byung-Hyun Kim got out of the jam.

Then came the decisive eighth inning. Lefty Toshiya Sugiuchi was pitching now for Japan. He retired Cho, but shortstop Kim drew a walk. Leadoff man Byung Kyu Lee singled to center and Kim decided to try for third. Center fielder Tatsuhiko Kinjoh's throw was on line, but Kim knocked the ball out of the glove of third baseman Toshiaki Imae and Lee moved up to second and Korea was in business. The heart of its order, Jong-Beom Lee and Seung-Yeop Lee were due up.

Oh decided to bring in righthander Kyuji Fujikawa to face the righthanded hitting Lee. On a 2-0 pitch, Lee fouled a ball of his leg that brought the trainer to tend to him. He hobbled around and went back up to the plate. Fujikawa then saw his next pitch lined up the gap in left-center. Kim and Lee came home to score and Lee was thrown at third going for a triple. The crowd went bonkers. Korea just needed six outs to pull off an improbable trip to the semifinal.

Dae Han Min-Gook! Dae Han Min-Gook! Dae Han Min-Gook!

In the bottom of the ninth, Nishioka told the crowd that Japan wasn't done as he lined a home run into the bullpen in left field to make it 2-1 Korea. Kinjoh grounded out, but Matsunaka followed with a single. Dae-Sung Koo's night was over and Manager Kim called on Seung-Hwan Oh to close out the game.

The first batter he faced was a pinch hitter, Takahiro Arai. The count reached 2-2 and then Arai swung at a pitch in the dirt. The Koreans jumped to their feet thinking it was a strikeout, but Arai had fouled the ball off. The crowd started to roar again and this time Oh was able to strike out Arai swinging. In fact, Arai almost fell over. For Japan, it was all up to Tamura. Tamura had hit 31 home runs the previous season for Yokohama. And he hit 40 homers in 2004. Tamura could end the game with one swing of the bat. A home run would have put both Japan and Korea in to the semifinals.

Tamura fouled off the first two pitches from Oh to put him in an 0-2 hole. The crowd rose to its feet. People held up their index finger to show that Korea needed just one strike, one out for the win. But Oh's next pitch was in the dirt. The crowd rose again and Tamura whiffed at Oh's next pitch and it was over. Korea 2, Japan 1. Final,

Dae Han Min-Gook! Dae Han Min-Gook! Dae Han Min-Gook!

Dae Han Min-Gook! Dae Han Min-Gook! Dae Han Min-Gook!

The Korean players celebrated outside their dugout and then took a victory lap around the field with a large Korean flag. Korean flags weren't hard to come by as there were several thousand in the stands. Eventually, the players huddled on the mound, took some dirt and then tried to make a hole in the mound and plant the Korean flag on it.

I would have to rate this game as one of the more exciting games I've seen in person. But there weren't a lot of great defensive plays. There certainly wasn't much offense as Korea had just three hits. But every pitch had so much riding on it. You could sense the Koreans fans realizing that they were getting the opporunity to get to the top in a sport that has long been dominated by their not always friendly neighbor Japan and also do it the place where the sport of baseball was developed, the USA. It was a time when it meant so very much to be Korean.

Before the tournament started, you could have gotten 40-1 odds that Korea would win the WBC. Taiwan had shorter odds. But Korea is the lone unbeaten team. So how has this team gone 6-0? And can it go 8-0?

Korea is definitely not winning because of its hitting. The team has an OPS of just .757. The team has hit six home runs, five by Seong-Yeop Lee and another by Hee-Seop Choi. But the pitching staff has an ERA of just 1.33 for the tournament. And the defense has not made an error. The double play combo of Jin Man Park and Min Jae Kim has been impressive. The two men always seem to be in the right place and they have sure hands. Korea has also overcome the loss of one of its better hitters, Dong Joo Kim, who dislocated his shoulder with an awkward dive toward first base in his team's opening game against Taiwan at the Tokyo Dome.

Overall, the trip to Anaheim to see these two Asian teams play was an extraordinary experience. I've seen numerous games in Japan and North America, but this was my first chance to see a game that was Korean, even though it was played in California. The Koreans are extraordinarily proud of their team. It has exceeded the expectations of all but the most optimistic of Korean baseball fans. The Koreans have vanquished their former occupiers, the Japanese, twice. They have beaten the multimillionaires of the USA. And to get to the final they will have to beat Japan a third time as the USA fell out of the tournament with a loss to Mexico Thursday night.

Korea obviously now wants to win the WBC and not just be the surprise team of the tournament. But what the team has accomplished in these past two weeks should make Korea, a nation with a long history obscured by centuries of isolation followed by foreign occupation and a division of the nation as a result of the Cold War and remains one of the world's hot spots more than 50 years later, extraordinarily proud. For the Korean team to succeed, the Koreans have had to essentially play perfectly. And for six games, perfect play has been Korea's stock in trade.

Dae Han Min-Gook! Dae Han Min-Gook! Dae Han Min-Gook!

Dae Han Min-Gook! Dae Han Min-Gook! Dae Han Min-Gook!

Get used to the chant. You will be hearing it Saturday night echoing through PETCO Park.

2006-03-16 20:29:23
1.   Jon Weisman
Great recap, Bob. The Griddle is the Korea of WBC coverage. Except for not ever being subject to military occupation and stuff like that.
2006-03-16 20:33:23
2.   Bob Timmermann

Like the Korean team and nearly every direct male ancestor in my family I have not served in the military either.

2006-03-16 20:52:34
3.   Kayaker7
Thanks, Bob. A beautiful write-up.
2006-03-16 20:55:55
4.   Kayaker7
Just a tiny note. It's Seung-Yeop. The "eu" in Seung is pronouced like the "oo" of "cook."
2006-03-16 21:01:00
5.   Bob Timmermann
I got an extensive lesson today in transliteration and I've "Seong-Yeop" and "Seung-Yeop" in different sources.

How about


But I see more "Seong"s than "Seung"s.

2006-03-16 21:03:52
6.   Bob Timmermann
Actually I meant more Seung than Seong.

So I have switched them to Seung.

2006-03-16 21:21:16
7.   Kayaker7
Seong would be pronounced like the English word, "song." The vowel sound in Yeop sound like the vowel in "song," except it is kept short, with the mouth moderately open, not long and drawn out as it is spoken in English.

Another point is that the Korean "s" sound is soft, as when you say, "swallow." The hard "s" sound as in "sour" is a different consonant, and it signified with a "ss." So, the Korean chaebol, Ssangyong, is spoken with the hard "s." But, there is no consistency in the usage of "ss," so it is often irrelavent.

"Eo" exists in the Romanization of Korean to distinguish it from the long "o" sound.

There is definitely a problem in the Romanization of Korean. The Korean gov't needs to come up with the Korean equivalent of Pinyin and stick with it.

2006-03-16 21:24:06
8.   Peter
The Korean national anthem goes on forever. I hope they shortened it at the game.
2006-03-16 21:27:33
9.   Kayaker7
8 The final verse of the Korean anthem, Aeguk-ga (literally, "song of love of country"), goes, "Through God's help, may our country last 10,000 years." I guess the song seems to last 10,000 years to those who don't know it. :-)
2006-03-16 21:31:41
10.   Garnered
Thanks Bob, it was all I'd hoped for in a game review. The Griddle has definitely been the place to be for the WBC, if you can't be there in person. Anyone going to the game in San Diego?
2006-03-16 21:46:33
11.   Bob Timmermann
I'm glad people enjoyed this.

As for the Korean national anthem, they just played one verse. "The Star Spangled Banner" has multiple verses, but we just sing the first too.

Japan's national anthem link is for the whole thing. The Japanese can always take a song and make it smaller and more efficient.

I'm not going to San Diego primarily because my alma mater UCLA is down there. And I know I will want to watch the WBC and UCLA playing Alabama. I told my friend that we should do something together Sunday, not Saturday.

I'll have a preview of the Final Four up some time tomorrow night I think.

And then next week, I'll have a recap of the whole tournament and postmortems on the losers.

Right now, my candidate for worst manager in the tournament is not Buck Martinez, but rather Luis Sojo. I think Martinez was in a difficult situation with the MLB teams and didn't help him team much. Sojo was in a difficult situation with the MLB teams and managed to compound the problems.

2006-03-16 21:55:11
12.   Linkmeister
Wonderful write-up, Bob. Sociology, history, and baseball. ;)

This experience may also be the highlight of Hee Seop Choi's year.

2006-03-16 22:12:40
13.   Aug C
Bob, the emotional component of the Koreans' desire to eliminate Japan from the tournament doesn't stem solely from the occupation.

2006-03-16 22:16:10
14.   coachjpark
Bob, thanks for the article. Being a very optimistic Team Korea fan myself, even I would be lying if I said that I expected Korea to face Japan in the semi-finals of the World Baseball Classic.

Suffice it to say, I am going to block off 7:00 PM - 10:00 PM of my schedule to watch as 이승엽, 박찬호, and the rest of my Korean brethren take on the hated (not really personally for me but more symbolically as a nation) Japanese.

I don't exactly what it was but when I saw Hee Seop Choi hit that 3 run pinch-hit homerun (live via Korean Yahoo! Internet TV -- not Delayed ESPN2), an inexplicable rush of Korean pride and patriotism swelled in me. Perhaps it was because Korea was unexpectedly succeeding at a sport that I have played, loved and coached all my life and it was a player who I so frustratingly have followed as a Dodger for the past year and a half that hit the bomba.

Pilsung, Korea!

2006-03-16 22:16:52
15.   hanster
They made it look in the press like dodging the military was a huge motivation for team Korea. It was... for like a couple of the guys on the team. All of the starting position players already served their years. Most of the pitchers, including Chan ho, BK Kim, and Jae Seo, Min han Son, have already served as well. The only player i can think of who are probably too young to have been there already is Seung Hwan Oh, the closer. I just wanted to set the record straight that these guys played hard because they just wanted to play hard. Hey, they are going about out there like they are there to win.
2006-03-16 22:46:34
16.   coachjpark
Anyone know if ESPN is going to delay the semi-final matchup particularly Japan vs. Korea??
2006-03-16 23:00:14
17.   Bob Timmermann
The last three games are scheduled to be shown live on ESPN.

Cuba vs. Dominican Republic, noon PT
Japan vs. Korea, 7 pm PT

Championship game, 6 pm PT

The D.R. and Korea are the home teams for the semis since they won their groups.

2006-03-16 23:13:41
18.   xaphor
How are they determining the home team for the final?
2006-03-16 23:27:16
19.   Bob Timmermann
The home team will be a team that was a "road" team in the semis. If both "road" teams or both "home" teams advance, then they flip a coin.
2006-03-17 12:13:53
20.   Mack
Great review! It's really frustrating to read recaps of the Korea games at, where they focus more on implications for the US rather than the substance of the game itself.

Another note on Korean pronunciation:

eo (as in seong) is pronounced as "sung" -- so it should be hee-sup choi, not hee-sop choi. that's why the yeop in seung-yeop is sometimes spelled "yup" and not "yop"

eu (as in seung) is pronounced like "cook" or "soot"

ae (as in dae sung koo or tae kwon do) is pronounced as "eh" so it's deh sung koo or teh kwon do, not dai sung koo or tai kwon do.

Keep up the good work!

2006-03-17 12:15:15
21.   Mack
Jae Seo should be pronounced Jeh Suh and not Jay So!
2006-03-17 12:21:17
22.   Bob Timmermann
Also keep in mind that 99% of Americans mispronounce all the Japanese names because we don't know how to say all those extremely short Japanese vowels.

The formula at the WBC is to have an English language PA announcer to handle the main parts and then have a Korean announcer also say the names of the Korean players and a Japanese annoucner handle the Japanese names.

I assume for the Cuba-D.R. game, they can get by with just one Spanish speaker. From my experience, I would have a hard time understading Cuban Spanish and presumably Dominican Spanish too.

2006-03-17 12:32:00
23.   tmurase
Congrats to Korea on the win. Of course, our "superstars" on team USA failed to capitalize on the chance that Korea gave us.

I have to say, the Koreans at the game were INTENSE. Their chants did not flag at all, starting from the opening pitch. I will say, that many of Korean fans were not baseball fans (one guy with a Korean flag sitting in front of me was cheering the solo Nishioka home run, ala the USC cheerleader who cheered the Texas TD at the Rose Bowl).

My wife feebly tried to root for her team (Japan), but she and the other Japan fans were just outgunned. I took the game as an opportunity to learn how to keep score, in an attempt to keep some marital harmony by not opening rooting for Korea (so that the US could have a chance to advance, which they squandered! The overpriced bums.)

As Bob mentioned, Korea was flawless in fielding. Japan, I thought, made a critical error in sending the lead-footed Iwamura home, instead of holding him to 3rd, which would've kept runners on the corners and kept the inning alive for Japan.

In warmups, the Korean catcher was impressive in his arm strength. Does anyone have stats on steals vs Korea?

I think Korea will make the finals. They're just on one of those hot streaks, playing with a lot of pride and passion, and more relevantly, with almost no mistakes. Japan just looked numb and lost out there on occasion, and I don't think that will change much on Saturday.

Finally, the big reason the Japanese-American community seems disconnected from their purported "ancestral country" is due to the internment during WW2, where our loyalty to the US was questioned. Many of the other immigrant communities have far stronger ties to their "old countries" (e.g. Mexican, Chinese communities, both older than the J-A community) than the Japanese-American community does, since many of us carry the legacy of the internment and the sacrifices it took to establish ourselves as Americans.

2006-03-17 14:10:28
24.   Bob Timmermann
Thank you for your comment.

If the stadium had been half-Japan, half-Korea, it would have been interesting. A friend of mine who saw Korea play Japan in Tokyo said that the crowd there had a lot of Korean fans. The Koreans in Japan didn't come out for the first two games, but showed up for the game against Japan in large numbers.

I'm assuming that the Koreans will outnumber the Japanese in San Diego too.

The Dominican fans will likely outnumber the Cuban fans by default.

2006-03-17 14:12:46
25.   Brent is a Dodger Fan
23 Not wishing to open a debate or question you, just wishing to clarify: are you saying that the WWII internment fostered a stronger commitment amongst Japanese-Americans to be Americans, rather than what would seem more intuitive (fostering a resentment towards the US?)

(Just trying to understand what you said -- have no basis to know...)

2006-03-17 14:20:30
26.   Bob Timmermann
Not being Japanese-American, I think the point in 23 is that because of WWII, the Japanese-American community became less enamored of the "Japanese" part of the name because of internment.

The internment wasn't talked about much among Japanese-Americans until the 1970s when it started to come out in to the open more. You can go to the JANM in Little Tokyo and buy souvenir coffee mugs of the camps now. But I believe that in the 1970s, no one would have thought to have done that.

I would think that fewer Japanese living in the US have close ties to anyone in Japan as opposed to a Korean living in the US having close ties to someone living in Korea.

I had also thought that the Japanese and Korean populations in the metro area were about the same, but there are significantly more Koreans.

2006-03-17 14:48:09
27.   tmurase
25 No problem. The reaction differs, of course, which each individual who went through internment. There are certainly those who are justifiably bitter at the whole episode. But I would say, at least from the perspective of being from one of the generations that followed, we've seen that the experience strengthened the commitment that the Japanese-Americans had to the US. Perhaps that was their way of reacting to the experience, and they worked to never again have their "American-ness" questioned. At least for me, part of that commitment stems from the service and sacrifices made by those who went to war out of the camps, and who vowed to set a good example and prove their loyalty on the battlefield. I identify with those veterans far more than I identify with anything Japanese.
2006-03-17 16:08:03
28.   Brent is a Dodger Fan
27 Thank you. Consider me more enlightened for your contributions here.

I guess I never considered that backlash against (any) immigrants would manifest in stronger ties, but now that I consider my own ancestors experiences, I can see the thread of that there, too.

Ok, back to baseball. Spring awaits.

2006-03-18 11:41:34
29.   married to korea
. Posted by married to korea
23,25,26: The Korean American fans have just as much loyalty,love and committment to America as the Japanese American fans do. While the intermment of Japanese Americans during WW2 was a crime, the Japanese immigrants at that time kept strong connections to their mother country. The Japanese colonized korea from about 1895 until the US freed Korea from the Japanese occupation in 1945. This lead to the Korean war dividing the peninsula. Brother and sister, Husbands and Wives, Parents and children have been separated for 60 years. If not for the Japananese occupation, Korea would still be one country today. So when you see the unity of the Korean people in the stands in Anaheim calling out "DAE HAN MIN GUK" understand the deep place that this comes from in each Korean's heart. The Korean "Han" or Pain continues with many Koreans today. The Koreans have grown from their bitterness with Japan and put much of it behind them. They are a loving modest people and I believe that they are chanting for inward happiness - they aren't taunting the japanese team.

It is important to understand that Japanese Americans are allowed to be citizen's in our great country - the good old USA.

Koreans of any generation that are living in Japan are still not granted citizenship by Japan.

Many of the Koreans in Japan are decended from Koreans who were brought to Japan during WW2 as slaves in japanese war production factories. Many Koreans actually died in the US bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. To me these are actually some of humanities greatest hero's. Don't forget the comfort women....

So: The Han lives on with Koreans. But they are growing stronger and beginning to find happiness. Finally after centuries of domination by China and Japan, they are blossoming in to a first class country. The future lies with Korea. Korea has the 11th largest economy in the world. Look out...because here they come! (Olympic success, World Cup Soccer success and now WBC success)

The Japanese American Community has been silent (Was silent before WW2 and after) on the injustices and crimes of the Japanese government against the Korean people.

When people like 23 start to understand the pain felt by the Korean people they will understand the emotions (actually loving emotions) that the Korean's feel for their team. Koreans don't carry as much anger as one might think for Japan. They are simply slowly growing out of their pain in to a happy world that has never been accessible to them.

I've been to the Korean war memorial in Washington DC. Go there and you will see the gratitude that Koreans feel towards the US. Most visitors are South Koreans. They leave by far the most flowers and letters in gratitude for the American lives lost fighting for their country.

Their team is present in this tournament because of sacrifices made by the American people for them. To think that Japanese Americans have a greater committment or connection to America than South-Korean Americans do is plain wrong.

I'll be crying with happiness when Korea wins the First WBC.


Written by a standard white male American.

2006-03-19 03:03:17
30.   tmurase
29 "The Japanese American Community has been silent (Was silent before WW2 and after) on the injustices and crimes of the Japanese government against the Korean people."

Many of the Military Intelligence Service members (MIS, those J-As that came out of the camps, went to language schools and were deployed in the Pacific theater or other areas of intelligence processing) were heavily involved in the Tokyo War Tribunals, instrumental in translating the documents of Imperial Japan that detailed their many heinous and brutal crimes, and helped the Allies find that what Japan had wrought was truly a crime, and brought justice against many of the perpetrators.

BTW, are you suggesting that we're supposed to be using our "Japanese-ness" to lobby the Japanese government on these issues? Here's a big hint for you: We're not Japanese citizens, thus, our opinions count for exactly nothing. Our surnames and appearance grant us zero leverage. If you're of the school that deems it necessary that I, just because of my ethnicity, be guilty for bad stuff that went down when I wasn't even around, I think that bodes very ill for a "standard white male American".

"To think that Japanese Americans have a greater committment or connection to America than South-Korean Americans do is plain wrong."

I think you misunderstand what I wrote. I was simply explaining why I and many Japanese-Americans do NOT consider Team Japan to be our team.

Let me make it simple: My team is USA, right or wrong, winning or losing (and lately, it has been mostly wrong and losing). I don't root for Japan, just as I don't root for Italy or Korea. They're not my teams, since they are not my country. I may not "look" American, but rest assured, USA is my country. "Kimigayo" does nothing for me. "The Star Spangled Banner" does.

This seems to be such a difficult concept to get across to you, so let me tell you of the late Colonel Young O. Kim. During the Korean War, Kim became the first non-white commander of a battalion in the US military and later on helped to develop a defense strategy for South Korea that has been the basis for our defense of South Korea ever since. But during WW2, when summoned by his CO and told that he would be commanding a "Jap" unit, and could have then Lt Kim transferred, as many other officers had requested, and especially since Korea and Japan have historically never gotten along very well, Kim simply replied, "No sir, I want to stay. They're Americans and I'm an American and we're going to fight for America."

2006-03-19 14:14:27
31.   married to korea
Good Comments 23. I understand all of your points. You are for sure someone with good morals.

Understand please how your statements hurt Americans of Korean decent. Do you thing the internment injustice compares even one iota to the injustices suffered by the Korean people?

Here's what your first posting might have stated; [The Korean Americans are probably showing up in greater numbers at these games because they still have extremely strong connections with their mother country.

The Koreans have a stronger connection to their mother country because the Japanese occupied their country from about 1895 through 1945. Subsequent to this was the Korean conflict. The Korean people have only in the recent past been able to immigrate to the US in large numbers whereas the Japanese people had been able to immigrate to the US well before WW2. The Japanese-American community thus is more diffuse in the US than the Korean-American population is. Add to this the fact that it is (was) Korea V Japan and you have potential for many emotional feelings to emerge.]

The wrongfull internment of Americans of Japanese decent during WW2 doesn't make the present day Americans of Japanese decent less interested in the Japanese team. The relatively more difuse nature of the Japanese population in to American culture does. The Americans of Korean decent will be the same way in time, but Americans of Japanese decent have the advantage of a big head start.

Also... for your comments to carry more weight; Completely drop the "Japanese-American" thing and just be American. (like you point out in your last paragraph) What LT Kim recognized is what so many Japanese-Americans fail to recognize: Just be American.

If you want to keep your "Japanese-ness" as part of your identity then, YES you should lobby the japanese government. Any citizen from any country can lobby any government. You are wrong to assume that if all of the Americans of Japanese decent got together and pressured the Japanese govenernment to fully and directly apologize for war crimes, fix their history text books, allow Koreans in Japan decended from war factory slaves to become citizens that this wouldn't make the international news and have some effect. Your community actually would have a great impact. Don't underestimate the possibilities.

The Japanese government and many of its people (it is a democracy) consider the Japanese to be a race separate from the Koreans. This is wrong and you and I should fight to correct this view in any case.

I know many in the American community of Korean decent. These Americans also consider the USA to be their team. But they also have a strong sense of history and understand the poetry and drama of a K V J game.

We Americans love the underdog. Although Korea beat Japan 2 out of 3 they were still the underdog. As an American were you rooting for the Underdog?

Well....our team sucked and they are out.


2006-03-20 12:38:35
32.   tmurase
31 First off, I, and probably anyone else who's followed the WBC, no longer considers 6-1 Korea to be an "underdog". That's what winning games gets you: You get to be the favorite.

My first post, if you read it, does not mention Korea at all. It answers what Bob was speculating about regarding the size of the Korean fans vs the size of the Japanese ones. I'm not trying to minimize the atrocities wrought by Imperial Japan upon Korea (and many, many others, including American POWs), in fact, it has nothing to do with Japan, aside from the fact they plunged us into a war, starting this whole problem, which we finished and won.

I will say that you are wrong on how the present day Japanese-Americans view Team Japan. Sure, there are some first-generations who are here, like my wife, who will root for them, but for people like me, and we're the majority, our team is USA (out of the tournament, you overpaid bums!) We have no emotional connection to Japan, so we don't really know or care about the "poetry" or "history" (aside from knowing the history of Japan and Korea is just filled with enmity). Frankly, I only started watching the WBC because of my wife.

We are a more diffuse community, because we were scattered throughout the US because of the internment. Many could not afford to return to the West Coast after the war and many stayed near where they had been put into camps. I mean, really, is there a reason one would move from California to, say, Arkansas? (Arkansas, I love ya, my birth state, but let's face facts...)

"YES you should lobby the japanese government."

I don't consider the government of Japan to be much of a democracy (or really, much of a government). They don't even listen to the people who are citizens, who vote for them and pay their salaries, that is my basis for saying they won't listen to me, either, unless I rescue an embassy from rebels (see: Peru and Fujimori). On the other hand, our community managed to get an apology out of the US government, which says a lot about the difference between my country and Japan.

"Just be American."

What does that mean, "just be American"? It means a lot of different things to different people. There is no one way to "be American". Many Mexican-Americans wave both flags, proudly having each foot in each country. I'm just telling you the reality: many Japanese-Americans will tend to wave only one flag, that of the United States. It's not something we "fail to recognize". Quite the contrary, it is something we struggle with and keep in our hearts. That's what happens when people have to prove their loyalty to country in blood, rather than just by "being American".

You seem to have a really difficult time understanding what I'm saying. I'm willing to personally take you to the Go For Broke monument someday if you live in Southern California, because clearly, I'm not explaining it well enough for you to understand through text.

Comment status: comments have been closed. Baseball Toaster is now out of business.