Japanese Journalist Recieves Death Threats From ‘Enraged’ Nutizens Over Bimbimbap Comment

The Korean times, always a good source of comedy gold, ran this as their front page story!

Bibimbap Controversy Was Caused by ‘Misunderstanding’

Kuroda Katsuhiro, Seoul bureau chief of the Japanese right-leaning Sankei Shimbun, who created controversy for his derogatory remark on a Korean dish, said there was some “misunderstanding.”

In his Saturday column titled “Bibimbap Terror?” on Sankei, Kuroda said his earlier calling bibimbap as”Yang Du Gu Yuk” (羊頭狗肉) was meant to be a humor, Chosun Ilbo reported.

Yang Du Gu Yuk literally means “to hang a lamb’s head outside the shop to lure customers, but actually sells a dog meat.” It’s comparable to the English expression of “crying wine, and selling vinegar.”

In his December column, titled “Tormenting Bibimbap,” Kuroda used the expression to decry bibimbap, which is a popular Korean dish that is served as a bowl of warm white rice topped with saut?ed and seasoned vegetables with a raw or fried egg on the top.

Bibimbap is gaining popularity abroad, including in the U.S.

South Korea has launched a campaign to promote it globally.

Kuroda expressed his doubts about the globalization potential of bibimbap. “Bibimbap looks good when it is put on the table at first. But once the vegetables, the egg and rice and everything get mixed by the spoon, it transforms into something that is unidentifiable,” he said at that time. “I fear an American who ordered this dish might be shocked to see this羊頭狗肉.”

His demeaning remark enraged some Koreans.

In response, he said on Saturday that his choice of the expression was meant to be a humor.

“I understand that the term is commonly used in Japan, but it is perceived as a very derogatory expression in Korea,” he said.

He added: “When I heard that Korea wanted to promote bibimbap globally, I just gave my own opinion about it in an honest manner as a foreigner who has lived in Korea for 30 years.

“But the Korean society is unwilling to accept it.”

Kuroda also said that he has been feeling unsafe in Korea since making the remark. “I received calls, threatening to kill me or asking the location of my residence. I may have to seek protection from the police,” he said.

He ended his column by saying, “Actually, I like bibimbap very much. I am eating it a lot these days.”

I maintain a fair level of discretion on this blog precisely for this very reason, death threats for being critical of a bowl of rice with weeds and an egg! The level of insanity of Korean nutizen foodcriminals truly boggles the mind at times! I don’t particularly have a hate-on for bibimbap, but why promote it? If people want to eat it they can, all they need to do is weed their garden, boil some rice, grab an egg and hey presto you have bibimbap.

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3 Responses to “Japanese Journalist Recieves Death Threats From ‘Enraged’ Nutizens Over Bimbimbap Comment”

  1. thebobster Says:

    Yes, anyone can make bibim bap. I can, and so can you. If you can’t I could teach you in just about 5 minutes.

    Many of the best-loved foods of any country are not hard to make. It’s likely because someone’s mother made it when someone was a child. The connection to childhood is big part of why the food is loved. That’s not hard to figure out.

    What’s absent and not mentioned so far is that Japan and Korea have a very complicated relationship – for about 5 decades Japan tried to turn Koreans into Japanese, not least by discouraging the use of the language of Korean. These days, many younger Koreans are more sympathetic toward Japan, but it doesn’t go both ways. Japanese people tend to see Koreans as the bumpkins of Asia. The Japanese are so much more cool. And don’t we all agree?

    In that context, it’s a little easier to understand if Koreans don’t appreciate a Japanese man living amongst them who makes a disparaging joke about dog meat. (I’ve never met anyone in this country who was tricked into eating kaegogi, and I doubt you have, either, yet this is what the man’s “joke” implied.)

    As for the death threats, okay. That’s bad, if it happened. It’s happened to me, too, but it’s the internet and if you asked me to prove it happened I’d be hard pressed to show you. It’s a guy who said it happened. We’ll believe him or not.

    Could you provide link to this article? I can’t find it in your blog post above.)

  2. koreanfoodcrime Says:

    http://www.koreatimes.co.kr/www/news/nation/2010/01/113_58736.html

    Cheers Bobster, I usually provide a link. I was lazy and just cut and pasted the article. If you go to the above you can read the original stuff from the times.

  3. Given the animosity still existing today between the two countries I don’t see why the writer is surprised with the response. There is a good bit of elitism that comes across in the article written by the Jap especially when read by a Korean. Moreover, Korean netizens threaten to kill all the time but there is not a single netizen threat of physical violence that has come to fruition. The Jap journalist is a pussy that needs to grow some balls – ditto for Korean netizens that only seem to have vaginas.

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