ROK Drop

Avatar of GI KoreaBy on February 4th, 2013 at 9:06 am

Korean Researcher Says He Found Photographs of Korean Victims Massacred After Great Kanto Earthquake of 1923

There has long been accusations that Japanese vigilantes in the aftermath of the 1923 Great Kanto Earthquake massacred thousands of Koreans and this Korean researcher says he has found photographic evidence to help prove it:

A South Korean historian on Sunday released photos apparently showing Korean victims of a Japanese massacre following a devastating earthquake nine decades ago.

The release comes just a few days after officials in Tokyo decided to remove references to the mass killing from high school textbooks.

Jeong Seong-gil, the honorary director of Keimyung University Dongsan Medical Center Museum, presented to Yonhap News Agency photos dated Sept. 1, 1923, the day that the Great Kanto Earthquake occurred. The disaster is named after the region that includes Tokyo.  [Yonhap]

I really haven’t researched this issue enough to make a good assessment on what happened, but the photographic evidence though persuasive, I do not think is a “smoking gun” because there is no way to know if the bodies are in fact Koreans. They could just be dead civilians pulled from homes and piled up for survivors to look for their dead family members.  That however doesn’t explain why their bottoms are exposed as they are laid out on display.

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  • Glans
    8:30 am on February 4th, 2013 1

    The Brits say they’re sure they have the remains of Richard III. Here’s the big story. If Richard had defeated Henry Tudor, would the colonies of Virginia and Massachusetts have been founded? Would there have been a Korean War?

  • @-@
    9:16 am on February 4th, 2013 2

    Original picture is here
    The caption says ” Dead bodies of prostitutes pulled out from Yoshiwara pond”

    Korean medias distort this kind of thing often.

  • Baek In-je
    7:13 pm on February 4th, 2013 3

    Holy shit,
    Do these people never quit?! This was 90 years ago. Stop hating and focus your time on something positive to do in this country. Start a campaign to get your fellow countrymen to cover their mouths when coughing and sneezing. Start a drive that seeks to make soap not the most neglected thing in a Korean bathroom.

  • Onezime
    9:03 pm on February 4th, 2013 4


    Right, because genocide and its coverup is nothing to be concerned with.

    It’s foolish to expect Koreans to let this go as if it never happened. Remember, in Confucian societies, people are expected to pay honor to their ancestors.

  • Bob
    12:34 am on February 5th, 2013 5

    I will make you a promise, everyone in those photos are dead, lets move on.

  • Red
    6:54 am on February 5th, 2013 6


    Where is the evidence that proves those are Korean victims of a Japanese massacre? I think it needs to be stated that one can question the facts surrounding a case, without being charged with denying the incident at hand took place. And questioning the facts of a case, does not smear the victims of the case or make the case any less deplorable.

    The sad irony is that the use of misinformation, whether unintentional or not, backfires. It undermines the credibility of those who employ it and thus hurts their cause more than it helps.

    Faithfully accounting for every bit of historical detail is no easy task, especially if the historian happens to believe that the truth of an event is bigger than the sum of its parts. For instance, a Chinese may feel perfectly justified in using a photograph of an execution scene in Northern China or victims of Japanese aerial bombings in Chongqing as evidence of the Nanjing Massacre in exhibitions, since the message about the brutality of Japanese aggression seems to be the same. However, such a practice brings about the danger of misinterpreting actual historical evidence. Abandoning a strict empirical standard has grave consequences. Consequently, many historians have come to realize that although historical objectivity may be elusive, negligence of details can only undermine the effectiveness of their moral cause, however justified it may be.

  • Historian Presents Korean Massacre Photos from 1923 Great Kanto Quake « Idle Wordship Blog – Slightly Political. Mostly Relevent.
    1:16 am on February 6th, 2013 7

    [...] Korean expat blog ROK Drop wrote: “I do not think is a “smoking gun” because there is no way to know if the bodies [...]


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