March 28, 2008
A profile of two Korean poets who were called unpatriotic for practicing Japanese forms of poetry.
Like other Koreans who grew up under Japanese colonial rule, from 1910 to 1945, Son and Rhee learned Japanese, rather than Korean, at school. When the Japanese withdrew after their defeat in World War II, many of these Koreans found themselves without a true mother tongue - ashamed to speak Japanese but unable to read Korean well.
But unlike others, Rhee and Son maintained their love of Japanese poetry long after the liberation.
For that, they paid a price: a lifetime of disregard or disapproval from fellow Koreans.
(And North Korea test-fired more missiles. The U.S. called the test "not helpful." There is a deadlock over what will happen with North Korea's nukes. Seems Kim Jong-Il wants the world's attention back on him. What good is it being in the Axis of Evil if you have to fire a missile to get a headline?)