A Bashō Maniac From North Korea

Who’s visiting my blog via searching for “grapes ass gun shot” lol!!

I would like to talk about an author.

I had a chance to learn the language in North Korea for three months.
Three best-selling authors taught me then, and it was a real spectacular experience for me!!

Some people may know, but the language in the North is a little different from the South.
The difference is just in the accents….but the point is, I don’t like the language in the South.
It irritates me when I hear the language from Korea dramas.
The language from the South lacks intensity.

It might be similar as

British English : North Korean
American English : South Korean

People who make fun of British English in the U.S. and the people who make fun of the accents in Pyongyang are pretty much the same.
Let’s go back to the story.

There was one author who really loved Matsuo Bashō.
This is him.

I forgot his name, but he was totally obsessed with Bashō.

“There’s no such writer who gives a fine description about nature other than Bashō in Japan! An ancient pond / a frog jumps in / the splash of water. That is so wonderful!!”

The author always talked about Bashō’s poems.

I felt a little jealous about Bashō and so I lied to him,
“Bashō isn’t that great in Japan these days. There’s a genius called Ryuhei Ueshima (a comedian in Japan) and he is way better.”
The author wasn’t interested at all and ignored me.
Why Ueshima? I don’t know. It just came up to my mind.

I changed my target to another author.
I told him the same thing.
“Maybe Bashō was pretty good, but nowadays Ryuhei Ueshima is more famous for his works.”

He believed me.

I told him,
“He screams YAHH as a sign of his creation. Will you please do it with me?”

The author and I together : “YAHHH




























He was a good guy.

I wasn’t making fun of this guy at all.
He probably knew I was joking and took a picture with me.
What I wanted to show was that, there are people who know and study about Japanese culture a lot, and that there are playful people like him!
Thank you.

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False articles using pics from North Korea are going way too far!


Today I want to talk about all the news made up about North Korea.

Here’s a good example.
North Korea confirms it has landed a man on the Sun

The words behind the news caster shows something about medicines and it has nothing to do with missiles. People who read Hangul would obviously know that this is a fake.
I couldn’t find such news on the website of the Korean Central News Agency. (Please tell me if you can!)

Well, since North Korea is an expert in using Photoshop, I guess it’s inevitable for people to use pictures from North Korea like a copyright-free material.
I think this is too much… and think it’s unfair, that making up news is okay just because it’s North Korea.

I also tweeted earlier about the impression of North Korea = Coal Mines.

I think it’s funny too, but to tell the truth, that story may be a little too old.
I asked a friend in North Korea and he said,
“That was back in the old days. Mines are all run by machines and we don’t need any people to work.”
I haven’t had a chance to visit the mines, so I’m not that sure if that’s the single truth.
Maybe the “concentration camps” are more talked about, but I can’t comment on this…

Let’s go back to talking about “mines”.
North Korea participated in the World Cup in 2010. They made a head start against Brazil and fought well, but lost to Portugal by 0-7. There was a news that all players and the manager were sent to coal mines because they had lost pretty badly. (I think this was told by a British news source)

The manager, Kim Jong Fun, did not go to work in a coal mine, but instead,he was promoted to vice minister for the Ministry of Physical Education. I wanted to interview him so that he could make a joke about this news saying “I’m Kim from the coal mine!! “ but my request was turned down.
His rank became pretty high and so it wasn’t easy just to even meet him.

I think North Korea’s soccer strategy is unique. They have a slogan like “We won’t score, and we won’t let you score neither”, and they play by making big walls.
I know it’s not that great, but that persistent play style should be a tradition.

(an elite soccer school in North korea. You get expelled if you fail.)

That’s all for today!

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What North Koreans think about us in Japan

There was some news about government-to- government talks between Japan and North Korea lately.

Some veteran journalists say that this is for giving pressure to South Korea. When we see things moving going on in the outside (such as Megumi Yokota’s parents meeting their grand daughter in Mongol , and the disposal of  a property from the General Association of Korean Residents), it means that there are a lot of negotiations being held in the inside, and I think that is better than nothing happening.


That’s what is happening in North Korea right now,

but today, I would like to talk about,

“What North Koreans think about Japan and the Japanese people.”

I hope my experiences can be used as reference.


As you may know, the language of North Korea uses unique expressions to criticize enemies.

The style is really inimitable and the phrase “pitiless” has permeated throughout Japan.

The Japanese government and politicians have been damned many times and it is obvious that North Korea has an impression as an anti-Japanese nation, disregarding the abduction issues.


From a linguistic point of view, I think things are a little different.

I major in comparative linguistics and the language of North Korea. I have written and received awards writing essays in Korean so I must say I know the language quite well.

I couldn’t plagiarize since no one has written about it and so I envy Ms. Obokata…haha…


Language is a reflection of cultural background and morphosis, and so words and sentences differ according to languages, even if they had the same kind of meanings.

In North Korean stylistics, it’s very important to create a strong expression to express one’s feelings, and I have had a lot of training in classes back then.

(I think there are some mistakes in the tone for translation of news about politics between Japan and South Korea. That’s maybe some of the reasons why the two countries are sometimes misunderstanding each other.)


I maybe exaggerating but all of that is just “Hello to the people of the Japanese government!”


I remember a man from the Japanese government saying, “I hate the words on the Rodong Sinmun. It always irritates me!”

I told him about this and he accepted it with a bad grace.


Let’s go back to the story,

I was speaking to a man in Pyongyang and he spoke these words…

“So, how are the Japanese fools?”

You might think that’s anti-Japanese…but that maybe jumping to conclusions.


I thought, maybe I should talk about Japan in a bad way, and they would feel good. I started to talk about how the Japanese politicians were stupid, and about the increasing taxes, and how people aren’t getting married, and so on….explaining all the negatives things about Japan. (sorry to the people of Japan)


I probably talked about it for ten minutes.

What I heard back from them was surprising.


North Koreans : “What were you talking about again?”


Everyone there was watching TV, and no one had interest in what I was speaking.


Me : “Well, what I was saying was that in Japan…..”

North Korean : “Oh…”


He was the one who asked me about Japan but he wasn’t listening at all.


I saw what was going on.


“They had no interest in Japan (or they didn’t really understand anything about Japan)”


I’ve never seen any anti-Japanese feelings from these people. They love sushi, they eat Japanese pork cutlets and there are Bashō freaks as I have written before.

Probably the phrase “Japanese fools” was just a term without any meaning and so they had no intensions of criticism, and not everybody uses these words there.


I was exhausted but I decided to talk about South Korea.


Things changed.

The people turned the volume from the TV down, and all asked me “What did you say about South Korea?”

They all asked me about politics and the detail of life in South Korea in a fierce look.It was obvious that they had strong feelings and rivalry towards the South.They all understood that the economy was way better in the South, but some of the people didn’t want to admire it.They had some kind of a feeling, that they were the people who were supporting their country, and they had a strong pride about it.

They also seemed to hate China and the U.S. Even though the government is Pro-Chinese.

They had no interest in Japan itself, but there was a different strong “image of Japan” inside them.

A North Korean man speaks,

“I hate Chinese products. I don’t want to use South Korean products( probably the possibility of punishment), and so I love Japanese products.”


This is a North Korean TV program. Each local most excellent student competes for intellect.The champion can enter the entrance into a school of higher grade school in Pyongyang. But the winner was a student of Pyongyang

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Mr. Park getting excited with Michael Jackson

Mr. Park arrived like a dashing whirlwind at the small boarding gate of Air Kyoro in Beijing International Airport.

He has quite a lot in impact with his character; speaking fluent English and talking positively to strangers. He was also outstanding with his particular fashion; like a Japanese football player Keisuke Honda, but tackier than him. Apparently he was one of the members of North Korean International sport team and he was on the way back home from the oversea training trip. It is still fresh in my memory that they won medals in various games at London Olympic in 2012.
I was very anxious about his, but luckily I got the seat next to him.
He started to talk to me casually with his “young” accent. It wasn’t Pyongyang or South Korean accent but some thing particular that could only explain as language that young people use.

Inside the airplane of Air Kyoro

Mr. Park: Are you a Journalist?
Me: Yes, I am

He looked very curious with the Walkman (CD/MD/MP3) player suspended from my neck, so I handed in to him.
At the time I had Michael Jackson in the player, and he murmured “Oh, it’s Michael Jackson!”, but then he started to read the North Korean newspaper. To be honest, it was “Rodong sinmun

By that time, I was even more anxious with him.

Me: What kind of music do you normally listen to?
Mr. Park: I don’t really listen to Korean music, but Western music.

He added that he likes one of the Canadian pop idol, because (they/she) is “erotic”.
Then he suddenly asked me…

Mr. Park: Do you have a boyfriend? or a partner?

“No” I answered, “I see. Well, I have one in Pyongyang! hehe” he replied with impish laugh. The way he laughed was quite similar to how young Japanese people do, although his friendly attitude hardly sees in them nowadays.

More of his episode, “Wow!! It’s so different! Totally different from the other airlines!” commented on in-flight announcement like the way of ‘Jigoku no Misawa’ (Japanese comic), he was almost captured me heart.


In-flight meal

The only one thing that made him serious was the topic of South Korea.
I asked “well, you actually spent your time often in foreign countries and obviously you do use Internet right? Do you see news of south korea as well??”
He suddenly changed his face expression.

Mr. Park: Well, I do read news about South Korea, but it’s all nonsense! Different from the truth and those exaggerated statement irritates me a lot.

Unfortunately I couldn’t ask him in which particular article he mentioned.
He wasn’t hesitated making a comment on phenomenon of his country. Although seeing him getting nervous on particular topic, there must be something that cannot put up with.

We exchanged each others contacts and got his Gmail address, but I thought I shouldn’t bother with his future so I didn’t make any move after all.

Few days later, I bumped into him at Pyongyang but he looked totally different from when I met him in the airplane, he was totally into “Pyongyang mode”, his accent and personal character as well.
I couldn’t tell, which of his character is true, probably both are him.

Mr. Park, good luck with your future!




Comic “A Rotten and Sick World”

Today, I would like to tell you about a weird comic book from North Korea.

The title is “A Rotten and Sick World” and was published in 1990.

It’s a comic book for kids to read, and it talks about how bad a capitalistic society is.
It’s an omnibus with horrifying stories and incidents that occur in a capitalistic country.

This is a “true story” about an actor who robs a bank in the middle of a shooting for a movie.
The characters look pretty good. They look like they’re from American comic books.

So the story goes on, telling how capitalism is dangerous…


A noteworthy fact is that there is a lot of South Korea bashing, and they have done it in a harsh way thoroughly.
When episodes are bout South Korea, the stories are all horrible and even the drawings look very stupid.

This story satirizes a Korean woman who has done a lot of plastic surgery. The point is that she is still ugly even after her operation, and one day her nose just falls off….

This is a story about a daughter of a government minister of South Korea.
She spends a lot of money for her beauty…..but she is realy ugly….uhhh…
This story really scared me…

It’s a story telling about how there are a lot of women fighting each other in JUDO style…in South Korea…
You must be kidding….!?


but the rules aren’t Judo at all….
and why wasn’t it Taekwon-Do?
Here’s another story.
“Every year, hundreds of criminals from Japan, Taiwan, and Hong Kong are entering South Korea. South Korea is a DEAD ZONE. A foreign journalist spoke –If there was an Olympic game for crime, South Korea would definitely win the gold medal.-”


Wow….discrimination against women….and South Korea…
I’ve seen this before…
But this was written in 1990.
This was happening way before people starting posting negative comments about South Korea on the internet in Japan.A lot of points are exaggerated but some stories…kind of sound true and familiar…

And this was all back in the 90’s.
I wish for peace, and that the relationships between the South and North develop progress.

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A gay celebrity from North Korea!?


You can find good-looking anywhere around the world.

This is Lee Ryong-hun, a young actor from North Korea.


He looks somewhat like…..KABA.chan, a Japanese gay celebrity, and so I thought “People in North Korea are into gay celebrities now…!?”

But that was just my first impression.

The article explains him as “long hair, pale and does not speak much but when he’s on stage, he’s a totally different man.”
“He performs wild stunts and does great acting in action-movies. He also has a good sense of humor and brings a lot of laughter in comedy-movies.”

He was praised by a lot of people in the industry from North Korea, and they express him as “one of the very few actors who know how to express themselves.”

Maybe his feminine looks were just a disguise. He was a man with talent.


There was another episode. It was said that during a dangerous stunt, a real spear struck him in the chest, but he finished acting with bandages. I started to like this guy!!
Well, what I was really interested in, was an episode between this guy and a senior actor.
It’s about the senior actor teaching him about acting “personally”.
Lee commented,
“I was very happy to talk to the person I admired. We live in the same building now, and so I go to him when I’m lost.”

As a “Fujyoshi” ( a Japanese term for female fans of manga and novels that feature romantic relationships between men – from Wikipedia),

I was really interested in the relationship between the two guys….

Maybe something more deeper maybe going on between them..

I wanted to free myself from these disgusting thoughts…

Well…..I guess the good looking guys in North Korea may look a little girlish but they do their job really great, and that’s maybe the reason he’s so attractive.

(for good measure)

This guy is also North Korean actor.But I don’t know his name…



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Eighth Grader Boys From North Korea (Part II)

The student from Korea University continued his quiz.

The second man was told to us apples.
He hesitated, but managed to put the apple up his behind….
And yet, the second man was also killed.
Now here is my question.
Why did the second man get killed?

About 40 of the boys raised their hands, and they were all anxious to answer the question.

The second boy already knew the answer.

“It’s because he saw that the third man had to put in something more bigger!”

He was correct.

The second man saw the third man carrying a watermelon. He couldn’t believe his eyes. He was too shocked, and so the apple came out of his behind by accident.


All the boys cheered with excitement when they heard the answer.They all stood up and clapped their hands. The girls weren’t satisfied with the quiz itself and were annoyed at the boys.

This was very interesting to me, but there’s probably no big reason to why the boys all loved the story about the “behinds”.

After class, the student and the class took a picture. The student told the class “That peace sign isn’t so cool. I’ll teach you a better one”, and he taught the class a new sign (it’s hard to explain so check the picture) to pose for the camera. The class all loved it and they kept doing it after a while.


When the student had to leave, all the class members were very upset and they all ran and chased the bus the student took. I was very moved when I saw this.


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