Monthly Archives: January 2016

Emanuel Pastreich interview with British Amb. Charles Hay @ Arirang TV


Arirang TV   G Lounge


Interview with

Charles Hay

British Ambassador to the Republic of South Korea Charles Hay


Hosted by

Emanuel Pastreich


The Asia Institute


January 17, 2016

“Time for the US to Start a RIMPAC for Climate Change” (The Diplomat, January 20, 2016)

The Diplomat

“Time for the US to Start a RIMPAC for Climate Change”

January 20, 2016



Rising tensions between China and Japan over territorial issues, combined with disputes over historical issues such as the Korean comfort women, have created a political environment that encourages military responses and confrontation. The recent nuclear test by North Korea has heightened the distrust to such a level that we can look forward to a massive arms race that will involve not only the nations of Northeast Asia, but possibly those of Southeast Asia as well.

Now is the moment for moral courage on the part of the United States. The United States, and specifically the Pacific Command, must step forward and engage in honest and practical dialog on security issues. It needs to suggest innovative, collaborative approaches to security problems, interacting with all the nations of the region in a transparent manner that encourages cooperation, not competition. We must make sure that security and defense policies are not rooted in an unimaginative and outdated Cold War conception of deterrence and containment, but rather are responses to emerging nontraditional threats.

The recent Paris Climate Conference (COP 21 Paris) has laid down concrete demands for a rapid shift to a low-carbon model for development that should serve as the basis for closer collaboration in military affairs between the United States, Japan, Korea and China, and ASEAN nations.

The Pacific Command should engage all members of the Asian community in a deep dialog about how the region’s militaries can transform military relations in the region. This transformation would take place through the military’s transitioning to play a leading role in mitigating and adapting to climate change, and it would create a new, regional, cooperative culture in the Pacific. Read more of this post

“采访哈佛大学的传奇院长亨利•罗索夫斯基” (今日亚洲 2016年 1月 20日)






2016 1 20

一明 (Emanuel Pastreich)















作为一个学院的院长,我对哈佛的这种校园文化十分了解。我们所做的一切都是为了把世界上最优秀的人纳入麾下。 Read more of this post

Visit to Danwon High School (January 11, 2016)

Professor Kim Hyung-yul (chairman of the Asia Institute) and I drove down to Danwon to meet with several of the parents of the children who died o April 16 2014 when the Sewol Ferry they were riding on sunk and they were told to stay in their seats as the pilot of the ferry jumped off the boat to safety. The concern with a Korea that has become unlivable for young people, known popularly as “Hell Chosun” is best represented by this incident. The sinking ferry is considered as a symbol for the state and the students the young people who are abandoned by those in business seeking short-term profits.

We spent four hours at the makeshift memorial shrine to the students that has been erected near the district of Danwon. We also visited Danwon High School to see the classrooms that have been turned into shrines to entire classes of students who died together in the dark in corridors that had turned upside down and were flooded with cold water. The photographs taken at the very last moments by students have been banned from public release for the most part.

The temporary memorial to the victims of the Sewol Ferry sinking in Danwon.

The temporary memorial to the victims of the Sewol Ferry sinking in Danwon. The surviving students and parents have put enormous effort into creating an appropriate space, but the future of this memorial remains in doubt.



Geography of tragedy.


Pictures of the students who died are lined up inside the memorial.



Offerings to the victims represented in the memorial are brought daily. Birthdays of students

are solemnly celebrated by family members and classmates.





A personal note for a silent birthday.


Inside one of the classrooms in the high school which has been turned into a mausoleum.

Inside one of the classrooms in the high school which has been turned into a mausoleum. Each desk features items that belonged to the student. In one class, a single student survived to live on in shock.


The white board in four of the classrooms of Danwon are frozen in time.

The white board in four of the classrooms of Danwon are frozen in time.

Chinese section at Kyobo Books

There are many aspects of Kyobo Bookstore in Gwanghwamun that bother me. First and foremost is the decision to stop being a book store and turn into a department store that sells speakers, socks, candles, stationary supplies, bags and snacks. In addition the number of books lying on their sides (as opposed to on shelves) has increased, but the total number of books, and variety of books, has declined precipitously over the last eight years I have been coming here.

But by far the saddest part of the Kyobo Bookstore is the Chinese book section. As opposed to the English language section which includes a good stock, and a few worth reading, or the Japanese section, which is more limited, but still sufficient, the Chinese section is just four shelves in an extremely obscure corner. You would never find it if you did not ask.

The books are translations of Western (and some Japanese) mainstream works. Not a single book by a significant book by a Chinese writer is to be found.

Not sure I know why Kyobo has invested so little in the Chinese section, but it looks like a mistake granted just how important to Korea China has become.

The Chinese book section at Kyobo Books is only about four shelves and contains not a single significant Chinese book.

The Chinese book section at Kyobo Books is only about four shelves and contains not a single significant Chinese book.

The Chinese books are translations of Western and Japanese books or bland how-to books by unknown authors.

The Chinese books are translations of Western and Japanese books or bland how-to books by unknown authors.

“Why Wikipedia Is in Trouble” Emanuel Pastreich

Emanuel Pastreich

“Why Wikipedia Is in Trouble”




This Time Magazine article “Why Wikipedia Is in Trouble”

(January 14, 2016) suggests that Wikipedia is in trouble because of some obscure cultural inflexibility. Although the problems with Wikipedia, despite its considerable popularity, are quite serious, the article intentionally misdiagnoses the problem so as to distract the reader from the real issues.

The failure of the article is perfect representation of the profound corruption of popular media in the United States. One of the most powerful myths even today is that media is simply dying because of the internet. If the information in the was sufficiently relevant and accurate, people would pay for it on-line. The problem is rather that media is increasingly written to protect special interests, rather than to deliver media. Media content is more often a mixture of propaganda with a bit of truth to make an almost convincing argument that will impact perceptions while avoiding a rational argument.

Let us look at what the article states:


“The problem, most researchers and Wikipedia stewards seem to agree, is that the core community of Wikipedians are too hostile to newcomers, scaring them off with intractable guidelines and a general defensiveness. One detailed study from 2012 found that new editors often find that their first contributions to the site are quickly rejected by more experienced users, which directly correlates with a drop in the likelihood that they will continue to contribute to the site.”


I have had a variety of battles with Wikipedians and I do not believe that they are simply hostile to new comers because of some form of cultural conservatism. They are hostile to people who have a different conception of Wikipedia which they consider to be a threat to their economic and political interests. The problem not more, or less, complex than that. Read more of this post

「日本の自衛隊が世界を救う 」 (ハフィントンポスト 2016年 1月 13日)


「日本の自衛隊が世界を救う 」

2016年 1月 13日


エマニュエル パストリッチ








アジア各国の軍が気候変動の緩和と環境適応を達成するため、どう転換して行けばよいかについて、日本の自衛隊は、アジア共同体のすべてのメンバーとともに濃密な対談の場を開き、軍事において新たな国際協力の文化を築くことを目指すべきである。 Read more of this post

“贝淡宁:用贤能政治衡量中国体制更合适” (环球日报 2016年 1月 12日)



2016年 1月 12日









我们正在目睹一种更具历史色彩和人文特征的视角的回归,它更强调教育,注重跨越代际的大家庭伦理。延及政治领域,这种儒家视角促进了有关中国贤能政治传统的价值重估。长期以来,中国人一直认为政治体制的关键在于选拔和擢升具有较强能力、道德品质、社会文化技能并能带领国家前进的领导者。这种视角虽有儒家根源,但现在已然经历现代化的演变,变成中国以及韩国、日本等其他东亚国家经济发展战略的核心。尽管儒家思想在“文化大革命”期间遭到批判,但它现在再次回到舞台中央。如今,儒家核心价值的推广和促进已不仅限于政治治理层面,商业和非盈利性行业也都在这样做。 Read more of this post

“Interview with Harvard’s Legendary Dean Henry Rosovsky” (Huffington Post, January 9, 2016)

Huffington Post


“Interview with Harvard’s Legendary Dean Henry Rosovsky:

The Secret of excellence and the prospects for Asian Higher Learning”


January 9, 2016


Emanuel Pastreich



Harvard University had obtained a remarkable global role since the end of the Second World War. Of course it has been a strong institution for a long time, but if we think back, in 1900, or even in 1930, it was not considered to be on the same level as some universities in England, Germany or France. What exactly was it that allowed Harvard to reach the status that it enjoys today?

The task of building a great university is never simple.

Let me stress one point because it’s so often misunderstood, and we see this in Asia today: To become a world-class university takes a lot of time. There are simply no shortcuts. People tend to assume, and I have encountered this sort of thinking all over the world, that if they just sink enough money into a university, it will emerge in a few years as a first-class institution. But such rapid growth never happens. It takes time; it takes generations.

That said, there are a few clear factors that determine the potential of a university to reach the highest levels of excellence. In the case of Harvard University, it was true that by the time of its tercentenary (300th anniversary of its founding) in 1936, Harvard had already achieved a reputation as a world-class institution. Harvard did not have the stature that it does today.

So what specifically happened between the nineteen-thirties and now? Well the United States became more economically powerful and attracted more resources and faculty from around the world after the Second World War. But one very important development were the innovations introduced by President James Bryant Conant who served as president from 1933 to1953.

What were the specific steps that President Conant took as president to transform Harvard? Read more of this post

“これからの日韓関係に対する私の夢” (ハフィントンポスト 2016年 1月 8日)






2016年 1月 8日 

エマニュエル パストリッチ





日韓関係は、私にとってとても大切である。私は、両国の文学と文化の研究にキャリアを捧げてきたため、どちらの国もふるさと同然である。 Read more of this post