In the past, I always introduced myself in front of students in the first class of a new semester. One day at the beginning of the new semester, when I said, “I grew up in Gachari (Songam Village), Songji-myeon, the tip of the land in Haenam, Jeollanam-do, and transferred to Seoul when I was in the 4th grade of elementary school...”, a student raised his hand and said, “Professor! So, ‘chimmidarye’ is your hometown?” he asked. At the time, I didn’t know what ‘chimmidarye’ was. I said, “I don’t know ‘chimmidarae’. However, in my hometown where I lived when I was young, there were so many Darae (Darae)! I don’t remember my sister digging it up and eating it as a vegetable side dish.” Then the students laughed and said, “Teacher! That’s not the case, we learned that Haenam and Gangjin were small countries established by Japan by calling them “Chimmidarye.” Listening to the students’ stories, I remembered my mother’s words when I was young, “You can be the head of the town after you study hard.”
|▲ Future Heritage Forum Professor Kim Yu-hee|
Time passed, and at the end of last year, I heard the news that a Jeolla-do Choenneonsa (A Millennium History of Jeolla-do) would be made. However, I heard that the Bongjeong ceremony was temporarily postponed. Why? Even though 213 scholars spent a whopping 2.4 billion won and created a total of 34 massive books, what could have gone wrong? If it is not published in the end after being temporarily postponed, wouldn’t it be that only the bloody taxes of the residents of Jeolla-do were wasted? What is the problem? Could it be that the student’s words, which Haenam talked about ‘Chimmidarye’ several years ago, came back like this? Soon after, reports in the media that “Japanese far-right term was used” followed.
It is necessary to learn more about Chimmidarye here. In Korean history books (Kim Pu-sik’s Samguksa and Ilyeon’s Samguk Yusa), there is no such place name or country name. As it turns out, Chimmi Darye is a small country in the Japanese history book called Nihonshoki, which is unknown who wrote it and when. The person who first estimated that this Chimmidarye was Haenam/Gangjin was Suematsu Yatsukasu, a Japanese during the Japanese colonial period. What I am saddened about is that 213 Korean historians followed and recorded this without thinking in the ‘A Millennium History of Jeolla-do’. Without knowing that Chimmidarye was ‘Uchikawa’ in the Kyushu region of Japan, it was very sad to record my hometown, Haenam, as ☆Chimmidarye★ as a Japanese land. During the Japanese Invasion of Korea in 1592, Admiral Yi Sun-sin said, “Without Honam, there would be no country.” Parallel to this statement, I want to send a obituary to 213 pro-Japanese renegade historians, saying, “If there was no Haenam, there would have been only Chimmidarye.”
The fact that the people of Haenam, Gangjin, and Wando were made into the people of Japanese colonization, I am surprised and even saddened. Is it really because I can’t see that Nihongi writes ‘Nanman (southern barbarian) Chimmidarye’?
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