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Bibimbap Controversy Was Caused by 'Misunderstanding'

Kuroda Katsuhiro, Seoul bureau chief of the Japanese right-leaning Sankei Shimbun, who created controversy for his derogatory remark on a Korean dish, said there was some "misunderstanding."

In his Saturday column titled "Bibimbap Terror?" on Sankei, Kuroda said his earlier calling bibimbap as"Yang Du Gu Yuk" (羊頭狗肉) was meant to be a humor
, Chosun Ilbo reported.

Yang Du Gu Yuk literally means "to hang a lamb's head outside the shop to lure customers, but actually sells a dog meat." It's comparable to the English expression of "crying wine, and selling vinegar."

In his December column, titled "Tormenting Bibimbap," Kuroda used the expression to decry bibimbap, which is a popular Korean dish that is served as a bowl of warm white rice topped with sauted and seasoned vegetables with a raw or fried egg on the top.

Bibimbap is gaining popularity abroad, including in the U.S.

South Korea has launched a campaign to promote it globally.

Kuroda expressed his doubts about the globalization potential of bibimbap. "Bibimbap looks good when it is put on the table at first. But once the vegetables, the egg and rice and everything get mixed by the spoon, it transforms into something that is unidentifiable," he said at that time. "I fear an American who ordered this dish might be shocked to see this羊頭狗肉."

His demeaning remark enraged some Koreans.

In response, he said on Saturday that his choice of the expression was meant to be a humor.

"I understand that the term is commonly used in Japan, but it is perceived as a very derogatory expression in Korea," he said .


He added: "When I heard that Korea wanted to promote bibimbap globally, I just gave my own opinion about it in an honest manner as a foreigner who has lived in Korea for 30 years.

"But the Korean society is unwilling to accept it."

Kuroda also said that he has been feeling unsafe in Korea since making the remark. "I received calls, threatening to kill me or asking the location of my residence. I may have to seek protection from the police," he said.

He ended his column by saying, "Actually, I like bibimbap very much. I am eating it a lot these days.">

Source: The Korea Times

WTF Korea, some people are ready to kill over this?
Tags: culture, scandals, wtf
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