The distortion and derogation of Korea in “The Rough Guide to Korea”, a guidebook enjoyed by tourists from all over the world, is very serious.
The “Rough Guides” which publishes “The Rough Guide to Korea” is a British publisher established in 1982 and has been publishing guidebooks of more than 200 places around the world, and this book is a famous travel guide for Europeans.
As VANK has gone through analysis of the contents that introduce Korea on the most recent edition of “The Rough Guide to Korea”(published in Nov. 2018), it describes beyond a specific field in so much variety and shocking contents.
On this guidebook, it describes Taekwondo incorrectly by saying: “Most Korean martial arts are variations of those that originated in China or Japan. Taekwondo (태권도) is the best known – developed in Tang-dynasty China, it was given a Korean twist during the Three Kingdoms period, going on to become one of the country’s most famed exports, and an Olympic sport to boot.”
It also marked Ulleungdo as under the jurisdiction of Gangwon-do on the map of Korea, and described “1248 – Korea becomes a vassal state of Mongol Khaans” on a chronological table of Korean history.
“this time by the Japanese in 1876 – resulted in the Treaty of Ganghwa, …. From this point to the present day, Korea would be a ship largely steered along by foreign powers.”, “Korea remains one of the most homogenous societies on Earth, and traces of the “Hermit Kingdom” remain, …” are one of the main distorted descriptions about Korean history on this book.
Regarding K-pop it says: “K-pop. While the term(K-pop) is broad, it usually refers to saccharine boy- and girl-band pap, which since the turn of the century has been accompanying music videos become ever more raunchy.”, deliberately cutting down on Korean pop culture.
On the fourth edition of “The Rough Guide to Korea” guidebook has more than 36 confirmed distortions of Korea including sexual discrimination, racial discrimination, regional discrimination, defaming Korean society, defaming Korean ladies, defaming Provisional Government of Korea, Korean history distortion, Korean culture distortion, and Descriptive errors on Korea.
The book has been sold online through Amazon and publisher’s web site, and on various book stores around the world.
From the standpoint of a foreigner, before traveling to a new country, buying or borrowing a guidebook that introduces the country is one of the things that we do.
If a Korean guidebook disparages Korea as above, it can give wrong and distorted perception of Korea to people around the world who visit Korea and can cause serious problems that could lead to preconceptions about Korea, Koreans, Korean culture and history.
Above all, more people around the world have become interested in Korea than ever before, and as the number of people around the world who want to learn Korean language is increasing. With 100 million Hallyu(Korean Wave) fans worldwide through BTS, BLACKPINK, Korean dramas and movies, the errors, distortions and degradation of the guidebook introducing Korea as such must be corrected and rectified.
Accordingly, VANK has created Digital Posters that request the “Rough Guides”(the publisher of the 4th edition of The rough Guide to Korea) to rectify the errors, distortions, and disparagements.
On the Digital Poster, it gives a list of errors about Korea on “The Rough Guide to Korea” at a glance, and emphasizes that this book is not a Korea guidebook, but a book for degrading Korea.
Also, the poster presents a petition link (http://maywespeak.com/guidebook) on World’s biggest petition web site ’change.org’ to request the publisher to rectify the errors.
It is important to correct the errors about Korea in overseas Korean tourist guidebooks that foreigners would buy and read before visiting Korea.
In order to actively respond to Korean travel guidebooks that has made distorted descriptions of Korea, VANK will collect information from overseas Korean guidebooks at an early stage, request corrections, and accurately inform tourists around the world about Korean tourism.