Wisdom of Korea (2011, January -- June)

How was the Old Testament written?

Y.S.Kim (2011.1.6)

I have been translating bible stories into a Jewish history in recent years. Naturally, my Jewish friends are interested in what I say about them. One of them told me I am more interested in writing a Korean history than Jewish history. He is right, but not quite. When I do not understand Korean affairs, I have a tendency to go to Poland. I then translate Polish events into what happened in Korea. How many Koreans do this?

As I said many times before, Poland had been divided into three colonies for 125 years until the end of World War I. Korea's recent history is not much different. Koreans in the South are becoming like Americans, and Koreans in the North are becoming like Chinese. Poland had the same problem when the country was divided.

Adam Mickiewicz (1798-1855) was a Polish poet, and wrote many poems emphasizing the one-ness of Polish people. Mickiewicz is still loved by Polish people, and his statues are everywhere in Poland. There is a university in Poznan named after him. You are invited to my Poland page:


Toward 1900, the Russian colonial rule in Warsaw reached its worst point. Russians closed all Polish schools in order to eradicate Polish culture. Then Henryk Sienkiewicz (1846-1916) wrote a book entitled "Quo Vadis," well known to us. By writing a book, he nwanted to appeal to God. For his Quo Vadis, Sienkiewicz received the 1905 Nobel prize in literature.

Let us go back to the Jewish history after King Solomon's death. Paganism was rampant, the country did not have a clear vision. This confusion created a number of prophets addressing the Jewish values formulated by Moses. They were like Adam Mickiewicz of Poland.

During the Babylonian captivity (597-538 BC), Jewish writers wrote a book in order to appeal to God, and Sienkiewicz of Poland wrote his Quo Vadis. This became the first edition of the Old Testament.

Then, is there an event like Sienkiewicz's Quo Vadis in Korean history? Yes, I talked about it 16 years ago. You may be interested in the following article.

Korean Wisdom

Y.S.Kim (1995.4.25)

I am getting these days many letters which I would very much like to circulate. But, the authors are telling me not to. Recently, one of my young friends said in his letter that a country's strength should not be judged by cars, but by its "philosophy." His comment is quite consistent with the Japanese saying that it is 100 times or 1,000 times more difficult to make "kokoro" than making cars. His comment is also consistent with my belief, and I have many things to say along this line.

This morning, I had a chat with one of my Japanese friends, and he seems to know about Korea. On my blackboard, he wrote 1392 from his memory as the year Yi dynasty started. He also wrote 1443 as the year the Hangul characters were promulgated, and he also wrote on the board "Un-moon" in Chinese characters. Frankly, I could not do these even though I often bragg about my memory power. He even said that the Mongolian army could not cross the Korean strait because they were on Korean-made ships which were too weak to withstand Taiphoon. He then asked me whether Koreans intentionally built those inferior-quality ships to destroy the Mongolian army.

I told him that those Korean ships had to be inferior because Korea's best wood-crafters had to work on a more important project. They were carving 80,000 wooden plates for the 80,000-page scripture on Buddhism. I often say that this 80,000-page scripture is like Henryk Sienkiewicz's "Quo Vadis." For writing this novel, Poland's Sienkiewicz got the 1905 Nobel prize in literature. We carved 80,000 wooden plates in order to protect our own "philisophy," and Sienkiwwicz wrote Quo Vadis in order to guard Poland's "philosophy." Japan's Kawabata Yasunari killed himself because he could not find Japan's own "philosophy," but he did enough work to receive the 1968 Nobel prize in literature while he was alive.

I explained why this Sienkiewicz case is important in constructing our own Nobel culture in my 1978 article which was rejected by one of the KPS journals. I hope there will be an occasion for me to discuss this issue in more detail in the future.

Jewish writers and Korean writers

Y.S.Kim (2011.1.25)

It is generally agreed that I am an under-recognized physicist. I have been writing papers since 1961, but do you know what I did? One of my Jewish friends was quite sympathetic to my problem and advised me to improve my writing skills. In saying this, he is fully justified from his Jewish point of view.

One thousand years ago, Koreans invented the first metal printing plates with movable letters. During the Mongolian invasion eight hundred years ago, Koreans carved 80,000 wooden plates to print the Buddhist literatures. The Korean national anthem mentions God, and Koreans love to write as much as Jewish people do. However, those Jewish writers were able to play the leading role in the world history, while Koreans are still in the process of importing Western ideas.

One excuse could be that Koreans used Chinese letters not many people could read, while Jewish books were written in their own language. This argument is wrong. Until 1800 AD, not many people in the world were able to read. In 1954, while in Korea, I wrote a letter for one of the British soldiers who came to Korea during the Korean war. He could not read or write English, while he wanted to write a letter to his mother in England. Even in 1990s, one of the famous American football players could not read or write. As for the Bible, only the privileged priests were allowed to read before the reformation.

Indeed, this has been a challenge to me for many years. Why do Jewish writers write so well while Koreans cannot. Let us look at the Old Testament. This book contains many stories interesting to children. Thus, for many people, their brains were configured according to the Bible stories they hear from their mothers and grandmothers, as in my case.

When I learn a lesson, I transform them into practice. Among the physics journals, the American Journal of Physics is the main journal of the American Institute of Physics Teachers. This journal is very useful for student research projects, and is know as the journal for children. I published many papers there, and many Korean students found out about me from this journal.

Here is another strong point in the Old Testament. The stories are based on family genealogy. If you think the history of Russia is difficult to understand, try to memorize all the Czars of the Romanov dynasty. If you wondered how I understand Russia so well, you now know the secret. The Old Testament tells whose son is who. It is very easy to follow.

This point is very easy to appreciate for Koreans. As you all know, Korea is a strongly Jokbo(genealogy)-oriented society. I did not have to learn the lesson from the Old Testament. As I told you many times before, my professional goal is to continue Einstein's Jokbo. This is the reason why I maintain an elegant webpage about Princeton. You may be interested in my updated campus page of princeton at


For another interesting Jokbo page, see


Let us come to years after 2000 AD. Printed books are used only for auxiliary means of communication. We send most of our messages electronically. In order to make messages more effective, it is now possible to combine stories with pictures.

This is an an excellent opportunity for all Koreans. As Obama pointed out his State of the Union message last night (January 25, 2011), Korea is far ahead of every other country in internet usage. We should be able to develop the new art of communication. One encouraging sign is that Korean TV dramas are becoming very popular in Asian countries. We should be able to combine these two venues to become a dominant power in the world of communication.

Picasso and Jefferson

Y.S.Kim (2011.3.1)

Last week, I made a brief trip to Richmond and Charlottesville. These two cities are about 100 miles apart, and both of them are about 150 miles from Washington, DC.

I went to Richmond to see a Picasso exhibition. The Picasso Museum in Paris is going through a major innovation, and his pictures are travelling around to make money. There I met a group of students attending a small college near Richmond. They said they are reporters for their school newspaper, and asked me why I like Picasso. They said they would print what I said their newspaper. I gave the following answer.

When God constructed a man or woman, He placed eyes, ears, nose, mouth, arms, and legs in a harmonious manner. Since some of them look so nice that they are hired as actors or actresses. But Picasso was not satisfied with God's arrangement. He wanted to construct his own harmony. People do not see beautiful girls from Picasso's paintings, but they are able to appreciate Picasso's harmony.

I then asked those young reporters whether they could understand what I said. They said yes, and they said they will start looking for harmony in Picasso's paintings.

I then went to Charlottesville, the city of Thomas Jefferson. I have been there before, but I was not prepared to fully appreciate Jefferson's contributions. He was an architect and believed in harmony. I took some photos to add to my existing file:


However, tonight, I would like to talk about the document Jefferson composed. This document is of course the Declaration of Independence.

Before writings his document, Jefferson studied the writings of many European philosophers, including John Locke, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, and others.

However, there is a big difference between Jefferson's paper and the writings by those European philosophers. In his grave stone,


Karl Marx says "Philosophers have only interpreted the world in various ways. The point however is to change it."

Thomas Jefferson combined the opinions of those European philosophers to create a document that would change the world. He did it in a harmonious manner, reflected in his architecture.

Jefferson's declaration still serves as the standard for human freedom, and it still keeps changing the world. I am of course talking about what happened in Korea since 1960, and what is happening in the Moslem world these days.

Likewise, the Jewish scholars collected all the opinions by their earlier prophets, and edited a book during their Babylonian captivity. I do not have to tell you how this book changed the world, and is still changing the world. The Old Testament, together with the New Testament, set the standard for human conduct in the civilized world.

Let us now talk about how modern science was developed. James Clerk Maxwell combined all laws in electricity and magnetism into four equations in harmonious manner to create a new world, namely the wireless world. Einstein insisted on the harmony between mechanics and electromagnetism, and ended up with theory of relativity.

Koreans are in a superior position to use the harmony variable in their professions. You are not going to listen to me, but you are going to take seriously the opinion given by Americans.

James Lilley was the U.S. ambassador to Korea (1986-89) and to China (1989-91). He was on the faculty of the University of Maryland after his retirement from the government service. His wife was and still is an art historian. She once gave a seminar on Korean architecture. She showed a number of photos, and said Korean houses and buildings are not elegant in the Western standard. But their strength is their harmony with nature.

Speaking of harmony, this variable is not restricted to Korea's architecture. It plays a role in all aspects of Korean life. When I was young, I published many papers in the physics journals. I still write many papers, but my recent papers are mostly based on harmony, harmony among my own papers, and harmony among those written by others. You may be interested in my latest webpage on this subject.


When you write papers, you list references. You then construct a coherence among those papers. This is what the harmony is all about. Yet, the life is more rewarding if you know what you are doing.

Daniel and Thomas Jefferson

Y.S.Kim (2011.2.8)

Daniel was one of the Jewish wise men who advised the Babylonian king during the Babylonian captivity. While everybody in Babylonia was required to worship the Babylonian king as the god and no one else, Daniel kept worshipping his Jewish God. For this, he got into trouble with his Babylonian colleagues. However, the king liked Daniel so much that he had to offer religious freedom to all Babylonians.

Some years later, Thomas Jefferson presented the congress of Virginia the legislature guaranteeing religious freedom for every resident of Virginia. He did this before writing the Declaration of Independence. Indeed, Thomas Jefferson was the one who added the separation of state and religion to the governing philosophy of the United States, guaranteeing religious freedom to every citizen.

Historically, politicians developed religions in order to consolidate their power. The Egyptian Pharaoh ordered his priests to develop the concept of one god so that he could become the god. However, the one god developed by those priests became a god quite different from the Pharaoh. This was the cause of the Exodus.

Christianity could not have become this strong without Constantine's edict of Milan. At the same time, Constantine could could not have become such a historical figure without Christianity. This union of politics and religion usually resulted in absolute dictatorships.

During the seventh century, Egyptians adapted Islam so quickly because Byzantine was so oppressive. Then Ottoman Turkey became hopelessly oppressive. After World War I, Mustafa Kemal Ataturk set up the Turkish republic, with strict separation of the state and Islam. He was able to enforce by bringing in his army power to the politics.

Whenever politics and religion get mixed up, people suffer. Thomas Jefferson noted that the road to freedom starts with the separation of state and religion.

Are you interested in politics? I am not, but scientists during the past 100 years developed their own god. Their got is money. These days, it is not possible to do research without government funding. Therefore, the ultimate purpose of writing papers is to generate more government funding. It does not appear possible to separate research from government funding.

If I am allowed to exaggerate my research accomplishment, I will be remembered as a scientist capable of separating science research without money. I make money and I do my research in two separate ways. This guarantees total freedom for both.

You have noticed I talk about the Bible characters in order to talk about myself. This is the way I believe in Jesus. I have my religious freedom.

Jewish tradesmanship

Y.S.Kim (2011.4.9)

In 1776, Americans declared their independence, and Koreans had a new King. This Korean king is known to us as Jung-Jo. This king saw there were things to learn other than those from the books of neo-Confucianism (known to us as Juja Hak or Sungri Hak).

For instance, the king was able to see how oxcarts can be used. They can transport sea catches from the shore area to inland, and they then carry crops from the inland to the sea side. This is the first time for the Korean rulers to recognize the concept of trades.

About four thousand years ago, there were number of tribes roaming around the Middle East picking up things from one area and selling them in other areas. One of those group had a brilliant leader named Abraham, who thought it was too troublesome to travel around. He wanted to settle down his people in the area now called Israel and Palestine. They attempted to grow crops there, but the weather was not so friendly.

They then moved into Egypt where many rich people lived. They developed a method of making money without traveling around. Among those rich Egyptians, they noticed that some of them own too much lands, while some others have too much precious metals. Thus, those Abraham people arranged exchanges between those too-much people. As a consequence, they became much richer than the Egyptians. One day, the Egyptian pharaoh felt that those strangers were taking over his country, and he decided to enslave them all. They were called Hebrew slaves. We know what happened after this.

Yes, even these days, the common prejudice against Jewish people is that they make money without doing hard work. Well, if there is an easy way to make money, wouldn't you choose that way?

Koreans are some years behind in picking up the value of trades. Are we then hopelessly behind? You are invited to read an article I wrote in 1994 about early days of Korea's wireless communication. Click on


I say there that Korea should take a leading role in the wireless world during the twenty first century. I said also that this could happen thanks to our productive scientists. When I said this 1994, seventeen years ago, nobody took me seriously. It was a dream, because Korea was behind in basic research, and the situation is not much better now.

However, there was a variable we were not able to see at that time. It was Koreans' trade skill which transformed the dream to reality. Today's wireless world cannot survive without electronic products made in Korea.

The question then is how Koreans picked up their trade skills so quickly? Was there a cultural background to start with?

My Korean colleagues laugh at me when I say I developed my research program strictly based on our own cultural background. I do not have to explain this again, because I already did many times before. Simply to go to my home page


where I regard the physics as an art of harmony. I choose Einstein, Dirac, Wigner, and Feynman, and try to build a harmony among them. For instance, Dirac has soft spots in his papers, but I make them up by using the works of Wigner and Feynman, and so on. This is the way the early Jewish tradesmen formulated their skills.

Then, did I copy this method from my Jewish friends? No. I did according to my own Korean culture. The final result turned out to be in that way. Then what aspect of Korean cultural background am I talking about? I talked about this many times before.

I assume Korea's tradesmen will have the same story.

Kim Il-Sung talks about Ahn Chang-Ho and Yi Kwang-Su

Y.S.Kim (2011.4.19)

In his late years, North Korea's Kim Il-Sung was worrying about whether he could go to heaven, but communism does not promise the heaven to anyone. He thus had to rely on the method he learned from his mother who was a devoted Christian.

Perhaps he knew also that he harmed many Koreans by acting as an agent of Stalin and Beria. He thus attempted to identify himself as a nationalist. In his writings, he praised many Korean nationalists who are well known to us. In his article about Ahn Chang-Ho, he mentions Yi Kwang-su. His comment on him is consistent with the view shared by many Koreans hold in the South. To make a long story short, I will let you read Kim Il-Sungs articles. Go to my webapge


and click on the appropriate pdf pages. It could take more than 10 seconds to download those pdf files.

Yi Kwang_su was an exceptionally talented person. He is best known for his romance novels. But he offended many Koreans by writing an article called "Minjok Geajoron," and by urging Korean boys to join the Japanese army. Go to the webpage for the story.

The webpage also contains more than 300 photos mostly from Russia and Ukraine. True, I posted them in order to entertain my ego. The point however is that there many things we can share with our Russian neighbors. If Yi Kwang-su studied Tolstoy before writing his novels, he must have sensed something I learned while I was making trips to Russia since 1990. I constructed this webpage also to entertain my Russian friends.

You may also be interested in the pages



Russians come to these pages very often.

Five Books of Moses

Y.S.Kim (2011.4.22)

The Old Testament of the Bible starts with the five books of Moses, namely

  1. The First Book of Moses, called Genesis
  2. The Second Book of Moses, called Exodus
  3. The Third Book of Moses, called Leviticus
  4. The Fourth Book of Moses, called Numbers
  5. The Fifth Book of Moses, called Deuteronomy

For many years, it was believed that Moses wrote all these five books. The last book entitled "Deuteronomy" contains the farewell speeches Moses delivered to the Children of Israel. I do not know the details, but it appears that the Jewish ideology of "Chosen People" can traced to this book.

However, this book contains also a vivid description of the death of Moses. The question then was how could a dead person write about his own death?

For many years, it was a sin to raise this question in the Christian world? Still Korean ministers become angry when I raise this question. They say that the history and faith are separate issues, and I lack the faith. I do not understand why those ministers refuse to discuss history. They should have learned how the Bible was written when they went to their divinity schools. It is my belief that the faith is enhanced by history.

As I said before, they were written and edited by Jewish scholars while in the Babylonian captivity. They were written in the city of Babylon near Baghdad during the sixth century BC.

This gives the answer to my long-standing question of why God did not accept the offering by Adam's first son. He was a farmer. Why was the Bible against farmers to begin with?

During the period of four hundred years after Solomon's death, Israel was run by the kings who had to entertain farmers trying to settle down in the hostile environment. Farmers need rains, many children, and work seven days per week. The kings had to entertain the gods friendly to the farmers. The rain gods and fertility gods were quite different from the one God of Moses. The kings thus punished those prophets who attempted to preach the rules of Moses.

Let us go back to the Five Books of Moses. With these comprehensive writings, Judaism became a constitutional religion. Prophet Ezra was the first preacher according to this constitution.

It is generally said that Judaism is the oldest religion, but Indians disagree. They say their Hinduism was created at least 1000 years before Judaism. I should have studied more about this. Buddha was born also during the sixth century BC, but I do not know when Buddhists started writing down things. I ask these questions to Korean Buddhist monks whenever I meet them (not too often). They are worse than Christian ministers. I am not supposed to ask those questions.

Fortunately, the Public TV programs in the United States seem to have the same set of questions I have, and they often air the history of religions with archeological illustrations. I watch those programs carefully. Here again I have my own standard to make correct judgments.

However, I have not seen any of those programs telling us how Jewish merchants established their trade routes throughout the Mediterranean world, which made Apostle Paul's journeys possible. I have to do some guess work on this issue.

Jewish foreign bases

Y.S.Kim (2011.4.26)

As I said before, I now understand why God did not accept Cain's offering while he was a hardworking farmer. Then, I still do not understand why God did not bless a merchant or tradesman. Thanks to their skills in trades, Jewish people were able to flourish even without the homeland for 1800 years.

I am going to Brazil tomorrow for a conference. I was there in 2000. At that time, perhaps even now, Brazil had many areas not shown in maps. There I saw American businessmen interested in developing farm lands. When Korea was a poor country before 1980, many Koreans immigrated to Brazil for agricultural opportunities. However, they all came to New York City for more comfortable businesses. Koreans are now running New York's entire market for fresh vegetables and fruits. They are using their skills to establish supermarket chains in the United States.

When the Exodus group arrived at their promised land, it was not a comfortable place. To make things worse, there were constant invasions from other tribes and from big powers such as Syria, Babylonia, and Persia. It was quite natural for some of the people there to look for other places to settle. They went to Turkey, Greece, Italy and even to Egypt.

By the first Century AD, there well well-settled Jewish communities throughout the Mediterranean area. This is the reason why Apostle Paul was able to make his journeys.

Paul was regarded as a misfit among the orthodox Jews. How could he get the hospitality from those Jewish compatriots in foreign lands?

On this issue, you will be happy to hear the following story. In New York, there is the North Korean mission to the United Nations, and a number of North Korean diplomats and their families live there. What happens when they become sick and need medical care? They do not have money to go to American doctors. Yes, they go to (south) Korean doctors practicing in New York. Presumably, North Korean authorities know about this, but they pretend not to know.

You can now guess how Apostle Paul was able to travel around so extensively.

Greetings from Brazil

Y.S.Kim (2011.5.6)

I am sending this email from Brazil. I am using my small netbook. It is not easy to type or edit.

I would like to send you position announcements from two Korean institutions. One is from Sung Kyun Kwan University, and the other is from DGIST (Daegu Gyeongbuk Institute of Science & Technology). Those announcements are already on my website. Please go to


On this Korea job page, you will see a photo of two beautiful Korean islands.

In Brazil, I am attending a conference which I created 20 years ago with my Korean colleague named Hsn Dae-Soo. This conference is widely known as the ICSSUR (Intl Conference on Squeezed States and Uncertainty Relations). There were many papers on information theory, entanglements, decoherences, and other topics of current interest. I gave a talk based on my recent webpage:


The next meeting of this series will be held in Germany. I hope to see many of you there.

Hans Stern of Rio de Janeiro

Y.S.Kim (2011.6.5)

If you travelled around the world, you must have seen some expensive jewelry stores at the airports. One of them is the store called H.Stern. Did you know its company headquarters is in Rio de Janeiro?

The world knows Korea produces Samsung and Hyundai. When people mention Brazil, football and samba dances come to their minds. What do they produce? They know Brazil is very rich in natural resources, but can you think any products manufactured in Brazil? The name H.Stern is not widely known yet, but it seems to be the first Brazilian item known to the world. How did this happen?

When Hans Stern came to Brazil from Germany in 1939, he was only 16 years old. He was born in a Jewish family, and his family had to leave Germany then. He saw Brazil was very rich in gem stones, and decided to transform them into expensive jewelry items. It was much easier to say than building a profitable business. First of all, he needed a team of craftsmen who would cut and grind those stones. Secondly, he needed a sales outlet to sell his products.

He was able to manage those human resources because of his Jewish background. As far as their craftsmanship is concerned, Jewish slaves picked up this art in Egypt. As for the sales network, Jewish merchants once dominated Europe's market for precious stones. Their headquarters was in Amsterdam. It was once destroyed by Hitler, but the network was being rapidly reconstructed after the war. Hans Stern did not miss this opportunity.

There are also many rich people in the United States. After the first world war, many Jewish immigrants came to New York from Europe. Initially, they worked as manual laborers for garment industry, but started trading diamond and other precious stones. In New York, the area between 30th and 40th Streets is the Korea town. The area between the 45th and 57th Streets is known as the diamond district, and is a Jewish town. Hans Stern of Brazil was not going to miss this changing environment.

While attending a conference in Brazil, I met many Jewish friends, one of them is in a very prominent position in the world Jewish organization. I asked him whey the Old Testament does not mention any prominent Jewish tradesman or craftsman. His answer was that there is even an interior decorator (new art) in the Bible, and therefore there must be be some merchants and craftsmen. I then asked whether he could name them. He said he will bring his answer next time we meet.

If they were not mentioned in the Old Testament, it is because the class structure in the Jewish society has been the same as that of Korea. Scholars occupy the highest rank in Korea, then farmers, followed by craftsmen and merchants.

The Old Testament was written by Jewish scholars who expressed their own point of view. They mention farmers represented by Cain. I explained in my earlier mails why Cain was portrayed so negatively. It is because the 400-year period between Solomon's death and the Babylonian captivity was dominated by the kings who had to entertain those farmers who had to worship the gods not consistent with the rules of Moses.

Americans say you should start writing papers if you do not have ideas. For many years, I thought Jews and Koreans are fundamentally different simply because of the Cain-Abel story. But after writing many articles about the Jewish background, I became convinced that that Jews and Koreans share the same background. This could be one of the reasons why Christianity flourishes in Korea.

While I was in Brazil, I spent four nights and three full days in Rio de Janeiro. As you know, Rio used to be Richard Feynman's favorite city. I brought photos from there, and constructed a webpage to entertain Feynman's ghost. You can also go to


and get entertained.

Greetings from Shanghai

Y.S.Kim (7.23.2011)

I am sending this mail from Shanghai, and learning many things about China.

I asked a taxi driver the Chinese word for an "ugly American." He said "Mei Golai." I laughed. I know how we call "impossible Chinese" in Korea. I asked how they call stupid Korean. He said "Han Golai," and he said Koreans are stupid when they behave like Americans.

Chinese merchants and service people speak Chinese to me, because I look like them. But I introduce myself both "Mei Golai" and "Han Golai." They then start speaking English`or bring someone who can speak English. Many of them tell me they enjoy Korean movies, and name name Korean actors and actresses.

I am here to attend two engineering-oriented conference. I was invited because I claim that many optical devices speak the language of Einstein. This sounds fascinating to them. I will be talking about the so-called ABCD matrix used for optical beam transfers. This matrix is the simplest representation of the Lorentz group used for Einstein's special relativity.

The remarkable aspect is that it was the Chinese (not American or Korean) engineers to appreciate this point. In this particular case, I have to agree that Chinese engineers are able to look forward. We all think China's major asset is its vast labor power, but they seem to have many`other assets.

These days, many people talk about the energy generation. Korea is one of the nuclear exporting countries, but we have a very humble history in this field. We should be proud of the progress we have made in the past. Go to


for some interesting stories.

Wisdom of Korea (2011, July -- December)

Koran Provisional Governemt in Shanghai

Y.S.Kim (2011.7.31)

Do you know where its site is?

Shanghai is the biggest city in the world. As you guessed, from my point of view, the most important issue about this city is its history.

The city was started as a small fishing village during the Sung dynasty (Song Nara), but this region was the original silk-producing area many centuries before. Its weather is most favorable to silk worms. The Pacific Ocean was the dead end of the world at that time.

The silk products went to the old capital city of Chang-An (now called Xian, western capital), which was also the silk capital of the world. The silk road extended to Turkey, and then to Venice.

This land route became outdated when the Ming Dynasty (1300-1600 AD) started developing an ocean-going navy. The silk products went directly to Venice through the sea routes, and the Western influence started coming to Shanghai.

As you know, there was the first opium war between China and Britain (1940-43). After China's humiliating defeat, the British government built its consulate in Shanghai and a bank building next to it. The name of this bank was and still is "Hong Kong and Shanghai Bank" or HSBC. This bank building was the starting point for Shanghai's financial center.

I was sitting next to a British lady at a conference banquet. She is a professor from Birmingham about 60 years old. Her husband was sitting across the table. I gave my camera to her husband, and told him I wanted to have a photo with a British professor, and he was happy to press the shutter. Then the British professor gave her camera to her husband and said "I like to have a photo with an American professor."

I then asked her whether they visited the buildings which served as the first British consulate and the HSBC bank. She said "Of course. What do you expect from us?"

For Koreans, the first place that comes to our minds is the site of the Korean provisional government. Do you know how to find the place? Here is how.

Like all major cities in the world, there is a "hop on and hop off" sight-seeing bus service. Its brochure contains a city map with the bus route with stop points. The brochure contains photos of two important stop-over points. One is a photo of the Shanghai financial center with its impressive skylines. The other is a photo of a humble-looking building that once served as the Korean provisional government. Even more startling is that this Korean photo was at the top, and the photo of the financial center was at the bottom.

According to this brochure, the Korean provisional government is the most important place to visit in Shanghai. This is true for Koreans, but not necessarily so for others. This could be even hostile to Japanese. There is something wrong from their money-making point of view.

Well, this is their problem. For us, the Korean provisional government is the No. 1 place in Shanghai. We now know how to go there.

Greetings from Hong Kong

Y.S.Kim (2011.8.4)

I am now in Hong Kong after attending two conferences in Shanghai. Since it is a long and expensive trip to China, I decided to spend two more weeks to travel around and learn about China. I will visit Xian and Shenyang. I will then spend four days in Beijing before going back to Washington on August 15.

Xian (western capital) used to be the capital city of China until the end of the Tang Dynasty (900 AD). As you know Koreans imported Chinese culture during the T ang period. I expect to learn some new things there.

Shenyang used to be known as Bong-Chun to Koreans before 1945. It is located in southern Manchu. Japanese used to call this city Manshu Hoten and used it as a military base. They also forced many Koreans to move to this city. Their imperialistic policy was to let Koreans control those impossible Chinese.

The city of Hong Kong consists of the Hong Kong Island and a portion of China's southern peninsula called Kowlong (meaning nine dragons). This area was under British rule for more than 150 years until 1997. British superiorities developed the city in their way and built many high-rise buildings, but they were not able to change Chinese to change to different people.

After the communist took over the country in 1949, the British government the communist regime as the legitimate government immediately to keep Hong Kong from the communist take-over. As you probably know, the United States did not recognize the Beijing government until 1977 five years after Nixon's visit to China in 1972.

Before Deng Shao-Ping's open-door policy, there was Hong Kong was a forbidden region for Chinese people. Since 1990, Hong Kong has been growing at an uncontrollable speed. Since there are not enough lands, the city is growing toward the sky in terms of high-rise buildings. Hong Kong is`now one of the major financial centers of the world, along with New York and London.

This morning I was sitting between two Chinese ladies at breakfast. One was from Canton (south) and the other from Beijing (north). They both use the same Chinese characters, but pronounce differently. As I expected, our Korean pronunciation is almost the same as the the Cantonese way, while it is sufficiently different from the Mandarin (Beijing) way. I asked these two ladies why it is so while Korea is so close to Beijing and so far from Canton. It was indeed puzzling to them.

Do you know why? I addressed this issue after my first visit to China in 1995, but I will repeat. Korea picked up Chinese culture during the Tang Dynasty, but the Tang became corrupt and was invaded by Northern barbarians. When the dynasty collapsed 900 AD, Chang-An (now called Xian) was completely burnt down, and all those civilized Tang people had to fled to the southern provinces. They were pushed down all the way to the Canton area.

In one of his writings, Yi Kwang-su said Chinese from Canton appear to be more civilized because of the Western influence on them. He was only partially correct. They appear more gentle and disciplined because they still carry the tradition of the Tang Dynasty as Koreans do.

Koreans in China

Y.S.Kim (2011.8.21)

I came back from China, and started making a webpage using the photos I took. I was there before, but it was the first time to go there with digital cameras (I carry two, because the first one might break down, and it did).

In the meantime, we can talk about Koreans in China. I did not meet too many of them. I met some at the site of former provisional government in Shanghai. I met researchers from the Korean National Library. We exchanged polite greetings.

I also met some Koreans in Shenyang, known to many of as Bongchun or Manshu Hoten in Japanese. There is a sizable Korean community consiting of three groups of Koreans. The first group consists of those born in Shenyang whose grandparents went there from Korea before 1945.

The second group consists of Koreans from the South. They seem to be doing OK there. These are some Korean beauty shops. I went into one of the shops, and asked them why they are there. They said it is a good business because Chinese women want to look like Korean women. One of the shop ladies said she is there for children's education. She said they should learn how to read and speak Chinese, because China will be the dominant power in the future.

The third group consists of a small number of restaurant operators from Pyongyang (no other provinces from the North). The waitresses were chosen carefully by their authorities. I asked one of them whether she is interested in how the women of the world look. She said Yes, and I gave her my web address. As you know, my webpage contains a story about Kim Il-Sung's personal background.

I talked to another waitress at a different Pyongyang restaurant. I asked her whether she is interested in my webpage. She said she can look at webpages within Joguk (fatherland, North Korea), but she is not allowed to open webpages while in China (outside her Joguk). She said all the waitresses are singers and dancers of age 23-25. They all live in their restaurant buildings.

Their strict restriction on webpages is not likely to work in Chins or anywhere else in the world. There will be many incidents like the one I experiences in Shenyang. Sooner of later, hopefully sooner, the North Korean regime will be another victim of communication. As you know the first victim was the Soviet Union.

There are many Chinese in China. They could not speak English, but the college students seem to be OK. I talked with many of them. Many of them are gong to Korea for vacation. When I asked them whether they are going to Pyongyang, they could not recognize the word. They said they are going to Si-u-ru. They said Korean girls are pretty.

As for the destiny of China, you may go to the concluding section of my China page still under preparation.


Forgotten people

Y.S.Kim (2011.8.3)

Kurosawa Akira (1910-1998) was the most prominent Japanese film director during the past century. He produced 33 movies, and I watched 23 of them. His most famous movie is "Sichinin-no Samurai," known in the Western world as Seven Samurai. I assume many of you have seen this movie.

The story starts with a group of six Samurai worriers. One of them later joins the group. They know this seventh Samurai did not come from their own Samurai class, but they keep him in the group because he is very skilful bringing food for them. But those six original members are not interested in his family background.

This group of seven men settles down at a farm to provide protection of the farmers against the brigands who come down from the mountain to take away crops after harvest.

At one moment, this seventh Samurai curses his colleagues and tell them how smart those farmers are. Then, the chief of the Samurai group asks him whether his father was a farmer. This is one of the most dramatic scenes in the movie.

This scene indeed taught me the following lessons.

  1. The class distinction, in the past or even now, could be so complete and thorough. The seventh Samurai lived with them for many months, but his colleagues did not know and did not care where he came from. The farmers's class was beyong their imagination.
  2. People can find out what your father's job from what you say. For instance, I talk about my uncle often because he is famous, but I seldom talk about my father, but you can see my father's job if you read my articles carefully.

I am not religious, but I have been interested in how the Bible was written. It was written by those who could read and write. They belonged to a special class far removed from farmers and merchants.

I am interested in some merchant stories in the Bible, because the Jewish people were able to survive without country primarily because of their talents in tradesmanship. But the Bible does not talk about Jewish merchants.

However, there is one important person whose father was likely a person who understood money well. I will tell you who he was based on what he said, as in the case of Korosawa's Seven Samurai.

I came back from China two weeks ago after spending 25 days there. China had important dynasties. I knew each dynasty collapsed due to invasions from northern barbarians. I learned a new thing while in China.

The barbarian invasion was always preceded by farmer's rebellions. After establishing a dynasty, the ruling-class people raise their standard of living, resulting in heavier tax burdens on farmers. Throughout the entire history, Chinese rulers completely ignored their farmers.

The first Chinese emperor who knew farmers could be a threat to his throne was Qing Long (Kun-Ryung Je) of the Qing dynasty (Cheong Nara) who ruled China for 65 years during the 18th century. China was a very strong country during his reign.

I have a photo of myself in front of Emperor Qing Long's poem in my China page. Indeed, I now have the first edition of my China page covering from the stone age to Bill Clinton's decision of 1994 to allow trades with China. Go to


Yes, Jewish history is important in understanding ourselves. Is Chines history less important to you?

Father of Jesus

Y.S.Kim (2011.9.12)

Jerusalem was under direct Roman jurisdiction when Jesus was arrested. For what crime was he arrested? There are many theories about it, but the Roman laws were sophisticated enough not to arrest people for saying what they did not want to hear.

Jesus was arrested because he went into the temple and whipped the money handlers and turned their tables. It was like throwing a bomb at the New York stock Exchange. From the Roman point of view, this was a clear act of terrorism.

Then why did Jesus hate those money handlers so much? He clearly saw something wrong with them. Then, how did Jesus know this while others were insensitive about what they were doing. This means that Jesus knew about the money.

For instance, I always talk about what is wrong about the Korean intellectuals, because I know about them. I know about them because I am one of them.

Here is a more convincing evidence to prove Jesus was a money man. I assume many of you know about the parables of three servants from the Gospels of Matthew and Luke (Matt:25:14-30 and Luke:19:2-27). I heard a sermon based on these parables when I was a child. I heard a minister talking on this subject at the Sorae church. At that time, I thought it was a strange story to me.

I heard this story again when I was a graduate student. Princeton is a very dull town, and I used to go to New York often over the weekend. Since I did not have much money, I used to spend Saturday nights at New York's YMCA hotel. On one Sunday morning, I attended a chapel service in the hotel, and a young minister was telling the same story. He was telling those young people to work hard and make money -- Americanism.

Here is my story. My story is slightly different from what is written in the Bible, but it should be more understandable to you.

A rich man thought he made enough money, but he needed a Gamtu. Thus he had to go to the capital city to shop for the Gamtu, leaving behind his property to three servants. He equally divided it and gave equal shares to them.

When he came back, he asked those servants what they did with their shares of the property. The first servant spent all and had nothing left. The second one preserved the property well, neither increased, nor decreased the size of the property. The third one used the given property to multiply it ten times.

The rich man keeps the third servant, and kicks out the first two. This is the story Jesus told the crowd at one point.

Two thousand years ago, there were no schools. People had to learn things from their fathers and grandfathers. From whom did Jesus learn this much knowledge of money? It is most likely from his father.

Jesus spoke Arameic dialect of Hebrew. Thus, his father must have spoken the same language. This dialect heavily influenced by the Persian language. It is thus possible that he was talking about a rich man in Persia in his tale of three servants. Furthermore, his father was a tradesman quite familiar with money matters.

Jesus' father was thoroughly hidden because the authors of the Bible never talked about the Jewish merchants and tradesmen.

I have a strong Christian background, strong enough to place my own photo just below the portrait of Mateo Ricci in my China page:


This does not prevent from me from studying how the Bible was written. There are two most important questions in the Bible. One is how Moses divided the water. The second question is who was Jesus' father. I my earlir articles, Jesus who was crucified at the top of Mount Golgotha is four years older than Jesus born in Bethlehem. They cannot be the same person. Also, in one of earlier articles, the Jesus' tale of three servants came from from Egypt. I was wrong there.

In preparation of this article, I wrote the following paragraphs in my previous mail.

Kurosawa Akira (1910-1998) was the most prominent Japanese film director during the past century. He produced 33 movies, and I watched 23 of them. His most famous movie is "Sichinin-no Samurai," known in the Western world as Seven Samurai. I assume many of you have seen this movie.

The story starts with a group of six Samurai worriers. One of them later joins the group. They know this seventh Samurai did not come from their own Samurai class, but they keep him in the group because he is very skilful bringing food for them. But those six original members are not interested in his family background.

This group of seven men settles down at a farm to provide protection of the farmers against the brigands who come down from the mountain to take away crops after harvest.

At one moment, this seventh Samurai curses his colleagues and tell them how smart those farmers are. Then, the chief of the Samurai group asks him whether his father was a farmer. This is one of the most dramatic scenes in the movie.

This scene indeed taught me the following lessons.

  1. The class distinction, in the past or even now, could be so complete and thorough. The seventh Samurai lived with them for many months, but his colleagues did not know and did not care where he came from. The farmers's class was beyong their imagination.

  2. People can find out what your father's job from what you say. For instance, I talk about my uncle often because he is famous, but I seldom talk about my father, but you can see my father's job if you read my articles carefully.

I wrote these paragraphs in order to talk about Jesus' father.

Jewish community in Shanghai

Y.S.Kim (2011.9.17)

Shanghai has been an international city since 1840. Koreans had their provisional government in Shanghai. How about Jewish provisional government? It was an ideal place for them, but have you heard of Jewish community in Shanghai. According to Chinese, all minorities in China eventually become Chinese. Thus, those Jews who came to China must have become Chinese, according to the dynamics of Chinese history which I included in the final section of my China page:


I met one Jewish lady who lived in Shanghai during the Japanese invasion of China (1937-45). I met her at one of the French restaurants in Montreal, Canada. I think it was 1980.

According to her, there was a Jewish community in Shanghai. Japanese were different from Hitler. However, they took away all the bank accounts and jewelry. Luckily, they never attempted to take their God away. The Jewish people in Shanghai had their freedom to worship. Japanese authorities knew how important their God was to those Jewish people.

Koreans never produced their own God, but they are also very serious about their imported Gods. Go to


to see how important their God was to Koreans during the Mongolian invasion in one of my earlier stories on this subject.

In spite my scientific approach to Jewish history reflected in the Bible, I regard this "God-obeying and God-fearing" ideology as a great asset for Koreans.

After sending out my previous mail on the family background of Jesus, I received the following letter from one of those who read my mails carefully.


Dear Prof. Kim,

Jesus Christ came from Haven to earth to pay the penalty for our sins and to give the eternal life in Heaven for us. If you believe in Jesus Christ, you can not say that Jesus is money man. That's pretty bad thing and Jesus won't be happy to hear that!

I recommend you to go to the church this coming Sunday and ask God to forgive your sins.

I think you understand that all things (material - baryon/non-baryon, law of physics) were created by God. We are just discoverers how things/physicals-laws were made, not an inventor. We can't transform energy to quark to matter, or how Moses dried the Red Sea.

You said you have a strong Christian background. Then, you should know the gist of the Bible.

I hope, you can understand that we (Earthians) are in the test ground to be accepted or not to be accepted to Heaven.


Dongchan Kim

Good Letter!!

Greetings from Munich

Y.S.Kim (2011.9.21)

September is a happy month for all the people. Koreans have their August Moon Holidays in September, and we know why. Germans hold their Oktoberfest in September. Nobody seems to know why. I have been to Munich many times, but this was my first time to be here in September. I walked around the festival ground for five hours without rest (some achievement for an old man like myself). I took many photos, including my photo with a Normandy veteran. We talk about American and British heros at the Normandy landing, but we never talk about Germans who fought there. I met one of them today.

I am going to Minsk this Friday, and then to London before going home on October 1. I will attend a conference in Minsk and spend four days in England. There are many things to learn in that country. My job is to become famous by writing papers, but I have to learn and understand things first.

Indeed, I learned many things about Jewish culture while writing about it and comparing it with our own culture. I started with my assumption that they are basically different, but I now came to the conclusion that they are the same. I will explain why in my future articles.

However, before doing this, I have to understand my own Korean culture first. I still do not understand the following problem for Koreans. This is not the first incident like this, and this will not be the last one.

As most of you know, I maintain an internet program which serves as a bulletin board for most of the physics conferences. This program is known to the world as the "Confmenu," and you are invited to


to see what this program is about. In order to advertise their conference, the organizers send me their requests. For the conferences held in Korea, I seldom receive requests from my Korean colleagues. They usually come from a foreign member of the organizing committee.

I received the following mail yesterday. It is a good conference, I will definitely post it to my Confmenu page. I do not understand this mail did not come from Korea. Do you know why?


To whom it may compete

Dear Sir/Madam,

please find the announcement of our Meeting QFQI2011, which we would like to be posted on your website. Kind regards Mauro Paternostro

QFQI2011 (16-17 November 2011)

The International Meeting on Quantum Foundations and Quantum Information

Seoul National University, (Seoul, Republic of Korea)


The purpose of this meeting is to promote exchanges of ideas and discussions among leading scientists and students working on the foundations of quantum mechanics and quantum information. The program includes open plenary session, invited talks and poster presentations covering a broad range of topics: Foundations of Quantum Mechanics Quantum Computing and Quantum Information Theory Implementations of Quantum Information ProcessingThe meeting is hosted by Center for Macroscopic Quantum Control (Seoul National University), and supported by Quantum Information Group (Hanyang University), Center for Theoretical Physics (Seoul National University), BK21 Frontier Physics Research Division (Seoul National University) and WCU-SNU BEC Group (Seoul National University).

Organizing Committee:
Hyunseok Jeong (Chair, Seoul National University)
Jinhyoung Lee (Hanyang University)
Wonmin Son (Sogang University)
Mauro Paternostro (Queen’s University Belfast)
Myungshik Kim (Imperial College London)
Seung-Woo Lee (Seoul National University)
Jeongho Bang (Seoul National University / Hanyang University)
Yong-il Shin (Seoul National University)

Plenary Speaker: Anton Zeilinger (University of Vienna)

Confirmed Invited Speakers: Kyungwon An (Seoul National University), Marco Bellini (Istituto Nazionale di Ottica Applicata, Firenze, Italy), Radim Filip (Palacky University), Byoung Seung Ham (Inha University), Jaewan Kim (Korea Institute for Advanced Study), Jungsang Kim (Duke University), Sang Wook Kim (Pusan National University), Yoon-ho Kim (Pohang University of Science and Technology (POSTECH)), Mauro Paternostro (Queen’s University Belfast), Timothy C. Ralph (University of Queensland), Vlatko Vedral (University of Oxford / National University of Singapore).

Korean tradesmanship

Y.S.Kim (2011.10.16)

Last month (September 2011), I spent two nights in the traditional German city of Nuremberg (Nuernberg in German), before going to Minsk for a conference. You may be interested in my Minsk page;


I made this webpage because Feynman's ancestry can be traced to Minsk, and David Sarnoff came from there. Who was Sarnoff? He led America's consumer electronics from 1920 (no radio receivers) to 1960 (the age of color TV). He was the Steve Jobs plus Bill Gates for forty years.

In Nuremberg, they had their own celebration of Oktoberfest, and everybody was in a festive mood. While I was walking around a crowded market place, one of those merry Nurembergers said some greeting words to me in Japanese. He was assuming I am a Japanese. Instead of saying "I am not a Japanese," I thumbed down Toyota and thumbed up Mercedes. He then thumbed down Mercedes and thumbed up BMW. BMW factories in his area.

I failed in telling him I am not a Japanese. I then thumbed down Sony and thumbed up Samsung. He then pulled out his cell phone, and agreed. I then asked whether he has a Samsung TV in his house. I said Yes, and thumbed up Samsung. I then asked him where Samsung products are made? He said Japan? Then No. He asked me whether I knew the answer.

This means that Korean tradesmen are far ahead of the rest of other Koreans. Yes, our scientists can add some innovations to American and Japanese inventions, and Korean workers are skilful and diligent. However, without our tradesmanship, we could not have achieved this much.

Many Koreans believe the FTA with the United States would destroy Korean agriculture. I disagree. There will be some adjustments. Koreans will produce less rice, but will produce more fruits to export to North America. There are already a number of Korean supermarkets in major cities of the United States. They are competing among themselves, but their common aim is to provide better fruits and vegetables than American supermarkets. Koreans are skilful in dealing with those farm products.

The Jewish people started as a tribe of travelling merchants. They always wanted and still want fertile farm lands. In the meantime, they grew as the most influential group of people in the world, using their talents in trades. There must be many books dealing with this aspect of Jewish history, but I do not have time to read them. In the meantime, we can trace some aspects of it using our knowledge of the Bible.

Polish wisdom and Korean Christianity

Y.S.Kim (2011.10.23)

Like Korea, Poland has been and still is surrounded by powerful neighbors. Two hundred fifty years ago, Sweden from the north came to Poland and told Polish people what to do and what not to do. After the Swedish occupation, Russia (from east), Prussia (from west) and Austria (from south) divided up the country for 125 years before the end of World War I in 1919. After World War II, Poland was under the Soviet domination until 1990.

Yet, Poland is still a respectable country, and the Polish people are mighty proud of their country. I asked one of my Polish friends how they were able to cope with those foreign invasions and dominations. Her answer was that the best way is to join the oppressors. There are many people who held important positions in the Polish communist party during the Soviet domination. They all became pro-Western capitalists. Here I am talking about Koreans.

At this point, let us review what Japanese authorities did to Korean Christians. In 1937, Japanese started forcing Koreans to worship at their Shinto shrines. Some Koreans Christians accommodated this Japanese rule, but others refused. Dr. Horace Underwood II was the president of CCC (Chosun Christian College), which later became Yonsei University. Underwood's view was that the Shinto worship is a state or political matter, and believing in Jesus is a religious matter. As long as one can separate these two issues, and it is OK to participate in Shinto activities. In this way, CCC or Yonsei continued teaching Korean students.

On the other hand, Soongsil College in Pyongyang took a different view. If you believe in Jesus, you cannot worship anyone else. The Soongsil administration refused to go to the Shinto shrines. As a result, the college was closed down by Japanese authorities.

Soongsil College was set up by American missionaries in 1897, while CCC (Yonsei) was set up in 1915. Yonsei's medical school was set up in 1885 as Jejoong-won, and later became Severance Union Medical College. Thus, Pyongyang's Soongsil was the first liberal art college in Korea. Indeed, Soongsil produced many talented Koreans. You should know who Ahn Ik-Tae was. He was the band master of Soongsil's brass band.

When I was a student in 1954, SNU did not have its brass band. When I ask recent SNU graduates whether their university has the band, they say they do not know. Why is the school band so important? go to


In order to destroy Korean Christianity, Japanese authorities divided Korean Christians into two opposing groups. One pro-Shinto Christians and the other anti-Shinto group. The division was thorough and bitter, but the pro-Shinto faction was the winner. Thanks to those pro-Shinto Christians, Korean Christianity is flourishing these days. However, this is not the end of the story.

Instead of directly suppressing those anti-Shinto Christians, Japanese let those pro-Shinto Koreans to destroy their anti-Shinto Christians. Then how bitter was the division? In 1984, Korean Christians had a big celebration of the 100th year of the Korean Protestant Church. Then, they should have mentioned where and how the first Christian church was set up, but they never mentioned. The reason is very simple. The builders of the very first church belonged to the anti-Shinto group.

Even though those pro-Shinto Christians made a great contribution to strengthening Korean Christianity, they thoroughly destroyed legacy those courageous Koreans who built the first christian church.

Since I was a member of this very first church until 1946, I was expecting those Christians to come to me and ask some questions, but nobody did. Yet, in order to celebrate the centennial year of 1984, I made a leaflet and printed 1,500 copies and sent to various people. I still have some copies left. At that time, internet webpages were beyond our imagination. You can now open


to see the leaflet I made. The photo qualities are poor, and many people urge me to improve the leaflet, but I will keep in that way. When I have time, I would love to construct a webpage dedicated to the Sorae church.

Many Koreans urge me to believe in Jesus. I then ask them whether they know where the first Korean church was built. Most of them say somewhere in the North. Some of them scold me and and say it was built by God, and I am not supposed to ask this kind of question. I also ask them how the Korean-language Bible was written. They say it was written by God. If they blame God for their ignorance, you would agree that they are the worst Christians.

I talked about Polish wisdom and Korean wisdom in this article. How about Jewish wisdom? I will talk about this subject next time.

Unification of Korea from the Jewish point of view

Y.S.Kim (2011.11.7)

When I was a student, Princeton did not have an established Korean community. These days, there are many medical doctors, property dealers, and capitalists. They seem to gather once a month to talk about Korean affairs. They invite Koreans with names to talk about Korean affairs. I did not know about their meetings until last year, when a Korean historian who talked about Rhee Seungman, as the first Korean PhD, and the founding president of Korea. I attended a talk given by a Korean architect about the outstanding features of Korean houses and buildings.

I was not invited to speak there, because they are not interested in physics. However, recently, they became interested in Yi Kwang-su's 1922 article about the five weaknesses of Koreans, and invited me to talk about his article. However, I do not know all the details of what Yi said, except one, because I have been the target of the hatred from my friends who could not catch up with me, throughout my entire life.

I proposed instead that I should talk about the strengths and wisdom of Koreans. The beast way to measure these variable is to compare them with those of the Jewish people. As you know this is may favorite subject these days. I made my powerpoint file in English with many interesting "secret" photos, but I spoke in Korean. I still speak like a high school student because I left Korea right after my high school graduation. I gave a warning and my apology before I spoke.

The question-answer session lasted about 40 minutes. Then one person suddenly asked me whether I know how to unify Korea using Jewish wisdom. I was not prepared to address this question, but I pointed out their Jewish state was divided into two countries "Israel" in the north and "Judea" in the south in 900 BC, but they became unified when Babylonians enslaved them in 600 BC. During this Babylonian captivity, those people strengthened their ideology of being one Jewish people and came up with the first edition of the Old Testament.

I then said the best way for Koreans to achieve their unification is to become enslaved by a big power. Then the question is by China or the United States. I said the big power should be the United States, and the reason is that Koreans in the North respect the United States, and know that their southern brothers and sisters live well because their capital city is Washington.

After giving this brief answer to the Princeton audience, I thought more about this issue. Some people say the hard-line approach by the MB and Bush-Obama administrations pushed North Korea further into China. Many Koreans worry that North Korea might become one of the minority provinces of China, like Tibet.

There seems to be another country deeply worried about this problem. Can you guess? There is the organization called the Korean Economic Institute in Washington supported by the Korean government. It hosts interesting seminars, and I attend some of them. Three weeks ago, the seminar speaker was Professor Georgy Toloraya, whose title is the director of Korean programs, Institute of Economy of Russian Academy of Sciences. He speaks English fluently, and he speaks also Korean. I goes to Pyongyang very often.

He is of course prejudiced to say that Kim Jong-Il is much closer to Moscow than to Beijing, but I learned some new things from him.

First. He showed a photo of the new Russian church in Pyongyang. Apparently North Korean authorities allow some of their citizens to believe in Russian Jesus. Toloraya thinks those Christians are going to become pro-Russian. In my opinion, if North Koreans are allowed to believe in Russian Jesus, they will eventually turn to Korean Jesus.

Second. As the industry in the North develops, there will emerge a middle class, which I would call "red bourgeoisie." According to Toloraya, this process is already taking place. He said those middle-class people will not be interested in unification. By saying this, he was indicating those red bourgeoisie will become pro-Russian.

These two events clearly indicate that there is a Sino-Russian rivalry taking place in the North. While they play their games against each other, they both will lose respects from Koreans there. Koreans will turn toward their own Aret-Jip (South Korea) and Keun-Jip (America). These two Korean words are now common in the North.

This means that the unification will be achieved under the big power named the United States. It is easy to list disadvantages of being subject to a big power, and many Koreans do these days in connection with the FTA. However, there are also advantages. Look at the early Jewish immigrants to the United States. Einstein was the first Jewish resident in Princeton. They did not sell houses to Jews in Princeton before Einstein.

David Sarnoff was the pioneer of American electronics industry. He led the industry from 1915 (no radio sets) to 1960 (age of color TV). He is as important as Henry Ford and Thomas Edison. Why is his name not known? The answer is very simple. He was Jewish. For my webpage dedicated to Sarnoff, go to


Compared with those early Jewish immigrants, Koreans in the U.S. are treated as kings. Yes, I still work hard at my old age. I have to, because I did not get proper recognition for my published papers. Yes, I could have been more fortunate if I were born as an American citizen. But, I am fortunate compared with those Jewish scientists who went through their lives.

Yes, the subjugation to the United States is clearly a submission to (enslavement by) a big power. But the best gift from this humiliation is the opportunity to compete with others. This seems to be the Jewish wisdom, slightly different from the Polish wisdom which I discussed in my previous letter. Koreans seem to possess both Polish and Jewish wisdoms. Great!!

Jewish diaspora

Y.S.Kim (2011.11.22)

The word "diaspora" means "voluntary exile." This usually happens when people do not like their rulers. In Korea's recent history, many Koreans went to Manchu before 1945 because they did not like Japanese rulers. During the period 1945-50, about two million Koreans moved from the North to the South. As you know, I am one of them.

Jewish settlers set up their ideal country under the leadership of King David and King Solomon. After the death of Solomon, their country was constantly invaded by foreign powers, and their rulers were not always able to work for their own people. Babylonians came destroyed the Jewish temple, and enslaved the Jewish people. They were liberated by King Cyrus of Persia, but the Persian influence remained strong.

The Persian empire was destroyed by Alexander the Great of Macedonia (334 BC). Historians say Persia (Iran) was not able to reconstruct itself until today, and we will see how they will manage their country in the future.

Then Romans took over the world. Under the Roman rule, the pro-Roman Herod dynasty completed the reconstruction of the temple of Jerusalem. Jesus was born during this period. The people were not completely happy because the government had to serve the Roman interest.

Then there was the Masada rebellion in 70 AD (Roman Emperor was Vespasian and his son was Titus). The Romans became much more oppressive under Emperor Titus. Many people say that this Masada revolt marks the end of the Jewish state. However, Jews were stil allowed to live in theit area as long as they obeyed Roman rules.

These historical consequences led the Jewish people to leave their homeland to seek a better life in other areas. This is called the Jewish diaspora. You can study this aspect at the Jewish museum in New York, two blocks north of the Guggenheim Museum on the 5th Avenue.

During the reign of Emperor Hadrian (117-138 AD), a Jewish man named Bar Kokhba claimed himself to be the Messiah and led a massive revolt again the Roman rule. At that time, Romans troops were fighting in Mesopotamia and Scotland. Hadrian recalled his troops from the Mesopotamia and military brains from Scotland to suppress the Jewish revolt. He then expelled all Jewish population from their land. The oastal area known today as Gaza Strip was a market place for Jewish slaves. Jews were not allowed to go back to their homeland.

This is how Jews became homeless. Yet, throughout the history, they became strong and the most influential people in the world. What is their secret? This is precisely what Koreans have to study.

Yes, Korea is an independent country with secure national boundary. However, in the North, they have the worst government in the world. In the South, the government lacks a clear vision for the country.

This is the reason why many Koreans choose the United States as their second homeland. Their initial conditions are infinitely better than the early Jewish settlers. There are no reasons why Koreans cannot compete with their Jewish counterparts. Remember Sonja's teaching. In competition, the winners are those who understand and respect their rivals.

Speaking of Emperor Hadrian, he was a creative architure and a brilliand military strategist. He stopped the endless expansion of the Roman territory, and worked hard to improve the quality of life for all Romans. He is regarded as one of the best emperors, inspite of his brutal suppression of Jews. Not many people talk about this aspect. I have many Jewish friends, but they do not seem to have any particlar feeling toward him.

In the city of Rome, there are two prominent structures having to do with Hadrian. One is the Pantheon, which was designed by Hadrian the Architect. The other is the Castel d'Angelo (Castle of the Angel) near Saint Peter's Plaza. This structure was built for Hadrian's mausoleum. You may be interested in my webpage dedicated to the city of Rome and its history. This page also explains how Emperor Constantine ascended to his throne with Christians' backing.


Chinese diaspora

Y.S.Kim (2011.12.5)

About a month ago, I read an article about the Chinese political leaders during the 50-year period between 1900 and 1950. Most of them came from the southern provinces. For instance, Sun Yatzen came from the city of Guangzhou. The first meeting of the Chinese communist party was held in 1921 in Shanghai.

However, their family roots are all in the northern provinces. This article concludes that Chinese become strong when they are guests at strange places.

Compared with the Jewish minority, Chinese in the United States are quiet. But they seem to have very strong political influences. The Chinese government in Beijing was taken over by the communists in 1949, but China's seat at the UN Security Council had been held by Chiang Kai-Sek's Kuomintang government in Taiwan. This tells how strong the Kuomintang lobby was in the United States.

Young Koreans may do not know how American troops came to Korea in 1950 under the flag of the United Nations, while China and Russia had their veto powers. As I said before, the Chinese seat was occupied by the Taiwanese government. Russia was the Soviet Union at that time. The Soviet representative refused to come to the Security meetings because the Chinese seat was occupied by the illegitimate government in Taiwan. Thus, in the absence of the Soviet vote, the United States was able to get the Security Council approval to send troops to Korea.

These days, Chinese are saying they will not become more than shrimps if they stay in China, but they can become as great as dragons if they go abroad. This is the reason why it is so easy for me to have photos with Chinese ladies when I go to China. They like to have photo with a dragon.

Many people, especially Americans, worry about expanding Chinese influence. Yes, China has become an economic giant. But they do not seem to see that China has more than industrial products to export. China has more than enough people to export. If the world eventually become dominated by China, it is not because of their consumer products, but it will be due those Chinese who are determined to become dragons away from their homeland.

How about Koreans? The city of Seoul is the center of everything in Korea, but the most of notable Koreans are those who came to Seoul from other provinces. Rhee Seungman came from Hwanghae Province. We all know where other presidents came from. Sohn Kee-Jung came from a remote country village. His school was so far way from his home that he had to run every morning to his school. This is how he became Korea's first Olympic gold medalist.

When I compare Koreans and Jewish people, many Koreans say I am wasting my time. But they cannot say this if I compare Koreans with Chinese. Koreans have all the potentials to do well in strange places, and many of them are already doing Ok in the world stage.

It appears that those underprivileged Koreans are doing much better in the world. Korean sports people, performing artists, and merchants are not highly respected in Korea, but they are doing OK in the world stage.

Korean academic people belong to the most respected and pampered class in Korea, but they are hopelessly behind. I am not regarded as a member of the Korean scientific community because I an not following diligently what American scientists are doing. Doing an independent (or creative) research is still beyond the scope of Korean scientists. How can you become ahead if you only follow others?

In either case, I am in a position to talk about diaspora. I spent first eleven years of my life in Korea's farmland. I did well after coming to Seoul in 1946. This was my first diaspora. My second diaspora was coming to the United States in 1954.

My life in the U.S. has not always been easy, but I achieved the privilege of doing what I like at a rather early stage, and I am still doing what I like best: learning new things and creating new ideas. It is sometimes fun to produce wrong ideas. The more I learn about the world, the more I need to know about my Korean background. This is what the diaspora is all about. Chinese diaspora, Jewish diaspora, and Korean diaspora. They are the same.