Prep. Korea.

Spring and the Kepler Moon

Monday gratefuls: Gatorade. Dulcolax. Miralax. Gas-X. Colonoscopy prep. Tara, taking me. My son and his wife’s wedding anniversary. Seven years. Probate. Jon, a memory. Kate, always Kate. Kep. Doug. A freshly painted interior. A good experience. A freshly cleaned out interior. Not such a good experience. Brother Mark in Saudi. An old Saudi hand. Mary in Eau Claire, teaching. A Mountain early morning.

Sparks of Joy and Awe: Korea


The newest wrinkle in colonoscopy prep. Split prep. You drink half of the 2 quarts of Gatorade and Miralax starting at 5 pm the day before. Then, six hours before the procedure get up and drink the other half. That meant I started hitting the Gatorade again at 4 am. This morning. A treat.

Ritualistic. Coming to the temple of medicine purified, washed out. Following orders. Preparing yourself for an inner journey. A journey of exploration and discovery.

Not terrible. Not much fun either. Every ten years seems like about the right amount of time to wait. This should be my last one.


Finished Undertow and began Why Liberalism Failed by Patrick Deneen. A thoughtful exercise in political theory and history. Obama praised it. A  good read for anyone interested in the deeper roots of today’s political malaise.


Not sure I would have paid much attention to Korea had there not been a personal connection. Now I see articles about Korea and read them. K-Pop. K-drama. The first one I read about, the second one I watch.

Korean history intertwines with Japan, as its occupier and invader off and on over the last 500 years. The occupation of Korea by Japan from 1910 to 1945 ended with the finish of WWII. My daughter-law’s father was born during the occupation.

Since the Japanese engaged Koreans in forced labor, including sex work as comfort women, and took land from its Korean owners, there has been a long standing resentment toward the Japanese in Korea. That seems to be changing now.

A key driver in the change is the emergence of China as a regional powerhouse and global leader. Korea, like many Asian nations, saw China as the epitome of civilization, adopting the Chinese writing system and Confucian values. Now Korea finds itself a small country in the shadow of an increasingly aggressive China.

Taiwan stands out as a possible flashpoint in the Far East. The U.S. has worked hard at relationships with Asian countries like the Philippines, Japan, Korea, Australia, and, ironically, Vietnam. This means Korea finds itself embedded in a struggle between great powers. Who are its allies? The U.S. Yes. But Japan as well.

There is also a good deal of tourism from Korea to Japan. My daughter-in-law’s father raised her to differentiate between the Japanese government and the Japanese people. Korea and Japan have vibrant economies and democratic governance.

What does the future hold for Japan/Korea relations? It seems to me that current geopolitical realities predict closer ties between the two. As the soft diplomacy of tourism and popular entertainment work on the two nations, perhaps a new relationship between them will emerge.