Data Room

What Choi never said

"Mr. taekwondo" Choi Hong Hi spoke.(4)




Key passage:
Ohyama Masutatsu(Mas Oyama) was a professional karate fighter in Choi's own generation. Though he was also born in Korean Peninsula, he was naturalized in Japan. He was dedicated to develop Karatedo as Japanese, unlike Choi.

Ohyama differed in his view on Japanese from Choi. Choi inherited Korean traditional dislike and disdain for Japanese from his family. Meanwhile, Ohyama expressed his gratitude for Japanese who helped him.

Choi engineered a plot to make use of him for taekwondo, but his attempt ended in failure.

Ohyama could not sympathize with Choi.

大山倍達は、チェと同世代の空手家です。やはり朝鮮半島出身ですが、チェとは対照的に、日本に帰化し日本人として空手道の振興に 力を尽くしました。

チェとの違いは、日本人観にありました。 家庭環境から、伝統的な日本人への嫌悪、蔑視を引き継いだチェに対し、大山は自分をサポートしてくれた 日本人への感謝の気持ちを口にしました。


At the end of Choi's interview, Ohyama Masutatsu(Mas Oyama) appears. Ohyama learned Karate from Funagoshi Gichin like Choi. He also continues to involve in martial arts, but his life contrasts sharply with Choi.

According to this interview, Choi was forced to enter the Japanese army, and then he Joined the predecessor of Korean army. He changed Karatedo and named taekwondo. He insisted that he "created" taekwondo, and tried to spread it as Korean own culture.

On the contrary, Ohyama hoped to enter Japanese army. (Before his joining Japanese army, the war ended.) After the War, he established a new Karate school, Kyokushin-kai and contributed to promote Karatedo.

Choi and Ohyama are very different in their views on Japanese. It's not an exaggeration to say that their each view divided their lives.

Before Ohyama was naturalized in Japan, he said this;
"..with the help of Prime Minister Sato, I archived the success I have today. The Prime Minister has encouraged me to become a Japanese citizen." This is Ohyama's appreciative words to Japanese.

Do you realize that Choi have never thanked to any Japanese? This is very long interview, but we could never hear Choi's thanks to Japanese. Although taekwondo originated from Karate. Although taekwondo had never born without Karate.

He didn't express a little appreciation even for Master Funagoshi after all.

First of all, the name of taekwondo was devised for escaping the impression of Japanese culture. "Naming problem" had almost foiled Choi's attempt.

This shows how strong his anti-Japan sentiment, but anti-Japan education was not provided during his school days (under Japanese rule). Perhaps his anti-Japan sentiment must have been passed from his father. His traditional stubborn Petit Sinocentrism, which justifies their disdain and discrimination against Japanese, formed at home.

Such sentiment is not felt from Ohyama who had been living in Japan from his early days. Choi believed Ohyama had same national sentiment as him, but Ohyama could not share such sentiment with Choi. Ohyama must think he could not understand Choi.

"As a simpleminded man, I don't think that I can survive in this kind of environment." And then he left Korea.

And a political bent in martial arts world in Korea made Ohyama feel more discomfort.

In this way, Ohyama decided to become a naturalized Japanese. Perhaps, his decision was right.

Ohyama's Kyokushin-kai has retained the largest force in Karate world till today. His achievements are valued highly in Japan. On the contrary, Choi's name was deleted in taekwondo's history by South Korea. And there was a tragedy in the end of Choi's life by North Korea. I will write it later.
このインタビューの最後に、大山倍達が登場します。 大山倍達はチェと同様、 船越義珍に空手を習い、その後もチェと同様に武道にかかわり続けますが、その歩みは全く対照的でした。

このインタビューによれば、チェは無理やり日本軍に入れられ、その後韓国軍の前身に入隊します。彼は空手を変えてテコンドーとし、 自分はこれを「創造した」と主張、韓国独自の文化として広めようとします。

一方大山は、日本の軍人になることを希望していました。(入隊前に終戦を迎えた。)戦後は空手の一流派、国際空手道連盟極真会を設立し、 日本の空手の振興に貢献しました。

二人は日本人についての意見をまったく異にしていました。 二人の歩みを分けたものは、日本人に対する考え方と言って いいでしょう。 大山は、帰化するにあたって、こんなことを言っています。 「自分は佐藤首相の援助で今日の成功を達成できた。 佐藤首相に帰化を勧められている。」 日本人に対する感謝の言葉でした。

チェがいかなる日本人に対しても感謝していないことに気がついたでしょうか? この長いインタビューの中で、チェはそれを一度も口にしませんでした。 空手からテコンドーが生まれた。空手なくしてテコンドーは生まれなかった。にもかかわらず船越先生に対してさえ、 チェは感謝の言葉はありませんでした。

そもそも「テコンドー」なる名称が出てきた理由は、日本文化という印象を避けるためでした。それが頓挫しかけたのが 「名称問題」だったのです。

これこそチェの反日感情の根の深さを示しており、反日教育をしていない日本統治時代にあっても、おそらく反日的な父から受け継いだ、 伝統的で強固な小中華思想(=日本への軽蔑、差別を正当化する思想)から由来するものでしょう。

こうした匂いは、早くから日本で生活していた大山からは感じることができません。チェは大山にも同じような民族感情があるものと 考えますが、大山はそうではありませんでした。大山はチェの言動に「とてもついていけない」と思ったにちがいありません。

チェの招きで大山は韓国へ来ますが、韓国を去る前、大山はこんなことを言っています。 「私は単純な男なので、このような環境では生きていけないだろう。」


こうして大山は日本人であることを選びました。 多分それは正解だったのです。

大山の極真会は、今日まで空手界では最大勢力となっており、日本では彼の功績は高く評価されています。一方、チェの名前は韓国によりテコンドー史より消され、またの機会に 書こうと思いますが、北朝鮮によりチェの人生の最後には悲劇が待っていました。
--- quote from "Tae Kwon-Do Times January,2000" ---

General, when did you introduce Taekwon-Do to Japan? What is the significance of the introduction of Taekwon-Do in Japan?
General Choi; One of the biggest reasons why I created Taekwon-Do was to distinguish it from Japanese Karate. I wanted to show the superiority of Taekwon-Do over Karate in techniques and philosophy. Since 1960, I had dreamed of opening a Taekwon-Do school in Tokyo, but I had to wait patiently for twenty years.

In 1981, I was invited to perform a Taekwon-Do demonstration at Korean Unification Conference in Tokyo. Masters Park, Jung Tae, Kim, Suk Joon and Jong, Young Suk gave a brilliant demonstration of Taekwon-Do. Later, one of the spectators, Mr. Jun, Jin Shik approached me to urge the building of a Taekwon-Do school in Tokyo. He was a prominent Korean business man in Japan and offered to handle all of the finances. In September of 1982 we opened a school in Tokyo.

I am very thankful to Mr. Jun who passed away a few years ago. With his help, thousands of Japanese are learning Taekwon-Do every day. When I see Japanese students bow to the Korean Flag and to Korean instructors, my mind travels back to the days of the Japanese occupation of Korea. I pay tribute to those who were sacrificed trying to regain the independence of Korea.
You and Mas Oyama once worked together trying to develop Taekwon-Do, but this partnership was not successful. .
General Choi; In 1966, returning from a visit to the United States, I stopped in Tokyo. A friend of mine told me that Mas Oyama was in the process of becoming a Japanese citizen. As you know, Mas Oyama was born in Korea. He left his home at an early age and spent most of his life in Japan as a Korean National. I decided to see him to try to stop him from becoming a Japanese citizen. First, I praised his achievements in Karate and then told of the life of his brother in Korea. I told him that Korea needed men like him and that he should come back to Korea. We should work together to promote Taekwon-Do. And that if he did so, his name would be known Korean history. Master Oyama told me he understood what I had told him and then he went home, promising to see me tomorrow.

The next morning, I heard from Mr. Lee, Sung Woo, a good friend of Master Oyama, Master Oyama had visited Mr. Lee after we had talked the previous evening. And he told Mr. Lee, "I was born in Korea, but came to Japan at an early age. And with the help of Prime Minister Sato, I archived the success I have today. The Prime Minister has encouraged me to become a Japanese citizen."

After speaking with Mr. Lee, I thought that Master Oyama was wavering about his decision to become a Japanese citizen. So, I invited Master Oyama to Korea. We visited Seoul and the DMZ. I arranged for a Taekwon-Do demonstration for him. Later we went to his hometown where he was reunited with his brothers and relatives. I also arranged for him to be interviewed on KBS TV.

Before returning to Japan, he told me at the Kimpo Airport. "As a simpleminded man, I don't think that I can survive in this kind of environment." And then he left Korea.

Even though we went our separate ways, we vowed to become blood brothers I am the elder brother and Mas Oyama is my younger brother.
Why do you think Taekwon-Do spread so quickly throughout the world?
General Choi; First of all, I gave credit to the transportation revolution. Since 1959, I have traveled thousands and thousands of miles to give demonstrations, conduct seminars and championships. Without the jet airplane, it would have been impossible to travel the world.

Second, I also give credit to the printing and electronic industries. Million of Taekwon-Do instructors and students have learned Taekwon-Do from my books, videos and CD-ROM.
A third reason is that Taekwon-Do contains far superior techniques of a quality above other martial arts. The philosophy is based on my own personal experiences and Asian wisdom. The techniques are based on scientific movement. Finally, I give credit to all of the Taekwon-Do instructors teaching all over the world.
--「テコンドータイムス2000年1月号」より引用(要約) --
チェがテコンドーを「創始」したもっとも大きな理由は、日本の空手との違いを出すためであり、彼はテコンドーが空手よりも 技術も精神も優れていることを示したかったのだ。1960年より、テコンドー道場を東京に開きたいと考えていた。しかし20年間忍耐強く 待たなければならなかった。

1981年、東京での韓国統一会議でテコンドーのデモンストレーションをするために招かれた。Park, Jung Tae師とKim, Suk Joon師 と Jong, Young Suk師がテコンドーの際立ったデモンストレーションを行った。その後観客のひとり、Jun, Jin Shik氏がチェに近づいてきて 東京にテコンドー道場を開くための建物を持つことを勧めた。彼は日本での韓国人の卓越したビジネスマンで、 資金すべてを担当しようと言った。1982年の9月に東京の道場ができた。

数年前になくなったジュン氏のおかげで数千人の日本人が毎日テコンドーを習っている。日本人の練習生が韓国国旗と 韓国人インストラクターにお辞儀をするのを見ると、日本統治下(原文では日本占領下という表現)の韓国を思い出す。 韓国の独立回復のために犠牲となった人々に感謝したい。

1966年、チェは合衆国訪問から戻るとき、東京に立ち寄った。知り合いが大山倍達が日本に帰化しようとしていると言った。 大山は朝鮮生まれであり、彼は若いころに故郷を後にし、人生のほとんどを韓国籍のまま日本で送っていた。 チェは大山の帰化を阻止しようと決心し、まず、彼が空手で上げた業績を称賛し、彼の韓国の兄弟の生活について話した。 韓国は大山のような人間を必要としており、帰国すべきだと言った。チェは大山に、ともにテコンドーを振興させようと誘い、そうすれば大山の名前は韓国史に刻まれるだろうと言った。マスター大山はチェの言ったことを理解し、翌日再会を約束して帰宅した。 次の朝、マスター大山は親友Lee, Sung Wooをたずね、帰化するかどうか迷っていると言ったという。「私は韓国に生まれたが、 早くから日本に来た。佐藤総理大臣に助けられて今日の成功を得た。総理大臣に帰化するようすすめられた。」

Lee氏と話をしたあと、マスター大山は帰化するかどうか迷っているのだとチェは思った。そこでチェは彼を韓国に招くことにした。 チェと大山はソウルとDMZを訪れ、チェは彼のためにテコンドーのデモンストレーションを行った。 後に彼は故郷を訪れ、兄弟、親戚に再会した。またKBSでのインタビューもお膳立てをした。



その哲学はチェ自身の経験とアジアの知恵に基づき、その技法は科学的な動きに基づいている。 最後に世界中で教えているテコンドーのインストラクターに感謝する。



--- 引用終わり ---


Do you think that unifying the International Taekwon-Do Federation and the World Taekwondo Federation would help unify North and South Korea?
General Choi; Yes, North Korea is a member of the International Taekwon-Do Federation and South Korea is a member of the World Taekwondo Federation. The unification of Taekwon-Do would motivate various groups, including politicians, to work for the unification of Korea. Taekwon-Do instructors in Korea do not have the same freedom of voice that the overseas instructors do. So, overseas Taekwon-Do instructors should play a bigger role and serve as a bridge between South and North Korea.

In order to open the door between the two sides, overseas instructors should visit and attend seminars, demonstrations and championships of both federations. Frequent contact between instructors of the two groups would eliminate mistrust. Creating this type of environment would be a very important step for the unification of Korea.
When you return to Korea, what would you like to do First?
General Choi; The first thing that I would do is visit the tomb of my mother and pay respect to her. Throughout my life, I owed he much, but I could not see her last day in this world because I was in Malaysia.

Secondly, I would like to visit some of my old friends. We would reminisce about the good old days when we were in the Army. And finally, I would like to visit my Taekwon-Do students to see how they are living today.
General, I know that you are in perfect health. I was amazed to see you teach for six hours each day of the seminar. But when you leave this world, where would you like to be buried?
General Choi; Yes, I am over 80 years old, but I have super health now. But who knows what will happen tomorrow? I do not want to be buried in North Korea, even though I was born there, I also do not think I can be buried in South Korea, even though I spent most of my youth there. The alternative left to me is to be buried in Canada, my third home country.
Thank you sir for telling me of your life's work in Taekwon-Do.
General Choi; You are welcome.
----- Unquote -----

Creator : Akihabara Naoki