Korean ultra-nationalist protests against “Japanese” Valentine’s Day
At a protest held on February 12th in front of the Japanese embassy in Seoul, Korean ultra-nationalists threw chocolate bars at photos of Prime Ministers Shinzo Abe and Ito Hirobumi.
It turns out that February 14th is the anniversary of the 1910 Japanese court decision to sentence An Jung-geun(Ahn Jung-geun) to death. An Jung-geun assassinated Ito Hirobumi in 1909, an accomplishment that made him a national hero in postwar Korea.
Because he killed one of modern Japan’s founding fathers, An Jung-geun is often considered a “terrorist” in Japan. An’s image is often paraded around when Koreans want to display their anti-Japanese nationalism. For example, at a 2013 soccer match between Japan and Korea, Korean fans unveiled a gigantic An banner to taunt the Japanese (Korea lost the match anyway).
South Korean ultra-nationalists see Valentine’s Day as a holiday that was imported from Japan, and they want it replaced with a national day of remembrance for their country’s most famous assassin.