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What's Wrong with the War Memorial Museum

 
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Draven



Joined: 03 Feb 2003

PostPosted: Mon Jun 23, 2003 5:54 pm    Post subject: What's Wrong with the War Memorial Museum Reply with quote

First off, let me say that the War Memorial Museum in Seoul is the best museum I have ever visited. It's huge, well designed (mostly), and not overly jinogistic.
What's wrong with it, however, is the "Virtual Reality War Room" on the second floor. As we entered the museum, I saw signs advertising this new exhibit and I'll admit my curiosity was piqued.
The 'reality' is that it's nothing but a half-assed orakshil with 4 expensive, lame games designed by Posdata.
Expensive, because a single play costs 2,000 won. Lame, because the tank, fighter jet, and helicopter games are all essentially the same game.
Yes, I can see how shooting alien creatures on a big screen with an authentic gun has its place in this otherwise amazing facility Rolling Eyes .
The museum is huge and has much to see; give the arcade a miss and spend your time on the real exhibits.
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The Lemon



Joined: 11 Jan 2003

PostPosted: Mon Jun 23, 2003 6:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I agree with your assessment of the poor (and tasteless) choice of putting a video arcade in a war memorial museum. The message of that memorial should be, "never again", not "oh what fun war is".

I do disagree with your appraisal that the museum is not "overly jinogistic". Maybe we'll part ways on the "overly" part, but I lost a lot of respect for the curators after seeing this description of the defeat of the Japanese in 1945:

By the way, the "Righteous Armies" they're referring to are not the Americans and other allies, but Korean irregulars trained in Manchuria. This is explained on another panel.

So they're claiming they beat the Japanese in 1945. Unless they happened to send a clandestine team of Koreans to help out Oppenheimer at Los Alamos, they have absolutely no historical right to make this claim. They're lying to make themselves feel better, just like they claim Japanese history textbook authors do.
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the_beaver



Joined: 15 Jan 2003

PostPosted: Mon Jun 23, 2003 6:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's a good museum, but it is overly jingoistic.
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kimcheeking
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 23, 2003 6:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's one of my favorite places to go in Seoul. I have taken friends, visiting from overseas, about 5 times. Having said that I agree with the above posters.
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Draven



Joined: 03 Feb 2003

PostPosted: Mon Jun 23, 2003 6:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Lemon wrote:

I do disagree with your appraisal that the museum is not "overly jinogistic". Maybe we'll part ways on the "overly" part, but I lost a lot of respect for the curators after seeing this description of the defeat of the Japanese in 1945:


Ya know, as I was writing that, I knew I hadn't captured it correctly, my bad. What I meant was that it's not as jingoistic as I have come to expect from Korea, if that makes any sense. The jingoism is more subtle there, than say, at Independence Hall.
The museum does great exhibits outlining the efforts and contributions of all the countries that were involved in the Korean War, with particular emphasis (deserved) on American involvement. A good memorial to those countries who came to Korea's aid.
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Cthulhu



Joined: 02 Feb 2003

PostPosted: Mon Jun 23, 2003 6:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yep, when a friend visited a few years back and saw the message from the photo Lemon posted we couldn't believe it. I still remember it clearly (but glad to see it again--good job Lemon) and the hubris floored me. That said, I do agree that it is a great museum inside and out, and generally does a good job explaining things (the English translations are generally pretty good). I took my father to it last year, and he enjoyed it immensely (he was a career officer so he had an interest in military history).

However, it does have a jingoistic side to it. And I also remember the video games Draven mentioned--stupid, stupid stupid.
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bucheon bum



Joined: 16 Jan 2003
Location: DC area

PostPosted: Tue Jun 24, 2003 5:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I thought the Korean war exhibit was the highlight. As everyone else pointed out, the Japanese occupation exhibit was a bit on the unrealistic side Smile . While it was interesting to read and see Korea's experience in the Vietnam War, there were a couple things that made my eyes roll. If I remember correctly, there was a passage or two saying how the Koreans were key players in preventing North Vietnam from taking over the south up until the ROk army left in 1972.

Overall though, it is a pretty good museum.
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matko



Joined: 16 Jan 2003
Location: in a world of hurt!

PostPosted: Tue Jun 24, 2003 6:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Walking in and out of the helicopters and tanks gives the layperson a feel for the cramped quarters and what it must have been like to a certain extent.

I found the whole place breathtaking.

When did they introduce the video game thing? Shocked

I can't believe that.
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eamo



Joined: 08 Mar 2003
Location: Shepherd's Bush, 1964.

PostPosted: Tue Jun 24, 2003 6:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I too thought it was a great museam. Marred only by the omni-present reminders that, "It's not the sea of Japan, it's the west sea". I didn't think a public museam was the place to hammer on about a political gripe.

The 'virtual reality' video game arcade was confusing but I guess they thought, 'lets do something for the kids'.

Over-all a great day out and very entertaining.
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The Lemon



Joined: 11 Jan 2003

PostPosted: Tue Jun 24, 2003 6:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Added to the inappropriate innovations of the War Museum is the WEDDING HALL ( Exclamation ) on the premises. I attended a wedding there last year, and it had all the drivel of every other wedding hall in the country - bubble machines, fog, noxious Cinderella decor, idiot employee in the suit playing that foul "Congratulations" song... and all the relatives deeply engaged in cell-phone conversations *during the vows*.

The museum should be a sacred place. Not that. Maybe a divorce court would be more appropriate for a war museum..
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