Tension Mounts With Korea Over ‘Stolen’ Buddha Court Ruling

The  Buddhas stolen from the Kannon-ji temple in Tsushima city. The Kannon Buddha is on the right.

The Buddhas stolen from the Kannon-ji temple in Tsushima city. The Kannon Buddha is on the right.

One of the most controversial articles this week has been the Korean district court ruling that a statue of the Bodhisattva Kannon (or Guanyin) which was stolen from the Kannon-ji temple in Tsushima city, Nagasaki by a Korean man, was not to be returned to Japan until it could be proved that the statue had not been stolen from Korea in the first place.

The statue is around 50cm high, and markings within it suggest that it is from the Korean Koryo dynasty. While it is unlikely that there has ever been any doubt over the fact that the statue itself is of Korean origin, precisely how a Japanese temple came to acquire the statue is now being questioned. While it is possible that the statue was a gift or at least acquired by innocent means, which should be made clear by further court proceedings, given the current climate of tension between Japan and Korea, Japanese netizens were outraged by the Daejeon district court’s provisional ruling.

From Yahoo! Japan:

Buddha Stolen from Tsushima ‘Cannot Be Returned’: Provisional Ruling by District Court Causes Diplomatic Friction with Korea.

Yonhap News reports that regarding a statue of a Buddha stolen from a temple in Tsushima City, Nagasaki Prefecture, on February 26, Daejeon district court in Korea gave a provisional ruling stating that until the temple can prove that the statue was acquired honestly, the Korean government should not return it to the Japanese. Opposition from the Japanese side who are requesting the return of the statue is inevitable, and there is the possibility that it might develop into diplomatic friction.

The Buddha in question is a statue of ‘Kannon Observing the Cries of the World’ which is owned by Kannon-ji temple and is a designated cultural treasure of Nagasaki Prefecture, which is thought to have originated in the Korean peninsula. It was stolen together with other statues, and in January, a Korean man was arrested by the Korean police over the thefts.

Following the arrest, a citizen group insisted that the Buddha was made at Pusok-sa temple in South Chungcheong Province, and they filed an action requesting its return to the temple.

The ruling stated ‘Until Kannon-ji can confirm during a trial that the Buddha was acquired by honest means, the Korean government must entrust the statue to an officer mandated by Pusok-sa temple.’ A district court spokesperson said, ‘This does not mean that the statue will absolutely not be returned. A review as to whether the judgement is valid under international law is also necessary’

Comments from Yahoo! Japan:

[email protected] f(dka…)さん:

Sever diplomatic relations. Let them fuck off

fuf*s*ouny*(fuf…)さん:

If Korea will return neither Takeshima nor the Buddha, then let Japan send all the zainichi home and cut off relations with Korea. Korea is the enemy of Japan.

浪花の虎(gif…)さん:

Isn’t it about time we cut off diplomatic relations with them?

どんちゃん(don…)さん:

Are you fucking kidding me…the statue was taken by a thief!

KNIGHT RIDER(ctu…)さん:

Takeshima is Japanese sovereign territory.

ぶっちゃけ(cfo…)さん:

To think that if it’s anti-Japan then even theft is permissible. Since there is now a concern that these crimes will increase rapidly, don’t let Koreans into Japan!

jiukom(kaw…)さん:

Korea has no right to call itself a law-abiding nation.

tak*tak**69(tak…)さん:

And there it is. This is how the Korean judiciary conducts itself. We can’t associate ourselves with this country and its people. Hurry and sever relations.

東武武蔵野線(tob…)さん:

‘Daejeon District Court, Korea, rules that Tsushima stolen Buddha ‘can’t be returned’. Motherfucking weak-minded thieving parasite nation!! Give us back Takeshima, which is Japanese territory and part of Shimachou in the Oki Islands, Shimane Prefecture.

KNIGHT RIDER(ctu…)さん:

Thieves!!

大魔神我(god…)さん:

Even if there was a boycott of goods that everyone agrees with, they won’t return the things they’ve stolen from Japan. Just as we thought, a theiving country to its very core.

s14**(s14…)さん:

Nicking, thieving, sex crime…These are their national skills other than Taekwondo.

違反報告すんじゃねーよ(tak…)さん:

Friendship with such a thieving people? Is the LDP shit too?

メーテル(lor…)さん:

It seems that people in Tsushima knew early on about the incident where a Korean had stolen the Buddha. It seems they’re confused by what to do with Koreans even now because it might have an effect with interchange with Korea and the tourist trade.

vvv**onm*n(vvv…)さん:

Thief nation Korea. How can they do this as though there is nothing wrong with it? It would never happen in Japan.

jts*q*95(jts…)さん:

It really is a country of thieves.

トリコロール(sgu…)さん:

So setting fire to Yasukuni was a political crime, and theft is anti-Japan therefore not guilty. It’s no longer a law-abiding country…Koreans are pathetic.

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