Dokdo island (internationally known as the Liancourt rocks) is a small island group situated in the East Sea between Korea and Japan. Ask any Korean, who Dokdo island belongs to and they will tell you that it’s their land or in Korean, “독도는 우리땅”, (Dokdo-neun uri-ddang).

If you ask a Japanese about Dokdo, you’ll likely get a different answer. First, a Japanese probably wouldn’t even know what you’re talking about if you say Dokdo. In Japanese, the island is instead called Takeshima and the Japanese will claim that it belongs to Japan.

Who has the right to Dokdo has long been a cause for dispute between Korea and Japan. Japan is the only country who denies that Dokdo is Korean territory, something that’s widely recognized by other countries.

Consequently, the Korean sovereignty over Dokdo is frequently highlighted by the Korean government. Visitors to Korea riding the airport train from Incheon to central Seoul, will be watching videos asserting that Dokdo is Korean territory and that the Japanese should stop contesting Korean sovereignty over the island.

Here’s a video about Dokdo published by the Korean Ministry of Foreign Affairs:

“Dokdo is our land” is even the title of a famous Korean song that all Koreans know. The song is so famous in fact that it even made it into Oscar winning movie Parasite. The movie portrays the poor Kim family slowly infiltrating the filthy rich Park family, with the Kim sister pretending to be a well-educated Korean-American to get the job as an art tutor to the Park children. Before interviewing, she reminds herself of her fake identity to the tune of “Dokdo is our land”. With an upbeat tune, the song is frequently used by Koreans when they have to memorize something.

I’ll link the original song with lyrics in English and Korean here:

And here’s the scene from Parasite where they use “Dokdo is our land” to memorize the sister’s fake identity as Jessica from Chicago:

2 Comments »

  1. Thanks for sharing about that! I just got back from Korea a couple weeks ago and thought the Dokdo video on the train was hilarious, but I didn’t know there was a song or that it was used in Parasite!

    Liked by 1 person

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