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Folding screen exhibited as symbol to regain trust between Korea and Japan

Folding screen exhibited as symbol to regain trust between Korea and Japan

Posted June. 23, 2015 07:22,   


A rare folding screen was exhibited at the event hall in Westin Chosun Hotel where the reception for the 50th anniversary of the normalization of Korea-Japan ties was being held on Monday. The Japanese Embassy in Korea says that the folding screen is a souvenir that was placed at the ceremonial hall 50 years ago when two countries signed a treaty of relations.

An embassy official said, "We were looking for something meaningful ahead of the 50h anniversary event, and discovered that the folding screen was being stored at the embassy. We decided to exhibit it for the reception," adding, "The Korean Embassy in Japan also has the same folding screen stored there." Lyrics of the Joseon Dynasty poet Jeong Cheol`s well-known poem "Seongsanbyeolgok" are written on the folding screen, which was used in the signing event for the Korea-Japan Treaty at the Japanese prime minister`s official residence in Tokyo on June 22, 1965. Regarded as a symbol for the promotion of friendly ties between the two countries, the Korean Embassy in Japan and the Japanese Embassy in Korea split it into half and shared it equally. The word "Lee Hu-rak" is written on the back of the folding screen, but it is unclear when it was shared between the two countries. The only assumption is that then presidential secretary Lee Hu-rak, on behalf of President Park Chung-hee, delivered it to Japan.

The folding screen also had a negative connotation, however. In 1975 when negative incidents occurred between Korea and Japan including an assassination attempt by Moon Se-gwang, Korean media rushed to report that then Korean Ambassador to Japan Kim Young-sun pointed at the folding screen placed in his office said, "Isn`t this folding screen an ominous object."