Wednesday, February 13, 2013

South Korea Might not give Stolen Buddhas back to Japan

The two controversial statues
Two Buddhist statues stolen from Japanese temples in Tsushima, Nagasaki Prefecture, and found in South Korea might not be returned. The government is first intending to investigate how the statues came into Japan’s possession in the first place. The statues were recovered on January 29 and the South Korean police said they were detaining a member of a theft ring. Local clergy believe that the statues are of Korean origin.
The “Kanzeon Bosatsu Zazo” which belongs to the Kannonji Temple was designated a cultural property by the Nagasaki Prefectural Government. A document dated 1330 (Goryeo Dynasty) was discovered inside the statue and included the name of a temple in Korea. The other statue is called “Dozo Nyorai Ryuzo”and was stolen from the Kaijin Shrine also in Tsushima. [...] The Chosun Ilbo newspaper published the contradicting opinions of academics on this matter. One said the statues may have been plundered by the “wako” or medieval Japanese pirates. Another said that the statues were probably part of the bilateral trade between the two countries at that time, meaning it could have been sold or donated to Japan.
Ida Torres, 'Stolen Buddha statues found in South Korea may not be returned', Japan Daily Press, February 13, 2013

1 comment:

  1. No matter how the statue has came in Japan, no one can rationalize the crime. Korea should have claimed Japan to return the statue if they say it has been stolen. Now the Korean is officially blamed for the theft.