After coming across an Internet article stating that an old British map of Korea with Korea and the Sea of Korea printed on it was a fake because of the use of K in the name of Korea and the Sea of Korea, I decided to investigate the case to see if there was any basis for it. Right away I found some articles by Barbara Demick (LA Times), and Wikinfo stating that some Korean people believed that the original C in the word Corea was switched to a K by the Japanese at the start of their 1910-1945 occupation of Korea, so that Japan would appear first alphabetically. They quoted some Korean scholars and politicians that used circumstantial evidence to make their point. The Korean scholars based their claims on 1908 Olympics in London and an alleged 1912 memoir by a Japanese colonial official. uses an 1851 map of East Asia by Englishman John Tallis and alleges that only the English speaking nations accept K for Korea.


Not believing in any of it, simply because I knew that Japan wanted to assimilate Korea completely to the point where Koreans were supposed to become Japanese citizens, I continued on with my investigation. I found out immediately that Corea or Korea did not take part in 1908 Olympics. Why? Because as any Korean would know, according to the 1905 Eulsa Protectorate Treaty (signed by some Koreans at gunpoint), Japan was representing Korea internationally since 1905. Also, the 1851 map shows Corea and the Sea of Japan printed on it. Now, why would any Korean promote C Corea and the Sea of Japan at the same time? Is it a clever ploy, I thought, to hand over the Sea of Japan and Dokdo to the Japanese? Finally, the Netherlands, Germany, Finland, Sweden, Norway, Indonesia and some other countries use KOREA and not Corea in their languages. French use Coree with two es.

These discoveries led me to believe that it is some kind of conspiracy or cover up on the part of the scholars and mass media. So I made up my mind to dig even deeper into the real history.

Instead of relying on circumstantial evidence, I based my research on many official and public documents of that time to see what really happened. What I found is truly amazing!


First, let us take a look at some of the official Korean stamps from 1884 to 1903.


Ex. 1) Corean Post 10 Moon stamp from 1884. Designed by Japanese, Saito Chuzo and printed in Tokyo, Japan. It clearly shows C Corean Post.

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Note: Introduction of this Japanese made stamp in late November of 1884 in Korea led to the “post office massacre” and rioting by the Koreans and Chinese against Japanese influence in Korea. Hong Yong Sik, the Prime Minister of Korea, who was in charge of ordering the stamps from Japan, was also murdered.



Ex. 2) KOREA 5 poon stamp from 1895. Designed by Andrew B. Graham Co., and printed in Washington DC, USA. Clearly shows the use of the correct English K.

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 Ex. 3) Imperial Korean Post 20 Chon stamp from 1900. Designed by Han, Chi-chang and printed in Seoul, Korea. Clearly shows continuation of K usage in the word Korean.

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Ex. 4) Imperial Korean Post 2 Chon stamp from 1901. Designed by Han, Chi-chang and printed in Seoul, Korea. Clearly shows K in the word Korean.

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Ex. 5) Postes Imperiales De Coree 2 Ree stamp from 1903. Designed by V.E. Clemencet and printed in Paris, France. The name Coree is the French version of the English Korea and could be used to mislead people not aware of the difference between English and French. It was the last of the Korean stamps to be issued by the Imperial Korean Government. From 1905 Japanese stamps are used to represent Korea on the international stage.

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Ex. 6) Postcard issued by the Imperial Korean Post. Also shows K.

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Ex. 7) Imperial Korean Foreign Office also issued Imperial Korean passports that clearly used K and not C. The enlarged fragment of the passport shows three Ks in the words Korean and Korea.

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All this solid evidence proves that the Korean Government of that time used K and not C as some scholars suggest. As a matter of fact, one can deduct from all of this that the Korean Government wanted nothing to do with the Japanese C, probably to show its independence from the Japanese influence






Now lets see what the Japanese Government did during their occupation of Korea.

The following evidence shows that they used both Corea and Chosen during the early years of the occupation. Chosen is the Japanese version of the Korean Chosun, which basically was used as a name for their new Japanese province. In 1930s they dropped both Corea and Chosen and forced the Korean people to use only Japanese language in schools, in public and at home. They wanted to completely colonize Korea and assimilate Korean people into their culture.


Ex. 1911 The Bank of Chosen 5 Korean yen banknote. Japanese changed the names of The Bank of Korea to that of The Bank of Chosen and of the Korean Won to the Japanese Yen. By the way, Chosen is ahead of Japan in the English alphabetical order.

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Ex. 9) 1944 Japanese made 10 and 100 Korean yen banknotes. No English and probably no or little Korean on it. Japanese was by then the sole language used in the Japanese province of Chosen.

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Ex. 10) ca 1913 Japanese postcard showing Corean girl and a stamp with Fusan, Corea on it. Fusan is the Japanese version of the Korean Busan or Pusan. Click on the Ex. 10) page in the top left box to see it better (sideways though) .

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Ex. 11) Japanese Consul stamp from Gensan, Corea. It also shows that this Japanese by the name of Shorge Kozuka considered himself to be a Corean Consul.

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Ex. 12) ca 1923 Japanese postcard showing Kinsen, Corea. Kinsen is the Japanese version of Korean Incheon.

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To top it all off is the next example of the true Japanese intentions towards Korean people. It bluntly indicates that Japanese never had any intentions for the Koreans to be represented anywhere by the names Corea, Chosen or Korea. They simply wanted Korea to be one of their provinces.

Ex. 13) 1978 medal commemorating the victory of Sohn Kee-chung in the marathon race at the Berlin Olympics in 1936. Sohn Kee-chung was an ethnic Korean who participated in the Berlin Olympics as a Japanese citizen. Kitei Son is the Japanese name of Sohn Kee-chung. After 1932, all Koreans were forced to change their names.

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I think this medal shows the true intentions of the Japanese invasion and occupation of Korea. Koreans werent supposed to take part in any Olympics or other international events despite what some scholars might think. They wanted Korea to be one of their provinces and the Korean people to be Japanese citizens.


The official name of the 2002 Korea Japan World Cup makes it very obvious that Japanese dont really care about the English alphabetical order.



1)     Korean Government (1895-1905) consistently used the K spelling of Korea to resist Japanese influence in Korea.

2)     Japanese Government right from the start used C Corea (1884) to influence the spelling of Korea in English.

3)     After the 1905 Eulsa Protectorate Treaty, Japanese consistently forced Corea or Chosen on Korean people.

4)     Scholars should base their claims on rock solid and easily available evidence and not dubious circumstantial evidence.

5)     Purposely misleading the Korean public and the world that Japan had any intentions on allowing Corea or Chosen (ahead of Japan) or Korea (after Japan) to appear internationally in any alphabetical order is truly a serious crime. It was supposed to be forever not C or K, but J as in Japan. The scholars behind this anti-Korean conspiracy are guilty of treason and should be considered Japanese spies.

6)     Japan wanted Korea to be a Japanese province and not an independent nation.

7) K probably was a symbol of Korean independence from the Japanese influence.



Note: 1) C or K English page (top left) tells you more about this issue with respect to the proper English

         2) Conspiracy page (again top left) explains why the Japanese want this "C" so bad.

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