My wife Kim's oldest brother is here. He is a wonderful guy. If you don't believe it just ask my West Highland White Terrier (Booger Butt) who is now all kinds of depressed-looking, now that he has just left for a few days to see an old friend in San Diego. U Jin flew into SF on Wednesday with his Elder Sister. We have them here so that's why my blogging pretty much stopped. They have my heart. Rightly so. Kim's brother is a great guy and a tough one as well. He loves to laugh and is the hardest working man I ever saw, next to my Dad, and my Father in law. U Jin grew up in post-war South Korea with nothing. It was hard times in that country...first ripped up by the Japanese in WWII, then by North Korea and China a few years later. Koreans are no strangers to hard times. They are no quitters either. They are warriors. I love sharing this story I only learned about my brother (in law only) U Jin, some 4 years ago. U Jin grew up near Osan, which was a big city in South Korea, back around 1958. He was all of age 13 in 1958 when he went to visit his Aunt's house in Suwon. Like in America, teams and schools had their rivalries. Suwon and Osan were like Texas VS Oklahoma. Lord only knows for how long. I guess it's still that way out there. Osan was more citified, or so the youngsters of Suwon claimed. It seemed that way to me when I first saw it in the 70's. The teens of Suwon considered themselves rough (which they were) and looked at themselves as country boys. Proud of it. They knew KIM U Jin's cousins and knew he was coming from the city of Osan to visit. The boys of Suwon were going to beat up my brother in law because of that rivalry. That was their justification. It was reason enough. Thuggery belongs to no one culture. KIM, U Jin was from the city. He was a city boy. They would beat him for it. There were 5 of them. Bigger. Older. They were proud of their toughness as country boys. They wanted to prove this. To them, city boys were pussies needing to be beaten. KIM, U Jin was and is... a mild person. He likes to laugh, but not at others. He is handsome and assertive, yet not cocky. That pretty well describes him. I guess he's always been that way. My wife says so. Where was I?
5 against 1... FIVE against ONE! They called out to him as he was in front of his Aunt's house playing with his cousins, "Hey! KIM, U JIN! You are a city boy! We will beat your ass to a pulp if you do not run home to Osan City right now"! U Jin said, "I am here visiting my family. I will return when our visit is finished". U Jin made no threat. He gave no insult. But he stood his ground. Two of the biggest attacked him. They fell to his punches and kicks. The other boys never attacked. When U Jin would go back to visit his Aunt in Suwon, the country boys would say "There is KIM U Jin. He is a city boy from Osan. Don't anger him".
My 13 year old son plays the asian game of "Go" with his Uncle U Jin. My son loves and respects him. So do I.