The Liancort Rocks are a group of small islands between South Korea and Japan. Both nations claim ownership of the islands. A group of Korean activists plan to erect a statue of Robot Taekwon V, a giant mecha that appeared in the 1976 movie of the same name (which was heavily derivative of the 1972 Japanese animated series Mazinger Z). Why? Because Robot Taekwon V has become a popular symbol of Korean nationalist sentiment. Korea Times reports:
The 13-meter-high installment is intended as a statement toward Japan, which continues to argue that it has historical claim over Korea’s easternmost territory.
It can be said that the nationalist activists picked an awkward cultural icon for the job. The creators of Taekwon V have openly admitted that their character, first seen in a 1976 movie, borrowed heavily from Japanese robot animation of those times, particularly ''Mazinger Z.’’
The Taekwon V sculpture will be revealed in a Liberation Day ceremony on Aug. 15, a holiday that marks Korea’s independence from Japan at the end of World War II. It will be moved the next day to a museum on the adjacent Ulleung Island, where it will be permanently displayed.