“Today in Korean History”: I just got this mail alert from Yonhap News — the official news outlet of the Republic of Korea — one of those “on this day in Korean history” things.
Apparently, the official historical record of the country holds that, on this day in 2001, April 22, to be exact, I was the first non-Korean ever to be appointed Abbot or Zen Master of a temple in Korea’s 1700-year Buddhist history. I had completely forgotten about this strange little accidental factoid, probably because it had never made any sort of impression on the mind. Really? The Korean government’s official “this-day-in-history” cares about that?
By the way, just so that one doesn’t get too puffed up about this: On the same day, in 1884, it reports, the Joseon Dynasty (1392-1910) established the first post office in Korean history. Also sharing these significances (and coming much closer to the scale my related “event” occupies in the history books: On on this day in 1983 — “Dooly the Little Dinosaur,” a popular South Korean cartoon created by Kim Soo-jung, makes its debut.)