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Wednesday, May 12, 2004

Rice scoop chin

I guess very few in Korea are surprised about the reports (Chosun Ilbo, Yonhap via Hankyoreh) that Yi Sun-ja (Lee Soon-ja), the wife of the former coup d'etat president Chun Doo-hwan would have been taking care of Chun's secret funds. Chun has been maintaining that he is virtually penniless; last year he reported that his financial assets were a whopping 290 000 won [€200]
Now both Yi Sun-ja and her brother Yi Ch'ang-sôk (Lee Chang-seok or something) have been summoned to be questioned about managing Chun's money.
My impression is that Chun has been the least liked of all ROK presidents, but even he couldn't match his wife in unpopularity. (Some of that may have been the popular stereotype of seeing the woman/wife/mother as the prime culprit and conspirator behind the cover of the man.)
Mark Clifford has a good account of all that in his Troubled Tiger.

But I was going to talk about rice scoop (chugôk) shaped chins, which was Lee Soon-ja's trademark. In the Korean manner of associating bodily features with person's character, a person with a protruding chin is said to have a strong will. Lee Soon-ja must have contributed to this perception. That seems to be a family feature, as the person to the right in the pictures below is the above-mentioned younger brother of Chun's wife now to be summoned. In the photograph to the left, Lee Soon-ja and Chun Doo-hwan in the better old days.
이창석, 전두환의 처남
Among the present-day dignitaries, the princess Victoria of Sweden has a fine example of a 주걱턱.

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