Tuesday, January 18, 2011

The Comfort Women

During my last trip to Seoul, my sister and I visited a comfort women protest.  The comfort women are women who were forced into prostitution by the Japanese government during their occupation of Korea.  They were mostly teenagers who suffered immense tragedy.  It was their job to "comfort" the Japanese troops as they saw fit.  Few of these women are still alive.  The ones that are continue to demand an apology from the Japanese government.

Sadly, the Japanese government won't even acknowledge the events that transpired so long ago.  The comfort women have come together to protest Japan every Wednesday at noon.  They sit in front of the Japanese embassy chanting, holding signs, and are usually joined by many others.  They have been doing this protest every Wednesday since 1992.  Rain or shine, the group gathers.  Though the day we went it was freezing and none of the Halmonis (Korean eldery women) were present.  A large group had still gathered and set up photos of the women and protested on their behalf. 

 The group that gathered (it was probably 15 degrees with the wind that day)

 The Japanese Embassy

 Pictures of some of the comfort women.

A supporter who continued to yell across the street at the embassy gates.

I don't understand why Japan won't apologize.  I know this group isn't going to give up anytime soon. 
For more information on the women, go to http://www.houseofsharing.org/.  

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for sharing your memories of the protest scenes. You have become a witness to the pain/suffering of the "comfort women." You can also read some novels about "comfort women" such as Keller's Comfort Woman and Changrae Lewe's A Gesture Life. Glad to google comfort women and find your posting here.