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  • Writer's pictureAlexander Han

Reality of Korean Comfort Women - PART 4 : Comfort girl statue

4. Comfort girl statue

The comfort girl statue in front of the Embassy of Japan in Seoul was installed by the Korean Council in 2011, and then, copies of the statue have spread all over Korea including in front of the Consulate-General of Japan in Busan and are now located all over the world, including the United States, Australia, and Germany. Park Yu-ha referred to “existing documents showing the average age of comfort women was 25 years old.” “These statues represent only comfort girls who are thought to have been only a few rather than adult comfort women who were the vast majority,” she said. Furthermore, Park pointed out, “The existence of Korean comfort girls was not the result of Japanese military’s intention, but rather the result of the intention of kidnappers who ‘forcibly took them away’ or the collaborators in the same village who provided the information about them. Those people excluded them from the education system and drove them out of their community that was supposed to protect them.”

Professor Park explained, “The image of ‘girls’ is an unconscious product which was effective to grow and keep the sense of victimization in Korea.” And she added, “A comfort girl statue is perceived as if it represents as entire comfort women, and the image of ‘comfort girls’ is strengthening every day.” “A comfort girl statue is the most ideal figure as which Koreans want to identify themselves. It conceals the fact that Korean comfort women were mobilized for the nation and took care of the army to win the war with the army. It represents neither the sacrificial spirit nor the victim of patriarchy. It reminds no one other than Japanese who ‘forcefully took women away.’” “The statue does not represent ‘Korean comfort women’ who replaced ‘Japanese’ being forced to wear Japanese clothes and given Japanese names.” “The statue is an aggregation of 60 years after liberation in which embarrassing memories are forgotten and denounced, and driven away from ‘us,’” she pointed out the problems of the statues.

“The statue’s gaze at the Embassy of Japan does not contain any memories of the ‘comrades’ with Japanese soldiers and feelings of the ‘same destiny’ with the soldiers, nor any grudge against private recruiters and parents who are the same people. As long as the movement is a left-wing fight against imperialism, it has no choice but to keep fighting forever,” the author lamented.

Park added, “They build monuments of comfort women in the U.S. because they expect the U.S. to play a role as a judge of the world. However, it is nothing but irony to build monuments in the U.S. which has military bases both in Korea and Japan and keeps producing new comfort women even now.”

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