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  Arts & Living
"63 Years On"
"Comfort Women" Tell of Their Horrible Story in Documentary Screening
Film Screening Planned on April 11 at Jogyesa Temple
By Joseph Joh
Staff Writer
Ms. Park Young-Shim (center) poses with her comfort woman friends in North Korean region during the Pacific War. A man with the rifle appears to be Japanese soldier. She has recently been interviewed by director, Han Won-Sang, for a documentary film.

The House of Sharing — International Outreach Team will be screening a free documentary at a cultural of the Jogyesa Buddhist Temple in Insa-dong downtown Seoul on April 11 (Sunday), 2010.

The film entitled simply "63 Years On" tells the story of comfort women who were victims of sexual slavery in Korea during the time of Japanese colonization in the first half of the 20th Century.

In this film, award-winning Korean director Kim Dong-Won presents the harrowing experiences of five international survivors of Japanese Military Sexual Slavery. The very personal telling of their experiences is matched with excellent research and archival footage to create a powerfully honest, determined, and often heartbreaking documentary. While this gripping film may evoke great sadness and anger, the bravery displayed will truly inspire all who see it.

The House of Sharing International Outreach Team works to raise awareness of the issue of Japanese military sexual slavery and to support the Halmoni in their on-going struggle for historical reconciliation and justice.

The team is composed of both foreign and local volunteers who lead visits at the House of Sharing in English, and work to highlight the continuing crimes against humanity in the form of sexual violence during war, experienced to this day by women and children across the world.

This screening provides a window to an episode of Asian and International history which has been willfully ignored by so many for more than 63 years. You are invited to join the House of Sharing and show your support to the survivors who continue the fight for justice.

The film is in multiple languages with both Korean and English subtitles. It will be followed by a discussion, with a guest speaker to help chair the debate and answer any questions related to the subject of "63 Years On" and it's production, comfort women and victims of sexual abuse during times of occupation and warfare.

This sad and deeply insightful historic documentary screening into the nations past, will start at 3 p.m. and finish approximately around 5 p.m. The running time of the film is 63 minutes followed by a talk.

Comfort Women

Comfort women is a euphemism for women working in military brothels, especially those women who were forced into prostitution as a form of sexual slavery by the Japanese military during World War II.

Around 200,000 are typically estimated to have been involved, with estimates as low as 20,000 from some Japanese scholars and estimates of up to 40,000 from some Chinese scholars, but the disagreement about exact numbers is still being researched and debated. Historians and researchers have stated that the majority were from Korea, China, Japan and Philippines, but women from Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia, Taiwan, Indonesia, and other Japanese-occupied territories were also used in "comfort stations". Stations were located in Japan, China, the Philippines, Indonesia, then Malaya, Thailand, then Burma, then New Guinea, Hong Kong, Macau, and what was then French Indochina.

Young women from countries under Japanese Imperial control were reportedly abducted from their homes. In some cases, women were also recruited with offers to work in the military. It has been documented that the Japanese military itself recruited women by force. However Japanese historian Ikuhiko Hata stated that there was no organized forced recruitment of comfort women by the Japanese government or military.

The number and nature of comfort women servicing the Japanese military during World War II is still being actively debated, and the matter is still highly political in both Japan and the rest of the Far East Asia.

Many military brothels were run by private agents and supervised by the Japanese Army. Some Japanese historians, using the testimony of ex-comfort women, have argued that the Imperial Japanese Army and Navy were either directly or indirectly involved in coercing, deceiving, luring, and sometimes kidnapping young women throughout Japan's Asian colonies and occupied territories.

How to get there:

Jogyesa Buddhist Memorial and History Hall. Jogyesa Temple is located in Jongno, on the street behind Insa-dong. You can walk there in a short time from Jonggak Station, or it's also accessible from Anguk Station. The theatre is in the new museum building behind the main temple structure

For details or inquiries contact:

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