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  • Writer's pictureSu Lee

Powerful Visual Sources Capturing Comfort Women's Plight

It is hard to grasp the atrocities silenced young girls from nearly a century ago had to face. However, if you dig hard enough, there are lots of incredible sources about the Comfort Women that provide a vivid and comprehensive depiction of their survival and pain. Here are a few, ranging from short youtube clips to full-production movies, that will help you come one step closer to understanding the arduous journey of the Comfort Women.

1. Grass [Graphic Novel]

A graphic biography by Keum Suk Gendry-Kim of surviving Comfort Woman Lee Ok Sun. Kim uses grass as a metaphor for the resilient women whose youth were trampled upon, but continue to spring up again and again, and continue to fight against historical denialism.

2. My Name is KIM Bok Dong [Movie on Netflix]

Kim Bok Dong was born in Yangsan in Gyeongsangnamdo on May 1, 1926. When she was 14, she was taken and told she would work in a factory. Instead, she endured years of sexual slavery in Guangdong Province, China. According to Kim, “On weekdays, I had to take 15 soldiers a day… on Saturdays and Sundays, it was more than 50.”

She came back home when she was 22. Like the other Comfort Women, Kim was ashamed of her experience and kept her story a secret until finally 50 years later, in 1992, she stepped forward and demanded an official apology from the Japanese government. She quickly became a prominent and beloved activist who fought for victims of sexual violence all over the world. She passed away in January 2019, at the age of 92. This movie documents her incredible and courageous life.

3. “Herstory” [Full Animation]

Animation about the Comfort Women, produced with actual voices of the victims.

4. Spirits’ Homecoming [movie]

Directed by Cho Jung-rae and financed through donations from Korean citizens, Spirits’ Homecoming is about a 14 year old girl and the other girls she meets in a Comfort Station, who were brutalized and killed.


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