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韓国サイト Q&A No.7

従軍慰安婦

Q.What happened to military sex slaves after the war ended?


A.The World War II ended as the then Japanese emperor Hirohito announced on August 15,1945 that Japan would accept the Potsdam Declaration without any condition. The military sex slaves were able finally to end their long sufferings. After the war ended and Japanese troops rushed to withdraw, the military sex slaves were abandoned and then became prisoners of the Allies or returned home on their own.

I.Prisoners of the Allies
Soran Kim was in the Philippines when the Allies attacked the Japanese unit and caused the Japanese troops to scatter. She ran into the mountain and then later went to the beach to become a prisoner of the Allies and returned to Korea. Her records at a prisoners’camp is archived at the National Archives and Records Administration in the US.

II.Abandoned and returned
Gunja Kim did not know that the Japanese colonial rule ended until a man told her she could go wherever she wanted. She walked for 15 days along with 7 other people across borders and returned to Korea. When the Japanese colonial rule ended, Doori Park’ friends and her brothel’ owner scattered. Left with no other option, she got on a boat with a Korean man and returned to Busan. Kumju Hwang came back to Korea on foot by herself after Japanese soldiers disappeared all of sudden leaving sex slaves behind. The journey took her 5 months from August until December.

III.Staying behind
Oksun Lee did not know the Japanese colonial rule ended until her brothel’ operator ran away. She did not have much choice but to live with Korean in Longjing, China until when she finally came home and met her family in 1996 with the help of a Korean college professor. She is currently staying at the House of Sharing. Ilchool Kang ran away from Japanese unit and lived in a cave until the colonial rule ended. She married a Korean who was living in China. When he died in the Korean War, she remarried a Chinese man and wanted to return to Korea. Still, she couldn't come back to Korea because the country got divided. So, she went back to China and then came back to Korea in the 90s. She’ now staying at the House of Sharing. Soran Kim ran into the mountain when the Japanese troops scattered away after the attack of the Allies in the Philippines. Later she went to the beach where she was captured as a prisoner by the Allies and she was returned home. Namyi Lee in Cambodia and Subok Roh in Thailand could not make it to Korea after the Japanese colonial rule ended and they remained where they were.

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