Joseph Stalin - of all people - once said:
"The death of one man is a tragedy. The death of millions is a
How do you deal with this statistic?
During WWII, the Japanese military
forced between 50,000 and 200,000 women into sexual slavery -
the women would serve up to 40 men a day.
You can't. It's too big. If - on the other hand
- you visit the House of Sharing in South
Korea and listen to Yi Ok Seon Halmoni's
testimony, then you will understand what a tragedy it was.
Yi Ok Seon Halmoni (halmoni is a
respectful term for grandmother) is my hero. She is brave,
compassionate and strong. She fights to get the Japanese
government to admit to its wrongs and apologize. She gives
talk after talk to both Koreans and foreigners about her story
and the plight of former "comfort woman*". She
speaks with passion despite her fragile heart and aging body.
On every Wednesday since 1992 - health
permitting - Yi Ok Seon Halmoni has attended the
in front of the Japanese embassy demanding an apology from the
The most positive experience I have had
here in Korea is my involvement with the House of Sharing and Yi
Ok Seon Halmoni in particular.
Among other things I:
- Led tours for
foreigners 1-2 times a month over the period of a year.
- Helped organise a
outside the Japanese embassy.
- Helped Angela
arrange the screening of 63 Years On
- a documentary about "comfort women".
Some people are kind enough to call me an
activist. But everything that I do pales in comparison to
the efforts of Yi Ok Seon Halmoni. Just look at
this photo to see what a superstar she