Michigan latest to install comfort woman statue

August 18, 2014
A comfort woman statue was unveiled in Southfield, Mich. on Aug. 16.

A comfort woman statue was unveiled in Southfield, Mich. on Aug. 16.

The growing number of comfort woman statues cropping up in American cities saw a new addition Saturday in Southfield, Michigan.

The Southfield dedication, located in front of the Korean American Cultural Center there, is a replica seen both in Glendale, Calif., and in front of the Japanese embassy in Seoul.

Hidden beneath a yellow cloth, the statue was unveiled after a recital of the Pledge of Allegiance and a description of the project by Kim Woon-sung, the statue’s sculptor.

Lee Byung-joon, president of the Michigan Korean American Women’s Association, played a pivotal role in raising funds for the statue.

“We wanted to provide consolation for comfort women who received sorrow even from their parents and siblings,” Lee said. “I hope us second-generation Korean Americans continue to let this unavoidable history be known.”

About 150 attended the ceremony, among them Southfield City Councilman Sidney Lantz, Korean War veterans, representatives from Korean American associations in nearby Detroit and Ann Arbor and Southfield residents.

Planning for the Southfield statue started in 2011. Fundraising and finding a location took two and a half years. Initially, the statue was to be installed in a public library in the city before protests arose from Denso Corporation, a Japanese auto parts manufacturer in the area, and the Japanese Conulate General, which said it would encourage division in the area.

11 Comments

  1. konohazuku001

    August 19, 2014 at 4:40 AM

    Based on these following facts,there was no Korean comfort-woman unwillingly kidnapped by Japanese army or officials.
    1.No one knows the names of the villages or towns where the comfort-women were actually kidnapped.
    2.So far as the comfort-women kidnapping issue is concerned, there is no obvious record which had been written before 1990s.
    3.It is quite strange that so many as 200,000 victims had kept silence from 1945 to the 1990s.
    4.A large amount of money were paid to the Comfort-women in reward for their jobs. Back in those days,it was not a rare case that poor parents necessarily sold their daughters to get money.
    5.There have been no witnesses who can testify the kidnapping incidents. If there had been many comfort-women who were kidnapped, there must have been many witnesses. But nobody saw the incident.
    6.There was no real testimony by the kidnappers. It was already proved that Seiji Yoshida’s testimony was absolutely false statements. At that time in Korea, most of policemen and officials were Koreans, not Japanese.
    7.There was no protest opposing to the kidnapped comfort-women.If there had been kidnapped comfort-women as real events, riots must have been raised.
    8.In Korea, from time immemorial to now ,there always have been many prostitutes. In the period of the World WarII,it is quite natural that there must have been prostitution markets there.
    9.Most of Korean comfort-women say “I was sold.” or “I was deceived.” A small number of women say “I was kidnapped.” The credibility of their testimonies are in question. The contentions are rather suspect evidences.
    10.Although The Japan-Korea Basic Relations Treaty was concluded in 1965, South Korea currently lodges various reasons in order to draw out as much money as possible from Japan.
    However,at the time of the conclusion of the treaty, they never argued about the comfort-women issue at all.

  2. yosi mas

    August 20, 2014 at 9:11 PM

    http://iamkoream.com/comfort-women-for-u-s-military-sue-south-korean-government/
    COMFORT WOMEN FOR U.S. MILITARY SUE SOUTH KOREAN GOVERNMENT.

    Remember ‘Yanggongju’!
    America forces were holding the Koreans sex slave of 500,000 people!
    America apologized to South Korea!

  3. every statue thanks the allied soldiers

    August 23, 2014 at 4:30 PM

    After the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, with the Japanese invasion of New Guinea looming just over the horizon, the Australian government moved to evacuate white women and children from the territory. However, they made no similar moves to evacuate the Chinese population there. In early 1942, in response to the pleas of community members, this stance softened slightly, and 300 Chinese were flown to Australia; however, the majority of Chinese women were refused permission to leave.[11][14] Left behind to face occupation by the Imperial Japanese Army, Chinese women became victims of atrocities at a far higher rate than indigenous women. According to community leader Chin Hoi Meen, “Chinese girls had to be supplied to [the Japanese] on demand”; under threat of beatings, death, or imprisonment in a soldiers’ brothel as comfort women, Chinese women were also forced to enter into relationships and cohabit with Japanese officers.[15] Chinese men were interned in concentration camps to perform hard labour.[16] A total of 86 local Chinese residents died during the war, 37 of those having been killed by the Japanese.[15] Among the dead was the head of the PNG branch of the Kuomintang, the main political party of the Republic of China at the time; he was executed by Japanese troops as a warning to the community.[16]

    In addition to their crimes against local Chinese people, the Japanese sent about 1,600 Republic of China Army prisoners-of-war to Rabaul as slave labourers; many died and were buried there.[17][18] Some soldiers of Taiwan origin came as auxiliaries with the Japanese army as well.

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  10. Moguro Fukuz

    December 17, 2016 at 9:43 PM

    South Korea should change its name to Comfort Women Republic of Korea.

    False Accusations of Comfort Women
    http://www.howitzer.jp/korea/page03.html

  11. HistorySensai

    January 6, 2017 at 9:56 AM

    Dear Japanese Friends,

    I am an American guy from Generation X who is married to a Japanese woman and has a great respect for Japanese, Korean and all Asian cultures.

    I understand to a certain degree why there are those of you who believe that Korean and other comfort women were paid and willing prostitutes. My wife had told me of how the Japanese education system has white washed the atrocities committed by the Japanese Imperial Army, so most of you, unless you were to take it upon yourselves to find out the truth from doing your own in depth research would never know the real details.

    As a student of history, I’ve learned from studying about World War II both at the university level and on my own that these Comfort Women from Korea, China, and others ARE telling the TRUTH. These atrocities DID happen and they were FORCED to endure rape and torture of an unspeakable magnitude for years under Japanese Imperial Rule. Those that believe these women are liars; do you really believe a 13 year old Korean girl and thousands like her would want to have sex with hundreds of Japanese soldiers? The reason for the scarcity of records to these horrific events is that Imperial Japan, like Nazi Germany destroyed most of the evidence towards the end of the war with the hopes of avoiding prosecution. Japanese who deny their past, have their eyes open, but do not see.

    I understand that it must be a very difficult thing for Japanese to come to grips with; no one wants to believe their grandfathers as rapists and murders of women. But I believe until the Japanese education system stops minimizing these atrocities, only then will Koreans and other Asian cultures who suffered under Japanese Imperial rule finally leave the past behind them…to forgive and embrace the future, but to never forget so history does not repeat itself.

    I sincerely hope that one day Japanese people will be able to fully accept, admit and understand what happened in World War II and why the past continues to haunt them to this day. Only when as a nation, Japan has taken full responsibility and teaches as such to their children will their finally be healing between the two great nations of Japan and Korea.

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