House of Sharing
December 17, 2010 4:34 PM   Subscribe

The House of Sharing is a place for the Halmoni to to live together and heal the wounds of the past while educating the future generations of the suffering they survived.
The View From Over Here details her visit to the House of Sharing, a therapeutic group home and museum for surviving "comfort women", who were systematically raped by the Japanese military during World War II. The museum displays art for and by the survivors. Via Ask a Korean.

The women, who were 80-90% Korean, were given Japanese names, usually flower names, and each woman's name was placed on a wooden placard on the wall which is quite similar to menus in a Japanese restaurant.

Many people, even Koreans, refused to believe, but her courage has allowed 220 more Halmoni to come forward and declare themselves as former sex slaves to the Japanese. Many others, though, remain in silence, either not wanting to relive memories of the past, or discouraged by families who feel ashamed to have this scar on their family's history.

Although Japanese scholars now openly acknowledge the atrocities committed against the women, the government remains more ambiguous.
posted by ignignokt (5 comments total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
A lot of my students volunteer there and some have produced oral histories of these women's lives. Amazing women, and Japan should be clear about this to put it in the past where it belongs.
posted by Joseph Gurl at 6:34 PM on December 17, 2010 [1 favorite]

Very sad that these women have been living with this psychological trauma for almost sixty years and have so few outlets for letting their voices be heard or processing the events.
posted by threeants at 6:48 PM on December 17, 2010

Thank you for this post. I only knew the vague outlines of the ordeal these women had been through--it is amazing to know that the Halmoni at The House of Sharing continue to fight for recognition and acknowledgment of what happened to them. I hope one day they get it.
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 7:45 PM on December 17, 2010

Very nice post. Thank you.
posted by bardic at 9:44 PM on December 17, 2010

Actually, threeants, they're pretty celebrated here in Korea, and the House of Sharing takes a lot of visitors. And for the record, one of the main caretakers in the H of S is a Japanese ex-pat!
posted by Joseph Gurl at 2:26 AM on December 18, 2010

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