back At first sight, the statue portraying a young girl seems harmless and peaceful. She’s sitting on a wooden chair, her fists clenched in her lap. Her expression is determined, her feet are bare, and on her shoulder sits a small bird. The statue is surrounded by flower bouquets and stuffed animals. Members of the community often affectionately dress her up in hats, scarves and blankets to keep her warm. How could this monument cause diplomatic incidents, threaten trade deals and strain international business relations?
        The Statue of Peace is a symbol of “comfort women”, a euphemism for the victims of sexual slavery at the hands of the Japanese military during WWII. In Korean referred to as 평화의 소녀상 (Pyeonghwaui Sonyeosang) which translates to "the peace statue of a girl" often shortened to 소녀상, (Sonyeosang) "statue of a girl." The first Statue of Peace was erected in 2011 in Seoul, South Korea, to call for remembrance and apology. Now there are over 100 monuments and counting worldwide. Not only does the Statue of Peace fulfil the function of commemorating the victims, but it has also drawn a lot of attention to the unresolved issues, pressuring the Japanese government to acknowledge its war crimes. Trigger warning: This page discusses topics of rape, violence and war, which may be upsetting to some audiences.
Statue of Peace, Berlin (Korea Times, 2020).
The History 1932 - 1945 Four Korean comfort women after they were liberated by US-China Allied Forces outside Songshan, Yunnan Province, China on September 7, 1944 (Association for Asian Studies, 2019).
“Comfort women” refers to the system of sexual slavery created and controlled by the Imperial Japanese government between 1932 and 1945. It is the largest case of government-sponsored human trafficking and sexual slavery in modern history. Originally, brothels were established to provide Japanese soldiers with voluntary prostitutes in order to reduce the incidence of wartime rape, a cause of rising anti-Japanese sentiment across occupied territories. However, many women ended up being forced to work in the brothels against their own will. According to testimonies, young women were abducted from their homes in countries under Imperial Japanese rule. most scholars agree that hundreds of thousands of women were victimized, and that includes girls as young as twelve years old
Estimates vary as to how many women were involved, but most scholars agree that hundreds of thousands of women were victimized, and that includes girls as young as twelve years old. A majority of the women who were forced into sexual slavery came from Korea and China, although many women from Japan, Taiwan, the Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia, Vietnam, Thailand, East Timor, and the Dutch East Indies, as well as European women in Japanese-occupied territories, were forced into sexual slavery (Bisland, Kim & Shin, 2019).
The Conditions
Comfort women were usually injected with salvarsan (a highly toxic arsenic derivative) to prevent pregnancy, which together with damage to the vagina caused by the constant raping resulted in unusually high rates of sterility among comfort women. As the war went on and as the shortages caused by the sinking of almost the entire Japanese merchant marine by American submarines kicked in, medical care for the "comfort women" declined as dwindling medical supplies were reserved for the servicemen. As Japanese logistics broke down as the American submarines sank one Japanese ship after another, condoms had to be washed and reused, reducing their effectiveness (Duus, Peattie & Myers, 1996). those who did attempt to escape were publicly tortured and killed as examples to the others For the women, refusal to serve meant immediate punishment and torture. Each woman usually had to accommodate 70 soldiers (Takenaka & Cha, 2019). Many women were assaulted, tortured, killed, or committed suicide at the comfort station. In addition, those who did attempt to escape were publicly tortured and killed as examples to the others. According to testimony, when comfort women died, they were not properly buried and were instead abandoned in the street. The women were hungry and constantly abused (Bisland, Kim & Shin, 2019).
Japanese soldiers waiting in line at a comfort station (Association for Asian Studies, 2019) and comfort women stations (Sohu, 2019).

The Story of Kim Bok-Dong

  Illustration of a comfort station, Japanese soldiers are waiting in lines for their turns (Kwon, 2013). Chinese and Malayan girls after they were freed by British troops in the Andaman Islands, 1945 (Huff, 2020). After The War
Comfort women on the frontlines had to share the fate of the Japanese soldiers. During frequent air raids, these women, along with the soldiers, had to be evacuated and hidden in mountains or caves. Lee described how, after the bombing ceased, the soldiers would set up makeshift tents and make the women serve them. Many women were killed by bombings or drowned in transit when transport ships sank. After the war, many other comfort women were murdered by retreating Japanese soldiers or abandoned. Some of the victims were rescued or captured as prisoners of war by the Allied Forces and eventually sent home (Bisland, Kim & Shin, 2019). the subject of comfort women was ignored for decades after 1945 as victims were considered pariahs
Surviving comfort women suffered from serious psychological trauma and social stigma, in addition to long-lasting physical injuries. They could not talk about what happened to them because of the social stigma. Premarital sex is considered shameful in Confucian nations such as China and Korea, so the subject of comfort women was ignored for many decades after 1945 as the victims were considered pariahs. In Confucian cultures, traditionally an unmarried girl or woman must value her chastity above her own life, and any woman who loses her virginity before marriage for whatever reason is expected to commit suicide as to not bring shame upon herself and her family; by choosing to live, the survivors made themselves into outcasts (Thomas, 2012).
The story of Ok-sun Jung, and the horrifying experiences she went through as a comfort woman
This comic describes the horrors that Ok-Sun Jung suffered. Tattooing the body was one of the many common forms of torture (Park, 2013).
  Survivors finally break the silence 1965 - 1990 Kim Hak-sun was the first to forward with her story at a press conference (Joshi, 2020).
After the war, as part of an economic cooperation agreement in the treaty of 1965, South Korea received the equivalent of $800 million from Japan. Part of the agreement was a stipulation that once South Korea accepted the money, it would no longer discuss any of the events that had occurred during colonization by Japan between 1910 and 1945. By signing the agreement and taking the money, the treaty stated that all issues were settled "completely and finally.” The treaty banned official discussion of events that occurred during the colonization.

No evidence shows whether or not the leaders in either Japan or South Korea were aware of the comfort women issue at the time of signing the 1965 treaty. The treaty summarizes Japan's wrongdoings but doesn't specify each of them. It was not until 1991 that information began to spread widely when Kim Hak-sun decided to publicly share her experiences as a comfort woman under the Japanese government. Up until that moment, the Japanese government denied responsibility for the sexual slavery system. Kim Hak-sun sharing her story inspired many to do the same (Shiomi, 2019).
Kim hak-sun Kim Hak-Sun (1924–1997) was a Korean human rights activist who campaigned against sex slavery and wartime sexual violence (Pressian, 2018).
Kim Hak-sun stated in a 1991 interview about how she was drafted into the "comfort women corps" in 1941: "When I was 17 years old, the Japanese soldiers came along in a truck, beat us and then dragged us into the back. I was told if I were drafted, I could earn lots of money in a textile factory...” “The first day i was raped, and the rapes never stopped” “The first day I was raped and the rapes never stopped...I was born a woman but never lived as a woman...I feel sick when I come close to a man. Not just Japanese men, but all men-even my own husband who saved me from the brothel. I shiver whenever I see a Japanese flag...Why should I feel ashamed? I don't have to feel ashamed." Kim stated that she was raped 30–40 times a day, everyday of the year during her time as a "comfort woman" (Watanabe, 1995).
In 1991, in response to the initial publishing of comfort women’s stories, the Japanese government opened an investigation. Two years later after the Japanese government announced to investigate the credibility of comfort women issue, in 1993, Yōhei Kono, the Chief Cabinet Secretary, published the results of the investigation, along with a formal apology, and “admitted the Japanese government’s responsibility for the comfort station operations.” It was the first time the Japanese government apologized
The statement made a significant impact, as it was the first time the Japanese government apologized for its past wrongdoings concerning comfort women. However, when the South Korean government approached the Japanese government after the statement for reparations, the Japanese referred back to the 1965 Treaty on Basic Relations between Japan and the Republic of Korea, claiming that everything that happened during World War II had been completely and eternally solved. Using this treaty, Japan stated that it had already paid a lump sum to the Korean government and blamed the Korean government for not using the money to support the victims. Therefore, while they admitted guilt, they claimed that their previous reparations were enough compensation (Shiomi, 2019).
1991 - 2011 Yōhei Kono published a formal apology in 1993 (MOFA, n.d.).
From apology to Denial "There was no forced coercion of comfort women,” Japanese parliamentarians scream, “Hey!!!” and moon four former comfort women representing Korea, Asia, Australia, and the Netherlands who are holding a sign reading, “Japan Should Apologize and Pay Reparations!” (Mizoguchi & Dudden, 2007)
Because the Korean government and its people were not satisfied with Japan’s response, the Japanese government decided to try to again resolve the conflict. The Japanese government established the Asian Women’s Fund in 1995, which collected donations from Japanese citizens to compensate comfort women victims in five countries. The fund was also used to present an official Japanese narrative about the issue. About $20,000 was given along with $30,000 worth of medical and social welfare care to each of the 61 Korean and 13 Taiwanese victims, and $32,000 was given to each of the 211 Philippines victims. The total amount of the fund was 48 million dollars, of which 42 million dollars was funded by the Japanese government. Each victim was also given an apology letter from Prime Minister Koizumi of Japan. However, there were many victims who refused to accept the compensation because the money was partially funded by ordinary people which made it unofficial and insincere. They felt that Japan wasn’t trying to solve the issue, but rather to save face. the new Prime Minister Abe has claimed that there never existed an official comfort women system controlled by the government
The Korean Council for the Women Drafted for Military Sexual Slavery by Japan (also called Korean Council), a Korean non-governmental organization advocating the rights of the surviving comfort women, sued the Korean government together with comfort women victims, claiming that the Korean government was violating the Korean constitution by failing to protect the human rights of victims by not taking any action to solve the issue of the comfort women. In 2011, a new constitution was adopted which forced the Korean government to discuss the issue of comfort women with Japan. Because of the sexism and patriarchy deeply rooted in Confucianism, both South Korea and Japan did not prioritize relieving the sufferings of comfort women. And to make matters even worse, as Japan's prime minister had changed, the stance of the government had gone from apologetic to outright denial of the crimes. The new prime Minister Abe has claimed that there never existed an official comfort women system controlled by the government, but that the practice was solely the work of voluntary prostitutes (Mizoguchi & Dudden, 2007; Shiomi, 2019).
the first statue of peace Wednesday Demonstration Students gather near a "comfort woman" statue during a rally in front of the Japanese Embassy in Seoul, South Korea for a weekly "Wednesday demonstration" on January 11, 2017 (Griffiths, 2017).
Wednesday demonstration, officially named Wednesday Demonstration demanding Japan to redress the Comfort Women problems, is a weekly protest in Korea which aims at obtaining justice from the Japanese government. The weekly protest is held in the presence of surviving comfort women every Wednesday at noon in front of the Embassy of Japan in Seoul. The weekly protest is led by The Korean Council for the Women Drafted for Military Sexual Slavery by Japan (also Korean Council), a Korean non-governmental organization advocating the rights of the surviving comfort women. The first weekly demonstration was held in 1992, and it is still going on to this day (Sojung, 2020).
the creators of the monument December 14th, 2011 Kim Seo-kyung and Kim Eun-sung with the original Statue of Peace (The Korea Herald, 2016).
The Statue of Peace was erected to call for apology and remembrance and was first erected on December 14th, 2011 in Seoul, Korea, positioned in front of the Japanese embassy. Its inspiration, according to artists Kim Seo-kyung and Kim Eun-sung, dates to previous Japanese criticism of a planned memorial. Initially, they had intended to create a humble memorial stone for the 1000th Wednesday Demonstration. “A sense of rage came over us. We took the plan further to make a sculpture.”
“We saw a small group of old women protesting in front of the Japanese Embassy in January 2011. We were shocked to find out that the ‘comfort women’ issues hadn’t been solved,” said Kim Eun-sung. The artists said they felt guilty for not doing anything to help resolve the issue and offered to make a memorial stone for the victims. “There was pressure from the Japanese government, which demanded that the memorial stone not be erected,” said Kim Eun-sung. “A sense of rage came over us. We took the plan further to make a sculpture.” The initial image the artists had in mind was of an old woman in her 80s - the current age of the victims, but the artists decided on creating a statue of a 13 to 15-year-old girl, which was the age victims when they were abducted by Japanese soldiers (The Korea Herald, 2016).

“It is not uncommon to find the girl dressed in a knitted hat and scarf. Sometimes, she is wrapped in a blanket or shawl or her bare feet are wrapped in a warm cover. Visitors place bouquets of flowers at the base, in her lap, and in the chair that sits empty next to her. Expressions of care, protection, sorrow, and empathy, these items provide little solace when contemplating such unimaginable anguish and suffering.” - Betsy Scotto-Lavino (Artistic Fuel, 2020).
The Statue of Peace, explained
The meaning of the Statue of Peace (Griffiths, 2017).
The 2015 deal Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe with South Korean President Park Geun-hye (The Japan Times, 2015).
In December 2015 the Japanese and Korean governments came to a deal that was supposed to “finally and irreversibly” resolve the issue. Japan would pay ¥1 billion (US$8 million) to the victims. However, the deal fell short of the survivors’ demand that Japan pays formal reparations and accept legal responsibility for what they endured. And it proved to be one of the most unpopular decisions made by Korea’s President Park Geun-Hye because the government had failed to adequately communicate the proposed deal with the victims or to represent them properly. Moreover, they had not made crucial elements of the deal public, including demands from Japan that the term “sexual slavery” would not be used, because according to Japan, it “contradicts the facts.” Additionally, the deal demanded that South Korea was obligated to remove the Statue of Peace from outside of the Japanese embassy in Seoul (Kim & Park, 2015; Cho, 2019). South Korea was obligated to remove the Statue of Peace from outside of the Japanese embassy In an act of protest, a second statue was erected in Busan, in front of the Japanese consulate. This angered the Japanese government, and they recalled two diplomats from South Korea and halted high-level talks. The Japanese government demanded that the statue be removed, saying that erecting it in front of the consulate-general violates the Vienna Convention on diplomacy, which calls for maintaining the dignity of foreign missions (Rich, 2017).
Cancelling of the agreement Overview of the statues in South Korea. There are more statues situated in the West, as the East is more conservative.
South Korea eventually terminated the 2015 agreement on November 21st 2018 and effectively shut down the Japanese-funded foundation which was set up to pay the agreed settlement (Choe, 2018). Koreans still demand justice and proper reparations, while many Japanese feel their country has apologized enough. Surveys have found that the Japanese and Koreans have grown distrustful towards each other over the last few years and that the comfort women issue plays a big part in this (Ryall, 2019). After the statues in Busan and Seoul were erected, they started popping up all over South Korea to commemorate the victims and draw attention to the issue. There have been well over a hundred bronze Statues of Peace installed all over the country, and it did not take long before the Statue of Peace started travelling to other countries. Every time a new statue is erected, it sparks outrage among the Japanese. As the Statue of Peace travelled all over the world, it started garnering more international attention.
statue of peace goes global First statue in north america
The first Statue of Peace outside of South Korea was installed in Glendale, California. Over the objections of dozens of Japanese-Americans who crowded City Hall chambers, the city council voted to install the memorial at Glendale Central Park. A petition was created asking the federal government to remove the statue, saying that “it is a statue of a Comfort Women masquerading as a peace statue, while in essence after reading the inscription it is promoting hate towards the people and nation of Japan”. The petition had well over 126.000 signatures (Hamilton, 2014).
Third Japanese delegation bashes comfort-women statue A delegation of Japanese city council members brought a sign that says “Children need heart-warming monuments” to the comfort-women statue at Central Park in Glendale on Thursday, January 16, 2014. The delegation first delivered a letter to the Glendale city clerk asking this statue be removed because they do not approve of its message (Levine, 2014).
About a dozen Japanese politicians visited Glendale calling for the city to remove the monument. The delegation voiced their concerns about the statue’s effect on Japan’s reputation. “We would like to protect the honour of the Japanese people,” One official said, adding that the mature topics etched on the monument’s plaque are not appropriate for a public park where children visit. They felt the statue did not support world peace. The politicians hand-delivered a letter signed by more than 300 Japanese politicians to Glendale City Clerk Ardy Kassakhian that described their opposition to the statue. The group requested a meeting with Glendale City Council members, but officials denied that invitation (Levine, 2014).
Judge rules Glendale 'comfort women' statue will stay
A lawsuit was filed earlier that year by Glendale residents Michiko Shiota Gingery and Koichi Mera, seeking to have the memorial removed. The lawsuit put forth by the plaintiffs argued that the memorial would cause “irreparable injury” from “feelings of exclusion, discomfort, and anger” to local Japanese-Americans by expressing “disapproval of Japan and the Japanese people." The Federal judge dismissed the lawsuit because the Japanese-American plaintiffs did not sufficiently prove they had suffered from the placement of the statue. In April 2017, the U.S. Supreme Court declined a review of the case, ending the tense three-year debate over a suit filed by the residents (Arirang News, 2014).
The federal judge dismissed lawsuit on removal of the Statue of Peace (Arirang News, 2014).
August 4th, 2016 The first Statue of Peace in Australia Won-Ok Gil next to Australia's new Statue of Peace.
The new statue was unveiled at Croydon Park in Sydney's west by a former comfort woman from South Korea, Won-Ok Gil, 89, who flew in for the ceremony. Ms Gil was forced to work in a "comfort station" at only 13 years of age and was raped countless times by Japanese soldiers. At the Sydney unveiling, she sat besides the peace monument and became too emotional to speak. the Australia-Japan Community Network said that the statue is “far more than just 'honouring comfort women’” and that “the statue always comes with hatred and aggression
The Statue of Peace was planned to be installed in a neighbouring municipality in 2014. However, following a petition opposing the statue started by Japanese Women for Justice and Peace, which attracted over 10,000 signatures, and two phone surveys conducted by Strathfield Council, the plan was rejected. “When I heard that this statue could not be unveiled I was outraged, just outraged,” Reverend Crews said. “How could it be that a statue in honour of women that suffered would become such a political statement which it is not ... we need to move on.” Now that it was finally installed, it received lots of backlash from the Japanese-Australian community. In a statement, the Australia-Japan Community Network said that the statue is “far more than just 'honouring comfort women’” and that “the statue always comes with hatred and aggression" (Buckley, 2016).
“Statue of Peace in Berlin angers Japan”
Japan has said the controversial statue is out of context and only serves to damage relations. Katsunobu Kato, Japan’s chief cabinet secretary, said the statue on a busy street corner on Kopfplatz is not in line with Tokyo’s efforts to build improved future-oriented ties with South Korea. “We will approach various parties involved toward the removal of the statue,” Kato said in a press conference in Tokyo on Tuesday. “The unveiling of the statue is designed to harm the reputation of Japanese people and is based on lies and fiction”
“I can only ask why the German people, who have permitted this to happen, failed to carry out basic research into the facts of the ‘comfort women,’” said Hiromichi Moteki, the acting secretary-general of the far-right Society for the Dissemination of Historical Fact. “If they had done that, they would quickly have realized that these women were not forced to become ‘comfort women,’ that they did it to earn money and that the Japanese military had nothing to do with their recruitment because it was done by Korean traders”. “The unveiling of the statue is designed to harm the reputation of Japanese people and is based on lies and fiction,” said Moteki (Ryall, 2020).
Statue of Peace in Berlin, Germany (Korea Times, 2020). October 1st, 2020
“Order to remove the statue sparked protest” Protesters gathering around the Statue of Peace, Berlin (Ruptly, 2020).
Stephan von Dassel, mayor of the central Mitte district, said in a statement that “the Statue of Peace led to irritation in Japan on a national and local level and also in Berlin”, and ordered the Korean association to remove the statue before the 14th of October, 2020. Hundreds of protestors gathered near the statue, in Berlin's Mitte district and marched to the Mitte district office, demanding the German city authorities revoke the removal decision. The efforts were successful, as only a day later the central Berlin district of Mitte decided to not remove the Statue of Peace for the time being. The announcement came after a pro-South Korea civic group in Germany that erected the statue requested a local administrative court to issue a temporary injunction against an order by the district to remove the monument (Lee & Lee, 2020).
  Overview of all the statues of peace Defamation and vandalization
"Glendale’s comfort women statue vandalized with brown substance" The Statue of Peace in Glendale’s Central Park, installed to honor women who were held as sex slaves by the Japanese Imperial Army during World War II, was vandalized on Thursday after someone smeared an unknown brown substance on the memorial. A brown, sticky substance was smeared on the face of the statue sometime before 10:30 a.m., according to Glendale police. Tahn Lightfoot, a police spokeswoman, couldn’t say what the substance was because the statue had already been cleaned up by the time police arrived. Additionally, several flower pots around the memorial were shattered (Nguyen, 2019).
Woman cleaning the Statue of Peace (Nguyen, 2019).
"Statue of Peace covered in black marker" An unknown vandal used a black permanent marker to deface a Glendale statue honouring women who were forced into sex slavery by the Japanese Imperial Army during World War II, according to police. The statue, which depicts a seated young woman wearing traditional Korean clothing, was covered head to toe in haphazard scribbles. No legible writing appeared to be on the statue. The defacement was discovered Monday morning by a city employee who routinely checks on the memorial in Central Park, according to a Glendale Police Department spokesman. In addition to the markings on the statue, several flower pots around the memorial were upended (Nyugen, 2019).
Statue of Peace covered in black marker (Nguyen, 2019).
Japan art festival halts the exhibition of statue of peace
A major art festival in central Japan was forced to shut down an exhibit featuring a version of the Statue of Peace after lots of backlash and protest. The decision came only three days after the opening of the 75-day festival. The shutdown of the exhibition of this festival, which ironically had the theme “Freedom of expression”, sparked controversy over freedom of expression. Aichi Governor Hideaki Omura, who heads the organizing committee, told a press conference that there are growing worries about safely managing the Aichi Triennale 2019. They had received a large number of threatening emails, calls and faxes from Japanese citizens. One of which included: “I will bring a gasoline container to the museum,” which drew associations with a deadly arson attack on a Kyoto Animation Co. studio, according to Omura. “It is historic outrage,” collaborators said in a statement in response to the organizing committee’s decision. “This will be the worst censorship incident in Japan’s postwar period” (Kyodo News, 2019).
Statue of Peace at the Japanese art festival (Kyodo News, 2019). August 3rd, 2019
Japan the statues that japanese officials prevented from ever being built Illustration of Shinzo Abe (Surak, 2019).
After the first monument in Glendale, memorials were subsequently planned to be built in multiple locations in North America, leading in turn to mass protest emails being sent from Japan to mayors, city council members, and others in influential positions. There have also been failed attempts at building monuments and statues, such as in the cities of Buena Park, California in 2013, and Fullerton, California in 2015. Likewise, in Burnaby, British Columbia, Canada, the statue could not be built and eventually moved to Toronto. Approximately 20 Japanese Canadians showed up at the monthly parks, recreation and culture commission meeting to protest the prospect of a statue commemorating comfort women. These cases illustrate the success of the Japanese government and right-wingers’ attempts to persuade local politicians and bureaucrats to stop the building of the memorials (Yamaguchi, 2020). but why won’t the japanese government acknowledge these crimes? "A decade ago, the far-right said it was going to 'reinterpret' Japanese history, essentially allowing them to put a positive spin on everything," said Makoto Watanabe, an associate professor of communications and media at Hokkaido Bunkyo University in an interview for DW. "But now they are simply trying to erase things like the Nanjing Massacre and the comfort women from history books, to delete anything that is seen as negative from our history means that young people are ignorant about their own nation's past. And not knowing about Nanjing or other uncomfortable facts means that they are not able to make appropriate decisions on the future of our country” (Ryall, 2017). Former president Shinzo Abe, who resigned in 2020, has widely described as a right-wing Japanese nationalist and is claimed to have contributed to the rise of nationalism in Japan (Surak, 2019).
“Statue of Peace in Berlin angers Japan”
Not all, but many people in Japan are sceptical the systematic sexual slavery was as large-scale as it is, and some outright deny that it every happened. As journalist Micheal Yon claims in an article on Japan Forward: “There’s no evidence. And why did nobody complain about this for several generations? The still-living comfort women are paraded around like superstars and show animals. I witnessed this in Korea by the main statue near the Japanese embassy. These women have changed their stories repeatedly and been caught in lies.” Military people, science types, and businesspeople often see straight through the scam of any idea that 200,000 women were kidnapped”
“Prostitutes and war are virtually inseparable. Those who have seen war will know that it is not necessary to kidnap prostitutes—the women flock to the sex-starved young men, who are more than willing to pay for the company of women. Military people, science types, and businesspeople often see straight through the scam of any idea that 200,000 women were kidnapped. Just one minute with a serious military person is normally enough, especially if they are veterans of much combat.”
The beloved idol of comfort women cultists is their living goddess, far beyond what we would call a “memorial.” The cultists believe “she” has a living spirit.”
He goes on to describe the Statue of Peace as a cult symbol: “The accusers worship the statues as if the idols are child goddesses. It is a sight to behold. It’s something one might expect from National Geographic with natives dancing around a fire. I watched the “comfort woman” statue in Seoul for three weeks. Not 24/7, but coming daily and often at night to watch the craziness ... When it rains, or is sunny, worshippers hold or prop an umbrella for their idol. When cold, students dress it up. Hold its hand. Brush its “hair.” Sing to the idol, dance for it. Bring it food and drink ... The beloved idol of the comfort women cultists is their living goddess, far beyond what we would call a “memorial.” The cultists believe “she” has a living spirit. Worshippers are willing to, and do, commit violence for their idol ... There are many true believers who are easily manipulated, and they are dangerously emotional” (Yon, 2017).
A woman participates in a protest about comfort women (Koreaboo, 2017).
Conclusion Statue of Peace, Berlin (Ruptly, 2020). =======
The Japanese government has attempted to rewrite history by changing textbooks and presenting alternative narratives to the horrors that occurred in history. And as a result of the Japanese expressing outrage every time a new Statue of Peace is installed - filing lawsuits, sending officials in an act of protest, delaying high-level economic dialogue, pressuring other governments to have statues removed - ironically, the comfort women issue has garnered more attention than ever. And as long as they refuse to change their history books, apologise once again formally, and come to a proper agreement with the last few survivors, these Statues of Peace will most likely only continue to spread.

There are only a handful of comfort women left alive today, and soon they will all have passed. And even then, these statues will continue to tell their stories so that they may never be forgotten.

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