“Comfort Women” visit Palisades Park
POSTED ON WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 14, 2011 4:34 PM
BY MONSY ALVARADO
PALISADES PARK – The public is invited Thursday to meet two Korean women who recently arrived to share their story of captivity by Japanese soldiers during World War II.
Yongsoo Lee, 83, and Ok-Seon Yi, 84, will meet with the public at 12:30 p.m. at the borough library. The women were brought to the United States by the Korean American Voters’ Council, and spoke at an art exhibit at the Harriet and Kenneth Kupferberg Holocaust Resource Center in Queens earlier this week. The exhibit focuses on the struggles of the many women held prisoner during the war.
“They are here to spread awareness and not let these things happen again,’’ said Steve Cavallo, one of the artists whose paintings are being exhibited at the center.
Lee and Yi spent years in captivity during the war at prison camps where they were among thousands of Asian women used as sex slaves by Japanese soldiers.
The woman will see the borough’s memorial to “comfort women,” the term used to describe the woman in captivity by the Japanese. The monument was erected last year in front of the library.
CALENDAR - PREVIOUS EVENTS
DAI SIL KIM GIBSON WILL READ FROM HER NEW BOOK
LOOKING FOR DON: A MEDITATION ON MONDAY EVENING, MARCH 5TH AT 7PM.
The Palisades Park Public Library is proud to host a special event featuring author/Film maker Dai Sil Kim Gibson. Ms. Gibson is best known for her book and film Silence Broken as well as her documentary Wet Sand. Dai Sil Kim Gibson will read from her new book Looking for Don: a Meditation on Monday evening, March 5th at 7pm. She will also speak and answer questions as well as sign copies of her book for those who are interested in purchasing one. This event is free and open to the public.
Refreshments will be served after her reading. For more information, please contact the Palisades Park Library at 201-925-8232.
Korean, Chinese and Hindi-speaking representatives from the department’s Wage and Hour Division and Occupational Safety and Health Administration will be on-site to answer questions and offer information relevant to all industries. Materials will be available in English, Korean and Chinese. All employees are entitled to fair and safe working conditions, as well as to have a voice in the workplace regarding their well-being.
Looking for Don: A Meditation
It is a book by a woman who lost her husband, soul mate and best friend. It is a book about her struggle to live without his physical presence, with her grief and pain deepening as the time passes. It is a book about death, grief, loneliness, old age and ill health. But above all, it is a book about love, the ultimate immortality that conquers death.
Donald Gibson and Dai Sil Kim-Gibson were both born in 1938, the Year of the Tiger, Don on an Iowa farm and Dai Sil in northern Korea. They both left their places of birth and found home in each other in 1979.
A couple of her friends who read her manuscript wrote: “I was completely absorbed in it while reading through it. You really gave an honest account of the grieving process--happy, sad, reminiscent, angry--floating in and out of thought patterns. It is so very sad... but so honest. I felt like I was sitting right beside you, hearing your story.” (Cindy Cavalieri)
“You must feel proud of your achievement in Looking for Don - in some ways perhaps harder than completing your many award-winning films. It was courageous of you to tell what was in your heart—in descriptive and meditative prose, poetry, dreams and paintings—but always conveying the effect of art, shape, and wholeness to your work. What a wonderful tribute to Don and to your marriage.” (Candace Katz)
Palisades Park library hosts plaque unveiling
Posted in: History International Military on October 20, 2010 at 10:09 am |
The plaque unveiling dedicated to the ‘comfort women’ at Palisades Park Library cites: ‘In memory of the more than 200,000 women and girls who were abducted by the armed forces of the Government of Imperial Japan, 1930s-1945. Known as ‘Comfort Women,” they endured human rights violations that no peoples should leave unrecognized. Let us never forget the horrors of crimes against humanity.
By Robyn Nadel
PALISADES PARK – On Saturday, Oct. 23, Mayor James Rotundo, Palisades Park Council president Jason Kim, the Korean American Voters Council who gave funds to pay for the plaque, in total, and artists Steve Cavallo, Arin Yoon, Juhee Kim from Palisades Park and Sei Ryun Chun will unveil the first memorial dedicated to these women in the Western World at the library, 1 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 23 at 257 Second St., here.
To accompany the unveiling of the first U.S. memorial for Comfort Women, forced sexual slaves of WWII, will be an art exhibit, “Come from the Shadows.”
“There is no way they can bring my life back. They can’t make up for the terrible way they ruined my life”, said Hwang Keum Ju, and former Comfort Woman, speaking to author Dai Sil Kim Gibson, in a 1991 interview for the book Silence Broken. The phrase “Comfort Women” is a euphemism for young Asian women and girls (mostly Korean) who were abducted or coerced by the Japanese Imperial Government during WWII and sent to “Comfort Stations” where they were repeatedly raped and beaten for years by Japanese soldiers. After the end of WWII most of these women were massacred, but some survived to tell about their story. But no one was there to listen. It became a little known secret of Asian history that was not spoken of. That is until 1991 when the first former Comfort Woman came forward and spoke out against this crime.
Years have passed, since Hwang Keum Ju spoke out telling the world what injustices were done to her and an estimated 200,000 others. But in the 20 years that have passed, this atrocity still remains somewhat unknown to the Western World.
“Reclaiming my Identity,” a watercolor by Steve Cavallo, on exhibit at the library as part of the comfort women project.
Korean women have gathered in front of the Japanese Embassy for over 900 consecutive weeks demanding an apology, however, news of this has not reached the American media.
Among the artwork will be works by Arin Yoon, a photographer who grew up in Leonia who will display a series of photographs she took last summer of former comfort women, which will also be included in the catalog, along with an essay from Ms. Yoon about her experience at the House of Sharing, a home and medical facility in Gwang Ju, South Korea..
In February 2009 Steve Cavallo, art coordinator at the library and organizer of the memorial activities and curator Sei Ryun Chun exhibited a series of paintings at the Friends of Grace Society Gallery, in Englewood, on the topic of “Comfort Women” and Reporter Yoojin Sung reviewed the exhibition on Korean Broadcasting Network (KBN) evening news. Two weeks later, Mr. Cavallo was invited to Korea to visit with eight of the women at the House of Sharing.
Before leaving for his visit, Mr. Cavallo was approached by the KAVC (Korean American Voters Council) and together with Mayor James Rotundo the idea for a memorial plaque outside the town library was born.
Interns from the Korean American Voters council canvassed the streets of Palisades Park, collecting petitions, artists gathered for a benefit fundraiser to help bring money and awareness to the comfort women issue and the mayor and council had a unanimous vote to set a memorial in Palisades Park.
A short theatrical production will be staged by Mono Drama Theater and poems will be read by Audrey Kim from Bergen Academies as well as a speech by Mr. McNerney. Over 50 paintings and photographs will be on display during this event and refreshment will be served. There will also be a 28-page catalog that will be given out free to the public featuring photographs, poems, essays and paintings honoring these women.
The art exhibit will be on display through Monday, Nov. 15 when it will be moved to Nahrah Gallery, 1605 Center Ave. in Fort Lee. The exhibit will travel for most of the upcoming year and will be shown at the Queens Holocaust Center in August of 2011.
i deeply apology to those korean ex-comfort women old ladies.
but PALISADES PARK should build the monument written that
"korean had killed japanese resident in Manchuria or korea whose wanted to go back to japan, korean people had massacred over 40000 japanese citizen, most of were war orphans or widows since at the end of WW2 1945 to 1950"
"US soldiers had raped and assault japanese 100 thousands women in Yokohama or Okinawa, nowadays still they has been raping and killing japanese girl and children."
"US army has 200 thousands comfort women around their base in Korea still today"
fake artist,Steve Cavallo, how many get money from palisades park library and korean lobbyist association????
you are very creeping Jesus, you keep in safety aria without going to battle field,not checking nor studying history, you just paint or make cheap works fulled with your creeping Jesus initiation's.
conscientious journalists and artists are going to gunfield with risk their lives, then write or make their works.