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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
San Francisco in San Francisco City and County, California — The American West (Pacific Coastal)
 

“Comfort Women” Column of Strength

 
 
"Comfort Women" Column of Strength Marker image. Click for full size.
By Andrew Ruppenstein, March 8, 2018
1. "Comfort Women" Column of Strength Marker
Inscription.
(English text:)

"Our worst fear is that our painful history during World War II will be forgotten." - former Comfort Woman

This monument bears witness to the suffering of hundreds of thousands of women and girls, euphemistically called "Comfort Women", who were sexually enslaved by the Japanese Imperial Armed Forces in thirteen Asia-Pacific countries from 1931 to 1945. Most of these women died during their wartime captivity. This dark history was hidden for decades until the 1990s when the survivors courageously broke their silence. They helped move the world to declare that sexual violence as a strategy of war is a crime against humanity for which governments must be held accountable. This memorial is dedicated to the memory of these women, and to eradicating sexual violence and sex trafficking throughout the world.

Gift of the "Comfort Women" Justice Coalition
Collection of the City and County of San Francisco

(Tagalog text:)

"Ang pinakapinangangambahan namin ay ang makalimutan ang aming mapait na kasaysayan noong World War II." - dating "Comfort Woman"

Saksi ang Monumentong ito sa pagdurusa ng daan-daang Iibong kababaihan at batang babae, na tinatawag na "Comfort Women." Sila ang mga pinagsamantalahan at inalipin ng Imperyal na Hukbong Sandatahan ng

"Comfort Women" Column of Strength and Marker - Wide View image. Click for full size.
By Andrew Ruppenstein, March 8, 2018
2. "Comfort Women" Column of Strength and Marker - Wide View
mga Hapones (Japanese Imperial Armed Forces) sa labintatlong bansa sa Asya Pasipiko mula 1931 hanggang 1945. Namatay ang karamihan sa mga babaeng ito habang bihag sa panahon ng giyera. Sa Ioob ng maraming dekada, nanatiling nakatago ang kanilang madilim na kasaysayahan, hanggang sa buong tapang na binasag ng mga nakaalpas ang kanilang katahimikan. Nakatulong sila upang mamulat ang mundo at maipahayag na ang seksuwal na karahasan bilang stratehiya ng digmaan ay krimen laban sa humanidad, at dapat papanagutin ang mga pamahalaan. Iniaalay ang bantayog na ito sa alaala ng "Comfort Women," at upang tuluyan nang masugpo ang seksuwal na karahasan at pangangalakal ng kababaihan sa kabuuan ng mundo.

(Korean text:)

”우리가 가장 두 려 워 하는 것은 우리의 이 아픈 역사가 잊혀지는 것입니다〃 — ”위안부” 생존자

이 기림비는 1931년부터 1945년까지 열세 개의 아시아 태평양국가에서 ,'I위안부〃 라는 미명 하에 일본제국군의

"Comfort Women" Column of Strength - Closeup image. Click for full size.
By Andrew Ruppenstein, March 8, 2018
3. "Comfort Women" Column of Strength - Closeup
성노예가 되어야 했던 수십만 명의 여성과 소녀들의 고통을 증거하기 위해 세워졌다. 이들 여성 대부분은 전시 감금 중에 사망하였다. 이 어두운 역사는 생존자들이 침묵을 깨고 나와 용감하게 증언을 시작한 1990년대까지 은폐되어 있었다. 이들은 성폭력을 전쟁의 전략으로 이용하는 것은 정부에게 책임을 물어야 하는 반인륜범죄에 해당한다는 세계적인 선언을 이끌어냈다.

이 여 성 들 과 전 세 계 에 걸 친 성 폭 력 및 성 을 목적으로 한 인 신 매 매 근절 노 력 에 이 기 림 비 를 바친 다.

(Chinese text (only the initial quote is transcribed:))

霧 是們 我最 們大 在的 二恐 呵期的悲廖徑 歷被世人所遺忘 ― 前「慰安婦」

(Japanese text (only the initial quote is transcribed:))

「弘たちにとってもっとも恐ろ いことは 中の私たちの痛まし 忘れられてしまうことです.」 ー 元「慰安婦」


 
Erected 2017 by San Francisco Arts Commission.
 
Location. 37° 47.507′ N, 122° 24.268′ W. Marker is in San Francisco, California, in San Francisco City and County. Marker can be reached from the intersection of Pine Street and Kearny Street. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: San Francisco CA 94108, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Chinese-American War Memorial (within shouting distance of this marker); Dr. Sun Yat Sen (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); William Ingraham Kip (about 400 feet away); California Theatre (about 400 feet away); Pacific States Building (about 400 feet away); SFFD Engine Co. No. 2 (about 400 feet away); Site of Old St. Mary’s (about 500 feet away); Far East Café (about 700 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in San Francisco.
 
More about this marker. The memorial is found in southeast corner of St. Mary's Square, on the concrete elevated terrace. It is not visible from the street.
 
Also see . . .
1. History ("Comfort Women" Justice Coalition). "Comfort Women" is the Japanese Imperial government's euphemism for the women and children they trafficked as sex slaves between 1932 and 1945, until the end of World War II. Most of the victims were Korean and Chinese, although many others were from the Philippines, Indonesia, the Netherlands, Burma, Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia, Australia, East Timor, Hong Kong, and Macau. While some were recruited by false advertisements promising work as house maids, factory workers and nurses, the majority were abducted and violently coerced into sexual slavery for Japanese soldiers at government sponsored “comfort stations” intended to improve army morale, as a strategy of war. It is estimated that some 400,000 women and children were forced to be sex slaves for Japanese soldiers and officers at these government-sponsored rape camps. The "Comfort Women" were often kept in sub-human conditions and suffered from starvation, physical and psychological abuse, disease, infections, and rampant STD's. Many committed suicide. Only about 10 to 25% of the victims survived the end of the war...." (Submitted on March 8, 2018.) 

2. ‘Comfort Women’ Statue in San Francisco Leads a Japanese City to Cut Ties (NYT, Nov. 25, 2017). "The mayor of the Japanese city of Osaka has said he is cutting ties with San Francisco because of a new statue there, overlooking a small park downtown. The statue has three figures holding hands on a pedestal, representing girls from Korea, China and the Philippines. Beside them is a likeness of the Korean activist Kim Hak-sun....It is a commemoration of the tens of thousands of “comfort women” who were detained and raped by Japanese soldiers before and during World War II. The issue still strains the relationship between South Korea and Japan, two key United States allies whose cooperation is vital to checking North Korea’s aggression, and to balancing China’s power in East Asia...." (Submitted on March 8, 2018.) 

3. An Important Statue for "Comfort Women" in San Francisco (New Yorker, October 12, 2017). (Submitted on March 8, 2018.)
 
Categories. War, World IIWomen

 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on March 8, 2018. This page originally submitted on March 8, 2018, by Andrew Ruppenstein of Sacramento, California. This page has been viewed 53 times since then. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on March 8, 2018, by Andrew Ruppenstein of Sacramento, California.
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