header image

[Sign Up Now] to Receive Our FREE Daily SCVTV-SCVNews Digest by E-Mail

Santa Clarita CA
Today in
S.C.V. History
March 6
1772 - Spanish Capt. Pedro Fages arrives; camps at Agua Dulce, Castaic, Lake Elizabeth, Lebec, Tejon [story]
Pedro Fages

| Tuesday, Feb 16, 2021
Comfort Women CSUN
Buenos Aires, Argentina - November 3, 2019: Stand in the memory of the Comfort Women at Korea community celebrations


It took nearly four decades for the comfort women of World War II — women and girls forced into sexual slavery by the Imperial Japanese Army — to come forward and testify about their experiences. Jinah Kim, an associate professor of communication studies at California State University, Northridge, is determined to make sure those stories are not forgotten.

Kim has received a $42,600 grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities to support her writing of a book with the proposed title “Against Forgetting: Transpacific Feminist Arts and Activism.” Her book will address how Korean feminists across the diaspora are fighting efforts to deny and erase the history of the comfort women.

“For the past 10 years, I have been following with admiration as the support for the comfort women has grown around the world,” Kim said. “There are now memorials and statues recognizing the comfort women and what they went through around the globe, including here in Glendale. All this work demonstrates the creation of a powerful interracial and intergenerational collectivity organized against the denial of gender-based violence.

“The first ‘Statue of Peace’ was erected in 2011 in Seoul, South Korea, facing the Japanese embassy,” she said. “It’s a bronze statue of a young girl with a stern gaze, wearing a traditional Korean hanbok. It is meant to exemplify lost youth, a call for peace and to highlight the atrocities the women suffered in the past, and continue to live with today.”

Kim said she will use the grant money to support a reduction in her work hours during the next year so that she can dedicate a large chunk of her time to researching and writing the book.

She noted that the book was particularly timely, in light of the contentious discussions taking place across the United States about its own civil rights memorials and politics of commemoration.

“These debates prompt us to think about the power of memorials and commemoration,” Kim said. “With the comfort women, the memorials are about recognizing and acknowledging their history, and the ways that gender-based violence is silenced.”

The comfort women memorials are not without controversy. She said right-wing/conservatives in Japan have fought vigorously against efforts for redress against what happened to the women, including threatening to cut ties with municipalities — from San Francisco to Berlin — that erect memorials in their honor.

“The issue is still of deep importance to a powerful sector of the Japanese right, so there is a concerted effort to silence that history,” she said. “It wasn’t until the early 2000s that the comfort women’s experiences were included in Japanese history books. In 2017, there was a fight led by Japanese right-wing/conservatives to erase mention of the comfort women in Texas history books.”

The efforts to deny and erase history have been met with resistance from an intersection of women of all ages and ethnicities, including Japanese, who have organized to ensure that the experiences of the comfort women are recognized and remembered, Kim said.

She said it took decades for the comfort women to go public with their stories because of the shame associated with their experiences.

“Many of the women talk about how they felt such shame,” she said. “They didn’t think about this as something negative that had been forced upon them. They saw this as a shame that they were forced to bear.”

It was a shame they bore silently, yet it impacted all aspects of the women’s lives, Kim said.

“One of the things that I find really incredible is that many of the former comfort women never talked about their experiences with their family members until their stories were publicized through testimonies and other public acts, like the institution of memorials,” she said. “There was silence at home. Many of their family members learned about what happened to them when the issue became public.”

Kim called the family members’ experience “a postmemory.” First used by Holocaust scholars, the term describes the relationship that the “generation after” bears to the personal, collective and cultural trauma of those who came before — to experiences they “remember” only by means of the stories, images and behaviors among which they grew up.

“We have noticed that our parents’ generation — the ones who have lived through the violence of World War II, the Korean War — there’s a kind of silence, yet there is also a pain when it comes to certain topics,” she said, pointing to experiences in her own family as an example.

She said her mother was one of nine daughters. Two of her mother’s sisters died in Korea during the Korean War. There are certain things her mother’s generation never talks about, she said.

“There’s a silence, and so the next generation begins to fill that silence with what we think might have or could have happened to our parents or elders,” Kim said. “You see this particularly with members of the Asian diaspora, who are children of parents who have lived through wars like this. We feel connected to it because we hear their silence, we know this history and we fill that silence with our imagining about what we think happened. So, in some ways, we own that silence.

“This is the way that gender-based violence works,” she continued. “It is not allowed to be talked about. Yet, we see it in the way these women walk in pain, or the way they avoid certain places. By documenting and recognizing their experiences, the pain lessens for them, and for us.”

Comment On This Story
COMMENT POLICY: We welcome comments from individuals and businesses. All comments are moderated. Comments are subject to rejection if they are vulgar, combative, or in poor taste.
REAL NAMES ONLY: All posters must use their real individual or business name. This applies equally to Twitter account holders who use a nickname.


You can be the first one to leave a comment.

Leave a Comment

Thursday, Mar 4, 2021
College of the Canyons proudly welcomes composer/lyricist, conductor, pianist and music producer Georgia Stitt to the School of Visual & Performing Arts’ Virtual Industry Insight Series on Wednesday, March 10.
Thursday, Mar 4, 2021
Ken Farley, W. M. Keck Foundation professor of Geochemistry, Division of Geological and Planetary Sciences and the project scientist for the Mars 2020 mission, continues the 2020–2021 Watson Lecture season with a talk about, “Perseverance on Mars," Wednesday, March 10, at 5:00 p.m., via Zoom.
Wednesday, Mar 3, 2021
California State University, Northridge is launching an interdisciplinary master’s degree in sustainability, set to begin fall 2022.
Wednesday, Mar 3, 2021
Sam Horn, president of Master’s University and Seminary for the past year, will be stepping down from his position, university officials said Monday.
Tuesday, Mar 2, 2021
The ability to transform data into information and insights that can elevate a business and influence decisions is at the core of the newest major being offered in California State University, Northridge’s David Nazarian College of Business and Economics.
Keep Up With Our Facebook

Latest Additions to SCVNews.com
1772 - Spanish Capt. Pedro Fages arrives; camps at Agua Dulce, Castaic, Lake Elizabeth, Lebec, Tejon [story]
Pedro Fages
Following months of renovations and preparation for a grand reopening, the city of Santa Clarita-owned ice rink has a new name and brand, The Cube - Ice and Entertainment Center.
City Reveals New Name of City-Owned Ice Rink
Los Angeles County Public Health officials on Friday confirmed 144 new deaths and 2,110 new cases of COVID-19 countywide, with 26,403 total cases in the Santa Clarita Valley.
Friday COVID-19 Roundup: Vaccine Allocation to Increase Next Week; SCV Cases Total 26,403
On Friday, the California Department of Public Health released updates to the state’s Blueprint for a Safer Economy reopening framework focused on activities that can be conducted outdoors with consistent masking which will take effect April 1.
State Updates Blueprint, Outdoor Activities and Theme Parks Set to Reopen
The Newhall School District announced Friday the implementation of the first Junior Kindergarten program in the Santa Clarita Valley which will offer students who turn five years old between July 1 and Sept. 1 the opportunity to enroll in school and enjoy the benefits that both Transitional Kindergarten (TK) and Traditional Kindergarten currently provide.
Newhall School District Announces First Junior Kindergarten Program in SCV
The SCV Adventure Play Foundation is set to host its virtual Spring Thing Fling fundraiser on the first day of spring, Saturday, March 20.
SCV Adventure Play Foundation to Host Virtual Spring Thing Fling Fundraiser
Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department Missing Persons Unit investigators are asking for the public’s help locating Missing Person Debbie Phipps.
LASD Investigators Seek Help Locating Missing Person Last Seen In Canyon Country
Rep. Mike Garcia, R-Santa Clarita, has sponsored a new bill that would prohibit the use of federal funds to pay for California’s high-speed rail project, a section of which could run along Highway 14 in the Santa Clarita Valley.
Garcia Sponsors Bill to Defund CA’s High-Speed Rail Project
Santa Clarita City Council members are set to discuss in a closed session Tuesday their ongoing legal battle with property owner Canyon View Limited over the 2.5 acres of solar panels on a Canyon Country hillside.
City Council to Reconvene Over Solar Panel Litigation
1864 - L.A. Star newspaper report: County supervisors have accepted Beale's Cut as complete [story]
Beale's Cut
College of the Canyons proudly welcomes composer/lyricist, conductor, pianist and music producer Georgia Stitt to the School of Visual & Performing Arts’ Virtual Industry Insight Series on Wednesday, March 10.
Broadway Maestra Georgia Stitt to Speak at COC’s Virtual Insight Series
Valencia-based Lundgren Management was honored to be selected by the El Camino Community College District as one of three firms providing on-going construction management services for the next five years.
Valencia-Based Lundgren Management Inks 5-Year Deal with El Camino Community College District
It’s not how far you go…it’s what happens along the way! The Incredible Chase, the city of Santa Clarita’s socially distanced take on the hit CBS show “The Amazing Race,” is a brand-new competition taking place in May 2021.
City Looking for Teams to Compete in ‘The Incredible Chase’
The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health confirmed Thursday 119 new deaths and 2,253 new cases of COVID-19, with 26,327 total cases in the Santa Clarita Valley.
Thursday COVID-19 Roundup: SCV Cases Total 26,327; Public Health Advises Against Non-Essential Travel
For a three-day period starting Tuesday, the William S. Hart Union High School District football players took their first COVID-19 tests as part of the requirements for them to begin full-contact play.
Hart District Football Players Begin COVID-19 Testing, Full-Contact Play
Ken Farley, W. M. Keck Foundation professor of Geochemistry, Division of Geological and Planetary Sciences and the project scientist for the Mars 2020 mission, continues the 2020–2021 Watson Lecture season with a talk about, “Perseverance on Mars," Wednesday, March 10, at 5:00 p.m., via Zoom.
Project Scientist for Mars Perseverance Continues Caltech’s Lecture Series
Los Angeles County Library is partnering with Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) to bring virtual arts programs to our communities, featuring LACMA teaching artists and staff.
L.A. County Library, LACMA Partner to Offer Virtual Arts Programs
Santa Clarita LLC, which owns the undeveloped 900-plus-acre Whittaker-Bermite site, recently filed for voluntary bankruptcy, and is working to sell it to a global industrial real estate company for possible commercial and residential development, officials said Wednesday.
Whittaker-Bermite Owner Files Bankruptcy, Selling Land
William S. Hart Union High School District governing board members Wednesday discussed a potential March 29 start date for junior high and high school in-person instruction, provided the number of L.A. County COVID-19 cases continues to decline.
Hart District Mulls Over Possible March 29 Return
The Santa Clarita Valley is now home to a new branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, following a recent vote from the association’s board of directors.
NAACP Branch Coming to Santa Clarita Valley
Because of the recent rainfall, Los Angeles County Health Officer, Muntu Davis, MD, MPH, is cautioning residents that bacteria, chemicals, debris, trash, and other public health hazards from city streets and mountain areas are likely to contaminate ocean waters at and around discharging storm drains, creeks, and rivers after a rainfall.
Water Advisory Issued for Los Angeles County Beaches
This week, State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond announced the kickoff for the “California Digital Divide Innovation Challenge,” a global competition that will award up to $1 million to the boldest, most revolutionary proposals to eliminate the digital divide and expand high-speed internet access to all Californians.
State Schools Chief Kicks Off ‘California Digital Divide Innovation Challenge’
1940 - NYC premiere of "The Marines Fly High" starring Lucille Ball, filmed in Placerita Canyon [story] Marines Fly High
Los Angeles County Public Health officials on Wednesday confirmed 116 new deaths and 1,759 new cases of COVID-19 countywide, as Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital in Valencia reported its 144th fatality since the pandemic began.
Wednesday COVID-19 Roundup: 144th Death at Henry Mayo; Decline in L.A. County Cases, Hospitalizations
%d bloggers like this: