Hologram247 comments

Posted in: S Korean World War II sex slavery victim seeks U.N. justice as time runs out See in context

Victims have to realize two things and not confuse the two: 1) Compensation for their suffering monetarily or otherwise in some tangible form 2)Emotional need for change of heart or remorse by the descendants of the original perpetrators and this includes the government officials. The first one can be worked out through the UN but the second is going to be difficult. It's like asking a newborn in Japan to feel bad and apologize to a newborn in Sourth Korea or China or Philippines and feel remorseful about it. Time has passed and there is a real disconnect in feeling for crimes committed by previous generations and while pleading your case may stir empathy and sympathy for the tragic events, to demand the Japanese descendants to also sincerely feel remorse for a grandparents crime as if you did it yourself is a stretch. Are you demanding them to imagine them performing these crimes themselves, and then feel remorse as if you remember it as if it was your own crime? Because that's the only way to generate sincere guilt and remorse, but such a demand is also so sad even for the victim because the more you press and insist, the more the response is an equally painful reaction of "it wasn't me" "I didn't do it" by a new generation and you're left feeling the insincerity over and over. Empathy and sympathy and acknowledgement that you suffered - yes, but it is not the same as guilt and remorse. You can fight for acknowledgement and compensation but you can only heal your own heart, alone. That is what the Buddhist talk of as karma. And with karma, how you react is your karma and how others react is their karma. You can only control your own and not anyone else's no matter how close or distant and that is the real suffering.

Documenting the true historical accounts are important but again, demanding it be taught in school books will need to be worked out. Realistically, a lot happened in Japan during WWII and honestly there is a dissonance and new history is constantly being added. I agree the crimes should be written in textbooks but probably less so than other major events like Pearl Harbor and the atomic bombs or the re-writing of the constitution by MacArthur. Frankly, modern day school children just want to study to pass exams and once its done, out of sight, out of mind, they have present day problems like finding a job and starting a family to think of. I think the recent big events like the 3/11 earthquake and tsunami are already fading in the minds of people trying to survive amidst the pandemic. A college level course in woman's study where the social history of women's changes in view about abuses to women as sex objects and harassment might be a better place to bring out the historical misuse as an example. But this is again a tangible compensation, not any guarantee of an emotional one.

What happened historically is tragic but history is full of tragedy and people have suffered throughout and only the lucky few have had their stories heard and recognized. Telling the story and setting the record is important, but demanding a specific emotional reaction is different. Again, imagine looking at a newborn and saying one day when you're old enough, you will have to feel guilty about what your ancestors have done to me and mine. As a Japanese American born after WWII and never lived in Japan my entire life I still feel pressured and reactive when every December 7th, the news in America remembers Pearl Harbor Day, the Day that will live in Infamy. I wasn't born then and I had nothing to do with the war, and that is my reaction. But I know many older Americans and descendants of military service members who were hurt or killed that day don't see it that way, they don't want to see the difference.

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