California History Textbooks Must Now Include “Comfort Women”: a poem

California History Textbooks Must Now Include “Comfort Women”

They came like wolves in sheep’s clothing,
the Japanese soldiers, as they offered
pounds of rice in exchange for the young
women of the village. And history refused
to acknowledge the ravaging, the hunger,
the teeth-marked nipples,
all the unheard stories of pain,
until now.

It took over seventy years
before a one-billion-yen settlement
was reached, between Japan and South Korea,
for the sexual exploitation of over
two-hundred-thousand women.

Today, only forty-two remain,
yet none of them would receive
direct compensation nor a direct
apology, when an apology
and admittance of truth
was the only comfort they needed.

As I spoke of this injustice,
I learned that my Nana had almost
been taken as a comfort woman.
It took three years in college
to discover the history of my
people, my own grandmother.

Three years, but it’s understandable.
Anything but American pride
is difficult here, here in the States,
where US history is prioritized
over world history and world
history is often limited to the
European scope. But now,
there is hope for other
Korean-American students
to learn about their roots,
the oppression,
and feel the injustice
of these women who came
for the wolves, choking, groaning, loathing.

 

 

 

 

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