Cartoons on former sex slaves to go on display in Korea

By 신용배
  • Published : Feb 14, 2014 - 13:52
  • Updated : Feb 14, 2014 - 14:37

Dozens of local cartoons that portray Korean women forced to serve as sex slaves for the Japanese military during World War II will be displayed in South Korea following a successful exhibition in France, organizers said Friday.

The exhibition will be held at the Korea Manhwa Contents Agency in Bucheon, just southwest of Seoul, on Feb. 18-March 1, featuring more than 20 cartoons, illustrations and videos telling the tragic stories of former sex slaves, a municipal cultural agency said.

The agency hosted a special exhibition of the same art pieces as part of the 2014 Angouleme International Comics Festival from Jan. 30 to Feb. 2 in the southwestern French city of the same name.

Despite Japan's lobbying to block it, the exhibition went ahead as
scheduled, drawing more than 17,000 visitors.    

"The event succeeded in letting the world know the reality of Japan's wartime sexual enslavement of Asian women as cartoon industry people from around the world and French citizens crowded the exhibition venue all through the festival period," the agency said in a release. 

"Back here, we decided to reexhibit them to help Bucheon citizens have the knowledge of how the former comfort women were hurt and how cruel the Japanese military was."

The cartoons were drawn by established South Korean cartoonists such as Park Geon-woong, Kim Geun-sook, Shin Ji-soo, Lee Hyun-se and Park Jae-dong to raise the world's awareness of the sex slavery issue.

Historians say up to 200,000 women, many of them Korean, were coerced into sexual servitude by the Japanese army at front-line brothels during World War II when the Korean Peninsula was a Japanese colony. Of the 237 Korean women who reported themselves as former sex slaves, only 55 are still alive. (Yonhap)