The Korea Herald


San Francisco high schools to get ‘comfort women’ books

By Kim So-hyun

Published : Sept. 3, 2018 - 15:59

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A nongovernmental group said Monday it will distribute books on the history of the so-called “comfort women” and related issues later this month to 18 high schools in the San Francisco area.

The San Francisco-based Education for Social Justice Foundation published the not-for-sale, 106-page student edition of “’Comfort Women’ History and Issues for Students” last week, which will be the first educational material entirely about Japan’s military sex slaves during the World War II to be used in US high schools.

Student edition of Student edition of "Comfort Women" History & Issues (Education for Social Justice Foundation)

The San Francisco Board of Education passed a resolution in 2015 to allow 10th graders to learn about the history of women sexually enslaved by the Japanese military.

The NGO published and distributed a teacher's edition of the book to the San Francisco Unified School District, in April this year.

The ESJF has published 100 copies of the student edition, and plans to print more to provide to San Francisco public libraries.

The book includes the historical background of the comfort women, how the international community has moved since the 1990s to teach the history of the Japanese military’s organized exploitation of women as sex slaves, and how the San Francisco Comfort Women Memorial was installed last year near the city’s Saint Mary’s Square.

It contains basic data about the women, open-ended questions to further develop inquiry-based learning, and photographs.

Sohn Sung-sook launched the ESJF last year to make the educational materials and hold workshops for teachers.

Sohn has served as a co-chair of the education committee of the Comfort Women Justice Coalition, an NGO launched in 2015 by people of Korean, Chinese, Filipino and Japanese descent in the San Francisco area.

The ESJF, together with groups such as Facing History and Ourselves, plans to hold a workshop for high school teachers on the Nanjing Massacre and comfort women on Sept. 15 at the Old St. Mary’s Cathedral.

The ESJF is also scheduled to hold an exhibition on Japanese military sex slaves titled “Truth & Justice: Remembering ‘Comfort Women’” in the International Hotel Manilatown Center in San Francisco from Sept. 17-22.

By Kim So--hyun (