Friday, December 16, 2011

Peace Monument for Comfort Women

A 130-cm bronze sculpture of a young girl was erected Wednesday on the road in front of the Japanese embassy in Seoul's Jongno District.

The “Peace Monument” was designed to give shape to the spirit of the “comfort women” who have come to the area every Wednesday for the past twenty years to call for an apology from the Japanese government.

Dressed in a hanbok, traditional Korean outfit, the girl sits on a chair with her fists on her knees, looking quietly toward the embassy. The shadow hanging to the ground beneath the sculpture forms the shape of an elderly woman. A bird sits on the girl's left shoulder, and a butterfly is positioned on the shadow's chest. In addition to representing freedom and peace, the bird is also a spiritual bridge linking the women who have passed away with those who are still alive. The butterfly symbolizes rebirth.

Below the statute is a history of the Wednesday Demonstrations engraved in Korean, English, and Japanese. The empty chair to the girl’s right is a contribution from citizens to offer comfort to the survivors. The peace memorial was likewise made through the actions of citizens.

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