Korean Americans Protest Inclusion of Controversial NovelBreaking News
SAN FRANCISCO -- Korean American parents in Los Angeles, New York and Boston are protesting the addition of a novel in school reading lists that they say inaccurately depicts Koreans as egregious wartime abusers. Many say their children are being forced to learn a distorted version of history.
"So Far from the Bamboo Grove" by Yoko Kawashima Watkins is a fictionalized autobiography based on Watkins' experiences. It tells the story of the flight of Japanese families from Korea after World War II and the many atrocities they suffered at the hands of Koreans.
A seventh-grade student at Westchester Country Day School in New York, Bo Un Heo is one of several students who refused to attend class while the novel remained on the school's reading list."I wasn't nervous about missing class because I knew it was the right thing to do," Heo said. Parents charge that the novel is not only historically inaccurate, but that it also fails to address the decades of abuse Koreans suffered at the hands of Japanese colonial administrators.
One example they point to is the fact that no mention is made in Watkins' novel of the many Korean women forced into sexual slavery by the Japanese military. The issue remains a major point of controversy between the neighboring countries. Survivors of Japanese abuse, so called" comfort women," still stage weekly protests in front of the Japanese embassy in Seoul.
In the novel, Watkins instead writes about Japanese women who were raped by Koreans and other atrocities following the surrender of Japan to Allied forces.
Koreans in the United States and in Korea have challenged the authenticity of these and other accounts in the novel, however, arguing that the rape of Japanese women by Koreans could never have occurred as the Japanese military presence remained throughout the country until well after American and Russian forces arrived in the area. They also contend that Watkins' accounts of U.S.-led bombing in Korea never occurred during the period covered in the novel, and, for example, her descriptions of removing the uniform of a dead Communist soldier are false since the Communist army did not exist until 1948, years after the events in Watkins' tale....
comments powered by Disqus
- A New Target for Old Spies: Congress
- Antigua and Barbuda Asks Harvard University for Slavery Reparations
- Historian: Nixon DID contest the 1960 election
- Killer took selfie after stabbing historian over rare ‘Wind in the Willows’ book
- VW fires corporate historian who drew attention to wartime ties to Nazis
- Historian Jeremy Kuzmarov calls on Obama to pardon Ethel Rosenberg
- Garry Wills says there’s one human test we can use to decide who’s the better candidate: Trump or Clinton
- Get to Know the Semifinalists for the National Book Award
- Steven Runciman — historian, tease and professional enigma — is the subject of a biography
- Historian Eric Foner: Trump is Logical Conclusion of What the GOP Has Been Doing for Decades