When photographer Ahn Sehong’s exhibit in the Nikon Building in Tokyo was pulled, he blamed discrimination. The subject of his controversial work? Japan’s “Comfort Women”. The name is misleading, and in fact the term “Comfort Women” is actually a practice that is distinctly disconcerting. It refers to a group of women, victims who were forcibly taken from Korea and used as sex slaves for Japanese soldiers during WWII.
Sehong believes his portrait series was cancelled because the Japanese don’t want to acknowledge the women. In fact, he believes the Japanese are purposefully trying to wipe away the history of these women. Like many nations, Japan prefers to keep this part of it’s history hidden from view. The thing we have to remember is that there is a reason that unpleasant and sometimes painful memories in the past shouldn’t stay hidden. We all need to remember so as to prevent it from happening again, and clearly there are still many other countries who could do with the example.
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