The plaque on a museum dedicated to Taiwanese “comfort women,” who were forced into sexual slavery by the Japanese Imperial Army during World War II, was unveiled on Tuesday, International Women’s Day.
It was a momentous day in the history of the women’s rights movement in Taiwan, Taipei Women’s Rescue Foundation chairwoman Huang Shu-ling (黃淑玲) said.
After more than a decade, the foundation has realized its dream of establishing a museum in memory of Taiwanese comfort women, Huang said at a ceremony in Taipei, which was attended by President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) and Chen Lien-hua (陳蓮花), a former comfort woman.
The Ama Museum promotes peace and human rights, Ma said, adding that it opens a new chapter in the history of Taiwanese comfort women.
That part of history must be preserved not for revenge, but to reveal the truth and remember the lessons of the war, Ma said, urging Japan to do more in dealing with the issue of comfort women.
Chen, 92, said she was grateful to see the establishment of the museum.
She is one of three surviving Taiwanese comfort women who have spoken openly about their suffering during the war.
In response to questions about Japan’s handling of the issue, she said that the Japanese government has not responded to their demands, adding that she feared that she might not live long enough to see the day when Japan issues a formal apology and offers compensation.
“Ama” means “grandmother” in Hoklo (commonly known as Taiwanese). The foundation calls former comfort women “ama,” as most of them are in their late 80s or early 90s.
The foundation said it hopes that the museum would become a home for comfort women and a place where they would always be remembered. One of the goals of the foundation is to inform future generations about the history of comfort women and women’s rights, it added.
Housed in a two-story building and covering 150 ping (496m2), the museum is to feature a permanent exhibition on Taiwanese comfort women, displaying photographs, documents and videos related to them, as well as the exchanges over the past two decades between foundation members and Taiwanese comfort women, the foundation said.
In addition to the exhibition, the foundation is to organize workshops and seminars at the museum on topics such as human rights and sexual abuse, it added.
The museum is located in a renovated building in Taipei’s historic Dadaocheng (大稻埕) area and its formal opening is scheduled to take place in September, the foundation said.
The opening is to mark the foundation’s 25 years of efforts in helping comfort women cope with their mental anguish and seek justice and compensation from Japan. Over the past two decades, it has collected many first-hand accounts since it began interviewing the women, the foundation said.
More than 2,000 Taiwanese women were forced into sexual slavery by the Japanese military during the war, according to the foundation.
A Keelung high school on Saturday night apologized for using a picture containing a Chinese flag on the cover of the senior yearbook, adding that it has recalled the books and pledged to provide students new ones before graduation on Thursday. Of 309 Affiliated Keelung Maritime Senior High School of National Taiwan Ocean University graduates, 248 had purchased the yearbook. Some students said that the printer committed an outrageous error in including the picture, while others said that nobody would notice such a small flag on the cover. Other students said that they cared more about the photographs of classmates and what was
GOING INTERNATIONAL: Rakuten Girls squad leader Ula Shen said she was surprised that baseball fans outside of Taiwan not only knew of them, but also knew their names Major League Baseball’s (MLB) Oakland Athletics on Saturday hosted its first Taiwanese Heritage Day event at the Oakland Coliseum with a performance by Taiwanese cheerleading squad the Rakuten Girls and a video message from Vice President William Lai (賴清德). The Rakuten Girls, who are the cheerleaders for the CPBL’s Rakuten Monkeys, performed in front of a crowd of more than 2,000 people, followed by a prerecorded address by Lai about Taiwan’s baseball culture and democratic spirit. Taiwanese pitcher Sha Tzu-chen (沙子宸), who was signed by the Athletics earlier this year, was also present. Mizuki Lin (林襄), considered a “baseball cheerleading goddess” by Taiwanese
WAY OF THE RUKAI: ‘Values deemed worthy often exist amid discomfort, so when people go against the flow, nature becomes entwined with our lives,’ a student said “Run, don’t walk” after your dreams, Nvidia cofounder and chief executive officer Jensen Huang (黃仁勳) told National Taiwan University (NTU) graduates yesterday, as several major universities held in-person graduation ceremonies for the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic. “What will you create? Whatever it is, run after it. Run, don’t walk. Remember, either you’re running for food, or you are running from becoming food. Oftentimes, you can’t tell which. Either way, run,” he said. Huang was one of several tech executives addressing graduating students at Taiwanese universities. National Chengchi University held two ceremonies, with alumnus Patrick Pan (潘先國), who is head of Taiwan
A 14-legged giant isopod is the highlight of a new dish at a ramen restaurant in Taipei and it has people lining up — both for pictures and for a bite from this bowl of noodles. Since “The Ramen Boy” launched the limited-edition noodle bowl on Monday last week, declaring in a social media post that it had “finally got this dream ingredient,” more than 100 people have joined a waiting list to dine at the restaurant. “It is so attractive because of its appearance — it looks very cute,” said the 37-year-old owner of the restaurant, who wanted to be