Home Blog Page 2

Han Myeong-Sook-South Koreas’ First Female Prime President

0
Han Myeong-Sook-South Koreas' First Female Prime President

She was nominated to be the first Prime Minister of South Korea by the President, Roh Moo-hyun, following the resignation of Lee Hae-chan. She served as the Prime Minister for 11 months and resigned on April 2007. She is a graduate of Ewha Woman’s University in French Literature.

She is a vibrant woman who attempted to run for presidency though she did not succeed the presidential nominations. Before being appointed as a Prime Minister, she was a member of the United New Democratic Party. Her role in the party played a significant part in her nomination as PM.

Han Myeong-Sook-South Koreas’ First Female Prime President

After she resigned from being the Prime Minister, she was elected as the chairperson of Democratic United Party. She led the DUP which was the opposition party, where she pushed for reforms for the newly formed government. She later stepped down due to political pressure and opposition.

Her role as the first female PM made her get recognized. She remains to be a key influencer to many women who are afraid to lead. She is a powerful leader and a vibrant person as illustrated by the role she played as a Prime Minister and a leader of the opposition.

Despite Hang being a great influence and fighting for women to be recognized, she was sent to prison. In 2012, she was accused of obtaining money illegally and was imprisoned for two years. She faced a major fall in her political career as she could not participate in politics for the next 10 years. Han is a great influencer who motivates women not shy away from politics, but dominate.

Shin Kyung –Sook First Korean Writer to Win The Man Asian Literary

0
Kyung-Sook-Shin

“Please Look after My Mother” is the first novel to be nominated in the Man Asian Literary Prize from South Korea. Shin Kyung –Sook, the author stands to be the first Female writer and national to be named for the same prize.

The book is one deep experience of evoking emotions of sadness and almost grief and uncertainty. The skillful approach of the second person narration easily makes the reader transpose personal life to the experience in the novel.

Kyung-Sook-Shin

One would ask, do you know your mother? The rhetoric hits the children of Park So-nyo when she vanishes at the Seoul station someday on her way to see her children. The first born daughter, the eldest child too, launches the search in vain.

The book stretches your imaginations to all limits of disclosure to your inner self. It hits a rubber bullet to your conscience, and indeed, you learn that everyone has a saga within them. At the same time, you feel the extent of a mother’s love.

Through the children trying to define their mother, you learn the dynamics of the culture and customs of South Korea as the mother fends from the village to come and supplement her children in the city.

Please Look after My Mother is set for nominations in 35 countries. The book has sold 1.93 million copies so far and is yet to be published in 32 countries. The author Kyung soon- Shin is one in a million in the styles she uses and the relationship between characters that she builds in the book.

Lee Hyo-Jung –Badminton Olympic Championship

0
Lee Hyo-Jung

Lee Hyo- Jung was born on 13th January 1981 at Basun South Korea. She is a renowned badminton player who began her exemplary performance at Haksan high school. Throughout her life, she has dedicated her course to the Badminton court and won many matches within and without Asia.

Back at high school, Lee won several junior championships in singles, doubles and mixed doubles in the Germany Junior tournaments. She partnered with Woul Sik to win the Girls Doubles (bronze medal). She too partnered with Chri Min-ho and secured themselves silver medal.

Lee Hyo-Jung

In the Asian championship doubles, Lee together with Yim Kyung –Jin won a gold medal. At the age 0f 19 years, Lee took part in the Sidney Olympics where she partnered with Yim in the women’s doubles and Lee Dong-Soo in the mixed doubles. Lee and Yim were defeated in the second-round, while Dong was defeated in the first round.

She continued to win many other tournaments and championships including in 2008 where She and Lee Kyung –won bet Yang Wei and Zhang Jiewen at the semi-finals and Du Jung Yu Yang at the finals of the All England Open Championship. It was her first time to grab that title.

The same year at the Beijing Summer Olympics she won a gold medal in partnership with Lee Yong- dee. In 2010, in the Russia games, Lee with Shin Boek Cheol won the women double. Lee declared her retirement for active sports the very year.

South Korean “Birth Strike”- Wage Gaps, Lack of Child Care and Gender Bias

0
South Korean "Birth Strike"- Wage Gaps, Lack of Child Care and Gender Bias

While many other countries in the third world are in fear of the rapid population increase, the Government of South Korea spends more than $70 billion on unsuccessful campaigns to encourage its citizens to let the “birth strike” go and bear more children.

The chief statistician of Gangneung, Dae seong Jeong says the country is at risk of future low economic productivity because of the increase of the elderly and low birth rate. The dependency ratio on the welfare will create a strain on the working population. He adds that there is a 7.3% drop in birthrate in the past one year which is a clear indication of the looming danger.

South Korean “Birth Strike”- Wage Gaps, Lack of Child Care and Gender Bias

But then, where did the rains begin to beat? The 22-year-old Yun-seol Choi attributes the “birth strike” to the high cost of university cost and the housing. Generally, she says the cost of living is unfavorable and makes children a luxury like a Porsche.

From other reliable sources, men in South Korea spend very little time with their children leaving the women to task. Women end up carrying a double burden at their workplace and home. They get discouraged because of the lack of support from their spouses.

Yun- shick Chae has a contrary opinion and feels “birth strike” is an act of selfishness and negligence of civic responsibilities. He urges the women to sacrifice for the country and give birth. It irritates him to see the newly wedded shelving the idea of having children.

Single Mothers In South Korea Struggle To Remove Social Stigma

0
Single Mothers In South Korea

Being a single mother in South Korea is an experience you would not wish to encounter. In the 1980s children were sent for adoption abroad; 90% of them were from the unmarried mothers. The communities in South Korea have become too conservative to accept the presence of single mothers.

Testimony from Choi Hyung –Sook is evidence enough of what you are likely to face as a single mum in South Korea. Her family cut ties with her and bonding again has not been a walk in the park. She had to quit her job because of the underground talks.

Single Mothers In South Korea

According to Shannon Heit, who was adopted by American parents after her grandmother gave her out when her mother had gone to work, she feels it is disgusting to value other parents with more money to raise your child.

The Deputy Director for the Ministry of Gender Equality and Family says the government has expanded its budget to create more awareness campaign to alleviate social prejudice against the single mothers.

Ironically, according to Heit, the government of South Korea offers twice the financial support to domestic adoptive parents than the single biological mothers.

There is a need for the cultural and government support to create a conducive environment for the single mothers to raise their children. The children need to be happy like any others in South Korea. Choi hopes that one day the society will appreciate the fact that raising the child alone is a personal choice.

Choi and Heit have taken leading roles in the awareness campaigns through rallies and celebrating the single women’s day.

Jun Ahn The Self-Portrait Photographer

0
Jun Ahn

Jun Ahn is a professional photographer with a rich education background in photography. Jun has many years of experience working both in New York and South Korea.

Education

Jun acquired her first degree in Art History at the South California University in 2006. She continued to pursue her post-graduate degree at Pratt Institute where she began her project; the Self-Portrait.

2009-2011, Jun acquired a Dean’s scholarship from Parsons The New School of Design. In 2011, she acquired both the Dean’s and departmental scholarships. Parson Awarded Ahn Jun a masters in fine arts (honors) which gave her the mileage to pursue a Ph.D. in photography at Hongik University, Seoul.

Jun Ahn

She has had her introductory joint exhibition at PS 122 with Kazue Taguchi in New York.

The journey of self-portrait began in Pratt when she was still a student. She took a photo of her feet while seated at the edge of a building. It excited her, and she pushed on thereafter.

Ahns photos center on Invisible Seascape, Self-Portrait, and Float. She seeks to get legitimacy to access the buildings, and at times, it takes months. She agrees that it is dangerous to take the photos from the top buildings though she tries to play safe at the same time.

Lim Ji-Young-The First Korea Ever to Win Queen Elisabeth Competition

0
Lim Ji-Young-The First Korea Ever to Win Queen Elisabeth Competition

The young violinist was born in 1995 in Seoul, South Korea. She is a great and renowned violinist who has gained momentum due to her aficionado in violins. She obtained the first prize as the winner in Queen Elizabeth Competition in 2005 that was held in Brussels.  She studies at the Korea National Arts University with Yun Kim.

Lim young has always become successful in numerous other competitions. After she became the second runners-up in the 2011 International Violin Competition Henri Marteau, Ji won the 2012 Japan’s Ishikawa Music Award.  She also performed exemplary in the Concerto Competition which was held at Korea’s International Great Mountains Music Festival. Similarly, she succeeded at International Eurasia Music competition in the year 2013 in Japan. She couldn’t fail to show her expertise in playing the violins at the Indianapolis music competition where she got a Mozart and MIMC prize.

Lim Ji-Young-The First Korea Ever to Win Queen Elisabeth Competition

The professional in general has performed in Belgium, Germany, United States, Korea, Japan, Canada, Switzerland, Joell Smirnoff, and Maxim Vengerov.

What happened in the 2005’s Queen Elisabeth competition was weird and amazing at the same time. At the time of prize announcements for the violinists, her name got misheard which made a fellow competitor by the name Lee Yoon to get the prize but unfortunately, for her Lim Young was the real winner hence she got the prize which was inclusive of twenty-five thousand Euros. In that same prize, she was offered a loan of four years of “Huggins” Stradivarius violins, Antonio Stradivari explicitly made that in 1708 who was a violin expert by then.

Yuna Kim Is The SweetHeart Of Korea and The First Female Figure Skater To Win The Olympics

0
Sochi, RUSSIA - February 22, 2014: Yuna KIM at Figure Skating Exhibition Gala at Sochi 2014 XXII Olympic Winter Games

Yuna Kim was born in the Bucheon, Gyeonggi Province on September 5th of 1990. She was a professional figure skater in South Koreas and the Olympic champion for 2014. She was the World champion in 2009 and 2013, the Four Continents champion for 2009, the Grand Prix Final champion for 2006 through 2007, 2007 through 2008 and 2009 through 2010, the Junior Grand Prix Final champion for 2005 and the South Korean national champion for 2014, 2013, 2006, 2005, 2004 and 2003.

Yuna Kim is the first figure skater from South Korea to receive a medal at the Senior or Junior Grand Prix event, the Olympic Games and the ISU Championship. She is the first to win the Grand Prix Final, the Four Continents Championships and the World Championships as a female skater. She is a highly recognized media figure and athlete in South Korea and referred to as the ice queen. A large portion of the media across the globe calls her Queen Yuna.

 

Yuna Kim holds the former record for females in the combined total, free skate and short program according to the ISU Judging System. Since 2007, she has beaten the scores for the world record eleven times according to the ISU Judging System. Eight of these records were originally set by her. She is the first female skater to exceed the 150 and 140-point free shaking mark and the 220, 210 and 200-point total mark according to the ISU Judging System. Many people regard her as the best skater for ladies singles in history due to her musical and artistry sense, nearly textbook jumps, exceptional speed, unprecedented depth, competitive record, longevity, quality, consistency and grace.

 

During the XXI Olympic Winter Games, Yuna Kim was the athlete with the highest pay and in 2014, 2013, 2012 and 2010 she earned more than any other sportswoman on the globe according to Forbes. She was also included in Forbes Philanthropy and Under 30 lists. Time magazine included her as one of 2010’s 100 Most Influential People. She was ranked by Forbes from 2010 until 2015 in the top ten as a Korea Power Celebrity. During the Winter Olympics opening ceremony for 2018, she lit the Olympic cauldron in Pyeongchang, South Korea.

Yuna Kim began skating when she was six with Ryu Jong-hyun as her coach. Her coach predicted she would become a famous figure skater as time passed. During an interview in 2011, she thanked her coaches for realizing her body structure and muscles were perfect for skating. She feels lucky her coaches helped her develop her talent. The facilities in South Korea were limited during her junior years. She had an interview with CNN in 2010 and spoke of the few ice rinks in existence in South Korea, stating the majority were public.

 

Even now, when an athlete in South Korea wants to practice skating, they must do so either late at night or early in the morning. The figure skaters must train in different rinks on a consistent basis because there are not enough rinks available for all the skating teams. She believes the possibility of injury always exists because the skating rinks are too cold. While she was a teenager, she often wore skates that did not fit properly due to the lack of proper skate shops. She suffered from many injuries and had a hard time keeping her balance because of this.

 

Yuna Kim’s first international competition was in 2002 at the Triglav Trophy in Slovenia. She received the gold medal for winning the novice competition. She won the South Korean Championships senior title at age twelve and her second international title at the Golden Bear of Zagreb.

Kyung-won Park – the first female civilian pilot in the country

0
World war II era propeller fighter planes on a mission

August 7 marks the eighty-fifth anniversary (1933) of the tragic death of Kyung-won Park, celebrated as Korea’s first civilian female aviator.

 

Born June 24, 1901 in Daegu, Gyeongsang-do, Korea to wealthy parents, she was the youngest of five children. A precocious and lively child, Park’s intelligence and curious nature, along with a playful, adventurous spirit and a relentless determination easily distinguished her from other youngsters her age. When her schooling began, she excelled while attending the Simsang Girl’s Primary and High Schools. Later, she received her secondary education at the esteemed Myeongsin Women’s School, an American Presbyterian Church mission-sponsored school in Daegu. Following completion of her studies in 1917 (with the highest honors), Park received the blessing of her parents and relocated to Japan where she studied for two-and-a-half-years at Yokohama’s Kasahara Industrial Training School. While living in Yokohama, along with her studies, she attended a local Korean church, eventually converting to the Christian faith.

 

In early 1920, with the intention of following her parent’s advice by entering nursing school, Park returned to Daegu to begin her studies. Although nursing was a popular and highly-respected profession for educated Korean women in the early twentieth century, Park had discovered a different passion. During her time in Japan, Park had become intrigued by aviation, and expressed her aspiration to become an airplane pilot. Unfortunately, opportunities for women in the early days of this relatively new technology were nearly non-existent, and the training and tuition costs were very expensive. When she revealed to her parents of her dream to make a career in the skies, they were, not surprisingly, shocked and voiced their opposition to the idea. Disappointed by their reaction, but rational enough to know that if she were to realize her dream, she would have to pursue it without family support, Park (for the time being) capitulated to her parent’s wishes and agreed to follow the original plan and attend nursing school. She dutifully completed her training and began working at Jayhe Hospital, the local medical facility. All the while, to help earn the finances needed to pay for her aviation training, Park not only saved much of her nurse’s salary, she also showed resourcefulness by obtaining a driver’s license to earn additional money by providing her services as a driver.

 

In January 1925, still intent on pursuing her dream and having accumulated the necessary funding, Park returned to Japan and enrolled at Tachikawa Flight School in Kamata where her intelligence and dogged determination helped her to quickly distinguish herself among the other (overwhelmingly male) trainees. Park graduated in two years, obtaining her 3rd-class commercial pilot’s license. Her abilities were readily apparent to her colleagues and instructors, and after completing the required training, she applied for and tested for the next level and succeeded, obtaining her 2nd-class license, making her Korea’s first female civilian pilot.

 

For the next five years, Kyung-won Park performed her duties admirably, serving as an inspiration for her fellow aviators, both male and female, including pilots from other countries. In addition, she also served honorably as an instructor at Tachikawa,

 

In May 1933, Park was selected to pilot the maiden voyage of a new aerial route linking Japan and Manchukuo (Manchuria). Being selected for this assignment was a great honor, made even more so by the selection of a woman pilot. On the morning of August 7, Park departed Haneda Airport in Tokyo in the Blue Swallow, a Salmon 2A2 biplane bound for Manchukuo. Encountering dense fog just 42 minutes into the flight, Park apparently became disoriented and tragically lost her life when the plane crashed near the Japanese town of Hakone.

Comfort women stories. What actually happened

0

The Comfort women stories from World War 2 have echoed throughout the world. The hardship and suffering that they faced during their days in the Comfort Women brothels has made a mark in world history.

Comfort Women served in military brothels before and during World War II. Comfort Women is a translation of the Japanese “ianfu,” which is a common euphemism for a prostitute. Though estimates on the number of women who took part in the brothels vary, they begin at 20,000 women. Stories of Comfort Women were revealed in different military and humanitarian reports after the war concluded.

 

There is a general lack of documentation, which keeps an exact number of Comfort Women from being determined. The Asahi Shibum, a Japanese newspaper, once published that the number of Comfort Women was over 100 000, which was redacted when it was discovered to be erroneous. The number likely refers to the number of women who started to work in the civil labor corp. as nurses and cleaners during the war.

 

Comfort Stations were found in many of the places occupied by Japan. Burma, Thailand, Vietnam, Malaya, Taiwan, The Dutch East Indies, and Timor all had Comfort Stations. According to many testimonies, women from agricultural villages and with no educational opportunities were recruited by local brokers. The brokers, also called middlemen, then trafficked the women to locally owned brothels, so that they could provide “comfort” to soldiers during the war. When the war started, the brokers used conventional methods like newspaper advertisements to recruit women.

 

Kimiko Kaneda

Kimiko Kaneda was a South Korean Comfort Woman. She was half Japanese and half Korean, but she ended up living with her uncle in Korea. Kaneda’s father was a priest who was arrested for defaming Japanese shrines. At age 16, Kaneda worked as a housemaid in Seoul. She became addicted to opium after being sent to work as a Comfort Woman in Zaoqiang, which got her sent back to Seoul in 1945. The following is a part of her story transcribed from a video:

 

Forced to become a comfort woman


How did I feel? I felt as if we were taken here to be killed. I could not but weep. No one talked. All were weeping. That night we slept there and in the morning we were put in those rooms. Soldiers came to my room, but I resisted with all my might. The first soldier wasn’t drunk and when he tried to rip my clothes off, I shouted “No!” and he left. The second soldier was drunk. He waved a knife at me and threatened to kill me if I didn’t do what he said. But I didn’t care if I died, and in the end he stabbed me. Here (She pointed her chest).”

“He was taken away by the military police and I was taken to the infirmary. My clothes were soaked with blood. I was treated in the infirmary for twenty days. I was sent back to my room. A soldier who had just returned from the fighting came in. Thanks to the treatment my wound was much improved, but I had a plaster on my chest.”

“Despite that the soldier attacked me, and when I wouldn’t do what he said, he seized my wrists and threw me out of the room. My wrists were broken, and they are still very weak. Here was broken…. There’s no bone here. I was kicked by a soldier here. It took the skin right off… you could see the bone.”

 

At the time, prostitution was legal in Japan. Since it was legal, the system of Comfort Women was invented to prevent battlefield conflicts. This would reduce hostility from native populations in occupied areas. After the war ended, Japan issued formal apologies that aimed to compensate Comfort Women monetarily (2015 Comfort Women Agreement).

Popular Posts

My Favorites

Myeong-Hee Yu Scientific Advisor To The President Of South Korea

Myeong learned of her scientific skills while in middle school, and she chose to pursue a career in microbiology which she successfully did. She...

Koiso Kuniaki