"We must record these things that were forced upon us."
Hak-Soon Kim, the first Korean survivor
to come out publicly in 1991
The Museum of Sexual Slavery by Japanese Military is the world’s first museum that focuses on the issue of Japanese military sexual slavery. It was opened in August, 1998 with the purpose of recording the history of Japanese military sexual slavery before and during WWII, displaying evidence for public record, educating the population about the subject, and cherish the memory of the victims who have passed away.
The museum, which has two floors and a basement, was built with the money donated by many organizations and civilians. The museum displays testimonies by the victims of Japanese military sexual slavery from Korea and abroad as well as many related documents that prove what the Japanese military had forced up on the victims during the war much of the accusations Japan denies publicly.
The museum has a replica of a room in a comfort station where the comfort women lived as well as many related artifacts. The museum displays several of the paintings that are drawn by the victims, so that visitors can have better understanding of how comfort women lived and felt during their time in a comfort station. The History Museum will continue to educate visitors so this history will not be forgotten.
The first testimonial by Hak-Soon Kim and a picture of her hands
"We must record these things that were forced upon us"
quoted from Hak-soon Kim's testimony, sums up the purpose of the museum.
Exhibit 1 : A Place of History
This is where basic information about the historical background and basic information of the Japanese military sexual slavery during the war are displayed.
Exhibit 2 : A Place of Testimony
A big map is displayed on a whole wall, which shows the locations of 'comfort stations' confirmed by official documents and testimonies. Visitors are able to gain insight into what the conditions were like and how the victims were sexually abused.
Exhibit 3 : A Place of Experience
Descending down the creaking stairs into the basement, visitors can experience the horrifying ordeal of those women who were forced into sexual slavery in the replica of a 'comfort station' room.
Exhibit 4 : A Place of Records
Beginning with a recording of Hak-Soon Kim's first testimony in 1991, the faces of the witnesses gradually light up one by one on a wall. Her first public testimony became the cornerstone of the movement for the victims of Japaese military sexual slavery.
Exhibit 5 : A Place of Accusation
There are words that cannot be spoken. There are thoughts that cannot shared no matter how much one wants to. The international community started to listen to the victims' voices.
There are the fingerprint drawings of halmonis' faces and a list of generous donors to support the victims and House of Sharing. We have to remember contributions from our supporters are making and keeping the history. Visitors can purchase souvenirs to remember their trip.
Outdoor display and stage
The Place of Requiem and the outdoor stage for various performances. The statue of 'Un-blossomed Flower' based on Soon-Duk Kim's painting of the same name is the representative piece of the House of Sharing.