The Value of Autobiographical Memory in Media Advocacy Campaign_2

A Case Study of Crowdfunding: the Campaign for the film “Sprits’ Homecoming” in South Korea


Historical Background of the Campaign

Political Relation of Korea and Japan

Economic relations between South Korea and Japan are improving as they deal with various issues together, such as tax evasion or disaster relief planning. In terms of political relations, there is a disconnect until now, as continuous territorial claims in relation to islands or history have threatened the relationship (Bang & Kang 2012). 

For example, Japan’s territorial disputes with South Korea over an island named as “Dokdo” by Koreans or “Takeshima” by Japanese have been worse since the end of the Second World War. Even though the island is currently occupied by the Republic of Korea, and it has always belonged to South Korea, the Japanese government has claimed that “Takeshima” is a part of the Japanese territory. The claim of the Japanese government is based mainly on the twentieth-century agreements with Korea. Conversely, the South Korean government argues that Japan returned the island after its liberation from Japanese colonial as a result of the two states’ bilateral agreements (Fern 2005).


Aside from the historical territorial claims, the issue of human rights abuse has also made the relationship worse. The term “Comfort Women” refers to teenage girls or women from Korea, Northern China, Philippines, Indonesia, and Taiwan who were forced to become sexual slaves for the Japanese military during the Second World War. Few of them survived, those that did began to request a sincere apology and compensation from the Japanese government (Kim 2014). The surviving comfort women symbolises the collective wish to reclaim national integrity and bolster Korean nationalism in Korea and to remind Japan of its moral commitment to the Korean nation. On the other hand, the Japanese government has not tried to represent the issue as a crime. As a result, Japanese junior high school history textbooks do not mention “Comfort Women” and describe it as ‘paid prostitute camp followers’ (Orreill 2008). Therefore, the Japan’s colonial rule as well as its ignorant attitude and behaviour have made the serious tension between Korea and Japan.

Women’s Oppression in Korea

The system of comfort women is not an issue limited only in Korea, is rather found in almost every conflict zone. The gender-based military violence in Korea became a root cause of oppression of South Korean Women. Even though the comfort women are the victims of the forced military prostitution system, they have not been able to speak up and to share their tragic experiences freely for the sake of international peace and security. A social atmosphere has remained in Korea even until now that it is shameful for women to talk about stories in relation to sexual abuse. The oppressive atmosphere for women in Korea can be explained in relation to the historical background of Korean Women who had lived under the Neo-Confucianism law of chastity since the Joseon Dynasty (1392-1897) before the Republic of Korea was established (Pae 2011). As a result, a first statement was made by one of the comfort women in Korea, Kim Hak-Soon in 1991, when that woman became really old (Orreill 2008).


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