The 22 (The Japanese Invasion)

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Aug 19, 2017 01:44
TGIF. I went to a movie today. I’d originally wanted to be entertained but a movie called “the 22” made me depressed. This movie was actually a documentary that showed the day-to-day lives of 22 old ladies. No voiceovers. Few interviews. Mostly their monologues, and the depictions of their daily lives. This documentary does not sound spectacular, does it? It is not, but far from dull. During WWII, hundreds of thousands of Chinese women were captured by the Japanese to serve the army as “comfort women,” who were repeatedly raped. Many of them could not stand the torture and killed themselves. However, some survived the horror. The 22 old ladies in the documentary, mostly aged over 90, were said to be the only survivors remaining in 2014, when the movie was filmed.

Some of these 22 elderly ladies lived with their offspring. Some lived alone at nursing homes because they’d become infertile after the torture by the Japanese soldiers. They all seemed to live calm lives, not much different from those of any other senior citizens in China. However, whenever they brought up their experiences as “comfort women,” the words got stuck in their throats and they choked, with tears welling up, saying, “I don’t want to talk about this anymore…” Seeing their deeply wrinkled faces convulsing from pangs of sadness really made me depressed. They’d previously kept all this miserable past to themselves. However, some volunteers naively thought they could win a case against the current Japanese government over the comfort woman issue and thus ferreted them out as witnesses. Later, as might have been expected, the Japanese government refused to admit having perpetrated this atrocity, and the volunteers lost the case.

By today, in 2017, more than half of these 22 have died. Their untold memories have been entombed, along with their bodies. A few years later, if they are all gone, then there will be no one to narrate this miserable segment of history first hand. War wreaks havoc on human lives. I wish for the world peace and think mankind should learn from the past. However, after seeing unrelenting terrorist attacks, racial/religious/boundary conflicts, etc…, I won't be surprised if another world war breaks out in the future.


22位老人中,一些人和子孙后辈们生活在一起,而有一些则在敬老院孤独终老,因为她们做慰安妇的时候,受到了日军摧残,终生不孕。在电影中,她们看起来都生活得很平静,和其他中国老年人没有什么区别。但是一提到过去的悲惨经历,她们就开始抽泣,眼泪喷涌而出,说道:”关于这件事,我不想再谈。“ 看到她们由于过度悲痛,满经沧桑的老脸不停地抽搐时,我感到很压抑。她们原本把秘密藏于心中,不想再提,但一些幼稚的志愿者认为他们可以在慰安妇问题上打赢对日本政府的官司,于是把她们挖掘出来作证据。结果也可想而知,日本政府拒绝承认这一滔天罪行,志愿者们也输掉了官司。