• Japan's Meiji Industrial Revolution
  • Sites of Distorted Facts and Concealed Truth

Japan's Meiji Industrial Revolution

Sites of Distorted Facts and Concealed Truth

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Kim Han-su | Forcibly mobilized to the Mitsubishi Nagasaki Shipyard in 1944 | 2006.2.17 verbal statement

Kim Han-su was born in Yeonan-eup, Yeonbaek-gun County, Hwanghae-do Province in 1918. As conscription originally did not apply to only sons, he worked at the Monopoly Bureau in Yeonbaek. He received a notice of conscription on August 26, 1944. About 180 people left from Yeonan Station, made their way to Busan Station in the south and were taken to the Mitsubishi Nagasaki Shipyard. His first accommodations were in a crude wooden building called the Sachi Dormitory, composed of a passageway through the Centre and areas to sleep on both sides. After completing training, he was moved to Mitsubishi's Fukuda Dormitory some 2 km away.

His day began at 6 am and continued until 10 pm when he went to bed. At the copper factory he would fill pipes with sand, harden the sand with a hammer and then use a gas fire to heat the pipes until they were able to bend. His left toe was once fractured during work, to which the doctor applied an iodine tincture and sent him back to the factory to work. After this, he ended up at a zinc galvanizing plant where he worked lighting coal in underground kilns. This was a job that required staying up awake night after night. His salary only paid him an allowance with the remainder said to be remitted to his family in his hometown, but upon returning home later it turned out that no payments had taken place. Meals were a bit of rice added to soybean oil along with boiled rice and sweet potato vines, but this meager fare left him always very hungry. He lived thinking about his parents and family in his hometown day in and day out, and committed himself to seeing them again.

On the 9th of August the air raid siren rang; suddenly a deep blue light flashed through the window, he saw his body floating, and then it fell. He heard the sound of an iron plate crashing into something and a howling. Even now, he cannot forget the other images he saw: a person who could not speak due to extensive burns on the face and could only hold his hand and cry, or another person from his hometown whose mouth was torn to the point that he could only ingest thin rice gruel through a straw. He returned home to Korea on the morning of the 28th of October, arriving in the city of Busan.

- An August Incised on the Body: Atomic Bomb Experiences of Victims of Forced Mobilization in Hiroshima and Nagasaki (original Korean title: 내 몸에 새겨진 8월, 히로시마,나가사키 강제동원 피해자의 원폭체험), Fact-finding Committee on Damages from Forced Mobilization under Japanese Occupation, 2008, pp. 318~349



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