Flutter, Flutter, Butterfly

By Mihee Eun
Regular price $15.00

In the world, there are many uncomfortable truths. Truths that are covered up and hidden in hopes that they will fade and be forgotten. As a result of our shame, lies are told and false histories are taught to our children. But we perpetuate the problem when we fail to admit our truths. No matter how ugly or shameful they are, we must remember in order to learn from past mistakes. Otherwise, history will only repeat itself.

In this story we see an example of an uncomfortable truth. An innocent girl, at the young age of 15, is forced into sex slavery by the Japanese Army in 1943. Through no fault of her own, her life is disrupted by the many horrors that ensue. Simply because she had been born at a time when Korea was found to be weaker than Japan, the young girl is forced into seclusion, suffering constant pain and abuse from the authorities who took her. But Soonboon’s story is not the only one. Tens of thousands of women still haven’t told their stories, let alone received any consolation or reprieve. These women, their hairs gray, still suffer and protest, saying: “We want an apology! A sincere apology!” For many, the apology did not come soon enough.

About the Author

Mihee Eun was born in 1960 in South Korea. She made her literacy debut in 1996 as a novelist. Eun has won the Korea Women’s Literature Award, the Jeonnam Daily Newspaper Literature Award, Munhwa Daily Newspaper Literature Award, and the Samsung Literature Award. She currently teaches screenwriting in the department of Broadcasting Entertainment at Dongshin University and creative writing at the Saengoji University.

Published: 2017
Page Count: 182

Customer Reviews

Based on 11 reviews
Jin San Yoo
It's uncomfortable history but let's learn the lesson "NOT TO REPEAT"!

I was born and grown in Korea. This story is not new to me at all since it is our true history.
It's not our proud history but "NEVER FORGET HISTORY"!
Because the world can learn from this painful sad history!

but otherwise it is a good read

This book contains an almost poetic way of telling its story concerning Korean comfort women, or sex slaves, who were subjugated by the Japanese during WWII. Listening in to each thought of the story's character, a reader cannot help but feel emotionally invested into the young girl's fate. Some may find the choice of words new and strange as I did, but otherwise it is a good read.

5 starsThese tragidies has been ignored so long and undermined as poor women’s personal tragedies

I am Korean, and I have grown listening a lot of stories from my grandma, now 92 years old strong and not tired of living and loving. She told how many of her friends and herself were married off in their young ages in fear of abduction by Japanese police. As a child I was not clear what that meant but it became clear later when I learned about the sexal slavery by the imperial Japanese Army. These are real stories by real people who have been forced into sexual slavery. These tragidies has been ignored so long and undermined as poor women’s personal tragedies, yet the Japanese government still denies the war crimes as if they can hide the truth by distorting the history. What I least can do is Listening the voice of the victims and support their opportunity to make them heard in the global community. To know history is to prevent future tragedy. Let their stories be heard.

Where is the end of evil of the human nature?

This story didn't make me pleasant throughout reading the book. I had some knowledge about the wartime atrocities committed by Japanese military, including its mobilization of Korean women as sex slaves. I've learned Koreans suffered from Japan's brutalities, and independence activists were jailed, tortured, or killed. I, however, never imagined they were this brutal. Where is the end of evil of the human nature?

Darkness never beats the light. The event of light over darkness represents good over evil. You should know that Japan has never been sincerely repentant of its wartime britalities even now. If you are eager to know what happened during the twentieth century by humans, you must read the story, "flutter, flutter, butterfly".

He spoke Japanese like a native speaker

I was born and raised in Korea but have never harbored any ill feelings against the Japanese. Maybe that's because of my upbringing. My father was educated in Japan since his childhood. He went back to Tokyo in the late 1940s for graduate studies. He spoke Japanese like a native speaker, as with my mother who spent more than five years in Japan with father after marriage. Naturally, I had little reason to hate Japan except for numerous stories of atrocities I was taught in school.

Fast forward to 2008, five years before father passed away, he came to visit Tunisia where I lived as part of a visiting professor program. We traveled to Spain, Portugal as well as Tunisia and this was the first time in my life to talk to father heart to heart. I still remember what he said when I asked what it was like living under the Japanese rule more than 60 years ago. I had somehow thought he would say something positive. But he answered, "On the outside, they are nice and polite. But they think all fellow non-Japanese Asians as sub-human." It was surprising to hear such comments coming from father. He added, "They are hypocrites. They play victim when it comes to atomic bomb attacks and kidnapping of Japanese civilians by North Korean agents [that happened in the 1960s and 1970s]. But they should realize first how many Koreans were forced to work in mines and factories during the Pacific War era."

I am telling you this lengthy personal story of mine to disclose that I am not prejudiced. Upon reading this book I started reading upon recommendation of my friend, Samuel Lee, I was enraged by the fact that the Japanese still think Koreans are half-human or something. It is true that some politicians in Korea use the issue of "wartime comfort women" as a convenient tool to deflect some difficult problems at home. And I know some of the girls were kidnapped by Korean slave traders or Japanese private profiteers, which absolves some of the responsibilities of the Japanese military or government. But what were Japanese government leaders thinking when they demanded in 2015 that the pact be irreversible (meaning the Korean side will never bring up the comfort women issue ever again) in exchange for offering $10 million for compensation? All I can think of from all this is the Japanese (at least the Japanese government) still feel they did nothing wrong during the war and it was them who were wronged by the Allied forces. As long as they think that way, no reconciliation will be possible with the peoples of Korea, China, and other Southeast Asian nations affected by Japanese occupation.