Testimony: Kang Duk-kyung

Emily Yoon

my school teacher    asked me    if I wanted 
            to go to Japan      do something good for the Emperor    
we were led to a harbor
a cargo ship       a train 
            to a factory in Doyamaki     where
Food  was so scarce    we pulled grass, roots   anything we could eat 
girls died of hunger      some went crazy
I ran away    was found   by a Japanese soldier
            Kobayashi       he raped me    
            took me 
            to a hut      Every evening 
countless soldiers    on the wild mountainside
An unusually quiet day 
            I found Japan had lost the war 
I sailed to Korea 
jumped from the crates    hit my stomach with fists        I was pregnant
I failed            I named him Young-ju
                     left him at an orphanage
met him every Sunday
            one Sunday
I saw another boy in his clothes
Young-ju had died of pneumonia
            already buried 
I thought of Kobayashi    bringing me rice
            in his drunken stupor         I thought of the piece of steel 
            I took    at the factory
I found some of the steel     so attractive 
I still believe      he is alive
somewhere        I want to believe 
that all was just a terrible      fate
But then,   
            But then