If you happen to be in Seoul in the next month and wondering what to do as philatelist: why not visit the special exhibition on the Taegeukgi? The Korean Stamp Museum released images showing their newest exhibit which coincides with the new stamp series issued by KoreaPost on the same theme.
Here are the images included with the current campaign on this exhibition:
For more information on the history behind this girl sitting on a chair see the Postory blog:
You might recognize these women from the series release in March 2019 titled “Female Independence Activists” (KPC3360-3363):
2 thoughts on “Stamp Museum Exhibition: “Taegeukgi in History” (10 Aug. – 29 Sept.)”
These “woman sitting on a chair” statues are part of the “comfort women” campaign, which is a. o. behind the current economical ec. conflict ROK-Japan. Korean embassies worldwhide try to place life-size copies of it, often in front of japanese overseas institutions (temporarily) or public parks (forever). In Germany, they are called “peace statues” and are denoted “in memory of all female victims of sexual harrassment in WWII”. The #1 example quoted re. WWII are the korean “comfort-women”. Japanese embassies and govt. try to block these placements and there is an ongoing conflict of korean and japanese diplomates in foreign countries re. this matter.
The korean ROK and PRC governments use this war-crime as a 21k political weapon vs. Japan. Whenever this looks opportune (China) or always (Korea). In the confucian world of thinking this is a shame /disgrace and mostly the fault of the women (why not honourful suicide, confucian minded men ask?). But the 21k politicians force the few surviving old age victims into the public spotlight and try to keep them there. We also have cases of “invented” victims (victim died 1960s and no pic, so why not just invent a pic?) and “recreated” houses of victims ec. re-invented past.
Literature (yes, there is non-propaganda research, mostly with the 1948 war crime tribunal – but who cares for actual facts) shows, that the basic jap. army regulation started in 1894 and was done hiring professional prostitutes. That system could not cope with the millions of soliders in WWII. Research also shows, that the first victims of WW-II army brothels were…japanese women. First the Japanese military combed the brothels, then they ordered “volunteer women working corps” to go overseas…still not enough for the millions of soldiers, so they abused women in the colonies of Korea, Taiwan, WW-II occupied China, Phillippines ec. Nobody talks about the japanese victims, only occassionally we hear something of non-korean or non-chinese victims, like Phillippine or Dutch women abused. Particular when women’s rights groups in these countries are involved by China or Korea.
And why? Because most of this is just pathetic policy. For me, this campaign looks more like exploitation of the victims and revenge of damaged (current mens) national pride, than actual compensation for the still living victims.
I know this is a minefield and a digital lynchmob is waiting for anybody trying to look thru the fog of propaganda. Tons of whataboutism and alleged motives (is he a paid propagandist for “Japan”?) are waiting to be unleashed.
Well, so far so good.
But you are right about one thing: this is a very sensitive subject. Even while putting that one image online I was already thinking “is this really smart to do?” But it is part of the series, it would have been weird not to do it. Korea has had a difficult 150 years or so and I prefer to keep politics out of the KSS (as far as they are not important for philatelic subjects of course) as it is a minefield, but sometimes it is unavoidable. Just goes to show that philately does teach you a lot about the world, including the unhappy part of world history.