Kim Han Soo

Kim Han Soo was born in northern Korea in 1918, during the time of Japanese occupation.  When the Japanese invaded the Chinese in 1937, Mr. Kim remembers an offhand remark from a Japanese officer, bragging about a Chinese girl he had raped and murdered.  It would prove to be a powerful lesson for Mr. Kim, setting him on a path to righteous behaviour.  Like many Koreans of his generation, Mr. Kim was conscripted for the Japanese war effort.  First, he worked for a salt concern Korea’s north; later he was tricked by the Japanese into thinking he was needed for a lumber work project.  He ended up in Pusan, and from there he was sent to Nagasaki, Japan, where he worked in the city’s shipyards.

Mr. Kim spoke to participants from the Alpha Education Peace and Reconciliation Tour in July 2017, with the hope that his story carries a message of peace to future generations.   Translation was facilitated by Ahn Minseob, a graduate of Crestwood’s Class of 2012, and one of Mr. Masters’ former students.

In July 2017 Crestwood teacher Scott Masters took part in Alpha Education’s Peace and Reconciliation Tour.  Seventeen educators, activists, lawyers, and documentarians toured China and Korea, learning about the Asian perspective on the Second World War, and exploring ways to raise awareness of this side of the war to a non-Asian audience.  The tour was organized by Don Tow, as part of his ongoing efforts to stimulate social justice education and to improve Asian-American understanding and relationships.

Please note this interview is in Korean, with English overdubs.