Comfort Women

So glad to see the talented Genevieve Shi as the star in Comfort Women tonight! Go see the show, playing until September 2nd at Peter Jay Sharp Theater (42nd Street).

The storytelling was incredible bringing humanity, compassion, and hope to a difficult chapter in East Asian history — when over 200,000 women were forced into sexual slavery by the Imperial Japanese Army during World War II.

The movements and dance choreographies were absolutely stunning. The traumatic scenes of rape and death were powerful and well done. The singing was amazing. I also like the creative stage design and props (e.g., umbrella scene, bed check scene). Did I mention this Off-Broadway show features an all-Asian cast and is directed by an East Asian director?

While I went into the theater expecting a lesson on history, unfortunately, all the painful events of the 1940s are still highly relevant today.

First, the hatred of one race towards another (for no reason other than based on where a person is born) is not only on the rise but being amplified and celebrated by some.

Second, [SPOILER ALERT] in tonight’s story, the enslaved women escaped with the help of the American army. The United States’ actions in WWII earned the goodwill of many East Asian nations. The US has held unparalleled world moral leadership for the past 70 years. For anyone who wants to understand how the US got its world standing, come see this show.

Yet, it’s mortifying if not devastating to see the US throwing its own values, trashing its own image, and behaving today more like a plundering imperial army than the liberating force it once was.