The Juju Project

Interview by Ahn Sehong

Her wrinkles are carved and overlap each other. Not only that, the pain of past and anger about her treatment since has pile up and become a big lump at the bottom of her heart.


Most of the old women have chronic diseases that get worse. Ms. Seoun Park succumbed to disease. Her friends in the town took care of her in shifts because she have no family.



At the time of the Cultural Revolution in 1975, the Chinese government gave her the documents to allow her to reside in China. For her, these documents are precious because they were the only documents that show her existence.


She said she never forgot about her home country, and she wished to go home even in death. She would be 100 years old if she were alive now, but she died alone in China.


We need to express their pain and rancor that turned into lump. In the next 5 years, the last of these women will likely die. They are old and alone and need us to stand up and take action.

From The Asahi Shimbun-May 24, 2012

An organizing committee that includes Ahn, 41, planned to hold the exhibition at the Shinjuku Nikon Salon in Tokyo between June 26 and July 9. A committee in charge of operating the salon consisting of photographers and other individuals initially approved the project after an application was submitted last December.

The photo exhibition would have featured about 40 photos taken by Ahn since 2001 in various parts of China. The 12 women he met were forced to provide sexual services for Imperial Japanese Army troops during World War II and were abandoned in China after the war ended.

Of the 12, seven have since died.

On May 22, Nikon Corp. officials canceled the photo exhibition of former "comfort women" in Tokyo but denied the decision was the result of angry protests that spread from the Internet to the camera manufacturer.

"While it is a fact that we received several phone calls protesting the holding of the photo exhibition, the cancellation was decided on after comprehensively considering various circumstances,” a Nikon official told The Asahi Shimbun.

On June 11 Reporters Without Borders released a statment related to the cancelation of Ahn exhibit by Nikon  Corp. "Nikon must not cede to pressure from political groups, which, in a nationalist fervor, seek to prevent the public presentation of the photographs of Ahn Sehong. These pressures are direct attack on freedom of information, and it would be unacceptable that Nikon, a private company held in high regard by world of photography, should become an accomplice to censorship."

FotoEvidence supports the announcement and urges Nikon to mount the exhibit of Ahn Sehong.