Fair Lawn High School, Fair Lawn, New Jersey
2007 China Study Tour Participant
The first major educational part of our trip was the meeting with the comfort woman at Shanghai Normal University. When Lin Yajin started speaking and telling us her tragic story, I could not help but to absorb every word. Her account of the multiple times she was raped made me feel as though I was violated as well. My heart really went out to her when she told us that she was not forced to stay with the Japanese officers, but rather she was allowed to go home but had to return the next day only to be tortured again. I could only think of what it must have felt like for her as a young girl returning to what must have seemed like hell. How scared she must have been, how many times she contemplated turning around, what would happen to her family if she did? It is impossible to imagine what it was like for her.
Another event during the China Study Tour was the conference in Shanghai with the Japanese lawyers. Sitting in on this conference drove home the feeling that we were making history. Throughout the trip there was an underlining feeling of anti-Japanese sentiment, but when we reached the conference and met with the Japanese lawyers, I came to the realization that not all of the Japanese people are to be blamed. There were people in Japan trying to make a difference and help the cause of the Chinese victims.
This trip will be one of the most memorable occasions of my life.