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I can’t forget the old days. It all started November 17, 1905. A treaty. A bad one. Japan claimed that we were theirs, even our precious treasures and properties. And most importantly, our people.


A door burst open in my mind.


There stood a well-dressed soldier backed by a tall man in shabby clothes who looked like he was trying to hide his face. Were they here for my mother? I had heard rumors. No! My father had disappeared only a few months ago; I could not lose her too.


The soldier barked commands while the other person translated. “It is an order from the Japanese government that all women should deport to Japan tomorrow morning. Report to the dock at 6 A.M. Disobey and you will be killed.” Fluent Korean. Familiar voice. I slowly turned to my mother. Her face was a puzzle of confusion, sorrow, and joy.


The soldier spun and marched away without so much as a bow while the translator hesitated and turned to follow. As his footsteps receded, I could see he was limping, I knew only one person who walked like that. And I crumpled to the ground.






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