Meeting for Hearing about Experiences of
Expatriation of Koreans for Forced
Labor in Japan.
Special Guest:Mr.Han Chitoku
Mr.Han at the dest
Mr.Han Chitoku talked about the following experiences ,making an
introductory remark "I would not like to recall in reality",in the
above-mentioned meeting held in the Women's Center of Yamagata City
on August 31 ,1996.
*I was born the third son of a poor family. At the age of sixteen,I
had my name changed to a Japanese name.(I changed my name several
times later because I fled from the forced labors) At that time a
certain number of Romusha(manual labor) had to be sent to Japan from
each village.The Korean "responsible"was installed in every village.
The responsible said to me, "If you go to Japan,you can have a good
life there."I was cheated into going to Japan.
I arrived at Asaida in Gifu Pref. and was transported into the deep
mountains on the tramcar.I worked for the consturuction of a power
station and a tunnel.
I had to work from 6 in the morning till 6 in the evening.The foods
were potatoes ,radishes and wheat.There was no rice.After 8 months,I
fled from there.
But I was captured at Takayama in Hida.(A fugitive could be identified
easily because he had no pocketbook of identification called"Kyowakai
-Techo") At that consturuction site,I slept on the straw mat placed
on the plank at night.A single log was the pillow for every worker.If the
log was lifted everybody woke.I could not have any rest until I had
a fever of 38 degrees.
I was involved also in the construction of the power station at
Chojahara of Oguni(present Oguni-machi) in Yamagata Pref. About 1000
people were working there. I worked on carbide. Here too I was
captured by police because I had no pocket book of identification
I learned that I could get a pocket book of identification if I worked
in Imogawa(present nishitagawa-gun).So I went there.It was a job in
a coalmine starting at 4 in the morning. I feld again.
I arrived at Yose(present Tsukui-gun)in Kanagawa Pref.I was captured
and transported to Nakano police by truck.As many as about 40
persons were sqeezed into a 2-mat tatami room.There was no space to
lie down.After that I did a job of dipping out night soil in Kawasaki
(present Ota-Ward).My clothes smelled.I feld again.I was eighteen.
Next I went to Enzan.Sometimes I was forced to lie down on the
table and was hit hard.About that time,the war ended.
One of my friends died as a commando.Some others of my friends
were taken to Ymamagata City and forced to work.They cannot take
a proper job.So many of them run a pachinko parlor or a Korean
barbecue restaurant.In connection with the construction of Senzan-Sen
railrord line,there were some 7 Koreas in Tendo.But the details are
not known,nor are the details about the workers of the Ginzan mine.
I am now 73.I run a Korean barbecue restaurant.I have not a special
feeling against the Japanese.Any way I wish such a thing will never
happen again.I have a grandson in North Korea.(My son died in North