During the Second World War, hundreds of thousands of Korean civilians, along with thousands of others in the occupied territories, were conscripted for Japan’s war effort, a topic that is only on the periphery of Western historiography and education.
During their visit to Seoul, members of the Alpha Education Peace Tour were able to meet with the progeny of one of these onetime forced labourers, Sim Jintae. Mr. Sim was in Japan and experienced the effects of the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima in August 1945.
Translation for this interview was done by Ahn Minseob, a former student of Mr. Masters, and Pastor Lee Daesoo, of the Asia Citizens’ Network for Peace.
Please note that this interview is in Korean, with the English translation at the end of each segment.
Oral History Project October 12th, 2017
Joe Ohori was born in 1931 in Vancouver, British Columbia. When he was nine, his parents sent him to Japan with his sister but later his sister left and he was alone. He was adopted by a family in Hiroshima. The day the bomb dropped Joe started the day off by waking up early to go get a train to his school. Chance let him survive that day, though he did witness the post-atomic devastation. He was later able to go back to Canada with his Canadian passport and moved back with his family. He was only 14 when the bomb was dropped and when he moved back to Canada. He has visited Hiroshima with a group of students and recently started talking about his stories on Hiroshima. Joe now has children and many grandchildren and is living a very happy life now here in Canada. He has joined an anti-nuclear group and is actively campaigning to make the world a safer place. Joe spoke to Mr. Masters’ Grade 12 class in May 2011. In May 2016, Joe visited us again, speaking to members of the Grade 12 History class.
admin July 9th, 2012