Song Hye-kyo Donates a Notice Board to the Village of Utoro, Japan (Korean Tragic History)

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Actress Song Hye-kyo donated a large information board to the village of Utoro, Japan.

To mark the 75th anniversary of Korea's liberation from Japanese colonial rule, 

Song Hye-kyo and Seo Kyung-duk, a professor at Sungshin Women's University, said on Monday

that they donated a large signboard to the village of Utoro, Japan.

The wooden board, measuring 2 meters wide and 1.5 meters long, is also made in Korean, Japanese and English.

In particular, the signboard has been constantly communicating with the villagers of Utoro for months

and has been made with the phrases and designs they want.

Professor Seo, who organized the event, said, 

"We installed a notice board at the entrance of the village because visitors had difficulty getting off the subway station

and visiting the Utoro Village Hall Eruwa."

He also said, 

"The situation at the Korean historical sites that remain overseas due to the Covid-19 incident this year is not very good either.

The more this happens, the more we have to pay attention to it."

Professor Seo was in charge of planning and promoting the project, and Song Hye-kyo was in charge of sponsoring the project. 

In particular, the two also donated 20,000 copies of guidebooks in Korean and Japanese to Utoro.

Meanwhile, Song Hye-kyo and Seo have consistently donated Korean language guides, Korean signboards

and anti-fabrication of independence fighters to 23 sites in the world's independence movement for the past nine years.

Utoro Village in Japan was the place where the Japanese government forced Koreans who were colonized during World War II to work in 1941

in the name of building a military airfield in Utoro, Uji-si, Kyoto. 

At that time, 1,300 Koreans who were forced to work in a 210,000-square-meter area lived in groups

and were put into the construction of the airfield. 

However, when Japan was defeated in 1945, the construction of the airfield was suspended,

and the Korean workers were left unattended by the Japanese government. 

Some of the draftees, who were suddenly deprived of means of livelihood, could not return to their homeland

because they could not afford a boat fare, and stayed here where it was difficult for people to live and built an unauthorized settlement.

Meanwhile, the story of Utoro village was not known to Korea until 2004. As a result, Non-profit groups from Korea and Japan started raising money

to buy land in 2005, and the Korean government decided to provide 3 billion won to buy land in 2007. 

This support led to the purchase of one-third of Utoro's entire village in 2011,

which allowed residents to overcome the crisis of forced eviction. 

Meanwhile, as the central and local governments of Japan planned to redevelop the area to build public housing,

the current village was demolished in 2017, and Utoro village disappeared into history.


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