Kkutaeh, referred to simply as “K” by Doc Hata, once served as a comfort woman at a Japanese military camp in Burma during the final days of World War II. K grew up in a respectable Korean household, but her father, who was a scholar and a diplomat, fell on hard times after the unexpected collapse of a political deal he’d helped broker. When recruiters came to conscript his only son into military service, K’s father used his last-remaining influence to spare his son and sent his two unmarried daughters instead. K and her sister were taken away from their home and sent directly into the jungle of Burma, where they were forced to provide sexual “comfort” to the Japanese soldiers stationed there. Soon after their arrival, a soldier brutally murdered K’s sister, leaving K alone and separated from the other girls. Charged with keeping K safely locked away in the infirmary, Doc Hata spent much time sitting and talking with her. Though he convinced himself he was in love with her, K saw through him. She repeatedly begged him to help her commit suicide and escape the worst of her fate, and his refusal resulted indirectly in her gruesome murder.

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