A Korea under Japanese occupation was the setting in which Myung Soon (Monica) Kim was born to Ik Ro and Soon Ock (Lawrence and Monica) Kim.
Sister Monica, the third child of four, was born on May 13, 1929, in Yungyou, located in present-day North Korea. Life during the occupation, which lasted from 1910 to 1945, was difficult; Sister Monica wrote in her autobiography that the Japanese forced Koreans to adopt Japanese surnames and, during World War II, took everything from church bells to people’s brass rice and soup bowls and silver utensils in order to make munitions.
After the war ended, freedom was short-lived as in 1948 the country was divided into North and South Korea. The Kims were very unhappy living under Communist rule, and Lawrence gave Monica permission to leave for South Korea when her cousins were ready to go. The entire family was eventually able to escape to the South and settled in Seoul, where Sister Monica enrolled in night classes at Soo-do Junior College.
Read more about Sister Monica (pdf)
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