|Author's Q & A for DAUGHTERS OF THE DRAGON
Q: What inspired you to write this book?
A: Probably the most influential thing is my daughter who was born in Korea. Because of her, I
learned about the country and thought it was fascinating. Especially what happened to it n
the 20th Century.
Q: Like what?
A: The three regimes that controlled the peninsula. The Japanese, the communists and the
Americans. And the comfort women. I’m continually amazed at how few Americans know what
happened to these women.
I believe this story needs to be told. And if I may, I’d like to encourage readers who agree and who
enjoyed the book, to recommend this book to others and write reviews on retailers’ web sites.
Q: There’s a lot of history in this book. Is it accurate?
A: First, please know that I’m a storyteller, not a history expert. Still, I tried to make this book as
historically accurate as possible. I did a ton of research and got help from several history experts.
So I’d have to say yes, it’s accurate.
Q: Was it difficult to write some of the more brutal scenes?
A: Very difficult. I tried hard to be respectful of the reader and the comfort women. I did not want
to be exploitive. But I felt I had a responsibility to show what actually happened to these women. It
has to be brutal because that’s what they experienced.
Still, there were things I couldn’t write. For example, when Colonel Matsumoto first rapes Jae-hee, I
couldn’t write that in real time. I had to pull it out of the narrative into the present-day frame. Even
then, it was a challenge to write that chapter.
Q: You draw parallels between what the Japanese did in the comfort stations and what the
Americans did in the kijichons. Were the Americans as bad as the Japanese?
A: Of course not. But, what I wrote about the Americans is true. Until recently, the US military
turned a blind eye to some of the illegal and unethical things our troops were doing in the kijichons;
tricking girls, putting them in situations they could not possibly get out of. It wasn’t anything close to
what the Japanese did, however. They actually sponsored the comfort stations. But as Ja-hee says
to Colonel Crawford, from the girls’ perspective, what’s the difference?
Q: What about the two-headed dragon with five toes?
A: I invented the two-headed dragon. However, the symbolism of the five toes is real.
Q: You talk a lot about Empress Myeongseong.
A: Yes, she’s a fascinating figure in Korean history. The Koreans worship her. And please
forgive a plug, but I’m working on a loose sequel to Daughters of the Dragon called The Korean
Queen. It’s the story of Empress Myeongseong. (See the Book page for more information.)