A Gift of the Emperor is a poignant fictional account of real-life atrocities inflicted upon approximately 200,000 Asian women during World War II. This haunting story, inspired by recent revelations in the international media that have rocked Japanese society and reverberated throughout the world, is narrated by Soon-ah, a Korean schoolgirl. Soon-ah’s world is shattered when Emperor Hirohito’s soldiers abduct her from her village and ship her to a “house of relaxation” in the South Pacific. Here, on an island of almost lyrical beauty, Soon-ah is forced into prostitution as a “comfort woman” to the Japanese military.
This scorching account of one woman’s endurance of perhaps the most devastating horror of war—the callous brutality with which human beings can treat one another—provides compelling testimony to the strength of the human spirit, the power of love over hate, and the ultimate triumph of hope over despair.