Dora Moon Story Highlights Distinctive Women Program

A leader of the ear­ly Kore­an women’s move­ment in Hawai‘i will be one of the main focus­es of the sev­enth annu­al Dis­tinc­tive Women in Hawai­ian His­to­ry pro­gram Sun­day, August 25, 2013, at the Hawai‘i Con­ven­tion Cen­ter in Hon­olu­lu. This year’s pro­gram, spon­sored by the Hawai‘i Coun­cil for the Human­i­ties, deals with the World War II era in Hawaiʻi and looks at the peri­od from the per­spec­tive of women who trans­formed their com­mu­ni­ties and families.

image: Dora MoonOne of the major pre­sen­ta­tions dur­ing the day-long pro­gram will be “Women of Action: Dora Kim Moon and the Kore­an Women’s Relief Soci­ety” by Julie Ran­cilio, assis­tant pro­fes­sor of his­to­ry at Kapi‘olani Com­mu­ni­ty Col­lege. Dora Moon (1877 – 1971) arrived with the first wave of Kore­an immi­grants and became a piv­otal orga­niz­er of a mod­ern Kore­an women’s move­ment in the Ter­ri­to­ry of Hawai‘i. After the March 1 Move­ment in 1919, which result­ed in scores of Kore­ans killed, beat­en, or arrest­ed by Japan­ese mil­i­tary author­i­ties, Moon orga­nized the Kore­an Women’s Relief Soci­ety, whose activ­i­ties sup­port­ed women and chil­dren in occu­pied Korea through­out World War II. 

The pro­gram will also fea­ture dis­plays and demon­stra­tions of Kore­an arti­san items typ­i­cal­ly the purview of women, includ­ing tex­tiles such as poja­gi, tra­di­tion­al Kore­an wrap­ping cloths, and embroi­dered works; Kore­an cal­lig­ra­phy; and a kimch’i demon­stra­tion. These activ­i­ties are spon­sored by the Kore­an Amer­i­can Foun­da­tion and the Kore­an Amer­i­can Women’s Club of Hawai‘i, with assis­tance from pri­vate col­lec­tors and the Cen­ter for Kore­an Studies. 

Oth­er top­ics to be fea­tured dur­ing the wide-rang­ing pro­gram include Hawai­ian lei sell­ers’ con­tri­bu­tions as cam­ou­flage net mak­ers, mil­i­tary nurs­ing dur­ing the attack on O‘ahu, and World War II women mil­i­tary pilots. Pro­gram ses­sions are free, but atten­dees must pre­reg­is­ter on line. For the com­plete pro­gram, see http://www.distinctivewomenhawaii.org. Reg­is­tra­tion details are at http://www.distinctivewomenhawaii.org/reg2013.php.