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.
One 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.