The Healing River film documents the healing and reconciliation efforts by a Japanese team of Christians as they visited a group of “Comfort Women” Japanese military sex slavery (this sex slavery occurred between 1932-1945) survivors in Qinxian and Wuxiang areas in Shanxi province from 2008 to 2012. These elderly women survivors were almost forgotten by the rest of the world.

This Japanese reconciliation team felt a deep moral obligation to say sorry to the survivors of Imperial Japanese military sex slavery since their own government had failed to sincerely apologize for the human rights violations of the past.

Here is the 20-minute version of Healing River finished in 2013 (original is around 30 minutes) that goes with my book Silenced No More:


This team, called the Healing River-Rainbow Bridge, utilizes the arts to apologize to the “comfort women” survivors as well their families for the atrocities committed during the Japanese invasion of China. Through the poem, “Healing River” that was written by the leader of the Japanese team, Tomoko Hasegawa; a dance presented by the dance team, and the humble and genuine apologies of the Japanese team, many survivors received healing and freedom in their hearts.

A Singapore-born-Chinese, Chui Mai Kan, mobilized this Japanese team to visit this group of “comfort women” survivors in Shanxi and Hainan. She found these elderly women in 2006 with the help of a local guide, Mr. Zhang Shuangbin.

The interviews in this documentary were conducted by Sylvia Yu Friedman, a Canadian award-winning journalist and writer who has done many years of research on this historical Japanese military sex slavery issue. She also wrote the script. The post-production work was completed by a youth media team that comprised of Chinese, Japanese, and Koreans in 2012 in Beijing.

We must remember this chapter of history.


Recently, I connected with a Japanese woman, educated in the US, in her 30s who ran for MP in Japan.
I asked her if she would be willing to help connect with Japanese lawmakers. She blocked me on LinkedIn. I was saddened that as an educated woman, she would react like that. It highlights how divided and sensitive the issue of ‘comfort women’ is in Japan.