A young adult novel recounting the devastation of
a victim of Japanese military sexual slavery

 The first young adult novel to paint a vivid and realistic depiction of the “comfort women”

 The story of the young girls whose bodies and souls were trampled in their blossoming youth as they were dragged from their hometowns across foreign lands from Inner Mongolia and Shanghai, China, to Leyte Island in the Philippines

Many are familiar with the history of the “comfort women,” the victims of Japanese military sexual slavery, but how much do they really know? Few fully understand exactly why and how the girls came to be “comfort women,” the scope of the assault they endured at the “comfort stations” set up throughout regions colonized by Japan including Korea, and how they lived out their lives after they returned Korea post-liberation. There are limits to how much of the truth can be exposed to children and teens due to the sensitive nature of the subject, which is why previously published children’s and young adult novels that have attempted to address this tragedy fell short of capturing the actual extent of the damage and suffering. Simply acknowledging the tragedy as a historical fact and fully portraying the depth of reality and pain of the victims are vastly different propositions, which makes the publication of Trampled Blossoms, an honest and vivid depiction of the victims’ accounts of sexual slavery under the Japanese military, all the more meaningful.

About the Author

Moon Young-sook was born in Seosan, Chungcheongnam-do, in 1953. Her literary career took off when she won the second Blue Literature Prize in 2004 and the sixth Literature Neighborhood Prize for Children’s Literature in 2005. In 2012, she received a creative grant from the Seoul Foundation for Arts and Culture. Moon mostly writes stories to teach young people about parts of Korean history that Koreans must never forget. Some of her best-known works are the young adult historical novels The Kareiski’s Endless Wandering and The Children of Henequen. She has also written children’s novels including Picture in the Tomb, The Dark Sea, Hagi: Lady of the Court, The Coat of Many Colors, The Old Man Who Became a Baby.

About the Translator

David M. Carruth moved to South Korea, after graduating from John Brown University in Arkansas with a bachelor’s in English literature in 2006. During eight years as a full-time Korean-English translator, he has worked extensively with both fiction and nonfiction. He has translated a number of books, including Across the Tumen, another historical novel for young adults by Moon Young-sook.


* This is a work of fiction based on true historical facts, in-person interviews, and testimonies of the “comfort women.” The names and details of certain real persons, places, and incidents have been changed in the novel, and all other characters, places, and events are products of the author’s imagination.

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