Haha Takes Heartbreaking Trip to Memorial for Forced Korean Labor Workers in Japan on “Infinity Challenge”
“Infinity Challenge” set the laughs aside and dealt with one of the darkest moments in Korean history.
During the episode, Haha traveled together with Professor Seo Kyung Duk to Hashima Island and Takashima Island in Japan.
Upon realizing that Japan had registered Hashima Island as a UNESCO site without mentioning the history of the island as a site of forcible confinement for young Korean boys during the Japanese Occupation, Haha is livid. Seo Kyung Duk explains, “These are Japan’s antics. They applied [to UNESCO] after taking out the confinement part of the history, using only what came before that.”
Before visiting Hashima Island, Haha visits Takashima Island, where about 100 Koreans who died while working in Hashima Island under inhumane conditions were buried. He sets out to find the Korean memorial tower that was said to be built by a Japanese company, but he is not successful.
In the end, Haha finds the memorial with the help of the locals, but he is shocked at the poor conditions. The memorial can only be reached after passing through a narrow, almost impossible-to-identify entrance, and after walking a long while after that through an unkempt path overgrown with the surrounding forest. Professor Seo Kyung Duk tells Haha that the Japanese had burned documents containing the reasons for the deaths of the Koreans, so it is impossible to even identify the deceased. Despite this, Haha sets out food as an offering to those who died during this time at the memorial, expressing regret that he wasn’t able to bring any flowers.
Later, upon seeing that Hashima Island is being promoted as a tourist attraction without a single mention of the Korean history there, he is shocked once more.