Abduction: The Megumi Yokota Story

Tonight I attended a special screening of Abduction: The Megumi Yokota Story at the ImaginAsian Theater. The documentary tells the story of Megumi Yokota, a Japanese schoolgirl who disappeared in 1977, and of her family’s long, heartbreaking struggle to find her.

Decades after she vanished, a North Korean defector revealed that Kim Jong Il’s henchmen had abducted more than one dozen innocent Japanese citizens. They were transported across the Sea of Japan and forced to teach North Korean spies how to speak, look and “act” Japanese. Taken at the age of 13, Megumi was their youngest kidnapping victim.

While the abductions have made headlines and caused governmental upheavals in Asia, they are little known in the rest of the world. In fact, I wasn’t aware of them until I saw this award-winning film.

Abduction: The Megumi Yokota Story is the first effort from husband and wife directing team Chris Sheridan and Patty Kim. They appeared onstage for a question and answer session and described how reading a small article in the Washington Post inspired them to put Megumi’s story on film.

Also present was Noel Paul Stookey, the “Paul” of the legendary folk music group Peter, Paul and Mary, who performed his Song for Megumi. He explained that he wrote the song because folk music traditionally tells stories of struggle and injustice. 

He sang, “Return to me, Megumi, across the waves of the sea. Send me your spirit. My heart will hear it. And lead you home to me.”

Noel Paul Stookey, Chris Sheridan and Patty Kim

Noel Paul Stookey

Abduction: The Megumi Yokota Story
Rescuing Abductees Center for Hope
Abduction Blog
Noel Paul Stookey
World Politics Watch: American Folk Singer Pens ‘Song for Megumi’
ImaginAsian Theater

9 Responses to Abduction: The Megumi Yokota Story

  1. photowannabe says:

    I wasn’t aware of the situation either. Paul Stukey wrote very poinent words. Thanks for sharing.


  2. moi says:

    i too haven’t heard of the story before…..will look it up now that i know . Thanks


  3. How interesting!! I have never heard of this either until now.

    How sad for the girl and her family.


  4. It’s an excellent film and an absorbing story. Thanks for bringing attention to it.


  5. yuka says:

    I’ve been in ClintonHill for about three years and I accidentally visited this blog. today.
    I’m really surprised and pleased to read this story as one of Japanese. This story is very famous in Japan, however it’s not so awared outside of Japan, I think. I really appreciated this article that you reported. Thank you!


  6. macdonv says:

    I remember reading about this when it broke in the news. I didn’t know there was a documentary, but I’m looking forward to seeing it when it comes out on DVD in September.


  7. bugulme says:

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  8. 我要减肥 says:

    I am in search engines to find this page, nice to see you speak, very useful to me, I will come back!welcome to 我要减肥网.


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