Kun Sunim was born in Seoul in 1927. By the time of Sunim¡¯s birth,
Imperial Japan¡¯s stranglehold on Korea was progressively more cruel
and suffocating. Her father had been an officer in the court of the
last Korean emperor, and he continued to resist the Japanese occupation.
As a result, when Sunim was six years old, the Japanese military government
took her family¡¯s house, all their belongings, and their remaining
land. They were forced to flee with only the clothes they were wearing.
The pitiful situation of his country and family filled her father
Although Sunim¡¯s father was always friendly and generous with other
people, for some reason he poured out all of his anger and frustration
onto Sunim, his eldest daughter. Confused and unable to understand
why this was happening, she stayed away from the family¡¯s hut as much
as possible in order to escape her father¡¯s wrath. She often slept
alone in the forest, covering herself with leaves to stay warm. After
about two years of such hunger and cold, she noticed that the fear
she had felt at being out in the mountains at night was fading, and
instead the dark night had gradually become comfortable, warm, and
beautiful. However, the rest of the world outside of the forest seemed
to be filled with suffering.