Pacific Stars and Stripes,
Mar. 7, 1956
By Paula Bernstein, S&S Staff
TOKYO (S&S) -
Two-year-old Lee Soon-Ja didn't want to be a
movie star - not Tuesday night.
She just wanted to go to sleep. Besides,
she was scared. Soon-Ja stopped briefly at Tokyo International
Airport Tuesday night with 24 other Korean war orphans en route to
Hollywood for a movie about orphans. She is the youngest of the
14 girls and 11 boys (ages 2 - 8) who scampered from a Northwest Orient
plane. They were docile, cheerful, bright eyed, quietly curious and
waved like animated puppets for delighted photographers. All except
Soon-Ja. She waved for nobody. In fact, she cried rather steadily
throughout her hour's stay in Japan, or she stood impassively, sniffling
at intervals. Surrounding her, boys in black uniforms and girls in
red coveralls sang a marching song and waved Korean flags. Down each
little girl's back, one black braid flapped excitedly. Not Soon-Ja's.
Korean residents of Tokyo met the orphans with candy, but fruit drops
didn't seen to do much for Soon-Ja's spirits. Even Mrs. Whang On-Soon,
orphanage director, couldn't cheer Soon-Ja. Although she tried -
hard. Mrs. Whang is one of five orphanage supervisors - four women
and a male interpreter, Lee Dai-Won - accompanying the orphans to
the U.S. For in-flight meals before landing in Seattle Wednesday,
Northwest Orient has provided special rice dishes, large quantities
of milk, pineapple juice, fruits and cookies "but the children'll
miss kim chi," Mrs. Whang admitted.
KOREAN ORPHANS ARRIVE IN TOKYO
ON WAY TO HOLLYWOOD STARDOM
Thursday, the orphans will fly from Seattle to
Hollywood to stay a month portraying themselves during filming of
Universal-International's "Battle Hymn." The movie is 1950. Universal-International
will house the orphans in a children's camp at Burbank, Cal., and
had hired Korean cooks and teachers for them.
Mrs. Whang hopes to bring back U.S.
cartoon films for the rest of her 627 charges at the Cheju-Do Island
Orphans Home of Korea. One of the orphans, Lee Jai-Man, 8, said Tuesday
night he'd heard "they have huge homes in America. I want to see
these huge homes." Another boy anxiously mentioned cowboys. Soon-Ja,
placid and unstaring, wouldn't say anything. Obediently and kind
of relieved, she trotted along to board the waiting plane to Seattle.
Like the rest of the orphans, she clutched a blue airline duffle bag
- almost empty.