"Trostfrauen", Wiedergutmachung und Menschenrechte
2017: 'Sexual Entertainment’ of Soviet Army
"Trostfrauen", "Comfort Women"
The Asia-Pacific Journal | Japan Focus Volume 15 | Issue 18 | Number 3 | Sep 15, 2017
Mit freundlicher Erlaubnis von Japan Focus
I Learned about the Wretchedness of War:
Women Settlers’ ‘Sexual Entertainment’ of Soviet Red Army Troops in Postwar Manchuria
Translated and with an introduction by Joseph Essertier
(Japanese text from the July 3, 2017 Tokyo Shimbun is available below the
The history of the “comfort women” (ianfu) concerns women and girls from Korea, China, the Philippines, and other parts of the Japanese empire who were forced into sexual slavery in Japanese military-run or sponsored stations during the Asia-Pacific War.1 Knowledge of this episode in human history is above all the result of the courage and persistence of the victims who have testified and chronicled their experiences, but also of the work of researchers, journalists, and concerned citizens inside and outside Japan, who investigated the facts and published their findings despite efforts by history denialists to intimidate them.
For example, their experience is well documented in memoirs by former “comfort women,” such as South Korean Kim Hak-sun, the first woman to come forward in 1991, and Filipina comfort woman Maria Rosa Henson, w h o w r o t e a m e m o i r d e s c r i b i n g h e r experience.2 Activists and NGOs, such as the Korean Council for the Women Drafted for Sexual Slavery by Japan, recorded testimonies by former “comfort women.” In 2000, survivors from more than a dozen countries gathered and gave testimonies at the International Women’s War Crimes Tribunal held in Tokyo.3 Works by scholars and journalists were also significant.
For example, historians such as Yoshimi Yoshiaki discovered Japanese military archival documents describing the ”comfort woman” system, and journalists such as Uemura Takashi covered the story of Kim Hak-sun for the Asahi Shimbun. Yoshimi, Uemura and others were subjected to vicious attacks by Japanese neonationalists.4