Chinese Comfort Women Testimonies from Imperial Japan's Sex Slaves

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  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2014-06-02
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press

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During the Asia-Pacific War, the Japanese military forced hundreds of thousands of women across Asia into "comfort stations" where they were repeatedly raped and tortured. Japanese imperial forces claimed they recruited women to join these stations in order to prevent the mass rape of local women and the spread of venereal disease among soldiers. In reality, these women were kidnapped and coerced into sexual slavery. Comfort stations institutionalized rape, and these "comfort women" were subjected to atrocities that have only recently become the subject of international debate.

Chinese Comfort Women: Testimonies from Imperial Japan's Sex Slaves features the personal narratives of twelve women forced into sexual slavery when the Japanese military occupied their hometowns. Beginning with their prewar lives and continuing through their enslavement to their postwar struggles for justice, these interviews reveal that the prolonged suffering of the comfort station survivors was not contained to wartime atrocities but was rather a lifelong condition resulting from various social, political, and cultural factors. In addition, their stories bring to light several previously hidden aspects of the comfort women system: the ransoms the occupation army forced the victims' families to pay, the various types of improvised comfort stations set up by small military units throughout the battle zones and occupied regions, and the sheer scope of the military sexual slavery-much larger than previously assumed. The personal narratives of these survivors combined with the testimonies of witnesses, investigative reports, and local histories also reveal a correlation between the proliferation of the comfort stations and the progression of Japan's military offensive.

The first English-language account of its kind, Chinese Comfort Women exposes the full extent of the injustices suffered by these women and the conditions that caused them.

Author Biography

Peipei Qiu is Professor of Chinese and Japanese, Louise Boyd Dale and Alfred Lichtenstein Chair in Modern Languages, and Director of the Asian Studies Program at Vassar College.

Su Zhiliang is Professor of History, Dean of the Faculty of Humanities and Communication, and Director of the Research Center for Chinese "Comfort Women" at Shanghai Normal University.

Chen Lifei is Professor of Journalism, Chair of the Department of Publishing and Media Studies, and Deputy Director of the Center for Women's Studies at Shanghai Normal University.

Table of Contents

List of Figures and Tables
List of Abbreviations

Part 1: The War Remembered
1. Japan's Aggressive War and the Military "Comfort Women" System
2. The Mass Abduction of Chinese Women
3. Different Types of Military "Comfort Stations" in China
4. Crimes Fostered by the "Comfort Women" System

Part 2: The Survivors' Voices
5. Eastern Coastal Region
6. Warzones in Central and Northern China
7. Southern China Frontlines

Part 3: The Postwar Struggles
8. Wounds That Do Not Heal
9. The Redress Movement
10. Litigation on the Part of Chinese Survivors
11. International Support

Selected Bibliography

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