Chinese Comfort Women: Testimonies from Imperial Japan's Sex Slaves Book Talk

Press/Media

Description

ABOUT THE BOOK

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 was first published by University of British Columbia Press in 2013. In July 2014, Oxford University Press and Hong Kong University Press released its paperback edition in the USA and Asia respectively. The book consists of three parts. Part 1 traces the establishment of the military comfort women system in China from the early stages of Japan’s aggression in Manchuria and Shanghai (1932) to its rapid expansion after the Nanjing Massacre (1937), to Japan’s defeat (1945). It brings to light several previously hidden aspects of the comfort women system: the ransoms that 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. Part 2 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 also reveal that the prolonged suffering of the comfort station survivors was not limited to wartime atrocities but was rather a lifelong condition resulting from various social, political, and cultural factors. Part 3 documents the survivors’ postwar lives and the “comfort women” redress movement in China. The personal narratives of these survivors combined with the testimonies of witnesses, investigative reports, and local histories reveal clearly 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 women forced into sexual servitude by the Japanese military in Mainland China and the conditions that caused them. The book was named Best Book of the Year by the Chinese American Librarians Association in 2014. The Chinese edition of the book (日本帝國的性奴隸:中國「慰安婦」的證言) was also published by Hong Kong University Press in July 2017.

Subject

https://lib.hku.hk/friends/reading_club/2017.html

Period19 Oct 2017

Media contributions

1

Media contributions

  • TitleChinese Comfort Women: Testimonies from Imperial Japan's Sex Slaves Book Talk
    Country/TerritoryHong Kong
    Date19/10/17
    DescriptionABOUT THE BOOK
    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 was first published by University of British Columbia Press in 2013. In July 2014, Oxford University Press and Hong Kong University Press released its paperback edition in the USA and Asia respectively.

    The book consists of three parts. Part 1 traces the establishment of the military comfort women system in China from the early stages of Japan’s aggression in Manchuria and Shanghai (1932) to its rapid expansion after the Nanjing Massacre (1937), to Japan’s defeat (1945). It brings to light several previously hidden aspects of the comfort women system: the ransoms that 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. Part 2 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 also reveal that the prolonged suffering of the comfort station survivors was not limited to wartime atrocities but was rather a lifelong condition resulting from various social, political, and cultural factors. Part 3 documents the survivors’ postwar lives and the “comfort women” redress movement in China. The personal narratives of these survivors combined with the testimonies of witnesses, investigative reports, and local histories reveal clearly 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 women forced into sexual servitude by the Japanese military in Mainland China and the conditions that caused them.
    The book was named Best Book of the Year by the Chinese American Librarians Association in 2014.

    The Chinese edition of the book (日本帝國的性奴隸:中國「慰安婦」的證言) was also published by Hong Kong University Press in July 2017.
    Producer/AuthorHKU Libraries Reading Club
    PersonsClara Wing-Chung HO