The Brutal History of Japan’s ‘Comfort Women’

The Brutal History of Japan’s ‘Comfort Women’

Lee Ok-seon ended up being operating an errand on her moms and dads when it just happened: team of uniformed males burst away from a automobile, attacked her and dragged her to the automobile. That she would never see her parents again as they drove away, she had no idea.

She had been 14 yrs. Old.

That fateful afternoon, Lee’s life in Busan, a city with what has become Southern Korea, finished once and for all. The teenager had been taken up to a alleged “comfort station”—a brothel that serviced Japanese soldiers—in Japanese-occupied Asia. Here, she became among the thousands of “comfort women” afflicted by forced prostitution by the imperial Japanese military between 1932 and 1945.

Lee Ok-seon, then 80, in a shelter for previous intercourse slaves near Seoul, Southern Korea, keeping a vintage picture of by herself on April 15, 2007.

Seokyong Lee/The Nyc Times/Redux

It’s been nearly a hundred years considering that the very first ladies had been forced into intimate slavery for imperial Japan, however the information on their servitude stays painful and politically divisive in Japan in addition to countries it once occupied. Records associated with the women’s subjugation is scant; you will find very few survivors and a believed 90 % of “comfort women” would not endure the war.

Though military brothels existed when you look at the Japanese military since 1932, they expanded commonly after probably one of the most infamous incidents in imperial Japan’s effort to just simply just take on the Republic of Asia and an extensive swath of Asia: theRape of Nanking. On December 13, 1937, Japanese troops started a six-week-long massacre that essentially destroyed the Chinese town of Nanking. On the way, Japanese troops raped between 20,000 and 80,000 Chinese females.

The mass rapes horrified the world, and Emperor Hirohito ended up being focused on its effect on Japan’s image. As appropriate historian Carmen M. More →