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The Struggles and Pain of Comfort Women

The Imperial Japanese Army in territories that they occupied before and during the World Word II forced women and young girls into sexual slavery. They were known as “comfort women” which is a translated term of the Japanese word ianfu, a euphemism for “prostitute”. Majority of the women were from occupied territories like Korea, China, and the Philippines.

The things that these Korean Comfort Women | https://www.nytimes.com/2017/08/14/opinion/comfort-women-japan-south-korea.html and other comfort women went through are truly heartbreaking.

As indicated by testimonies, young women were taken against their will from their homes in countries where the Imperial Japanese rule. Most often, women were enticed with having the chance to have a higher education or were promised a job in factories or food industries. As soon as they are recruited, they were locked up in comfort stations both within and out of their own country.

Korean women with Japanese women, during the Sino-Japanese war were brought to “comfort stations” set up by the Japanese military in various areas of occupied China. As the war stretched out into the Pacific-Southeast Asian region, many Korean women were also sent there.

It seems that the first “comfort women” were from Korea to go to comfort stations that were located abroad. Soon after daughters of poverty stricken families were recruited by different means. Hence, scams such as the promise of good jobs started to be practiced. There are also testimonies that girls were forcibly recruited by intimidation and coaxing. Korean girls under 21 years old, among them were 16 or 17 years old, were sent to comfort stations, which was forbidden in Japan.

One case is that of Kimiko Kaneda. Kimiko was born in Tokyo to a Japanese mother and a Korean father who went on to become a priest. Soon after her birth, Kimiko was brought to Korea to stay and live with her father’s relatives. Her childhood days were described as hard and solitary.

She worked as a housemaid in 1983 when she was 16 years old until her friend suggested that she work in different place that is better. Located in Zaoqing, China, she was sent to a comfort station where other young girls were tricked in a similar way. Kimiko resisted and refused to give. For this reason, a Japanese soldier had broken her wrist and was pierced in the chest with bayonet. Not a single remedy was done to treat her injuries. She became addicted to opium out of a yearning to forget and disregard her actual pains. In 1945, she was released so as to receive medical care and lived on until the conclusion of the war.