An innumerable number of young women were taken from Korea during the Pacific War to provide sexual services to Japanese soldiers. These women, including teenagers, euphemistically referred to in Japanese documents as Comfort Women, were shipped to the vastly expanded battlefronts throughout the Japan-occupied territories covering Northern China to Myanmar and to the South Pacific Islands. Many of these girls died, were killed or abandoned during and after the war, but a small percentage of them returned only to face yet another devastating war at home and lasting social stigma.
In Voices of the Korean Comfort Women, nine survivors tell their traumatic life stories as to how they were taken, how they had been treated with atrocities at the Comfort Stations, and how they had survived through not only the Pacific War but also the Korean War and beyond. These often-harrowing personal testimonies are each expanded by the interviewer’s observational notes, thereby providing poignant contextual information.
This English translation of vital oral history, underpinned with theoretically informed guides, will be invaluable to students and scholars of Asian history, the Pacific War and wartime sexual violence against women as well as those interested in historical trauma and human rights.
Acknowledgments, Preface to the English Translation, “Now Halmŏni (Grandmother) Talks to Us in English”: Method of Translation and Its Significance, Introduction to Korean Compilation: How to Read This Collection of The Testimony Team, Glossary, Guide to Typographical Symbols, Testimonies of Comfort Women 1. Hwa-sŏn Kim (김화선) 2. Ch’ang-yŏn Kim (김창연) 3. Ok-sŏn Han (한옥선) 4. Yŏng-ja Kim (김영자) 5. Kap-sun Ch’oe (최갑순) 6. Yun-hong An (안윤홍) 7. Sun-man Na (나순만) 8. Pok-tong Kim (김복동) 9. Pŏp-sun An (안법순) Appendix I. Comfort Women and the Japanese Military Sexual Slavery System Appendix II. Discussion Group Guide Appendix III. [Map] Places where the Victims were Stationed as Comfort Women