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A Review on Japanese Military Sexual Slavery - Based on Oral Statements by Victims in Shanxi Sheng, China -

  • The Review of Korean History
  • 2015, (120), pp.205-255
  • Publisher : The Historical Society Of Korea
  • Research Area : Humanities > History

Sunyi Lee 1

1경희대학교

Accredited

ABSTRACT

I reviewed oral statements from victims of Japanese military sexual enslavement in Shanxi Sheng, China in different categories and concluded as follows: First, most victims stated that they had been enslaved from 1939 to 1941, as the area in which they lived was at that time under Japanese rule. In addition, the Imperial Japanese Army was heavily defeated during the Hundred Regiments Offensive in 1940, but then reoccupied the region in 1941; in the postwar years, the Japanese military committed various atrocious acts. Second, the periods of confinement varied according to each victim; some claimed that they were locked up and raped for more than a year, while others mentioned a few days or roughly a dozen days. Some were raped by several Japanese soldiers, while others by one or two continuously. This infers that Japanese sexual enslavement had developed in stages from the early years to the stabilized periods of occupation. Third, as implied from the confinement periods and the number of Japanese soldiers involved in sexual violence, it is inevitable Chinese traitors (Hanjian) and puppet groups who cooperated with the Japanese military would be brought up. Some victims stated that they were picked up by Chinese traitors (Hanjian), collected by puppet groups due to requests by the Japanese soldiers, or persistently asked by officers of puppet groups and had no choice but to accept it. Fourth, it was revealed that there were financial dealings between the Japanese military and puppet groups, including the Maintenance Association, which Japanese soldiers directly asked for money in order to release the victims. Furthermore, personal connections, especially relatives who were closely interacting with Japanese soldiers, were utilized as ‘sources’ for discharges. As such, women without money or social networks were not able to be saved and ended up being abandoned with completely damaged bodies. Lastly, victims of the Japanese military sexual enslavement have serious after-effects. Not only scars on their bodies, but also second and third psychological and social damage have been torturing the victims. Sexual violence against women always entails a cruel disgrace with regard to the victims, rather than perpetrators; the victims during the Sino-Japanese War were no exception.

Citation status

* References for papers published after 2022 are currently being built.

This paper was written with support from the National Research Foundation of Korea.