Ianfu, The Comfort Women of the Japanese Imperial Army of the Pacific War: Broken Silence

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Three former comfort women, Koreans, broke their silence in 1991 and sued the Japanese government and requested a formal apology and reparations. Their lawsuit made the international community aware of the ianfu issue, which had been concealed for half a century.


“. . . treats the ianfu issue as a historical and political issue. Professor Schmidt objectively analyzes the issue by taking historical aspects into account. He also summarizes the transition of the issue during the 1990s and provides interesting analysis on the chronological treatment of the issue by the Japanese government. . . . adds new and needed insight into the issue at hand.” – Fusae Ekida

“Few works capture the past trials and tribulations of the last decade surrounding the ianfu issue as well as Professor Schmidt. . . He has utilized a wealth of Japanese, Korean and English sources as well as interviews conducted during his tenure as recipient of the Korean Cultural Fellowship. . . . Its presence will add to the historical and cultural understanding of pre-war and post-war Japan.” – Tetsuo Kurachi

Table of Contents

Table of Contents:
Preface; Introduction
1. The Setting; Shadow and Light
2. The Issue; South Korea’s call for an apology, 1990
3. The Japanese government is officially sued, December 1991
4. The Japanese government admits a role in the ianfu issue in the face of overwhelming evidence, July 1992
5. Japan’s annexation of Korea, 1910-1945, and the road to war; Forced Labor; Implementation of the ianfu system; Prostitutes and Prostitution in Japan before World War II; War and the Abuse of Women
6. Today’s Memories – Scars that never heal; Testimony of former ianfu; Testimony of former Imperial Army soldiers; Testimony of former United States soldiers
7. Prospects for the Future; Conclusion
Endnotes; Bibliography; Index

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