Essay on Korean Comfort Women

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Comfort women, or ianfu as they are called in Korean, are females who were forced sex slaves for the Japanese Imperial Army (Chunghee). Some of the women were dragged off with physical force as their families wept, while others were actually sold to the army by their destitute families (Watanabe). Still other were officially drafted by the Japanese Imperial Army and believed they would be factory workers or nurses (Hwang in Schellstede 4). Some Korean village leaders were ordered to send young women to participate in "important business for the Imperial Army" (Watanabe). Many Japanese soldiers referred to comfort women as teishintai, which means “volunteer corps,” so those women who thought they would be working in a factory would not…show more content…
The majority of Korean women seem to have come from lower-class worker and farmer families. Korean and other Asian women were assigned to lower-ranking soldiers, while Japanese and European women were reserved for higher-ranking officers (Watanabe). This obviously portrays the condescending attitude the Japanese had toward Koreans. Japanese military leaders formulated the concept of comfort women in order to stop soldiers from committing sexual violence towards women they might encounter. Japanese Lieutenant-General Okamura Yasuji proposed that comfort women should be shipped to Shanghai to solve the problem of 223 rapes reportedly committed by troops there (Kim). One former comfort woman reported that in some places, soldiers were so desperate for some kind of outlet for their sexual desires that they had intercourse with dogs (Kim in Schellstede 32). It is estimated that over 125 million forced sexual acts took place between Japanese soldiers and comfort women in the span of only five years (Kim). The Japanese military made soldiers pay to have sex with comfort women. The prices were as follows: 1.50 yen for privates, 2 yen for non-commissioned officers, 2.50 yen for junior officers, and 3 yen for senior officers (Hicks 19). Concerned for the health of their soldiers, Japanese military leaders provided condoms to thwart the spread of any sexually transmitted diseases; however, these condoms were often
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