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Tragedy of ‘Comfort Women’

Popularity 3Viewed 6240 times 2014-6-12 11:33 |System category:News| government, history, imposed, example, system

The “comfort women” system was established by the Japanese Imperial Army before and during World War II. Under this infamous system the Japanese government and army abducted women from occupied countries and forced them to serve its troops as sex slaves.

Looking back on the history of human civilization, it is hard to find a more deplorable example of such barbaric and brutal slavery as what the Japanese army imposed on women from victimized countries and its colonized territories. The system fully exposed the true nature of Japanese militarism and constitutes a shameful of fragment human history.

The following reports record the tragic experiences of dozens of former Chinese “comfort women” and their lives that were forever changed. Their painful experiences illustrate how enslaved Chinese women survived after Japanese aggression and are a mirror of the China’s misery as a whole. This part of history has left an indelible scar on every Chinese person. (Click on each photo to learn more about the woman in the picture.)

Lin Shigu buries her face in her hands as she cries.

Lin, who was born in 1920 in Gangpo village, Guangpo town, Lingshui county, Hainan, was captured by the Japanese army at the age of 19. She was imprisoned in the Japanese army’s headquarters where her arm was broken when attempting to resist sexual abuses from Japanese soldiers. She tried to commit suicide a number of times.

They continued to rape you even when you were getting your period. If you disobeyed, they would just beat you. You had to do whatever they wanted you to do; no defiance allowed. …… No human being could live like this. For so many times, I wished I had just died. I once tried to drown myself in a river, but was only got pulled back. Suicide was not allowed.”

This photo shows Wang Zhifeng with her husband. She was captured by Japanese soldiers at the age of 16 and was repeatedly raped during her detention.

I wanted to get out of there and see my two brothers, so I obeyed them and did whatever they asked, just to please them. I was just hoping that they would let me go quickly, but they never did. ”

Wang was born in 1928 in Tulong Village, Chengmai County, Hainan Province.

Li Xiumei shows a deep cut on her head which was inflicted by Japanese soldiers.

Li was abducted by the Japanese when she was 15 years old and forced to work as a “comfort woman”. She was tortured as she tried to resist her captors.

After Japanese soldiers got into the house, they flashed their lights on our faces. There was a chaos - and they then started to rape us. ”

Li was born in 1926, in Xiyan, Yu County, Shanxi province.


Yang Abu, born in Baocheng, Baoting County, Hainan Province in 1922, was lying in bed during the interview as a result of her paralyzed condition.

She was repeatedly raped by Japanese soldiers and went through many pregnancies from 1940. She gave birth to a boy in October 1941 who later died. She became a “comfort woman” in 1942 and returned home in 1945 after the surrender of Japanese forces. She was unable to become pregnant as a result of the brutal torture.

Now Yang is paralyzed, lying in a bed covered with coconut palms and humiliation. She always holds a knife in her hand and no one can take it away. She constantly sharpens the blade, saying she still dreams about being captured by Japanese soldiers every night. Without a knife in hand, she said, she would be scared.

The Japanese soldiers came to the village to look for me several times, knowing that I was a beautiful girl. Failing to find me, they then threatened the village chief to bring me to Zanai himself or they would slaughter the villagers.”

Chen Yabian, born in December 1927 in Lingshui County, Hainan Province, was captured by Japanese soldiers and taken into a military camp. In 1942, while she was there, she was brutally raped. Three months later, she was incarcerated in the Japanese Tengqiao military brothel in Ya County. She was forced into sex slavery until the Japanese army surrendered in August 1945.

Chen Yabian suffered miscarriages eight times after surviving the wartime atrocities in the military brothel. Some of the babies were stillborn, some were miscarried and some were born premature. In her total of nine pregnancies, the first eight infants died.

I was continuously raped all night long by Japanese soldiers. If it was gang-rape, there were at least two or three of them and even four or five at a time. They forced you to do various positions and made you suffer and feel like dying. The Japanese soldiers kept coming and there was never a break for me since I was so young at that time and did not have menstruation.”

Lei Guiying was the first Chinese woman to testify that she was forced to work in a brothel run by Japan's Imperial Army during World War II.

Lei – who was born in 1928 in Nanjing, Jiangsu province - was raped by Japanese soldiers at the age of nine, and abducted and forced into sex slavery at the age of 13.

I was picking wild plants with my friends. Suddenly we could hear a window being opened upstairs and a Japanese soldier appeared and beckoned to us. The older girls started to run, but I was then too young to run so fast and was very easily caught by a Japanese soldier. ”

Zhuo Tianmei - born in 1924 in Lingshui county, Hainan province - was caught by Japanese soldiers and forced into sexual slavery for three years.

Other girls were captured from nearby village. I was 18 years old and pretty good looking, so I was gang raped by Japanese soldiers on an almost daily basis. ”

Chen Jinyu – who was born in Baoting County, Hainan Province, in 1925 – was abducted by Japanese troops in 1941, but managed to escape in June 1945, hiding in the wilderness until Japan’s surrender.

A Japanese soldier gestured, ordering me to pull down my skirt, but I didn’t obey, and he then jumped on me and stripped my clothes off… That was the first time that I was raped. I screamed as I couldn’t take the pain, but the Japanese soldier slapped me and threatened me. ”

Guo Xicui, born in 1926 in Yu County, Shanxi Province, was arrested by the Japanese army and forced to serve as a comfort woman at the age of 15. The almost daily rape and torture by Japanese soldiers infected her with serious diseases. After her family had brought her back from treatment she was recaptured and unable to reach a full recovery. This occurred four times, and eventually she went mentally insane.

Seeing that my body couldn’t take it anymore, other women told me, ‘Escape now or you will be tortured to death here’.”

Mao Yinmei was born in 1922 and is an ethnic Korean who now lives in Sancha Township, Xiaogan City, Hubei Province. She was formerly known as Piao Eji and, at the age of 18, she was forced to serve as a “comfort woman” in a Japanese military brothel in Wuchang.

I was first transferred from Korea by car to the north of China, then to Nanjing. When I was on a ship to Wuhan, there were bombings near the river, and I was forced to get off the ship and board a train to Hankou. We finally reached Wuchang – where we were not taken to the factory where they had promised we would work, but to a comfort station. ”

Zhou Fenying, born in 1920 in Baipu Township, Rugao County, Jiangsu Province, is blind. Japanese soldiers set up a military brothel shortly after they invaded Rugao County, and kidnapped local women to work as “comfort women”. Zhou, who had just been married, was captured along with more than 20 other young women. She cried every day in the military brothel, hurting her eyes, and eventually lost sight in both eyes.

Lin Ailan shows how she was tortured by Japanese soldiers.

 Lin, who was born in 1925, in Lingao county, Hainan province, became a “comfort woman” when she was 18 years old.

She managed to escape – but was captured and the Japanese soldiers killed her mother. After Japan’s surrender, she changed her name and left her hometown.

I clung to my trouser belt tightly. One Japanese soldier raised his sword and threatened to cut my hands; I had to let go. Another took the chance and stripped my pant, but I continued to struggle. Then one of them used something to pierce through my thigh and I fainted with pain.”

This photo shows Huang Youliang, born in 1927, in Lingshui County, Hainan province, at a moment when she was lost in deep meditation..

Japanese soldiers abducted Huang when she was only 14 years old. They took her to the Tengqiao military camp where soldiers repeatedly raped her, and she was forced to work as a “comfort woman” for four years.

Seeing his hand bleeding, the Japanese soldier I bit pulled out his sword immediately [and held it] over my head, ready to slash down.”

This photo shows Pu Abai touching the grave of her daughter.

Pu Abai was born in Fenghuang Township, Sanya City, Hainan Province in 1915. She became a “comfort woman” for Japanese troops in 1941 and gave birth to a girl during that time. The little girl was discriminated against and became sick from the beatings she suffered. She finally fell to her death in a well.

She didn’t understand why she was treated differently when she was little. I didn’t tell her. How am I supposed to do that? Tell her your mother is a Japanese whore or you are a bastard of a Japanese?”

Deng Yumin was raped by Japanese soldiers at the age of 16 and forced into sex slavery until the surrender of Japan in 1945.

The interpreter said that if I didn’t go with them, they would kill me, my sister and all the people of my ethnic group. ”

Deng was born in Shiqi Village, Baoting County, Hainan Province, in 1926.

This photo shows Zhang Xiantu (right) and her husband Guo Meishuan. Zhang was only 15 when she was abducted by Japanese soldiers and forced to serve as a “comfort woman”. Zhang was born in 1925 in Yu County, Shanxi province.

At the time, I had been married for just a month and my husband was still young. He squatted in a corner, terrified and trembling. He has not stopped trembling since then.”

Cai Aihua, born in 1926 in Chengmai County, Hainan Province, was forced to become a “comfort woman” for the Japanese army at the age of 15. Later, she managed to escape and hid in the deep mountains until Japan surrendered in 1945. During this time, she nearly suffered a complete nervous breakdown.

“……I tried to resist but the Japanese soldiers put the bayonet on my throat and threatened to kill me. I got scared, and I gave up resisting.”

Gao Yine, who was born in 1924 in Yu county, Shanxi province, was abducted by Japanese soldiers in 1942. She was unable to give birth due to the abuse that she suffered during her captivity.

“……Then two more Japanese soldier came in; one rushed to help the soldier who was holding me to rip my clothes off and another came at my mother-in-law.

Wei Shaolan (left) picks vegetables while her son, Luo Shanxue, smokes inside their home.

In the winter of 1944, Wei – who was holding her infant daughter in her arms - was abducted by Japanese soldiers and forced to serve as a “comfort woman.”

During her three months in an army camp, she was sexually abused and her daughter died.

Wei soon became pregnant again, escaped the camp and gave birth to a boy, Luo Shanxue, in the summer of 1945.

Luo is the first child publicly acknowledged as the offspring of a “comfort woman” and a Japanese soldier.

Wei Shaolan was born in 1921, in Xipu county, Guilin, Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region.

Li Meijin was born in 1927, in Shilong village, Chengmai, Hainan province.

She was abducted by the Japanese military when she was 15, and forced to work as a “comfort woman” – before she managed to escape.

I told myself not to die under any circumstances. Some others chose to die, but I couldn’t, because I wanted to go home. ”

Fu Meiju was born in 1928, in Chengmai County, Hainan province, and was forced to serve as a “comfort woman” after she was abducted by the Japanese military when she was 16.

At that time, I had just turned 16 and I was tortured severely. Several others were watching when someone was raping me. After this soldier was finished, another one came forward……

(Opinions of the writer in this blog don't represent those of China Daily.)




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