Chinese Comfort Women is the first English-language book featuring accounts of the “comfort station” experiences of women from Mainland China, forced into sexual slavery by the Japanese military during the Asia-Pacific War. Through personal narratives from twelve survivors, this book reveals the unfathomable atrocities committed against women during the war and correlates the proliferation of “comfort stations” with the progression of Japan’s military offensive. Drawing on investigative reports, local histories, and witness testimony, Chinese Comfort Women puts a human face on China’s war experience and on the injustices suffered by hundreds of thousands of Chinese women.
Part 1: The War Remembered
1 Japan’s Aggressive War and the Military “Comfort Women” System
2 The Mass Abduction of Chinese Women
3 Different Types of Military “Comfort Stations” in China
4 Crimes Fostered by the “Comfort Women” System
Part 2: The Survivors’ Voices
5 Eastern Coastal Region
6 Warzones in Central and Northern China
7 Southern China Frontlines
Part 3: The Postwar Struggles
8 Wounds That Do Not Heal
9 The Redress Movement
10 Litigation on the Part of Chinese Survivors
11 International Support
Epilogue; Notes; Selected Bibliography; Index
This work contributes significantly to the literature on “comfort women” and on the question of violence against women in war, generally. The individual histories documented in this book are very moving, particularly because they include discussion, not only of the terrible ordeals undergone by these women during the war, but also of their family backgrounds before the war and of their experiences in later life.
Tessa Morris-Suzuki, author of Borderline Japan: Foreigners and Frontier Controls in the Postwar Era
An impressive book, well-written and researched. It provides an excellent analysis of the scope, nature, and prevalence of comfort stations in China and documents the lived experiences of Chinese comfort women. This book expertly knits together a range of invaluable primary sources hitherto only available in Chinese, with secondary documentation in Japanese, Chinese, and English.
Nicola Henry, author of War and Rape: Law, Memory and Justice
This book is heart-rending and courageous. It gives voice, for the first time in English, to the Chinese women enslaved by the Japanese armies during the invasion and occupation of China. I finished it with a great respect for the victims whose stories are told here and for the historians who have brought them to light.
Diana Lary, author of The Chinese People at War: Human Suffering and Social Transformation, 1937-1945
This is an important book that signals fundamental shifts in understandings of the Japanese military’s use of “comfort women” in Asia during the Second World War. To date, most discussion of “comfort women,” the English translation of the Japanese euphemism ianfu, has focused on roughly 200,000 Korean and Japanese nationals. This volume sheds light on the suffering of an approximately equal number of Chinese women who were forcibly drafted by the Japanese military and whose experiences were silenced for decades. It is the first English-language monograph to record the memories of Chinese women at the “comfort stations” and it does a fine job of introducing these important findings to international audiences..One of the great strengths of this work is the demonstration that these women’s suffering continued long after the Japanese military was defeated and the war ended...Chinese Comfort Women does an excellent job of linking these women’s lives to forces that darkened much of China’s tortuous twentieth century yet remain far too little understood.
Norman Smith, University of Guelph