Korean "comfort women" and military sexual slavery in World War II
Ahn, Yonson (1999) Korean "comfort women" and military sexual slavery in World War II. PhD thesis, University of Warwick.
WRAP_THESIS_Ahn_1999.pdf - Requires a PDF viewer such as GSview, Xpdf or Adobe Acrobat Reader
Official URL: http://webcat.warwick.ac.uk/record=b1365675~S15
The aim of this thesis is to explore the way in which sexualities and identities are
involved in the creation of patriarchal relations, ethnic hierarchies and colonial
power in the context of "Comfort Women". The women were considered sexual
slaves for Japanese soldiers during World War II. I attempt to show the It) ways in
which masculinity, femininity, and national identity were re/constructed through the
enforcement of the subject-positionings of gender, colonialism and nationalism.
The questions I raise and attempt to answer are: What kinds of masculinity and
femininity of the Japanese soldiers and Korean "Comfort Women" respectively, and
the national identities of both, were re/constructed through the comfort station
system? How were the positionings of the "Comfort Women" enacted through daily
practices and ideology, and what were the consequences of the re/construction of
their identity? Finally, how did the "Comfort Women" position themselves in the
face of the imposition of gender and national identities, by Japanese colonial and
Korean nationalist power?
I use personal narratives, including testimonies and life histories of the former
Korean "Comfort Women" and Japanese veterans obtained from my interviews with
them as well as from testimonies already released. I interviewed thirteen former
Korean "Comfort Women" and seventeen Japanese veterans. Thirteen out of the
veterans were 'rehabilitated' in China after World War El, the remaining four were
not. I also occasionally use official documents on the comfort station system, which
were issued by the Japanese military and the Western Allies.
I argue that the development of gender and national identities contributed to the
construction of Japanese colonialism, and that the "Comfort Women" system helped
to produce and reproduce Japan as an imperial state with power over the lives and
human resources of the colonies. In particular, the maintenance of the military
system depended on the circulation of these concepts of masculinity and femininity.
The regulation of masculine and feminine sexuality and national identities through
the military comfort station system was a crucial means through which Japan
expanded its colonies by military means.
|Item Type:||Thesis or Dissertation (PhD)|
|Subjects:||D History General and Old World > D History (General) > D731 World War II
D History General and Old World > DS Asia
|Library of Congress Subject Headings (LCSH):||Comfort women -- Korea, Nationalism -- Japan, Nationalism -- Korea, Japan -- Foreign relations -- 20th century, Gender identity -- Japan, Gender identity -- Korea|
|Official Date:||June 1999|
|Institution:||University of Warwick|
|Theses Department:||Centre for the Study of Women and Gender|
|Supervisor(s)/Advisor:||Liddle, Joanna ; Lovell, Terry|
|Sponsors:||British Council (Korea) ; Overseas Research Students Awards Scheme (ORSAS) ; British Federation of Women Graduates|
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