Sunday, March 25, 2007

Comfort Women Stories (3) 慰安婦的故事(三) 慰安婦の物語(三)

Something different.... Taiwanese sex slaves dress up to realize dream of weddings (April 19, 2006 Associated Press)

TAIPEI, Taiwan — Taiwanese women forced into prostitution by Japan’s military more than six decades ago put on wedding gowns Tuesday to celebrate the nuptials they never had.
The women are part of a shrinking group of “comfort women” — forced into sexual slavery by Japan’s military — in several parts of Asia during World War II.
After Japan ended its 50-year occupation of Taiwan in 1945, many of the women were rejected as “damaged goods” by their relatives and never found a spouse, said the Women’s Rescue Foundation, the rights group which organized Tuesday’s event.
Six women — ranging in age from 82 to 90 — came together in Taipei to put on white wedding dresses, hold bouquets and have their pictures taken.
“People of our age didn’t dare dream of having a wedding, but now the day has come, and I like it a lot,” said Wu Hsiu-mei, the oldest member of the group.
Taiwan has 28 of the women left, with an average age of 84, according to the foundation.

Some Youtube videos on the Comfort Women:
1.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3GkS3ViToGA
(Survivor:Cook Islands Winner Yul Kwon on his support for US Res.121 on the Comfort Women)
2.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tX9R0G_tAiI
(Filipino Comfort Women 1999)
3.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=puatBulznZs
(Taiwanese Comfort Women: 60 yrs of Pain and Tears)


PS: Just to be balanced, I would like to point out that not only the Japanese military but other countries soldiers and civilians also raped women in large numbers during WW2. For example, The Russian Red Army was particularly hideous in its conduct in the immediate postwar period. The Russian Military raped many German women after the collapse of Nazi Germany when its forces entered and occupied Germany and many Japanese women were raped by the Russians as well when it entered and occupied former Manchuria. Many Japanese civilians did not have time to escape given that evacuation orders were only sent a couple of days before the surrender of Japan. It is said that some Korean and Chinese men also raped Japanese women in revenge in the chaos of the immediate postwar period.
Of cos, in conflicts since WW2, the rape of women has become part and parcel of almost every other conflict with names like Bosnia, Rwanda, and East Timor coming to mind....
Rape in War was, Is, and, Will Always be a Weapon....an Unacceptable and Demeaning Weapon...

9 comments:

hari deepak said...

But is it really justifiable to criticize shinzo abe for visiting shrines madam pen? ..i mean yes they may be some persons who may have done henious crimes involving the nanking massacre......but in the same shrines lie the souls of some great japanese who had sacrificed their lives fighting a losing war with pride....what about kamikaze's....Also the shrines are a respectful resting place for their ancestors....it seems unfair to relate nanking massacre to shinzo's visit to the shrine..also i am concerned about the rising chinese nationalistic sentiment against japanese...What would be your opinion about it.....

jw said...

hari,

The answer is simple. Why should the PM stop visiting the shrine

* The Shinto shrine's head priest secretly enshrined 14 top, or Class-A, war criminals in 1978

* Emperor Hirohito stopped visiting because it honoured war criminals

* Hirohito's son and heir, Emperor Akihito, has not visited the shrine since ascending the throne in 1989

* Many people from neighbouring countries and abroad see the shrine as a symbol of Japan's past militarism. This is not going to change. This is reality.

* The head of Japan should be seeking methods to reconcilate with these neighbouring countries, and not antagonising them. Whether it is for his personal beliefs or not and whether it is to win him votes, he is the head of Japan and people will judge him in this light, the image of Japan largely rests on his words and actions. This is reality.

* Look up the lies propagated from the accompanying museum at the same shrine (Yasukuni)

* What practical solutions can be offered? To keep telling Chinese and Koreans and others to just "get over it", "it's none of your business"?

hcpen 彭皓全 said...

hari deepak: I don't need to write my opinions given jw has replied you already except to add that another reason is that the 'ancestors' INCLUDING the soldiers enshrined there, not just the 14 warcriminals, do not deserve ANY RESPECT given that they were the ones responsible for all the atrocities committed during WW2. The soldiers in Yasukuni were involved in various warcrimes during WW2 INCLUDING raping the 'comfort women'...so the important question is why should
they be 'respected' by the PM of Japan??

hcpen 彭皓全 said...

jw: Great comment;)

Goku said...

"Just to be balanced, I would like to point out that not only the Japanese military but other countries soldiers..."

I don't believe you needed to include the above item "to be balanced" in your article. It is clearly two different things. Here's why. 1) On one side you have random acts of rape perpetrated by troops on women on a massive scale (an act which accompanies any war). 2) On the other we have a systematized organization of women, by the military, for sexual enslavement, again on a massive scale.

Clearly two very different events. And to be fair, the Japanese military perpatrated both above examples.

hcpen 彭皓全 said...

goku: Yes, its true that the Japanese committed both types but rape in war is unacceptable whatever form it takes place so to say that one kind is committed in all kinds of war is meaningless...just bcos something happens doesn't make it right nor acceptable. For in the end, the woman who is raped cares not 'what kind of rape' she was subjected to.

Lonnie said...

Beautiful...Thank you...


Lonnie

hcpen 彭皓全 said...

Lonnie: Thank you...also thanks for adding me on your blogroll as well as mentioning this post in your blog:)

緻子 gigi said...

Yes ,well said ,
i agreed w/ your point .

The Siberia Red Army committed sexual-abuse crimes during war (in Manchu-Dalian /Harbin/Hsinking),and the
US GI. also committed similar rapes in Okinawa / Korean / Vietnam War.

But afterall ,i will say ,a very well-known evidences were recorded that the Japanese were the very first military who invented the "Comfort Women" system in Asian history .

I would like to link your article to my blog, if you don't mind .We seems like having the same interests of stuides.^-^
(I graduated from a Japanese college.)

Gigi (HongKOng)