Comfort Women Sexual Violence and Postcolonial Memory in Korea and Japan
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Description: In an era marked by atrocities perpetrated on a grand scale, the tragedy of the so-called comfort women-mostly Korean women forced into prostitution by the Japanese army-endures as one of the darkest events of World War II. These women have usually been labeled victims of a war crime, a simplistic view that makes it easy to pin blame on the policies of imperial Japan and therefore easier to consign the episode to a war-torn past. In this revelatory study, C. Sarah Soh provocatively disputes this master narrative. Soh reveals that the forces of Japanese colonialism and Korean patriarchy together determined the fate of Korean comfort women-a double bind made strikingly apparent in the cases of women cast into sexual slavery after fleeing abuse at home. Other victims were press-ganged into prostitution, sometimes with the help of Korean procurers. Drawing on historical research and interviews with survivors, Soh tells the stories of these women from girlhood through their subjugation and beyond to their efforts to overcome the traumas of their past. Finally, Soh examines the array of factors- from South Korean nationalist politics to the aims of the international women7;s human rights movement-that contributed to the incomplete view of the tragedy that still dominates today.
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List price: $32.00
Copyright year: 2008
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
Publication date: 2/15/2009
Size: 5.75" wide x 8.75" long x 0.75" tall
C. Sarah Sohis professor of anthropology at San Francisco State University and the author ofWomen in Korean Politics.
List of Plates List of Figures and Tables List of Maps Prologue: An Anthropological Analysis Acknowledgments Note to the Reader Introduction Gender, Class, Sexuality, and Labor under Japanese Colonialism and Imperialist War PART 1 Gender and Structural Violence Chapter 1. From Multiple Symbolic Representations to the Paradigmatic Story Chapter 2. Korean Survivors' Testimonial Narratives Chapter 3. Japan's Military Comfort System as History PART 2 Public Sex and Women's Labor Chapter 4. Postwar/Postcolonial Memories of the Comfort Women Chapter 5. Private Memories of Public Sex Chapter 6. Public Sex and the State Epilogue Truth, Justice, Reconciliation Appendix: Doing "Expatriate Anthropology" Notes Bibliography Index