Added: September 6, 2014 – Last updated: November 7, 2015


Speaker: Yonson Ahn

Title: How are the 'Comfort Women' Remembered in 'Historical Revisionism' in Japan?

Subtitle: -

Conference: 11th International Conference of the European Association for Japanese Studies (August 31 - September 3, 2005)

Session: 10A: The Political Use and Abuse of History

Place: Universität Wien (University of Vienna), Vienna, Austria

Date: September 3, 2005

Language: English

Keywords: Modern History: 20th Century | Asian History: Japanese History | Types: Forced Prostitution / "Comfort Women"; Types: Wartime Sexual Violence / Asia-Pacific War


Link: -


Speaker: Yonson Ahn, Institut für Orientalische und Ostasiatische Philologien (Institute for Oriental and East Asian Studies), Goethe-Universität Frankfurt am Main (Goethe University Frankfurt) –

Abstract: This paper aims to explore the ways in which sexuality, gender and colonialism are conceptualised in memory politics on "comfort women" in historical revisionism in Japan. The issue of comfort women has been a site of contestation for historical revisionists in Japan. Distortion of historical facts on comfort women system with the "masochistic" view of history has been asserted, for example by Fujioka Nobukatsu, Nakamura Akira, Hôsaka Masayasu, Nishioka Tsutomu, and Kusaka Kimihito have been involved in this discussion.
They claim
* comfort women acted as "voluntary" prostitutes;
* unreliability of narratives of comfort women
* universality of the existence of military brothels that means inevitable relation between military and sex;
* no foundation of forceful procurement of the comfort women
* inappropriateness of teaching the issue of comfort women for middle school students
I shall investigate their assertions in terms of
* positivism;
* biological determinism of masculine sexuality;
* rhetoric of woman as a necessary evil;
* dichotomy of the fallen and the respective.
The questions posed and addressed in this paper are
* How is sexuality contextualised?
* How is prostitution constructed?
* How are the narratives of comfort women considered?
How is the comfort women system legitimised in revisionist historiography in Japan? « (Source: 11th Conference of the European Association for Japanese Studies)

Wikipedia: History of Asia: History of Japan | Prostitution: Forced prostitution / Comfort women | Sexual violence: Types of rape / Wartime sexual violence | War: Pacific War / Japanese war crimes