Scars That Last Forever: The Comfort Women

There are scars that last throughout time when it comes to war whether it be from those who lost a loved one or otherwise. WWII saw atrocities on such a large scale that many people are forgotten when talking about the victims of this war. The fact that the holocaust killed millions of people lends itself to having some of the victims to be forgotten because what was done at the concentration camps was so heinous. This article will dive into Japanese comfort women as the crimes committed against these women were unspeakable and there has been efforts by the governments who inflicted the pain on this to have the issue hushed from embarrassment of the crimes against these women.

The comfort women were used during the 1940’s and 1950’s for a variety of different reasons. The comfort women were used by the Japanese military to help keep the spirit of the troops up. The women were also used to quell the issues that were arising throughout the ranks. These women were forced into prostitution by the military and it was not just limited to the Japanese. The South Korean government implemented the use of comfort women to keep the morale of troops up as well. Unlike the Japanese the Korean military used the women to keep the morale of the US troops in territories that they were occupying happy. In a more sinister reasoning, Korean politicians wanted to make comfort women more prevalent so the US soldiers would not go to Japan and spend their money there. The Korean and Japanese governments both give conflicting reports as to the number of these women. Holding these governments accountable for these actions should be at the forefront of people’s minds.

You may ask “where did the comfort women come from?” These women were acquired in a variety of different ways and most of these tactics were shady. Kidnapping was involved in the middle of the night in territories that were occupied by the Japanese military. Promises of jobs that didn’t exist was also a tactic that was implemented, the women would show up for a job they were promised only to be forced into working at a comfort station. The women who refused to work at the comfort stations were either executed or beaten until they changed their minds. The conditions that the women endured were terrible, this is highlighted by the fact the roughly 75% of the women did not survive their stay at the comfort stations.

As you can see, there are victims during war that many people never hear about. The comfort women are a great example of people who had to endure harsh conditions. Many of these women are still traumatized some 60 years later from the abuse that they had suffered. Making these types of crimes common knowledge is the best way to keep anything of this nature from ever happening again.


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