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‘Comfort women’ controversy goes to New Jersey

Palisades Park—Korean population, 52%—has erected a monument for the “comfort women.”

And the Japanese don’t like it. At all. Get a load of this lobbying approach (HT to Liz):

Mayor James Rotundo of Palisades Park said the lobbying began obliquely late last month. Officials at the Japanese consulate in New York sent e-mails requesting a meeting with borough administrators.

“I called the secretary and said, ‘What is this about?’ ” the mayor recalled in an interview, “and she said, ‘It’s about Japanese-U.S. relations,’ and I said: ‘Oh. Well, O.K.’ ”

The first meeting, on May 1, began pleasantly enough, he said. The delegation was led by the consul general, Shigeyuki Hiroki, who talked about his career, including his work in Afghanistan — “niceties,” Mr. Rotundo said.

Then the conversation took a sudden turn, Mr. Rotundo said. The consul general pulled out two documents and read them aloud.

One was a copy of a 1993 statement from Yohei Kono, then the chief cabinet secretary, in which the Japanese government acknowledged the involvement of military authorities in the coercion and suffering of comfort women.

The other was a 2001 letter to surviving comfort women from Junichiro Koizumi, then the prime minister, apologizing for their treatment.

Mr. Hiroki then said the Japanese authorities “wanted our memorial removed,” Mr. Rotundo recalled

In return for removing the statue, the Japanese offered to plant cherry trees (sure that would have gone over well in a town that’s over 50% Korean), donate books to the library (“So Far from the Bamboo Grove” for all the little boys and girls!), and “do some things to show that we’re united in this world and not divided,” which one can only hope was not an offer to rebuild the Greater East Asian Co-prosperity Sphere. No mention of any offers to build a Shinto shrine overlooking the GWB, but perhaps it just got left out of the meeting minutes.

Anyway, when the borough rejected the Japanese offer, the Japanese reponded by sending a delegation to Palisades Park to present Twenty One Demands to reconfirm their position on the monument:

The second delegation arrived on May 6 and was led by four members of the Japanese Parliament. Their approach was less diplomatic, Mr. Rotundo said. The politicians, members of the opposition Liberal Democratic Party, tried, in asking that the monument be removed, to convince the Palisades Park authorities that comfort women had never been forcibly conscripted as sex slaves.

“They said the comfort women were a lie, that they were set up by an outside agency, that they were women who were paid to come and take care of the troops,” the mayor related. “I said, ‘We’re not going to take it down, but thanks for coming.’ ”

And they wonder why people doubt the sincerity of Japanese apologies.

Anyway, there’s reportedly a signature campaign underway in Japan to get the monument removed. Good luck with that.

Nikon, too, has cancelled a photo exhibit by a Korean photographer on the comfort women. Sheesh.

As far as diaspora monuments meant as a big “F You” to foreign nations with which said diaspora has issues, the Palisades Park monument isn’t nearly as cool as Hermann the German. And yes, there’s a lot being left out of the “comfort women” narrative, so much so that one can wonder whether the monument is a call for justice or an exercise in ethnic axe-grinding.

Still, for a country renowned for its politeness, Japan can engage in some pretty appauling diplomacy sometimes. Who at the Japanese embassy thought it was a good idea to get involved in this thing?

About the author: Just the administrator of this humble blog.

  • http://vmphotography.com.au hoju_saram

    Two points:

    1. The Japanese can be remarkably callous and really ought to show more remorse when it comes to WW2 and the colonial era.

    2. Koreans – any immigrants, actually – really ought to keep monuments to historical grievances in their home countries, rather than exporting them to neutral nations like the US (whose people could teach East Asians a great deal about how to forgive and forget and move on).

    As tactless as the Japanese delegation was, this deserves censure as well:

    …now the Japanese effort is prompting Korean groups in the New York region and across the country to plan more such monuments…

    Great…

  • yuna

    I agree with hoju’s point 2. I really do. However, like it or hate it I think the way that the Korean immigration population acts in other countries, especially in the US where it seems the ghettorization is “encouraged” by the national policy and somehow equals the empowerment of that immigrant group, it’s hard to just dismiss Korean Americans = US citizens therefore they should ease up on the “Korean” connection with regards to nationalistic/loyal-to-the-Heimat behaviour.

    A long time ago, I had many arguments with my father over this who, at one time as an employee of the embassy there had the view that those Korean American community who wanted that distinction blurred should not be cast aside by the embassy and its community events etc. exactly because I took the view -they are US citizens, why should the embassy have anything to do with them?

    But then, there is this manifest of Godwin’s Law so maybe size-wise, the event (even with the standard deviation from the uncertainty of mismatch between memories of each individual involved) and the monument would be roughly equal, only if the size of the plaque was reduced to 0.01459 of its current size (and no 1459 is not my cash card pin)

    I read about this last night on Japan Probe. They have a long post, and a lot of comments. I think it might be like the second time I’ve read that blog but it seems they have a lot of Korea and its anti-Japan sentiment blog posts there. Interesting.

  • yuna

    And I especially agree with the comments following that Japan Probe post, that Germans, in their own soul-searching had an entity called the Nazis to blame and somehow dissociate themselves much easily, I am sure I myself have said so many times.

    When I come across so many monuments and gardens across the world in the West dedicated to the Hiroshima bombing, I don’t immediately think about the Americans as the heinous villains, I understand that the memorial is there to remember the victims of the war.
    I think, the same should be for these memorials – if one were to take it along the same line, and one should, that even if it’s for 200 women, or 2 girls who did suffer, involuntarily, it’s important to think and feel sorry for the lost lives. However, when you get the “they were prostitutes, what about the involvement of Korean government itself? What about the juicy girls? what about the prostitutes who served the US army?” these points are just so mute that I cannot but feel sorry for those who raise them.

    It’s a delicate balance between “Lest we forget” and “Let’s forgive and forget”. Take the hate out from the first and it equals the second.

  • yuna

    One thing I noticed is that in there is definitely a difference in tone in portraying the events in Germany of the Nazis (ABUNDANT, EVERYWHERE) and in Poland (say, the Warsaw Uprising Museum, and of course the concentration camps I imagine).. In the countries of the perpetrators, there is definitely a muted, concentrating on the victims, sadness only whereas in places where it was “them” that did it, it’s half-half between sad and blame. I think the education and the tone of the monuments in general in Korea, has much to blame. For example, from the Korea Independence Museum to the Kwangju Memorial to the Democracy Movement, etc. it’s so charged with accusatory and haan-laden emotions one might feel a bit suffocated, if one were not used to such style one would feel overwhelmed.
    I remember going to a “Children’s Museum to the Holocaust” in Israel, and although I am sure since it was about children, and probably for children as well, they tried to tone it down, still feeling overwhelmed by the existing blame.

    The thing is in Japan, the country itself thinks in general that it is a victim not a perpetrator, so that creats a large disconnect with the rest of the Asian countries. However, I really don’t think it is the job of the neighbouring countries to “teach” the Japanese of what really happened. They already missed that boat already, and to try and do so now comes across as jealous and nationalistic on the part of the other countries.

  • Yu Bum Suk

    I have no sympathy for the Japs whatsoever on this issue but if they wanted to be cheeky I’d suggest they build a monument to Koreans who fought for the Japanese Empire with a statue of Sergeant Park Chungee.

  • yuna

    #5 I know, my thoughts exactly I thought instead of the plaque, the Koreans should plant sakura trees on a path and call it the “Comfort Women Path -dedicated to those who bloomed and fell so young” ^^

    The lobbying approach just brings the Japanese down to the other Asian countries level, it makes them seem rather 親近 (shinkin, chinkun -친근 in Korean) in my opinion ^^, no matter how much its fans are trying to dismiss it as a only-a-couple-of-crazy-ultranationalists-crackpots thing.

  • http://rjkoehler.com Robert Koehler

    Koreans – any immigrants, actually – really ought to keep monuments to historical grievances in their home countries, rather than exporting them to neutral nations like the US (whose people could teach East Asians a great deal about how to forgive and forget and move on).

    I want to agree—really, I do—but in fact, ethno grievence-mongering is something of an American pasttime. See here:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Irish_Hunger_Memorial

    Although in fairness, I suppose it could be argued the Potato Famine is at least relevant to the United States for it’s the reason so many Irish live there in the first place.

  • http://pawikoreapics.blogspot.com/ pawikirogii 石鵝

    ‘Koreans – any immigrants, actually – really ought to keep monuments to historical grievances in their home countries’

    really? you feel the same way about the jewish museum being built in washington dedicated to the european holocaust? that’s what i thought.

    ‘And yes, there’s a lot being left out of the “comfort women”’

    doesn’t matter. the japanese are responsible here not koreans. no need to examine korean involvement just as you feel there is no need to examine american culpability with regards to unit 731.

    remember, yuna, you can say you’re japanese ! :)

  • http://rjkoehler.com Robert Koehler

    doesn’t matter.

    Not to you it, it doesn’t.

    the japanese are responsible here not koreans

    Keep telling yourself that if it helps you sleep at night.

    no need to examine korean involvement just as you feel there is no need to examine american culpability with regards to unit 731.

    I’m sure I needn’t explain to you why that comparison doesn’t hold, regardless of what the Americans did—or didn’t do—to those involved in Unit 731 after the war.

  • http://vmphotography.com.au hoju_saram

    Yeah, it’s much more relevant – remember, hundreds of thousands of Irish immigrants fled to America to escape the potato famine and the British on coffin ships – you know,

    Give me your tired, your poor,
    Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
    The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
    Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed, to me:
    I lift my lamp beside the golden door!

    That sort of thing.

    I get that it’s a Korean community and as such they should be able to do what they want, but planning more monuments across the country? Statues can be good things if raised in the right spirit, but when they’re put up out of spite, in someone else’s backyard – not such a good thing.

    Can someone tell me if there are statues in the US – Palisades Park, specifically – dedicated to those Koreans lost in the Korean War? Or even the Vietnam War? Why are comfort women so much more deserving of monuments?

  • http://koreanlanguagenotes.blogspot.com/ gbevers

    I would suggest that the Japanese erect a monument in the same park to King Sejong the Great and mention, casually, that he had prostitutes sent to his camps on the frontlines to “comfort” the soldiers stationed there. They could also mention that Korea continued to provide “comfort women” to UN troops decades after the Japanese had already left Korea.

  • http://vmphotography.com.au hoju_saram

    really? you feel the same way about the jewish museum being built in washington dedicated to the european holocaust? that’s what i thought.

    6 million Jews died in the holocaust.

  • http://vmphotography.com.au hoju_saram

    And for the record – I think Japan has a hell of a lot to answer for. I’m just not sure they should be answering to Koreans in America for the next 100 years (how long do statues last?)

  • http://vmphotography.com.au hoju_saram

    Let me rephrase that: I’m just not sure Japanese-Americans ought to be answering to Korean-Americans in America for the foreseeable future (statues last a long time) for something that happened in Korea almost a century ago.

    Call me crazy.

  • http://pawikoreapics.blogspot.com/ pawikirogii 石鵝

    ’6 million Jews died in the holocaust.’

    so what? many more asians died at the hand of the japanese. good to see this is a game to you in which sympathy and respect are predicated on the number dead and who allegedly suffered more.

    ‘I’m sure I needn’t explain to you why that comparison doesn’t hold’

    you’re right; one is far worse. one can only hope you can see which one of those it is.

  • yuna

    It’s not so much about whether these events that the memorial commemorates prompted the immigration in the first place, as to popularity contest of the originating countries. As I’ve mentioned I have seen so many dedication to the atomic bombings of Japan in countries that have little or no Japanese immigration, just because they like the Japanese and Japanese things , bells, flowers.

    Of course next (for some people) it’s also about the scale, which is why I mentioned the scale reduction.

  • Maekchu

    Keep the Korean drama and your spats out of the US please. We really don’t give a shit and its bad form to try and involve a Third Party country in your melodrama with Japan. Example #2,482 of Koreans behaving badly abroad. I do sympathize with the Koreans on the Comfort Women issue, but moves like this make me more apathetic to their cause. Grow Up.

  • http://pawikoreapics.blogspot.com/ pawikirogii 石鵝

    ps i have updated my blog. please visit to see new gerry bevers movie poster called ‘the lunatic’.

  • http://pawikoreapics.blogspot.com/ pawikirogii 石鵝

    ‘Keep the Korean drama and your spats out of the US please. We really don’t give a shit and its bad form to try and involve a Third Party country in your melodrama with Japan.’

    i tell this to the jew all the time but he just won’t listen! i don’t want my tax money used to build memorials for foreigners or the holocaust! build that crap in aschwitz or palestine.

    would you help me get schlomo to listen, maekju?

  • yuna

    Let me just add that I am always glad we have two prime examples of the archetypical village idiots on this blog, having only one would be lonely. It imbues the comments section with a festive atmosphere. I think we should have a whip round on the blog and give this pair a honeymoon trip to Tokyo Disneyland together.

  • Soulz

    Is pawikirogii 石鵝 gbevers’ ex-wife or something?

    Could someone please explain…. going by the former’s blog, their relationship seems to be very interesting.

  • http://vmphotography.com.au hoju_saram

    Let me just add that I am always glad we have two prime examples of the archetypical village idiots on this blog

    Maybe Robert should start a Pawi/Bevers thread once a week so we can isolate them from the general commentariat ;)

  • yuna

    Nah, this is a BYO kind of joint in general.
    Shoes off, on the straw mat in the front yard, everybody with makgollis bowls, and piles of nokdubuchim’s..(mungbean pancakes)

  • bballi bballi Paradise

    a few thoughts,
    Gbevers is the perfect fit to defend Japan, he is just as cold and callous as they are…

    Pawi is the perfect fit to defend Koreans, completely irrational, runs on delusional emotion and bitterly attacks anyone who disagrees…

    Hoju hits the nail on the head with just a few sentences

    Yuna writes for days, and every time I read her posts I come away with “Why did I just bother to read that…..”

  • Anonymous_Joe

    14 hoju_saram: “…I’m just not sure Japanese-Americans ought to be answering to Korean-Americans in America…. Call me crazy.”

    OK, you’re crazy.

    You also happen to be right**.

    (**Logically, the two are separate issues, much like “English teachers” and their “factually supported arguments.”)

  • virtual wonderer

    jesus holy christ almighty. the so called monument is a small rock on the ground in the middle of New Jersey. Korean “exporting” national grievance to “neutral” country? yesterday was Memorial Day here in the USA. This may come as a shock to you, but United States werent “neutral” back in 1945 when it send thousands of troops across the Pacific.

    and you make it seem like comfort issue is a “korean” issue. because i guess you think japanese only had korean comfort women? i wonder if it comes as a shock to you that there were white comfort women?

    i know what i heard from american wwii veterans. because i heard it from their mouths.

  • http://koreanlanguagenotes.blogspot.com/ gbevers

    Hoju wrote (#22):

    Maybe Robert should start a Pawi/Bevers thread once a week so we can isolate them from the general commentariat.

    I think Robert should make a thread where people are required to support their claims with facts, not opinions.

    The cold, callous fact is that Korea had comfort women before the Japanese came and also after the Japanese left. The purpose of the “comfort women” monument in the New Jersey park is not to decry the recruitment of comfort women by anyone around the world; its to decry the recruitment of comfort women by Japanese:

    In memory of the more than 200,000 women and girls who were abducted by the armed forces of the government of Imperial Japan, 1930′s – 1945, known as “comfort women.” They endured human rights violations that no peoples should leave unrecognized. Let us never forget the horrors of crimes against humanity.

    That inscription not only makes unproven claims; it also ignores the fact that the Korean government started its own “comfort woman” system for UN troops after the Japanese left Korea. In fact, the Korean system continued into, at least, the 1980′s.

  • slim

    pawi has very little value to any thinking person here EXCEPT as the occasional reminder of how simple-minded, selectively educated, race-based nationalists “think” — to use that verb generously.

  • slim

    And Yuna, your prose is frustrating to read. Maybe do your thinking off line, clarify your ideas, and then write. Cultivate pith!

  • http://koreanlanguagenotes.blogspot.com/ gbevers

    CORRECTION

    Hoju wrote (#22):

    Maybe Robert should start a Pawi/Bevers thread once a week so we can isolate them from the general commentariat.

    I think Robert should make a thread where people are required to support their claims with facts, not opinions.

    The cold, callous fact is that Korea had comfort women before the Japanese came and also after the Japanese left. The purpose of the “comfort women” monument in the New Jersey park is not to decry the recruitment of comfort women by anyone around the world; its to decry the recruitment of comfort women by Japanese:

    In memory of the more than 200,000 women and girls who were abducted by the armed forces of the government of Imperial Japan, 1930′s – 1945, known as “comfort women.” They endured human rights violations that no peoples should leave unrecognized. Let us never forget the horrors of crimes against humanity.

    That inscription not only makes unproven claims; it also ignores the fact that the Korean government started its own “comfort woman” system for UN troops after the Japanese left Korea. In fact, the Korean system continued into, at least, the 1980′s.

    The purpose of the momument in New Jersey was more to disparage Japan, than to bemoan any “horrors” comfort women might have suffered.

  • Creo69

    This isn’t a “monument” to anyone. It is the equivalent of the Dokdo video being played on the Times Square billboard. Political posturing…nothing more. The Jews already have the market cornered on this in the US. Let’s keep it that way and let’s keep the Korean / Japanese bikering on the right side of the ocean…it is like the middle east…it will never be resolved so let those who want to endlessly carry on do so at their own mental expense.

    Let the rest of us enjoy public spaces for what they were intended for..a sanctuary from this type of infantile squabbling.

  • http://vmphotography.com.au hoju_saram

    jesus holy christ almighty. the so called monument is a small rock on the ground in the middle of New Jersey.

    The current one, sure. But what about all the other monuments planned by Korean groups “across the country”? Not to mention the proposal by Peter Koo, a New York councilman and Chinese immigrant, “to rename a street in Flushing, Queens, in honor of comfort women”.

    So now we’re renaming American streets.

    Korean “exporting” national grievance to “neutral” country? yesterday was Memorial Day here in the USA. This may come as a shock to you, but United States werent “neutral” back in 1945 when it send thousands of troops across the Pacific.

    But they’re neutral now, which is my whole point. You know, the whole forgive and move on thing. Nor were there ever any American comfort women, as far as I’m aware. If you want to build a monument for them – and by all means, I think it’s a good idea – Korea is probably and more suitable place. I quite like the one opposite the Japanese embassy, if I’m honest ;)

    and you make it seem like comfort issue is a “korean” issue. because i guess you think japanese only had korean comfort women? i wonder if it comes as a shock to you that there were white comfort women?

    Not a shock at all. But I haven’t heard of any Dutch comfort women monuments or street renaming petitions happening in the US as yet. I think they probably keep those sort of things in the Netherlands.

  • R. Elgin

    Is pawikirogii 石鵝 gbevers’ ex-wife or something?

    I can not begin to say how funny that thought was.

    Touché

  • Creo69

    yuna said, ” I understand that the memorial is there to remember the victims of the war.”

    I think anyone who has lived in Korea knows this is not the intent of the comfort women memorials…these memorials are part of a continuous effort to shame the Japanese into making apologies which will never be sufficient in the eyes of Koreans. Like I said, it is just like the middle east, the back and fourth will continue indefinately.

  • Q

    Koreans – any immigrants, actually – really ought to keep monuments to historical grievances in their home countries, rather than exporting them to neutral nations like the US

    Here is the list of ‘Holocaust memorials and museums’ in the world:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Holocaust_memorials_and_museums

    Scores of museums in major cities of the U.S. — Washington D.C., New York, Los Angeles, Boston, Richmond, Houston, Philadelphia, etc. — commemorate the holocaust victims of WWII:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Holocaust_memorials_and_museums#United_States

    I would suggest Asians in the World be united to establish WWII museums to remember the victims of Japanese atrocities. It is necessary not to repeat the history, especially for the Japan denying their crime against humanity.

    US had a big war with Japan. So this would be an American issue. US Congressional Resolution Calls on Japan to Accept Responsibility for Wartime Comfort Women: http://hnn.us/articles/24291.html

  • enomoseki

    “Is pawikirogii 石鵝 gbevers’ ex-wife or something?

    Could someone please explain…. going by the former’s blog, their relationship seems to be very interesting.”

    Who gives a shit? Stop trying ot derail the entire topic.

  • CactusMcHarris

    What was left out of the minutes, and I can’t imagine why, it being timely and all, is the Japanese also offered to stop blaming Koreans for the 1923 Tokyo earthquake.

    Japan, a country I admire greatly, but talk about egregiously obtuse. As if somehow the Greatness of Nippon is diminished by a statue in New Jersey.

  • enomoseki

    Their government is a total joke.

    japan’s own downfall will be caused by their own people who rule their people.

    Other than the radiation, tsunamis, earthquakes, or sinking island…

  • jk6411

    Creo69 @#33,

    “I think anyone who has lived in Korea knows this is not the intent of the comfort women memorials…these memorials are part of a continuous effort to shame the Japanese into making apologies which will never be sufficient in the eyes of Koreans.”

    If the Japanese government apologized once and for all and built their own monument to “comfort women” in Japan, then this controversy would end.

  • hamel

    Gerry (@29):

    The purpose of the momument in New Jersey was more to disparage Japan, than to bemoan any “horrors” comfort women might have suffered.[emphasis added]

    Gerry, just curious as to why you put the word horrors in square quotes.

    Let’s accept for the sake of argument that every Korean comfort woman was there either voluntarily, or as the result of being sold by family/tricked by other Koreans.

    Does that allow the Japanese soldiers of WWII to treat them as they wished?

  • hamel

    whoops. And I was doing so well until I sperwered that blockquote.

  • cm

    You guys realize that it’s just a tiny little monument in Korea town, not even a statue, not even big as some of the stones you see in the grave yards. Picture of the little stone block here.

    http://aramatheydidnt.livejournal.com/3844368.html

    If Japan makes a big deal over this little tiny thing, it’s their fault for stirring up the bee’s nest again. They keep doing this over and over and over and over.

  • Wedge

    Why stop there? Why not a Polish monument against Lithuanian transgressions, a Norwegian one against Danish denial of rights, a Lithuanian one against Russian atrocities, Celts against Anglo-Saxon invaders, Picts against Viking raiders, Greeks against Turks, Armenians against Turks (OK, there probably is one of those), Turks against Greeks, Ukrainians against Russia, aboriginal Taiwanese against mainland Chinese, Maoris against Kiwis… ad naseum back through the millennia. We could become the United States of Grievance–where everyone can celebrate his pet grievance–or multiple grievances if you’re lucky enough to be a member of more than one victim group.

    Or here’s a novel thought: We could move the Christ on.

  • enomoseki

    “The purpose of the momument in New Jersey was more to disparage Japan, than to bemoan any “horrors” comfort women might have suffered.”

    Yeah sure, and the monuments of Holocaust in over the world is just to disparage the Germans and formal Axis European nations.

    Fucking logic strikes again.

  • enomoseki

    “Or here’s a novel thought: We could move the Christ on”

    Tell that to China, idiot.

  • http://koreanlanguagenotes.blogspot.com/ gbevers

    Hamel wrote (#39):

    Gerry, just curious as to why you put the word horrors in square quotes.

    I put “horrors” in quotes because that was what was written in the inscription on the monument.

    Hamel wrote:

    Let’s accept for the sake of argument that every Korean comfort woman was there either voluntarily, or as the result of being sold by family/tricked by other Koreans.

    Does that allow the Japanese soldiers of WWII to treat them as they wished?

    No, that would not have allowed the Japanese soldiers to treat the women as they wished. However, you seem to be making the assumption, as Koreans do, that all the women were treated badly or that most of them were. There is no proof of that.

  • Q

    Whatever Japan had done to Korea was illegal. Professor Totsuka Etsuro wrote ‘Japan’s Colonization of Korea in Light of International Law’:

    http://japanfocus.org/-Totsuka-Etsuro/3493

    ‘the Japan-Korea Protectorate Treaty’ had been signed by the Korean Foreign Minister as a result of threats by Ito Hirobumi and the Japanese Army against individual representatives (including the Foreign Minister) of the Korean Empire, and that the Treaty was therefore null and void ab initio, i.e. it was invalid from the start.

    1910 Japan-Korea Annexation Treaty was null and void ab initio

    .

  • jk6411

    gbevers said:

    However, you seem to be making the assumption, as Koreans do, that all the women were treated badly or that most of them were. There is no proof of that.

    Most “comfort women” perished during the war.
    Most survivors were left infertile due to sexual trauma or sexually transmitted disease. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comfort_women)
    The survivors were so ashamed of their experiences that many never returned to their homes. Most never spoke up about their experiences.

    I’ve read American military personnel’s accounts of how they found “comfort women” and Korean (forced) laborers massacred and buried in mass graves when the Japanese units they were with were retreating.
    That should give you a hint of how “comfort women” were treated by the Japanese. Simply put, they were treated as objects, not human beings.

    And let’s not forget that most “comfort women” were tricked or coerced into this sexual slavery (and many of them were underage girls).

    This is why the Japanese government has apologized in the past.

  • enomoseki

    Japs are cowards. They will never admit their past barbaric actions.

  • brier

    As all politics are local, this memorial will get built with the flow of donations to which political party runs the city. Money talks.

  • Q

    The Digital Museum: The Comfort Women Issue and Asian Women’s Fund provides good amount of resources. One of them would be Collection of Materials Relating to the Wartime Comfort Women Issue: Goverment of Japan Survey-1999:

    http://www.awf.or.jp/e6/document.html

    The AWF also has Letter from Prime Minister Ryutaro Hashimoto to Prime Minister Willem Kok:

    The Government of Japan is painfully aware of its moral responsibility concerning the issue of so-called wartime comfort women, and has been addressing this issue in all sincerity, in cooperation with the Asian Women’s Fund, which is implementing projects to express the atonement of the people of Japan for this issue.

    I recognize that the issue of the so-called wartime comfort women was a grave affront to the honor and dignity of many women and was conducted with the involvement of the Japanese military of that time. I therefore wish to convey to Your Excellency the deep feelings of apology and remorse that I bear in my heart for all the former comfort women who underwent numerous painful experiences and suffered incurable physical and psychological damage.

    http://www.awf.or.jp/e6/statement-24.html

  • Lliane

    @46 : Like anyone cared about International laws in 1910, it didn’t event exist…

    Chewbacca told me annexation of Korea is legal in Light of Intergalactic laws.

  • CactusMcHarris

    #11 Gerry,

    I’m happy you’re raising your son to be a good young man, but that comment there typifies the bitterness / hate you exhibit towards the country you once loved with a great passion (I’m going on the exhaustive studies of the language and history you’ve done / are doing). It must really be irksome to hate that which one has loved greatly.

    And please don’t tell me you’re going after the truth. The comment you made typifies the pettiness you treat this issue with. Kings often sent courtesans / second wives to other high-ranking officials – being Korean has nothing to do with it.

    I hope you’re teaching your son to be a little more open-minded – gosh knows we already have enough of your type of narrow-mindedness, convinced, without regard to evidence to the contrary, of his own self-righteousness, but maybe living in Texas can do that to a man.

    I’m sorry you’re a Korea-loathing Korean scholar, Gerry. I really am – it makes you dis-likable, but I’m trying to overlook it.

  • jeep44

    Perhaps similar monuments could be placed outside all the numerous Korean-owned (and staffed) “spas” and massage places here in the US?

  • virtual wonderer

    you know what’s funny? the town i grew up, Greenlawn, used to be called Old Fields. It used to be called Old Fields by the local native americans in their own language. then the white people came and started to call it Old Fields in english. later on, a railroad tycoon by the name of vandervilt came along and changed that name to greenlawn. and so here we are in the year 2012 with a good ol’ american name named by an american of dutch heritage. and in United States we have many places named after places where the original immigrants came from. like Paris, Berlin, Moscow, and so on and so forth.

    so a group of korean americans put a little rock on the ground in the middle of nowhere to put their little embellishment on the landscape, and lo and behold, a “bunch of foreigner are infecting america with their peculiar national grievance.”

    yeah, forget and move on. the Jews say, forgive, but never forget. there is a very good reason why they say this.

    People on the receiving end of sh17, usually think very differently from people on the giving end of sh17. hey lets forget it all.

    wait a hundred years or so and then we can start remembering again. make some movies called, Dances with Hojusaram. Or write books like, Last of the GBevers. Then we can all hold hands and sing kumbaya.

  • Q

    Lliane wrote:

    International laws in 1910, it didn’t event exist…

    Prof. Totsuka Etsuro’s Japan’s Colonization of Korea in Light of International Law

    http://japanfocus.org/-Totsuka-Etsuro/3493

    [R]esearch on Japanese academic writings on international law makes clear that all international law scholars prior to 1905 supported the ‘Ratification Required’ theory, and that this position has not changed even today. There is no one in Japan who denies that the five Japan-Korea treaties identified by Prof. Baek Chung-hyun, including the 1905 and 1910 treaties, were not ratified by the Korean Emperor. Therefore, it can be fairly said that these five Japan-Korea treaties, in particular the 1905 ‘Korea Protectorate Treaty’ and the 1910 ‘Korea Annexation Treaty’, were invalid from the beginning, namely null and void ab initio under international law.

  • http://pawikoreapics.blogspot.com/ pawikirogii 石鵝

    bringing up the jew and their memorials in the states is a good way to expose the yahoo for the hypocrite that he is. they ain ‘t objecting to a memorial per se, they’re objecting to a KOREAN memorial. NEXT!

    btw, i always love it when an australian thinks he’s american. oh, and yuna, don’t forget you can always say you’re japanese. then you can use the word ‘breathtaking’!

    ps please visit my blog for new gerry bevers movie poster!

  • CactusMcHarris

    Pawi,

    I’ll go to your blog when I need a non-alcoholic version of tequila.

  • http://askakorean.blogspot.com thekorean

    Here is an exercise. Put the choices in the order of reprehensibility of the actions described therein.

    1. Kidnap hundreds of thousands of women and force them into military prostitution, handling dozens of men daily with little or no medical care, then leave them to die after the war ends.

    2. Demand a heartfelt apology and reparation for the crimes described in (1).

    3. Take a decade to issue an apology, only to have it denied and recanted repeatedly by your country’s highest leaders over the next two decades.

    4. Establish a small monument to remember the horrific crimes described in (1) in a community in which you live.

    5. Attempt to bribe and cajole the city officials to remove the monument in order to deny that the horrific crimes described in (1).

    Anyone with a functioning moral compass knows the right answer, but MH commentators will spend vastly more time and digital ink criticizing the wrong answers. I am so fucking sick of you people.

  • http://askakorean.blogspot.com thekorean

    By the way, here is a 34 ft bronze statue of a bayoneted soldier, commemorating a massacre in Poland, committed by Russians, in the beginning of World War II.

    It is in Jersey City, New Jersey. You get a spectacular view of the Lower Manhattan skyline from the statue.

  • cm

    All this big deal over this?

    http://graphics8.nytimes.com/images/2012/05/19/nyregion/19comfort1/19comfort1-articleLarge.jpg

    Horror of horrors, how could they! Oh my lord! That monument doesn’t even compare with some of the big monuments for the Holocaust victims, it’s not even in the same scale.

    What Japan government did was just idiotic, making a fuss over this little rock formation with bunch of flowers, in the middle of Korea Town where half the residents have Korean background. Doubled with the fact that most Americans could care less about this issue, nor would this stone harm/effect the reputation of Japan and Japanese in any way. Instead, all this did was to prove the Koreans right that all those Japanese apologies have been just empty words.

  • http://pawikoreapics.blogspot.com/ pawikirogii 石鵝

    hoju, how do you, as an american, feel about that polish monument in jersey? i noticed you like to avoid issues that expose your double standards but won’t you please enlighten us with your vast knowledge as an australian who thinks he’s more american than any black, asian, or hispanic american could ever be? thanks in advance.

    you don’t know what you’re missing, cactus!

  • slim

    I agree with the thrust of The Marmot’s thread, if not the mocking tone. The Japanese diplomats overplayed their hand, if you accept that they have a hand to play there in New Jersey. I’m sure somebody in Tokyo ordered this. They could have written a letter to the editor of the local paper stating Japan’s stance on the issue and done their job without aggravating matters. I’ve seen Japanese diplomats write or say some absurd things about “scientific whaling” that I’m sure they were doing only to tick a box.

    The fundamental problem for Korea in dealing with matters from 1910-45 is that collaboration was far more widespread than it will ever be politically possible to acknowledge. That unflinching look at the past that Bevers, for motives that remain unclear and suspect, demands of Koreans still can’t happen.

  • jk6411

    By the way, here is a 34 ft bronze statue of a bayoneted soldier, commemorating a massacre in Poland, committed by Russians, in the beginning of World War II.

    Wow, that is one large statue. (and a bit macabre)
    I wonder if the Russian government ever tried to have it taken down..?

  • jk6411

    slim @#63

    The fundamental problem for Korea in dealing with matters from 1910-45 is that collaboration was far more widespread than it will ever be politically possible to acknowledge.

    So what if there were some fucking collaborators.
    The Japanese were the ones in control of Korea. They were the ones who ultimately gave the orders.

    When the Japanese researchers dug up the evidence regarding “comfort women” in the early 1990s, the Japanese govt immediately acknowledged Japan’s wrongdoings and apologized.
    They knew what Japan had done; they just needed a catalyst for them to admit their guilt.

    The Japanese have already admitted their guilt. They were responsible for the “comfort women” system and how those women were treated.
    What more proof do you want?

  • jk6411

    For the umpteenth time, here is the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ official position on the “comfort women” issue:

    http://www.mofa.go.jp/policy/women/fund/policy.html

  • http://koreanlanguagenotes.blogspot.com/ gbevers

    Wikipedia:

    The term “comfort women” was a euphemism used to describe women forced into sexual slavery by the Japanese military during World War II.

    No, “comfort woman” was both a Korean and Japanese euphemism for “prostitute,” often for military prostitutes. THIS September 1961 Korean newspaper article takes about registering “comfort women for UN soldiers” in Seoul, Korea. The Japanese left Korea in 1945.

    Wikipedia:

    Estimates vary as to how many women were involved, with numbers ranging from as low as 20,000 from some Japanese scholars[3] to as high as 410,000 from some Chinese scholars,[4] but the exact numbers are still being researched and debated.

    “Estimates” range from 20,000 to 410,000? That means there is no hard evidence for claiming even 20,000 comfort women, much less 410,000. And dividing the Chinese estitimate to get 200,000 is about as unscientific as you can get. Therefore, when you don’t know the total number of comfort women, how can anyone use such adjectives as “most” or “majority” to describe anything? And the statement that “more than 200,000 women and girls … were abducted by the armed forces of the government of Imperial Japan,” as the plaque in New Jersey says, is ridiculously ridiculous. There is simply no proof of that.

    Wikipedia:

    Approximately three quarters of comfort women died, and most survivors were left infertile due to sexual trauma or sexually transmitted disease.

    Where is no evidence for such a claim? There is none. That fact is explained away with such excuses as “Well, the Japanese destroyed the evidence for fear of war crimes prosecution.”

    In any war there is rape and mistreatment of women, and in World War II there was rape and mistreatment of women on all sides, so it is unfair to focus only on the Japanese comfort woman system, especially when the system was created to help prevent rape.

    Finally, it should be remembered that the Koreans and Japanese were allies in World War II. That helps to explain why so many of the comfort women were from Korea and Japan.

  • virtual wonderer

    collaboration was indeed widespread. but i suspect the real problem here in 2012, is that people who want to talk about this stuff tend to read Hankyureh and people on this board tend to hate them.

    i have to wonder if some people’s distaste for VANK leaks out on to other issues.

    for whatever it is worth, i shall share with you the stories of my “collaborator” grandparents. My grandfather worked for a japanese businessman during the colonial era and he was very pro-japanese. The story goes that he had a very high opinion of the japanese business ethics. He was one of the first in the town to voluntarily take on Japanese names when that was the policy. I even have black and white phtographs of him wearing what looks like the unform of a japanese soldier. he worked as a firefighter and back in those days, thats what fire fighters wore. when japan surrendered his boss fled back to Japan. My other grandfather worked as a land surveyor in manchuria. I also have black and white photos of hom wearing what appears to be a japanese soldiers hat. back in those days, thats what the surveyors wore. he made good money, but time after time he would plead with my grandmother that he wanted to quit. why? because he saw japanese discrimination on koreans. Now his wife, my grandmother liked the japanese. at the time, koreans were treated on a preferential basis compared to the chinese and she could buy suger. according to her, from what the old people said about Josun era, a virgin couldnt walk around, because there were bandits on every mountains.

    what does this have anything to do with comfort women?

    the common assumption at the Hole appears to be that koreans are innately VANK-like and therefore have no objectivity in looking at history. We all come from somewhere and many of us all had elders telling us what life was like back in the day. it may come as a shock to some of you, but many of us actually had family members tell us what it was like to have japanese neighbors.

  • cm

    “The fundamental problem for Korea in dealing with matters from 1910-45 is that collaboration was far more widespread than it will ever be politically possible to acknowledge.”

    There has been several attempts by recent administrations up to Roh Moo Hyun era to extract assets held by descendents of Koreans who were identified as Chinilpa. Several years ago, there was even a massive national witch hunt to purge the past. Do we want to see that again? Uh.. no, but I think it’s fairly established fact in Korea that there were some serious collaboration going on by some major Korean figure heads at that time. But I would not go far as what Gbevers keeps on insisting, that Korea was an ally of Japan. I usually skip his posts, knowing already what he’s going to say, but I did notice the last sentence on his last post.

  • virtual wonderer

    gbevers,

    if some naughty koreans shat in your livingroom and you are angry, i apologize on behalf of all koreans.

    but what the f@ck is wrong with you? so we can rape anyone we want as long as we pay for it? if i @ssrape you, i can forever call you a slut as long as i through some money at you, is that it?

    you seem to be an aspiring scholar, so lets talk about this numbers game. getting accurate figures in war time has always been a herculean task. but whats your figure? it appears to be zero in your case. afterall, if they were given money, thats proof they were whores and not rape victims.

    and you lampoon the fact that much documentation has been destroyed. i wonder though, how ypur scholarly nature deal with the fact that japan doesnt open up her archives or doesnt launch her own investigations.

    oh but even if there were comfort women, i guess according to you, its a-ok, because america and korea were in on it too.

    here.

    http://www.veteranstoday.com/2007/04/26/world-war-ii-gi-s-shacked-up-wth-japanese-comfort-women/

    because koreans were in on it, its ok to rape people and get rid of monuments.

    Hey GBevers, how come you dont spend time creating monuments for those victims?

    i forget. koreans shat in your living room.

    mea culpa.

  • DLBarch

    Let me come out of my self-imposed MH hiatus to add that as much as I fundamentally and categorically oppose attempts by aggrieved ethnic groups to “Americanize” foreign wrongdoings (and, yes, for the record, that includes opposition to the USHMM in D.C.), I’d say the Japanese, as usual, have gotten off lightly with this memorial.

    Take a look at the plaque’s actual reading: “Comfort Women”? “Human Rights Violations”? Are you fucking kidding me? Are the good but less-than-thoughtful Koreans in Palisades Park aware that their adoption of these weak and sickly euphemisms is actually a massive gift to Japan?

    This is classic frog-in-the-well myopia. Unless one is already aware of Japan’s systematic and institutionalized policy of forced prostitution and gang rape of Korean and other Asian women during WWII, there is nothing on this plaque that would educate a reader to this fact.

    If Koreans want to meaningfully recognize (“commemorate” is a woefully inadequate word for this kind of thing) the suffering endured by these women, then they should start by dispensing with the “ianfu/uianbu” niceties and call this what it is: “ilbon-gun seongnoae.”

    And as for Japan’s ham-handed attempt to impose its Third World notions of censorship on America’s awesome First Amendment freedoms, all I can say is: “Get the fuck out of my country.”

    DLB

  • http://rjkoehler.com Robert Koehler

    I agree with the thrust of The Marmot’s thread, if not the mocking tone.

    Sorry, but the diplomacy displayed by the Japanese here lends itself very easily to comedic mockery. As a blogger, it’s simply too hard to resist.

    PS: Any thing we can do to get you out of your self-imposed hiatus, Mr. Barch?

  • cm

    DLBarch, then that could come off sounding like propaganda, instead of a simple eulogy to the victims, which by the way also includes the Dutch, Filipinos, and Chinese. The monument doesn’t even mention specifically the nationalities of the victims. So it’s not even 100% sure that Koreans were the ones who put up this stone, although it’s likely.

  • http://rjkoehler.com Robert Koehler

    Take a look at the plaque’s actual reading: “Comfort Women”? “Human Rights Violations”? Are you fucking kidding me? Are the good but less-than-thoughtful Koreans in Palisades Park aware that their adoption of these weak and sickly euphemisms is actually a massive gift to Japan?

    This is classic frog-in-the-well myopia. Unless one is already aware of Japan’s systematic and institutionalized policy of forced prostitution and gang rape of Korean and other Asian women during WWII, there is nothing on this plaque that would educate a reader to this fact.

    My issue with the plaque is the line about “abducted by the armed forces.” From what I’ve gathered so far, military abductions were not the usual recruitment method, and by making it seem so is a gift to Japanese revisionists (and their Western fanboys) who can point to it and scream, “Lying Koreans! Lying Koreans!” Granted, they’re going to do this anyway, but there’s no need to provide them ammunition.

  • jk6411

    Actually, this plaque was designed by a white American artist.
    His name is Steven Cavallo.

    I believe Koreans provided the funds, though.

  • slim

    @68. I heard similar tales in Taiwan as a student there 30-odd years ago. In fact, I was (at the time) shocked to hear some folks say they preferred Japanese rule to what came after it. Even accounting for the identity issues that afflict Taiwan but not Korea, it does make some sense.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com setnaffa

    Yuna’s statement: ‘It’s a delicate balance between “Lest we forget” and “Let’s forgive and forget”. Take the hate out from the first and it equals the second.’ is really not accurate, you know.

    “Lest We Forget” is engraved on thousands of communion tables that celebrate love and forgiveness. And on war memorials around the world commemorating the sacrifice of those who died serving their country. This is a noble sentiment. It does not signify malice or ill-will toward others.

    “Let’s forgive and forget” is an insincere expression that seeks to cover up blemishes and faults without addressing them. This is the attitude that the Japanese have about the nose-tombs, too…

  • http://rjkoehler.com Robert Koehler

    but i suspect the real problem here in 2012, is that people who want to talk about this stuff tend to read Hankyureh and people on this board tend to hate them.

    There’s a lot of merit to that criticism, although some might argue there are lots of problems with the way the Hankyoreh (and its readers) discuss the issue of colonial collaboration, too. Just to take the most obvious example, it’s the Hani that’s taken up the cause of the Korean Class B and C war criminals.

  • slim

    “The Japanese have already admitted their guilt. They were responsible for the “comfort women” system and how those women were treated.
    What more proof do you want?”

    I don’t know why you’re asking me this.

    In fact, those who argue that Japan has done enough on the “Comfort Women” issue — not the deniers, mind you (and read this carefully, jk, so you don’t misinterpret me again) — could use the same words and document in support of their argument.

  • http://koreanlanguagenotes.blogspot.com/ gbevers

    Virtual Wonderer wrote (#70):

    but what the f@ck is wrong with you? so we can rape anyone we want as long as we pay for it? if i @ssrape you, i can forever call you a slut as long as i through some money at you, is that it?

    Where did I ever write that rape was acceptable if it was paid for? Nowhere! And that is the problem with many of the posters at the Marmot’s Hole: They make silly claims without providing any evidence to back up their claims. I seem to be the only one providing hard evidence rather than opinion.

    Virtual Wonderer wrote (#70):

    and you lampoon the fact that much documentation has been destroyed. i wonder though, how ypur scholarly nature deal with the fact that japan doesnt open up her archives or doesnt launch her own investigations.

    The Japanese have investigated the claims, and they could find no evidence in their records that the Japanese military was involved in kidnapping Korean women to be comfort women. On the contrary, there were “military comfort women” recruitment ads in Korean newspapers as late as October 1944. See HERE. That supports the Japanese claim that Korean women were not being kidnapped by the Japanese military.

    The Japanese military did not approve of kidnapping or disceptive recruiting practices by so-called “brokers,” as is evidenced by THIS 1938 notice to Japanese army generals in northern China.

    Title: “Matters regarding recruitment at military comfort station”

    (Notification)

    From: Assistant
    To: Army Chief Generals of the troops in northern China and of the expeditionary force in central China

    When brokers recruited comfort women for establishment of the brothels during Sino-Japanese war, there were not a few infamous cases to which we need to pay attention: the case that some brokers used the authority of Japanese military for their recruitment, as the result, they ruined Japanese military’s credibility and led to a misunderstanding of ordinary people, the case that some brokers took unruly method of recruiting through embedded journalists and visitors causing social problem, the case that some brokers were arrested and placed under investigation because the way of their recruiting was like kidnapping. From now, as regards the recruitment of comfort women, the expeditionary force properly chooses and controls brokers which recruit comfort women. Also, it is necessary to cooperate with military polices and law enforcement authorities. To keep the prestige of Japanese military and to consider social problems, take careful note of no omission.

    March 4, 1938

    There were also Korean newspaper articles in the early 1940s of the Japanese pursuing kidnappers of Korean women.

    Virtual Wonderer wrote:

    collaboration was indeed widespread. but i suspect the real problem here in 2012, is that people who want to talk about this stuff tend to read Hankyureh and people on this board tend to hate them….

    i have to wonder if some people’s distaste for VANK leaks out on to other issues.

    for whatever it is worth, i shall share with you the stories of my “collaborator” grandparents. My grandfather worked for a japanese businessman during the colonial era and he was very pro-japanese. The story goes that he had a very high opinion of the japanese business ethics. He was one of the first in the town to voluntarily take on Japanese names when that was the policy. I even have black and white phtographs of him wearing what looks like the unform of a japanese soldier. he worked as a firefighter and back in those days, thats what fire fighters wore. when japan surrendered his boss fled back to Japan. My other grandfather worked as a land surveyor in manchuria. I also have black and white photos of hom wearing what appears to be a japanese soldiers hat. back in those days, thats what the surveyors wore. he made good money, but time after time he would plead with my grandmother that he wanted to quit. why? because he saw japanese discrimination on koreans. Now his wife, my grandmother liked the japanese. at the time, koreans were treated on a preferential basis compared to the chinese and she could buy suger. according to her, from what the old people said about Josun era, a virgin couldnt walk around, because there were bandits on every mountains.

    Thank you for being more honest than many Koreans on this forum about Koreans’ collaboration with the Japanese.

  • DLBarch

    CM @ 73 and Robert@74 raise an interesting question: How to best describe the forced prostitution of the “comfort women” in a way that dispenses with the “ianfu/uianbu” euphemism nomenclature without lending propagandistic fodder to the revisionist uyoku dantai crowd.

    I’d go with first principles: call a thing what it is. If “ianfu” is a euphemism for forced military prostitution, then call it that. The horrendous nature of these acts need no embellishment.

    It also does not matter, to my mind, whether these women were abducted by the military or recruited under pretense by professional camp followers working in concert with the military. However these girls got to their “comfort stations,” what happened afterward was forced prostitution.

    So let’s call it that.

    DLB

    P.S. As for my self-imposed hiatus from MH, I find I enjoy MH more if I step away from it for a few weeks or so, especially when I’m on vacation. How you maintain this blog, Robert, day in and day out, without going nuts, is beyond me!

    I’m sure some readers of MH also enjoy it when I’m away. You’re welcome.

  • Q

    gbevers wrote:

    “Estimates” range from 20,000 to 410,000? That means there is no hard evidence for claiming even 20,000 comfort women, much less 410,000

    G.J. McDougal, the Special Rapporteur for the UN Sub-Commission on Prevention of Discrimination and Protection of Minorities, presented a report to the Sub-Committee on 22 June 1998 entitled Contemporary Forms of Slavery: Systematic Rape, Sexual Slavery and Slavery-like Practices During Armed Conflict. The report has an appendix entitled An Analysis of the Legal Liability of the Government of Japan for ‘Comfort Women Stations’ established during the Second World War (Full text:http://www.awf.or.jp/pdf/h0056.pdf). The appendix includes the following passage:

    “Between 1932 and the end of the Second World War, the Japanese Government and the Japanese Imperial Army forced over 200,000 women into sexual slavery in rape centers throughout Asia.”

    “Only about 25 per cent of these women are said to have survived these daily abuses.”

  • Q

    gbevers wrote:

    “Estimates” range from 20,000 to 410,000? That means there is no hard evidence for claiming even 20,000 comfort women, much less 410,000

    G.J. McDougal, the Special Rapporteur for the UN Sub-Commission on Prevention of Discrimination and Protection of Minorities, presented a report to the Sub-Committee on 22 June 1998 entitled Contemporary Forms of Slavery: Systematic Rape, Sexual Slavery and Slavery-like Practices During Armed Conflict. The report has an appendix entitled An Analysis of the Legal Liability of the Government of Japan for ‘Comfort Women Stations’ established during the Second World War (Full text:http://www.awf.or.jp/pdf/h0056.pdf). The appendix includes the following passage:

    “Between 1932 and the end of the Second World War, the Japanese Government and the Japanese Imperial Army forced over 200,000 women into sexual slavery in rape centers throughout Asia.”

    “Only about 25 per cent of these women are said to have survived these daily abuses.”

    Source: http://www.awf.or.jp/e1/facts-07.html

  • Q

    Statement by Chief Cabinet Secretary Yohei Kono on the Result of the Study on the Issue of “Comfort Women”:

    Comfort stations were operated in response to the request of the military authorities of the day. The then Japanese military was, directly or indirectly, involved in the establishment and management of the comfort stations and the transfer of comfort women. The recruitment of the comfort women was conducted mainly by private recruiters who acted in response to the request of the military. The Government study has revealed that in many cases they were recruited against their own will, through coaxing coercion, etc., and that, at times, administrative/military personnel directly took part in the recruitments. They lived in misery at comfort stations under a coercive atmosphere.

    Undeniably, this was an act, with the involvement of the military authorities of the day, that severely injured the honor and dignity of many women. The Government of Japan would like to take this opportunity once again to extend its sincere apologies and remorse to all those, irrespective of place of origin, who suffered immeasurable pain and incurable physical and psychological wounds as comfort women.

    It is incumbent upon us, the Government of Japan, to continue to consider seriously, while listening to the views of learned circles, how best we can express this sentiment.

    We shall face squarely the historical facts as described above instead of evading them, and take them to heart as lessons of history. We hereby reiterate our firm determination never to repeat the same mistake by forever engraving such issues in our memories through the study and teaching of history.

    Source: http://www.awf.or.jp/e2/survey.html

  • jk6411

    gbevers wrote:

    “The Japanese have investigated the claims, and they could find no evidence in their records that the Japanese military was involved in kidnapping Korean women to be comfort women.”

    The Japanese researcher who first uncovered Japanese “comfort women” documents said that what he had uncovered was just the “tip of the iceberg”. Tons of WWII-era Japanese documents still remain classified and unavailable to the public.

    Also, just because it wasn’t documented, it doesn’t mean that it didn’t happen.
    Considering that they used deception to appropriate most of the comfort women (many of them under-age girls), it’s not far-fetched that the Japanese military indeed kidnapped Korean women.

    (In the Philippines, the Japanese did appropriate most of the comfort women by kidnapping.)

    On the contrary, there were “military comfort women” recruitment ads in Korean newspapers as late as October 1944. See HERE. That supports the Japanese claim that Korean women were not being kidnapped by the Japanese military.

    All this proves is that the Japanese were using all conceivable methods in order to appropriate “comfort women”.

    Thank you for being more honest than many Koreans on this forum about Koreans’ collaboration with the Japanese.

    Yes, Koreans surely loved the Japanese.
    Have you never heard of the March 1 Movement?
    On March 1, 1919, two million Koreans rose up and demonstrated against Japan’s colonial rule of Korea.
    Japanese police and soldiers killed thousands of Koreans.
    Tens of thousands of demonstrators were arrested, and many were tortured to death.

  • jk6411

    correction:
    (In the Philippines, the Japanese did appropriate many of the comfort women by kidnapping.)

  • virtual wonderer

    gbevers, why do you put weight on that military memorandum, but ignore oral testimonies of the women? is it because they are “korean whores”?

    did you get dumped by a “korean whore”?

    you should do yourself a favor and move to Japan. You will find kindred spirits.

  • Railwaycharm

    “Finally, it should be remembered that the Koreans and Japanese were allies in World War II.”
    Korea was a Vassal state, not an ally. Pith at it’s finest

  • http://geoju.kr fanwarrior

    “US (whose people could teach East Asians a great deal about how to forgive and forget and move on). ”

    I don’t even know if there is a word to describe how stupid that sounds.

  • http://www.sperwerslog.com Sperwer

    Spendin American taxpayers tax dollars fot either comfort women statues or holocaust museums is grossly inappropriate and wasteful. If the koreans in PP want to memorialize something a better choice would be the local residents who fought in the Korean War. If they want to fo domething for the comfort women they should cut a check with their iwn money and send it to the House of Sharing

  • http://koreanlanguagenotes.blogspot.com/ gbevers

    Q wrote (#83):

    G.J. McDougal, the Special Rapporteur for the UN Sub-Commission on Prevention of Discrimination and Protection of Minorities, presented a report to the Sub-Committee on 22 June 1998 entitled Contemporary Forms of Slavery: Systematic Rape, Sexual Slavery and Slavery-like Practices…

    The Appendix is a joke, Q.

    First, we do not know who wrote the Appendix, but I smell kimchee. Second, the Introduction to the Appendix starts out as follows:

    1. Between 1932 and the end of the Second World War, the Japanese Government and the Japanese Imperial Army forced over 200,000 women into sexual slavery in rape centres throughout Asia. These rape centres have often been referred to in objectionably euphemistic terms as “comfort stations”.

    Notice the bias and unsupported claims in just the first sentence of the report. Again, there is no evidence to support the claim that “the Japanese Imperial Army forced over 200,000 women into sexual slavery.”

    The following is also in the introduction to the report:

    The present appendix relies exclusively on the facts established in the Japanese Government’s own review of the involvement of Japanese military officials in establishing, supervising and maintaining rape centres during the Second World War.

    Despite claiming that the information in the Appendix was based on Japan’s own review, we know the Japanese government certainly did not refer to their “comfort stations” as “rape centres,” and many of the conclusions and explanations given by Japan were either ignored or shruged off by the writer of the Appendix, who formed his or her own conclusions and explanation.

    I encourage everyone to go to Page 38 of the report, read the Appendix, and judge for yourselves. Also, be sure to check out the references.

  • http://koreanlanguagenotes.blogspot.com/ gbevers

    Railwaycharm wrote (#88):

    Korea was a Vassal state, not an ally. Pith at it’s finest

    You need a vassal to be a vassal state. Korea was annexed by Japan in 1910, so Korea was part of the Japanese Empire during World War II. You must be thinking about Korea’s vassal relationship with China, Mr. Railway.

  • jk6411

    Korea was annexed by Japan in 1910, so Korea was part of the Japanese Empire during World War II.

    Which automatically made Korea Japan’s “ally”?

  • cm

    #93, aside Japan proper and Gbevers, that statement wouldn’t even be taken seriously. So it’s frankly waste of time arguing this point with him. You won’t change his mind anyway. I’d hate to see this topic turning into debating merits of Japanese rule over Korea or Dokdo/Takeshima. That’s been discussed to death already.

  • virtual wonderer

    Gbevers dokdo stance is something i can respect. two countries planted a flag on the same turf. he hates Korea so takes on the japanese cause. not really a sin.

    But whitewashing comfort women history is. unbelievable. so quick to point out korean complicity, but so unwilling to condemn sexual slavery in general.

    So why does he stay in Korea? He must hate himself very much. me thinks.

  • jk6411

    cm,
    I wrote that in jest.
    (But it really would be tragic if that’s what Gerry taught his son.)
    (But then, so is the fact that all the Japanese school children are not being taught properly about Japan’s war crimes. Which means that this “comfort women” controversy won’t die down any time soon.. Tragic indeed.)

  • cm

    #95 I respect a man who has spent half his life sticking up for what he believes in (whatever that maybe and no matter how much you and I think he’s wrong), risked his reputation, his jobs, and friendships by not using anonymous ID’s to propel an unpopular opinion. This must be quite dear to him for whatever reason that I cannot fathom. But you have to admire his bold persistence in standing up to what he believes in. And I thought I read that he’s back in the States in Texas, quite happy that he’s no longer in Korea.

  • CactusMcHarris

    DLB,

    The converse is also true – we do not enjoy it when you are not here. So there.

  • cm

    “(But it really would be tragic if that’s what Gerry taught his son.)
    (But then, so is the fact that all the Japanese school children are not being taught properly about Japan’s war crimes.”

    jk6411, that’s a matter of perspective. I am sure to the Japanese, their version of WWII is the correct one, and we’re the ones wrong. I don’t think they are teaching what they are teaching their kids because they’re trying to revive General Tojo’s vision of the Great Asian Cooperation. It’s just that Japan believes that’s what happened. Japan has the right to teach whatever they want to teach their kids, let’s just agree that we have different opinions and respect our differences.

  • RolyPoly

    Stupid!Stupid!Stupid!Stupid!Stupid!Stupid!Stupid!

    Do you know who is smiling? The Chinese. These stupid Koreans are fighting war for them. The Chinese can play “peacemaker” when Koreans and the Japanese go after each other.

    NK military as Peace Keeping Forces to deployed to the South at Chinese call? God forbid.

    But this can happen if stupid Koreans go after the Japanese.

  • http://vmphotography.com.au hoju_saram

    Just ignore Gerry, people – underpinning all his arguments is the basic refusal to acknowledge that Japan’s annexation of Korea was wrong in the first place. Hard to argue with someone when they lack a functioning moral compass.

    Regarding the plaque, I’ve come around. It’s a small thing, and it seems from my brief googles that monuments in immigrant communities are a dime-a-dozen. And the Japanese response can only be described as reptilian.

    Let’s hope they don’t resort to this sort of stuff.

    Still not sure about the dozens of new monuments in planning, let alone the rezoning of Comfort Woman Lane.

  • cm

    RolyPoly, it was Japan who made a big deal over this. Koreans haven’t done anything. At least not yet anyway. I’m also getting quite sick and tired of Koreans getting blamed for making a big deal over something that Japan is the one guilty of. The ones who should be told to pipe it down should be Japan, not Korea.

  • RolyPoly

    Many Koreans have no idea about the Japanese military strength. The Fuji mountain monkeys even have nuclear weapons. I am not sure if NKs have real nuclear bombs. But, the monkeys definitely have them.

    So, be careful about them. The Japanese may even be able to beat the Chinese. Better planes and ships. I know the Chinese may win if they can do amphibious landing. But, you are never sure about the Chinese courage when the Japanese planes and ships are fighting like hell-cats.

    The Chinese may just poop. They are known to poop at the last moment.

    Meanwhile, stupid Koreans will fight for the Chinese and get killed the most in this war. Stupid, stupid and stupid! Let the Chinks and the Monkeys fight each other.

    Koreans should just keep mouth shut. Even give Dokto if necessary. Many countries have paid more than a small island to avoid the war.

    Belive me, the war is coming.

  • cm

    You can’t be serious. OK, my #102 post was a waste of breath replying to trolling.

  • RolyPoly

    cm,
    I am pretty sure those Koreans making big deal about “Dokto”, “comfort women”, etc against the Japanese are getting paid by the Chinese.

    Unbelievable? Why do they have such a strong anti-Japanese feeling? Could it be that they are pro-Chinese?

    Think deeply about this issue. As I have been writing for some time, the war between two forces will happen. Only variable is how Koreans are going to act.

    If Koreans go to the Chinese camp, the Chinese will only use Koreans to attack Japan and later put the blame on Koreans and send them to concentration camps. That is how they will behave.

    Koreans will disappear, unless Koreans think deeply about the present situation. NKs are already a part of China. SKs’d better know what is what.

  • cm

    Ah… yeah….

  • RolyPoly

    Survival is the key, especially when you are surrounded by China, Japan and Russia. Who is right or who has the right does not count.

    Survive. Or, Koreans will become slaves to China.

    The US is the only true friend. Behave accordingly.

  • RolyPoly

    These Koreans think they if they cry like babies somebody will come and help. Maybe Americans.

    No way. Americans give rats’ ass about what happened 70 years ago. Just do not care. Nobody cares.

    There is no such thing as world community or international justice. There is no such thing! Europe will side with Japan if Europeans feel it will be better for their finance. Ditto with the US.

    No one cares and no one will come to help Koreans. Koreans should be smart. Avoid conflict. Let the Chinks and the Monkeys fight to death.

    Korea should avoid the coming war. And, be the eventual victor, by avoiding the war.

  • RolyPoly

    Europeans are becoming beggars.

    What do they want? The war between China and Japan. The second and the third richest countries.

    The US is already working toward this scenario. The US will continue to pull troops from Japan and Korea. The war is the natural outcome – between China and Japan.

    Koreans are like stupid children who will die most.

  • http://koreanlanguagenotes.blogspot.com/ gbevers

    Cm wrote (#94):

    #93, aside Japan proper and Gbevers, that statement wouldn’t even be taken seriously.

    It wasn’t the Japanese or I who found Koreans guilty of war crimes.

  • cm

    #110 I didn’t even mention anything about Koreans guilty of war crimes.

  • RolyPoly

    cm,
    Do you know that the majority of Samsung and Hyundai stocks are owned by the Japanese? Do you know what happens if they sell?

    Everybody will sell. The end of Korea.

    I do not say we kow-tow to the Japanese. But at the same time, do not antagonize them either. Just be neutral.

    Let the Chinese fight the Japanese.

    Be smart.

  • bumfromkorea

    @hoju_saram

    I want to comment on this, but I would be repeating what you’ve been saying the whole time.

    Of course, the fear of the Korean American community is that 20~30 years from now, we’d be having Gbevers clones running around shouting “Tenno Heika, Banzai!” all over America while smearing nattos on Korean flags and riding around in black vans (same fear operating on the Bamboo tree book thing + Dokdo anything in America, etc. etc.). Ridiculous, considering that during my high school years, I’ve met precisely three people who could point out Korea or Japan on the map – let alone knowing that Pacific Theatre of WWII existed.

    My guess would be, in 20~30 years from now, the word “Japan” will still incite “That’s where all those cartoons and robots come from, right?” and the word “Korea” will incite “Oh! Isn’t that where they draw the Simpsons?”.

  • RolyPoly

    If Koreans as stupid as they are now, Korea will disappear within twenty years.

    China will eat up Korea. For attacking Japan! (Read my scenario about what Koreans will do and how they will be used – by China).

  • PineForest

    Seeing as I approve of the MacArthur statue in Incheon, I guess I can handle a comfort women statue in Jersey. It’s nothing new for immigrants who cling to the pain from the old country to try to persuade other Americans of that pain’s effects.

  • http://www.sperwerslog.com Sperwer

    @115

    On the MacArthur statue analogy, I guess it would be more appropriate for PP to have a statue of a contemporary NYC Korean working girl than a comfort woman

  • RolyPoly

    If not careful, the main media will portray both Koreans and the Japanese being A-holes. Some stupid races of people who want to extended their natural hostilities in a foreign land. Stupid people – both Koreans and the Japanese.

    The Chinese will attest that both Korean and the Japanese are at war with each other for long time. And, they, the Chinese, were the benevolent peacemakers in that region of the world. They can show pictures of Koreans and the Japanese throwing punches.

    Be careful. Many Americans are envious of the success Koreans and the Japanese had. And, willing to look down on both races.

    This may provide the opportunity.

  • enomoseki

    @114

    Korea doesn’t have to attack japan to make it disappear. They are already doing it to themselves.

    We just watch and laugh at disappearing japan in 20 years or so. Either from radiation or from pissed off mother nature.

    ¯\(°_o)/¯

    LULz!

  • PineForest

    Actually, it’s kinda perfect. MacArthur is a hero –something Americans love. And his statue remains in Incheon, despite the desires of some Koreans to see it torn down.

    The comfort women monument is about victims — something Koreans love. Hell, maybe they should take down the statue of Yi Sung Shin at Kwanghwamun and put up one of some comfort women. If you want to hold up the victimhood of Koreans for the whole world to see (and trust me, a lot of you Koreans do) then go all the way! No half measures.

    As for Japanese apologies, there could be 1000 between now and the time the last comfort woman dies.. and it wouldn’t be enough. It probably would be for any other nation — but not for Korea.

  • enomoseki

    It’s not enough for korea because japan is playing a game with apologies. Who cares about their joke apology when they won’t even accept what they’ve done? Their whole government denies the wrongdoing.

    Talk about a joke apology. And people bitch at korea for not accepting that kind of stupid apologies.

    LULz.

  • enomoseki

    Germany:

    Hey jews, we are sorry that we bakes your people alive in the oven and all, we are sorry and we apologize for it, but we ain’t gonna accept the truth about what we did to your people.

    LOL! Sorry, jews.

  • http://rjkoehler.com Robert Koehler

    Hoju: The Assyrian Genocide? Who knew?

    Frankly, I like the Turks—who, among other things, erected perhaps the most touching war memorial in the world (I’m neither Aussie/Kiwi nor Turk, but reading that makes me cry)—and few countries are completely honest about their past, but it seems to me Turkey is another country that would be better served by a bit of historical honesty.

    Speaking of historical honesty, check out Andrew Lambert talking about the War of 1812 at BBC History Magazine podcast (May 10):

    http://www.historyextra.com/podcast-page

  • enomoseki

    They still deny the Armenian Genocide of 1915.

  • http://rjkoehler.com Robert Koehler

    My guess would be, in 20~30 years from now, the word “Japan” will still incite “That’s where all those cartoons and robots come from, right?”

    My guess is that 20—30 years from now, the word “Japan” will incite, “Hey, are those the uninhabited islands that used to make lots of cool shit before they bred (or didn’t breed, as the case may be) themselves in extinction?” I find that story about the Japanese guy cooking up and serving his own amputated genitals sadly relevant.

  • slim

    Tell us, Roly Poly, what you really feel about Japan and China.

  • RolyPoly

    Korea will disappear, if Koreans side with the Chinese.
    China will make Korea to attack Japan. China is already doing it by giving money to Korean media and movie makers. Have you seen any anti-Chinese movie in Korea? None. But, there are plenty of anti-Jap movies.

    The mind of a whole generation is manipulated by the Chinese.

    When Korea attacks Japan, China will condemn Korea for doing so. This is typical Chinese tactic. You make your subordinate attack your enemy and then you shift the blame to your sub. Just like it is doing with NK.

    Koreans will end up in Chinese concentration camps. Near Tibet.

  • RolyPoly

    slim,
    China and Japan are both very nationalistic people. They are like 20th century Germany and England. They have to duke it out – it is inevitable.

    Then there are Koreans. Stupid children who does not know the situation. They are willing to fight on the Chinese side. Stupid turkeys.

    The Chinese will welcome them and use them. Koreans love to be used. A few movies can manipulate entire generation.

    Stupid!

  • enomoseki

    Korea will own china if china invades korea. Their human wave 90th century tactics won’t work in modern days, just like how did back in korean war.

    Ends of discussion.

  • enomoseki

    Taiwan will react and launch their own invasion on mainland china after Korea defeats invading commie forces. A joint intervention from Vietnam and possibly, from Russia will break china down. No matter how big the country is and how many soldiers it has, it can no fight on all three fronts and china will ultimately lose the war.

    japan will just self destruct from nuclear fallout and earthquakes, and no one shall give a flying fuck about it.

  • RolyPoly

    enomoseki,
    I am sure that you are an adult. The problem is that you are a Korean adult; you have no idea about the reality.

    The Chinese weapons system- fighter planes,warships and nuclear weapons- let alone their army can beat Korean weapons system by factor of ten. Korean military cannot fight the Chinese or the Japanese.

    Korea only has 20-day supply of bullets. It has no warships of any consequence. Fighter planes? Very limited. Korea have to buy more planes from the US.

    Both Japan and China builds fighter planes that can equal the US fighters. They build them!

    Korea can not last more than one month, either against China or Japan. Even NK can beat SK by surprise attack using chemical weapons or underground tunnels. SK is like VietNam in 1960s.

    Very weak.

  • PineForest

    I would care about Japan… I like Japan.

    BTW, Enomoseki.. isn’t the joke on you here? :P Israel and Germany now have pretty good relations, do they not? Do you see Israel demanding an endless string of apologies from Germany?

  • RolyPoly

    enomoseki,
    You have seen how NK shot CheonAn to pieces. It was a Chinese torpedo they bought. Just one shot.
    A poorly-equipped CheonAn had no chance. No chance at all.

    This is where it is at. SKs have no idea. SK military is a laughing stock. Ships with no real defense. No real missles.

    All lies.

    When any war starts, SK will lose. In very, very short time.

  • enomoseki

    You talk like a guy who knows nothing about military, yet try to act like you know something. This isn’t 20th century. Invading with big army does not guarantee an automatic win.

    South Korea has about 60 F-15K’s (basically the F-15E Strike Eagle) with another ~120 F-16′s as frontline fighters with ~70 F-4′s and ~100 F-5′s for ground attack/support missions. Training/electronic warfare/maintenance are all top-notch. They also have plans for 2 stealth fighters in the future, the KF-X (domestic project) and the F-15SE (in cooperation with the US). The A-50 Golden Eagle (also domestically made) is going to be their future ground attack fighter.

    South Korea has one of the largest navies in the world. They maintain about 22 Major Surface Combatants which include 2 Modern Destroyer classes (including 2 Sejong Class Destroyers, based off the fantastic American Arleigh Burke design) and a Helicopter Carrier capable of deploying attack helicopters. They also have about 12 Submarines, all good designs based off the German Type 209/212. Littoral Warfare/Coastal Defense is maintained by a vast fleet of Small Corvettes, Missile Boats, and Submarine Chasers that number over 100.

    Other major advantages include advanced anti-ship long-range sea-skimming anti-ship missiles in the form of the SSM-700 and a large Marine Corps.

    Other surrounding nations can attack Korea, but it will be a living fucking nightmare to invade Korea from land or from sea.

  • enomoseki

    “I would care about Japan… I like Japan.http://www.rjkoehler.com/wp-includes/images/smilies/icon_razz.gif

    BTW, Enomoseki.. isn’t the joke on you here? Israel and Germany now have pretty good relations, do they not? Do you see Israel demanding an endless string of apologies from Germany?”

    Lots of people do. Then again at the same time, lots of people hate japan.

    Also Germans and jews only have mutual understanding relationship, they certainty don’t like each other. Especially the Germans doesn’t have good impression on jews as of this moment.

    Anti-Semitism widespread in Germany
    http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/europe/germany/120123/anti-semitism-widespread-germany-report-finds

  • enomoseki

    Yeah because using cheonan as an example means north korea can defeat South Korea in a war.

    DURR.

    Here using by your retarded logic, North Korea can invade USA if they had the courage.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SFlosNODqhE

  • RolyPoly

    And, depending on how the war starts, the international opinion including the US, can turn easily against Korea. Especially they see that Koreans started the war.

    The scenario goes like this. NK collapses and China marches into NK. Seeing this, SK military moves above DMZ. In Korean view, it is legitimate.

    NO, NO, NO. China is invited by NK regime. SK is just invading.
    The world opinion, including the US, will view Koreans to be bad guys. China, Japan, the US and the Europe will all condemn this action.

    Koreans have no idea how the world works.

  • enomoseki

    North Korea doesn’t like china. If china try to take over north korea, they will both go to war. South Korea watches in the background and waiting for the right moment, SK strike. Both china and north korea gets exausted from war, South Korea invades North and unifies the peninsula, then unified korea invades formal Manchurian region of china. Russia sees the moment to weak the rival china by invading from north.

    Vietnam also is angry with china, will ally with both unified korea and Russia to invade china.

    China fights 3 front war, which the will lose.

  • enomoseki

    The world hates america. Europe doesn’t give a fuck about far east politics, only interested in middle east and oil.

    Russia doesn’t like both chin and USA, and will use opportunity to invade china if they can.

    Korea’s best friend will be Russia in future. We see common enemy.

  • RolyPoly

    enomoseki,
    Before Yunpyeng Island got bombarded by NK, a group of Korean congressmen visited the island. And, there was a briefing about how SK artillery would counter NK artillery.

    They told them SK precision artillery would figure exact location of NK artillaries and counter-attack within 5 mins. And, equalize the attack.

    When NK artilleries opened fire, SK had 5 guns. Two of them did not work. One had got shot by NK shells. Only two survived. But one of them, GPS malfunctioned. Only one was able to do some shooting. Nothing worked like they do in exercises!

    Lies!

    Everything looks good on papers. Military people make sure it does. The reality is different.

    CheonAn and Yunpyeng. Do you need more proof?

  • RolyPoly

    enomoseki
    1) China and NK are blood brothers. They have mutual defense treaty.
    2) Russia always vote with China in the UN.
    3) Tiwan and the US are trade partners of China.
    4) The US is the darling of the world. Just look at Apple computers, Google and Microsoft. If these were made by Russians, would the world buy them? I think not.

    You have been brain-washed by Korean media, which are run by the Chinese and the Japanese interests. You are very confused.

  • enomoseki

    LIES!!!!!!!

    The South Korea did fire back with artillaries, which hit the north korean artillaries in return.

    Stop believing in jap news stories and get on with the facts!

    Plus, you are the only moron who thinks north korea can win a war against south korea in this day of age.

    Get on with the timeline, grandpa! This is not first korean war!!!

  • enomoseki

    1. China does not respect the terms, nor do North Koreans. They will both attack each other in future if they are threatened to do so

    2. Russia only vote with china to counter america

    3. Korea is also trading partner with china.

    4. Everyone hates amerikkka. You go around killing people for the name of apple pie and freedom, the Europeans are actually quite sick of your gung-ho tantarum

    You are like another typical amerikkkan who knows nothing about politics outside of amerikkka.

    So typical.

  • enomoseki
  • Creo69

    “Be careful. Many Americans are envious of the success Koreans and the Japanese had. And, willing to look down on both races.”

    Let’s be honest…everyone in the world could be a success if they lived with their parents until they are 30 something…while letting them cover the cost of their education…and then pay for their marriage and the home they move into after jumping out of the nest.

    Thing is though…we need some adults in this world.

  • unindiendanslaville

    Tweedle dum (Roly Poly) and tweedle dee (enomoseki) seem to be basing their arguments on scenarios out of Command & Conquer or World of Trollcraft. I think we should possibly move back to slightly more serious debate.

    I generally agree that Japan did commit serious atrocities in Korea and elsewhere; and understand the grievances felt by Koreans who feel the Japanese have not gone very far in way of atonement. I personally think that the way the Korean position on this issue is mostly justified.

    However, coming from a region with equally severe and long standing (but also even more recent) history of animosities, grievances, massacres and rapes; I don’t think that the approach taken by Korea to all of this is the right one.

    Firstly, whilst it is certainly true Japanese apologies have been insufficient and most of all, inconsistent; I think Korea must take a more pragmatic approach to this than protesting; burning flags and whatnot. Bilateral relations can simply not progress this way; and I think it is pretty clear that on both ends of the Sea, it has become a matter of national pride and political posturing.

    Moving on from that point, I think as Korea seeks a greater role in a global world; I think being more savvy, pragmatic and mature in their international relations would be of greater benefit than shaming Japan into saying sorry.

    As Korea steals more of Japan’s share of the Asia cool factor, a greater share in the automobile, electronics, shipbuilding, steel milling, home appliances etc industries eventually more can be achieved in terms of defeating those trying to deny the horrors committed by the Japanese army during WWII.

    And finally for the more controversial part of my argument, which is that the Japanese got nuked, twice. Nobody apologized for that. That was certainly a massacre and gross war crime as well. What you learn coming from war torn countries is that it matters not who wronged first if both parties are wronged; neither will ever concede.

    I simply do not think that carrying on with this issue in vitriolic and provocative terms will ever achieve what the Koreans seek.

    I basically think Korea can do better.

  • http://vmphotography.com.au hoju_saram

    Robert,

    We’re all guilty of historical dishonesty in one way or another. I like the Turks as well, as do most of my countrymen. That plaque is quite famous – so is the statue of the Turkish soldier carrying the wounded Australian to the safety of his trench, at great risk to his own life.

    The interesting part of the story of the ANZACs and Turks is that they met again in Korea.

    Here’s a great write-up on it:

    Gordon recalled a particular meeting in Korea of Australian and Turkish soldiers:

    “I went, and found Norm O’Neill, whose pals in the Field Ambulance used to call him Peggy, entertaining a bunch of stocky, dark-jowled young men. They stood and listened as O’Neill (with the help of a young Lt. who could speak a few words of English) told them about his father, who had been a machine-gunner at Gallipoli. We gave them packets of chewing gum, and they handed in return hunks of something that looked like a pancake and tasted like rubber… Their ready acceptance of us, their eagerness to make us feel at home among them, weren’t just standard behaviour for newfound allies. They, too, had had the Gallipoli story drummed into them during their childhood.

    “For the Aust’ns, many illusions were shattered. Somehow the ANZAC Day speeches of their youth had built the Turks up in their imagination as massive, heavily moustached fighters who carried daggers in their belts and remained sullen and aloof. Nothing could have been further from the truth; the Turks were small and shy and gentle … sometimes even a little comical in their oversized greatcoats. There were moustaches, certainly, but they were soft, boyish, kitten-tailed affairs with the texture and quality of those that 19-year old Australian soldiers were managing to cultivate.”

    The Turks proved tough soldiers. Gordon continues:

    “The Turks continued to fight with a ferocity which made them something of a legend in Korea. In one action they are on record as having complained bitterly that the artillery barrage put in to soften up an enemy before their charge was too heavy … there weren’t enough live Chinese left to make a decent fight.

    “If the seeds of this joint respect were planted at Gallipoli; it ripened in the dust and snow of Korea. The Turks’ relish for hand-to-hand fighting, their first-class leadership, their discipline under fire… these were attributes the Australians in Korea possessed themselves and admired in others.”

  • http://pawikoreapics.blogspot.com/ pawikirogii 石鵝

    all this expat anger over a plaque, eh? article about japan but exee finds a way to shit it up about korea. tsk, tsk, tsk….

    ps aak, perhaps ‘immigrants from southeast asia’ is a better term than ‘darker skinned asians’. :-)

  • slim

    Can we just shorten enomoseki to “seki”?

  • Q

    Japan would pay you 60,000 yen ($754) for only 2 hours work per day. It would seem a more appealing part time job than 5 cents per a word of type writing for Japanese cause at TMH. Go, cool Japan desperately needs you:

    http://fukushima-diary.com/2012/05/fukushima-worker-hunting-from-overseas/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+FukushimaDiary+%28Fukushima+Diary%29

  • cm

    #145 “I think Korea must take a more pragmatic approach to this than protesting; burning flags and whatnot. ”

    unindiendanslaville, I haven’t seen any burning of the Japanese flags, nor chopping of fingers in a while. While there’s still ways to go in Koreans being more “pragmatic” toward responses to Japan’s historical and territorial claims, I think it’s getting better. Plus the economic news lately of crashing trade deficit with Japan, and the massive lay offs in Japan’s once invincible electronic industry, hasn’t made Japan bashing the same as it use to be. Even this news, while it might be a big topic in the Korean expat community such as here, I’ve not particularly seen any extraordinary reactions by Koreans other then few raised eyebrows. I think Japan bashing is being gradually replaced by more apathy. If you look back the last couple of years, it’s Japan that is getting more louder and needs to be more pragmatic towards Korea.

  • slim

    “hasn’t made Japan bashing the same as it use to be. ”

    Come on, cm. Q is enjoying every minute of making fun of Japan’s nuclear catastrophe and you KNOW that vile, puerile puppies like pawi and ‘sekki would love nothing more than to kick the Japanese when they’re down. It’s the only way these ‘tards know how to roll.

  • yuna

    #150 But Q, pawi and enomosekki are equally matched by those puerile Japanese internet trolls and GBevers, no?

    #63

    I’ve seen Japanese diplomats write or say some absurd things about “scientific whaling” that I’m sure they were doing only to tick a box.

    The fundamental problem for Korea in dealing with matters from 1910-45 is that collaboration was far more widespread than it will ever be politically possible to acknowledge. That unflinching look at the past that Bevers, for motives that remain unclear and suspect, demands of Koreans still can’t happen.

    Why is it always this? Why the third party rarely say that “unflinching look” at the past needs to come from Japan too?
    Why is it that “a few politicians” often at the very top of Japanese politics who shoot their mouths off can be dismissed as “few” whereas the “crazy few who chop the fingers off” has to represent whole of Korea?

    Seriously, as I have been saying for the past few years, there is a spectrum of opinions in Korea even on things like the Comfort Women. It’s just the people who live abroad, and the ones who are the loudest have the most extreme views in general. Just as I know that there is a spectrum of views and tacit knowledge (even if it is not taught to them at school) among the actual everyday people of Japan with regards to Japan’s doings in the past, I think it’s the least to extend the same common courtesy to Koreans. The conflict comes from the disconnect of history, and it is extremely prejudiced to attribute it to just one side.

  • Q

    slim wrote (#76):

    I heard similar tales in Taiwan as a student there 30-odd years ago.

    It could surely tell slim is at least in his 50s. Toothless words of pettiness of that years would tell something about his life.

  • yuna

    And for what it’s worth, it’s the same with my grandparents, my maternal grandfather was educated at University of Tokyo, some have more connection to Japan than others, and I think there were a few (I cannot remember who they were) on this site who mentioned having relatively a good life. There are many, it’s not a secret, we are not branded as “Japan lovers” for admitting to such things.

    HOWEVER, all that aside, it is preposterous to argue that it justifies in any way the forced annexation and colonization of another country, and equally out of this world and mind-boggling to say that Korea, having to offer some protection money/material on horseback to China to ward them off peacefully from invading/controlling Korea, or the fact that Russia had its eyes on it as well, can ever be used as an excuse.

    Yes, it would make a good strategy game scenario or Risk, in a couple of hundred of years or so, but when the issues are still current, these are the very excuses just add oil to the fire, and make the ‘apologies’ worth jack shit.

  • RolyPoly

    yuna,
    If Koreans continue to engage in Japan-bashing, only party that will be laughing in the end will be the Chinese.

    Embrace the smelling monkey. And, survive.

    Or, walk the same fate as NKs. As slaves to China.

  • enomoseki

    As if japan doesn’t bash korea, LOL. what a silly weeaboo.

    Speaking about slavery, China practically owns USA right now. USA owns about trillions and trillions of dollars to china. They will never able to pay that amount back in next decades or so.

  • enomoseki

    Might as well we just submit to our new overlord of the world.

    China.

    Amerikkka, the resistance is futile. China is like a black hole that sucks everything in its way. Matter of time before both korea and japan becomes the vessel state of the new overlord.

  • yuna

    Roly, I agree with you except NKs are not slaves to China yet. They are just a very useful buffer to the flooding of all things Chinese into SK by land.

  • enomoseki

    And South Korea and japan are the slave states of USA.

    Whats the fucking difference?

  • cm

    “Come on, cm. Q is enjoying every minute of making fun of Japan’s nuclear catastrophe and you KNOW that vile, puerile puppies like pawi and ‘sekki would love nothing more than to kick the Japanese when they’re down. It’s the only way these ‘tards know how to roll.”

    Slim, I wasn’t referring to internet trolling which is quite the mess, in both countries. I was referring to over the top reactions like flag burnings, finger choppings, you know, the things that makes Koreans look like crazy mad people. Besides, I’ve decided to ignore all the troll posters, skip through their posts, and respond to people who are really serious.

  • jk6411

    cm @#99,

    Japan started messing with their school history textbooks starting around 2000.
    Japanese extreme right-wing groups have been behind this; they now have lots of influence in what does and doesn’t go in the textbooks.
    They’ve been falsifying history, whitewashing Japan’s WWII war crimes and militaristic expansion. (In fact, I’ve heard that Japanese high school history textbooks contain at most just 10 pages on the entire WWII.)

    Of course, not all Japanese are like this.
    I’ve seen a number of Japanese who are apologetic for their nation’s wrongdoings, and I highly respect them.

    In fact, recently when new Japanese school geography textbooks were published which say that Dokdo is Japanese territory, the Tokyo Teachers’ Union protested.
    They said there is no evidence that Dokdo/Takeshima is historically Japan’s territory, and voiced concerns that teaching students Korea is illegally occupying Dokdo could instill “emotional nationalism” in the students.
    They also protested that Japan’s right-wing groups and publishers are falsifying history and going against Japan’s constitution, and their harmful influence on the students must be stopped.

  • enomoseki

    I find it very, very, very hard to believe that people like that actually exists in japan.

  • jk6411

    They do exist.

  • yuna
  • yuna

    And of course, there is the Japanese-American congressman Mike Honda
    http://www.house.gov/apps/list/press/ca15_honda/comfortwomentestimony.html
    But these are just news reports and public figures.
    If you have a reasonable spectrum of friends, amongst which are Japanese, you will see that they are also a spectrum, just as the Koreans are a spectrum

  • yuna

    And love it or hate him one of the only times I wanted to clap for 2MB was
    http://hnn.us/articles/46682.html

    when this happened. See? Spectrum. Where? from the very top.

    I think saying that we will not ask for apology is the best best thing we can say. I think we should say it every year.

  • cm

    “Japan started messing with their school history textbooks starting around 2000. Japanese extreme right-wing groups have been behind this; they now have lots of influence in what does and doesn’t go in the textbooks.
    They’ve been falsifying history, whitewashing Japan’s WWII war crimes and militaristic expansion. (In fact, I’ve heard that Japanese high school history textbooks contain at most just 10 pages on the entire WWII.)”

    And you know what jk6411? I don’t give a shit anymore. Let them teach what they want to teach. The day Korea stops caring about what’s going on in Japan’s schools, is the day when Korea has arrived as truly globally responsible, and confident nation.

  • enomoseki

    But you are suppose to learn history to not repeat the same mistake. Japan is not teaching the right history, and they will make another same mistake by invading korea in future. if that happens, both korea and china would have no problem with nuking japan.

  • jkitchstk

    # 59,
    “Anyone with a functioning moral compass knows the right answer, but MH commentators will spend vastly more time and digital ink criticizing the wrong answers. I am so fucking sick of you people.”

    Likewise!

  • cm

    #168 I know that’s the common response to what I posted, but I just don’t believe it. No country can just invade another country to colonize, without stinging international reaction. Unless you’re a superpower like China or US, you’ll have no choice but to face the international consequences. We’re in a different era, you should change your thinking.

  • yuna

    There is more probability that Japan will invade Korea in the future than the sky falling on us, as for China…it’s another story.

  • yuna

    oops I meant it’s more likely that the sky would fall on us than…

  • enomoseki

    “There is more probability that Japan will invade Korea in the future than the sky falling on us”

    Thank you for proving my point.

  • http://koreanlanguagenotes.blogspot.com/ gbevers

    Virtual Wanderer wrote (#95):

    But whitewashing comfort women history is. unbelievable. so quick to point out korean complicity, but so unwilling to condemn sexual slavery in general.

    I am not whitewashing the comfort women history. I just want people to tell that history based on facts, not unsupported propaganda. And I want them to stop being hypocritical.

    If Koreans want to decry the Japanese “comfort women” system, then they must also decry their own comfort women system. Korea also had “comfort women stations” for UN soldiers in the 1950s and 1960s, and, yes, they called them “comfort women stations” (위안부소). If Koreans hated the Japanese system so much, why did they adopt almost the same type of system and even use the same name for their own system?

    In 1959, there were, at least, 260,000 registered “comfort women” in Korea. Comfort women was the name Koreans used to refer to protitutes for foreign troops. There were also more than 63,000 hostesses and 51,000 unregistered prostitutes (private prostitutes) in Korea.

    Were Korea’s comfort women stations also “rape centres,” and were the UN soldiers who frequented them also “rapists”? When Koreans decry Japan’s comfort women system, why do they tend to ignore the Korean system? Where are the calls for compensation for the comfort women who were in the Korean system? Where is their “House of Sharing”?

    I think the reason Koreans do not talk about their own comfort women system is that they are more interested in vilifying the Japanese than in helping “comfort women.”

    Also, why is nothing ever mentioned about the Chinese capturing Japanese women and using them as comfort women or the Americans and other foreign troops using comfort women stations? The hypocricy just stinks to me.

    I condemn all the rapes committed by the Japanese in World War II, but let’s not pretend that the Americans, the British, the Australians, the Germans, the Russians, the Chinese, and the Koreans did not rape. Because they did.

  • jk6411

    What I want is peace between Korea and Japan, two very close neighbors.
    I want there to be a true reconciliation between the two countries.
    But that’s not going to happen unless at least the two countries agree on the history between themselves. Wounds need to be healed, amends must be made.
    I would love it if Korea and Japan could have a relationship such as that Israel and Germany have. But that’s simply not going to happen, as things stand.
    But ultimately what I want is a good relationship between Korea and Japan.

  • jkitchstk

    May I declare a winner? I bote for gbevers!!!

  • yuna

    Using the original Japanese name, maybe the euphemism “comfort” sounded better.
    It’s silly to compare what the Japanese did with respect to systematic coercing and forcing girls (even if there were less than 200) into sexually servicing the solidiers during the wartime with the system given the same eupemism, what came in terms of the women who served the soldiers, are similar to what happened in Japan itself. Poverty, women who needed to make a living, certainly one cannot use it to say the other did not happen or to take away from the gravity of that situation.

    As for all the other rapes which happened, well nobody is “pretending anything”. Ever seen any war film? Platoon?

  • yuna

    Let me add, while there seems to be a spectrum which exist in Japanese, and among the Koreans, I cannot say the same for the non-Japanese Japan lovers, which is why even the Japanese themselves regard them as a bit creepy.

  • jk6411

    gbevers @#174,

    If Koreans want to decry the Japanese “comfort women” system, then they must also decry their own comfort women system. Korea also had “comfort women stations” for UN soldiers in the 1950s and 1960s, and, yes, they called them “comfort women stations” (위안부소). If Koreans hated the Japanese system so much, why did they adopt almost the same type of system and even use the same name for their own system?

    You really are simple-minded, you know that?
    Just because they were called the same thing doesn’t mean they were the same.
    The term “comfort women” is a euphemism.

    Do you know what euphemism means?
    eu·phe·mism
    1. the substitution of a mild, indirect, or vague expression for one thought to be offensive, harsh, or blunt.

    The term “comfort woman” in itself doesn’t mean anything.
    In Korea, it was a euphemism for “prostitute”.
    In Japanese military, it was a euphemism for “sex slave”.

    Do you see the difference?

  • jkitchstk

    jk6411,
    The past is the past, I thought that was a S. Korean idiom(that’s what S. Koreans tell foreigners whenever something negative happens)? In S. Korea it’s okay for S. Korean men to go around any corner in Seoul and F*** female “prostitutes” but not foreigners. And still today male “prostitution” is legal for S. Korean males but NOT females(what’s up wit dat?). Got it, loud and clear! It’s also obvious that S. Korean males can verbally etc…denigrate S. Korean females to no end but NOT foreign males.
    Personally, I agree with much of what Sperwer(on this issue) and gbevers have said.

  • jk6411

    gbevers @#174,

    In 1959, there were, at least, 260,000 registered “comfort women” in Korea. Comfort women was the name Koreans used to refer to protitutes for foreign troops.

    Where are you getting this number?

  • enomoseki

    Oh god, here comes the fucking weeaboos…

  • jkitchstk

    # 182,
    What the fuck does that mean you fucking Red Devil Korean apologist?

  • enomoseki

    Use a google, fucking weeaboo.

  • jk6411

    Gerry Bevers,

    Your numbers are wrong.
    Yes, it’s true that there have been many Korean prostitutes who serviced U.S. troops in Korea.
    It says that there were between 250,000 and 300,000 of them over the last 40 years.
    At the peak, in the mid 1960′s, there were about 30,000 of them.

    And where does it say that they were called “위안부”?
    They were called “기지촌 여성”.
    The Korean government did not procure these women for the foreign troops.
    These women chose to go into prostitution, many of them because of economic hardship in 1950s-1960s Korea.

    Stop telling lies, Gerry Bevers.

  • http://koreanlanguagenotes.blogspot.com/ gbevers

    Yuna wrote (#177):

    It’s silly to compare what the Japanese did with respect to systematic coercing and forcing girls (even if there were less than 200) into sexually servicing the solidiers during the wartime with the system given the same eupemism, what came in terms of the women who served the soldiers, are similar to what happened in Japan itself.

    No, it is not silly to compare them. Even in the late 1970s, Korean women were “coerced” or “forced” to be prostitutes for foreign soldiers by debt obligations, which was the same reason many women became comfort women during Korea’s colonial period.

    The way it worked when I was in the navy in Korea in the late 1970s was that Korean pimps placed ads in cheap magazines for waitresses to work in foreigner clubs with promises of high salaries. After the naive, uneducated women from the countryside arrived at the camptowns, the pimps would immediately put them into high-interest debt by providing them with a room full of new furniture. The women soon found out that their waitress salaries could not pay the interest on their sudden, huge debt, which continued to accumulate everyday.

    The pimps would soon start threatening the women, telling them that they would have to start prostituting themselves to keep up with their interest payments. The women could not run away or go to the police because you could not declare bankruptcy or run away from debt back then. Plus, the police worked with the pimps to help make sure the the girls did not run away. The pimps even had trusted, more experienced prostitutes help keep track of the new girls. For example, a new girl could not go to a bathhouse by herself.

    That surveillance usually continued until it was judged that the new girl had accepted her fate as a prostitute. She would have to continue to work as a prostitute until she paid off her debt, which was very hard to do even with the money she made as a prostitute. She would either have to sleep with an awful lot of guys to pay off her debt or get some soft-hearted GI to pay it off for her. However, even after paying off her debt, the women would usually continue to work as prostitutes until they found a nice, foreign husband. What respectable Korean man would have wanted a women who had worked as a prostitute for foreigners?

    Now, Yuna, tell me again how the Korean system was different from the Japanese system.

  • jk6411

    #186,

    This is the story of prostitution everywhere in the world.
    It’s a dark story, but it’s not the same as Japan’s “comfort women” system.

    For example, how was the Korean government involved in this?
    Did the Korean government procure these women? Did it trick these women into prostitution, and keep these women from escaping?

    Japan has admitted that the Japanese military was involved in setting up and running its “sex slave” system.
    (Hell, many “comfort women” were raped first and foremost by the Japanese military doctors who examined them.)

  • http://koreanlanguagenotes.blogspot.com/ gbevers

    Jk6411 wrote (#181):

    Where are you getting this number?

    From an October 19, 1959 Dong-a Ilbo article talking the results of a nationwide VD check. The title of the article was “66% of Comfort Women Infected–the Results of a Nationwide Medical Checkup of Women in the Entertainment Industry.” LINK

    The article says that of 261,089 comfort women, 66.4% were infected with veneral disease. Of 63,635 hostesses, 16.2% were infected. Of 51,119 unlicensed prostitutes, 13% were infected. Of 16,864 dancers, 4.4% were infected. The information was collected from clinics nationwide.

  • yuna

    GBevers, you are beyond redemption for asking that question seriously. You can read wiki entries.
    The difference is one is forced prostitution, which is still bad enough.
    The other is systematic coerced/tricked drafting of women, who were taken to a bloody war front where people’s lives are worth less than a that of a fly and all sorts of suffering and crazy things happened on a daily basis, which could and were taken out on the girls and the women, most who perished or are silent now, *on top of which* the very “system” responsible for the event is denying it ever happened, or trying to lessen their own responsibility with all sorts of stupid reasoning like the ones you come up with.
    If the Japanese were boldened enough to take the Dutch women, pick them out of a line at gunpoint to these places, can you not imagine what they could have done with the Koreans whose lives they thought were worth very little? They operated by a very strict hierarchy when it came to (de)valuation of human lives based on the ethnicity. First, the West, Koreans, Chinese. Even as enemies the Westerners had a much higher standing than their “allies(seriously?!)”.

    The Japanese government at first admitted then are denying. That is deplorable, just as you are.
    http://thelede.blogs.nytimes.com/2007/03/05/the-politics-of-apology-for-japans-comfort-women/

  • http://koreanlanguagenotes.blogspot.com/ gbevers

    JK6411 wrote (#187):

    For example, how was the Korean government involved in this? Did the Korean government procure these women? Did it trick these women into prostitution, and keep these women from escaping?

    The Korean government licensed the women. They had to have up-to-date VD cards and get weekly checkups. If they failed a checkup, they were locked in the “Monkey House” for treatment until they were cured.

    A Korean women could not associate with a foreigner unless she had a VD card. Police would stop a woman on the street and ask for her VD card if she was walking with a foreigner and the police did not recognize her. If she didn’t have a VD card, they would take her to the Police Station. It happened to me three times.

    Once was when a Korean dancer who worked on the Osan Air Force Base came to see me in the village outside Camp Humpheys. The local police did not recognize her, so they stopped us and asked for her VD card. Luckily the woman had one. Another time I was walking with a girl from Seoul. The police stopped us. She didn’t have a VD card, so the police hauled her away and wouldn’t allow me to follow. I never saw her again and don’t know what happened to her.

    It was not the Japanese government who was recruiting Korean women or indenturing them to be comfort women; it was Korean and Japanese pimps, just as it was Korean pimps who indentured Korean women to be comfort women under the Korean system.

    JK6411 wrote:

    And where does it say that they were called “위안부”? They were called “기지촌 여성”.

    Read the Korean newspapers from the 1950s and ’60s. The women were called “Comfort Women” (위안부).

  • yuna

    I never saw her again and don’t know what happened to her.

    Absolutely reprehensible, indeed, to leave it hanging like that.

    Do me a favour and never let that Takeshima flame die. I have not read much, if anything written by you on that front, but I think we have more chance the more people like you are on their side.

  • Q

    gbevers wrote:

    It was not the Japanese government who was recruiting Korean women or indenturing them to be comfort women; it was Korean and Japanese pimps, just as it was Korean pimps who indentured Korean women to be comfort women under the Korean system.

    Read the Statement by Chief Cabinet Secretary Yohei Kono on the Result of the Study on the Issue of “Comfort Women”:

    Comfort stations were operated in response to the request of the military authorities of the day. The then Japanese military was, directly or indirectly, involved in the establishment and management of the comfort stations and the transfer of comfort women. The recruitment of the comfort women was conducted mainly by private recruiters who acted in response to the request of the military. The Government study has revealed that in many cases they were recruited against their own will, through coaxing coercion, etc., and that, at times, administrative/military personnel directly took part in the recruitments. They lived in misery at comfort stations under a coercive atmosphere.

    Undeniably, this was an act, with the involvement of the military authorities of the day, that severely injured the honor and dignity of many women. The Government of Japan would like to take this opportunity once again to extend its sincere apologies and remorse to all those, irrespective of place of origin, who suffered immeasurable pain and incurable physical and psychological wounds as comfort women.

  • Railwaycharm

    @133 South Korea have procured 737 based AWACS force multipliers. China has their own homegrown fighters that are antiquated and they have to shut down cellphone repeaters when they fly them because they hose-up their avionics. That being said, they could never win the war of inches on the ground.
    http://www.aewa.org/boards/viewtopic.php?f=10&t=576
    Gbevers, a thousand sperm inside your mother, and you were the fastest?

  • virtual wonderer

    i think it is fair that gbevers point out korean hypocrisy. what is unfair, however, is that it appears to me that he uses it as a justification to make trite of the memorial.

    gbevers, im going to tell you a story.m its just a story so take it fr what its worth.

    once upon a time there was a nation whose elite liked to shave their heads, wave around a sword and call themselves warriors even though they were confucian nerds. next to this nation was a nation whose elite liked to keep their hair long and didnt like to wave around a sword, because gentlemen didnt do manual labor. these guys were also confucian nerds, but liked to think of themselves as ultra nerds.

    in the land of baldies, they had a bright idea. “hey lets tax whores and make money!”. in the land of lazy long hairs they didnt do this. why? because they thought making money was the barabaric pursuit of uncivillized foreigners.

    then came some pale skin people with big guns. the baldies shat in their pants and put their hands up. the long hairs on the other hand, they decided to burn the pale skins to death. they lost a nice flag, but they thought it was all good.

    skip few decades and the baldies learned to make some big guns just like the pale skins and swam across to the land of long hairs and begun to “civillize” them in the perfect emulation of the pale skins. but when they were doing this, they brought over some peculiar institutions with them. They started putting up red lanterns wherever they brought their big guns. they thought they were big winners.

    until the pale skins got miffed that their protoge was starting to get all haughty. a lesson was needed, so they sent their emmissaries, a fat man and a little boy.

    the long hairs rejoiced by the arrival of these wonderous emmissaries from the land of pale skins. the pale skins all the sudden found themselves in charge of the land of the long hair. they didnt ask for this, they didnt want it. but there were some vodka smelling pale skins hanging around, so they decided to stay put. but they just got there and didnt know where the village well was and who was in charge of picking up all the excrement. so who did they turn to?

    they try to get this very nice long hair who lived with pale skins and even worshipped the same God. this was all very good and all, but there werent enough of these noble savages. so they did what they had to. they got all these baldies who used to be long hairs, but they started growing their hair a bit.

    these short hairs then started to rebuild the land in the image of their former masters as well as the land of these new pale skin extra terrestrials.

    skip few more decades and the pale skins are still there and the short hairs are now in hiding. the long hairs are still miffed at the long hair. the pale skins used to be very sympathetic to the plight of the long hairs, because they too didnt like the baldies. but that was then and this is now.

    then one day an individual pale skin stood up. he had this brilliant idea. “a rock in the middle of the ocean belongs to the baldies!”. his long hair neighbors were naturally angry and started to send hate mails at him. “bit i am a scholar of integrity!”. but he wasnt recognized of his virtue and was further assailed.

    poor poor man.

    and today i hear that this pale skin goes aroundd saying everything evil is evil and any time someone tries to commemorate evil is evil when done for hypocritical evil purpose. i hear that he is very angry about a piece of rock in new jersey now.

    because i guess the sins of the long hair is as extensive and as deep in scope of the lng hair that no rocks should be laid in New Jersey.

    well, thats the story i heard once. its a familiar korean story afterall.

    even to this day the long hairs argue over who had a recent haircut.

    but in the end, rape is rape and a rock laid is a rock laid. please feel free to lay your own rock if you feel the one in New Jersey is inscribed incorrectly.

  • http://koreanlanguagenotes.blogspot.com/ gbevers

    Yuna wrote (#191):

    Absolutely reprehensible, indeed, to leave it hanging like that.

    What should I have written, Yuna? I had no way to contact the girl, and the police did not give us time to plan another rendezvous. There were no cell phones in Korea back then. In fact, few people had a phone of any kind. Most people used the big clumsy public phones at nearby stores to make phone calls for 10 won a shot.

    I did not mean to imply that the police took the girl into the backwoods and shot her. I just never heard from her, again.

  • http://koreanlanguagenotes.blogspot.com/ gbevers

    Q posted:

    The recruitment of the comfort women was conducted mainly by private recruiters who acted in response to the request of the military. The Government study has revealed that in many cases they were recruited against their own will, through coaxing coercion, etc., and that, at times, administrative/military personnel directly took part in the recruitments.

    That’s also what happened in Korea. The Korean government supported and encouraged the comfort women system, even though it knew many women were being indentured into the system, because it earned foreign currency for the country.

  • virtual wonderer

    come on gbevers. those korean guys who learned the game from the japanese did it for the same exact reason why the japanese did it in the first place.

    the japanese wanted to keep “their” women to themselves and keep the yankees away in a brothel.

    but i do have to wonder about the scope of the crime. it seems to me a little more likely that women sold into slavery in the frontlines of war would have a teeny bit more likelyhood of death and mayhem not to mention the opportunity to run away. Not to mention a lot more men in line to rape her and lot less money being given out.

    not that that makes it all better. i havent heard any korean sex slaves jumping off cliffs in mass or being shot in mass either.

  • virtual wonderer

    i meant korean sex slaves of the korean sex slave system as opposed to the imperial version.

    not that it makes koreans so much more noble.

  • http://pawikoreapics.blogspot.com/ pawikirogii 石鵝

    ‘If you look back the last couple of years, it’s Japan that is getting more louder and needs to be more pragmatic towards Korea.’

    i’ve noticed this too. koreans seem to be getting more apathetic about japanese provocatiions while the japanese seem to be getting more shrill and irrational about korea’s rising stature. from tv to music and fasion, the people the japanese brutalized are now moving them to the side.

    poetic justice.

  • http://pawikoreapics.blogspot.com/ pawikirogii 石鵝

    ‘But Q, pawi and enomosekki are equally matched by those puerile Japanese internet trolls and GBevers, no?’

    really? i asked those whose seem angry at a plaque in america how they feel about a jewish memorial. i’ve placed about six (short) posts in a near 200 post thread. if that’s trolling, you can just kiss my ass, slimmy.

  • jk6411

    It appears that the presence of the US military in Korea had a huge influence on the development of mass-prostitution in Korea, perhaps just as much as the Japanese colonization..

  • http://koreanlanguagenotes.blogspot.com/ gbevers

    Virtual Wonderer wrote (#197):

    i havent heard any korean sex slaves jumping off cliffs in mass or being shot in mass either.

    Have you heard of any Korean sex slaves committing suicide?

    Donga Ilbo – July 21, 1957

    Two US Military Comfort Women Commit Suicide Out of Despair

    (Busan) At about 3:30 in the afternoon on the 19th, Jo Mi-ja (20) and Bak Su-ja (21), who both worked as comfort women at a US Military Comfort Woman Hall in the Jeonpo district of Busan, committed suicide together by drinking poison at the Songmijang Restaurant in Jeonpo. In their suicide note they wrote, “As more and more debt piles up in our tedious lives as comfort women, dying is the only way out.”

    LINK

  • http://pawikoreapics.blogspot.com/ pawikirogii 石鵝

    ‘It appears that the presence of the US military in Korea had a huge influence on the development of mass-prostitution in Korea, perhaps just as much as the Japanese colonization..’

    i’d say the korean man had much more to do with that than the white one. korean men, like chinese and japanese men, seem to love prostitution. to me, it’s a vile aspect of korean society.

  • http://pawikoreapics.blogspot.com/ pawikirogii 石鵝

    not to keep beating on this but don’t you blame the white man for postitution in korea. those us servicemen who used ladies of the night were just doing what korean men did and continue to do. who started the mass whore industr therey is important to know but largely irrelevant because it goes on to this day. if korean men are so angry that the jap man started the ho complex in korea, why does he still use them then? no, no, it ain’t the white man who kept prostitution alive in the land of the yemaek. that would be the korean man.

    any man who uses a prostitute is man i have little respect for. btw, gerry has admitted to being a user of prostitutes and openly talked about keeping a whore in 1970s korea. of course, looking at how gross he looks, i get why. he should be thankful he was able to pay for some comfort. vile, disgusting man.

  • http://koreanlanguagenotes.blogspot.com/ gbevers

    Pawi wrote (#204):

    any man who uses a prostitute is man i have little respect for. btw, gerry has admitted to being a user of prostitutes and openly talked about keeping a whore in 1970s korea.

    We had no choice but to pay for it in the 1970s. We were only allowed to date prostitutes with VD cards. Even Korean women married to foreigners in the 1960s had to be registered as “comfort women.” Things changed in the 1980s. Then we could start dating non-prostitutes, and I was quite popular.

  • jk6411

    I think I’m gonna puke.

  • http://koreanlanguagenotes.blogspot.com/ gbevers

    Jk6411 wrote (#206):

    I think I’m gonna puke.

    You just don’t know how good-looking I was back then. LINK

  • jk6411

    Was she your wife?

  • http://koreanlanguagenotes.blogspot.com/ gbevers

    Nope, she was just a girl who used to follow me around, literally. She was kind of a stalker, in a nice way.

  • jk6411

    Hmm, you could’ve fooled me.

    So, whatever did happen with your wife?

  • http://pawikoreapics.blogspot.com/ pawikirogii 石鵝

    ok, gerry, you were fair looking but did not age well.

  • http://gypsyscholarship.blogspot.com/ jefferyhodges

    Ultimately, none of us ages well.

    Jeffery Hodges

    * * *

  • http://pawikoreapics.blogspot.com/ pawikirogii 石鵝

    that is true, jeff. all we can hope for is our hair and physique. thank god i still have both.

  • DLBarch

    I’d say Gerry’s photo link and personal reminiscences of the harshness of life for Korean gals in the 1970s are both quite compelling.

    And it only took slogging through 200+ posts to get there. Well worth the wait, though!

    DLB

  • http://gypsyscholarship.blogspot.com/ jefferyhodges

    I envy you. I’ve lost too much hair . . .

    Jeffery Hodges

    * * *

  • jk6411

    And it only took slogging through 200+ posts to get there. Well worth the wait, though!

    You’re welcome.

  • http://koreanlanguagenotes.blogspot.com/ gbevers

    JK6411 wrote (#210):

    So, whatever did happen with your wife?

    The last I heard she was still living in Seoul and doing well. When we married, she was 32 and I was 30.

    Our Wedding Day at My Friend’s Home

  • jk6411

    Gerry,

    Thank you for sharing your wedding photo.
    Your wife was a pretty lady.
    You were a good-looking couple; it’s a pity you’re no longer married.

    (BTW, my mother always tells me never to marry an older woman, because the marriage will never last..)

  • PineForest

    Bevers is the clear winner here. Koreans registered and managed prostitutes for UN troops into the SIXTIES?? And they’re screaming bloody murder at the Japanese for doing the same damn thing? HYPOCRISY. Times 10.

    But am I surprised at this knowledge?? No. I know the Korean mind too well to let this surprise me.

  • http://www.sperwerslog.com Sperwer

    @219

    Not just for UN troops; they also maintained comfort stations for Korean troops – UN troops were not allowed into the Korean stations and vice versa – so it’s not as if this blight was simply related to the presence of foreign barbarians

    It also went on well past the 60s.

  • RolyPoly

    Hey, this thing happened 60-70 years ago. Are you going to start a war and have people killed for something happened that long ago?

    If so, then you are being uise by someone here who loves China and see most Koreans suffer under Chinese rule. If the US did not save SK, it would be in the exact same fate as NK.

    Poor and starving.

    China backs NK dictatorship. KJI had to take his son to get approval from Beijing. That is where it’s at. If China cuts off oil, NK will collapse within one week.

  • Wedge

    Cool: 221 comments. Can this thread break the record? Film at 11.

  • dogbertt

    As USian, I oppose all these controversial, special interest, ethnically-based monuments, whether they be erected by Koreans, Armenians, Bosnians, whathaveyou. We simply do not have a dog in this fight.

    Some kyopos predictably trot out the “But what about the joos?” argument. Well, here is the answer to that: yes, we should not have the monuments to the joos either, BUT …. we could put up 5000 Holocaust memorials across this great land and we would never hear a peep out of Germany. It would not adversely affect our external diplomacy.

    In contrast, private citizens or resident foreigners, such as the Palisades Park kyopos, should not be allowed to create international incidents. For cm, who blabs that it’s just a tiny rock, well, it was big enough to register a diplomatic protest from a key U.S. ally, wasn’t it?

  • http://gypsyscholarship.blogspot.com/ jefferyhodges

    Last words of Goliath: “It’s just a tiny rock.”

    Jeffery Hodges

    * * *

  • enomoseki

    Look at all these stupid jap lovers in this website, it’s quite disturbing. And call me a korean apologist, LULz.

    The issue here is that japs does not acknoweldge what they’ve done.

    Now these weeaboos/jap lovers trying to defend barbaric japanese act by clamining “OHHH BUT KOREA WANTED THIS TO HAPPEN”.

    LOL. No wonder why Koreans hate you foreign scumbags. Bunch of closet jap-loving foreigners. That’s why. Koreans can’t trust any of them nowdays, I see.

  • http://rjkoehler.com Robert Koehler

    Feel free to point out the “stupid jap-loving foreigners” by name, enomoseki.

  • Anonymous_Joe

    …but do continue to liberally pepper your postings with lols, lulz, and lolz so that I know where to laugh out loud.

  • provIdence
  • enomoseki

    Yeah, sure and chinese are thankful for Nanjing rape.

    Go ahead, weeaboo. Got anymore?

  • enomoseki

    Might as well you say “I support the rape of nanjing and comfrot women”.

    Go ahead.

  • http://rjkoehler.com Robert Koehler

    Somehow, I don’t think that’s what he was saying, enomoseki.

    PS: Thanks for introducing to us the word “weeaboo”:

    http://knowyourmeme.com/memes/subcultures/weeaboo

  • provIdence

    It is not a good idea to change the subject, but Takashi Kawamura, the Mayor of Nagoya, expressed his suspicion on the validity of the “so-called Nanjing Incident” in a talk with a Chinese politician in February this year.

  • yuna

    Most you are referring to here are simply too old to be weeaboos, maybe Gangpeh/Yangachi could be, but he has shown himself to be too balanced. Usually they are just cranky old men who are bitter about their experience in Korea in times when the rest weren’t born.
    More like this sort of feeling:
    http://kyoposhinmun.com/detail.php?number=5172&thread=14r04
    except most haven’t got a Korean wife who are keeping them in check, having since gone for the softer options, or they have but they are doing it because they secretly want to kill them but cannot.

    #223 Dogbertt, thanks for pointing out so succintly the difference between Germany and Japan. Much better than the usual analogy and gets to the heart of the matter.

  • enomoseki

    If you people ask the validity of Nanjing massacre, then there is absolutely nothing wrong with saying there is some serious validity with holocaust.

    Yes, you just crossed that line by asking the validity of the nanjing massacre.

    Of course the japs gonna deny or try to disprove their past barbarism in other countries. It’s what the cowards are good at.

    And mother nature is punishing them in return. Godzilla will come out of the ground and punish the japs in future for their dishonesty.

  • YangachiBastardo

    Most you are referring to here are simply too old to be weeaboos, maybe Gangpeh/Yangachi could be, but he has shown himself to be too balanced

    I was a major wapanese 20+ years ago, when, depressed by my life of poverty and squalor, i thought of Japan as some mythical land of milk and honey.

    After i managed to visit the place i realised it was rife with the same poverty and squalor i knew back home, only with even less personal space available.

    Overall i much prefer Korea: food is great while i’m really not into Japanese cuisine, cost of life is very reasonable, i like high rise architecture and there’s no comparison in terms of economic dynamism. Actually dealing even once with JETRO is enough to turn your average Timmy Otaku into a rabidly racist Asia basher

  • YangachiBastardo

    Takashi Kawamura, the Mayor of Nagoya, expressed his suspicion on the validity of the “so-called Nanjing Incident” in a talk with a Chinese politician in February this year.

    Kawamura-san proves once again that modern democracy mostly works on an adverse selection basis

  • YangachiBastardo

    any man who uses a prostitute is man i have little respect for

    On the other hand i hold the hoes in the highest degree of respect as they, not unlike financial advisors, serve an incommensurably valuable purpose from a Darwinistic point of view: they help idiots part with their cash

  • Q

    First, Japanese protectorate and annexation of Korea was illegal — the Treaties lacked of ratification of Korean emperor — i.e. null and void ab initio, so any Japanese acts on Korean citizens were violation against Korea.

    Second, ‘comfort women’ should be remembered regardless of Korean military government sustaining similar system and failing to disconnect the Japanese legacy of sexual slave. They, especially sexually enslaved women at the war front, should be commemorated more widely not to repeat the same crime against humanity. I suggest people in the world, especially Asians, be united in remembering the comfort women neglected both by Japanese and Korean governments for a long time. It is better than never.

    Thirdly, I seriously doubt UN military had raped and killed civilians as rampantly as Japanese army did.

    Okamura Yasuji taisho shiryo I: senjo kaisohen, Tokyo, 1970, pp. 302-303.

    There were not ianfus (comfort women) in former years of military campaigns. To speak frankly, I am an initiator of the comfort women project. As in 1932 during the Shanghai Incident some acts of rape were committed by Japanese military personnel, I, Vice Chief of Staff of the Shanghai Expeditionary Force, following the example of the Japanese naval brigade, asked the governor of Nagasaki prefecture to send comfort women women groups. As a result, rape crimes totally disappeared, which made me very happy.

    At present each army corps was accompanied by a comfort women group, as if the latter constitutes a detachment of its quarter-master corps. But rape acts did not disappear in the Sixth Division, even though it was accompanied by a comfort women group.

    http://www.awf.or.jp/e1/facts-01.html

  • YangachiBastardo

    Let’s be honest…everyone in the world could be a success if they lived with their parents until they are 30 something…while letting them cover the cost of their education…and then pay for their marriage and the home they move into after jumping out of the nest.

    Thing is though…we need some adults in this world

    Don’t be jelous of a culture that still retains decent family values.

    It seems like a healthier alternative to the 1 trl.+ student loans and mortgage nightmare the US has become.

    Truth is well run, moderately conservative nations like Korea, Singapore or even Slovakia in Europe are much preferable places to the wackiness of liberal societies.

    Live within your means, respect your family, work hard, educate yourself, improve your skills, plan for the future: the basic rules of a decent society

  • http://pawikoreapics.blogspot.com/ pawikirogii 石鵝

    it’s true that the south korean government and the us military colluded with one another in the supplying of prostitutes to american soldiers. they facilitated the whore industry in korea but the major difference is that the prostitutes were not coerced. they did what they did out of economic need. wait a minute! don’t think for a second i think that that fact makes it ok but it certainly makes it different from the practices of the japanese war machine. the japanese forced women into prostitution. why is that so hard to believe? the japanese are a people who employed people who stuck needles into babies’ fingers lengthwise. you really find it hard to believe they engaged in coercion?

    while it’s true the sk goverment was involved in supplying prostitutes to us soldiers, that don’t let the japanese off the hook outside of places like this. in places like this, people are more interested in talking about korean involvement so that can excuse or mitigate japanese involvement.

    lastly, a question: one of the ladies in the new york times article indicated that she became a prostitute out of hunger. that time period, korea was very bleak because korea was very poor. even in the early 70s, there were still lots of hungry people. what would have become of this lady if she didn’t become a prostitute? being raped by a hundred japanese men is not the same as becoming a prostitute because you need to eat.

    ps thanks, gerry, for being so friendly with the pics and all. it was a good move on your part.

    i still can see you. :-)

  • http://pawikoreapics.blogspot.com/ pawikirogii 石鵝

    btw, gerry, don’t give me your bullshit! you didn’t HAVE to maintain a prostitute. you took advantage.

  • http://pawikoreapics.blogspot.com/ pawikirogii 石鵝

    ‘Let’s be honest…everyone in the world could be a success if they lived with their parents until they are 30 something…while letting them cover the cost of their education…and then pay for their marriage and the home they move into after jumping out of the nest.’ youngen

    looks like you were born with the wrong set of parents.

    ‘Thing is though…we need some adults in this world.’ same youngen

    yes, let us know when you get there.

  • yuna

    It is still a vile and convoluted attempt to equate one’s experience post war Korea to these women around the world, with or without old family photos in order to prove a point:

    http://www.theharbinger.org/xvii/990316/palileo.html
    http://www.terryberkowitz.com/malaya_installation.htm

  • http://koreanlanguagenotes.blogspot.com/ gbevers

    Pawi wrote (#240):

    it’s true that the south korean government and the us military colluded with one another in the supplying of prostitutes to american soldiers. they facilitated the whore industry in korea but the major difference is that the prostitutes were not coerced. they did what they did out of economic need.

    The women under the Korean system weren’t coerced? They did what they did out of economic need? Hmm. Where have I heard that before?

    According to the Korean newspaper article I linked to in #188, Korea had more “comfort women” in 1959 (261,089) than Japan is claimed to have had from 1932 to 1945 (200,000). And the comfort women Korea had in 1959 were all Korean women.

    If 261,000 Korean women chose to become “comfort women” in Korea out of economic need in 1959, then why is it so hard for you, Pawi, to believe that a considerably less number than that chose to become comfort women between 1932 and 1945, under the Japanese system, for the same reason?

  • http://koreanlanguagenotes.blogspot.com/ gbevers

    The following is a translation of a May 4, 1952 article from the Korean newspaper Donga Ilbo:

    Three Military Policemen Arrested for Murder

    At about 1:30 a.m. on the 30th of last month, three men dressed in Korean military police uniforms shot to death comfort woman Kim Yeong-ok (29) at the “American Comfort Station” (미국위안소) in this city’s Jeonpo-dong area. On the 1st, the three perpetrators, from the Busan Regional Military Police, were arrested.

    LINK

  • yuna

    You are as intellectually dishonest as you are an obstinate. Your age does nothing to stop me from the disgust I feel.
    Why don’t you accuse the Filipina Lolas I linked to in #243 as being mere prostitutes based on the fact that Philippines has its world renowned export army camp prostitutes and mail order bride trade?

  • provIdence

    Japanese fought not only in Asia but also in Europe, and even in the mainland USA, of which, I felt I heard very recently on TV, President Obama gave a mention:

    http://rafu.com/news/2012/05/obama-country-better-off-because-of-hirabayashi/

  • http://koreanlanguagenotes.blogspot.com/ gbevers

    Yuna,

    What are your views of the “comfort woman” system established in Korea by the Korean government after the Japanese had already left?

  • yuna

    #247 I find the single comment following that article very interesting with regards to linguistic error of calling the Nazi Concentration camps “Polish Camps”.
    It’s a bit like what is happening here with our resident dunce except this transient linguisitc match is being heralded as the find of the century in order to dilute a separate history.

  • yuna

    @248 What are your views on the testimonies of the Filipina grandmas in 243?

  • http://koreanlanguagenotes.blogspot.com/ gbevers

    Yuna,

    I do not know anything about the comfort women system in the Philippines under the Japanese or what it was like in the Philippines before the Japanese arrived. All I know is that for decades after World War II, the Philippines was considered the hooker capital of the world by the US navy.

    I went to the Philippines on a temporary duty assignment in the navy in 1978, after spending about a year in Korea. When I first came to Korea, I was shocked to see so many prostitutes who were very friendly and matter-of-fact about their profession, but when I went to the Philippines and saw the prostitutes there, the Korean prostitutes seemed like blushing virgins compared to the Filipinas.

    We arrived at the naval base in Subic Bay, Philippines in the evening and decided to go outside the base for a quick drink before curfew. After we crossed the bridge outside the base gate, it was suddenly like an X-rated circus on the street. Girls were everywhere calling to us, pulling at us, showing us their breasts and other parts of the their body. I had never seen anything like it in my life and was a little scared by it all.

    The first bar we went into was showing X-rated movies on all four walls of the bar. Women were dancing naked on long, picnic-like tables. Guys were stacking big silver-dollar sized pesos on the tops of beer bottles, and the women were picking them up without using their hands, no matter how big the stacks of pesos were. However, even with all the debauchery, the girls were giggling and acting as happy-go-lucky as you could imagine.

    I was not used to it and did not like. We came back to base after that. I preferred the Korean bar scene.

    I wonder what the Filipina bargirls were like under the Americans, before the Japanese invaded.

  • YangachiBastardo

    70′s hoes nostalgia…can’t beat that

  • Railwaycharm

    gbevers, weren’t you quite the Whore-master!

  • DLBarch

    Not just 70s nostalgia, YB. I can think of a few frat parties in SoCal that come pretty close to GB’s PI reminiscences.

    Not at Cal, though. No siree bob!

    DLB

  • YangachiBastardo

    gbevers, weren’t you quite the Whore-master!

    I think he should write a Michelin type of guide to the magic world of Asia sex trade

    Not just 70s nostalgia, YB. I can think of a few frat parties in SoCal that come pretty close to GB’s PI reminiscences

    Damn guys you’re all way smarter than me and spent your youth in a way more productive way: as i feel generous today i wll share with this blog crowd the reminiscences of the first holiday on my own.

    Come the year 1989 at the ripe age of 15 i went with some friends to the Spanish island of Formentera.

    Formentera at the time was, and i assume still is, a complete, hopeless dump, brimming with the worst type of Italian trash, mostly from Milan.

    At the time everything was Italian there: bars, clubs, beaches, food…you couldn’t literally find anything that didn’t reek of Woppia.

    Needless to say as we’re an ignorant as fuck bunch who can’t even speak our language properly, let alone spitting 2 coeherent sentences in any other civilised language, we tend to isolate ourselves from everybody else.

    That, combined with our natural finesse and bonomie, earned us some sapid nicknames from the locals, something along the lines of hijos de puta and los animales, but i digress…

    One night i was with some friends at this beach party in this huh beach club owned by, surprise surprise, some Tony Guido from my native town.

    At some point out of the blue some funny, friendly Guardia Civil types showed up totally unexpected. They were what would you define as your typical Mediterranean country riot police employees: short, bulky, overly muscular and not excessively interested with the fine prints of the Geneva Convention.

    Rumours were that some Eyetee dirtbag raped a local girl. True or not the coppers started ehm batoning without any mercy whoever was in sight. A buddy of mine suffered a dislocated shoulder.

    Also just to reinforce the general feeling of European brotherhood some of the few Dutch (or were they German or English ? Who knows) tourists joined the mob, helping the pigs, pelting us with beer cans and bottles.

    Many people panicked, sandwiched as we were between the street next to the beach and the sea, and quite a few threw themselves into the water…a very dumb idea if you ask me.

    After a few moments of panic we reacted though and we started throwing back anything that could fly. One of my Muay Thai pals, some guy who later in life offed a cop with an iron bar before a UEFA cup game, walked toward the police, holding a broken bottle. He proceeded to slash his own face with the bottle, beats me why he did that, prolly he wanted to look cool and scary, something like the bite sign Val Kilmer was doing to Tom Cruise in Top Gun. After a generous dosage of booting, he was arrested and shipped back to our native rat nest 2 days later. Guy was a psycho anyway.

    Well fellas, this is pretty much it, not much else to tell. I spent the rest of the vacation drafting revenge plans againt the Kraut tourists and the locals alike but nothing actually materialised.

    I came back home sunbunrt, with my stomach squelched by an ignominious amount of extremely shitty drugs and with my virginity intact…good times

    PS

    This is for you Gerry

  • DLBarch

    Nice anecdote, YB, but, jeez, who the hell goes to Spain as a young man and DOESN’T get laid?

    DLB

  • yuna

    Yes, but what do you think of the testimonies I linked to? Have you read them? If you *do not know* because you were not there, do you think your experience in the Philippines post-War is in any way relevant/takes away from these individual testimonies and indeed can support the Japanese government’s claim “but they were all prostitutes?”

    And like it or not, the South Korean stance and general disregard for that sort of relationship that you talk about in the Philippines (as you can see from the other thread and the link I put in that thread http://www.rjkoehler.com/2012/05/31/hide-the-women-and-children/#comment-464478 – it seems to persist in the Philippines) is what made South Korea different. The guys on that thread might complain, but then it’s what the general Korean people used to think about, when they think of those yangsekshi (GI Brides) – with some sort of shame.

    It’s up to the individuals and the international couples to change the prejudice so I also have very little sympathy for modern Korean girls who “want to learn English” in night clubs in that clip. They can watch “Friends on DVD” or something.

  • jk6411

    Korean, Japanese, Taiwanese, Chinese, Southeast Asian, Pacific islanders (and Dutch) women were among the “comfort women” of the Japanese military.

    Japanese researcher Yoshimi found the following:
    The Japanese women were almost all experienced prostitutes.
    The non-Japanese women, the vast majority of them were under-age girls or women who had no experience with prostitution. Many of them were duped or coerced into prostitution.

    Japan took hundreds of thousands of young women and girls from other countries and made them sex slaves for the Japanese military.
    Even if the women had not been directly recruited by Japanese authorities, the Japanese authorities had plenty of chances to realize that these women were not experienced prostitutes but scared girls who had been tricked into God-knows-what.
    Even the Japanese military doctors, who you would have expected to be more compassionate than the average person, took advantage of the girls and often raped them after examining them.
    These women were treated like objects, simply put.

    The Japanese govt has admitted that these women lived in absolutely wretched conditions and were deprived of all “honor and dignity”.

    Do you still think that Japan has nothing to apologize for?

    Just because the Korean government allowed there to be military prostitutes for foreign troops post-Korean War, it has no bearing whatsoever on what Japan did.
    Prostitution within Korea was an necessary evil / social problem.
    What Japan did was take women from other countries for their fucked up war effort. It was an international crime.
    The women were treated far worse, and many were massacred towards the end of the war when they became a hindrance to Japanese units.

  • YangachiBastardo

    Do you still think that Japan has nothing to apologize for?

    Japan will apologise…to China unfortunately

    And am i the only one who thinks all the prostitution comments of Bevers are reminiscent of the old “She was raped, she’s a slut, she had it coming” adage ?

  • jk6411

    And am i the only one who thinks all the prostitution comments of Bevers are reminiscent of the old “She was raped, she’s a slut, she had it coming” adage ?

    Well, Bevers has certainly had a lot of experience with prostitutes.
    Perhaps as a result he has a low opinion of women in general and thinks they are all sluts.

    BTW, Yangachi, good to know you’re still alive.

  • yuna

    #259
    Yeah, and we are getting sidetracked because his photos and stories seem to tell of a nostalgic Full Metal Jacket era, making him seem like a sincere person. He might be a sincere person, but his disingenuous arguments say otherwise.

    If I were to argue for the Japanese side, I would not do it that way.

    I would stick to the argument of Japanese values, imposed on the rest of the world. You know, the usual, Japanese were cruel and meticulous to themselves, they had only just come out of the Samurai medieval culture where Seppuki, harakiri were the norm, they thought they could treat the losers like animals for they had not signed up to the Geneva Convention, etc. etc.

    I would not say “they were better off” or “they had it coming” or “they did worse things themselves” because these are the worst kind of explanation for one’s own wrongdoing on somebody else.

  • provIdence

    A highest-ranking officer in the Philippines at the end of the War was General Hong Sa-ik (洪思翊中将) who, at the tribunal, actively defended his subordinates but accepted any for his life. So, please don’t accuse him and his subordinates too much for his life’s sake:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hong_Sa-ik

  • http://www.xanga.com/wangkon936 WangKon936

    provIdence,

    Every conquered people have individuals who make the decision to cast their lot with the conquerors (or would be conquerors), be it Wang Jingwei, Vidkun Quisling, or even America’s own Benedict Arnold.

    There were so many Irish in the British Army during the days of Empire the saying went, “… the British Empire was won by the Irish, administered by the Scots and Welsh and the profits went to the English.”

    The mention of people who may have sided with the wrong side as an attempt to lessen the responsibility of the wrong side is an association fallacy.

  • slim

    @261. Japan’s Kono Yohei statement, cited a few times above, did lay out what was done to the women and paved the way for the apologies that followed. (Subsequent leaders in Tokyo backtracked or tried to negate this.)

    Japan has blown countless chances to put this to rest. The one conundrum I had to deal with (I was a news reporter in Tokyo and present in the room when Kono made that statement in 1992) was that the comfort station system was set up in response to the uproar over mass rapes during the Rape of Nanking. It might have been argued that this was (for the ethos of the time in wartime East Asia) an enlightened effort to deal with raping soldiers. But of course this requires acknowledging that the Rape of Nanking took place and was as severe as has been recorded by experts. And that is, if anything, more likely to provoke the Japanese right. Japan’s current ruling party is (in theory) the liberal camp and one would hope they could do better on history issues than the LDP. But they have been timid and ineffectual on even more urgent issues like Fukushima.

    Bevers’ rub-your-nose-in-these-inconvenient-facts style needlessly provokes emotional responses, and his analysis of matters is of course too generous to Japan. But he’s not making things up when it comes to the significant local Korean role in WW2 recruiting, the continuation of comfort women policies for decades after the war and other aspects of the ROK’s (non)handling of the problem from the 1965 normalization onward.

    Without cutting Japan any slack or downplaying the suffering of the women themselves, official Korea to me looks too compromised to keep harping on this and Seoul looks defenseless against charges from some quarters that it likes to keep these issues alive to use against Tokyo from time to time. China benefits the most from this state of affairs.

  • provIdence

    Thanks for your lesson. I could not understand what you have written for me when I read it the first time. So, I checked the three names you gave. The Chinese can be the one I knew by name. The other two were new to me, but I think I could understand your story. What I don’t still understand is where the other or right(?) side was for General Hong Sa-ik. Was it on the side of KJI or of PCH, or else? It’s very kind of you if I could have the answer, but no need to hurry because I might be sleeping. Thank you in advance, and thank you for everything.

  • http://www.xanga.com/wangkon936 WangKon936
  • yuna

    Without cutting Japan any slack or downplaying the suffering of the women themselves, official Korea to me looks too compromised to keep harping on this and Seoul looks defenseless against charges from some quarters that it likes to keep these issues alive to use against Tokyo from time to time. China benefits the most from this state of affairs.

    I agree with you, (and Baduk) slim. Sometimes pearls of wisdom can arise out of madman’s rampant baboon manure, as is the case often with Baduk.

    As much as I wish these stupid ads and wine-naming and yes, even building of the memorial would stop, I would rather see these people than the Korean “뉴라이트 New Right” group gain voice. As I said, there is a spectrum of people even in Korea and this group makes even GBevers sound reasonable.
    http://www.ohmynews.com/NWS_Web/View/at_pg.aspx?CNTN_CD=A0001632763

  • http://www.xanga.com/wangkon936 WangKon936

    slim,

    I don’t have the time to really go into much depth, but I will say this regarding Korean prostitutes before the Korean War (i.e. during WWII and Japan’s war in China) and during/after the Korean War. The main difference is recourse and logistics. Koreans had greater recourse after 1945 than before 1945. First of all, Koreans had their own government after 1945 rather than being an annexation in a brutal military industrial complex known as Imperial Japan. If there was abuse in the system and/or girls were not being paid or physically abused, then there was a government to complain to. At the very least, a volume of such abuse would not be tolerated with a nominally UN administered military effort. Lastly, the number of UN troops was about 500k at its height.

    With Imperial Japan, here we have a government that did not have any qualms abusing their own citizens, let alone legitimate prisoners of war from allied countries. How do you think they would treat Korean girls? A region of the Japanese Empire that had no representative government of its own. The Imperial government of Japan had a need. It had over 6M fighting men at its height. Many of these men were overseas in places as far as Burma, Indonesia, the Wake Islands, South China, etc. areas under fire, in fluctuating front lines, with, at times, limited supply.

    How do you get a large number of girls to, uh, join a war effort hundreds to thousands of miles from home to fulfill the needs of millions of men? Maybe some will volunteer, but I don’t think you can hope to do this simply by finding volunteers. I think you have to do it by hook or by crook. Did the Japanese use Korean contractors to find them? Probably. You need agents with local knowledge in order to fulfill demand. You know, Europeans used African intermediaries to find African slaves. It doesn’t make the system of slavery any less despicable, does it?

    There are many stories where Korean men and women were given the classic bait and switch. Get a job in light manufacturing in Japan. Save money and send some money home. Attend a Japanese school, etc. What was reality? Jobs in the dirty and dangerous that the Japanese wouldn’t give to the Japanese themselves. Why? Because even an evil Imperial Japanese government that would bomb Pearl Harbor, even while they are negotiating with the U.S. for a peace treaty, would still treat their citizens as human beings. But Koreans, Chinese and Allied prisoners of war? Why do so? They have no recourse, thus the Japanese do not feel the need to devote any care or sufficient resources to their needs. Also, the Koreans sent to Japan to work were often not paid regularly. They were told their pay was sent directly to the postal savings system. What happened after the war? The new Japanese government saw no need to make good on their promise to these workers who were no longer part of the Japanese empire. At least the Korean women who serviced UN troops were, for the most part, paid. If you are a Korean girl, their voluntarily or involuntarily, what is their recourse to the Japanese government to be treated right? They are thousands of miles away from home, with no government officials looking out for their welfare. They cannot simply vote with their feet like a Korean girl back home can. The Imperial Japanese government would not be incentivized to treat them decently. If a girl is taken involuntarily, what is her recourse after she gets sent to southern China or Indonesia? Can she call home? Will the Japanese mail service take her letters? Likely no. The system is rife for opportunities for abuse and there is little doubt in my mind that abuse happened on an epic scale.

  • http://askakorean.blogspot.com thekorean

    Just to add one more thing: in this tremendous book documenting elder poverty in Korea, nearly every female interviewee speaks of taking steps to avoid being conscripted as Comfort Women. In fact, the downward spiral in these women’s lives began with the most common means of avoiding being conscripted — i.e. marry the next available guy. Given that most good, eligible young Korean men were drafted into the war, these women were left with the shitty stock that made their lives miserable.

  • jk6411

    Given that most good, eligible young Korean men were drafted into the war, these women were left with the shitty stock that made their lives miserable.

    This makes perfect sense.
    During WWII, Japan conscripted 5.4 million Koreans for its war effort.
    (They were mostly men, and 100′s of thousands of them died.)
    Considering that in 1940 Korea’s total population was around 23 million, this was a huge number.

  • http://koreanlanguagenotes.blogspot.com/ gbevers

    Some people may have seen the following January 6, 2009 New York Times article, but in case you have not, even elderly ex-Korean prostitutes have accused “successive Korean governments of hypocrisy in calling for reparations from Japan while refusing to take a hard look at South Korea’s own history.” I have noticed a few hypocrites posting here, as well.

    Ex-Prostitutes Say South Korea and U.S. Enabled Sex Trade Near Bases – America the shameless

    South Korea has railed for years against the Japanese government’s waffling over how much responsibility it bears for one of the ugliest chapters in its wartime history: the enslavement of women from Korea and elsewhere to work in brothels serving Japan’s imperial army.

    Now, a group of former prostitutes in South Korea have accused some of their country’s former leaders of a different kind of abuse: encouraging them to have sex with the American soldiers who protected South Korea from North Korea. They also accuse past South Korean governments, and the United States military, of taking a direct hand in the sex trade from the 1960s through the 1980s, working together to build a testing and treatment system to ensure that prostitutes were disease-free for American troops.

    While the women have made no claims that they were coerced into prostitution by South Korean or American officials during those years, they accuse successive Korean governments of hypocrisy in calling for reparations from Japan while refusing to take a hard look at South Korea’s own history….

    LINK

  • yuna

    They also accuse past South Korean governments, and the United States military,

    Doesn’t that mean you? So by your own logic, you should take a hard look at your own history and stop accusing South Korea accusing Japan.

  • http://pawikoreapics.blogspot.com/ pawikirogii 石鵝

    i really encoroage you folks to have a look at the piece written over there at japanprobe. it’s one long excuse for the japanese made by a manga loving creep. while he brings up the first visit by japanese politicians, he leaves out the second visit. when questioned, he said the second visit was irrelevant because it did not represent the japanese government. of course, what he really means is that the second visit got in the way of painting the japanese as apologetic.

    are all the white guys in japan this creepy like gerry? just look at how much the man writes. how the hell does a white guy care about this issue to the degree that this manga man does? creepy. just creepy!

    moving on, poor japan got a serious problem on it’s hand. see, it colonized a country that became wealthy. it colonized a country with a strong sense of self. too bad for japan because the koreans ain’t gonna let this go anytime soon. this will become a bigger and bigger problem for japan as korea becomes wealthier and wealthier because money means korea can talk. there’s a long history of japan distorting it’s relationship with korea. while korea was poor, japan had the upper hand. i’m not so sure that’s true anymore no matter how much manga man tries to help. next up, CHINA!

  • provIdence

    gbevers,

    How about the reference in Korean given at #228, although I can’t read Korean? I read its Japanese version.

  • http://rjkoehler.com Robert Koehler

    i really encoroage you folks to have a look at the piece written over there at japanprobe. it’s one long excuse for the japanese made by a manga loving creep.

    Link, Pawi. Link.

  • http://koreanlanguagenotes.blogspot.com/ gbevers

    Yuna wrote (#272):

    Doesn’t that mean you? So by your own logic, you should take a hard look at your own history and stop accusing South Korea accusing Japan.

    I have been taking a hard look. Haven’t you noticed my writing about my experiences with prostitution in Korea in the navy in the 1970s, something you seem to want to ignore or dismiss as irrelevant.

    The article to which I linked in Comment #271 mentions the “monkey houses,” which I used to hear about in the 1970s. The girls were essentially sent to jail for a couple of weeks for contracting VD, and from what I heard, those places were not very pleasant.

    Though the article mentioned the “monkey houses,” it did not mention anything about how many of the women were forced into prostitution by high-interest debt obligations, contracts that many of them probably did not really understand.

    People may find this hard to believe, but back in the 1970s there was still a lot of illiteracy in South Korea. I remember hearing some of the “Korean” prostitutes ask their friends to read Korean-language signs to them. And I remember very clearly one girl from Busan asking her friend what was written on the back of our jackets. Her friend told her, “해군,” which means “Navy.” It was written in Korean, not English.

    To give you an idea of how much interest the girls were probably paying on their pimp loans, I think I remember hearing that Korean banks back then were paying about 25% or 30% annual interest for bank deposits, which means that interest on bank loans would have been higher than that. And that means that interest on pimp loans was probably much higher.

    Don’t you see the similiarities, Yuna, between the Japanese comfort woman system and the Korean? Many of the women under both systems were forced into prostitution by economic circumstances. Many of the women in both systems become prostitutes in exchange for loans they could not ignore or run away from. Both systems forced the women to undergo VD testing and treatment, isolating them while they recovered.

    As for the instances of kidnapping and rape, that was not sanctioned by either the Japanese government or the Korean. I have heard that Korean pimps used to hang out around Korean train and bus stations, and probably still do, waiting to kidnap and rape young girls coming to Seoul and other large cities from the countryside. I heard that the pimps would take them to their lairs and repeatedly rape and beat the women into submission. One prostitute in Seoul told me that was what happened to her.

    We had struck up a conversation at a “blood oyster” restuarant near the Cheonryang-ri Train Station, which was where I had to go to get to my job at Seoul City College. It was sometime before the ’88 Olympics because I was part of a group of foreign instructors teaching English to Seoul government officials as a means to help prepare them for the Olympics. The woman also said that either her or her friend or both of them once escaped from an upstairs window and went to the local police station for help. However, instead of helping them, the police returned them to their pimp. She said that the police in the area were working with the pimps.

    One of my former students, a women in her early 20′s in the early 2000s, also told me that high school girls were sometimes kidnapped around the train station in Incheon. She said she was almost kidnapped there while still in high school by men who tried to force her into a van, but she managed to break loose and run away screaming, causing the men in the van to drive off.

    Yuna, I don’t think even you will deny that prostitution is big business in Korea, and that many of the girls were probably forced into it.

  • http://www.xanga.com/wangkon936 WangKon936

    Rob,

    Here’s the link that I think pawi was referring to:

    http://www.japanprobe.com/2012/05/24/the-comfort-women-monument-in-new-jersey/

    Personally, I didn’t think it was that bad. It agreed that many of the comfort women abuses happened and primarily focused on responsibility of financial compensation being the Korean government, per the 1965 normalization treaty, something I don’t necessarily disagree with. It also ventured into somehow the Koreans being responsible because they were, apparently, doing most of the recruiting. To me, even if it is true, is a big fat red herring. Regardless of who did the actual recruiting/kidnapping, given that Korea was a region directly administered by the Imperial Japanese government, the ultimate responsibility of any abuses by your contractors are your responsibilities as well.

    When the Portuguese, Dutch and British first went into Africa, they were limited in their supply of slaves due to lack of local knowledge in the geography of the immense continent, their penetration into the deeper regions of that area and in their resistance to disease. Thus, to increase their supply, they had to rely (quite heavily, one must add) on African intermediaries. However, when one thinks about culpability in the slave trade, one does not think of making Africans themselves culpable. The majority of the culpability must go to the people who were cutting the checks and not doing their due diligence when their contractors (regardless of race, ethnicity or creed) was using morally ambiguous (to say the least) methods.

  • yuna

    #276 I doubt it. You are using your trip down the memory lane to dismiss the Japanese role in this and then you are extending it to fit for your own purpose to women who were abducted during the war and disparage their wish for acknowledgement. If anything it should make you more sympathetic to these old women who have their own memories of how it happened, not one you are trying to impose on them. It is absolutely despicable.

  • http://koreanlanguagenotes.blogspot.com/ gbevers

    No, Yuna (#278), I am just exposing your hypocrisy of refusing to acknowledge that Korea had a similar system the Japanese system.

  • DLBarch

    BTW, the link provided by GB @ 271 traces back to a NYTimes story that quotes Katherine Moon’s truly excellent 1997 book entitled “Sex Among Allies.”

    This book should be on any budding Koreanist’s bookshelf. Even hard-edged critics of anti-Americanism in Korea would do well to keep in mind that there are often very legitimate reasons why not all Koreans feel all warm and fuzzy about the American alliance.

    Meanwhile, if GB ever gets around to writing his memoirs on life in Korea back in the day, put me on the pre-order list.

    DLB

  • jk6411

    I am just exposing your hypocrisy of refusing to acknowledge that Korea had a similar system the Japanese system.

    You know, Gerry?
    You keep talking and talking and talking about your experience with the Korean prostitution system.
    But you have precisely zero experience with the Japanese military’s “sex slave” system. Zilch.
    Were you a Japanese soldier during WWII? Did you have any conversations with any of those “sex slaves”? Do you know what life was like for them?

    If you don’t have any first-hand experience with the Japanese military’s “sex slave” system (and are only relying on arguments of the Japanese right-wing extremists), how can you confidently equate Korea’s prostitution system for US troops with Japan’s WWII “comfort women” system?

    You’re really not convincing.

  • bumfromkorea

    @jk6411

    Were you a Japanese soldier during WWII?

    If not, at the least a reincarnation.

  • yuna

    Here are the testimonies of Comfort women in North Korea interviewed by a Japanese man. Please go ahead translate it for everybody and then let’s see if you dare to repeat that “similar” system existed in South Korea after the war.

    일본이 행한 식민지 지배로부터 커다란 피해를 받은 한국인들은 일본 정부와 기업을 상대로 사죄와 배상을 요구하고 있다. 그러나 북한에 살고 있는 피해자들에 대해서는 국제사회에 그 실태조차 거의 알려진 바 없다.

    나는 올해 5월에서 6월에 걸쳐 평양에 19일간 체류하면서 많은 피해자들을 취재했다. 그 중에서도 일본군에 의해 성노예가 된 전 일본군 위안부 여성들의 증언과 그들의 몸에 깊이 새겨진 상흔에 커다란 충격을 받았다.

    나는 전후세대 일본인이지만 일본이 아시아 여러나라에서 행한 침략의 실태를 일본사회에 알리는 것이 일본인 사진작가이자 저널리스트로서의 의무라고 생각하고 있다. 그 때문에 십수년간에 걸쳐 아시아 여러나라를 방문해 일본에 의한 식민지 지배와 아시아 태평양전쟁에서 피해를 입은 사람 600여명을 찾아가 취재했다.

    그런데 취재하지 못하고 공백으로 남아 있던 곳이 북한이었다. 취재교섭을 시작한 것은 1990년. 그것이 올해 4월 겨우 허가가 났다. 일본인 저널리스트의 단독취재를 받아들이는 것은 수년 만의 일이라 한다. 니가타에서 승선한 배는 5월17일 원산항에 입항했고, 나는 약 80kg의 촬영기재를 둘러메고 부두에 내렸다.

    19일간 평양에 머물면서 내가 바라던 바를 거의 다 취재할 수 있었다. 전 일본군 위안부, 히로시마와 나가사키에서 피폭된 사람, 강제연행돼 중노동에 종사한 사람, 징병으로 군인이나
    군속이 된 사람, 불교도로서 탄압받은 사람까지 모두 21명을 만났다.

    (중략…..)

    임신하자 낙태시킨다고 자궁 들어내

    북한에서 전 일본군 위안부들을 취재하는 것은 일본인으로서, 더욱이 남성으로서는 매우 곤혹스러운 일이었다. 그들은 마음의 상처뿐만 아니라 똑바로 쳐다볼 수 없을 정도의 끔찍한 육체적 상처를 간직하고 있었다. 그것은 민족차별과 여성차별 위에 일본군이 만들어낸 종군위안부 제도의 본질을 보여주는 명확한 증거이기도 하다.

    등의 칼자국을 보여준 분은 버마에 연행됐던 정송명(鄭松明, 1924년생)씨. “조선인 여성 400명 중 절반이 싱가포르에서 하선하고 나머지는 랑군으로 갔습니다. 전쟁이 끝나자 한달이나 걸려 타이까지 걸어왔습니다. 위안부 45명과 남성 15명의 조선인이 2척의 배를 타고 귀국했습니다.”

    그의 등에는 지금도 선명한 상처가 두곳 남아 있다. “너무 피로해 더이상 상대 못하겠다고 하자 마에다 중위가 일본도를 뽑아 내리쳤습니다. 심한 상처인데도 약 한번 발라주지않아 2년간이나 상처가 아물지 않았습니다.”

    유선옥씨의 배에는 배꼽 위쪽에서 아래쪽까지 크고 오래된 상처가 있었다. 군의관이 자궁째 태아를 들어낸 수술의 흔적이란다.

    유씨는 1923년 함경북도 경흥군에서 태어났다. 기장밥을 끼니로 할 정도의 빈농이었는데, 어느 날 갑자기 나타난 미야모토가 공장의 일자리 이야기를 해주었고, 그는 따라나섰다.

    다른 여성 2명과 함께 끌려간 곳은 중국 동북지방의 목단강. 따라온 걸 후회했을 때는 이미 늦었다. 다케코라는 이름이 붙여진 그는 처음에 하루 5∼6명 정도, 많을 때는 15명의 군인을 상대해야 했다. 기절했다 겨우 정신을 차리면 다시 군인들이 덮쳐왔다. 불행히도 임신하게 되자 낙태 겸 재임신 방지를 위해 태아가 있는 자궁을 들어냈다.

    상처가 낫자마자 다시 군인들을 상대해야 했다. “반항하면 죽여버립니다. 미쓰코라고 불리던 소녀는 목을 쳐 죽였습니다. 여기에 있었던 15명 정도의 여성 중에서 살아남은 사람은 5∼6명 정도였습니다. 조국이 해방된 뒤에도 거지 같은 유랑생활을 하다가 1948년 10월에 고향에 돌아왔습니다. 1981년에 사망한 남편에게도 제 체험을 끝까지 고백하지 않았습니다”하고 속삭이듯 낮은 소리로 이야기했다.

    “지금도 몸서리치는 증오심을 느끼고 있습니다. 아이를 낳지 못하게 한 일본에 대해 복수하는 일에만 골몰하며 살아왔습니다. 그때의 군인을 찾아낸다면 찔러죽이고 싶어요”하고 말하고 그때부터는 내 질문에 거의 대답하지 않았다. 일본인과는 만나고 싶지도 않다는 기분을 뚜렷이 읽을 수 있었다.

    이경생(李京生, 1917년생)씨의 배에도 유씨와 비슷한 상처가 있었다. 지주집에서 일하고 있던 이씨는 끈으로 묶인 채 경상남도 창원의 군수공장으로 끌려갔다. ‘천황폐하를 위해 몸을 바치면 좋은 대우를 받는다’고 장교가 말했다. 하루 밤에 10∼15명의 군인을 상대해야 했다. 그리고 임신. ‘아직 쓸 만한데’하는 생각에 자궁째 태아를 들어냈다.“일본 때문에 아이를 낳을 수 없게 되었습니다. 혼자 있을 땐 옛 생각이 떠올라 눈물이 납니다. 여성을 성욕처리의 도구로밖에 보지 않고 낙태와 불임시술로 자궁까지 들어내는 행위는 여성의 존엄을 전면적으로 부정하는 것으로 결코 용서할 수 없습니다.”

    산 사람 삶아 강제로 먹이기도…

    정옥순(鄭玉順)씨의 기억은 매우 또렷했다. 그는 함경남도 풍산군 파발리(豊山郡 把撥里)에서 1920년 12월28일 태어났다. 1933년 6월3일 우물에서 물을 긷다가 제복을 입은 남자 3명에게 연행됐고, 끌려간 파발리 주재소에서 강간당했다. 저항하다가 눈을 세게 얻어맞아 이때부터 왼쪽눈이 차츰 안 보이게 됐다.

    그뒤 10일이 지나 7∼8명의 군인에 의해 트럭에 실려 혜산(惠山)에 있던 일본군 수비대에 연행됐다. 그곳에는 각지에서 끌려온 여성들이 많이 있었다. 정씨는 하루에 약 40명이나되는 군인을 상대한 일도 있어 자궁출혈이 심했다.

    그해 8월27일, 칼을 찬 군인이 ‘군인 100명을 상대할 수 있는 자가 누군가’하고 물었다. 그때 손을 들지 않은 15명의 여성은 다른 여성에 대한 본보기로 죽였다. 발가벗긴 여성을 군인이 머리와 발을 잡아 못박은 판자 위에 굴렸다. 분수처럼 피가 솟고 살덩이가 못판에 너덜거렸다. 그때의 기분을 “하늘과 땅이 온통 뒤집어진 것 같았다”고 정씨는 표현했다.

    그 다음 군인들은 못판 위에서 죽은 한 여성의 목을 쳐 떨어뜨렸다. 정씨와 다른 여성들이 울고 있는 것을 본 중대장은 “위안부들이 고기를 먹고 싶어 운다”고 했다. 군인들은 죽은 여성의 머리를 가마에 넣어 삶았다. 그리고 나무칼을 휘두르며 그들에게 억지로 마시도록 했다.

    정씨는 그때 피살된 여성들의 이름을 손가락으로 꼽으며 한사람씩 짚어나갔다. 중도에서 헛갈리면 다시 처음부터 세어나갔는데 아무리 해도 한사람의 이름이 떠오르지 않자 몹시 서운해 했다. 그 수비대의 대대장은 ‘니시하라’, 중대장은 ‘야마모토’, 소대장은 ‘가네야마’였으며, 위안소 감독은 조선인 ‘박’이었다고 했다.

    매독감염 숨겼다고 달군 철봉을 자궁에…

    1933년 12월1일에는 한 여성이 장교가 철봉을 자궁에 꽂아 죽어버렸다. 다음해 2월4일에는 매독에 걸린 사실을 신고하지 않아 장교에게 병을 옮겼다는 이유로 한 여성이 피살되었다.
    일본군이 벌겋게 달군 철막대를 자궁에 넣었고 여자는 즉사했다. 뽑아낸 막대에는 검게 탄 살점이 달려 있었다.

    너무나 지독한 일본군의 잔학행위에 관한 이야기를 계속 듣게 된 나는 완전히 넋이 나갔다. 질문도 못하고 한숨만 내뿜었다. 놀라운 이야기는 계속되었다.

    혜산의 부대는 정씨를 포함한 여자들을 이끌고 중국으로 이동해 대만에서 가까운 곳에 얼마 동안 있다가 1935년 9월에 광둥(廣東)에 도착, 이듬해 6월15일 정씨를 포함해 12명의 여성이 도망쳤는데 이틀 후 모두 붙잡히고 말았다. “맨처음 도망치자고 제안한 자를 가르쳐주면 주모자 이외는 모두 살려주마”고 했으나 아무도 고해바치지 않았다.

    정씨는 철봉으로 머리를 세차게 얻어맞았다. 이때의 상처는 지금도 남아 있다. 다음에는 물고문을 당했다. 고무 호스를 입에 넣고 물을 틀어댔다. 부풀어오른 배 위에 판자를 올려놓고 군인들이 올라서서 널뛰기하듯 뛰었고, 입에서 물이 뿜어져 나왔다. 그런 일이 몇번인가 되풀이되면서 기절하고 말았다.

    그리고 더욱 잔인한 행위를 했다. 정씨와 여자들의 발목을 끈으로 묶고 거꾸로 매달아놓고 바늘이 수두룩하게 박힌 검은 몽둥이를 들고 와 먹물을 바른 뒤 정씨와 다른 여성들의 입 속에 몽둥이를 쑤셔넣었다. 정씨는 앞니가 부러지고 격렬한 통증으로 기절했다.

    문신은 온몸에 걸쳐 새겨졌다. 군인들은 처음부터 죽일 셈으로 여성들에게 문신을 했다. 마차에 실려온 여성들을 들에 팽개치는 모습을 멀리서 보고 있던 중국인 남자가 일본인이 사라진 뒤, 숨이 남아 있던 여자 두명을 옮겨 약 두달간 간호해줬다. 정씨는 기적적으로 살아남았던 것이다. “그때 일을 생각하면 지금도 가슴이 찢어지는 것 같아요”하며 의자에
    앉아 있는 내 팔을 꽉 쥐며 울부짖듯 소리질렀다. 눈앞에 있는 일본인이 자신을 극한까지 학대한 일본 병사와 겹쳐보였던 것인지도 모른다.

    그는 문신한 자국을 보여줬다. 정씨가 손가락으로 뒤집어보인 입술 안쪽엔 선명한 짙은 보라색 반점이 있었다. 좀 흐릿했지만 혓바닥에도 푸르스름한 반점이 몇군데 있었다. 수많은
    바늘로 혀를 찔렀기 때문에 그뒤로는 말하기도 곤란해졌으며 지금도 완전히 낫지는 않았다고 했다. 등 아래쪽은 척추를 따라 둥근 반점이 염주처럼 줄줄이 그려져 있었다.

    가슴과 복부 문신을 보고 나도 모르게 소리를 지르고 말았다. 무엇을 그린 것인지 판별할 수는 없었지만 아이들 낙서 같은 무늬가 뚜렷이 남아 있었다. 일본 군인들은 정녕 그 잔인한 행위를 즐기면서 했음이 분명했다. 내선일체를 내세우며 지배하고 있던 조선에서 일본은 젊은 여성들을 납치해 버러지처럼 짓뭉갰다. 정씨의 몸에 깊숙이 새겨진 문신은 그 어떤 많은 얘기를 듣는 것보다도 일본이 저지른 식민지지배의 실태와 천황의 군대의 악랄한 본질을 명확히 보여주고 있었다.

    글·사진/ 이토 다카시(伊藤孝司)

    1952년생. 포토저널리스트로 과거에 일본이 행한 식민지지배와 침략전쟁으로 피해를 입은 아시아 각국의 사람들, 그리고 현재 일본이 저지르는 지구환경파괴 현황을 아시아 각지에서 널리 취재하고 있다. 아시아의 피해자에 관한 저서를 일본에서 8권, 한국에서 3권(눈빛출판사에서 등), 환경에 관한 저서를 일본에서 2권 출판했다. 일본, 미국, 유럽에서 수십차례의 사진전을 열었으며 96년에는 서울과 부산에서도 사진전 ‘깨어진 침묵- 아시아의 종군위안부들’을 열었다. 일본 우익들의 테러 위험에 대한 본인의 우려에 따라 얼굴 사진을 싣지 않는다.

    Women who were just kidnapped while getting water from a well. Those who were stripped naked and then their bodies stepped on on top of nailed boards and then the heads chopped off boild alive for the rest of them forced to drink it.
    Those who died with hot iron bar thrust into their wombs.
    Those who had needle-ridden sticks thrust in their mouth, who suffered torture through tattoo all over the body. How do you dare to be the way you are, GBevers?

    I’m sure that similar if not worse incident exists in North Korea in terms of gross violation of human rights. Still I would repeat it has no bearing on the women who suffered under the Japanese wanting justice.

  • jk6411

    After reading this…
    I think calling the former comfort women “sex slaves” is also a gross euphemism.
    I don’t know what to call them.
    I am at a loss for words.

    To those comfort women who have passed, I can only humbly say, “Rest in peace.”
    To those who are still alive… I don’t know what to say, other than,
    “We are with you. And we will never ever stop fighting for justice.”

  • yuna

    jk6411, so I like to watch Japanese dramas because I do think they are better than Korean dramas. However, there seems to be a mass amnesia, or a collective selective memory, if you will, of a part of history that is in everyday people’s psyche with regards to the war years. I see it still (even on one of my current favourite dramas) that it was all very heroic and noble among the everyday people and they were fighting for the good of common good in Asia and all the Japanese people suffered a great deal. However, I find one portrayal compelling/rings true and that is they have a Japanese man who was all innocent and simple happy-go-lucky, get drafted for war, and come back as a ghost of his former self. This is very common among a lot of veterans in all war films. He doesn’t explain why, and leaves it hanging. I believe this was especially true of the Japanese soldiers, not just because of the usual pain they suffered but the pain they inflicted.
    In the case of German soldiers these things have been explored quite extensively, even then it is a painful subject to fully come to terms with. Koreans who served under Japanese would also have to be subjected to the same scrutiny, no doubt about it, but I rarely see this aspect dealt in the Japanese attitude, of what they did to the fellow Asians, as well as to the Western POWs. That is where the true disconnect lies – not what the politicians babble from time to time, not what the friends of GBevers write on the internet.

  • yuna

    For example, leaving TV dramas and moving into more high-brow (albeit still pop) literature, we have Murakami who is undoubtedly one of the most favourite authors of the non-Japanese speaking world as well as within Japan.
    Everybody I know who are Korean, or non-Korean seem to love him. However, I don’t.

    The first book I read by him was the Wind-up Bird Chronicle, but it had a left quite a horrible after-taste in my mouth for various reasons, amongst which it dealt also in that very skewed /peculiar way with the WW2. It was hard to erase that feeling afterwards no matter how many of his other books I read after that, and while they are quite gripping, I find his writing lacks soul in general, and is an empty hole pretending to be something deep.

  • yuna

    Kenzaburo Oe, on the other hand, I like. I only read one I cannot remember, maybe it was about a gay relationship? but I remember really liking the story.

  • jk6411

    yuna,

    No offense, but you’re rambling again.
    Comment #285 was somewhat relevant, but not the next two.

    Honestly, I’m still shaken up after reading the former comfort women’s testimonies.

    I think the “disconnect” in the average Japanese’ mindset is associated with the political influences.
    The Japanese right-wing’s agenda has been to instill in Japanese the notion that the war was something inevitable and noble.

  • dogbertt

    After reading this…
    I think calling the former comfort women “sex slaves” is also a gross euphemism.
    I don’t know what to call them.
    I am at a loss for words.

    To those comfort women who have passed, I can only humbly say, “Rest in peace.”
    To those who are still alive… I don’t know what to say, other than,
    “We are with you. And we will never ever stop fighting for justice.”

    In a more perfect world, that post would’ve ended this thread.

  • http://gypsyscholarship.blogspot.com/ jefferyhodges

    Unfortunately, we have to make do with Voltaire’s best-of-all-possible worlds . . .

    Jeffery Hodges

    * * *

  • http://koreanlanguagenotes.blogspot.com/ gbevers

    Yuna wrote (#283):

    Women who were just kidnapped while getting water from a well. Those who were stripped naked and then their bodies stepped on on top of nailed boards and then the heads chopped off boild alive for the rest of them forced to drink it.
    Those who died with hot iron bar thrust into their wombs.
    Those who had needle-ridden sticks thrust in their mouth, who suffered torture through tattoo all over the body. How do you dare to be the way you are, GBevers?

    Does any of that make sense to you, Yuna? If the comfort women were in such high demand, why would the Japanese be cutting off their heads, thrusting red hot irons up their wombs and needle-ridden sticks in their mouths?

    The fact that these testimonies came decades after the war from women in communist North Korea raise any red flags with you? Besides, didn’t the American soldiers do similar things to the North Koreans? LINK

  • http://koreanlanguagenotes.blogspot.com/ gbevers

    CORRECTION: “Doesn’t the fact that these testimonies came decades after the war from women in communist North Korea raise any red flags with you?

  • http://www.sperwerslog.com Sperwer

    When the Portuguese, Dutch and British first went into Africa, they were limited in their supply of slaves due to lack of local knowledge in the geography of the immense continent, their penetration into the deeper regions of that area and in their resistance to disease. Thus, to increase their supply, they had to rely (quite heavily, one must add) on African intermediaries. However, when one thinks about culpability in the slave trade, one does not think of making Africans themselves culpable. The majority of the culpability must go to the people who were cutting the checks and not doing their due diligence when their contractors (regardless of race, ethnicity or creed) was using morally ambiguous (to say the least) methods.

    How exactly are the black African and Arab slavers, who had been enslaving other black Africans for centuries before the Western Europeans showed up, any less culpable than those European late-comers to the crime?

    It is just such irrationality and moral myopia on the part of Koreans unwilling to contemplate the comparable complexity of slavery, prostitution and the combination of the two in Korea before the Jap bogeyman appeared on the scene that renders their position intellectually and morally offensive.

  • yuna

    I think we cannot change old ways. I knew there exist justification for colony, slaves and abduction, *by any means*, I am just disgusted that they are so persistent and still so alive (but thankfully old) today. I wash my hands off and pray that you are few, and about to be extinct. Your lot can join the “unmyopic” Korean New Right I linked to, I’m sure they will venerate your insights and criticism.

  • yuna

    Does any of that make sense to you, Yuna? If the comfort women were in such high demand, why would the Japanese be cutting off their heads, thrusting red hot irons up their wombs and needle-ridden sticks in their mouths?

    So in the end you don’t believe in the testimonies. OK, why didn’t you say so?
    Then there is no argument. These grandmas along with all the other ones in South Korea, the Philipines and everywhere else are lying. Then you are right, they were all just prostitutes and they are exactly the equivalent as how the Koreans set it up for the US soldiers and the Koreans afterwards, and then we have no argument.

    You should say you don’t believe it to the faces of the surviving ex-prostitute liars, but they are a fair bit older than you and they are all dying or dead.

    That’s exactly what the Japanese are going for because that’s how history gets buried.

    The difference between the anti-US propaganda and anti-Japan propaganda in North Korea is that the excessive cruelty employed by the Japanese during the war is corroborated by everybody else (not you obvioulsy) apart from the North Koreans, including the allied POWs. In the case of Japan, they have no need to embellish.

    South Korean government is culpable, yes, but first and foremost they are culpable of ignoring the plight, and burying it in exchange for hush money.

  • http://www.sperwerslog.com Sperwer

    @294

    Where did I say it was justified? Your all too predictable predictable recourse to utterly unfounded ad hominem when you have no reasoned response is just another all too typical illustration of the intellectual and moral unsustainability of your position.

  • bibimbong

    “So in the end you don’t believe in the testimonies. OK, why didn’t you say so?”

    whatever the truth may be you can’t really blame the guy for doubting the testimony of people living in north korea, they say what they’re told. this testimony should be more persuasive.
    http://foreignaffairs.house.gov/110/ohe021507.htm

    harrowing stuff…

  • jk6411

    This is the book that those North Korean former comfort women’s testimonies came from.

    http://books.google.com/books/about/%EC%A2%85%EA%B5%B0_%EC%9C%84%EC%95%88%EB%B6%80.html?id=LEfsAAAACAAJ

    You’re welcome to find a copy and read it yourself.

    By the way, if there are any Japanese commenters here, this book was originally published in Japanese.

    The author is a Japanese photojournalist named Takashi Ito (伊藤孝司).

  • http://www.xanga.com/wangkon936 WangKon936

    Sperwer,

    I’m calling you out for cognitive dissonance. You seem to have a belief that the Japanese were humane and enlightened stewards of Korea, but at the same time they were monsters with Allied POWs and barbaric during war time.

    In light of their atrocious war time record of inhumane treatment towards civilians, POWs, etc., how do they suddenly become humane and enlightened in their rule of Korea?

  • http://koreanlanguagenotes.blogspot.com/ gbevers

    Bibimbong wrote:

    whatever the truth may be you can’t really blame the guy for doubting the testimony of people living in north korea, they say what they’re told. this testimony should be more persuasive.

    Yes, the Dutch testimonies are more much persuasive than the North Korean because in the Dutch testimonies no one got their heads cut off and had soup made from them, no one had hot pokers rammed up the wombs, and no one had needle-riddled sticks thrusted down their throats. Moreover, there was documentation from that time period to back up the Dutch testimonies. LINK

  • http://koreanlanguagenotes.blogspot.com/ gbevers

    The following site makes much more logical arguments than much of what I have seen posted on the Marmot’s Hole by people like Yuna. For example, please consider the following article discussing the “Number of Comfort Stations and Comfort Women.” LINK

  • jk6411

    gbevers said:

    “Yes, the Dutch testimonies are more much persuasive than the North Korean because in the Dutch testimonies no one got their heads cut off and had soup made from them, no one had hot pokers rammed up the wombs, and no one had needle-riddled sticks thrusted down their throats.”

    Are you really incredulous that Japanese could have committed such acts?
    You should read up on what they did in China. (in Rape of Nanjing, etc.)

    Here are some shocking photos of comfort women.
    http://blog.daum.net/pyj0701/7163778

    Also, you seem to disbelieve the former comfort women’s testimonies because they waited 40 years after the war to come forward with their stories.

    Well, I don’t know if your cold and callous mind could comprehend this.., but the few brave ones who came forward with their stories did so only after their family members had passed away.
    One of the North Korean women above said that she had never ever told her husband til the day he died.
    It was the same for many other women. Most of them took their secrets to their graves.
    The few Korean comfort women who have spoken out are all alone in terms of family. They don’t have any living relatives.

    If I had been a comfort woman, I think I would have done the same thing.
    I would never have been able to tell my family what I had been through.
    It would have caused them too much pain, and brought them too much shame. (Even more so, in the conservative Korean society of old.)

    Finally, I would like to point out, that you totally accept the testimonies of the Korean prostitutes that you met in the 1970s.., but you completely disbelieve the testimonies of former comfort women.
    There’s something wrong with that.

    (What do you think these old ladies are after? Money?
    What would they do with money? They’re so old and frail that some of them can barely walk.
    All they want is to see justice before they die.)

  • http://www.sperwerslog.com Sperwer

    @299

    You seem to have me confused with that poor excuse of a strawman that you just cobbled together in a typical diversionary attempt to change the subject.

  • yuna

    http://internationalrelations.house.gov/110/lee021507.htm
    http://internationalrelations.house.gov/110/kim021507.htm

    These two cases were presented along with the Dutch woman’s hearing.

    I don’t know what sort of human scum would make one weigh human suffering, in order to validate memorials dedicated to these women, but there it is.
    Dutch woman believable. Korean woman not.

  • yuna

    I mean, thank the Lord that somebody’s whoring did not include modern Amsterdam, otherwise the Dutch women would be accused of fabrication.

  • http://www.xanga.com/wangkon936 WangKon936

    Giggles… strawman? Just answer the question. You’re not afraid of questions, right?

  • http://vmphotography.com.au hoju_saram

    You seem to have a belief that the Japanese were humane and enlightened stewards of Korea, but at the same time they were monsters with Allied POWs and barbaric during war time.

    They wanted to absorb and integrate Korea, so it was in their best interests to make sure the local population was at least nominally happy. It’s bad policy to kill, maim, rape and torture a people you want as peaceable vassals, later to become part of greater Japan. In contrast, their enemies in other parts of Asia and the pacific were simply enemies, to be defeated at all costs. Terror was a part of this strategy in China, Malaya, the Philippines, Papua etc. They also had nothing to lose by mistreating enemy POWs, but much to lose by treating them well (food and medical supplies that might have gone to their own soldiers, extra manpower wasted guarding them) so they simple mistreated them. It was win at all costs.

    IMO, this doesn’t make their annexation of Korea any better – it just makes it more cynical. To avoid looking like the conquerors that they were, they installed Korean police and security forces. They hired locals to do their dirty work. This fractured Korean society, creating divisions that continue through to the current day.

    It also led to the rise of the Worker’s Party, which was the only Korean group that fought back. This gave the reds legitimacy and power and ultimately led them to form the DPRK (with the help of China and the USSR of course).

    So while Japan didn’t routinely torture, rape and pillage Korea, it ran an operation that had far worse long-term consequences, and IMO deserves just as much censure. Had it not been for Japan, I really think modern day Korea would be united, and largely free of the shame and bitterness and anger that persists because of the colonial period.

  • http://www.sperwerslog.com Sperwer

    @306

    No, but apparently you are. Gou didn’t answer my question about how the African/Arab slavers were any less morally culpable than their European customers for their excess inventory. I think we both know why you chose to try to dodge that question by trying to change the subject to the question of my views on a tangential issue.

  • http://koreanlanguagenotes.blogspot.com/ gbevers

    Hojusaram wrote (#307):

    Had it not been for Japan, I really think modern day Korea would be united, and largely free of the shame and bitterness and anger that persists because of the colonial period.

    No, had it not been for Japan, there would be no Korea. The peninsula would have become part of Russia.

  • http://www.sperwerslog.com Sperwer

    @309

    Counterfactual “history” is little more than idle speculation. It is possible that what you say is true. It’s also possible that the other powers interested in curbing Russia’s imperial territorial ambitions, which at the time were all other major and minor powers (depending on whether any one of them perceived some utility in courting Russia to curb some other contestant-power), would have connived to prevent Russian absorption of the peninsula.

  • http://koreanlanguagenotes.blogspot.com/ gbevers

    #310,

    I guess I should have also put “I really think…” in front of my speculation.

    Although the other powers may have wanted to curb Russia’s territorial ambitions, including her taking over of a poor, dysfunctional Korea, I really think Japan was the only power capable and willing to do it. Great Britain was helping Japan, and Theodore Roosevelt was cheering her on. At any rate, I really think Korea was doomed to lose her sovereignty one way or the other.

  • http://www.sperwerslog.com Sperwer

    I think you are on stronger ground re your suppositions about the fragility of Korea’s ability to have preserved its sovereignty.

    But it’s still pure speculation, from which no convincing conclusions can be drawn.

    And why waste time on such trifles? It’s hard enough getting a handle on what did in fact happen, especially given the propensity of Koreans themselves to engage in wishful thinking and to try to turn every critical inquiry into korean history into a litmus test of one’s “qualification” to have any view, i.e., one’s agreement with the wishful thinking that precludes honest assessment of all the facts.

  • http://koreanlanguagenotes.blogspot.com/ gbevers

    Sperwer asked (#312):

    And why waste time on such trifles? It’s hard enough getting a handle on what did in fact happen, especially given the propensity of Koreans themselves to engage in wishful thinking….

    Why even waste time on history? Afterall, it’s over; it’s in the past; it’s history.

    Because it can help us predict the future.

    In business it is done all the time. Businessmen look at past earnings to help them predict future earnings. They also look at past practices for mistakes or missed opportunities to help make sure they don’t make the same mistakes again.

    Football coaches watch videos of old games for similar reasons. They want to see what they could have done, should have done, or shouldn’t have done to get better results. Then they try to learn from their mistakes in the past.

    Reading history and speculating on how things could have turned out differently is not a waste of time. It helps us spot trends and see into the future.

  • http://gypsyscholarship.blogspot.com/ jefferyhodges

    While I agree with Sperwer that counterfactual history is problematic — all the more so the more certain we are — counterfactuality is implicit in all historical analysis, for in ascertaining the significance of some causal factor, we are supposing that history would have turned out differently absent that factor.

    Jeffery Hodges

    * * *

  • http://www.sperwerslog.com Sperwer

    Sperwer asked (#312):

    And why waste time on such trifles? It’s hard enough getting a handle on what did in fact happen, especially given the propensity of Koreans themselves to engage in wishful thinking….

    Why even waste time on history? After all, it’s over; it’s in the past; it’s history.

    I suggested no such thing. Even a careless reader would have noticed that my target was the futility and vacuity of counterfactual history fiction.

  • Q

    The sick revisionistic view of history have kept being regurgitated at the MH for some reasons. I could only assume the Japanese doomed with Fukushima disaster miss the day when Korea was a Japanese colony.

    They’d be like arguing Africans were inevitable to be enslaved because if it were not Dutch or British, Africans would have been anyhow captured and sold to imperial western nations. If the revisionists were right, Japanese archipelago would deserve to be repeatedly bombed and occupied by Allied nations.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:JAPS_QUIT.jpg

  • http://www.sperwerslog.com Sperwer

    @314

    I think there is an important difference between posing a discrete counterfactual hypothesis as a methodological device, e.g., posing the question “what would have happened at Balaclava if Lord Cardigan had stayed on his yacht instead of appearing to lead his troops at what became the charge of the Light Brigade?” and constructing an alternate account of the aftermath of his not having shown up of the sort that one author has done with the history of the US premised on the Confederacy having won the War Between the States (as it is known in that alternate universe).

    That difference is important because it underscores the significance that explanation in modally authentic history, as distinct from practical discourse, which attempts to mine the past for its own purposes, is not a matter of identifying and rank ordering ostensible “causes” in the sense that the concept of cause is used in either the physical sciences or practical reasoning, themselves understood as modally soecific forms of understanding.

  • http://koreanlanguagenotes.blogspot.com/ gbevers

    After I wrote, “Why even waste time on history?” Spewer wrote (#315):

    I suggested no such thing. Even a careless reader would have noticed that my target was the futility and vacuity of counterfactual history fiction.

    But I did notice that you were suggesting that engaging in counterfactual history was futile, which was why I asked my question, “Why even waste time on history?”

    You had written, “And why waste time on such trifles?” in Comment #312, which seemed to suggest that Japan’s going to war with Russia over Korea was a trivial event. It was certainly no trivial event, so speculating on what would have happened if Japan had not gone to war with Russia is not a waste of time. It helps us to see the importance of the event and to understand its consequences, which can help us predict the future and plan better. That is why businessmen study past earnings and why football coaches study videos of old games.

  • provIdence
  • http://koreanlanguagenotes.blogspot.com/ gbevers

    Sperwer wrote (#317):

    That difference is important because it underscores the significance that explanation in modally authentic history, as distinct from practical discourse, which attempts to mine the past for its own purposes, is not a matter of identifying and rank ordering ostensible “causes” in the sense that the concept of cause is used in either the physical sciences or practical reasoning, themselves understood as modally soecific forms of understanding.

    There should be a law against such writing.

  • yuna

    #319
    毎度おおきに

  • http://pawikoreapics.blogspot.com/ pawikirogii 石鵝

    ‘There should be a law against such writing.’

    gerry, i don’t like you but that was funny and right on the money. i’ll bet he thinks people are impressed.

  • http://koreanlanguagenotes.blogspot.com/ gbevers

    Jeffery Hodges wrote (#314):

    While I agree with Sperwer that counterfactual history is problematic — all the more so the more certain we are — counterfactuality is implicit in all historical analysis, for in ascertaining the significance of some causal factor, we are supposing that history would have turned out differently absent that factor.

    That is what I would have written if I were more literate.

  • http://koreanlanguagenotes.blogspot.com/ gbevers

    #322,

    Well, I was impressed, Pawi. I just think that sentences should be limited to 50 words or less. My train of thought needs a rest (period) by 50 words, so that it can keep going.

  • provIdence

    どういたしまして。Another refreshment?

    http://www.kjclub.com/jp/exchange/theme/read.php?uid=100738&fid=100738&thread=1000000&idx=1&page=2&tname=exc_board_65&number=612&f=j_subject&word=慰安婦

    It is of some interest to notice that her account was closed in 40th of Showa, i.e., 1965. It is good for her, as she said, she sent back ¥5000, which might buy 5 modest houses. Her two years work would buy a modest Yangban house. Not quite? Anyway, she should have claimed just after she returned home because Yen was losing its value quickly.

  • http://pawikoreapics.blogspot.com/ pawikirogii 石鵝

    ‘I just think that sentences should be limited to 50 words or less. My train of thought needs a rest (period) by 50 words, so that it can keep going.’

    exactly why it isn’t impressive, gerry. besides, the prose is dense and just an attempt to show off.

  • http://www.sperwerslog.com Sperwer

    @318.

    There you go again.

    I clearly did not say that the Russo-Japanese War was trivial, but only that speculating about what might have happened had it not occurred is. Doing so adds nothing to our appreciation of the actual war and its actual consequences, one of which, e.g., was another major constriction of Korea’s sovereignty. That is a well-documented and understood fact, that is not further illuminated by unprovable jawboning about what might have happened had Russia won the war.

    As for the rest, you’d be better off going to see a gypsy if you want to predict the future. Even an intelligent coach watching a game film knows the best he can hope for is to identify errors in execution that he can hope to correct in practice before the next game and HOPE they will make a difference. There are an almost infinite number of uncontrolled (and uncontrollable) variables that preclude any meaningful predictions being made. To believe otherwise is magical thinking.

  • hamel

    Sperwer: and therer YOU went again in #317. How do you expect us to follow you (let alone engage with you) if you write in a way that we cannot comprehend? You are much more fun over a beer. ;)

  • http://gypsyscholarship.blogspot.com/ jefferyhodges

    Hamel (#238), the comment by Sperwer in # 317 is difficult only because of that GRE word “soecific.”

    Though it’s also the specific sort of word one might use after a few beers . . .

    Jeffery Hodges

    * * *

  • http://gypsyscholarship.blogspot.com/ jefferyhodges

    Oops. Hamel (@328).

    Jeffery Hodges

    * * *

  • http://www.sperwerslog.com Sperwer

    Hamel:

    “Cause” functions differently and thus has a fundamentally different meaning and significance when it is used in physical science discourse, historical discourse and practical discourse, respectively. To fail to recognize the differences amounts to a category mistake that occludes rather than illuminates understanding, because such failure involves overlooking the different and incommensurate logics of each of scientific theory, historical explanation and practical reasoning as a separate mode of human understanding.

    That should be clear enough. Does it help. Yeah, i thought not. ;)

  • http://koreanlanguagenotes.blogspot.com/ gbevers

    Sperwer wrote (#327):

    I clearly did not say that the Russo-Japanese War was trivial, but only that speculating about what might have happened had it not occurred is. Doing so adds nothing to our appreciation of the actual war and its actual consequences, one of which, e.g., was another major constriction of Korea’s sovereignty.

    So, Sperwer, it is trivial to “speculate” on what might have happened if Japan had not gone to war with Russia? Then why did you speculate?

    To conclude that a consequence of the war “was another major constriction of Korea’s sovereignty,” wouldn’t you have had to say to yourself, “If Japan had not gone to war with Russia, there wouldn’t have been a major constriction of Korea’s sovereignty”? Isn’t that speculation?

  • http://www.sperwerslog.com Sperwer

    No

  • http://www.sperwerslog.com Sperwer

    Let me be more specific. There is no speculation involved in noting the facts that the Japanese presence in Korea during the war constituted a significant violation of korean sovereignty and that Japan’s victory enabled it to further encroach on Korean sovereignty at the conclusion of the war, e.g., the Eulsa Treaty. Nor does one have to speculate about what might or might not have happened had Japan not won the war to notice these rather dramatic developments.

  • http://koreanlanguagenotes.blogspot.com/ gbevers

    #334,

    No, the war could have been inconsequential. One could argue, for example, that the large number of pro-Japanese Koreans wanting to be part of the Japanese Empire was a much more significant reason for Korea’s losing its sovereignty, especially when combined with Korea’s dysfunctional government. Even without the war, Korea could have become part of the Japanese Empire.

    How can you conclude the war was a “significant” factor without supposing what would have happened had there been no war?

    Jeffery Hodges said it very well in Comment #314:

    … counterfactuality is implicit in all historical analysis, for in ascertaining the significance of some causal factor, we are supposing that history would have turned out differently absent that factor.

  • http://www.sperwerslog.com Sperwer

    @335

    “the war could have been inconsequential”.. Could Now THAT is idle speculation. Do you have any empirical evidence regarding the number of pro-Japanese Koreans and the specific actions they took that compromised korean sovereingty in 1904-1905 on the basis of their pro-Japanism? Assuming there is any, how do the numbers of such people and the impact of their actions compare to the significance of the Japanese having thousands of boots on the ground and, as a result of that and the elimination of the only outside power with the means and the interest to challenge Japanese designs, being able to impose on Korea a treaty that transferred control over its entire foreign policy and important aspects of its domestic affairs to Japan?

    As much as I respect my friend Jeff, i have to disagree with his statement. How exactly does one determine on the basis of something happening that didn’t or not occuring that did, what the relative causal significance is of various things that can be empirically verified as actually having preceded some known event, without being able to conduct experiments that permit one to control all the relevant variables?

  • http://www.sperwerslog.com Sperwer

    In other words, given the available evidence, the war justifiably and reasonably can be said to have had a significant negative effect on Korean sovereignty (among other things). Which is not to say that the same cannot also be said about other “factors”, e.g., the general dysfunctionality (as you phrase it) of the then korean government – although to be truly a meaningful element of the explanation that dysfunctionality would need to be specified in more pertinent detail.

  • http://www.sperwerslog.com Sperwer

    And NB no speculation is involved in reaching that conclusion.

  • http://gypsyscholarship.blogspot.com/ jefferyhodges

    I’m using “cause” in the sense of “reason” (just in case there is confusion).

    Anyway, if we offer reasons for the occurrence of some historical event, we imply that without those reasons, the event would not have occurred. That doesn’t seem overly speculative to me, though going beyond that to offer counterfactual historical scenarios does run the risk.

    I recently helped my friend Kim Myongsob — a Yonsei scholar — on a paper concerning why no Westphalian system developed in East Asia with the end of the Imjin War, certainly a counterfactual approach, but the paper was thought-provoking in identifying why such a system did not develop. The paper was more counterfactual than I’d normally advise, but it worked.

    Other counterfactual histories — such as how the South could have won the Civil War if it had only had a nuclear weapon — can be obviously ridiculous, but there is a grey area where counterfactual reasoning has its place, it seems to me.

    Jeffery Hodges

    * * *

  • http://www.sperwerslog.com Sperwer

    Jeff

    I get that. My main concern is that the techniques for “proving” why or trying to explain something that didn’t happen are not very useful for doing history, which is about what did happen. They are only useful, and then of very limited utility, it seems to me, in practical reasoning, where they also are dangerous because of the specious air of scientism that they are often used to create for rhetorical purposes of the less honest sort.

  • http://www.sperwerslog.com Sperwer

    Jeff,

    If what you mean by the necessary implication of counterfactuality in historical inquiry is “if we offer reasons for the occurrence of some historical event, we imply that without those reasons, the event would not have occurred”, I don’t have much disagreement, except to note that I don’t see anything counterfactual about. It just seems like a tautology. It does not entail any affirmative statement about the existence let alone the plausibility of any specific arrangement of any other set of facts.

  • yuna

    I’ll explain Sperwer for those with 1.5 brain cells (not you JeffereyHodges, I mean the other two)

    “Expostulate on the role of Neville Chamberlain up to and leading to the start of WW2″
    or something like that was one of our history exam questions.

    At no point it was “Describe in 450 words what would have happened in the world had Germany not been shafted after WW1″, that would fit more in an English/Drama class.

  • http://gypsyscholarship.blogspot.com/ jefferyhodges

    Historical analysis is counterfactual by implication, though this usually isn’t made explicit, for we don’t ordinarily focus on what didn’t happen and attempt to think through why it didn’t — though we sometimes might.

    For instance, I would hold that if the Chinese hadn’t intervened in the Korean War, the North would have lost. That’s a counterfactual statement that looks meaningful to me. We might not ordinarily express it so directly as a counterfactual. Rather, we’d say that the Chinese intervention turned the tide of war or some factual statement like that.

    You may be right that there’s something tautological about my point, in the sense that it’s the other side of the analytical coin, but I find usefulness in recognizing the point that counterfactuality does have a role in our thinking about history.

    Jeffery Hodges

    * * *

  • yuna

    Is this you, GBevers ?

    This imagery came to me when I read one of the Japanese netizen linked forums last night with regards to the Comfort women. I came to see that the locker people have quite a relationship with GBevers. I never realized that there was such a active dissing of Korean related stuff on the Japanese internet, with whom GBevers must have regular interchange of useful info with.

  • http://www.sperwerslog.com Sperwer

    Jeff:

    And I would say that the statement that “if the Chinese hadn’t intervened in the Korean War, the North would have lost” is not an historical assertion, it’s a practical judgment for which some historical data is relevant, and is of interest (if any) not as an historical fact or even a particularly probative judgment about how an historical event, in fact, came about* but for some extra-historical concern that the person making such assertion has. Some similar sorts of claims we hear from time to time here include, e.g., that Korea would have developed economically on its own without Japanese colonial intervention, which in fact obstructed or distorted Korean economic development. Calling such speculation by the jargon word “counterfactual”, btw, adds nothing to the analysis, imo, but a phony veneer of some supposed special insight.

    *not especially probative, because how to we account for the possibility that absent Chinese intervention the Soviets might not have changed policy and intervened themselves (in a much more extensive or effective fashion) than their limited provision of planes and pilots and strategic planners – not to mention various other contingencies that one can imagine.

  • http://www.sperwerslog.com Sperwer

    “might HAVE changed policy”

  • http://gypsyscholarship.blogspot.com/ jefferyhodges

    I would think the statement that “Korea would have developed economically on its own without Japanese colonial intervention” to be counterfactual, but not helpful for historical analysis — too much is asserted covering too much time.

    But for more limited periods, a counterfactual can be useful, in my opinion — but we’re probably going to have to discuss this over beer some time.

    Jeffery Hodges

    * * *

  • http://www.sperwerslog.com Sperwer

    Yes, the universal solvent – though i dare say you and I could always resolve any differences even without it ;)

  • Q

    I never realized that there was such a active dissing of Korean related stuff on the Japanese internet, with whom GBevers must have regular interchange of useful info with.

    gbevers is known to Korean netizens as a guy who has played a puppet role for Japanese right wing group, like in the case of Oh Sunhwa. The contents of his writing coincide exactly with Japanese right wingers’ rhetoric. Otherwise, as someone suggested, he might be simply an irate asshole contracting bunches of incurable STDs after years of wanton life of prostitution in S. Korea. I’d assume both for him.

  • Awarren

    Believe it or not Q, no one gives a shi* what you think.

  • Q

    Awarren, I’d let your malodorous content kept in your own viscus.

  • dogbertt

    Q, I think Babelfish is broken today. Try again in thirty years, thanks.

  • http://koreanlanguagenotes.blogspot.com/ gbevers

    Yuna wrote (#344):

    This imagery came to me when I read one of the Japanese netizen linked forums last night with regards to the Comfort women. I came to see that the locker people have quite a relationship with GBevers. I never realized that there was such a active dissing of Korean related stuff on the Japanese internet, with whom GBevers must have regular interchange of useful info with.

    Unlike you, Yuna, I do not hang out on Japanese forums because I do not read Japanese and hardly ever waste my time with Google translation. The only exchange I have with the Japanese is when they write on my Dokdo/Takeshima blog, which is often in Japanese, or when they send me an email asking questions or making comments about my blog or the Dokdo/Takeshima issue. So, I do not know what the Japanese write about me on their forums.

  • Q

    @dogbertt (#352),

    Little doggybertt, it could be rephrased “keep your poo poo in your diaper.” Hope you’d get pacified.

    @ Yuna wrote to gbevers (#246),

    You are as intellectually dishonest as you are an obstinate.

    He has to be intellectually dishonest. He intentionally ignores facts for some hidden purposes. He is an interesting pretentious figure of high suspicion of puppetting for Japanese.

    Anyway, gbevers Korean language is not as good as he often boasted of. For example, here is misreading/mistranslating Donga Ilbo article:

    http://koreanhistorytranslations.blogspot.com/2012/05/4-may-1952-donga-ilbo-three-military.html

    You know what? Japanese had also post-war comfort women system for US military in Japan:

    By the end of 1945, about 350,000 U.S. troops were occupying Japan. At its peak, Kaburagi wrote, the RAA employed 70,000 prostitutes to serve them. Although there are suspicions, there is not clear evidence non-Japanese comfort women were imported to Japan as part of the program.

    Toshiyuki Tanaka, a history professor at the Hiroshima Peace Institute, cautioned that Kaburagi’s number is hard to document. But he added the RAA was also only part of the picture — the number of private brothels outside the official system was likely even higher.

    The U.S. occupation leadership provided the Japanese government with penicillin for comfort women servicing occupation troops, established prophylactic stations near the RAA brothels and, initially, condoned the troops’ use of them, according to documents discovered by Tanaka.

    Occupation leaders were not blind to the similarities between the comfort women procured by Japan for its own troops and those it recruited for the GIs.

    A Dec. 6, 1945, memorandum from Lt. Col. Hugh McDonald, a senior officer with the Public Health and Welfare Division of the occupation’s General Headquarters, shows U.S. occupation forces were aware the Japanese comfort women were often coerced.

    “The girl is impressed into contracting by the desperate financial straits of her parents and their urging, occasionally supplemented by her willingness to make such a sacrifice to help her family,” he wrote. “It is the belief of our informants, however, that in urban districts the practice of enslaving girls, while much less prevalent than in the past, still exists.”

    http://aast.wordpress.com/2007/07/01/comfort-women-us-military-also-complicit/

    I’d suppose Japanese, Korean, US governments share responsibility. It would be worth to commemorate comfort women and remember what had been done to them not to repeat the same violation of humanity.

  • Q

    By the end of 1945, about 350,000 U.S. troops were occupying Japan. At its peak, Kaburagi wrote, the RAA employed 70,000 prostitutes to serve them.

    Source: The Asian American Studies Program at the University of Maryland

    http://aast.wordpress.com/2007/07/01/comfort-women-us-military-also-complicit/

    If the ratio (1:5) is applied to calculate the number of comfort women for Japanese imperial army, it would be 1.2 million comfort women supplied to 6 million Japanese imperial army.

  • Q

    I’d recommend a book, Japan’s Comfort Women: Sexual Slavery and Prostitution During World War II and the US Occupation written by Yuki Tanaka:

    http://www.amazon.com/Japans-Comfort-Women-Asias-Transformations/dp/0415194016

    Australian National University has a review of the book:

    An important part of the ‘comfort’ women discourse, Tanaka argues, is the effort that has been made over decades by successive Japanese governments to suppress the stories of the ‘comfort’ women, an effort which has been supported in the post-war period by the silence of the Allied nations.

    The second half of the volume is devoted to explaining why the Allied Occupation failed to prosecute individuals for crimes against the ‘comfort’ women at the International Military Tribunal for the Far East (the Tokyo War Crimes Tribunal), despite ample evidence of such crimes being available. Yet in a volume ostensibly based in law, there is a curious omission of nearly all legal discussion.

    Why did the Tokyo War Crimes Tribunal hear mass evidence regarding the ill-treatment, rape and murder of Allied soldiers and civilians and fail to consider evidence of systemic crimes against ‘comfort’ women? One explanation, Tanaka suggests, is that as most of the ‘comfort’ women were ‘Asian’, rather than Western—the largest exception being Dutch women in the Dutch East Indies—the invisibility of the ‘comfort’ women provides further evidence supporting the ‘absence of Asia’ remarks often made about the Tokyo War Crimes Tribunal, where both the aggrieved and those giving justice tended to be Western (p. 87).

    http://intersections.anu.edu.au/issue9/morris_review.html

  • http://koreanlanguagenotes.blogspot.com/ gbevers

    Q wrote (#354):

    Anyway, gbevers Korean language is not as good as he often boasted of. For example, here is misreading/mistranslating Donga Ilbo article:

    http://koreanhistorytranslations.blogspot.com/2012/05/4-may-1952-donga-ilbo-three-military.html

    What is wrong with my translation, Q? Is it not as convoluted as the Korean? Why did you not bother to correct it?

  • Q

    gbevers, you don’t have good reading comprehension of Korean language.
    Go figure by yourself.

  • Q

    ‘Comfort women’ is a euphemistic word. So the fact that girls working at prostitution after WWII were called ‘comfort women’ does not reflect the different conditions between comfort stations of Japanese military and post-war prostitutions. Are there similarities? Yes. Same degree of abuse? No.
    I could not imagine the same kind of crimes that had occurred at Japanese comfort stations during WWII had prevailed in post-war prostitutions in Korea and Japan:

    Twelve soldiers raped me in quick succession, after which I was given half an hour rest. Then twelve more soldiers followed. … I bled so much and was in such pain, I could not even stand up. … I felt much pain, and my vagina was swollen. … Every day, from two in the afternoon to ten in the evening, the soldiers lined up outside my room and the rooms of the six other women there. I did not even have time to wash after each assault. At the end of the day, I just closed my eyes and cried (p. 1).

  • hamel

    #174

    In 1959, there were, at least, 260,000 registered “comfort women” in Korea.

    Gerry, where did you get that number from? Over a quarter of a million registered military prostitutes in Korea in 1959? Were these only for UN troops, or is it a total of UN-serving prostitutes + ROK-servibg prostitutes?

    Again, where does the number come from?

  • http://koreanlanguagenotes.blogspot.com/ gbevers

    Q wrote (#358):

    gbevers, you don’t have good reading comprehension of Korean language. Go figure by yourself.

    Just what I thought. You couldn’t translate the poorly written Korean sentence any better than I did.

  • http://koreanlanguagenotes.blogspot.com/ gbevers

    #360–

    Hamel, I gave the link to the source article of the number in Comment #188. The article just said “261,089 comfort women, 63,635 hostesses, 51,119 unlicensed prostitutes, and 16,864 dancers. It did not distinguish between Korean military comfort women and American.

  • bibimbong

    Q reminds me of one of those street preachers with a bullhorn and a big red cross over his shoulder. the intent is not to persuade anybody of the truth of one’s cause but just to make a lot of noise and big show about being on the side of righteousness.

  • Q

    @gbevers (#362),

    Middle school students would not make such a misreading you made. Hmm… it seems you have insufficient syntax of Korean language. Your English translation made a totally different story. Go figure. ^^

  • http://koreanlanguagenotes.blogspot.com/ gbevers

    Q:

    Middle school students would not make such a misreading you made

    Prove it.

  • jk6411

    In 1959, there were, at least, 260,000 registered “comfort women” in Korea.

    Were they really “registered”?
    I have some doubts about this figure.
    I would like to see some figures from the 1960s on.
    I’ve read that from the 1960s to 2000s there were 20,000 to 30,000 of these military prostitutes at any one time.

    If there really were “261,089 comfort women” in 1959, I guess my only explanation would be that in the immediate years after the Korean War, Korea’s economy was in total shambles and there was very widespread poverty, which drove a lot of women into prostitution.

  • http://www.sperwerslog.com Sperwer

    Given the then relative numbers of UN and domestic troops, 20-30k may have been the total who serviced US troops; the others the Korean troops.

  • Q

    In 1959, there were, at least, 260,000 registered “comfort women” in Korea.

    Comfort women for military usually comes with the word ‘following military’ (jong-goon). Without the word, jong-goon(following military), US military (migoon), or military (goon), it could simply mean ‘prostitute.’ So the Donga Ilbo news article most probably indicates the number of prostitutes in Korea, not the number of women working at comfort stations for migoon. And there might have been small number of comfort stations for high-ranked Korean military officers, I doubt Korean military could have budget for running comfort stations for over 600K Korean military in 1950s.

    As for gbevers translation:

    At about 1:30 a.m. on the 30th of last month, three men dressed in Korean military police uniforms shot to death comfort woman Kim Yeong-ok (29) at the “American Comfort Station” in this city’s Jeonpo-dong area. On the 1st, the three perpetrators, from the Busan Regional Military Police, were arrested

    ‘The Korean language expert’ gbevers mistranslated the story. The Korean news article was a report that three Korean military police arrested a criminal who shot to death comfort woman Kim Yeong-ok. gbevers made up to story to a totally different one.

  • http://koreanlanguagenotes.blogspot.com/ gbevers

    Q wrote (#368):

    ‘The Korean language expert’ gbevers mistranslated the story. The Korean news article was a report that three Korean military police arrested a criminal who shot to death comfort woman Kim Yeong-ok. gbevers made up to story to a totally different one.

    Are you kidding me, Q? Can you not read Chinese characters?

    The title of the article is “殺人憲兵三名逮捕 (살인헌병삼명체포), which means “Three Military Policemen Arrested for Murder.” Or I guess you could translate it as “Three Murdering Military Policemen Arrested.”

    In the contents of the article it says, “국군헌병복을 한 三(삼) 명이 위안부 김영옥 (金英玉)을 권총살해…,” which means “Three people wearing Korean military police uniforms shot and killed comfort women Kim Yeong-ok.”

    Q wrote (#364):

    Middle school students would not make such a misreading you made.

    Did you even finish middle school?

  • Q

    I could see gbevers do not have good understanding of syntax of Korean language. gbevers, now your Korean language proficiency level got exposed. :)

  • http://koreanlanguagenotes.blogspot.com/ gbevers

    Q, are you even Korean? I am shocked and amazed at your ignorance of your own language.

  • Q

    gbevers’ pretention have no limit. :) Ask any Korean of more than middle school education if the news article is ‘a story of three military police arrested a murderer’ or ‘a story of three military police killed the woman.’

  • http://pawikoreapics.blogspot.com/ pawikirogii 石鵝

    my korean is shit but even i understood that, q. can you explain how you didnt understand that?? im curious too.

  • http://pawikoreapics.blogspot.com/ pawikirogii 石鵝

    q never mind. got it now.

  • http://koreanlanguagenotes.blogspot.com/ gbevers

    Let’s make a bet, Q.

    If I am right, you stop posting on the Marmot’s Hole. If you are right, I’ll stop posting on the Marmot’s Hole. Do you agree?

    Robert,

    Would you be willing to help out with this bet by banning whoever is wrong?

  • http://rjkoehler.com Robert Koehler

    No, I won’t. It does seem you are correct about the translation, though.

  • Q

    I would reject your proposal, gbevers, because you have Japanese friends appearing at TMH. I’d like to deal with them too. ;)

  • http://koreanlanguagenotes.blogspot.com/ gbevers

    Just what I thought, Q. You make false claims, but are unwilling to back them up.

  • Q

    Now I can see your point. The logical contents should be interpreted as you translated, but the syntax of the sentence of the news article was not quite correct. Anyhow, I’d say you won, gbevers. Congratulation!

  • http://koreanlanguagenotes.blogspot.com/ gbevers

    Q wrote (#379):

    Now I can see your point. The logical contents should be interpreted as you translated, but the syntax of the sentence of the news article was not quite correct. Anyhow, I’d say you won, gbevers. Congratulation!

    I told you it was a poorly written Korean sentence in Comment #361.

    Gerry wrote (#361):

    Just what I thought. You couldn’t translate the poorly written Korean sentence any better than I did.

  • Q

    Let’s see what happened to young white girls in Dutch East Indies. If we follow gbevers’ rhetoric, Japanese internment camp in the USA could not be worse than the concentration camps in East Indies. Yuki Tanaka’s research “Japan’s Comfort Women (Asia’s Transformations)” has this:

    The Japanese began using coercion and deception to procure Dutch comfort women in mid-1943. This sudden increase of enforced prostitution on the young Dutch internees was undoubtedly related to the fact that, by this time, VD problems among the soldiers had become a grave concern for the Japanese military leaders in the Dutch East Indies. In order to reduce the high VD rates among their men, senior Japanese military officers sought to procure young, unmarried women free of sexual disease for military prostitution. The use of coercion seems to have coincided with the rapidly worsening living conditions of Dutch civilians under the Japanese military administration. There is no doubt that the Japanese took advantage of the harsh living conditions in the internment camps to lure young women into prostitution.

    According to Tokyo War Crimes Tribunal records, about 80,000 Dutch civilians in the Dutch East Indies were interned during the war. Of these, 10, 500 died by the end of the war. The high death toll (approximately 13 percent) indicates the hardship these civilians experienced for the three and a half years under Japanese military rule. [...]

    After September 1942, all men between 16 and 50 years old were separated from their families and put into camps. The women, children, and old people were forced to live in designated places. Their freedom was further restricted in 1943 when the war situation turned against Japan and local resistance movements became stronger. By October 1943, 46,784 women, children and elderly people were interned in a number of camps in six different regions of Java. The private assets of these civilians were frozen. They were forced to rely on extremely meager provisions of food, clothing, and medicine at the internment camps. Around this time the Japanese apparently started to exploit the harsh conditions facing the Dutch civilians in order to lure young women into becoming comfort women.

    For example, in March 1943, eight women in Chiapit Internment Camp on the outskirts of Bandung were taken out of the camp under the false pretence that they would be provided with meals at a Chinese restaurant and allowed to live outside the camp. However, they were taken to an officer’s club instead, and ordered to work as comfort women. Despite persistent pressure by Japanese officers, six of these eight women refused the demand and two days later they were released. Two women, however, gave in and became comfort women at this officers’ club. There were similar cases in Cirebon and Jember. [...]

    The enforced procurement of comfort women from the internment camps in the Dutch East Indies became more frequent between late 1943 and mid-1944. This was probably due to the fact that internment camps were now under the direct control of the army, making it easier for the army officers in charge of comfort stations to secure suitable women from the civilian internees.

    There was a comfort station called the Magelang Club in Magelang. In December 1943, a group of Japanese, including the Resident (equivalent to “Governor” in the Dutch colonial administration) of Magelang and a kempeitai officer, visited Muntilan Internment Camp in the vicinity. They ordered the camp leaders to call up all female internees between 16 and 25 years old. About 100 young internees were gathered in front of the camp office and they were ordered to walk, one by one, before the Japanese. The Japanese selected about 50 of them and ordered the camp leaders to prepare a list of their names. In fact, the Japanese made sure that the camp leaders actually typed up the names of these internees on a piece of paper. The camp leaders were not given any reasons for such a request, but suspicions quickly grew among the camp leaders and mothers of young girls.

    The camp leaders and an internee doctor, after conferring with their mothers, picked out most of the young girls from the lsit of about 50 people and put them in the camp hospital on the pretence that they were seriously ill.

    On January 24, 1944, the Japanese, together with about 50 Indonesian policemen, arrived at the camp in a but and ordered the camp leaders to show them the name list. This time, there was a civilian among the Japanese who was believed to be a comfort station manager. The camp leaders told the Japanese that the name list had been destroyed, but the Japanese searched the camp office and found it. The Japanese scolded the camp leaders and ordered them to call up the 50 or so listed internees for immediate inspection at the church.

    The camp leaders had no choice but to obey this order. The Japanese lined up the women in the church and inspected each person by lifting their skirts and checking their legs. The camp leaders and the doctor went inside the church building and complained to the Japanese. Eventually the Japanese selected seven women, who, according to testimonies of some internees, had had prior sexual relationships with some of the Japanese camp administrative staff, and eight other young girls. They were ordered to pack their belongings within half an hour. The Japanese did not explain where they would be taken, but told them that they would be looked after very well. Mothers of those eight girls panicked and hid the girls in the camp buildings. As these girls did not turn up half an hour later, Indonesian policemen were instructed to go into the compound and bring out the girls. The police brought out the girls, who were crying frantically, and dragged them to the gate. A crowd of a few hundred internees who were gathering near the gate tried to stop the girls from being taken away. When a scuffle broke out between the police and these internees, Japanese and Indonesian policemen drew sword and drove the internees away. The Japanese eventually took the seven women and eight girls out of the camp.

    Three days later, however, the Japanese came back to the camp and proposed to the camp leaders a plan to call for “volunteers” to replace some of the girls who had been taken away.

    For more details, you could buy the book: http://www.amazon.com/Japans-Comfort-Women-Asias-Transformations/dp/0415194016

  • http://koreanlanguagenotes.blogspot.com/ gbevers

    #379,

    The following is a link to a Donga Ilbo article from the previous day that describes more clearly the incident of the three military policemen killing the woman. The other article was from the Kyeonghyang Sinmun.

    http://koreanhistorytranslations.blogspot.com/2012/06/1952-may-3-donga-ilbo-three-military.html

  • Q

    Here is another part of Yuki Tanaka’s research “Japan’s Comfort Women (Asia’s Transformations).” The imperial Japan puppet gbevers would consider Internment Camps in Dutch East Indies as nothing much different from Japanese Internment Camps in the USA:

    At Padang Camp in Sumatra, the Japanese attempted to secure some women as “barmaids” on several occasions between the latter hald of 1943 and early 1944. In fact, as early as February 1943, the Japanese tried to procure some women from this camp, but the attempt precipitated an uprising at the camp. Surprisingly, in this case, the kempeitai took the internees’ side, and the Japanese abandoned the plan. However, in October 1943, the camp leaders were forced to agree to transfer a few hundred women from the camp to a building in the town of Padang. The camp leaders insisted that the detailed conditions of the work that these women were to be engaged in should be set out in writing, and that any form of forced prostitution should be excluded from these conditions. In addition, they set another condition that some of the camp leaders should be allowed to accompany the women when they were transferred. Once these women were taken out of the camp, however, the Japanese requested “volunteers” for work as “barmaids” at a comfort station in Fort de Kock. Four women responded to this request and “volunteered.” Another 17 women who subsequently “volunteered” were taken to a Japanese officers’ “restaurant” on Nias Island, but for unknown reasons they were all returned to Sumatra a few weeks later. The Japanese selected a further 25 women who had not volunteered and tried to take them to Fort de Kock. The accompanying camp leaders managed to stop the bus, which was to transport the women. However, the Japanese eventually succeeded in persuading 11 of these women to go to Fort de Kock. It seems that these women could not bear to return to the camp with its malnutrition and disease. In the end, the Japanese procured 15 women altogether for a comfort station in Fort de Kock. The rest of the women were returned to the camp. In December 1943, the Japanese attempted once again to “recruit” women, but this time no one came forward.

    It seems that, whther because of effective internees’ organization or Japanese fears of using violence against white women, the situation differed from that faced by Asians.

  • DLBarch

    Well, these uyoku dantai fucks sure are tenacious:

    http://thecable.foreignpolicy.com/posts/2012/06/06/japanese_comfort_women_deniers_force_white_house_to_weigh_inresponse

    I look forward to watching how Jay Carney handles this one.

    DLB

  • A4

    Please check this out. This movie explains background and contradiction of comfort woman. This is really well made movie.
    -Endangered Japan (Book 2): Sex, Lies, and Comfort Women
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=iwv2qDJ57SY

  • Q

    Yuki Tanaka’s “Japan’s Comfort Women (Asia’s Transformations)” has the following in the chapter From karayuki-san to comfort woman:

    Originally coined by the people of northern Kyushu to refer to those who sought work overseas, the term came to be applied specifically to the impoverished rural women sold into prostitution far from home.

    Shortly after the Meiji Restoration – the establishment of the modern Japanese state in 1868 – the number of karayuki-san increased rapidly. Within the following few decades, their destinations included various part of Southeast Asia, India, Australia, Hawaii, the east coast of the US, and even as far as Cape Town in South Africa. However, the major business centers for this Japanese sex industry in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries were Vladivostok, Shanghai, and Singapre.

    […] Many of these women were from Shimabara in Kyushu, one of the most impoverished regions in Nagasaki prefecture. In the late Tokugawa period, Nagasaki was one of several Japanese ports of call for foreign ships, including Russian navy ships. There brothels were frequented by foreign visitors. It seems that brothel proprietors in Nagasaki soon found that operating the business for foreigners, in particular Westerners, was far more profitable than serving domestic clients. Thus they took their business off-shore to port cities like Vladivostok, Shanghai, and Singapore.

    […] A Japanese government survey conducted in January 1910 found that the largest number of business premises operated by the Japanese in Singapore and its neighboring towns were brothels – a total of 188 brothels staffed by 1,048 Japanese women.

    Clients of these Japanese prostitutes in British Malaya included not only Caucasians, who were maily engaged in various kinds of business or colonial government administration, but also Asian migrants, particularly Indian and Chinese workers employed at rubber plantations, in mining or in construction. […] A small number of European prostitutes catered solely to Caucasians. Japanese prostitutes, however, entertained customers irrespective of race or nationality. As a result of this non-discriminatory attitude, the karayukisan became popular and business prospered. Due to this rapid expansion of Japanese prostitution overseas, by 1910 the number of Japanese women registered as overseas prostitutes increased to more than 19,000, compared with 47,541 officially registered prostitutes within Japan.

    […] Many young women were kidnapped and smuggled out of Japan by “labor brokers” who specialized in trafficking women, particularly in the early karayukisan era. These “labor brokers” also deceived young women, and sometimes their parents, with false promises of employment overseas, promising jobs such as shop assistants in Japanese retail stores. There were highly organized Japanese groups trafficking in women both within and outside Japan, each controlled by a kingpin.

    […] It is indisputable that the comfort women system was essentially based on this karayuki-san system. […] It seems that the foreign currencies that these Japanese brothel keepers and traders (as well as some karayuki-san) saved and sent back to their homes in Japan played an important role in developing Japan’s modern economy. For example, it is said that of a total of one million yen that Japanese residents in Vladivostok remitted home to Japan in 1900, 630,000 yen was from earnings in the sex industry. The acquisition of foreign currency was one of the most urgent tasks for the news Meiji regime in order to lay the foundations of its capitalism.

    […] From the 1920s onward many Korean women were procured as prostitutes and sent to Manchuria. Gradually karayuki-san were replaced by Korean women to work at Japanese brothels in Manchuria and in other placed in China, like Shanghai. Therefore, by the time of the Shanghai Incident in 1938, certain basic elements of the comfort women system were already in existence in parts of East Asia where the Japanese government military and business organizations were established. It remained for the Japanese military authorities to take direct control and to create a more systematic and comprehensive structure of military sexual slavery.

    The karayuki-san system was undoubtedly a repressive system of sexual exploitation. The methods of procuring young women were clearly unlawful and morally unjustifiable. In this sense, they were little different from the methods that were used for the later procurement of comfort women. In both cases, serious criminal acts were involved. The source of karayuki-san was mainly impoverished families in the lower strata of Japanese society. For political, diplomatic, security, medical and other reasons, the Japanese military authorities changed the supply source for the comfort women system from the homeland to Japan’s colonies and occupied territories, and adopted methods of direct enslavement to secure the system.

    For more reading, you could purchase the book: http://www.amazon.com/Japans-Comfort-Women-Asias-Transformations/dp/0415194016

  • Q

    Yuki Tanaka’s “Japan’s Comfort Women (Asia’s Transformations)” has the following in the chapter: Sexual salvery, social death, and military violence:

    Japan’s military leaders, the administrators of the comfort women system, viewed it as an extension, indeed a rationalization of the karayuki-san system, in essence comparable to a widely sanctioned system of prostitution elsewhere. Thus, despite the methods used, which included kidnapping and sexual slavery, Japanese military leaders certainly did not regard the establishment of the comfort women system as an organized crime against humanity. The sexual service rendered by women ostensibly took the form of a “commercial transaction” — “an exchange in equal value” between sexual service and financial reward. At times unconsciously and at other times intentionally this “business formality” was used to blur the criminality and coercion of sexual slavery inherent in the military comfort women system. The personal history and social background of individual women behind these “commercial transactions” was equally irrelevant to the brothel keepers, “clinets,” and military organizers. In other words, from the perspective of the authorities, it was irrelevant whether or not a woman was forcibly pressed into prostitution, and whether or not she lived as a slave under military discipline. She was simply a “sexual commodity, ” not an individual with human value and dignity. Military leaders viewsed the comfort women as “commodities” supplied by “labor brokers” and managed by brothel keepers to be used as instruments to satisfy the sexual appetites of soldiers and sailors, while securing them from contracting VD and committing rape. The fact that comfort women in transit were often listed in the inventory as “cargo” clearly deomnstrated how the top military officers regarded these women.

    From the perspective of the client, there were important continuities between the karayuki-san system and the subsequent wartime comfort women system. In the comfort women system, soldiers usually purchased a ticket to receive service from a comfort woman. Entering the womena’s room, they personally handed the ticket to her. This action encouraged the belief that their conduct was a legitimate, commercial transaction. Whether or not a woman was properly paid by her “employer” — the brothel keeper — was of no concern to these soldiers, as they had “paid” for the service in any case. Whatever the misery of her existence, they felt entitled to enjoy the service in the exchange for payment. For them, comfort women were not “slaves,” but “serving women” who were commercially obliged to “comfort” them. If the service was not to his satisfaction, a serviceman might consider himself cheated and therefore assume the right to coerce the comfort woman to satisfy him — after all, he had “paid”! Such an attitude contributed to the frequent violence by soldiers against comfort women. This fraudulent notion of “commercial transaction,” which conceals and distorts both the direct role of the military in the system and the elements of coercion, slavery, and deception in which many women were kidnapped or deceived and received little of no payment for their services, even now blurs the perception of formenr Japanese soldiers and some nationalist historians about the real nature of the comfort women systme. The fear of being branded a “prostitute” due to the decpetive nature of this business formality was for a long time a major hindrance preventing former comfort women from coming forward and testifying about their ordeals.

    [...] Sexual activities of men during war almost always involve heghtened violence against women. Soldier’s survival hinges on their violent action in attacking the enemy as well as in defending themselves. The same can be said for the enemy. Therefore, a soldier has to become more violent than his enemy in order to defend his own life. A vicious cycle occurs, in which violence creates more violence, escalates in intensity, and leads to brutality.

    [...] Physical domination over women may also spark soldiers’ desire to dominate and humiliate the enemy. This is particularly so if the victims of their sexual violence are “women belonging to the enemy.” This is one of the major reasons that in wartime women are often raped before th very eyes of their fathers, husbands, or brothers. For men in battle, the physical violation of their women by the enemy is a most humiliating act; it serves to reinforce their subjugation to the occupying troops. It is therefore not surprising that certain vocabulary used on the battefield correspond to sexual language. For exampe, an army “penetrates enemy territory” and the Japanese military-supplied condom brand was “Assault No. 1.”

    For more reading, you could purchase the book: http://www.amazon.com/Japans-Comfort-Women-Asias-Transformations/dp/0415194016

  • A4

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=iwv2qDJ57SY

    14:43~

    Honorary Professor Ahn Byung-jik of Seoul National University, who supervised the research and publication of the testimonies, stated in a news program in 2006 as follows.
    “The point at issue is, needless to say. Comfort Women existed. Nobody denies it. The problem is whether Comfort Women were mobilized forcibly or not. Some former Comfort Women testified that there had been forced mobilization. However, no objective evidence has ever been found in both Korea and Japan. This is the problem.”
    “It is an objective historical fact that Comfort Women had spontaneity, more or less. For example, there were trader, who were doing business by recruiting Comfort Women (…) Over half of the agencies were Koreans. What kind of power did those Koreans have to mobilize Comfort Women forcibly?”

  • Q

    Yuki Tanaka’s “Japan’s Comfort Women (Asia’s Transformations)” has the following in the chapter: Procurement of Korean and Taiwanese women:

    As the war in China became deadlocked, the comfort women system, which had been firmly established as a matter of military policy, required more comfort women to be allocated to each unit of the Japanese Army stationed in China. It seems that “voluntary migration of proprietors and prostitutes” from Korea to China could no longer provide the army with a sufficient pool of comfort women. Thus, from 1938 the army itself became involved more closely in the procurement of women.

    [...] Usually a Japanse or Korean owner/manager of a comfort station in China would go to Korea and stay in a port city, such as Pusan or Inchon. He would stay at an inn for some weeks or even a few months — long enough for his sub-contractors to secure enought women for him, and take them in at his lodging. In some case, he would move from one city to another city, taking all the “recruits” with him. They would stay in an inn, again for a certain period until more women were procured. Once he had secured enough women they would travel to China. This “recruiting” procedure is verified by testimonies of many former Korean comfort women. According to their testimonies, it was quite common for between 40 and 50 young women and girls to be “recruited” at once.

    The most common expedient used in Korea was deceit — false promises of employment in Japan or in other Japanese occupied territories. Thypically, a daughter of a poor peasant family would be approached by a labor broker and promised employment as a factory worker, assistant nurse, laundray worker, kitchen helper, or the like. While staying at an inn and waiting to be transported out of Korea, she would be relatively well treated. She would get good food and not need to work, but her physical freedom would be restricted. She would not find out the real nature of the work until she was taken into a comfort station and raped by members of the Japanese armed forces. This system provided many women from rural Korea. Jong Jingsong conducted reasearch on 175 Korean women who came forward in 1993 as former comfort women. Of these, 105 out of 170 women whose birth places were identified had been “recruited” from rural areas in Kyongsang and Cholla Provinces. In other words, sub-contractors had targeted young daughter of poor peasant families, knowing that it was relatively easy to trick them.

    For more reading, you could purchase the book: http://www.amazon.com/Japans-Comfort-Women-Asias-Transformations/dp/0415194016 Yuki Tanaka is at Keiwa College in Japan and is the co-author of Hidden Horrors:Japanese War Crimes in World War II (1995).

  • BiggyDingus

    To everyone complaining about “Korea” involving a “third party country,” you are either completely and deliberately disingenuous, or just incredibly obtuse. America houses monuments and museums not only to our citizens who died fighting or did as victims of atrocities, but also to our own victims (the Native Americans, black civil rights leaders, the Japanese-Americans interned during WWII.) Few, if any, American citizens were killed in the Holocaust, in Darfur, in Kosovo, in countless atrocities around the world. In some cases, like WWII, America tried to intervene… eventually. In many other cases, we shamefully did nothing. But one thing many of these atrocities have in common is that eventually, they were commemorated somewhere in America. Sometimes, as with European Jews, the South Vietnamese, and the Muslim Kosovars, these monuments arise because of the efforts of the survivors who came here here as refugees, became Americans, and decided that their friends and family who didn’t make it deserved to be remembered in their new home. In other cases, it’s Americans without direct connections to the victims who do it. Even in tragedies without a villain, like the Irish potato famine, the Asian tsunami, or even the Japanese earthquake, someone, somewhere in America had some link to the victims and did something to make sure they would always be remembered.

    Moreover, it underscores the cultural differences between America and most other countries, like Japan. Despite our faults and our own dark history, I’m damn proud of my country. Some people say we meddle too much, and maybe we do sometimes, but that meddling is motivated by a desire to do right by everyone, not just our own citizens, and the realization that everyone is connected, and as a nation of immigrants, we are connected even more strongly. In America, we have numerous monuments to our soldiers who died fighting Japanese, German, and Italian aggression, including Japanese-Americans who fought bravely and loyally even while their families were unfairly languishing in internment camps.

    Today, we also have museums commemorating those families, serving as a reminder that we also took that dangerous first step towards having our own concentration camps. We commemorate the Japanese victims of the atomic bombs in displays that challenge our citizens to place themselves in Truman’s shoes, to ask whether it was right to deliberately sacrifice hundreds of thousands of civilian lives to prevent potential military casualties, to remind them that peace had a price. I saw an exhibit on Gaudalcanal (I think at the Air and Space Museum) and the famous dogfight there that praised American pilot Pug Southerland for his courage and skill. I walked a few feet to the next plaque, and it commemorated his opponent, Sakai Saburo, Japanese Imperial pilot and enemy of the United States who killed several American servicemen, in equally sympathetic terms.

    Just imagine, a country that has pretty much always been able to claim “victory” voluntarily erecting tributes to its enemies and its victims. To many countries, like North Korea, Japan, or even America earlier in its history, jingoism and national pride would make such actions inconceivable. In modern America, however, seeking the truth, owning up to our own mistakes, and seeking to do better IS integral to our national identity.

  • A4

    There is no person called Yuki Tanaka in Keiwa Collage.
    The name “Yuki” is recognized by the name of the woman to Japanese.
    Yuki Tanaka is a false name of men of Hiroshima peace institute called Toshiaki Tanaka. He is also a coordinator of Japan Focus (www.japanfucus.org). Toshiaki Tanaka used to worked as a part-time professor of Keiwa Collage.
    He mainly carry anti-Japan activity for foreign countries and can not publish “the Japan’s Comfort Women (Asia’s Transformations)” in Japan (even though he is Japanese ) because there is no objective evidence that he can prove, and his books are full of contradiction which Japanese can find out immediately false message.
    It is said that he writes a book with a feminine false name in order to emphasize a victim-like viewpoint. His books are published at famous left wing publishing company called “Otsuki Shoten”
    The Hiroshima peace institute where he belongs is located in Hiroshima City Univ, and the director is from former Ministry of Foreign Affairs China section, name is Motofumi Asai who is pro-China. Asai is also pro-North Korea and gave a lecture with Democratic Koreans officials in General Association of Korean Residents in Japan after nuclear test declaration of North Korea. Hiroshima peace institute should be an inner citadel of the antinuclear movements, but is originally the organization agreeing to a North Korean nucleus. They insist that “the red nucleus is nucleus of the peace”. The actual situation of the research institute is the pro-north Korea think-tank. Of course Toshiyuki Tanaka does not have the important “neutral viewpoints” and his books are based on the second document which translated a collection of testimony of the support group into English, thus his books are not quoted to a serious researcher.
    However, because it was overflowed in stimulating fantasy, the U.S.A. Lower House led by the Representative Mike Honda who did not know anything about actual situation quoted a written by Yuki Tanaka in the report of the comfort women problem, and a forgery was found out later, and the U.S. Congressional Research Service revised a report greatly and finally concluded comfort women problem as “The military may not have directly carried out the majority of recruitment, especially in Korea” on April 3rd 2007.
    http://ianfu.blogspot.jp/2007/04/congressional-research-service-report.html
    http://japanfocus.org/data/CRS%20CW%20Report%20April%2007.pdf

    Anyway, no one in the world trust Toshiaki Tanaka (Yuki Tanaka) from pro-North Korea think-tank more than U.S. Congressional Research Service and Honorary Professor Ahn Byung-jik of Seoul National University.

  • jk6411

    Ahn Byung-Jik is famously pro-Japanese.

  • provIdence

    Prof. Ahn is a Korean. He might be thinking he is pro-Korean. He cannot just lie as an academician. I wish he would eventually be called pro-Korean.

  • jk6411

    Ahn Byung-Jik said that “no objective evidence [for the forced mobilization of comfort women] has ever been found in both Korea and Japan.”

    The fact is that at the end of World War II, the Japanese military destroyed most of its documents pertaining to its war crimes.
    Also, tons and tons of WWII-era Japanese documents still remain classified and unavailable to the public.

    “When it became apparent that Japan would be forced to surrender, an organized effort was made to burn or otherwise destroy all documents and other evidence of ill-treatment of prisoners of war and civilian internees. The Japanese Minister of War issued an order on 14 August 1945 to all Army headquarters that confidential documents should be destroyed by fire immediately. On the same day, the Commandant of the Kempetai sent out instructions to the various Kempetai Headquarters detailing the methods of burning large quantities of documents efficiently.”, Clancey 1948, p. 1135;

    “Between the announcement of a ceasefire on August 15, 1945, and the arrival of small advance parties of American troops in Japan on August 28, Japanese military and civil authorities systematically destroyed military, naval, and government archives, much of which was from the period 1942–1945. Imperial General Headquarters in Tokyo dispatched enciphered messages to field commands throughout the Pacific and East Asia ordering units to burn incriminating evidence of war crimes, especially offenses against prisoners of war. The director of Japan’s Military History Archives of the National Institute for Defense Studies estimated in 2003 that as much as 70 percent of the army’s wartime records were burned or otherwise destroyed.”, Drea 2006, p. 9.

    (source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comfort_women)

  • A4

    It is not the fact. It is your delusion that all evidence of comfort women was destroyed by the Japanese military. You also can not prove an existence of the evidence.

  • jk6411

    It is your delusion that all evidence of comfort women was destroyed by the Japanese military.

    I didn’t say that they were all destroyed.
    I suspect that most were destroyed, but there are probably some remaining in the WWII-era Japanese govt records which are still classified.

    “In addition to the fact that many documents were destroyed at the end of the war, many of those that remain (police records, documents of the Department of Overseas Affairs and Home Ministry relating to the colonies, the huge collection of diaries of officials and personnel accompanying the military held by the Defense Agency, materials relating to the war crimes trials held by the Justice Ministry and the Foreign Ministry, Welfare Ministry documents relating to demobilization and support) have not yet been made public. It is my hope that the government will declassify these documents immediately, but currently, we only have access to the tip of the iceberg.”
    (Yoshimi, Yoshiaki (2002), Comfort Women., p.39)

  • A4

    It is said that Yoshimi Yoshiaki who you quoted from is the highest authority of comfort women problem. But he also admitted that he could not find any objective evidence of forced mobilization of comfort women by the Japanese military in Japanese TV program called “Asamade nama TV” (朝まで生テレビ) on January 3rd 1997.

  • jk6411

    He hasn’t found “objective evidence” yet.
    It’s because most of the documents were destroyed. And much of the remaining documents are being kept secret by Japanese govt.

    Even if we never find “objective evidence” that the Japanese military kidnapped women in Korea, I will still believe the former comfort women’s testimonies.
    The Japanese military kidnapped plenty of women in Philippines and other places too.

  • A4

    The Korean military repeated a rape of women in the Vietnam War and produced at least at least 5,000 of “LaiDaihan” who is children of mixed racial origins of half-Korean and half-Vietnamese. ( I will not talk about the slaughter of 300,000 private citizens by the Korean military in Vietnam Because it is not related to the topic)
    Korean government have not made apology or positive protection yet.
    Double standard ?

  • provIdence

    I happened to come across with another petition of some interest to some here to the Obama administration asking to repeal the House of Representatives Resolution 121, the only resort based on which some Americans are erecting anti-Japanese monuments in the United States of America these days. It appears that it has just begun and needs much of your support:

    https://wwws.whitehouse.gov/petitions/%21/petition/repeal-house-representatives-resolution-121-stop-aggravating-intl-harassment-korean-propaganda-lies/yJw8lgRZ?utm_source=wh.gov&utm_medium=shorturl&utm_campaign=shorturl

  • Q

    I’d like to remind you of the news article “Japanese comfort- women deniers force White House response”:

    http://thecable.foreignpolicy.com/posts/2012/06/06/japanese_comfort_women_deniers_force_white_house_to_weigh_inresponse

  • provIdence

    The FP article does not sound any sophistication to me.

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  • TruthCommissionShouldBeTruthful

    I am sorry for the Korean women but being sold to brothel by parents was common in those days. Some poor Asian countries still have the custom. Though it may be hard for Westerners to understand that.
    The same Korean comfort women in WWII were put in comfort stations which U.N.soldiers called whore house during Korean war and Koreans don’t care about it.
    And now about 100,000 Korean women are working as prostitutes all over the world.
    The Korean prostitutes who were arrested in overseas have claimed they were victims of human trafficking.
    It’s same as the Korean comfort women.
    Koreans need to realize what the reality of comfort women was.

  • Karem

     you are wrong. it will never end. the whole idea of “comfort women” is just a sham. they were officially prostitutes, making 4 times more japanese military officers.  after so many countless investigations, there is no single documentation that proves there were forced women to go into prostitution. 

    japan and korea goverments came to terms in 1960s there will be no compensation for this matter so this issue ended so long time ago.

    the reason korean is speaking out now is they want more money from them, that is the truth.

    heck, korean is number one prostitution country nowadays, every prostitutes police is arresting is most likely korean in USA. they should stop spreading HIVs.

  • yankdownunder

      an exercise in ethnic axe-grinding.

    It’s racist. Period.

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