Suffer from brothel speak; comfort women testimonies
When the war was at the peak in the 1940s, many governments in the Asian continent wanted to keep their soldiers intact. They needed to maintain the discipline in the defense forces while at war. That was the genesis of the comfort women stories that is a question of debate between South Korea and Japan.
It took so long for the comfort women stories to come to the public domain and speak about their experiences while in the brothel. It is not so clear how they ended up in the brothels, but the fact stands; they spent a couple of years trying to curb the issue of wartime rape. The way the society viewed they utterly powered the silence. It was not easy to speak in a conservative state like South Korea and Japan.
Nevertheless, time and pressure forced them to speak for the sake of their health and the assistance they needed to survive. The comfort women testimonies are not pleasing to many. They live in despicable scars. The following declarations will keep you in the right lane of who the comfort women testimonies were.
Kimiko Kaneda was born of a South Korean father and a Japanese mother. The two lived in Japan. Her father was a fluent speaker of the Japanese language. He joined the priesthood and served the church for a while before he was arrested for contempt of the shrine.
That was the genesis of Kimiko’s comfort women stories. She fled alongside her brothers to go and work in a place a friend had recommended her. The course changed at Peitan, where she joined the brothel. That means she was to be a comfort woman to curb wartime rape cases. The options to this were limited- ideally, there were no options.
The new experience was distress for her. She got into opium addiction in order to keep her “sound”. She had to dehumanize herself to survive the ordeal. The comfort women stories had challenges of medication access just like the soldiers. The young ladies whose sexual organs were not well-developed suffered tears.
As a comfort woman, she offered other services among other women like taking care of the injured soldiers. The soldiers were put in tents and Kimiko would inject them with some dose of Morphine to keep them asleep. They underwent excruciating pain, and the only remedy was to sleep waiting for their death time.
Kimiko would then return to Korea without a womb in 1945 after the war. The sexually transmitted infections and other diseases cost her uterus to be removed for her to survive. Sadly, Kimiko died on 27th January 2005.
Maria Rosa Henson
The story of Maria Henson begins at a field where she was collecting firewood with her uncles. It is the time when the Pacific war had started in 1942, and the Japanese soldiers took the cover of the Philippines. That was her first encounter. She had sex with the Japanese soldiers twice.
Maria did not like the act. Later, she joined the anti-Japanese Guerilla coup to take revenge. In 1943, she was arrested by the Japanese soldiers and taken to the garrison. Maria and six others served as comfort women stories for nine months. The guerilla coup took her out of the garrison in 1944.
While at garrison and the rice mill where she worked, they were not allowed to talk to one another. They were lonely and solitude. They were under guard for 24 hours. The furthest they could walk was within the factory. Her husband died in a few years while on duty serving the communist army. She was forced to raise her two children alone.
Maria becomes the first Philippine to come open with the comfort women testimonies. She was among the first women to benefit from the AWF project. She died on 18th August 1997.
Maria and Kimiko are only two of other thousands grieving comfort women stories. The mental treat they went through was so critical that many contemplated suicides while others just did it. Many had issues rejoining their families and communities, while others never joined utterly.
Some like Kimiko and Lee Ok Seon lost their uterus to infections. Kimiko suffered many physical and psychological injuries. Due to this factors, there was a need for South Korea, who were the gross victims, and Japan to bring the matter to rest.
The government of Japan sent several apologies to the government and the people of South Korea over the comfort women testimonies. It has been a long journey of negotiations; 50 years down the line. The Japanese have, however, shown a tremendous step towards reaching a consensus on this matter.
The government of Japan has always been willing to set negotiation with South Korea. The need for the talks has seen the relationship between Seoul and Tokyo improving by the day. However, after the 2015 deal, the people of Japan are no longer comfortable with more statues being put up.
That came out predominantly when Japan recalled her Ambassador from South Korea after the Koreans put up another statue of the comfort women stories at Busan. The political activists in South Korea are on the bid to push their government into making a substantial deal that would honor the comfort women stories.
On the other hand, Japan went a notch higher by committing one billion yen to South Korea to establish a foundation which would support the comfort women testimonies. That would foster the spirit of mutual goodwill between the two countries.
The prime minister of Japan, Shinzo Abe, acknowledges that South Korea is a close neighbor to Japan and they need to have a more robust and interactive socio-economic relationship. For this reason, he feels that South Korea deserves better treatment and lasting solution to end the comfort women stories.
The foreign affairs minister of Korea, Yun Byung –se, and his counterpart of Japan agreed that Korea would uproot the statues of the commemoration from Japan and have a more lasting solution.