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Comfort Women ActivismCritical Voices from the Perpetrator State$
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Eika Tai

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9789888528455

Published to Hong Kong Scholarship Online: May 2021

DOI: 10.5790/hongkong/9789888528455.001.0001

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Listening to Survivors

Listening to Survivors

(p.74) 4 Listening to Survivors
Comfort Women Activism

Eika Tai

Hong Kong University Press

In the comfort women movement, testimony was employed as the most popular and the most effective strategy for getting public support. Scholars debated whether or not testimony could count as historical evidence and theorized the act of listening to survivors as a form of taking responsibility. As exemplified in the narratives of Yang Ching-ja and Nobukawa Mitsuko, activists took it as their responsibility to listen and respond to survivors sincerely. The act of listening brought about mutual transformation as it contributed to survivors’ recovery from injuries and to activists’ personal growth. Ishida Yoneko, a historian, narrates how she came to see testimonial narratives as historical evidence through her changing interpersonal relationships with Chinese survivors.

Keywords:   testimony, response, agency, mutual transformation, historical evidence, responsibility

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