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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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PRINTED FROM HONG KONG SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.hongkong.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Hong Kong University Press, 2022. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in HKSO for personal use.date: 06 July 2022

Discrimination against Women

Discrimination against Women

(p.105) 5 Discrimination against Women
Comfort Women Activism

Eika Tai

Hong Kong University Press

Feminist scholars argue that the licensed prostitution system, a system of sexual slavery created in prewar Japan to complement the patriarchal system, became the basis of the wartime comfort women system. They have begun to examine the comfort women issue in relation to contemporary issues of sexual violence such as adult videos, pointing out that deep-seated sex culture of Japan as a reason for the social resistance against taking responsibility for the issue. Activists in the comfort women movement include those involved in the women’s liberation movement of the early 1970s, in which the comfort women issue was problematized. One such activist, Tanimoto Ayako, criticizes in her narrative the commodification of women, pointing to similarities between survivors of Japan’s military sexual slavery and those of domestic violence in today’s Japan. In their narratives, Nakagawa Kayoko and Yamagata Junko talk about how they have struggled with pervasive gender discrimination in Japanese society from a human rights framework and from a perspective of Christianity, respectively.

Keywords:   patriarchy, prostitution, sexual slavery, gender discrimination, women’s liberation

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