It’ll be true of some and not of others

A Harvard University professor has sparked outrage among fellow academics and campaigners after claiming that women forced into sexual slavery by the Japanese military had chosen to work in wartime brothels.

J Mark Ramseyer, a professor of Japanese legal studies at Harvard Law School, challenged the accepted narrative that as many as 200,000 “comfort women” – mostly Koreans, but also Chinese, south-east Asians and a small number of Japanese and Europeans – were coerced or tricked into working in military brothels between 1932 and Japan’s defeat in 1945.

In an academic paper published online late last year, Ramseyer claimed the women were sex workers who had voluntarily entered into contracts – a view supported by Japanese ultra-conservatives seeking to whitewash their country’s wartime atrocities.

Some women do volunteer for such. In this particular instance some will have even if – as I assume – many didn’t.

15 thoughts on “It’ll be true of some and not of others”

  1. My own academic research has shown that there is absolutely no limit to the number of women who want to rent pussy. The sole restraint on the market is demand. Size of Japan’s military in WWII? A mere 6 million. Pah! Not even as if you’re talking big numbers.

  2. bloke in spain,

    “My own academic research has shown that there is absolutely no limit to the number of women who want to rent pussy. The sole restraint on the market is demand. Size of Japan’s military in WWII? A mere 6 million. Pah! Not even as if you’re talking big numbers.”

    But willingness to supply, too. A rich woman isn’t very likely to be on the game. Wartime? Everyone is struggling.

    And it should never be forgotten that almost no women will ever admit to doing the trade willingly. They’d rather no-one knew, but if they do find out, they want to paint themselves as a victim rather than supplier.

  3. There were two distinct tiers, if I recall, officers’ girls and other ranks’. The “Others'” and lower rank officers were the Chinese and Koreans (no mention of Vietnamese, Malays, Javanese and Filipinoes), the higher officers had Japanese women . They were made available even in the jungles of Burma. The whole thing is a terrible business and as usual the truth is hidden in the fog caused by victims’ interested parties.

  4. “Would you prefer to volunteer to be the officers’ sex slave, or toil in the scandium mines?”
    “Well when you put it like that…”

  5. Amazingly, Nippon did have a scandium mine. Or, at least, the dross left over from tin mining which they then processed. They closed that down when they started buying from me…..

  6. Didn’t the Red Army in WW2 have exactly the same system? The senior officers were all allowed an ‘Army Wife’ who travelled with them everywhere. How these were selected is moot, they were all in the forces to start with so presumably if General Oblomov said ‘Will you be my Army Wife?’ to some minor ranked female she didn’t get much say in the matter.

    The rank and file had to make do with whatever women they ‘liberated’ of course.

  7. Bloke in North Dorset

    Not quite the same but in the Falklands Argie officers’ ration packs had miniature bottles of spirits in them, ORs didn’t.

  8. The paper in question is here:

    Pretty short and easy to read. The main points are:

    1. The only testimony about the comfort women comes from a single nursing home in Korea, 50 years after the fact.

    2. Armies typically don’t have to conscript prostitutes. They appear organically wherever armies are in garrison.

    3. The number of women alleged to have been forced into prostitution is implausibly large.

    4. There’s no paper trail or administrative records on what would have been a massive forced prostitution effort.

    5. The Japanese Army did inspect brothels and issue health licenses in an effort to keep soldiers from getting VD.

  9. Don’t remember where I read it, but a recent article somewhere mentioned that the “comfort women” were provided by contractors, the IJM didn’t run it or organize it themselves. So in other words, it was fellow Korean entrepreneurs and/or “mama-sans” who “exploited” and “enslaved” the Korean comfort women, not the Japanese themselves.

  10. I’ve just read the offending article and see where he’s coming from. He uses dodgy maths to counter the dodgy maths of the purveyors of the slave narrative, which is never a good idea.

    I think that he’s largely right: the 200,000 figure is a huge inflation and the mass-enslavement story is also an exaggeration. But the women were trafficked, they were indentured into prostitution, but not by the Japanese Army or government directly, but by other Koreans/Chinese to fulfill demand. Were all the Japanese comfort women all voluntary too ?

  11. Ah, Southerner, that’s not so much the issue. The Jap ranker had to pay all right. He’s just about to go into battle, what good is his money to him ?
    How much do the girls keep and who are their pimps ?

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