The issue of the so-called “comfort women” (a euphemism for the Asian women forced to act as prostitutes for Japanese troops during WW2) was not treated by military tribunals which passed judgement on crimes committed by the Japanese armed forces. Those who managed to survive were not recognised as victim of crimes with which their persecutors should have been charged and had to face the unease of shame. By the start of 1990s Asian women’s organisations began to inquiry into this subject and their efforts produced different result; among them, a new approach to the issue to be considered as a trans-national matter more than a national and nationalist one, where gender identity could prevail over Asian identity as victims of Japanese colonialism. They also put this theory into practice by organizing an international women’s tribunal for war crimes relating to sexual slavery on the part of Japanese soldiers which was held in Tokyo in 2000. Although devoid of any legal consequences, the trial succeeded in establishing how the organisation of brothels in the occupied areas was systematic, questioning the prosecution system applied in Tokyo trial (1946-48), or providing a public acknowledgement of the criminals from whom the guilt that silence and patriarchal society had ascribed to the women can be retracted. Another relevant goal reached on this occasion concerns the retrieval of documents and the acquirement of new material and testimonies which not only threw new light on the issue, but also facilitated the foundation of a historical archive in which the memory of these events may be preserved and defended from who, especially in Japan, would like to omit them from the accounts and recollection of the War.

"'Comfort women'. Una lettura di genere"

CAROLI, Rosa
2009-01-01

Abstract

The issue of the so-called “comfort women” (a euphemism for the Asian women forced to act as prostitutes for Japanese troops during WW2) was not treated by military tribunals which passed judgement on crimes committed by the Japanese armed forces. Those who managed to survive were not recognised as victim of crimes with which their persecutors should have been charged and had to face the unease of shame. By the start of 1990s Asian women’s organisations began to inquiry into this subject and their efforts produced different result; among them, a new approach to the issue to be considered as a trans-national matter more than a national and nationalist one, where gender identity could prevail over Asian identity as victims of Japanese colonialism. They also put this theory into practice by organizing an international women’s tribunal for war crimes relating to sexual slavery on the part of Japanese soldiers which was held in Tokyo in 2000. Although devoid of any legal consequences, the trial succeeded in establishing how the organisation of brothels in the occupied areas was systematic, questioning the prosecution system applied in Tokyo trial (1946-48), or providing a public acknowledgement of the criminals from whom the guilt that silence and patriarchal society had ascribed to the women can be retracted. Another relevant goal reached on this occasion concerns the retrieval of documents and the acquirement of new material and testimonies which not only threw new light on the issue, but also facilitated the foundation of a historical archive in which the memory of these events may be preserved and defended from who, especially in Japan, would like to omit them from the accounts and recollection of the War.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/10278/27174
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