Occidentalism
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Former Comfort Woman Lee Yong-su to Appear in EBS Documentary

June 9th, 2007 . by Gerry-Bevers

Former Comfort Woman Lee Yong-su will tell about her experience as a comfort woman, without narration, in a fifty-minute EBS documentary on June 12. Link to “Ohmynews” Article

In the Ohmynews article, the following was said:

One evening in October 1944, she went outside her house and, without knowing why, was dragged off my Japanese soldiers and taken to a Comfort Station in Taiwan. Reflecting on that time and with tears welling up in her eyes, she said that as she was being dragged off she cried, ‘Mommy, mommy….these people say they are going to kill me. Save me, mommy.’

1944년 10월 어느 날 저녁 그가 집 밖에 나갔다가 영문도 모른 채 일본군에게 끌려간 곳은 대만 일본군 위안소였다. 끌려가면서 “엄마, 엄마… 이 사람들이 나 죽일라고 한다. 엄마 살려줘”라고 울부짖었던 당시의 상황을 회상하며 눈물을 글썽인다.

That story is a little different from the following story, which she told US congessmen this past February (LINK):

In the autumn of 1944, when I was 16 years old, my friend, Kim Punsun, and I were collecting shellfish at the riverside when we noticed an elderly man and a Japanese man looking down at us form the hillside. The older man pointed at us with his finger, and the Japanese man started to walk towards us. The older man disappeared, and the Japanese beckoned to us to follow him. I was scared and ran away, not caring about what happened to my friend. A few days later, Punsun knocked on my window early in the morning, and whispered to me to follow her quietly. I tip-toed out of the house after her. I lift without telling my mother. I was wearing a dark skirt, a long cotton blouse buttoned up at the front and slippers on my feet. I followed my friend until we met the same man who had tried to approach us on the riverbank. He looked as if he was in his late thirties and he wore a sort of People’s Army uniform with a combat cap. Altogether, there were five girls with him, including myself.

We went to the station and took a train to Kyongju. It was the first time I had been on a train. In Kyongju we were put up in a guest-house.  We stayed in the guest-house for two days, during which time two more girls joined us. Now there were seven of us. We boarded a train and passed through Taegu where I could just see my home through the broken window. I suddenly missed my mother. I began to weep, saying I wanted to go home. I pushed the bundle of clothes away and continued to cry, asking the man to let me get off. He refused. Exhausted, I finally fell asleep as the train just kept on going. We must have traveled for several days.


91 Responses to “Former Comfort Woman Lee Yong-su to Appear in EBS Documentary”

  1. comment number 1 by: Newshound

    Japanese women had such moderation unlike that race even if they are forced to prostitute.

    You’ve never actually spoken to a real Japanese woman, have you?

    Japanese women are no different than any other country’s women. They like sex, too.

    And no one is saying that geisha walked the streets or put their phone numbers on bathroom walls. It’s obvious that sex for cash wasn’t an official policy, but when your job is to entertain rich and powerful men while they drink, your job very likely includes sex. Because Japanese men are no different than any other. Samurai or not, they get horny when they’re drunk.

    Whether you’re being paid for the sex or paid for the other entertainment is irrelevant, you are still having sex at work. It may be glorified prostitution, but it’s still prostitution.

  2. comment number 2 by: rocketman

    My gosh! this thread going all of the places.. started with the argument on comfort woman and now it turned into whether japanese woman likes sex or not..

    i’ve been a fan of japanese tv shows, doramas for past a few years.. I don’t know if all these comments about geishas or japanese woman are true or not.. but my impression after watching years of japanese tv is that woman are certainly being mistreated in japan compared to west.

    Woman are certainly treated as lesser of two..

  3. comment number 3 by: egg

    Matt
    Thanks for the reply.

    I do not really know about the Japanese feudal times but I wonder how strongly a family can resist if a samurai or other powerful individual wants to have sex with a farmers daughter.

    The situation which you are descriving is hard to imagine for me, as I trust the morals of samurai class. But it may be just a myth and I think your question is reasonable. So, I decided to study a bit this weekend. ( I don`t know at present what will turn out. )
    As your Japanese friends` claim (and also your claim with some reservation, I guess ) says “always” , I think you won`t mind me pointing on Edo period, will you?
    And I think if I can find a criminal law during the Edo period which punishes rape, that will be one of the proofs against the claim. Will you agree with me or will you say, that is not enough because there may be many cases when women couldn`t use a court like todays sexual harassment?

  4. comment number 4 by: egg

    Newshound

    It’s obvious that sex for cash wasn’t an official policy, but when your job is to entertain rich and powerful men while they drink, your job very likely includes sex.

    I am not so sure ( I don`t have much knowlege about this too and the system of Geisha might have changed a lot), but according to Japanese WIKI when the system started, Geisha were called ,to play music perform dance until Yuujo arrives. I mean men enjoyed music and dance by Geisha and afterwards they had sex with Yuujo. They were playing a different roll.

    Whether you’re being paid for the sex or paid for the other entertainment is irrelevant, you are still having sex at work. It may be glorified prostitution, but it’s still prostitution.

    It reminds me of a sexual harassment more than prostitution. Japanese men`s mindset were uncivilized compared to todays average, but it is hard for me to think it as a prostitution. (It may be just a question of a definition though.)
    .
    It may be trivial because the fact that Japan had prostitution system will not change but just a note.

  5. comment number 5 by: Matt

    And I think if I can find a criminal law during the Edo period which punishes rape, that will be one of the proofs against the claim. Will you agree with me or will you say, that is not enough because there may be many cases when women couldn`t use a court like todays sexual harassment?

    It depends on what level the common person had access to the law. If a samurai could cut off a mans head for looking him in the eye, what kind of rights does he have for his daughter? This is just conjecture, but as far as I know the Samurai code was one of martial bravery, not of sexual conduct like those of monks.

    Anyway, I look forward to the result of your study.

  6. comment number 6 by: Newshound

    I mean men enjoyed music and dance by Geisha and afterwards they had sex with Yuujo. They were playing a different roll.

    That’s an excellent point, egg.

    And just so you understand, I’m not trying to slur the romantic idea of the ideal geisha of today. Nor am I suggesting that they necessarily wanted to prostitute themselves.

    I am just suggesting that because of the common belief that women were property (this is/was true worldwide, not just Japan), that it would be very easy for some geisha to make money for sex, and it would be very difficult for some geisha to refuse to have sex for money.

    The reason I believe this is because I am sure that Japanese are no different than anyone else, and this sort of thing has been documented everywhere.

    No better, no worse.

  7. comment number 7 by: camphortree

    rocketman said,

    but my impression after watching years of japanese tv is that woman are certainly being mistreated in japan compared to west.

    Not so fast. American husbands never surrender their earnings to their American wives unlike Japanese salary men do. Twenty years ago, on the first month when I was married I asked my American husband to hand me a envelope that enclosed his salary by a check. He opened the envelope and peeked it first in front of me!
    Why did you do that? Aren’t you married?
    Huh? It’s mine. Don’t worry, I will give you money. We have a joint account anyway.
    What? Did you say that you will give me money!? I don’t understand what you are talking about. Once married I am the home manager. I am the one who make budget and will give you monthly allowance.
    Wait! I am the boss.
    Mee too!
    What? I thought I was married to a Japanese woman. Won’t they walk three steps behind their husbands?
    Not on your life.
    In awe we solemnly played the trump card and decided who will open the next envelope first. It took many more moons for me to transform him into a Japanese salary man alike. Thanks to him we built a half-Japanese half-American style home, and I got what I wanted for the house while he got what he wanted for the garage. Our next door neighbor built a whole American style custom designed home. The home was beatiful, but unfortunately their marriage did not survive. I am sorry for them. The American couple tried to be equal so hard on each other at home.

  8. comment number 8 by: egg

    Matt

    It depends on what level the common person had access to the law.

    I can understand what you want to say.
    I have looked around the net and found that there were a law named kujikataosadamegaki”公事方御定書”.
    It seems to be a mixture of criminal, civil, tax law. I couldn`t find the original text around the net, and confirm whether rape was prohibited in it or not. (I am not sure whether it was apllied to Samurai class or not too.) So I am planning to go to a bookstore to find a text of Japanese law history. I hope that there are some court record included. That will help me to know what level the common person had access to the law too, I guess.

    If a samurai could cut off a mans head for looking him in the eye, what kind of rights does he have for his daughter? This is just conjecture, but as far as I know the Samurai code was one of martial bravery, not of sexual conduct like those of monks.

    At the first sentence I felt a sense of incongruity. I think you are suggesting about bureiuchi”無礼討ち” but according to WIKI, it seems to be not so easy.
    About the second sentence, I remembered about Bushidow”武士道”. I thought Bushidow must have prohibited cowardly conduct but to my surprise, the ethics we know today as Bushidow seems to be different from those of Edo period. It seems to have been remade by Inazou Nitobe at Meiji period as a kind of propaganda against the western countries to show that Japan was a civilized country.
    Anyway I wanted to know more so I ordered several books at Amazon about Bushidow. I hope I can make some report about it too.

    Anyway, I look forward to the result of your study.

    I thank you for reading and giving me your comments. I would be very happy if you will continue reading my comments. And I am looking forward to read your opinion against them too. Thank you.

  9. comment number 9 by: egg

    Matt
    Sorry about the post above but I don`t know how to fix it.
    The sentnces are all written by me. I wanted to put in three links from WIKI about “公事方御定書”,”無礼討”,”武士道”. Can you understand them or should I try to repost?

  10. comment number 10 by: egg

    Newshound

    And just so you understand, I’m not trying to slur the romantic idea of the ideal geisha of today. Nor am I suggesting that they necessarily wanted to prostitute themselves.

    I think I understand that you have no malice against Japan at all. Please feel free to say what you want to say.

    it would be very easy for some geisha to make money for sex, and it would be very difficult for some geisha to refuse to have sex for money.

    I think there is no difference between us here. ( But it may be that those who prostituted themselves might have been ashamed to introduce themselves as Geisha from their ethics as Ken suggests.) It depends on whom you suppose to be Geisha. If you are thinking about ideal Geishas(I am not trying to say ideal Geisha didn`t exist, there were many who only sold their arts, I think.), the moment they prostituted they will not be Geisha any more. And I think Ken (and I) was talking about the ideal ones. I have no intention to say there was no prostitution in Japan. Anyway thank you for your comment.
    .
    By the way, what do you think about my ideas against your opinion bellow.

    I am just suggesting that because of the common belief that women were property

    It might be that I just want to beautify the society of Japan in the past but I feel a sence of inconqruity. I am not rejecting the notion that there were prostitution in Japan. There were Yuujo and I think there were some Geisha (or the ones who called themselves Geisha) who prostituted themselves as you say.
    But men thinking women as property is hard to imagine. Of course rights were not equal in today`s sence, that is sure. But it comes from the social roles I think. Men were supposed to represent a family outside while women were supposed to take care about the family inside.
    I guess there were women in horible statement but I think that owed to economic ability. As men were supposed to work outside officially, there were social structure that caused women`s poverty and enforcement to prostitution. But I think that does not mean that men thought women as property in general, does it? I would prefer to say rich people who bought bankrupted people, thought bankrupted people as their property.
    .
    It is so interesting to talk with you so I am questioning you in all directions. When you have enough time and enthusiasm, please tell me your opinions. Thank you.

  11. comment number 11 by: Newshound

    Egg, my point about women being property was meant to explain why I think that many geisha (in the past sense) were likely prostitutes.

    Even now women aren’t allowed to have their own koseki after marriage (to a Japanese man). And like every other nation in the world, women here get paid a fraction of what men in exactly the same position are paid, are expected to quit their jobs after they get pregnant, and are generally discriminated against in many fields dominated by men. That doesn’t mean it’s not changing, but if you ask any Japanese woman under the age of 40 what she thinks, she will tell you how angry she is.

    Anyway, it wasn’t meant to be against Japan. I was making a general statement about treatment of women worldwide (and specifically in Japan), in order to explain my statement about geisha during and before the Edo period.

  12. comment number 12 by: Kaneganese

    Newshound,

    Even now women aren’t allowed to have their own koseki after marriage (to a Japanese man).

    That was news to me.

  13. comment number 13 by: Ken

    Egg,
    The differnece is rather the definition than being ashamed.
    Your study is highly evaluated but you had better ask the very party concerned.
    Can you go to Geisha union in Japan as most of books are written out of fun?
    Anyway, both of real Geisha and degenerate Geisha state same if they are called to proper place.
    If at all the Japanese vote for it, the result is apparent and that is enough.
    One may not judge with superficial knowledge foreign country’s system which has been made up during long history on the balance between merits and demerits.

  14. comment number 14 by: Newshound

    Kanganese,

    The woman’s name goes on the man’s koseki as a part of his family. Unless, as is my case, the man is foreign, in which case, the man’s name is added as a footnote to the woman’s biographical details.

  15. comment number 15 by: ponta

    Newshound.
    As for the choosing the name.

    (夫婦の氏)
    第750条 夫婦は、婚姻の際に定めるところに従い、夫又は妻の氏を称する。

    Civil code article 750

    When married, a couple choose either husband or wife’s name.

    Now if you are talking people in fact choose mostly a husband’s name, you are right. According to the statistic, about 95 % of people married choose a husband name.
    But it does not mean they are forced. It is just that it has been customary to have a husband’s name.
    I have no objection to the law that allows a couple to keep using their names.

    BTW as for the changing the name, it is also granted if there is a strong reason to do so.
    Changing the name(Japanese)

  16. comment number 16 by: camphortree

    Newshound,
    When my cousin(female) was married, her husband changed his family name into his wife’s. Their koseki was registered under the wife’s family name that is xxxx which means camphortree in English by the way. They did so because my cousin was a only child and she did not want to lose her family name from her generation. Changing husband’s family name is rather a common practice for Japanese when they have only daughters or only one female child.
    Do you know our great fellow citizen, Lafcadio Hearn? When he was married to a Japanese woman he chose to take his wife’s family name and register. Thus、小泉八雲 was born. It was possible because he chose to be naturalized under the Meiji Constitution.
    So Newshousnd, what you said was half truth.

  17. comment number 17 by: camphortree

    Correction:
    Changing husband’s family name is common practice → Changing husband’s family name is commonly accepted practice

  18. comment number 18 by: Newshound

    camphortree,

    My friend’s had the same situation when they got married. What you didn’t mention is that when the husband takes the wife’s name, he also takes control of the family and is appointed titular head.

    And no I do not know Lafcadio Hearn, but I know of many such examples.

  19. comment number 19 by: egg

    Kenさんへ

    私の英語がつたないが為に、私がKenさんのご主張を十分に理解できていないように思われます。このサイトのマナーに反するかとは思いましたが、お名前から察するに日本人の方だと判断して、日本語で返事をさせて頂きます。
    Because of my poor English, I think I am not understanding your claim propery. I thought it might be against this site`s rules but I would like to reply to you in Japanese.(From your name I judged that you are a Japanese.)

    仰る通り、私の知識は今まで日本で暮らしてきた経験やWIKIに基づくものであり、当事者に対する調査を行ったものではありません。その意味で不十分な点や誤解が存在しているのかも知れませんが、敢えて申し上げれば、私の現在の認識は以下の通りです。
     

    1.芸者とはもともと酒席等において舞踊や楽曲の提供を行う存在である
     2.性をひさぐことは彼女達の役割ではなく、特に江戸の当初は遊女が到着するまでのつなぎとしての役割を担うことが多かった
     3.但し、上記のように言えるのは江戸時代の頃であっても、いわば一軍選手にあたる立場にいる者達に限られ、末端では芸者を名乗りながらも、自らの芸に加えて性を売る事例も見受けられた
     4.現代はともかく、明治以降では3の傾向は増加した

    Kenさんのご理解とはどのような点で異なっているのでしょうか。お手数をお掛けいたしますが、ご教授頂ければ幸いです。宜しくお願いいたします。
    尚、現在私が興味を持って調べておりますのは、マットさんが疑問を投げかけておられる問題、即ち武士階級が農民階級の娘を自由に強姦することが出来たのか、言い換えれば処罰を受ける可能性の有無についてであります。また、専ら女性が男性の性欲処理の対象として見られ、男性からの求めを拒絶することが出来なかったのかどうか、即ち所有物としての扱いを受けていたのかどうかということであります。(厳密にいえばマットさんの疑問と私の上記の興味の対象は異なっているのかも知れませんが…)

  20. comment number 20 by: egg

    Matt
    I managed to make time and I went to three bookstores after I wrote my post here. But to my surprise there were no books about history of Japanese law, not to say about introducing original text of 公事方御定書. I am planning to go to booksstores around the next station on Saturday. So please wait for a while. In the meantime the books I ordered yesterday at Amazon will arrive today so I might be able to introduce something about Bushidow later.

  21. comment number 21 by: egg

    Newshound

    Even now women aren’t allowed to have their own koseki after marriage (to a Japanese man).

    In my understandings, Koseki is used to register Japanese nationality. There might be other ways to do that (such as registering by indivisuals) but Japanese law chose to do that by families. There will be arguments whether present way is the best or not but it is not directly aimed to treat women worse than men, I think.

    And like every other nation in the world, women here get paid a fraction of what men in exactly the same position are paid, are expected to quit their jobs after they get pregnant, and are generally discriminated against in many fields dominated by men. That doesn’t mean it’s not changing, but if you ask any Japanese woman under the age of 40 what she thinks, she will tell you how angry she is.

    As you say it is changing (rapidly), but the reality is as you wrote. I have the same recognition about women`s working condition. Our society should change and at the same time, I hope women can get a chance to learn business practice more and to act more unemotionally in business fields.

  22. comment number 22 by: ponta

    Newshound

    What you didn’t mention is that when the husband takes the wife’s name, he also takes control of the family and is appointed titular head.

    Here I am at a loss.
    My mother took my father’s name, but she took control of the family and she was the boss.

  23. comment number 23 by: Ken

    Egg,
    Sorry to have let you explain in detail though your English is understandable enough.
    I have been trying to stay on the topic as mucn as possible.
    What I would have liked to appeal is Japanese women’s pride compared with the woman of this topic.
    It is easily imagined a man made love with a woman who called herself as Geisha, the man talked big and the tale was colored highly.
    On the contrary, I do not think the very persons concerned were interviewed.
    Again, Geisha stands for the person who lives by arts.
    Therefore, degenerate Geisha would not have called themselves as Geisha if they were summoned before testimony or so.
    On the other hand, there are not supposed so many evidences about rape during Edo era because losing the purity were regarded extremely dishonored.
    I hope you succeed.

  24. comment number 24 by: camphortree

    Newshound said,

    What you didn’t mention is that when the husband takes the wife’s name, he also takes control of the family and is appointed titular head.

    I was bemused to read your comment, then broke into laughter. Not because of you but because of my cousin’s husband. My cousin is a school teacher and her husband is a retired JR Matsuyama Station master. Oh boy, did he ever take control of the family like he did on the trains? Every morning he runs his neighborhood like an old locomotive so that his wife would not call him a “濡れ落ち葉(wet
    dead leaf)”.
    When you have a chance please read “Kwaidan” authored by Lafcadio Hearn. It is a collection of century old ghost stories. You will love “Earless Hoichi”.

  25. comment number 25 by: Newshound

    camphortree,

    Our friends are the opposite. Though the husband took over the koseki, the wife is still in complete control of the family. They’re quite cute actually.

    And I will look up Kwaidan, thanks for the recommendation.

  26. comment number 26 by: Newshound

    egg,

    it is not directly aimed to treat women worse than men

    I agree, it’s not a direct action, but indirectly the default is that men are the bosses. I don’t think it is meant to keep women powerless, but it does reflect the status of women in Japan.

    And I know Japan isn’t alone in treating women differently, but it is alone among first-world countries in terms of legal protections for women.

    to act more unemotionally in business fields

    Do women act emotionally in business?

    Ponta,

    My mother took my father’s name, but she took control of the family and she was the boss.

    That sounds exactly like my house. Except my wife didn’t take my name, and she’s still the boss.

  27. comment number 27 by: egg

    Ken thank you for your reply. I think my understandings improved.

  28. comment number 28 by: General Tiger

    Er, can someone tell me how this discussion is going on?

  29. comment number 29 by: egg

    Newshound

    but indirectly the default is that men are the bosses. I don’t think it is meant to keep women powerless, but it does reflect the status of women in Japan.

    I know that men usually come before women. But what kind of effect does that have? I can imagine psycological or symbolical effect but if you don`t care, it will be nothing, won`t it?
    Are there some Japanese friend around you who cares? If so, I am sorry. What I wrote might have hurt your feelings.

    In my understandings, Koseki is used to register Japanese nationality

    This part which I wrote was not true. By the “nationality law” we get Japanese nationality. When we get Japanese nationality we make records at Koseki according to “Koseki law”. What I wrote was confusing “Nationality law” and “Koseki law”. My parents are Japanese so I will be Japanese even if I had no Koseki record. I am sorry.

    And I know Japan isn’t alone in treating women differently, but it is alone among first-world countries in terms of legal protections for women.

    It is just out of interest but how does the country in which you were born keep her people`s record? (whether it is used to give nationality or not.)
    If women`s name doesn`t come at the top of the record or if the record isn`t made indivisually, does that mean our laws aren`t giving enough legal protections for women? To me I feel it is a choice between the symbolic effect of degrading women or symbolic effect of confirming family ties.
    If Japanese women are so sick about it, I think we need to change it but until now, I have never heard Japanese women saying like that.
    I know changing the name is causing nuissanse for women (and I personlly wanted to make a kind of marrige middle name and keep using our family names at work) but the use of former family name at business fields is gradually becoming accepted.
    So my conclusion right now is that we don`t have to be so hasty in changing the Koseki system.

    Do women act emotionally in business?

    I am so sorry to say but the majority of women whom I worked with tended to be emotional. I think you have to learn patience not to be emotional especially under high pressure of indivisual goals and time limit and so on. I was trained to be patient (not enough though) but because my former company hired girls to do work with less decisions ( I personally think it is against our constitution. ), the company didn`t expect much and didn`t give enough training. Bosses didn`t care so much to educate and train them. When the girls were upset and emotional the bosses didn`t scold them and just left them as they were. I have no intention to say all women are emotional or even after training they can`t gain patience. But personally I think both men and women need training to be unemotional under highly pressured situation and at present many women don`t have a chance of training. (Their effort will be needed too) I think the situation is changing but still majority of Japanese companies are like that, I think. (But it may be that my company was unordinally in all sorts of meanings though.)

  30. comment number 30 by: camphortree

    Newshound said,

    it’s not a direct action, but indirectly the default is that men are the bosses.

    Newshound,
    Have you heard any rakugo(落語)story? Rakugo is a four hundred year-old time tested tale tellig art. You will love one of rakugo(落語)stories named “Jugemu”.It’s about a father who gave their first born son a name, Jugemu. Jugemu meant a kid with a blessed long life. As Jugemu chan grew he did many silly things and made his parents worry. The father added more words to Jugemu, hoping that the added part of the name would secure the son’s long life. Season after season Jugemu chan did what boys did and his name got longer and longer. Jugemu chan’s name grew like an entire document in an old Buddhism scroll. When he was drowned and died, his parents did not know what happened to him until after the son’s friend who had a good memory finished chanting Jugemu chan’s whole name and said, “fell in the pond” at the end.
    I wish Jugemu chan had legal child protections from Japan’s “default” koseki system! Who knows may be Jugemu chan could have lived longer if he was registered under a sigle mom’s koseki.
    Why I am thinking about him so much? Think about children who would inherit names from both mom and dad who inherited their names from both mom and dad. As the generations descend feminist kids’ family name would grow fantastically. I know your kids will be a lot smarter than any of the rakugo alley residents, but if you have kids please give them good swimming lessons this summer.

  31. comment number 31 by: Kaneganese

    Newshound,

    I understand you are concerned about Japanese women’s human rights, which is quite nice, I guess. But you need to understand the duality of Japanese couples’ relationships as far as you speak like a Japanese specialist.

    Japanese wives are allowed to take control of the family whereas they put forward husband as a leader of the family towards outsid (亭主関白、カカア天下) as you know, because this is the practical and the easiest way for wives themselves. I am one of the wives of this kind and I want to ask you to stop thinking that we are the existance that the foreigners have to save from male dominat society. Actually, more than 90% of Japanese wives definately say no to take responsibility as a leader of the family, in my opinion. Don’t take away our privilege to remain as the purse holder and fixer behind the men. After all, we are protected by the law which cleary states our equality to men. Don’t dump us into the not “that” equal western society.

    I do agree that there are still lots of aspect that Japanese society should improve in the light of women’s human rights. But that doesn’t necessary mean we need to become like a western-style men-women equal society, since I know that is not a ideal society for women either. But I respect your concerns for Japanese women. I just wanted you to know that we are not so miserable and actually happy with the situation, though it is not perfect. I guess egg and camphortree are also Japanese women, and they don’t perfectly agree with your opinion about Koseki and our situation, can’t you see? It is sad that there are so many unhappy women aroud you.

    Now back to the topic,
    Japanese who are concerned took out an advertisement setting out their opinion on a “comfort women” matter on the 14th of June edition of Washingtonpost. Basically, there are nothing new to the reader of this site, but it is always good to see that sometimes Japanese try to stand up and put forward counterargument against the propaganda trying to trick good American citizen.
    http://nishimura-voice.up.seesaa.net/image/thefact_070614.jpg
    http://nishimura-voice.seesaa.net/article/44871251.html#comment

  32. comment number 32 by: egg

    GarlicBreath
    Sorry, it was I who started the questioning, and hijacked this thread. As you say it was off topix and it seems I was rather a nuissance. Sorry again.
    Kaneganese
    I am a male. Sorry what I wrote might sound arrogant.

  33. comment number 33 by: egg

    ???
    I thought there was GarlicBreath`s post after Kaneganese`s comment, relieving that the argument came back to topix again. Where did it go? Are you allowing us to continue the present arguments? Or was it just my mistake? Puzzled.

  34. comment number 34 by: Matt

    ???
    I thought there was GarlicBreath`s post after Kaneganese`s comment, relieving that the argument came back to topix again. Where did it go? Are you allowing us to continue the present arguments? Or was it just my mistake? Puzzled.

    I deleted it because it was subtly directed towards another commenter, and that comment would have continued the personal attacks between two commenters, which I want to stop.

  35. comment number 35 by: Newshound

    And I didn’t

    even see it! Don’t worry about it, Matt, I said I’m done and I am.

    Back to the threadjack,

    egg,

    In Canada we have social security numbers and birth certificates which register our nationality. On our birth certificate you will find the father’s name and the mother’s name.

    camphortree,

    Nice story. Completely irrelevant, a bit pedantic and pretentious, but a nice story.

    Kanganese,

    If you like who you are and your place in society, great. I was making a comment on the inequalities amongst the sexes in Japan, and I mentioned how it is the same in most countries. I’m not interested in “saving you”.

    I do agree that there are still lots of aspect that Japanese society should improve in the light of women’s human rights.

    That’s exactly what I was saying, nothing more.

    But that doesn’t necessary mean we need to become like a western-style men-women equal society, since I know that is not a ideal society for women either.

    I agree totally.

    But I respect your concerns for Japanese women.

    I have no concerns, you can do whatever you want to. I was just talking.

    I just wanted you to know that we are not so miserable and actually happy with the situation, though it is not perfect.

    You are happy, and it looks like camphortree is as well. That’s great. I’m not telling you that you are wrong, I can only talk about my friends’ experiences. None of my friends are happy witht the situation as it is. It probably has to do with generational differences.

    It is sad that there are so many unhappy women aroud you.

    I think it’s good. They aren’t unhappy, they just don’t want their husbands and boyfriends to treat them like they treat their mothers. Things will change.

    Now I’m done because we’ve made this threadjack too long, but I’m still interested. If you want to continue talking about it, please email me.

    surfin.english@gmail.com

    I disagree with you, but that doesn’t mean I think you’re wrong.

  36. comment number 36 by: egg

    Matt
    This is going to be thread-jacking so I wondered whether I should post this or not. But I thought it was only fair to present the result of my homework, so I finaly decided to post this.
    .
    I claimed that at least in the Edo period, women had freedom to reject Samurai`s (or men who had power) demand to have sex with them. I tried to find some proofs but I failed.
    .
    My plan was to find the proofs from two directions.
    .
    The first way is to find external rules that bound Samurai`s activities. I reached 公事方御定書, but as I couldn`t get the original text not to say about trial records, I couldn`t confirm that rape was prohibited nor it was applied to a trial between Samurai class and others. I am still planning to go to other bookstores but I am feeling that there is little chance. If some evidences apear I will post them but right now I will admit my failure.
    .
    The second way was to find internal moral precepts
    of Samurai class. I have read four books below.
    『戦場の精神史 武士道という幻影』 佐伯真一 NHK出版  ISBN 4140019980
    『武士道の逆襲』 菅野覚明 講談社現代新書 ISBN 4061497413
    『武士と世間 なぜ死に急ぐのか』 山本博文 中公新書
    『日本人の心 武士道 入門』 山本博文 中経文庫
    Above two books were introduced at WIKI`s page about Bushidow. Later two books were the book writen by an author introduced at WIKI. To say the conclusion first, there were no concrete example of morals (about the relationships between Samurai class and other classes) introduced in them. It took me quite an amount of time reading them and I can`t afford more time right now. So, I will quit researching. Sorry for not managing to provide good results.

    By the way, the first book was about whether Samurai prefered fair plays at battle fields or not and the author`s conclusion was that they didn`t. The second book`s intention was to prove that Bushidow of today was made by Inazou Nitobe at Meiji period and completely different from that of Edo period. I thought the theory persuading. The third was trying to explain why Samurai`s tended to die so easily. The author`s theory was that Samurai`s care against the rumors and reputations. If that is true I thought there is some similarity to Today`s Japanese society. The last was telling the outline of Samurai.
    .
    Though I failed it was quite interesting to read them. And because of this homework I managed to learn new aspects of Japanese history. It was beneficial. Thank you.

  37. comment number 37 by: Kaneganese

    Newshound,

    It probably has to do with generational differences.

    So you admit you are only speaking from your “limited” experience with your friends and wife around you who belong to “limited” generation of Japanese. It is good to hear that. No wonder we disagree. When you speak about Japanese women next time, please make it clear that your knowledges and experiences in Japan are limited. That is all I am asking.

  38. comment number 38 by: Newshound

    Kanaganese,

    So you admit you are only speaking from your “limited” experience with your friends and wife around you who belong to “limited” generation of Japanese.

    Only if you admit that you are speaking from “limited” experience with your friends and husband who belong to a “limited” generation of Japanese. ]

    No wonder we disagree.

    I think we disagree because you made unwarranted assumption about me. But I’ll forgive you for that considering the number of foreigners in this country who really do feel the way you assumed I feel.

    When you speak about Japanese women next time, please make it clear that your knowledges and experiences in Japan are limited.

    No problem whatsoever.
    And I’ll expect you to do the same.

    I’ll start. My knowledge and experience in Japan is limited by my fluent Japanese, working for a Japanese company, writing for a Japanese newspaper, having almost exclusively Japanese friends (all of them under 35), and speaking three other languages that help me understand foreign cultures.

    How is your opinion of Japan limited?

  39. comment number 39 by: Kaneganese

    So it is not “generational differences” considering I am in 30s. By the way, it was you who made “unwarranted assumption”, and we must have “generational differences” and said we disagree, not me. And your experience in Japan doesn’t exceed mine at all. Looks like I am senior to you when it comes to Japanese women.

  40. comment number 40 by: Newshound

    Kanganese,

    Forget it.

  41. comment number 41 by: camphortree

    Newshound,
    Please give me one more chance to be a bit pedantic or pretentious, and I promise I will disappear from this thread. I think 戸籍抄本 is an equivalent to the U.S. or perhaps Canadian individual birh certificate. 戸籍謄本 is a family register. Japan happened to have the system of both individual birth certificate and family register. According to your theory this system is one of evidences that my father would dominate our family over my mother. Please feel free to believe so.
    Although I took U.S. citizenship I still keep a set of copies of my 戸籍抄本 and 戸籍謄本 out of respect to my parents. Most of my Japanese American friends do the same. We seem to have a peculiar strong attachment to our “default” koseki, particulary to the 戸籍謄本、the family register. In our minds there is no room for us to believe that our mothers are somehow lowered than our fathers because of our family registers. Thank you.