Occidentalism
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King Sejong Ordered Comfort Women for His Troops

August 13th, 2006 . by Gerry-Bevers

I was researching another topic when I came across the following record in the Annals of King Sejong that I thought was interesting:

傳旨咸吉道監司曰:

古者邊鎭置娼妓, 以待軍士之無妻者, 其來尙矣。 今者邊鎭州郡, 亦置官妓, 以待行客, 況道內慶源會寧鏡城等邑, 本國巨鎭, 居北極邊, 戍禦軍士, 遠離家室, 再經寒暑, 日用細事, 亦且難矣。 設妓女以待士卒, 庶合事宜.

함길도 감사에게 전지하기를,

“옛날에 변진(邊鎭)에 창기(娼妓)를 두어 군사들의 아내 없는 사람들을 접대하게 하였는데, 그 유래가 오래 되었다. 지금도 변진과 주군(州郡)에 또한 관기를 두어 행객을 접대하게 하는데, 더군다나 도내의 경원·회령·경성 등의 읍은 본국의 큰 진영으로 북쪽 변방에 있는데, 수자리 사는 군사들이 가정을 멀리 떠나서 추위와 더위를 두 번씩이나 지나므로, 일용(日用)의 잗단 일도 또한 어렵게 될 것이니, 기녀를 두어 사졸들을 접대하게 함이 거의 사의(事宜)에 합할 것이다.”

(The King) sent the following instructions to the Governor of Hangil Province:

“In the past, prostitutes were sent to camps on the frontier to service soldiers without wives. It had a long history. Even now government giseangs are stationed at frontier camps and administrative posts to service travellers. Moreover, on the northern frontier we have large camps, including Gyeongwon, Hoiryeong, and Gyeonseong, which are in your province. Troops guarding the frontier are far from their families and must endure two (years) of cold and heat, making their daily duties even more difficult; therefore, I think it is appropriate to station prostitutes to service the troops.

Link to the text


83 Responses to “King Sejong Ordered Comfort Women for His Troops”

  1. comment number 1 by: wjk

    Ponta, Matt, has it ever come across you two, that according to that US military report, these Comfort Women were perhaps the best treated prostitutes in the history of warfare in mankind? Ugly, uneducated, voluntary prostitues who lived in no material need during war time. Foreign women, too. They weren’t even Japanese ! Oh, my God, if I were a girl, I would have volunteered too !

    I came to the private conclusion that the US military report was made by asking a Japanese military officer to provide translation.

    There is so much disparity between the US military report and what the present day Comfort Women claim. A disparity that shockingly parallels what a Japanese official says versus what a Comfort Woman says. Oh, goodness ! How could that be ?

    Did some dishonest, Japanese military officer, who was interrogated by a US military official spew out lies ? And why not? There’s a Korean speaking local, other than a Japanese military official in Burma during WWII at a Japanese military camp? Wow. There must have been ! There’s a Chinese speaking local, other than a Japanese military official in Burma during WWII at a Japanese military camp? Wow. Surely. I believe. If I was a Japanese military official, I would spew out lies, too. Hell, they buried medical experiments in Japan itself, so the Americans wouldn’t make trouble about it.

    Perhaps this Japanese military official was very fluent in English, like

    this best damn general on Iwo Jima.

    And, please, you keep referring to the pimp tactics of South Korean brothels in the US or in South Korea, but as I understand it, this is a universal tactic used not only in South Korea, but also in China, the US (by white and black Americans, too. I read a story about Marlon Shirley in Sports Illustrated, and his white mother was tied to the same debt strategy in the USA), Europe, Mexico (this debt tactic is also used for transporation fees from Mexico to the US), Latin America, Russia, Thailand, Vietnam, basically all over the world. Stop passing off this debt tactic as something inherently Korean.

    And, I never said anything bad about the US. I don’t hate the US, unlike what someone generously stereo typed me as. I actually like the US influence over South Korea, very much.

    I can’t say I like the Japanese government very much, but I don’t hate all Japanese people.

    The world is not very simple to wjk, and all of US and all of Japan isn’t equal to evil to wjk’s mind.

  2. comment number 2 by: wjk

    I didn’t intend all the text after “best damn general” to be hyperlinked. That’s a mistake. Sorry.

  3. comment number 3 by: ponta

    wJk
    You are wrong.
    In Burma’s report, Korean prostitutes were interrogated by Japanese American.(Nisei. Alex Yorichi) When they were captured, there were no Japanese soldiers.Just two Japanese brothel owners and 20 Korean prostitutes.
    I don’t understand why you want to believe testimonies more than 40 years later than testimonis which were done just after they were captured.(I am not saying the former testimonis are completely false).

    All you are trying to say is,in your understanding back up with your imagination,Japan did worse, and where Korea did the wrongs, other countries do the same.

    Are you saying, after reading this and this, Korean sex slaves are given ” a normal life of a prostitute who receives money in exchange for sex.”?

    I wonder why ethnic Koreans’ search engine does not work when it comes to Korean tradition of prostitutes, while they search for the articles on the net as if their life depends on it when it comes to the wrongs Japan had done.

    wjk
    Japan admitted Japan has done wrongs.Japan apologized apan compensated.
    Korea has not admitted she has done wrong to its people.She has never apologized.
    Where is the passion by which Korean people protest against Japan and USA?

    Sadly it seems the culture of hate, hatred against Japan (and USA) unites people in Korea.It unites South Korea and North Korea.It unites native Koreans and some ethnic Koreans.(let me emphasize there are many ethnic Koreans who are free from it),It is produced and reproduced through the generations, across the countries. But at the same time,it seems their hatred overrides their love for their fellow Koreans. It turns blind eye on Korean victims in North Korea,South Korean victims of abductions by North Korea,Korean victims of Korean pimps.

  4. comment number 4 by: GarlicBreath

    Ponta, interesting comments. Thanks!

    Many Koreans simply cannot understand that a Japanese American is American first. Koreans, especially Korean “Americans” think of them self as Korean first. Alex Yorichi, died a few years ago in Tacoma USA I think. He served his country. The Japanese Americans who faught in WW11 were decorated heros. However, only about 100 Koreans faught for the allies during WW11. In the Korean war the Koreans were well known for ‘bugging out’or running and leaving your buddies to die at the first sigh of danger. If you wanted to know where the front line was all you had to do is go the opposite direction of the running Koreans. This does not mean all Koreans were cowards, this was just a common event during the Korean war.

    Based on the differences between Koreans and Japanese espcially when you consiter people like Alex Yorichi, I doubt WKJ can understand Alex’s loyalty to the USA.

  5. comment number 5 by: wjk

    Alex Yorichi, in my opinion, wrote up some questionable journalistic material with keeping in mind that he had Japanese parents.

    These were the best treated prostitutes in the history of mankind, then.

    Why protest? No other group of prostitutes in the history of mankind enjoyed such war time luxury nor have they asked for a government to compensate them.

    Such huge differences in the accounts of how things went down. Are the few Dutch women who served as comfort women in Indonesia lying, too? Why were they compensated? Why aren’t they longing for their Japanese war boys, who treated so well? Surely, they volunteered, too. And during the war, they enjoyed no thirst, no hunger, and even had perfume and pretty dresses. Alex Yorichi must be more believable than those Dutch women, as well.

    Koreans were known for running away from the Korean War, heh? Which country’s Civil War didn’t have deserters? At least the Koreans kept up their end of South Korea (with enormous US help, but still there was enough who wanted Democracy and that’s the key). It had more to do with buying into Democracy vs Communism. The upper social class who were anti-Communism were mostly Yangbans who did well even in the Japanese colonial period. Scarcely any Yangbans actually served to fight in the war. That’s probably why the lower class who were forced to fight on both sides deserted. There were deserters abounding in the US Civil War as well. You want to dig up dirt? Why were there so many deserters in the US Civil War? Were they genetically and ethnically cowards? Stop your nonsense. What about the Vietnamese? You got crap to say about their ethnic and national courage, too?

    Garlic Breathe, your statement about Japanese Americans thinking of themselves as American first is off and unfair and flat out wrong. It’s not that Japanese people are genetically or ethnically more prone to feel American, if they have American citizenship, alright? 3rd,4th, 5th generation American citizen of any background considers themselves more American than their genetic backgrounds. Any background.

    What do you have to say about Mexican Americans waving Mexican flags in America? The 3rd, 4th, 5th generation Mexican Americans don’t do this. You’re full of a kind eye toward the Japanese.

    There weren’t as many Korean Americans in WWII America to begin with, and most of the Japanese Americans in WWII America were in the war to prove something. Loyalty.

    There are way more Korean Americans in the US who only go back from themselves of their parents. A few go back to their grandparents having landed in the US first, and precious few go back to 4th, 5th or even 6th generations like the Japanese.

  6. comment number 6 by: ponta

    wjk

    Why protest? No other group of prostitutes in the history of mankind enjoyed such war time luxury nor have they asked for a government to compensate them.

    First, comfort women protesting in front of Japanese embassy were paid for protesting.

    Second, do you think they enjoyed their life being prostitutes?.
    Well you are the one who believe a Korean prostitutes are given ” a normal life of a prostitute who receives money in exchange for sex.”, it is no strange that you think the Korean prostitutes in Burma were happy.But I think you are mistaken. Most of them were sold,and they were from poor family.They led miserable life whatever the circumstance.

    Third Korean government asked women to stand up,promising that their honour would be restored..The former comfort women complained that the promise was not kept.

    Fourth Japanese lawyers went Indonesia. They announced to compensate to the former comfort women.The rumor spread that they would get a big amount of money.22000 women claimed that they were the former comfort women:There were only 20000 Japanese soldiers in Indonesia at that time.
    I am sure if Korean government promised to compensate to the Korean victims of korean pimps after WWⅡ, a huge number of Korean women would come out.

    Are the few Dutch women who served as comfort women in Indonesia lying, too? Why were they compensated?

    Dutch women were released once japanese headquarter knew they were abducted.They were compensated because the injustice was done to them.

    (Make no mistake. I am not saying there were no cases where the rape is involved.In war time,sadly there always is.And I am sorry for the victims.)

    It is clear now that you know little about comfort women.you believe what you want to believe out of the hatred you were nurtured to hold.Isn’t is sad you have no compassion for Korean prostitutes?. Isn ‘t is sad you have little understanding on how the korean women from poor famliy had to choose to, or be led to become prostitutes.?

    I am a bit disappointed at your reaction.I think Korean women who were deceived and forced by Korean pimps,Korean government were also disappointed .All you have commented about tradition of Korean comfort women from 500 years ago to the present is ” Japan was worse ,look at iwojima, and japanese imperialist was bad”. Incidentally I also think Japanese Imperial army was a mad machine.But what does that have to do with the topic of this thread?I think your mentality is similar to President Roh’s:As long as japan is blamed,Koreans feel so happythat they ignore the injustice in peninsula..Apology is never good enough.because once Koreans accept the apology, they can not blame Japan anymoreーーーVery unfortunate.

    GarlicBreath
    Oh is Alex a famous Japanese American?, I did not know.
    I respect Japanese Americans’ loyalty to USA.I am proud of them.At the same time I can not help but feel how important the relation between two countries for ethnic Japanese abroad.

  7. comment number 7 by: bad_moon_rising

    Whether during the time of King Sejong, WWII, or in the present, Koreans continue to prostitute themselves “on the frontier.” Koreans have taken to exporting prostitutes like fish to water. Here is the latest news from the United States concerning Korean sex slaves. Yes sir, genuine Korean sex slaves right here in the good ol’ USA.

    Korean sex slave ring busted

    A sex trafficking ring that smuggled South Korean women into the United States to work as prostitutes in cities down the east coast has been cracked and 31 people arrested, officials said yesterday.

    Twenty brothels posing as legitimate businesses from Connecticut to North Carolina were shut down, said U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials.

    The arrests Tuesday capped a 15-month probe that began when a Korean couple who owned and operated a chain of brothels in Queens tried to bribe an undercover New York Police Department detective, said an official.

    Prostitution is always a miserable business whether it happened during WWII or happens today.

    “Human traffickers profit by turning dreams into nightmares. These women sought a better life in America and found instead forced prostitution and misery,” U.S. Attorney Michael Garcia told a news conference.

    The typical Korean attitutde is: It’s only Koreans forcing Koreans into prostitution. Nothing to see here. Move on folks. If Koreans truly believe that forced prostitution is bad why don’t they speak out against the forced prostitution that is happening now? The sad fact is Koreans don’t really care about other Koreans unless the other Korean happens to have been a victim at the hands of the Japanese. It’s all about Japan. Let’s say a Korean man is walking along and he overhears a conversation. Why, the very mention of the word “Ilbon” would stop a Korean in mid step!

    If there are so many Korean women being forced into prostitution now, when South Korea’s economy is doing much better than it ever has since WWII, why is it so difficult to believe that the same motives and methods used to lure women now weren’t used successfully back then by Koreans. Why would the Japanese military resort to kidnappings and abductions when they could just pay Koreans to procure women for them. If Korean women are being scammed today by fellow Koreans, even at a time when information about Koreans being forced into prostitution is all over the internet and Korea is one of the most “wired” nations in the world, what chance would the Korean woman of WWII have had against fellow Koreans trying to scam them. The sad fact is Koreans have always sold out Koreans to the highest bidder and will continue to do so.

  8. comment number 8 by: Two Cents

    wkj,
    Are you aware of how women who catered to the enemy are treated after a war? If you are not, I suggest you do a Google search with “French collaborator women shaved heads.” I can imagine that a Dutch woman would have good reasons to lie had she slept with a Japanese soldier during WWII in Indonesia. If sleeping with the enemy was considered bad, how bad could sleeping with the yellow barbarian enemies be? Crying rape, unfortunately, is the surest way to absolving yourself. I hope that for their sake, that the women are not lying. Men have been executed based on their accusations.

    Rudy Kousbroek writes in his book published in 1992, Het Oostindisch Kampsyndroom, that the Dutchmen from the former West Indies still suffer from the irrational victim mentality and cling to the wartime propaganda that the Japanese could never be anything but evil, and while they repeatedly demand official apologies from the Japanese government, any offered are dismissed as being insincere. (Kind of reminds you of the Koreans, doesn’t it?) Himself being a Dutchman interned by the Japanese in Indonesia, he is extremely harsh on his fellowmen and even goes so far as to say “Hundreds of books have been written about the Japanese years. Most of them are ‘not the truth.'” Sadly, people will lie to save themselves, and in time, many come to believe in their own lies in order to clear their conscience. Look at how most Japanese newspapers now claim that the Japanese were brainwashed and forced into war by the military when they were the ones mostly responsible for pumpng up public sentiments against the US. NONE have ever made a detailed investigation into their own roles in the war effort, and yet they demand the public to reflect truthfully on the past.

    Atrocious acts were most likely made by the Imperial Japanese Army, and probably on levels that would shock anybody sitting peacefully in front of a computer now. Kousbroek writes that, during the war, the Japanese distributed handbills around the camp claiming that US soldiers were taking skulls of Japanese soldiers home as souvenirs. He assumed it was simply propaganda and was shocked after the war when he saw the cover of the Life magazine. I can’t imagine an American soldier committing such acts now or a prestigious magazine using such a photo on its cover (unless its to hamper the war efforts), so by the same reasoning I am willing to bet that some unbelievably cruel acts have been committed by the Japanese that would be inconceivable to us today. But I really don’t believe they should be used for political wars now, 60 years after the war, when the facts cannot be confirmed either way.

  9. comment number 9 by: Sonagi

    I hope that for their sake, that the women are not lying. Men have been executed based on their accusations.

    Can you support this with documented examples of Japanese soldiers who were executed for raping Dutch women?

  10. comment number 10 by: wjk

    Ponta, you never cease to go the extra yard and add onto my words. Words I have never said. Your English teacher must have loved you for reading into things that aren’t even there.

    Think whatever you like.

    For one thing, I am a clearly anti Roh Moo Hyun person. Get that straight.

    You clearly have the shades of the Rising Sun covering your eyes.

    Two Cents, at least the French/Dutch/Norweigians have good things to say about the former German love boys and even try to find the fathers for their half German progeny. No such parallels for the Japanese war boys. Maybe they were all sterile Japanese war boys. Yup, that must be the explanation. I think you, too, are viewing the Japanese war boys in the best possible light possible.

    Sonagi, I don’t think any Japanese soldiers were executed for raping Dutch women.

  11. comment number 11 by: ponta

    WJK
    I just quoted what you said.
    You have not proved you are anti-korean pimps traditions.
    All you said was every other countries do the same.

    Just show us that you are anti-korean pimps traditions.
    All I am asking is to show your passion for the justice to be done over Korean victims by Korean pimps and Korean government just as Korean people have shown when they were protesting against Japan and USA.
    You have shown none.Instead you are listing the wrongs Japan had done more than 60 years ago,just like kimsoft.

    You want to think that you are anti-Roh,but in fact your mentality is exactly like Roh’s.Blame Japan, then, Koreans are so happy that they ignore the injustice in peninsula. Koreans never accept apology because that make it impossible for them to blame Japan anymore.
    You want to think Japan was evil and Japan evaded the responsibility, but has it never occur to you that ,in fact, that is Korean society projected into Japan?.

  12. comment number 12 by: wjk

    Ponta, I am against all forms of prostitution. I am also against Korean pimp traditions that may be unique to Korea. I don’t even support legalized prostitution.

    Although, I don’t think the Chinese, the Thai, the Mexican, or even the White US American pimps were taught by Koreans how to lure women by advertising for easy money, and then raping them, putting them in debt, and then cycling them for prostitution. You do know that even in the US, there are illegal US American pimp rings, who lure teenage white women who dropped out of high school into the same strategy of prostitution, right? They do the same thing. Rape, debt, shame, and cycle. It’s not at all invented by Koreans nor unique to Korea. But whatever may be unique to Korea, I am also against that, too. If you don’t believe me about US pimp rings, do a google search with Atlanta, prostitution, CNN. It was a headline news item last year. It was quite sickening. These US men from the East Coast would fly down to Atlanta to have sex with teenage white girls, who were supposedly perceived to be young and STD free. Sadly for them, they don’t understand biology, and that they probably got whatever STDs other men were carrying with them.

    No one’s gonna die because they don’t have sex with a prostitute. It should be banned. It should not even be legalized under the stance that it will protect more women in the bigger scope.

    Yes, Koreans hate Japan, but I think they have their reasons. It’s my private belief, but I don’t think they are unreasonably willng to hate forever. I think it’s fueled by certain selected number of Japanese citizens.

    I don’t think you quoted me, but whatever. But, more importantly,

    Kimsoft, Young S. Kim, still makes posts? I have been quite concerned of his health, since he stopped updating his webpage at least since last year.

    Is Dr. Kim doing well? Thank you.

  13. comment number 13 by: ponta

    wjk
    thanks.
    that is partly what I wanted to hear from you.I appreciate it.
    But what about a Korean pimps tradition bashing festival like Japan USA bashing?
    How about setting up hundreds of sites revealing Korean pimps traditions?
    How about collecting testimonies without checking who they are,if they are right?
    How about demonstration in front of the blue house?
    How about resolution at UN to compensate?
    How about stating the past Korean evil acts that is not relevant to the topic?
    …………………….etc.
    Those are how passionate Korean people have done.

    I for one do not think some of these are necessary. We can talk calmly and we can approach this issue in view of saving the victims without fueling antagonism,
    Do you also think these methods are not necessary?
    If so, why it is okay when it comes to Japan and USA bashing?
    I appreciate if you could give me the reply.

    Yes, Koreans hate Japan, but I think they have their reasons. It’s my private belief, but I don’t think they are unreasonably willng to hate forever. I think it’s fueled by certain selected number of Japanese citizens.

    That is their decision.Japan aplogize to Korea.Japan has compensated to Korea.
    Every one has his/her reason to hate something.Some are willing to pick up reasons to hate.Others create reson to hate.Other will not accept apology in order to keep hating..Still others dig up the past to hate more.Still others educated kids to hate. If the hatred come to this extent, it is a culture,the culture of hatred.
    North (and some south) koreans hate USA.they have their reason to hate.they will probably never give up hating USA.If they love hating,that is their decision.It is not my bussiness.

    If those educated in the West who love Korea give them a good advise,I think they will change.
    I think it is time to go on.

  14. comment number 14 by: wjk

    Ponta, nice talking to you. I’m leaving for the weekend for a trip. You do have a good point.

    If I must say something, bashing foreign countries is not a unique Korean problem. Plus, it might even be called civilized compared to the middle east.

  15. comment number 15 by: Two Cents

    Sonagi,
    The man executed as the war criminal for the charge was Yoshiharu Okada. (Maybe Keiji Okada, I’m not sure how to read the kanji.) He was found guilty for kidnapping, forcing prostitution, and rape of Dutch women at Semarang and exectued by the Dutch.

    Okada seemed to have been ordered by his superior to set up a officers’ club, and so he asked Governor Miyano of Sumerang to have some Indonesians working under him to recruit some women. The day before the club opened, he visits the women for the first time to see how everything is, and reports to a visiting general staff that, “They are so cheerful and young that I’m worried some of our men might fall in love and commit suicide together.” The facility was closed down after the General Staff Yamamoto hears that the women were taken by force. (There is also testimony that the faciltiy was simply shut down because business was not good and it had to be restarted using non-white women.) Of the 35 women at the officer’s club, 25 were found to have been forced into prostitution, but the tribunal could not make clear who had been responsible for the actual forcing since the local Indonesian officials were never called in as witness, and find Okada guilty on the basis that Okada should have known no (or only a few) women would willingly become prostitutes, so his orders for recruitment was equivalent to ordering a kidnapping. Okada writes in his diary, “I have treated them so well, and yet they are now accusing me with blatant lies. Alas, I imagine they must do so now that the tides have turned and they cannot claim to have cooperated with us. I see I have been made the mastermind. I have nothing more to say. My hands have been bitten by the dogs I have fed.” (I believe the dogs refer to the Japanese owners of the clubs and not the women.)

    The man who ordered Okada, Asao Okubo, comminted suicide in Japan after receiving the notification of detainment, and was never tried. Another man, Shozo Ikeda was sentenced to 15 years in prison, although he was on an official trip to Tokyo at the time of the crime. Nine others were sentenced to 2 to 20 years in prison, including the owners of the club

    The information above is a collection from Hata’s book, 『戦争裁判の実相』(巣鴨法務委員会編), and 『尋問・拷問・処刑;戦犯の悲劇の記録』(川野京輔、秋田書店), (I am still searching for the latter two books). I’m withholding my decision until the full records of the trials are released from the Dutch archives. But then again, I might not be able to make up my mind even then.

    wjk,
    Don’t you think the 30-million-plus condoms passed out each year by the military to the comfort houses just might have helped suppress the number of unwanted pregnancies?

  16. comment number 16 by: empraptor

    I will read other comments later and get a feel for replies to my question, but I find comment from Two Cents reasonable.

  17. comment number 17 by: GarlicBreath

    A quick look at the headlines and I saw that Korea was up to its old tricks again by sending ugly prostitues abroad.

    http://www.news14charlotte.com/content/local_news/?AC=&ArID=125267&SecID=2

    I am willing to bet, these same women will be forever suing the USA and blaming the USA for their situation. Future Roh moo hyuns will be blaming the USA and his followers, people like WJK, will gleefully burn US flags.

  18. comment number 18 by: Sonagi

    Two Cents,

    Thanks for sharing the story about the one Japanese soldier who was executed after being made a scapegoat by Japanese owners of a brothel where a majority of women had been forced into prostitution.

  19. comment number 19 by: Two Cents

    Sonagi,
    You miss my point.
    What I am saying is that the war tribunals may not have been fair, and the women had reasons to lie about the forced enslavment/prostitution.
    There were plenty of Dutch prostitutes in the Dutch East Indies, who had lost out in their motherland and decided to try their luck in the faraway colony, and I am sure some of them would have chosen to continue their service, instead of being tortured by the unbearable housing conditions at the internment camps, which had formerly been built by the Dutch to house Indonesian laborers. In the Dutch East Indies, 200 Dutch comfort women were found, and 65 were judged to have been forced by the Dutch court. However, I do not know what the criteira for the decision was, since I have not seen the court records. My guess is, that the 235 who were found to have “not been forced” probably already were prostitutes for the Dutch before the Japanese occupation. Will non-professional women “never” choose to become prostitutes ? The Dutch court apparently thought that under no circumstance will a decent Dutch women choose to become a prostitute. Looking at the world today, I find that hard to believe.

    If the institution of comfort women were actually so bad that it should remain a major issue 60 years after the war, I am sure the Allies would have jumped at the opportunity to paint Imperial Japan as black as it possibly could 60 years ago at the war tribunals. The report given by the US Army proves that they knew quite well that the comfort women system was widely established, yet they never seemed to have found it so evil. There were a large number of Koreans in the Japanese army, yet they too, who not only witnesses the Korean comfort women but were also their customers, never seemed to have had any problems with the system back then. You have to wonder why it has become such a big issue so many years after the war, when first-hand evidence has become nearly impossible to access. (Or are you naive enough to believe that the Korean comfort women who are currently wailing their hearts out have the choice to say “I became a prostitute because my Korean family sold me.” They’d be stoned to death by the Korean society or kicked out from the house of former comfort women.)

    Prostitution always comes as a set with stationing of soldiers. In my opinion, bringing in your own women to satisfy the sexual appetite of your troops is a much more considerate system than asking the locals to have their own women do the job, which in most cases involves the local gang. Even today, men do not like to see their “own” women hanging on the arms of foreign men, enemy or ally.

  20. comment number 20 by: Sonagi

    Two Cents said:

    You miss my point.
    What I am saying is that the war tribunals may not have been fair, and the women had reasons to lie about the forced enslavment/prostitution.

    Two Cents, you asserted earlier:

    I hope that for their sake, that the women are not lying. Men have been executed based on their accusations.

    This was in response to wjk’s comment about Dutch comfort women:

    Are the few Dutch women who served as comfort women in Indonesia lying, too? Why were they compensated?

    I challenged your original quote that Men have been executed based on their (Dutch women’s) accusations. “Men” is plural. It would be more accurate, based on your lone example, to say, “A Japanese soldier was executed based on their accusations.”

  21. comment number 21 by: Two Cents

    Sorry, my mistake.
    I meant to write, “Men have been executed or imprisoned based on their accusations.”

  22. comment number 22 by: ponta

    From my point of view, Two cents’ story is another example that Japanese army regulated illegal recruiting, recruiting by force as other evidences so far discovered shows.

    And it seems Two cents’s story does not tell whether Dutch women were really forced by brothel owner ;though, Sonagi seems to presuppose that her story said they were.

  23. comment number 23 by: Sonagi

    Ponta,

    At times you write like an educated native speaker of English and at other times, you sound very much like a non-native speaker. It’s almost like two people are sitting at the computer taking turns typing in the comment box.

    In a much earlier post, someone commented that it seemed like there were only a few posters using multiple IDs. Matt says he checks IP addresses carefully, but after spending some time reading early threads, I have this irrepressible feeling that there are really only about five individual commentators on this blog. Among all of the multiple personalities, I think I like the mental hospital patient best.

    It’s been fun, Matt. If the Marmot doesn’t clean up the tabloid trash and kick out the trolls, I’ll be dropping his name from my blogroll very soon, so I guess I won’t be sparring with Shakuhachi, Wiesunja, and ??? anymore. (BTW, you and Hans both share the same tastes in Japanese blogs) Missed you at the CA. During your absence someone identifying themselves as PT and commenting under the username PT has been filling in on the Japan-related threads. Matt, you are a multilingual human Wikipedia (I mean that in a nice way) and skillful debater, so I hope to exchange views with you on a future CA thread.

  24. comment number 24 by: Matt

    Ponta,

    At times you write like an educated native speaker of English and at other times, you sound very much like a non-native speaker. It’s almost like two people are sitting at the computer taking turns typing in the comment box.

    In a much earlier post, someone commented that it seemed like there were only a few posters using multiple IDs. Matt says he checks IP addresses carefully, but after spending some time reading early threads, I have this irrepressible feeling that there are really only about five individual commentators on this blog. Among all of the multiple personalities, I think I like the mental hospital patient best.

    It’s been fun, Matt. If the Marmot doesn’t clean up the tabloid trash and kick out the trolls, I’ll be dropping his name from my blogroll very soon, so I guess I won’t be sparring with Shakuhachi, Wiesunja, and ??? anymore. (BTW, you and Hans both share the same tastes in Japanese blogs) Missed you at the CA. During your absence someone identifying themselves as PT and commenting under the username PT has been filling in on the Japan-related threads. Matt, you are a multilingual human Wikipedia (I mean that in a nice way) and skillful debater, so I hope to exchange views with you on a future CA thread.

    Sonagi, what you wrote there is a little arcane. Are you saying that you have been able to identify people as having multiple IDs? If so, how did you do it? As for Ponta, he is very much a real person. By the way, you have a blog? I have never seen it.

  25. comment number 25 by: ponta

    Sonagi

    Ponta is one and only one person. And I don’t disguise as another person. In my case I think it is obvious. Nobody can imitate my poor English.

    I am afraid it is very poor criticism, if it is a criticism at all ,that someone is a non-native speaker.

    I feel comfortable here because nobody ridicule my poor English. Matt encourage Japanese people to write even though English is not so good.

    I guess Matt will take care of trolls.

    And if you think I am a troll, please tell me so..

    I just thought you were the kind of person who is informative and intellectual , who can discuss reasonably without using racial slur unlike the one who told me I was a descendant of murderer.

    Thanks

  26. comment number 26 by: Sonagi

    No, Ponta, I don’t think you are a troll. I like you, GarlicBreath, the mental patient, and every personality on this blog.

    Matt, I don’t have a blog. The blogsphere is a more interesting place with you in it. 😉

  27. comment number 27 by: Matt

    No, Ponta, I don’t think you are a troll. I like you, GarlicBreath, the mental patient, and every personality on this blog.

    I am still not getting this. Do you mean that all these people are the same person, or have multiple IDs?

    Matt, I don’t have a blog. The blogsphere is a more interesting place with you in it. 😉

    You said you had a blogroll. I took it to mean you have a blog.

  28. comment number 28 by: GarlicBreath

    Sonagi,

    Sonagi Said:

    August 28, 2006 at 6:18 pm

    No, Ponta, I don’t think you are a troll. I like you, GarlicBreath, the mental patient, and every personality on this blog.

    Matt, I don’t have a blog. The blogsphere is a more interesting place with you in it.

    No blog ?? You sure have a lot of yap for somebody without a blog.

    Maybe its time you made a blog. I understand your internet friend Kushibo/Nora is not using his/hers. Maybe your internet friend Kushibo can give you tips on how to meet Korea guys too.

    As for your comments about me. You are not nice. If you have evidence that I am someone else. Please present it. Otherwise STFUB.

  29. comment number 29 by: Matt

    No blog ?? You sure have a lot of yap for somebody without a blog.

    Maybe its time you made a blog. I understand your internet friend Kushibo/Nora is not using his/hers. Maybe your internet friend Kushibo can give you tips on how to meet Korea guys too.

    As for your comments about me. You are not nice. If you have evidence that I am someone else. Please present it. Otherwise STFUB.

    GarlicBreath, you need to tone yourself down, seriously. I dont want anyone here being told to STFUB. So tone it down, OK?

    Sonagi, if you want to say something, come right out and say it. We are adults here, and I dont want this to turn into a flame war because you have implied that people here are using multiple IDs. That just baits people like GarlicBreath. So yeah, come right out and say it.

  30. comment number 30 by: Errol

    I’m just me, as Matt will readily attest.

    But in the interim let’s talk about the last Saturday in September.

    Swans are no chance Matt.

  31. comment number 31 by: Errol

    The internet is a strange place.

  32. comment number 32 by: Matt

    I’m just me, as Matt will readily attest.

    But in the interim let’s talk about the last Saturday in September.

    Swans are no chance Matt.

    Sorry, Errol, but I am a Sydneysider. No AFL for me.

  33. comment number 33 by: Errol

    Sydney? I thought you might have started a discussion on the “torturing” is OK if it’s a terrorism case story.

    The King of Kirribilli’s authoritarian streak showing through. Vale Australia’s concept of a fair go.