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Comfort Women: Sexual Slavery in the Japanese Military During World War II

Yoshiaki Yoshimi

December, 2000
Paper, 262 pages, 4 halftones, 3 illus
ISBN: 978-0-231-12033-3
$32.00 / £22.00

"Yoshiaki's invaluable study explodes the claims of Japanese right-wing nationalists that comfort women were merely wartime prostitutes . . . Citing official military records and correspondence, he proves beyond doubt that the victims of this monstrous system were actually sex slaves subjected to repetitive rape and violence . . . [this book] belongs in most libraries." — Library Journal (starred review)

"As a piece of historical literature,Comfort Women is interesting as an in-depth look at the politics and psychology of a particular time, as much as it is a chronology of what happened to the comfort women and why they were forgotten. One of the most interesting things about it, however, is its unique place in history as the virtual smoking gun that supplied the damning evidence the world needed to hear in order to fully understand and come to grips with this issue....A convincing writer and powerful advocate, Yoshimi has shown by words and actions his willingness to campaign not only as an intellectual who loves the truth, but as a person of tough moral fiber who will stand up for human rights, even as a majority of one." — Martha Vickery, Korean Quarterly

"Crucial reading." — Katha Pollitt, The Nation

"Comfort Women's command of documentary materials makes it a landmark for historians, human rights activists and general readers." — Georgette Fleischer, Los Angeles Times Book Review

"Yoshimi, a reputable historian/scholar . . . has meticulously sleuthed out chronological data, exposing from its bitter outset that sordid, endless business of sexual slavery. Yoshimi’s account extends to the essence of feminist political purpose . . . The book makes solid headway toward legitimizing his demands for public access to still-secret documents; acknowledging and apologizing for all violations of international law and war crimes and for failure to punish guilty parties; rehabilitating and compensating victims . . . A vigorous work, enhanced by a precise, graceful translation." — Choice

"it is necessary and compelling reading...invaluable addition...fascinating" — Wendy Anderson, Asian Studies Review

"An incisive and important book by a leading researcher on this extremely controversial topic." — John Dower, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, author of Pulitzer Prize-winning Embracing Defeat

"A compelling investigation of women and war, sexual violence, military organization, notions of maleness, ideas of Japaneseness, and concepts of reparations and civil rights." — Victoria de Grazia, Columbia University

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About the Author

Yoshimi Yoshiaki is professor of modern Japanese history at Chuo University in Tokyo, and a founding member of the Center for Research and Documentation on Japan’s War Responsibility.

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