This special issue explores the devastated terrain where the
peculiar form of East Asian colonial modernity and militarism
intersects with gender and sexuality. The contributors suggest that
in building the modern nation-state, through the inversion of
public and domestic space, Japan created a state-administered
system of licensed prostitution within itself and its colonies. The
"Comfort Women" system that drafted over 200,000 Asian women into
sexual slavery for the Japanese military during the Pacific War, is
a testimony of the racial and gender contradictions of the Japanese
Empire. While the essays in the issue attempt to untangle this
grotesque history--repressed and misrepresented in the name of
nationalism in both Japan and its former colonies--they also
question the nationalistic inclination of the movement that aims to
reaudit this history.
Extending its interrogation to the Cold War power dynamics and
contingent economic development that have contributed to the
silencing of the colonial past in East Asia, these essays also
examine "the Tokyo Trials" and the discourses of postwar
compensation and apology. They not only reveal the capitalistic
incentives behind the nominalism of compensation but also unmask
the Janus face of humanism, which claims to be universal while
excluding Asian women from the category of humanity.
This exceptional collection includes artwork by two Korean comfort
women, Tok-kyong Kang and Sun-dok Kim, as well as pieces by
Japanese artists and Korean American artists. Other features
include a narrative composed of several interviews with comfort
women and a conversation between the Nobel laureate Kenzaburo Oe of
Japan and South Korean dissident poet Chi-ha Kim.
"Contributors. "Chungmoo Choi, Chin Sung Chung, Norma Field,
Yuki Fujime, Tok-kyong Kang, Chi-ha Kim, Hyun Sook Kim, Daisil
Kim-Gibson, Jin Kyung Lee, Sasha Y. Lee, Yong Soon Min, Kenzaburo
Oe, Kerry Ross, Yoshiko Shimada, Youn Ok Song, Won Soon Park, Kyung
sik Suh, Taeko Tomiyama, Melissa Wender, Hyanah Yang
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