Matthew Kim L&S Arts & Humanities
US-Based Movements on the Issues of Japanese Military Sexual Slavery
Recently in Japan and the US, there’s been a rise in the denial of atrocities committed by the Japanese Imperial Army against victims of military sexual slavery, also known as “comfort women,” who are primarily Korean, Filipinx, and Chinese.
In the US, this has been marked by events like a Harvard Law scholar writing that the enslavement was consensual labor, a lawsuit that reached the Supreme Court filed by a right-wing Japanese group against building a comfort women memorial and intimidation at events where comfort women have spoken. These events coincide with growing educational mobilizations in the Korean, Filipinx, and Chinese diaspora to build statues in the US that honor the victims. Because the movement is suppressed, there remains a large gap in research published around the voices of organizers.
This project will highlight the comfort women movement in the Asian diaspora in the US, interviewing and publicizing the experiences of the organizers behind the building of comfort women statues. What have they encountered and learned and what are their hopes for the movement? How does identity, history root them in their cause?