but I didn’t get any medical treatment.
I was finally told to go home after three months later
because I had venereal disease.
My parents were out to do farming, and I was home alone. Japanese soldiers came and yelled at me to come down from the second floor. I got scared and came down. I was taken to the military base. They were constructing Japanese buildings: men made bunkers, and women leveled the ground even every day.
I was working when a Japanese soldier with a long sword came to me. He touched my hand and brought me to a barak (a house made of bamboo, sometimes it means “comfort station”) and raped me.
I worked in the morning but I was repeatedly caught by two to four soldiers who did it to me in the afternoon. There were several rooms, and there were about ten other women.
가I sometimes slept there, but I usually came back to my sleeping quarter in the evening. Because of the constant rape, my vagina swelled up and it was so painful, but I didn’t get any medical treatment. I was finally told to go home after three months later because I had venereal disease.
I walked home without getting anything from them. My father got medicine from a doctor from his hometown for me. I only heard that the disease will affect men.
During my life, many men were interested in me, but I was personally scared. I was very scared because of Japanese soldiers.
* This Grandma continuously fiddles with Tasbih (Islamic rosary) during the interview. She spends many hours praying every day. There’s nothing else she can do. This is the only way to soothe her mind.
The interpreter who was a traitor
that took me there told me
that I would have to sing
and dance of the Li people黎族
and I could be raped by soldiers at night.
In September, the Japanese army came into town. I was fifteen but they forcibly took me away. There were twenty other women there. The interpreter who was a traitor that took me there told me that I would have to sing and dance of the Li people黎族 and I could be raped by soldiers at night.
After a brutal rape, I bled heavily. The bleeding didn’t stop the next day, and they sent me home.
I had to go to the Japanese base 4-5 times a month. I stayed there for 4-5 days every time I went. I cleaned and drew water during the day, and they forced me to sleep with 3-4 soldiers in the evening.
I saw women who got pregnant or had an abortion. Several Japanese demons raped and killed a woman.
They put boards and divided a large room into three compartments. The door was locked from outside and there were women in each compartment. I spent a year like that.
Later, I was sent to a mountain where we collected stones for railroad tracks. I worked on the roads during the day, and I was raped at night.
I spent more than three years doing that before I ran away, hid in the mountains and returned home. I couldn’t meet my parents for 4 years because the Japanese soldiers were monitoring us.
I could be captured again because I ran away. I stayed in the mountains until Japan surrendered and then returned home.
* Her family live in the Li village, farming. Because there is no other houses around her house, there is no place to go to socialize. Probably that’s why she was very welcoming even if I was a stranger.
Suddenly began to count ‘イチ、ニ、サン(1, 2, 3)’ in Japanese.
The family tells her to continue talking,
but she no longer speaks.
With a crooked back and small appearance, the victim looked over 90 years old.
Having Alzheimer’s for a long time, her memories were gone and it was difficult to carry out even a normal conversation.
Luckily, I was able to hear some of her story from her younger sister Martina, who was also living with her.
Though they were sisters, they had grown up in different places since they shared the same mother, but had different fathers.
Around when the Japanese troops came in, the two sisters were both taken away at a similar time, but were unable to hear from each other.
According to the younger sister, the Japanese army made their way towards her sister’s place, where they forced her away. Then for 3 years before the war ended, she was forced under sexual slavery.
Throughout the interview, the elder sister sat next to her sibling and simply smiled. In the middle, she suddenly began to count ‘イチ、ニ、サン(1, 2, 3)’ in Japanese. The family tells her to continue talking, but she no longer speaks.
As her sibling begins to tell of the atrocities of the Japanese troops, the older sister’s smiling face begins to contort. The victim has already lost so many memories, but she cannot erase the pain that remains in her heart.
The sisters were 4 years apart in age, making it possible to reason that the elder sibling was born around 1926.
* With a high door sill and small entrance, the house was difficult for me to even enter. I was worried about the grandma, who had difficulty walking, moving around this dangerous area. Light was unable to properly enter as everywhere was sealed, but she spends her days eating and resting in her room.
About 4-5 of them came every day.
I got pregnant twice there,
but miscarried both times.
I was on my way to work at a coffee farm with two friends of mine. Suddenly, Japanese soldiers forced us into a vehicle, saying that we had to go somewhere to do farming. There were already several women in the vehicle. They took us to a remote place, washed us, changed our clothes, and sent each of us into one of the rooms.
Then, five soldiers came into the room one at a time, and raped me. About 4-5 of them came every day. I got pregnant twice there, but miscarried both times. Japanese doctors, 1 male and 1 female, gave me medical treatment and medicine, but it didn’t help at all but made me feel more pain.
One day, after being raped by five soldiers, and my vagina swelled up and it was extremely painful. Then, another soldier was about to do it, I felt so much pain, so I screamed. He got so angry and started punching me until my eyes bled.
Only then, the soldier told me to go home. I walked along the mountain path for 8 days and returned home. Since then, I can’t see well with my left eye, and I completely lost vision in my right eye. I still see a doctor for my eyes these days.
Besides, I have difficulty breathing, and whenever I think about those days, I get a headache. I truly want the Japanese government to apologize for those horrible things Japanese soldiers did to me.
* This Grandma is a relative of Darmawi who supports the victims in Sulawesi. She lived alone until 2015, but as her eye vision degenerated, she now lives with Darmawi’s sister.
Rumors went around in the village
that I suffered such thing.
I was ashamed as a woman.
..... .they would think I was a traitor, a Japanese prostitute.
When the Japanese military invaded our village, I ran to the hill with the villagers. I was captured on my way back home, thinking that the Japanese soldiers had left. Everyone was mobilized to create an airfield. People were made to live in wood houses in the mountain, but I was made to live in a thatched warehouse, 200 meters away.
Two, three soldiers came at night holding guns. I was afraid and couldn’t resist. There were five, six other women, but we couldn’t talk or look at each other because of the surveillance.
They had men and women work separately. Had we met them during the daytime, we could’ve tell them about someone coming and raping us at night. We were fed rice gruel or rice in salty water only.
A newlywed couple also came to work, but the husband died. I pretended I was a family member of the couple to get in the funeral procession and escaped.
Rumors went around in the village that I suffered such thing. I was ashamed as a woman. People considered me shameless since they would think I was a traitor, a Japanese prostitute.
My back hurts, and I’m suffering from arthritis. I get tense with indignation when I see Japanese people. If another war breaks out with the Japanese, I’ll be the first one to go out and fight.
* Until a few years ago, I could see several thin beams of light coming down from the ceiling. Now with the recent repair, it doesn’t leak anymore. However, the cement is still exposed that bad smell and poison seem to rise when it’s damp and dank. Next time, I will paper the wall as a final touch.
I sprayed powder down there
to prevent sexually transmitted disease,
and got a shot #606 in the forearm.
It was painful.
We were poor but I grew up in my parent’s love. I worked at a factory that made nets when I was young. On my day off, I was waiting for a boat to go to my aunt's house in an island.
A man approached and forcibly took me to Busan, saying that he will help me make money. I couldn’t even tell my family. I was boarded a ship
and the place I arrived was Dalian大连, China. There were ten small, shabby rooms lined up. I was put into one of them. I was scared.
Suddenly, the door opened and a soldier in a yellow military uniform came in. He swooped on me. Soldiers lined up in front of my room every day.
At least 10 came a day. I sprayed powder down there to prevent sexually transmitted disease, and got a shot #606 in the forearm. It was painful.
3 years later I was sent to the Philippines. Not only were there Korean women, but also 1-2 Japanese women, too.
When the war was over, I came back to Nagasaki on a Japanese warship. From there, I came home through Busan. My mother had passed away,
and my life in my hometown was difficult because rumors went around that I was a “comfort women” and people gave me sharp looks. I became a concubine, but the first wife understood my situation.
* In 2000, I met 4 Grandmas in Tongyoung통영, but now, Bogdeug Kim is the only one left. Not long ago, she had her 100th birthday party at the nursing home. Even then, she prepared to go out, doing her own makeup.
The soldiers called me
'Tazuko' instead of my real name.
They fed me, but didn’t pay me at all.
I don’t remember exactly how old I am. When I was young, I lived with my parents and two older sisters. One day, Japanese soldiers came into our village as they were making roads.
They captured all the pretty girls while shooting their guns. I was about 12 years old then. My two sisters were not taken because they were married.
They didn’t make me work. There were many soldiers but we were the only two women. I slept with many soldiers every day. There was a doctor who examined me. I never became seriously ill, and he gave me medicine when I was sick or had a fever.
The Japanese soldier put a tattoo on my arm. It said '多鶴子' and 'JAPON ... ', and I didn’t know what that meant at the time.
The soldiers called me 'Tazuko' instead of my real name. They fed me, but didn’t pay me at all.
I was released after 3 years when the war ended. When I think about back then, I feel bad and I get headache.
Someone of high status in Japan should come and see it.
My old heart hurts and they have to compensate. I wish they give me money and clothes.
* She lives 200 kilometers from Dili, and it took us over 10 hours by car to get there. She lives in upstairs of a traditional, tall house where she keeps livestock such as pigs and chickens downstairs. The house is dark because there’s no electricity. Recently, there has been some foundation work to build a house with cement near this house.
They were mainly Indonesians,
but there were women from other places, too.
There were about 40 people,
one in each room.
I went out to the market to buy some things. Suddenly, Japanese soldiers came and dragged me to Malimpong. Many women were dragged
to a huge barak (a house made of bamboo, sometimes it means “comfort station”). They were mainly Indonesians, but there were women from other places, too. There were about 40 people, one in each room.
I had to serve at least five soldiers a day. There was no condom, no treatment. Japanese soldiers managed the place, and some soldiers wore long swords. I was released three months later, when the Japanese soldiers left. It was about 30 kilometers from there to my home, and I walked home. My parents asked where I had been.
I told them I was taken by Japanese soldiers and I was afraid. My mother said it’s not my fault because I was forcibly taken away.
I married a man from the same hometown, and my husband knew what happened. My entire body is painful because of what the Japanese soldiers did to me.
I wish they give me help for everything. I need a lot of help as I’m sick and wounded.
* She cannot walk because she was injured in an auto accident in front of her house in 2015. She crawls on the floor in the house. Even after the surgery, she didn’t recover completely. She has to use a hose to urinate. She goes around her children’s homes to stay, and but the current house she lives in has no room for her that she put a mat behind the kitchen cabinet and made a ceiling with cloth.
The villagers did not like me
because they knew I had been raped.
I married a man from another village.
My father passed away early, and I was working as usual to help my mother sell banana leaves at the market. In the afternoon, Japanese soldiers came and forced me into a truck. There were three women and many Japanese soldiers.
I was taken to Arayat Central School, which was being used as a military base. Each of the women was confined to a different room. I couldn't see them, but I could hear them crying.
In the evening, 2 Japanese soldiers came in and started beating and undressing me. I cried and resisted to stop. It was painful.
The soldiers didn’t come the next day. Later, the soldier who raped me came every night, but did not abuse me. During the month or two while I was kept in the base, I constantly protested to send me back home. He may have felt sympathetic that he told me to go home.
When I returned home, the house had been burnt down and my mother was sick in bed with a fever at my neighbor's home. I was in shock for a few months. The villagers did not like me because they knew I had been raped. I married a man from another village.
I want the Japanese soldiers would repent for the cruel acts they did to me. I want justice to be recovered before I die. And I want an official compensation.
* During our conversation, an old man was watching us from behind. I asked later who he was, and I was surprised to hear that he was her husband. I was impressed how her family shared and relieved her pain.
I was pregnant with a Japanese soldier's baby,
and the baby was born.
My mother-in-law said this baby was a bad luck
and wanted to kill it after birth,
but let it live.....
I had already been married with a one-year-old daughter when Japanese soldiers came to the village. I was captured by the Japanese soldiers with my daughter on my back. Four other women and I were forced into a military truck.
Two of them resisted and they were shot to death. I was worried about my daughter so I just had to get in the truck.
I cannot forget the first time I was raped. The Japanese soldier lay down my child on the ground, and didn’t care if she cried while he did it to me.
I could not fight back out of fear that the soldier might hurt my baby or kill me. Four to five soldiers came per day.
About 3 months later, I ran away in the middle of the night with my child on my back who was asleep. When I came home, my father told me not to blame myself, because it wasn’t my fault.
My daughter had a stomach ache, but I couldn’t take her to the hospital because we didn’t have money. She died after three months. At the time, I was pregnant with a Japanese soldier's baby, and the baby was born.
My mother-in-law said this baby was a bad luck and wanted to kill it after birth, but let it live because it was a boy that she thought he could grow up and work.
* The villagers despise the mother and son(Luo Shanxue罗善学) for a ridiculous reason that he looks like a Japanese soldier. He couldn’t go to school regularly, and the two of them make living doing odd jobs in the village. Even now, it is obvious that their relatives look down on them.