Sexual Violence in History: A Bibliography

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First published: August 1, 2023 - Last updated: June 1, 2024


Author: Kevin Blackburn

Title: The Comfort Women of Singapore in History and Memory

Subtitle: -

Place: Singapore

Publisher: National University of Singapore Press

Year: 2022

Pages: 224pp.

Series: Singapore, Studies in Society & History

ISBN-13: 9789813251861 - Find a Library: Wikipedia, WorldCat

Language: English

Keywords: Modern History: 20th Century | Asian History: Indonesian History, Japanese History, Korean History, Singaporean History | Types: Forced Prostitution / "Comfort Women" System, Types: Wartime Sexual Violence / Asia-Pacific War


Link: -


Author: Kevin Peter Blackburn, National Institute of Education, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore - ORCID

  1. Lee Kuan Yew and Masculinist Memories of the Comfort Women
  2. The Role of the Women of Singapore in the Sex Industry of the Japanese Military
  3. Inside the Comfort Stations of Singapore
  4. Korean and Indonesian Comfort Women in Singapore
  5. The Comfort Women Returning to Live in Postwar Society
  6. The Silence of the Local Comfort Women of Singapore
  7. The Comfort Women of Singapore as 'Dark Heritage'

Description: »"Comfort women" or ianfu is the euphemism used by the Japanese military for the women they compelled to do sex work in the Second World War. It has become the term generally used in English to discuss the subject. The role of comfort women in history remains a topic of importance - and emotion - around the world. Most scholarship concentrates on Korean comfort women, with less on their counterparts in Japan, China, Taiwan and even less on Southeast Asia. It is well-known that an elaborate series of comfort stations, or comfort houses, were organised by the Japanese administration across Singapore during the Occupation from 1942 to 1945. And historians have recorded eyewitness accounts from Korean comfort women who served here, and from managers of Singapore comfort stations.
So why did no local former comfort women come forward and tell their stories when others across Asia began to do publicly in the 1990s? To understand this silence, the book details the sex industry serving the Japanese military during the wartime occupation of Singapore: the comfort stations, managers, procuresses, girls and women who either volunteered or were forced into service and in many cases sexual slavery. Could it be that no former comfort women remained in Singapore after the war? Blackburn shows through a careful weighing of the different kinds of evidence why this was not the case. The immediate post-war years, and efforts to repatriate or 'reform' former comfort women fills in a key part of the history.
The author then turns from history to the public presence of the comfort women in Singapore's memory: newspapers, novels, plays, television, and touristic heritage sites, showing how comfort women became known in Singapore during the 1990s and 2000s. Blackburn brings great care, balance and sensitivity to a difficult subject.« (Source: National University of Singapore Press)

- Blumberg-Kason, Susan. Asian Reviews of Books (Dcember 11, 2022). - Full Text: Asian Reviews of Books (Free Access)

- Gao, Ming. Seoul Journal of Korean Studies 36(1) (June 2023): 359-361. - Full Text: Project MUSE (Free Access)

- Hynes, Kristin. E-International Relations (August 21, 2023). - Full Text: E-International Relations (Free Access)

- Low, Kelvin E.Y. Journal of the Malaysian Branch of the Royal Asiatic Society 96(1) (June 2023): 169-170. - Full Text: Project MUSE (Free Access)

- Noh, Jae-Eun. Southeast Asian Studies 13(1) (2024): 179-182. - Full Text: J-Stage (Free Access)

Wikipedia: History of Asia: History of Indonesia / Japanese occupation of the Dutch East Indies | History of Asia: History of Korea / Korea under Japanese rule | History of Asia: History of Singapore / Japanese occupation of Singapore | History of Asia: History of Japan / Shōwa era | Prostitution: Forced prostitution / Comfort women | Sex and the law: Wartime sexual violence / Wartime sexual violence in World War II | War: Pacific War / Japanese war crimes