Sexual Violence in History: A Bibliography

compiled by Stefan Blaschke


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First published: January 1, 2024 - Last updated: January 1, 2024


Speaker: Agnese Dionisio

Title: Intersecting Lives, Silenced Stories, and the Quest for Reconciliation in the Japanese Empire's Shadow

Subtitle: -

Event: Lecture held at the Japan History Workshop - Online Program

Place: Institute for Advanced Studies on Asia, University of Tokyo, Tokyo, Japan

Date: November 30, 2023

Language: English

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


Link: -


Abstract: »Historiography surrounding the 20th-century Japanese Empire, particularly its system of military sexual slavery, is extensive. While recent scholarly works successfully emphasize the significance of oral histories, I contend that further investigation is necessary to understand the interplay between individual experiences and their connection to broader historical narratives. This presentation aims to analyze the phenomenon of military sexual slavery by examining the intersections of gender, race, socioeconomic status, age, physical ability, and more. These intersecting layers formed a complex hierarchical structure, influencing each individual's position and relative privilege within the Empire. By analyzing the personal narratives of victims and survivors, this presentation reveals how government-led discourses concerning gender, race, and class intersected and mutually reinforced each other, profoundly affecting people's lives. The presentation will feature stories of individuals from across the Empire, with a focus on those who lived on the fringes of society. Personal experiences and struggles, including those of Japanese and Korean 'comfort women' taken to Chuuk Lagoon, Filipino individuals who may identify today as transgender or non-binary, and the stark disparities in the treatment of white women compared to Indonesian and Chinese women living in Japan-occupied Indonesia, will be examined. I will also discuss how these historical narratives connect to contemporary society and the ongoing struggles of individuals who still grapple with the legacies of the Japanese Empire.« (Source: Online Program)

Wikipedia: 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