Sexual Violence in History: A Bibliography

compiled by Stefan Blaschke


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First published: September 7, 2019 - Last updated: December 1, 2023


Speaker: Fumi Inoue

Title: The 1955 Yumiko-Chan Incident

Subtitle: -

Conference: Annual Conference of the Association for Asian Studies (March 26-29, 2015) - Online Program

Session: Panel 240. The Meanings of Peace in Modern Japan: The Tenacity of War and Protest in a "Pacifist" State (Chair: Sarah Kovner)

Place: Chicago, Illinois, United States

Date: March 28, 2015

Language: English

Keywords: Modern History: 20th Century | American History: U.S. History | Asian History: Japanese History | Cases: Real Offenders / Isaac J. Hurt; Cases: Real Victims / Yumiko Nagayama; Offenders: Age and Gender / Male Adults; Professions / Soldiers; Types: Rape / Child Sexual Abuse; Victims: Age and Gender / Female Children; Victims: Physical Consequences / Homicide


Link: -


Speaker: Fumi Inoue, Graduate School of Asia-Pacific Studies, Waseda University - ORCID

Abstract: »There is a direct link between the thousands of crimes committed by American servicemembers stationed in Japan and local communities' struggle against the American military presence in Japan. The Japanese Defense Ministry officially tallies 209,577 crimes committed between 1952 and 2013. This number is incomplete as it is missing the pre-1952 period, and official U.S. figures are still outstanding.
In 1955, on the island of Okinawa, a five-year-old girl named Yumiko Nagayama was raped and murdered by an American military sergeant. The heinous "Yumiko-chan Incident" triggered the first massive citizens' movement against American GIs' crimes in postwar Japan. Caught off-guard by popular resistance, American authorities on the island devised punitive measures to quash it, though the measures had to be discarded because of that very resistance. It was not solely the shock towards the unspeakable crime against a five-year-old-girl that awakened Okinawan citizens' political consciousness, but also their years-long frustration over servicemen's excesses and their effective legal impunity ensured by American extraterritoriality claims-that is to say, the U.S. military's exclusive right to investigation on, and criminal jurisdiction over, its military personnel's crimes. The protests had tangible effects beyond merely annoying the American authorities. For the first time, Okinawans acquired the right to attend the perpetrator's court-martial. While the "Yumiko-chan Incident" only marks the tip of the iceberg of American military personnel's crimes committed in postwar Japan, it is a critical moment in the history of popular movements in Japan against American military presence on Japanese soil.« (Source: Online Program)

Wikipedia: History of Asia: History of Japan / Shōwa era | History of the Americas: History of the United States / History of the United States (1945-1964) | Sex and the law: Rape / Yumiko-chan incident