Sexual Violence in History: A Bibliography

compiled by Stefan Blaschke


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First published: April 8, 2017 - Last updated: May 1, 2023


Speaker: Tomomi Yamaguchi

Title: "History Wars" and the "Comfort Woman" Issue

Subtitle: Historical Revisionism in Contemporary Japan and the U.S.

Conference: 17th Berkshire Conference on the History of Women, Genders and Sexualities: Difficult Conversations: Thinking and Talking About Women, Genders, a Sexualities Inside and Outside the Academy (June 1-4, 2017) - Online Program

Session: 83 P: Comfort Women: Two Systems of Sexual Slavery and Historical Revisionism (Chair: Yukiko Hanawa)

Place: Hofstra University, Hempstead, New York, United States

Date: June 2, 2017

Language: English

Keywords: Modern History: 20th Century, 21st Century | American History: U.S. History; Asian History: Japanese History | Types: Forced Prostitution / "Comfort Women" Revisionism, "Comfort Women" Commemoration / Types: Wartime Sexual Violence / Asia-Pacific War


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Speaker: Tomomi Yamaguchi, Department of Sociology & Anthropology, Montana State University -, Wikipedia

Abstract: »An issue of intense controversy currently in Japan is "comfort women", with many in the right wing relentlessly attacking the accepted historical narrative and denying that there was any government involvement in, or corresponding responsibility for, a system of sexual slavery. Right-wing media and intellectuals have begun to use the term "history wars" to refer to this development. Japanese revisionists now consider the United States to be one of the major "battlefields" on the "comfort woman" issue. They have criticized the "comfort woman" memorials, museum exhibits, and coverage of "comfort women" in history textbooks and curriculums in the U.S. They have also promoted events that aim to deny and attack historical facts about "comfort women" in the U.S. Thus, the controversy on "comfort women" is hardly limited within academia but spread outside of the academy, beyond national borders. With the recent diplomatic agreement between South Korea and Japan, the revisionists' argument that the "comfort woman" issue is not a global women's rights issue but merely a diplomatic problem may permeate even further.
Based on my anthropological fieldwork on historical revisionism and the Japanese right-wing, I will demonstrate how this issue functions as an important rallying point to tie together disparate right-wing elements including the Abe government. I will also highlight how the acts of remembering and commemorating the survivors' experiences of wartime violence against women become such a contentious, political issue that mobilize the Japanese right-wing so intensively and emotionally in Japan and the United States.« (Source: Berkshire Conference on the History of Women, Genders and Sexualities)

Publication: Yamaguchi, Tomomi. »The "History Wars" and the "Comfort Woman" Issue: The Significance of Nippon Kaigi in the Revisionist Movement in Contemporary Japan.« The Transnational Redress Movement for the Victims of Japanese Military Sexual Slavery. Edited by Pyong G. Min et al. Berlin 2020: 233-260. - Bibliographic Entry: Info

Wikipedia: History of Asia: History of Japan / Shōwa era | History of the Americas: History of the United States | 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