I am so excited for Will Graham to have the biggest ‘I told you so’ in human history.
A little bit about the history of the comfort women after the war
Kind of related-unrelated: I’ve always wonder why Koreans think they are the only victims to WW2 comfort women, and why Chinese think they are the only victims, etc. In fact I think many women in many countries and locations are victims, all the way from Korea, China, to Taiwan, and more South-East Asia regions, but whenever there’s an incident like this, people kind of isolate each other as if they don’t know there are other groups of victim? Like in this case, only calling out to Koreans and Korean Americans?
I’ve been wondering about it for a while, and wonder if this is why we can never get Japan to officially admit and apologize…
I actually study modern Japanese history professionally, and I’ve done some research into these questions. I would say that there are a couple of things going on, from what I know.
First, the lack of an apology on the part of Japan is not due to a lack of evidence or to a lack of international solidarity, but is a result of Japanese domestic politics. Although there have been many Japanese domestic groups advocating for acknowledgments of responsibility, apologies, and/or compensation over the years, they have never had the leverage to put them over the top against the dominant social discourses and the political dominance of the LDP. As many people may know, Japan’s socialist prime minister did issue a general apology for the war in 1994, but note he lost the job after just 9 months. The book to read about this is Franziska Seraphim’s War Memory and Social Politics in Japan, if anyone is really interested.
There have been some attempts to address violence against women in WWII specifically and internationally, namely the “Tokyo Tribunal 2000,” which involved activists from across Asia and found the Japanese government guilty of war crimes. But it’s true that most of the non-profits addressing comfort women specifically are limited by national boundaries, and it’s also true that individual governments have found it quite profitable to emphasize the suffering of their own citizens in particular, rather than people across the continent in general, as a wedge against Japan in current politics. The comfort women have become pawns of international politics in many ways, which is really unfortunate not least because it is in many ways another kind of victimization. C. Sarah Soh talks about some of these issues in her book The Comfort Women, which in general is very good. It’s polemical, too, in that Soh is interested in recovering the agency of the comfort women themselves, even against the dominant narratives of activists about the comfort women, which in the end left her without very many friends anywhere on the spectrum of this issue.
Finally, Yuma Totani’s book The Tokyo War Crimes Trial has material on why the comfort women were “ignored” during the actual Tokyo Tribunal in 1946-48; the short answer is that there was a ton of material about the comfort women, particularly in Indonesia, that was introduced into the court record as exhibits, but due to the tribunal’s odd style of proceedings, none of it was actually mentioned in court, leading to the perception that it was ignored. It doesn’t help that the only complete archive of the court exhibits is held in Canberra.
Thank you for this! While I didn’t meant to alienate anyone, I am glad to learn this piece of history and politics behind it!
But how do I get around Isle of Skye without driving…?!
I know there’s buses…??????
Anonymous asked: Hi, I lived in skye for a year while doing research in Scotland and would say that if you want a relaxing/exciting time on the isle, do NOT drive on Skye. It's not just the sheep, there is really only one main road around the entire island, and when you drive through certain parts there is only space for one car, so it's a technique where if another car shows up from the opposite direction (and often you can't see em too well) you both have to pull off and drive around each other. It's tricky
As someone from Asia, I think we have to pull off and passing even for double lane haha…as long as the other side of the road isn’t a cliff
Driving in Scotland/Highland/Isle of Skye?
"Sheep are God’s way of helping drivers to test their airbags. They are everywhere, they are suicidal, and they rely on you to avoid them." —some online travel site
Yes I know sheep are dangerous now but I am excited!
Anyways, someone told me that it is better NOT to drive in highlands/Isle of Skye because the roads are hard and not very well maintained. Does anyone drive around that area before that can confirm this?
I kind of compare the road condition to California’s Big Sur, am I too far off? We will still probably drive since we plan to go from Glasgow->Isle of Skye (2 or more days)->Inverness, it is probably going to be really hard to do local tours that will cover most of the ground…??
Anyone has any recommended B&B/hotel/hostel, please tell me too! Thanks a lot!