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Comfort Woman: A Filipina's Story of Prostitution and Slavery under the Japanese Military (Asian Voices) Paperback – March 18, 1999
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This book makes clear that what the Japanese army did was only the worst example of oppression against women in the long history of colonialism and imperialism in the Philippines. It serves a corroborative text for historians, a call to arms for feminists and human rights activists, and, finally, a life-affirming reminder of the indomitability of the human spirit for all readers. (Persimmon)
Maria Rosa Henson's Comfort Woman is a straightforward, painful account, simply told. A powerful account of a woman's life controlled by men, both Filipino and Japanese. (Feminist Formations)
Serves as a good introduction to readers who may be approaching the subject of 'comfort women' for the first time. Henson's autobiography becomes more than just the telling of the untold but ultimately the revealing of the unseen and the unsaid. [She] is not only able to recount the nightmare of her abduction and confinement in a 'comfort station,' but she articulates the day to day degradation and hardship that women are subjected to long before and after the war is over. (Pilipinas)
A compelling and moving account of one Filipina's ordeal under the Japanese military. It is also a story of survival, and of a lifelong quest for healing and for justice. Maria Rosa Henson deserves praise for her honesty and courage. By revealing to us her painful experiences, Mrs. Henson broke a fifty-year silence and made the world aware of the brutality of war and its savageness to women. We are greatly enriched by this story and inspired by how one woman can overcome such epic suffering and still have such compassion and such faith. (Corazon C. Aquino)
About the Author
Yuki Tanaka is Research Professor at the Hiroshima Peace Institute of Hiroshima City University.
More About the Author
Top Customer Reviews
The position of the comfort station, and the "odd" use of the words banzai and baka are no evidence against the authenticity of the author's story. To put it bluntly, most of us were not living in Japan during the 1940s and even less of us were on the front lines. We cannot say with any conviction how odd Japanese behavior would have been in that time period and under those circumstances.
The point that Maria could have easily escaped cannot simply be proved by the fact that one guard stood outside her room. No matter how "nice" he was to her, it's unlikely he'd simply let her leave, and even if he did (or if he could be tricked as Hiromi suggests) it's not as if there was a route, free of Japanese soldiers, leading straight from the garrison to safety. Maria constantly refers to Japanese sentries and checkpoints throughout the region, not to mention guards *outside* the building.
The doubt concerning how many Japanese troops would be available to rape Maria doesn't seem to be well founded. The entire purpose of comfort stations was to increase morale, and a losing battle would require more "comfort". Certainly there were always large numbers of troops present at and around the garrison. If sexual services were considered routine for young men to receive, most of them could free up their schedules.
The "more serious doubts" do not hold any more water. The idea that Maria could not learn complex Japanese military terms from her captors is probably true.Read more ›
However, the translation and Kindle edition is very difficult to read. Random sentences and non-paragraphs appear out of nowhere. Also, parts of the beginning of the book seem almost like they are out of chronological order. It's a shame that the book couldn't have been translated and written to better honor Rosa's story. I am unhappy to have spent the money on a book so poorly laid out. I would have rather got it at the library.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This would explain why someone would sincerely become a missionary because this kind of mentality is so wacko and nasty so that when it left home and landed in Asia proper, the... Read morePublished 19 months ago by vvv
(1) U.S., Korean and Japanese records show "comfort women" were sex-workers publicly recruited, volunteered, hired, protected and paid legitimately (or well. Read morePublished 24 months ago by Obj
This is an interesting account of what happened during the war to some of the women who were the captives of the Japanese. Read morePublished on March 19, 2013 by P. M. McCarty
Comfort Woman: A Filipina's Story of Prostitution and Slavery under the Japanese Military
The sample I read was good. Read more
In rape cases, to point out some problematic facts in the story told by the plaintiff would often be branded as the second rape. Read morePublished on May 3, 2004 by shiragamihiromi