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)
Henson's book is different for two reasons: she experienced the tragedy firsthand and therefore speaks with authority; but she also speaks with the voice of healing, since she has lived with her nightmare for decades and survived, both physically and spiritually. Another amazing aspect of this book is that despite its title, it does not focus naroowly on the sex-slave controversy. Henson died in August 1997, but her words live on. Her example is unforgettable. (The Japan Times
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
About the Author
Maria Rosa Henson, 1928–1996, was one of thousands of Asian women forced into prostitution during World War II by the Japanese military. She told her story for the first time in the 1990s at the urging of the Task Force on Filipino Comfort Women.