The Fairy Princess wings are beating a bit slower today – and that is because she has learned that the statue dedicated to the memory of Comfort Women, that resides in Glendale, California, outside of a Library is the subject of two petitions. The first of course, is to take it down, and the second is to keep it up and maintain it. (Sign to save the statue HERE)
This is why the Fairy Princess’s tiara is in tilt – the asswipes are winning. Yes, those who oppose having any record of the suffering of Sex Slaves oppressed by the Japanese Army, are winning.
The question is, why?
Obviously there are a few historical things we have to know in order to understand the issue – and The Fairy Princess is no Historian. She is, however, the recipient of the legacy of Japanese oppression, as is her Husband, and her Son, so she is going to lay this out as best she can.
People may get upset. Japanese people may get upset.
Japanese Americans SHOULD NOT get upset at this, although they probably will. I get upset about the Internment Camps in the United States too, Japanese Americans have suffered a great deal, and this is not a post about Japanese Americans and their history with America, which has been tortured.
Here’s what – the people responsible for the Sex Slaves were the ruling government of Japan at the time, and the soldiers who carried it out. That’s it.
The Fairy Princess does not ‘blame’ the Japanese population. We have atrocities committed now, all over the world, also in the name of war – in the quest for oil, or weapons, or power, in countries and continents whose names we can all recite. However, denial of this history is wrong. It is the worst thing we can do – because as we all know, those who do not know their history, repeat it.
We must be taught ALL of our own history – however brutal. Should we acknowledge that Andrew Jackson carried out an American Genocide against Native Americans? YES we should.
Because we did it. And it should never be done again.
Was Slavery of Africans completely and totally wrong and in no way at all defensable by any thinking or compassion or moral person of any other race, creed, color, or religion?
The United States has been formed by some brutal, awful people. No question.
But so has every other nation. This is not about attacking nations, this is about defending victims – keep reading, come at me later.
For the layperson who is not taught Asian history in school – here is a summation:
On December 13, 1937, the Chinese city of Nanjiang – aka Nanking, was invaded by the Japanese Army. It was brutal, even by modern warfare standards. The soldiers had been conditioned to believe that the Chinese population was no better than dogs. They used every method at the time to subjugate this city – and you do not have to believe me, they can tell you what happened themselves:
Now, one of the ways you subjugate a population is using rape. Oppressors use rape as a weapon – it is the worst personal crime any person can experience, because not only does it strip one of any dignity, in Asian cultures at the time, the concept of purity among it’s women was highly prized. The concept of “face’, which all Asian cultures share – include not only personal dignity, but how one is held in the eyes of the town/city/wherever one lived.
So rape, as a crime, in Asia shamed the woman, it shamed her Husband or Father for not protecting her, it shamed any children she may have already had, it shamed any children she would consequently have. Rape, in Asian cultures, affects the whole family – much as it does anywhere else. Men were also raped, or forced to rape their own daughters or sisters or mothers. Pregnant women were raped and then their child was cut out of their stomachs by bayonets.
In six weeks.
When word of this got out to the World in general – and, it did – The Government of Japan was facing a lot of judgement from other Nations. Remember- Japan was an imperial power, but they depended on the fact that most of the World was not paying attention to what was happening in Asia. Because there was some awful stuff going down in Europe, courtesy of a guy name Adolf.
377,400 is a lot of dead people in six weeks. There were photos, which I am not going to post because they make me ill. If you want to see them, all you have to do is an internet search or read a book by Iris Chang.
So what WAS The Japanese Army to do? Yes, the world was occupied with Europe while they were getting away with, literally, murder – but if they kept decimating populations in small amounts of time, eventually people would notice and do something. And…the Caucasians living in Nanking at the time were frantically trying to create a Safety Zone for the Chinese population while they were also writing their native lands for help – so time was of the essence.
A theory that the soldiers would have been gentler if they had been having regular sex, emerged. The Japanese Army decided to become pimps. Prostitution, at the time, was rampant in Japan, so first, they asked for ‘volunteers’ from Japanese brothels. As time went by, the demand became too great, and while they were trying their best to trick Japanese women, the “Pros’, and women just on the street were they lived by – you know, kidnapping them in to prostitution, or by lying and telling them they were going to go work in factories in support of the Japanese Army only to wind up in Army brothels…it just was not enough. Japan could not supply enough women to their Army – so they, in an effort to prevent rape of occupied territories and a repeat of Nanking, decided to pull from conquered territories.
The BBC estimates that there were between 200,000 – 300,000 “Comfort Women” in total – pulled from Japan, China, Korea, Burma, Dutch East Indies, The Philippines, and Australia – anywhere the Japanese Army occupied – they had Sex Slaves.
How did the system work?
Tickets. Soldiers were given tickets – much as they were given rations, and guns, and uniforms. They would go to the Army brothel, turn in their ticket, and rape someone. The women were systematically raped – night and day. Every day. Some estimates concluded that a woman could be raped as many as 70 times a week. The higher your rank was as a Solider, the more tickets you got.
Very few of the Sex Slaves survived. They were physically beaten, they were raped, they contracted venereal disease, they were just plain murdered when the Japanese Army was realizing that they were losing the war – very few made it home. Those women who did make it back, were not welcomed if they told their story.
If your wife, or daughter was used as a sexual toilet for hundreds of soldiers, you could not, as an Asian person of that time, deal with it. Some were refused housing or food, some never returned. Their bodies were destroyed. Their minds….who could possibly comprehend what their minds were like after being raped 70 times a week?
In 1994, Japan set up the Asian Womans Fund to extend reparations to those women who had been taken as Sex Slaves. Only 11 women took funds and a signed apology from Japanese Prime Minister, Tomiichi Murayama. He said “”As Prime Minister of Japan, I thus extend anew my most sincere apologies and remorse to all the women who underwent immeasurable and painful experiences and suffered incurable physical and psychological wounds as comfort women.”
In 1992, at a dinner given by South Korean President, Roh Tae Woo, the Japanese Prime Minister Kiichi Miyazawa told his host: “We Japanese should first and foremost recall the truth of that tragic period when Japanese actions inflicted suffering and sorrow upon your people. We should never forget our feelings of remorse over this. As Prime Minister of Japan, I would like to declare anew my remorse at these deeds and tender my apology to the people of the Republic of Korea.” and apologized again the following day in a speech before South Korea’s National Assembly.
On April 28, 1998, the Japanese court ruled that the Government must compensate the women who sued and awarded them US$2,300 ($3,294 in 2014) each.
That is $2,300 for being raped up to 70 times a week and an apology.
So just to sum up – they admitted it. Two different Prime Ministers of Japan admitted that there were women forced into sexual slavery. Of those taken, while there is no exact number, estimates are that from 50,000-70,000 of those women were taken from Korea.
No one is able to deny any more that this happened. It happened. Everyone knows.
Los Angeles has a large Korean/Korean American population, and funds were raised for a memorial for the Comfort women – to let them know that we will not forget them. Time is running out for them, they are ill, they are old, they deserve respect and kindness.
What they are getting is a petition to take away their statue.
Sent to The White House. Those signing it outnumber the people who want these women to be able to keep their statue. Because they do not have enough people getting upset about this – but The Fairy Princess is upset, and The Fairy Princess has a voice, and she is going to use it.
This is a Woman’s Issue. This is about Violence – systemic and organized violence against women. It does not matter if you wish it did not happen, or you think it embarrasses your Nation – it happened.
We are all going crazy talking about ‘bullying’ – and it is a terrible thing – but this petition is the WORST kind of bullying, because it is taking advantage of a system that is designed to help us defend ourselves – petitions are to right wrongs, not commit crimes – and to take away their statue IS to commit one further crime on them, one more to add on to the burden they already bear.
The worst thing we, as people of the United States can do, is let these women be forgotten.
I would love for any woman reading this to sign the petition to let them keep their statue. I would love for anyone with compassion, for anyone with humanity, to sign the petition to let them keep their statue.
Yes, it is a local government issue, and the statue will likely stay put, but White House petitions with over 100,000 are generally acted upon in some way – so wouldn’t it be a great thing to say to those surviving Sex Slaves:
We see you.
We have heard you.
We want you represented so that we can tell your stories, so that it never happens again.
We are going to outnumber the people who say this did not happen to you. It happened.
We See You.
Sign the Petition. Give them Peace.
Don’t be an A**hole. It’s enough already.
(Yes, I know that some jerk is going to try and list all sorts of atrocities committed by Americans or whatever and all I can say ahead of time is – don’t bother. You are a tool. Go home. Go to Church. Go figure out why you think posting slime is a human thing to do, because it’s not – and I do not read the comments anyway.)