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Who Are the Ianfu (Comfort Women)?

Author(s): Kirsten Orreill

Journal: New Voices : A Journal for Emerging Scholars of Japanese Studies in Australia and New Zealand
ISSN 1833-5233

Volume: 2;
Start page: 128;
Date: 2008;
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Keywords: Comfort Women | Ianfu | Pacific War | Rape | Slavery

The aim of this article is to understand who the Ianfu are via a social-historical and socio-cultural study. I set out to contextualise the reality of the women’s lives as Ianfu and as surviving Ianfu through the inclusion of recollections of former Korean Ianfu and official histories. Who are the Ianfu, what did they do, where did they go, why were they created, and what happened to them? These are the questions that I sought to answer in order to frame the Ianfu experience through a retelling of their past. Furthermore, there are several reasons why Korean women came to comprise the majority of Ianfu which I endeavour to explain in this article.
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