- 1 ：名無しさん＠英語勉強中：2006/07/04(火) 21:31:09
- 531 ：名無しさん＠英語勉強中：2007/05/05(土) 13:50:42
- >>513 #1
"The truth of the comfort women from my standpoint" by Hiroo Onoda
"Seiron - just argument" January issue
The issues over primeminister's visits to Yasukuni Shrine and the comfort women
are discussed in many places but they are nothing but the unfounded accusations
by the other countries. I thought I didn't need to say much about these issues as
well about as the Nanjing Massacre, but having been fed up with follies of absurd
and insulting remarks seen until even now, I have to say.
Sixty years have passed since the Greater East Asia War and now that the
population of people who went to war is decreasing, I decided to write down my
testimony to prove the "comfort women system" was obviously the "commercial
The biggest problems that obstructed the security means and the operations to
win people's minds for overseas stationing troops were rape, robbery and arson.
It's widely known that each country took measures against those problems.
There were the "comfort women" certainly in battle fields during the war.
But it was natural as the public prostitution system was legal at that time.
Though not only officers and soldiers who went to open battles but everyone else
also knew the phrase "army nurse" generally, no one either heard or said of the
phrase "comfort woman". It's obvious that the "comfort woman" is a recent coinage
to soil Japan's reputation.
- 532 ：名無しさん＠英語勉強中：2007/05/05(土) 13:52:24
- >>513 #2
They called those prostitutes "Zhongguo P" and "Chosun P" at the war front of
China, though they might be the dirty words. As nobody would buy a prostitute
without getting embarrassed or in public, very few people have come out in
public with details of what they had heard and seen by themselves about the
"wartime brothels" and the "comfort women". But to witnesses who know them very
well, some people would say, "Why do you know about it so well ?" while
ridiculing those witnesses.
You may want to ask me why I can do this, but as my position fortunately allowed
me to observe the facts from outside the army, I can boldly come out with them
to clear up misunderstandings in the world.
◆ The tour of the "wartime brothel" at Hankou
I went to Hankou: current Wuhan, near the middle portion of the Yangtze River as
a memeber of a trade firm in April when I was seventeen and lived in the place
where the Japanese army had occupied for only five months and the smell of so to
speak gun smoke still remained.
At that time, Hankou city was divided into the refugee area, the China town, the
Japan China town, the French settlement, the Japanese settlement, the former
German settlement, the former Russian settlement and the former British
settlement. The security was different in each area depending on circumstance.
In the Japan China town, Japanese and Chinese lived together and a Chinese
carried an "identification" as a Chinese in the China town did. A Chinese who
didn't have an identification was made to live in the refugee area due to
- 533 ：名無しさん＠英語勉強中：2007/05/05(土) 13:53:40
- >>513 #3
Even a Japanese soldier wasn't allowed to enter the refugee area and we Japanese
residents weren't either unless we had registered ourselves to get permissions.
It was such a dangerous area.
As I was a trading merchant, I walked around the city except the refugee area.
One day a soldier in a dirty army uniform asked me where the brothel was, but I
didn't understand it for a little while and bewildered.
Then having recalled the place where the signboard with the big black letters of
"Hankou special recreation facility" on it hanged on the wall, and a sentry and
a soldier wearing an armband of the "military police" stood in front of it,
I told him all I remembered. It was in the Japan China town where the movie
house had been built as well. I thought from his uniform that he was certainly a
soldier who had just come back from a campaign, as a soldier guarding the town
didn't wear such a dirty uniform.
I had made a hasty conclusion that soldiers had been able to have rice cakes,
steamed breads, noodles etc. for free in the recreation facilities because I had
thought a soldier who had come back from a campaign would need some comfort and
thus the "special recreation facilities" had made sense, but they actually were
the brothels. One of my acquaintances was allowed to go in and out the
"recreation facility" as his trade firm imported the tatami mats as well as
convenience goods and delivered there the tatami mats with condoms and other
goods. One day when he suggested me go there with him, I agreed with him
immediately and joined the tour as an ordinary Japanese wasn't able to step
inside that place.
- 534 ：名無しさん＠英語勉強中：2007/05/05(土) 13:54:35
- >>513 #4
We talked to a military police about our purpose of money collecting and finished
our work quickly. As it was already dark outside, many prostitutes without
customers came and tried to join our talk with the brothel manager, but he
banished them. There were Japanese, Chosun and Chinese women; though Chosun
is regarded as a discriminatory term and not used now, during Japan's annexation
of Korean peninsula if we said "Japanese and Chosun" or something, they would
protest us fiercely as they were also Japanese.
They flocked around and seduced us with eagerness for business as a military
police didn't investigate in their rooms without any exceptional reason.
A prostitution fee was classified as first, second and third depending on where
she was from. The business hours were during only daylight for soldiers as
their curfew was the sunset, were longer for noncommissioned officers as their
curfew was later and were all night for commissioned officers. The higher the
military class was, the more charge they had to pay and women earned in the
same time period.
I had heard the stories of Korean women who had said, "I thought you were a
noncommissioned officer but are you a soldier ?" and "Make up your mind and come
inside right now. I will discount the fee in the room.", that I can't laugh at
but feel as touching efforts. A certain Japanese prostitute said, "It's not
easy to bail out of the prostitution in Japan, but here I can quit within a half
year to a year.". And one of them boasted, "I had 27 customers a day.".
- 535 ：名無しさん＠英語勉強中：2007/05/05(土) 13:55:41
- >>513 #5
◆The "sex slave" nowhere around Asia
Here let me introduce a brothel manager I made friends with. He said the truth,
"Though Japanese women don't seem much different in physical strength from the
other nations, they tend to forget the business and work so hard until they get
sick. I think it's because they don't have the verbal barrier and they can
understand soldiers well. I have to send back sick women and it undermines the
profits. The best way is to hire only Japanese for soldiers though.".
As there was a demimonde in the town I had grown up, I had often seen geisha
girls and bar girls. I had been able to distinguish them, they had been called
professionals at that time, from ordinary women by their appearances. Thus I was
able to identify prostitutes also in Hankou. Among others Koreans' appearances
They were usually out in a small group, not dressed in the ethnic costumes but
in the western two piece outfits they weren't acustomed with, which made them
look awkward. And the ways they walked were also particular. Thus it was easy for
me to identify them.
They looked so cheery and happy. I didn't feel any sad atmosphere among them from
their everyday lives as current hot issue, the "sex slave". It certainly had long
been said that "A loan shark manager and a pimp can't die on the tatami mats.".
The human traffic had been prohibited since the Meiji era and it had changed the
form to the prostitution to repay the "advance on salary", but actually nothing
had changed for a prostitute in that virtually "she had been sold".
I quoted a prostitute's words "bailing out of the prostitution" above.
- 536 ：名無しさん＠英語勉強中：2007/05/05(土) 13:56:42
- >>513 #6
It means a prostitute who finished repaying the advance on salary was able to
disengage herself. But I had often heard that some prostitution agents deceived
women by vicious and fraudulent ways. It was really pitiful for deceived women
but I also heard the following story. There was an arch woman who deceived
soldiers and officers to get extra money. She tearfully said to soldiers, "I was
deceived by the advertisement of "army nurse" and made to be a prostitute though
I'm a girls high school graduate.". And it's the fact that there were innocent
soldiers who believed her story. At the same time, this is a kind of comedy that
I can't laugh at and it was caused as they were able to communicate in Japanese
under the rule by Japan.
Meanwhile, how much did the "brothel" earn ? This is an assured evidence that
proves the "comfort women system" was the "commercial prostitution".
Having worked in the army clothing factory that was directly related to the army
headquarters in Hankou, my second eldest brother told me about the following
statistics on the "brothel".
At that time, there were about 330 thousand soldiers stationing around Hankou.
He investigated all soldiers in the journal book for a certain reason.
One third of their expenses were for meals, another one third for postal savings,
and rest one third for "brothel". The soldiers weren't very interested in savings
as their salaries were low. But as their bosses taught them to save money as the
discipline, they had to do it actually and reluctantly. I also saved money while
putting up with hunger when I stayed in Nanchang, Jiangxi Sheng as a newly
recruited soldier. Not every soldier was sopposed to divide his salary equally
among three and spend the one third of them. But it's said that the three biggest
- 537 ：名無しさん＠英語勉強中：2007/05/05(土) 13:57:49
- >>513 #7
human lusts are for food, sleep and sex. If the phrase, postal savings, is
replaced to a word, sleep, in the statistics above, the statistics are exactly
same as the human lusts. For your information, an average of soldier's salary a
month at that time was about 13 yen, thus the one third of it is about 4 yen.
Then total amount is 4 yen multiplied by 330 thousand people, that is 1.32
million yen. As it's said the price of a battleplane such as the "zero fighter"
was 30 thousand yen, surprisingly 1.32 million yen is equivalent to 44
battleplanes. As a corporate employee's starting salary wasn't more than 40 yen,
no wonder the army accounting division was surprised.
That's all I had seen and heard from outside the army for three and half years as
a trading merchant, about what the "brothel" and the "comfort women" were
After I had left Hankou in the summer of 1942, an adjutant of the army logistics
group in Hankou: the organization that stayed behind the operations group to
transport, supply and repair vehicles and army supplies, and to keep a line of
communication etc., who was an officer and observed the "brothel" and others
wrote "Hankou logistics". I checked it against what I had heard about the brothel
above, and found very few differences in place names and locations. But the
descriptions of the "brothel" were same as above and more in detail about the
inside information. According to this record, anyone can't deny the fact that the
"comfort women" were the "commercial prostitutes".
Who still denies it and insists on the "sex slave" forced by the army, is too
ignorant or stupid enough to be deceived. Otherwise that person may be as the one
who is asked, "Did they give you some money ?", jokingly by a person in Kansai
area, but that's totally stupid.
- 538 ：名無しさん＠英語勉強中：2007/05/05(土) 14:02:53
- >>513 #8
◆The purpose of the people who made up and fuss about the issue.
Now I disprove the wild view about military's involvement.
I joined the army and was on an active duty when I was twenty years old.
I immediately joined the troops in Nanchang, Jiangxi Sheng. Having finished the
new soldier training, I joined an operation, then I had the officer candidate
training and again joined an operation. Having been so busy that I hadn't been
able to go out even once until I entered the preparatory military academy in
Kurume, I had had no chance to pass through a "brothel" gate.
However senior soldiers were able to go out during the new soldier training.
One day I asked a chief petty officer of four year service, who gave me a
souvenir whenever he went out, "Are you going out, sir ?", he smiled and said,
"Yeah, as I have much money, I'm going to Chosun Bank to deposit it.".
Understanding that jargon, everyone around us only chuckled.
There was the divisional headquarters in Nanchang. There were Japanese, Koreans
and Chinese prostitutes in the "brothel" and soldiers would be able to choose
a woman depending on their financial conditions. I had the officer candidate
training at the regiment headquarters in a countryside that was more than 18.5
miles away from Nanchang.
The "brothel" was on the corner, surrounded by wire, in the defensive lines of
the regiment headquarters. At the end of the training, I was ordered to guard
the headquarters with other officer candidates. Of course it was the round-the-
clock guard. Being in charge of the barracks and didn't have to be on sentry,
I frequently went on patrol at the head of the sentries. The "brothel" was
included in the patrol areas. The sentries on the war front were always ready
- 539 ：名無しさん＠英語勉強中：2007/05/05(土) 14:03:42
- >>513 #9
for the battle, and even the vigils in the barracks as well. They wore helmets,
loaded their guns and of course fixed bayonets at night. We patroled not only
outside the "brothel" but inside with that appearance to check up number of
customers in the record a responsible person submitted, to keep watch for
defaulters and sneak attacks by guerrillas.
Needless to say, soldiers playing there were unarmed, that meant they were
certainly more vulnerable and careless. The army troops had good reason to
protect those soldiers and officers. And another problem was the venereal disease
protection. No wonder there was neither a doctor nor a hospital in such
countryside. We had no choice but to leave medical checkups to army doctors and
medics for the venereal disease protection. A "brothel" manager and women were
Chinese and prostitutes were legal at that time in Japan. They also needed foods
and livingwares as soldiers did. The appropriate means of transport were
necessary due to the large population of women. Here again we had no choice but
to leave it to the army as we were in the middle of nowhere. No wonder when the
Being able to speak a language spoken in Hubei Sheng, I talked with a brothel
manager and heard a lot about how the women had lived. I remember myself even now
being inelegance, patroling through the central corridor with rooms on its both
sides. There certainly was such a scenery that would never be even drawn as a
cartoon. I think the situation was same in any troops.
- 540 ：名無しさん＠英語勉強中：2007/05/05(土) 14:04:41
- >>513 #10
All of those things happened sixty years ago. The time has changed and we live
in peace unlike those days, the war time. The interpretation of the prostitute:
the comfort woman here, has obviously changed also. Despite these changes, there
are people who take advantage of incomplete evidences, take up mere prostitution
as a big issue lately and fuss about it. What's the purpose of these people ?
One thing I can say is, as evidences are incomplete, they are trying to get
something by fussing about it.
This is the last I want to say as an ex-soldier who risked a life in battle
fields and experienced hardships under the hail of bullets. No one can deny this.
Who protects troops in a battle field ? As all around them are enemies or hostile
inhabitants, they should never omit precautions. The story changes if there was
something more reliable than individual, but they have no way but to protect
The army wasn't involved with the "brothels" but they simpley protected
themselves no more and no less.
A proverb, "A tree with too many fruits will die down soon.", is explained as the
"providential mechanism of species preservation". It's said that this "natural
providence" also affects soldiers with uncertain future in savage battle fields.
Is it possible to ask them to act as a model of all virtues or an enlightened
monk ? The fact has been proved by the fact they spent one third of their low
salaries for the "brothel". They didn't have more money than they were able to
- 541 ：名無しさん＠英語勉強中：2007/05/05(土) 14:06:00
- >>513 #11
"Honorable soldiers", their hometown people respected them and had seen them off
while waving flags, were still young. Meanwhile there was certainly the society
where poor and unfortunate women had to sell their bodies to live. Whether they
sell what sell or they buy what are sold, as long as humans live on earth,
no one can exterminate this business and it will continue existing forever.
It's because primitive nature of human forces them to stay alive.
There weren't so called "comfort women" but were only "women selling their
bodies and pimps controlling them" in battle fields. Those women and pimps simply
engaged in the high-margin business, taking unfair advantage of the army's
weakness. Made a fuss about, the Imperial Army and the ex-soldiers who paid large
fees must be the real victims instead.
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