Professor Soh's Research on Korean Comfort Women Cited in Ongoing Controversy

Tuesday, February 06, 2018

THE JAPAN TIMES -- In the award-winning books of professors Sarah Soh (San Francisco State) and Park Yu-ha (Sejong University), women initially offered various testimonies for working at comfort stations, such as supporting their families economically, escaping overbearing parents or deception by brokers. Some women experienced abusive conditions at comfort stations, others more supportive.

The authors note the complicity of family and neighbors in mobilizing women into brothels, and argue that survivors should freely share their diverse experiences. However, activists pressure survivors to publicly conform to the dominant narrative of Japanese villains and innocent Koreans. For instance, Kim Hak-sun was the first Korean comfort woman to come out publicly and was the model for the San Francisco statue.