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CIST-605: Information Sources and Services: Research Guides

IST 605: Comfort Women

Introduction to Comfort Women - An Overview

Comfort women (or girls) refers to the many women and girls forced into sexual slavery by the Imperial Japanese Army beginning in 1932 and lasting until the end of World War II in 1945. These women were often taken against their will and lived in “comfort stations” established wherever Japanese troops went. The purpose of comfort women was to boost morale in Japanese soldiers to reduce the consequences of the war with sex.  

The truth of the comfort women history is not an issue. However, denialism attacks the truth of these crimes against humanity. After WWII, Japan’s acknowledgement of comfort women was minimal and comfort women remained silent due to societal stigma. It would not be until 1991 that Kim Hak-soon would become the first woman in Korea to break the silence. The Japanese government would not admit to its involvement until 1994 for which it then created the Asian Women’s Fund (AWF) to compensate former comfort women.  

This guide is intended for students to investigate the issue of comfort women and discover the truth of these crimes against humanity. The tabs are organized by the type of resource and includes documentaries, books, and articles on comfort women.