Resurrection of the Japanese military “comfort stations” in East Asia: focusing on the Taiwanese military brothels, special assignation teahouses (teyuechashi)
IM WooKyung (Translated by Natalie GRANT)
This article explores the context in which the Japanese military “comfort stations” were revived throughout East Asia following World War II with a focus on the Taiwanese military brothels, special assignation teahouses (SATs). Chiang Kai-shek’s secret military advisory group Baituan, comprised of former Japanese military soldiers, as well as civilians and KMT officers who had experience with Japanese military comfort stations, strongly influenced the SATs and revived the operational tactics of the Japanese military comfort stations. The resurrection of the Japanese military comfort stations can also be seen in Japan’s US Military Special Comfort Facilities Association, the Korean military special comfort corps, the Allied Forces military comfort stations during the Korean War, and the US military camptowns throughout Asia. The ongoing civil wars after the end of World War II and the need for a liberal anti-communist alliance are connected to the failure of East Asia to fully decolonize and the subsequent emergence of the chain of military comfort stations. This article argues that we must approach the current East Asia nationalist debate over the Japanese military comfort stations as a regional rather than a national issue, and as a problem of the Cold War as well as a problem of colonization.
KEYWORDS: Special Assignation Teahouse (SAT); Military Paradise; Service Paradise; 831; Japanese Military Comfort Woman; Military Comfort Station; Korean Military Special Comfort Corps; US military camptowns; chain of military brothels in East Asia
Notes on Contributor
IM WooKyung is a professor of the Academy of East Asian Studies at Sungkyunkwan University, Korea. She is interested in issues of gender and nation, socialism in Asia, and East Asia theory. She is now researching the military brothels of Taiwan and Japanese military sex slavery in China.
Notes on Translator
Natalie Grant is an international relations professional with expertise in international development, social welfare policy, and democracy in the Asia-Pacific. She received her MA in Global Affairs and Policy from the Yonsei Graduate School of International Studies.