Survivors in Indonesia recall being ‘comfort woman’

Some historians estimate that as many as 200,000 women, many from China and South Korea, but also including Indonesia, were forced into sexual slavery in the Imperial Japanese Army’s brothels during World War Two. Over 60 years later, these women who have endured an unimaginable horror are still looking for closure.

It has been 69 years ago, but for Ichi the scars are still fresh.

“I was so scared. I remembered crying every night. I just wanted to die. I felt so helpless,” said Ichi, an Ianfu survivor.

Ichi is one of thousands of women in Indonesia that were taken from their homes and were forced into the Japanese Military’s sex slave system during world war 2 or “ianfu” that literally translates into “comfort women”.

“I was kept in a small shed in the back with other women, the soldier would come and threw me onto the bed. He stripped me and i would scream. He’d hit me. There was nothing i can do. Everyone else just stood there.” Ichi said.

She was 15 at the time. The rape continues until the Japanese finally left Indonesia in 1945. She became barren ever since. Now blind, she lives in this remote village with her adopted daughter.

This was the place where the Japanese soldiers used to keep the ianfus, in this small building here they house around 30 to 40 women from the area like herds. And when the Japanese came by the truckloads, they came in and brutally raped these women.



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