The use of Korean women's minds, bodies, and histories for south Korean and Japanese political agendas

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Publication Type thesis
School or College College of Humanities
Department Humanities
Author Nay, Britney
Title The use of Korean women's minds, bodies, and histories for south Korean and Japanese political agendas
Date 2015-05
Description Korean women's minds, bodies, and histories have been used by both the South Korean and Japanese governments to further national political agendas since the promulgation of women's education. Women's education was portrayed as necessary for the good of the nation in Chosŏn Korea, and they were to use their education to become better mothers and wives. Women were to give birth to more children in order to literally create and mold the next generation of good citizens for the nation. After colonization by Japan, Korean women were expected to learn the values and ethics of a good imperial subject, and to pass them on to their children. Although many women took advantage of their new opportunities for education, ultimately their bid for independence through education was redirected toward nationalist endeavors. Women's bodies were used as cheap sources of labor, and they often suffered abuse due to their inferior social status and inability to fight back against their oppressors. Finally, women's bodies were used for Japanese soldiers' sexual needs as Korean women were forced into sexual slavery under the comfort women system. These women suffered horribly in comfort stations, and were subjected to further pain and humiliation upon their return home, when many were rejected by their families for their supposed "defilement." The comfort women's stories have remained largely untold until the early 1990s when a more conducive social environment allowed many to step forward and finally tell their stories. Once again, however, they have been denied legitimacy, as the Japanese government initially refused to admit to participation in the comfort system and to this day contests its involvement. Furthermore, the humanitarians that are helping the comfort women pursue acknowledgment and compensation are only interested in telling the worst stories in order to construct a black and white paradigm of Japanese cruelty and aggression. This is not bringing justice to the history and lives of all comfort women, but once again using women for a political agenda. Women, past and present, have suffered long enough, and their lives should not be rewritten to serve a political agenda.
Type Text
Publisher University of Utah
Subject Asia-Pacific War; Chosŏn; ngsindae; Comfort women; Korean War; World War II; Yoshida Seiji
Dissertation Institution University of Utah
Dissertation Name Master of Arts
Language eng
Rights Management Copyright © Britney Nay 2015
Format Medium application/pdf
Format Extent 386,433 Bytes
Identifier etd3/id/3717
ARK ark:/87278/s6pv9tpn
Setname ir_etd
Date Created 2016-02-29
Date Modified 2017-11-28
ID 197268
Reference URL