Wednesday, March 4th, 2015 “Comfort Women” in Global Histories of Colonialism: A Report from Current Japan

Wednesday, March 4, 20152:00PM - 4:00PM208N, North House, Munk School of Global Affairs
1 Devonshire Place
M5S 3K7


Reimagining the Asia Pacific


This talk is drawn from the newly published book, Thinking about/from “Comfort Women” Histories: Structure of Ordinary Lives beyond Military Violence (Tokyo: Iwanami, 2014). The volume is a series of attempts by historians in Japan and Korea to break through current debates. The experiences of women who were forced to serve in the military brothels of Japan during WWII require scholars to look beyond war time. The authors of the book study broader fields: Korean rural socio-economy in the pre-war period, military brothels in the post-war Korean Army, the daily lives and decisions of Imperial Japanese licensed sex workers, and the history of sexual discipline in the American military. Instead of a revisionist history of bare sexual desire at a time of emergency, this lecture proposes an understanding of the event set in the longer and broader context of colonialism. The audience is invited to review these recent studies in politically charged East Asian settings.

Dr. Hiroyuki Matsubara is Associate Professor, Faculty of Urban Innovation, Yokohama National University, Japan, where he teaches US History. He is an editor of and contributor to the above mentioned book by the Historical Science Society of Japan. His book Undermined Ground of “Efficiency” : 1910s Social Hygienic Movement and American Political Culture (2013) won the Women’s History Association Award in 2014.


Hiroyuki Matsubara
Professor, Yokohama National University

Main Sponsor

Dr. David Chu Program in Asia Pacific Studies


Centre for the Study of Korea

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