Wednesday, August 14, 2013

The Consolation Facility During WWII : The Korean worker's diary Was Found.

A handwritten diary written by the Korean who worked at a recreational facility in Burma Singapore during the WWII was found in Korea. This Korean man left the Korea peninsula, which was in the Japanese territory at the time, as a member of the fourth Japanese consolation division in 1942, and came back in the end of 1944. This is the first time to find the personal diary written by a member of the recreational facility. This is also important source for the dispute about the camp followers issue, so called Comfort Woman issue, because only uncertain speech was used to judge the issue.

A Korean modern-history professor found it at an used bookstore around the museum in the suburban area in Soul ten years ago. Now, Ikuo Hori, the professor of Kyoto University, and Mikio Kimura, the professor of Kobe University is ongoing to translate it in Japanese.

The diary was written by the Korean worker about that he worked at the recreational facility in  Burma and SIngapore between 1943 and 1944. It was written in mixed languages in Japanese and Korean.

The Korean man who was born in 19905 died in 1979.  He left his diary written between 1922 to 1957. Nevertheless, the part of his diary for 8 years including 1942 was not found.

The man mentioned on July 10th, 1943, "I made a step toward the South by the ship 2 years ago." He also wrote on April 6th, 1944, "When the consolation division left Busan 2 years ago, the leader of the division, Mr. Tumura, worked at the market place."

The U.S military document reported in November, 1945, by the U.S military who captured the businessman of the recreational facility in Burma and tortured him, reported that 703 female camp followers, so called comfort women, and 90 business man at the recreational facility sailed away from Busan on July 10th, 1942. The date of the departure was matched between the diary and the U.S military report.

The Korean professor pointed out, "According to the U.S military report, it is certain that it was written about the fourth Japanese consolation division. The recreational division was collected by a particular organization as a part of the Japanese military." However, he also mentioned about the issue of enforcement and abduction caused by the Japanese police and military often heard from the Korean, "The Japanese military did not need to enforce the Korean to work as the comfort women because the Korean local business organization in Korea collected them."


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