Intimacy and Contempt: WWII Comfort Women and Japanese Soldiers

Monday, March 23, 2015 - 12:30

The AGI cordially invites you to the following seminar presentation:

Intimacy and Contempt: WWII Comfort Women and Japanese Soldiers

Yonson Ahn (Professor & Director of Korean Studies and Deputy Director, Interdisciplinary Centre of East Asian Studies (IZO) Goethe-University of Frankfurt)

Biography: Yonson Ahn

Yonson Ahn is professor and director of Korean Studies, Frankfurt University in Germany. Before Frankfurt, she taught at Leipzig University in Germany and Ewha Women’s University in Korea. She was a visiting scholar at University of Tokyo and Waseda University in Japan. She completed her PhD degree in Gender Studies at University of Warwick in Britain in 2000. Her research fields are sexual violence at war especially issues of “comfort women” during WWII, and historical controversies in East Asia, including colonial history of Korea and historical revisionism in Japan. Her current research project is related to transnationalism, migration and gender.


There is an extraordinary feature of a story which held the 50-year silence after the war stories of “comfort women” who were forced into sexual servitude for the Japanese military during WWII and those who survived their “living death.”

Using narrative analysis based on in-depth interviews conducted with Japanese veterans and the Korean comfort women victims-survivors and documentary sources to reconstruct the traumatic encounters of the Japanese soldiers and the comfort women at the comfort system, this talk investigates both the personal and pseudo-love relationships between the women and the soldiers, along with the violence inflicted on the women.

For more information, please contact Hilda Ferguson ( / 021 650 4102)


AXL Seminar Room 4.01 (Level 4, Harry Oppenheimer Building, UCT)