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December 7, 2018

[SSJ: 10480] From Shame of Village to Human Rights Abuse: How Memories of Wartime Sex Slavery in Shanxi Province, China, Traveled to the Fin-de-siècle Japanese Law Courts (Workshop on December 10)

From: HALL Jeffrey James <jeffreyhall@aoni.waseda.jp>
Date: 2018/12/06

You are invited to the next research workshop of Global Asia Studies Research Center at Waseda University, which will be held on Monday, 10 December, at 16:30 to 18:00

Title: From Shame of Village to Human Rights Abuse: How Memories of
Wartime Sex Slavery in Shanxi Province, China, Traveled to the
Fin-de-siècle Japanese Law Courts

Lecturer: Maiko Morimoto, PhD Candidate in Anthropology, University
of California, Berkeley

From the mid-1990s onward, groups of Chinese survivors of various cases of civilian abuse during Japanese invasion (1931-1945) started to bring civil lawsuits to Japanese law courts, demanding apologies and compensations from the Japanese government. These plaintiffs were represented by Japanese lawyers and funded by Japanese civil organizations throughout their long-standing legal attempts. My dissertation examines this series of transnational legal redress movement as a site where globally circulating human rights discourses and various particular concerns of regional, national, and local scales intersected at the turn of the new century.

My presentation at this workshop, in particular, focuses on the cases filed by victims of sexual slavery in Shanxi Province. The plaintiffs -- elderly village women-- were abducted as teenage girls, confined and repeatedly raped by the men of a Japanese military unit that came to occupy their villages in 1941. Exploring the processes through which these women's memories were unearthed from half-a-century of silence, I identify three discourses that were at work: the newly-emerged, popularized legal discourse within the People's Republic of China on the notion of "civil compensation"; the trans-Asian and trans-Pacific feminist discourse on the "comfort women" issue; and the medical-psychological theory of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) applied by Japanese pacifist lawyers to establish the plaintiffs' claim of continued suffering. My presentation demonstrates how these discursive forces, intersecting with one another, transformed the perception of the victimhood suffered by these women from an object of shame in their local villages to a legal grounding for rights, and how the transformation was left unfinished after the eventual dismissal of their cases by the Japanese Supreme Court.

Language: English

Place: Waseda University Campus, Building 14, Room 960

1-104 Totsukamachi, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo, 169-8050, JAPAN

Google Maps Link: https://goo.gl/maps/vJbYazrTj3s

A Campus Map can be found at: https://www.waseda.jp/top/en/access/waseda-campus


Naoyuki UMEMORI (Professor, Faculty of Political Science and Economics)

Yoshihiro NAKANO (Junior Researcher/Assistant Professor, ORIS)

Kyungmook KIM (Professor, Faculty of Letters, Arts and Sciences)

Event Information Page: https://www.waseda.jp/global-asia/article/2018/11/583

About Us: The Global Asia Studies Research Center aims to contribute to the global interdisciplinary scholarship on reconciliation and sustainable development and to disseminate its results from Asia to the world. We pursue our research through the dual perspective of global history and global governance, integrating three spheres of knowledge: peace and security, economics and development, and society and culture.

Our official homepage: https://www.waseda.jp/global-asia/ <https://www.waseda.jp/global-asia/>

We regularly hold research workshops in which scholars deliver presentations and engage in discussion with members of the audience. Presentations generally last about 45 minutes, followed by 45 minutes of discussion. These forums are open to scholars and members of the general public. All are welcome to attend, but please register in advance via e-mail (to Jeff Hall at jeffreyhall@aoni.waseda.jp ) so that we can prepare seating for participants.

Approved by ssjmod at 02:02 PM