2011/01/09

慰安婦の思い出【NYT】1995年



[メモとして、ざっと要点のみ] 1995年のニューヨーク・タイムズに掲載された在米韓 国人元慰安婦のインタビュー。インタビュアーは、有名なノリミツ・オオニシではなく、JANE H. LIIという記者。本当の話とそうでない部分が混ざったような印象。前半はちょっと怪しいかな?




1944年のことだった。16歳の時、日本政府の為に働いていた役所の事務員が日本人警官と共に家にやって来て、女子挺身隊として天皇陛下の為に働くために郡の役所へ出頭しなければならないと告げた。他の愛国女性たちと軍需工場で働き給料がもらえると言われた。

母親は拒否したが、数日後再び警察が来た。母親も自分も泣いた。しかし郡の役所に引きずられて行った。そこには30人の少女が集められていた。そこからトラックで近くの軍用列車まで運ばれた。日本の兵隊が護衛していた。

満州のQiqiharにある陸軍の基地に到着すると、日本の将校が服を破こうとした。

「最初の頃は抵抗しました」「しかし酷く殴られたのです」

新入り(処女)は将校用でした。将校が済むと兵隊の番でした。

到着すると、毛布とタオル、軍服を支給され鉄条網で囲われた軍の食堂に入れられた。中は小さく区切られていて、週7日、朝の10時から夜の10時まで日本兵とのセックスを強制された。しばしば将校の相手をした。兵は軍票で8円を支払った。日本人の管理人(経営者?)からは家に帰る時にお金をもらえると聞かされた。

時に慰安所のない遠方の基地に出張した。

何度か脱獄を試みたが、捕まり捕獲者たち(captors)に激しく殴られた(文脈からは日本兵にと読める)。ある日トラックから飛び降りたところ、怒った兵士たちが彼女の指を切り落そうとしたと、彼女は傷を見せた。

性病治療の注射や受けた暴行で、体はダメになった。

1945年のある日、目が覚めたら戦争が終わり日本人の捕獲者たち(Japanese captors)はいなくなった。女たちは見捨てられた。約束のお金はもらえなかった。韓国に帰り、Munsanの米軍基地の近所に住んだ。それから釜山に移った。

叔母を通じて母にあった。家に帰った来るよう言われたが断った。母と妹に自分の試練を伝えたのは何十年も経ってから。1979年に姉妹の招きでアメリカへ。

日本政府に賠償を要求する韓国人慰安婦の動きを注視している。1993年になってようやく日本は公式に強制売春に関与していたことを認めた。

彼女の弁護士キム氏は、韓国系アメリカ人挺身隊連合(Korean-American Coalition on Jungshindae)のメンバー。


LOOKING BACK; The Memories of a Comfort Woman
By JANE H. LII
Published: September 10, 1995

WEARING a skirt that covered her ankles and a Korean-style linen shirt, the old woman sat on a bamboo floor mat in her studio apartment in central Queens and told her story slowly. At first she was calm as she methodically peeled apples, apple pears and Korean white-fleshed peaches for the visitors. Her figure was erect, her eyes cast down, her ageless face stoic. But as she continued, her shoulders slumped toward her knees, and she curled up like a ball.

"I'm just waiting to die," the woman, D. Kim, said.

It was a bright fall day in 1944, she remembered, and the persimmon leaves were turning a shade of purple-red. She had become accustomed to living as part of a conquered people in the Japanese-occupied village of Ulsan in southern Korea. She was forced to take a Japanese name, speak Japanese in school and bow to Japanese soldiers whenever they passed and twice a day to the portrait of Emperor Hirohito that hung in her classroom.

But on this day, a Korean town clerk working for the Japanese Government and a Japanese policeman came to her home. She was now 16 years old, they said, and must go to the county office to join Jungshindae, the Women's Volunteer Labor Corps, to fight for the Emperor. She would be working in a military factory along with other patriotic women, and she would even be paid for her work, they said.

Her mother refused. But a few days later, the police came again. "My mother cried," she said. "I cried. She didn't want me to go." But this time they dragged her to the county office, where some 30 girls had been assembled. They were trucked to a military train nearby. For the next week, they endured a grueling trip across the Yalu River in a windowless boxcar lighted by candles. Japanese soldiers with bayonets stood on guard.

"I was scared during the trip," said Miss Kim, who insisted that her first name not be used and spoke through the translation of her lawyer, John H. Kim, who is not related. "We had no idea where we were going. I thought we were going to work at the military factory."

Miss Kim said she realized what was happening to her soon after she arrived in an army base in Qiqihar in Manchuria, in northern China, when a Japanese officer tried to rip off her clothes.

"I fought them during the first days," she said. "But they beat me so badly."

The new arrivals -- virgins -- were reserved for officers and became "comfort women," Miss Kim said. It was only after the officers were done with the women that the soldiers would get to them.

After arrival, each woman was given two blankets, one towel and a military uniform and settled in a barbed-wired wooden mess hall, which was divided into small cubicles with single-size mattresses on the floor. There, from 10 A.M to 10 P.M., she was forced to have sex with Japanese soldiers who lined up outside the hall. She served up to 50 soldiers a day, seven days a week.

"Often I had to spend the night with an officer," Miss Kim said. "Each soldier paid eight yen in military coupons. The Japanese keeper told us that the money would be given to us when we returned home."

Often, the women were trucked to military bases when the soldiers were stationed too far away to travel to "comfort stations."

Miss Kim said she tried to escape several times, but was caught and severely beaten by her captors. One night, she jumped off a truck. In addition to beating her, the angry soldiers tried to cut off her fingers with a knife, she said. She showed the scars.

In the "comfort stations," the women were frequently inspected by Japanese military doctors and were given shots for venereal diseases. "Sometimes I received the shots," Miss Kim said, her voice cracking as she sobbed uncontrollably. "I was bleeding. My body is completely ruined from the medication and the beatings I received."

ONE day in August 1945, Miss Kim awoke to find her Japanese captors gone. The war was over. The Japanese had surrendered. And the women had been abandoned, without the money they had been promised.

"I had mixed emotions," she said. "I was glad that the war was over. But I was so angry and ashamed about my situation."

With no place to stay, Miss Kim decided to return to Korea. Without a penny to her name, she began the long, two-month journey on foot. In Korea, she first settled near the American military base in Munsan, then in Pusan, living in shame, not wanting to disgrace her family. Some years later, she met her mother through an aunt. Her mother had invited her home, but she refused.

"What could I have done?" she asked. "I didn't want anybody to know."

It was decades before Miss Kim finally told her mother and her younger sister about her ordeal.

In 1979, at the invitation of the sister, who was living in New York, Miss Kim immigrated to America to forget her miseries and to live a life in anonymity.

Her ordeal had lasted one year. Her life was ruined forever. Miss Kim lives alone on Social Security disability checks and the generosity of her sister. She has few friends and receives virtually no visitors.

She carefully watches the efforts of Koreans who are suing Japan to get reparations for the comfort women. It was only in 1993 that Japan formally recognized its involvement in the forced prostitution. Mr. Kim, her lawyer, is part of a group that is fighting for the reparations, the Korean-American Coalition on Jungshindae. Last week, Korean officials raised the issue at the United Nations's women's conference in Beijing.

"Many nights I lay awake, awaiting my death," Miss Kim said, trembling from anger. "I could not erase those horrible images from my mind. How can they ignore me like this after trampling down on an ignorant, weak teen-ager to suffer for the rest of my life?"

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