You might’ve heard about World War II and its battles, alliances, and maybe even a few heroes and villains. It was a time filled with stories of courage, resilience, and, unfortunately, stories of unimaginable horrors. One lesser-known, darker tale is about the so-called ‘Comfort Women.’

A hushed-up chapter from the past, the story of the Comfort Women is more than just a footnote in our history books. It’s a grim reminder of the immense suffering that war can impose on the innocent. 

Korean comfort women in 1945 (Wikimedia Commons)

We’re talking about hundreds of thousands of women from Korea, China, and the Philippines who were forced into sexual slavery by the Japanese Imperial Army during WWII.

As we journey through this piece together, we will explore this heart-wrenching aspect of World War II. It’s going to be a harrowing journey, but it’s essential to remember and learn from the past. 

The Unspoken Truth of World War II: ‘Comfort Women’

Kicking off our deep dive, let’s unravel the euphemism of ‘Comfort Women.’ 

This term, coined by the Japanese Imperial Army, tragically masks a horrific reality. It represents hundreds of thousands of women forced into sexual slavery during World War II.

Imagine being a young woman during the war, expecting to contribute to the war effort, maybe by working in a factory or hospital. But instead, you find yourself kidnapped, shipped off to so-called ‘comfort stations,’ and forced to serve Japanese soldiers sexually. Hard to stomach, right?

Who Were the Comfort Women? A Tapestry of Individuals