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“Comfort Women”
(For High School)

Curriculum and Resources for
For High School
More information is available at
This resource guide has been jointly created by Korean American Forum
of California and Comfort Women Justice Coalition.
Edited by Phyllis Kim and Jimin Kim
Korean American Forum of California
P.O. 9627, Glendale, CA 91226
Comfort Women Justice Coalition
P.O. 27635, San Francisco, CA 94127
This resource guide is produced with generous support from
Jin Duck & Kyung Sik Kim Foundation
1725 Berryessa Rd Suite B, San Jose, CA 95133
Copyright © 2018 by Korean American Forum of California & Comfort Women Justice Coalition
All rights reserved.
Special thanks to House of Sharing.



“Why should we teach and learn about the “Comfort Women”?”
The reasons for learning about the “Comfort Women” are no different from the reasons for learning about historical atrocities like American Slavery, the Armenian genocide, and the Holocaust—to examine the painful lessons of the past and prevent similar tragedies in the future.

“Comfort Women” is a euphemistic term coined by the Imperial Armed Forces of Japan, and it refers to the largest case of human trafficking and systemic sex slavery in modern history that was created and controlled by the Imperial Japanese government during 1932 and 1945. Through the use of force, abductions, and false promises of paid work for the wartime effort, the Japanese military coerced hundreds of thousands of women and children, including girls as young as 12 years old, into sex slavery. The euphemism of “Comfort Women” was widely used to refer to the victims, but the policy of providing sex for soldiers was a deliberate part of military strategy and aggression. To this day, the Japanese government refuses to acknowledge official responsibility for the system or that it constituted a war crime or a crime against humanity.

No one knows exactly how many girls and women were victimized because the Japanese military destroyed most of the evidentiary documents when surrender was imminent. But the surviving documents and the testimonies of victims and witnesses, such as military officers and soldiers, demonstrate the existence and scale of the sex slavery system.

In the 1990s, historians estimated that the number of victims ranged from 50,000 to 200,000 with the majority being Korean girls. However, recent research by Chinese scholars indicates that the estimate may be as high as 400,000 including an overwhelming number of girls from China. (Chinese Comfort Women, Qui, Su, and Chen, Oxford University, 2014.) Because of the Japanese empire’s geographical reach, the nationalities of the victims spanned more than a dozen occupied territories, including Korea (South and North), China, Taiwan, the Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia, Burma, Thailand, Vietnam, and East Timor—as well as countries with military and civilian presence in those regions, like the Netherlands, Germany, France, the United Kingdom, and the United States.