STATES OFFICE OF WAR
Psychological Warfare TeamF심 리 작 전반
Attached to U.S. Army Forces India-Burma TheaterF미 군 인 도E버 마 방 면 작 전 부 대 소 속
APO 689F우 편번호
Japanese Prisoner of War Interrogation Report No. 49F일 본군의 포 로 심 문 보 고서 번 호 No. 49
Place interrogated: Ledo StockadeF심 문 장 소FLedo Stockade
Date Interrogated: Aug. 20 - Sept. 10, 1944F심 문 기 간
Date of Report: October 1, 1944F보 고서 보 고일F1944년 10월 1일
By: T/3 Alex YorichiF리 포트 작 성자FT/3 Alex Yorichi
Prisoners: 20 Korean Comfort GirlsF포 로F20명의 한 국인 위 안부
Date of Capture: August 10, 1944F포 로로 한 날F1944년 8월 10일
Date of Arrival: August 15, 1944 at StockadeF심 문 장 소Stockade포 로 도 착일F1944년 8월 15일
This report is
based on the information obtained from the interrogation of twenty
and two Japanese civilians captured around the tenth of August, 1944 in the mopping up operations
after the fall of Myitkyina in Burma.
The report shows how the Japanese recruited these Korean "comfort girls", the conditions under which
they lived and worked, their relations with and reaction to the Japanese soldier, and their understanding
of the military situation.
A "comfort girl" is nothing more than a prostitute or "professional camp follower" attached to the Japanese Army
for the benefit of the soldiers. The word "comfort girl" is peculiar to the Japanese. Other reports show
the "comfort girls" have been found wherever it was necessary for the Japanese Army to fight.
This report however deals only with the Korean "comfort girls" recruited by the Japanese and attached
to their Army in Burma. The Japanese are reported to have shipped some 703 of these girls to Burma in 1942.
Summary & Comment
Early in May of
1942 Japanese agents arrived in Korea for the purpose of enlisting
for "comfort service" in
newly conquered Japanese territories in Southeast Asia. The nature of this "service" was not specified but it was
assumed to be work connected with visiting the wounded in hospitals, rolling bandages, and generally making
the soldiers happy. The inducement used by these agents was plenty of money, an opportunity to pay off the family debts,
easy work, and the prospect of a new life in a new land, Singapore. On the basis of these false representations
many girls enlisted for overseas duty and were rewarded with an advance of a few hundred yen.
The majority of the girls were ignorant and uneducated, although a few had been connected with "oldest profession
on earth" before. The contract they signed bound them to Army regulations and to war for the "house master " for
a period of from six months to a year depending on the family debt for which they were advanced ...
Approximately 800 of these girls were recruited in this manner and they landed with their Japanese "house master "
at Rangoon around August 20th, 1942.They came in groups of from eight to twenty-two.
From here they were distributed to various parts of Burma, usually to fair sized towns near Japanese Army camps.
Eventually four of these units reached the Myitkyina. They were, Kyoei, Kinsui, Bakushinro, and Momoya.
The Kyoei house was called the "Maruyama Club", but was changed when the girls reached Myitkyina as
Col.Maruyama, commander of the garrison at Myitkyina, objected to the similarity to his name.
interrogations show the average Korean "comfort girl" to be about
twenty-five years old, uneducated,
childish, and selfish. She is not pretty either by Japanese of Caucasian standards.
She is inclined to be egotistical and likes to talk about herself. Her attitude in front of strangers is quiet
and demure, but she "knows the wiles of a woman." She claims to dislike her "profession" and would
rather not talk either about it or her family. Because of the kind treatment she received as a prisoner
from American soldiers at Myitkyina and Ledo, she feels that they are more emotional than
Japanese soldiers. She is afraid of Chinese and Indian troops.
the girls were usually quartered in a large two story house (usually a
with a separate room for each girl. There each girl lived, slept, and transacted business.
In Myitkina their food was prepared by and purchased from the "house master" as they received
no regular ration from the Japanese Army.
They lived in near-luxury in Burma in comparison to other
places. This was especially true
of their second year in Burma. They lived well because their food and material was not heavily rationed
and they had plenty of money with which to purchase desired articles.
They were able to buy cloth,
shoes, cigarettes, and cosmetics to supplement the many gifts given
to them by soldiers who had received "comfort bags" from home.
While in Burma they amused themselves by participating in sports events with both officers and men,
and attended picnics, entertainments, and social dinners. They had a phonograph and in the towns
they were allowed to go shopping.
under which they transacted business were regulated by the Army, and in
regulations were strictly enforced. The Army found it necessary in congested areas to install a system of prices,
priorities, and schedules for the various units operating in a particular areas.
1. Soldiers@10 AM to 5 PM@ @1.50 yen@ @20 to 30 minutes
2. NCOs@ @5 PM to 9 PM@ @3.00 yen@ @30 to 40 minutes
3. Officers@ @9 PM to 12 PM@ @5.00 yen@ @30 to 40 minutes
average prices in Central Burma. Officers were allowed to stay
In Myitkyina Col. Maruyama slashed the prices to almost one-half of the average price.
often complained about congestion in the houses. In many situations
and had to leave as the army was very strict about overstaying. In order to overcome this problem the Army set aside
certain days for certain units. Usually two men from the unit for the day were stationed at the house to identify soldiers.
A roving MP was also on hand to keep order.
Sunday -18th Div. Hdqs. StaffF iϊjAζ18t c. w ίX^bt
Monday- CavalryF ijARΊ
Tuesday- EngineersF iΞjAZt
Wednesday- Day off and weekly physical exam.F i jAxϊ¨ζΡTΜgΜΈ
Thursday- @@MedicsF iΨjAγΓX^bt
Friday- Mountain artilleryF iΰjARxCΊΰ
Saturday- @TransportF iyjAAΰ
Officers were allowed to come seven nights a week. The girls complained that even with the schedule
congestion was so great that they could not care for all guests, thus causing ill feeling among many of the soldiers.
Soldiers would come to the house, pay the price and get tickets of cardboard about two inches square
with the prior on the left side and the name of the house on the other side. Each soldier's identity or rank
was then established after which he "took his turn in line". The girls were allowed the prerogative of refusing
a customer. This was often done if the person were too drunk.
Summary & Comment
master" received fifty to sixty per cent of the girls' gross earnings
depending on how
much of a debt each girl had incurred when she signed her contract. This meant that in an average
month a girl would gross about fifteen hundred yen. She turned over seven hundred and fifty to the "master".
Many "masters" made life very difficult for the girls by charging them high prices for food and other articles.
In the latter part of 1943 the Army issued orders that certain girls who had paid their debt could return home.
Some of the girls were thus allowed to return to Korea.
The interrogations further show that the health of these girls was good. They were well supplied with all types
of contraceptives, and often soldiers would bring their own which had been supplied by the army.
They were well trained in looking after both themselves and customers in the matter of hygiene.
A regular Japanese Army doctor visited the houses once a week and any girl found diseased was
given treatment, secluded, and eventually sent to a hospital. This same procedure was carried on within
the ranks of the Army itself, but it is interesting to note that a soldier did not lose pay during the period he was confined.
Summary & Comment
relations with the Japanese officers and men only two names of any
came out of interrogations.
They were those of Col. Maruyama, commander of the garrison at Myitkyina and Maj. Gen.Mizukami,
who brought in reinforcements. The two were exact opposites. The former was hard, selfish and repulsive
with no consideration for his men; the latter a good, kind man and a fine soldier, with the utmost consideration
for those who worked under him. The Colonel was a constant habitu of the houses while the General was
never known to have visited them. With the fall of Myitkyina, Col. Maruyama supposedly deserted while
Gen. Mizukami committed suicide because he could not evacuate the men.
Japanese soldier is embarrassed about being seen in a "comfort house"
one of the girls who said, "when the place is packed he is apt to be ashamed if he has to wait in line
for his turn". However there were numerous instances of proposals of marriage and in certain cases
marriages actually took place.
All the girls agreed that the worst officers and men who came to see them were those who were drunk
and leaving for the front the following day. But all likewise agreed that even though very drunk the Japanese
soldier never discussed military matters or secrets with them. Though the girls might start the conversation
about some military matter the officer or enlisted man would not talk, but would in fact "scold us for discussing
such un-lady like subjects. Even Col. Maruyama when drunk would never discuss such matters."
The soldiers would often express how much they enjoyed receiving magazines, letters and newspapers from home.
They also mentioned the receipt of "comfort bags" filled with canned goods, magazines, soap, handkerchiefs,
toothbrush, miniature doll, lipstick, and wooden clothes. The lipstick and cloths were feminine and the girls couldn't
understand why the people at home were sending such articles. They speculated that the sender could only
have had themselves or the "native girls".
initial attack on Myitleyna and the airstrip about two hundred Japanese
leaving about two hundred to defend the town. Ammunition was very low.
Col. Maruyama dispersed his men. During the following days the enemy were shooting haphazardly everywhere.
It was a waste since they didn't seem to aim at any particular thing. The Japanese soldiers on the other hand
had orders to fire one shot at a time and only when they were sure of a hit."
Before the enemy attacked on the west airstrip, soldiers stationed around Myitkyina were dispatched
elsewhere, to storm the Allied attack in the North and West. About four hundred men were left behind,
largely from the 114th Regiment. Evidently Col. Maruyama did not expect the town to be attacked.
Later Maj. Gen. Mizukami of the 56th Division brought in reinforcements of more than two regiments
but these were unable to hold the town.
It was the consensus among the girls that Allied bombings were intense and frightening and because of
them they spent most of their last days in foxholes. One or two even carried on work there.
The comfort houses were bombed and several of the girls were wounded and killed.
The story of
the retreat and final capture of the "comfort girls" is somewhat
vague and confused
in their own minds. From various reports it appears that the following occurred: on the night of July 31st
a party of sixty three people including the "comfort girls" of three houses (Bakushinro was merged with Kinsui),
families, and helpers, started across the Irrawaddy River in small boats. They eventually landed somewhere
near Waingmaw, They stayed there until August 4th, but never entered Waingmaw. From there they followed
in the path of a group of soldiers until August 7th when there was a skirmish with the enemy and the party split up.
The girls were ordered to follow the soldiers
after three-hour interval. They did this only to find themselves on the
bank of a river with no sign of the soldiers or any means of crossing. They remained in a nearby house until August 10th
when they were captured by Kaahin soldiers led by an English officer. They were taken to Myitleyina and then to the
Ledo stockade where the interrogation which form the basis of this report took place.
Summary & Comment
None of the
girls appeared to have heard the loudspeaker used at Myitkyina but very
the soldiers mention a "radio broadcast."
They asked that leaflets telling of the capture of the "comfort girls" should not be used for it would
endanger the lives of other girls if the Army knew of their capture. They did think it would be a good idea
to utilize the fact of their capture in any droppings planned for Korea.
Summary & Comment