Document Type

Journal Article


This paper examines the Japanese government’s changing response to the return of the zanryu fujin to Japan and the gap between the Japanese Government’s assumption that the zanryu fujin had chosen to remain in China and the reality of their lives. The zanryu fujin are women aged 13 years and over at the time of the Russian invasion of Manchuria on 9 August 1945 who, for whatever reason, did not undergo repatriation at the end of the war. Due to their age, the zanryu fujin were for a long time subjected to separate government policies in relation to visiting or migrating Japan to the zanryu koji – children who had not yet turned 13 at the time of the invasion. This paper analyses the narratives of the lives of three zanryu fujin in the aftermath of the Russian invasion and shows how many zanryu fujin did not initially have a choice over whether to return to Japan or not.